Kimball, Lake Andes buildings added to National Register of Historic PlacesThe O.G. Bradshaw Elevator in Kimball and the Engel Hotel in Lake Andes are deemed historically important.
By: News release, SD State Historical Society
PIERRE — Two area properties have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, according to the South Dakota State Historical Society: The O.G. Bradshaw Elevator in Kimball and the Engel Hotel in Lake Andes.
The National Register is the official federal list of properties identified as important in American history, architecture, archaeology, engineering and culture. The State Historic Preservation Office of the State Historical Society works in conjunction with the National Park Service, which oversees the National Register program.
The O.G. Bradshaw Elevator is located at 220 W. Railroad Street in Kimball. The 20,000-bushel elevator was built by Oscar G. Bradshaw in 1908 using crib construction for its nine bins. It remained in operation under the same owner until Bradshaw died in 1956.
Operated independently, the Bradshaw Elevator provided a third option for area farmers in addition to the elevators owned by the railroad line company or the county cooperative. In terms of economic development, being independent meant profits were re-invested by the owner back into the community.
Oscar George Bradshaw, born in 1872, moved to southeast South Dakota in 1902. Having worked in a wheat mill in Minnesota, he continued to gain experience operating elevators before moving with his wife to Kimball in 1908 to build his new elevator. Bradshaw was an active participant in Kimball’s civic affairs by serving on the city council and school board as well as belonging to several social organizations.
The elevator is listed on the National Register for its local significance in the areas of agriculture and commerce. It not only contributed to the social and economic growth of Kimball, but it also provided an important connection between local farmers and the expansive grain transportation network.
Also recognized in the area of architecture, the Bradshaw Elevator is rare because it was never modified from its original wood construction and the entire elevator is self-contained with its drive bay, scales, and office all part of the same structure. The industry practice of the time was to build elevators clad in metal with offices out of either metal or brick and detached from the main house.
The O.G. Bradshaw Elevator retains excellent integrity with its original cribbed construction and still houses many of its historic inner workings including scales, electric motors, and distribution wheel and spouts.
The Engel Hotel in Lake Andes, located at 202 Main Street, a three-story building, was built by Frederick K. Engel in 1910. Constructed soon after the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad built a line through town, the hotel allowed people to stay and spend more of their money locally. In part, this aided the economic development and population growth of Lake Andes, and in 1916 it became the county seat of Charles Mix County.
A German-Russian immigrant, Frederick Engel became a United States citizen in 1895 and settled in Charles Mix County by 1900. In 1908, Engel and his family moved to Lake Andes to open a meat market and an ice house. Seeing a promising future in the tourist industry, the Engel Hotel Company was chartered in 1909 to raise money through selling stocks to build and operate the hotel.
Early hotels provided temporary housing for incoming settlers and laborers, and lobbies were a place for locals to socialize and gather information about state and national news. In addition to the hotel’s lobby, grand staircase, and dozens of rooms, it also had two boilers to power steam heating. There was a small restaurant on the first floor and overnight guests could have a room for $2 per night. The Engel continued to operate into the 1970s under various owners, proprietors and names.
The hotel is listed on the National Register for its significance as a business that facilitated economic development in Lake Andes. It is one of the few remaining buildings in Lake Andes that clearly demonstrate the historic connections of the community to the railroad both socially and economically.