YANKTON, S.D. — A county commission is seeking donations for a memorial honoring a man who served as South Dakota’s governor nearly a century ago.
The $2,500 marker will memorialize William H. McMaster, who was South Dakota’s 10th governor, the Yankton Daily Press and Dakotan (http://bit.ly/2vG3lbS) reported.
“The whole proposal came from the governor’s office and Tony Venhuizen, Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s chief of staff,” said Bernie Hunhoff, editor at South Dakota Magazine and former state legislator. “They realized that a number of governors from South Dakota were not memorialized in their home towns.”
McMaster identified as a liberal Republican and was governor from 1921-1925. During his time in office, McMaster was considered popular and worked to protect farm families by standing up to powerful railroad lobbies and big oil monopolies.
“I hope we can have the memorial erected by next summer because that is when they are going to place his statue along the Trail of Governors in Pierre,” Hunhoff said. “There is a possibility that some of his descendants might come to the state for the statue unveiling. Maybe we could do something within a couple days of each other, so they could attend both events.”
The Yankton County Historic Preservation Commission hopes enough donations will help fund the memorial.
“I’m confident that we can raise the money,” Hunhoff said. “The Historic Preservation Commission can budget some money for it, but the people of Yankton have always been generous with these kinds of projects. I’ve had nothing but good feedback so far.”
Information from: Yankton Press and Dakotan, http://www.yankton.net/