Skip to main content

“Vote for Mitchell” Capital Fight Train Photo, 1889

 Unprocessed — translation missing: en.enumerations.container_type.container: FB 557
Identifier: H2016-042

Content Description

The collection consists of one photograph, measuring 6 ½ x 9 inches, of a train locomotive (number 343) and three passenger cars elaborately decorated with American flags and bunting with a sign that reads “Vote for Mitchell” on the coal car. Other signs on the passenger cars read, “We live in the Jim River Valley” and “Mitchell will be the Capital.” A third sign on the last car is illegible. Four individuals are seen in the photo. It is believe that the image dates to 1889 when a number of South Dakota towns were vying to become the site of the temporary state capitol in October of 1889. Mitchell finished fourth out of seven towns. The photo is mounted on card stock (10 x 12 inches) with the reverse featuring a photographer’s stamp for Jerome Wiltse of Mitchell. To further verify the assumed photo date of 1889, research revealed that the photographer Mr. Wiltse died in May of 1900. When compared to other photographs in the State Archives collections, it is believed that this photo was taken near the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul depot in Mitchell. A grain elevator is also visible in the background. The photo also has severe light damage and considerable fading.

Acquisition Type


Restrictions Apply



  • 1889



0.1 Cubic Feet