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BACK IN TIME: Sen. Francis Case honored for service

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life Mitchell, 57301
Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

In November 1961, Sen. Francis H. Case was honored in Mitchell for 25 years in Congress. Pictured in the front row, from left, are Harold Schuler, Sen. Case’s legislative assistant; former Gov. M.Q. Sharpe; Rep. E.Y. Berry; Sen. Case, holding his 25-year plaque; and Rep. Ben Reifel. In the back row, from left, are former Gov. George T. Mickelson, former Gov. Leslie Jensen, Gov. Archie Gubbrud and Sen. Everett Dirksen (Ill.). At the dinner in his honor, Case vowed to go all out for a complete Republican victory in 1962. However, he succumbed to sudden heart failure on June 22, 1962, at the age of 65. Case was born in Everly, Iowa, and at 13 moved with his family to a homestead in Meade County, where his father was pastor of the Sturgis Methodist Church. In 1918, Case graduated from Dakota Wesleyan University, where he edited the student newspaper and won the National Peace Oratorical Contest. After graduate school at Northwestern University, he launched his career as a journalist. He was editor of the Rapid City Journal and editor and publisher of the Hot Springs Star before taking over the Custer Chronicle. In 1936, he was elected to the U.S. House, where he served until being elected to the U.S. Senate in 1950. A moderate Republican, he worked to bring more than 650 miles of interstate highway to South Dakota and is credited with being instrumental in locating I-29 in South Dakota rather than Minnesota. Lake Francis Case was named in his honor because of the leading part he played in development of the Missouri River. (Photo courtesy of Dakota Wesleyan University Archives)

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