KWIT

Mark Munger

General Manager

712-274-6406

mark.munger@witcc.edu

Fort Brule: A Wall Built of Fear

5 hours ago
Wikimedia Commons

We’ve taken that razor-straight county road east and west often enough to have stopped, but never did. Last week, with time to kill, I pulled off where a bleached sign announced a historical marker with the headline Fort Brule.

Saying What Can't Be Said: Modifying Love

Feb 13, 2017

When Sven Johnson, his wife and two children, left their native Norway, they spent the next eight weeks crossing the choleric Atlantic in a sailboat. Impossible to imagine.

A brother lived here in this new land, 100 miles from a place called Omaha, where that brother promised to meet Sven and his family, and did, although a couple days later than he'd said. If the Johnsons worried for a couple of homeless days, Sven doesn't mention it in his pioneer memoir.

The story goes that a man named John H. MacColl suffered mountain fever after coming west to Nebraska for, of all things, his health. Wasn't just a setback either; inside of a day or two MacColl was unable to move from the waist down.

Somehow, he made it to Fort McPherson, forty miles away, to visit the post surgeon, who, after a long visit and checkup, simply told Mr. MacColl that there was nothing he could do. 

When he was a kid, his father was killed when a rifle somehow discharged. A bloody fight for leadership ensued between him and his brother, and Little Crow was wounded in both wrists, scarring his arms so badly he kept them covered for his entire life. But he became the leader of the band of Dakota into which he was born. 

The Ruralists

The Ruralists are a band of guys who were looking for a band, something that can prove difficult when you live in a small town. They joined Mark Munger in the attic of the The Old Factory Coffee Shop in Orange City to talk about their genesis, the life and workings of a small town band, and how being in a band is more comfortable at this point in their lives.   

The Wooden Shoe Militia

Jan 25, 2017

They were all wooden-shoe clad. I’m told klompen are wonderful insulators and they had to be because that morning the temperature was --22, if you can believe the stories, which is risky.

Snow quilted everything, and there was no road, nothing really but experience to guide those sleighs all from Orange City west to Calliope, 23 miles in insufferable cold. It was January 22, 1872.

The Children's Blizzard

Jan 17, 2017
Jeanne Reynal

A January thaw is what all of us look forward to right now, a breath of warmth that reopens our hope that someday soon April will return. Two cold-of-winter days, maybe three, of forty degrees. No wind.

Heaven comes to Siouxland.

That’s the relief people felt early on January 12, 1888, when most of those who’d put down homesteads had just arrived.

Here’s how David Laskin describes that morning:

Clara Osowski

Clara Osowski, mezzo-soprano, will return to Sioux City this Sunday. Accompanied by pianist Jamie Schmidt, a Briar Cliff University alumna, Osowski will perform a program of art songs that includes premiers of works by Martha Helen Schmidt and Jared Hedges. 

James Schaap

The sign out front claims a well-kept church up on a hill north of Flandreau is "The Oldest Continuously Used Church in South Dakota" (all caps because it is, for sure, a title worth coveting). That means it's been "First Presbyterian" for 137 years, "River Bend Church" when it was established along the Big Sioux River long, long ago. The name change came later.

White Buffalo of the Omaha Chiefs

Jan 2, 2017

According to an old Omaha history, the Omahas first saw a white man somewhere close to where today they would find Homer, Nebraska. Those strange white people carried with them “blankets, cloths, trinkets, and guns,” all of which made that first meeting historic—deathly-looking white folks were one thing, but guns—that was amazing.

It was the late 18th century, and that first sighting was reciprocal—it was the fur traders’ first sight of the Omahas as well. There are no reports of those trappers being equally awed.

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