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In 1864, Congress formally invited each state to contribute two statues of prominent leaders for display inside the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. Both of South Dakota’s selections — William Henry Harrison Beadle and Joseph Ward — lived and created their legacies in Yankton. Beadle and Ward both arrived in Yankton in the late 1860s, just a decade after the first crude buildings were erected on the new town site along the Missouri River. Though they ventured to Dakota for separate purposes — Beadle to be surveyor general of Dakota Territory and Ward to lead a new Congregational Church — their mutual devotion to education quickly drew them together. In 1869, Ward created a private school where he taught the children of Yankton’s businessmen and territorial politicians like Newton Edmunds, John B.S. Todd, Andrew Faulk and Beadle. Three years later, he organized Yankton Academy, the forerunner of today’s Yankton School District. Beadle extended his interest in education throughout Dakota Territory in such a way that he became known as “the man who saved the schools.” Beadle grew up in Indiana, where school lands had been sold cheaply. That resulted in heavy school taxes, which his farmer father struggled to pay. Beadle resolved that the same thing would not happen in Dakota. After he became the territory’s superintendent of public instruction in 1879, he demanded that school lands never be sold for less than $10 an acre, an exorbitant price considering those same parcels sold for as little as $1.25 an acre in other places. He insisted that money from sales go into a trust fund, and that its principal could grow but never be allowed to diminish. Beadle struggled to find support, but he knew he could count on Ward, whom he considered to be “my first convert, if indeed he required conviction at all and had not always thought substantially the same way.” He ultimately prevailed, and his education trust fund, administered today by the state Department of Schools and Public Lands, has grown to roughly $200 million. It provides more than $10 million annually to K-12 schools, colleges and other public institutions. Ward’s position in the Congregational Church, which also emphasized education, led to his establishment of Yankton College in 1882. Ward resigned as pastor of his church to become the school’s first president, though he largely served as a fundraiser during its formative years. He often returned to his native Northeast, seeking support for the new college on the prairie. A theological dispute within the church in 1886 led several backers to withdraw their support. The school faced closure, but Ward came to the rescue. He and his wife, Sarah, had built a large house at 512 Mulberry. Ward mortgaged his property and kept Yankton College afloat until the controversy passed. The men worked in other circles of Yankton life, including law and politics. Beadle had studied law at the University of Michigan, and he became part of the team that defended Jack McCall in 1876 during his trail for the murder of Wild Bill Hickok in Deadwood. McCall was found guilty and publicly hanged north of town (today near the intersection of 31st and Broadway), but Beadle long maintained that his team could have avoided conviction on a technicality. He believed that his partner, Oliver Shannon, tried too early to establish that Deadwood fell outside the jurisdiction of Dakota Territory. “Had this point been saved till the case was closed and submitted to the jury, vBEADLE continued on page 42 Yankton, South Dakota – 41