Howard celebrates its 125th

HOWARD -- Sara Breuer returned home to Howard from Austin, Texas, over the weekend to find that her hometown, which was founded 125 years ago, is not the only thing getting older.

HOWARD -- Sara Breuer returned home to Howard from Austin, Texas, over the weekend to find that her hometown, which was founded 125 years ago, is not the only thing getting older.

"Somebody took all our classmates and replaced them with our parents," said Breuer, laughing.

Breuer's high school class had its 25th reunion as part of Howard's quasquicentennial celebration. Events Saturday included the main parade and street dance, and festivities picked up Sunday with a community-wide church service, an all-school reunion for Howard and Saint Agatha schools, baseball games and fireworks at sundown.

Today, activities will continue with a golf tournament, a Miner County "Trivia Game" and a concert by the Old Time Fiddlers on Main Street. The four-day celebration will wrap up Tuesday with "Fireman's Fun Day" for kids at Loe Park.

Don Weidler, chairman of the Howard 125th Committee, said Saturday and Sunday were the biggest days of the celebration because of the parade and all-school reunion. The parade drew 80 to 100 entrants, and around 1,000 people had pre-registered for the reunion.


The road race, which kicked off the festivities Saturday, received a little rain. But Weidler said that was OK.

"We never turn down rain in South Dakota," he said.

The reunion is what brought Breuer back to Howard. Her parents and two sisters still reside in the Howard area, and her son, who returned to Howard with her last summer, now insists that they come back to South Dakota every July 4.

Her cousin, Roberta Breuer, also took a long journey to be in Howard. She traveled from Boquete, Panama, to see family and friends in the area.

While the focus of the weekend was to celebrate with friends and family, Weidler is also happy it gave many organizations a chance to drum up some business.

"It's been a good opportunity for clubs and organizations to fund raise," Weidler said.

One such group was the Howard Track Fund Committee. Julie Clark, the committee's president, staffed the booth where chances were being sold to win a John Green painting. The committee hopes to receive matching grants, making it possible to renovate the city's existing track and field facilities.

September in the Park, a non-profit group that organizes an arts festival in Howard, set up a fundraising booth of children's games. Nancy Winker, coordinator of the group, said most of the funds raised during the 125th celebration will go toward bringing a blues band to the festival and to promoting the event. Winker hoped to raise $2,000 during the quasquicentennial events the group planned.


A Relay for Life team in Howard used the festivities to help raise money for their race on July 17. They sold raffle tickets for a quilt, which will be given away the night of the race, said group member Megan Bechen.

At the Miner County Historical Museum, which celebrated its grand opening Saturday, Patricia Schneider stood behind a counter selling mementoes of the 125th anniversary. Schneider and Phyllis Lauer, president of the Historical Society, said the sales will help fund the maintenance of the museum. The sales will also help the museum management decide what merchandise to stock in their anticipated gift shop.

Overall, said local resident John Wunder, the 125th anniversary showed how a community can pull together to achieve something positive.

As the Breuer cousins agreed, Howard is "still a happening little place."

What To Read Next
Get Local