Argus-Leader from Sioux Falls, South Dakota on September 3, 1989 · Page 51
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Argus-Leader from Sioux Falls, South Dakota · Page 51

Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Issue Date:
Sunday, September 3, 1989
Page 51
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.LllllCB Anniversaries 6 Ann Landers 7 Argus Leader, Sioux Falls, S.D. Sunday, Sept. 3, 1989 iHfall I My South Dakota Bob Karolevitz Backwater town lives in infamy Events leading to the demise of the old cowtown of Le Beau in Walworth County sound more like the creation of a Hollywood scriptwriter than historical fact. , Antoine Le Beau, from whom the name was derived, had established a log hut trading post at the mouth of Swan Creek on the east side of the Missouri in the early 1870s. It became a stopping point for steamboats and later a way station on the military road between Bismarck and Fort Sully. In 1883 the town of Le Beau was platted, but its heyday did not come until after the turn of the century when the Indian Service decided to lease lands on the Cheyenne River and Standing Rock Reservation to giant cattle companies like the Matador, Turkey Track and others. WHEN THE Milwaukee Road extended its tracks from Bowdle to Evarts and later to Le Beau 10 miles farther south, the two riverfront towns rivaled one another as cattle shipping centers. Le Beau apparently was favored by the Matador company, largest of the outfits which leased about a half-million acres in the old Sioux Reserve. The Texas firm known by its Drag V brand railroaded or drove its scrawny longhorns norm to the South Dakota river crossing where they were transported by barge or pontoon bridge to the lush western grazing grounds. When the summer was over, they were rounded up for shipment to Chicago slaughterhouses and other eastern markets. In the fall of 1909, more than 150,000 grass-fattened animals were loaded into rail cars at Le Beau. LE BEAU ALSO was the off-duty fun town for Matador hands and other cowboys who patronized Phil DuFran's saloon, which had moved over from Evarts. It was on Dec. 11, 1909, that DuFran's watering hole became the scene of a fictionlike shooting worthy of Zane Grey or Louis L'Amour. David "Dode" MacKenzie son of Murdo MacKenzie, manager of the Matador after whom the town of Murdo was named rode into Le Beau with fellow cowpokes for a bit of relaxation. Young MacKenzie was big and rugged like his father and supposedly had a taste for whiskey. However, as his friends later swore, he hadn't yet had a drink when he entered DuFran's saloon on that fateful day. Bud Stephens (in some reports spelled Stevens), a former Matador employee, was tending bar, and apparently without warning shot MacKenzie in the chest as he came through the door. Then, as the wounded cowboy staggered into the street, Stephens pumped two more bullets into his back. THE BARTENDER was charged with murder and tried at Selby in March of 1910. A furious Murdo MacKenzie hired six high-powered lawyers to prosecute Stephens, who was defended by 21-year-old Pat Morrison, trying his first criminal case. It was rumored that Phil DuFran financed Morrison and an equally inexperienced assistant. It was said that there had been some bad blood between young MacKenzie and Stephens in Texas, and the latter claimed he shot Dode in self defense. Despite testimony that the victim made no provocative remarks and never drew his revolver, Morrison won acquittal for his client, whom he immediately advised to leave town to avoid the wrath of irate cowboys. DODE'S BUDDIES and other courtroom spectators expected a cut-and-dried verdict of guilty, so the jury's decision was greeted with dismay and anger. Following the trial, the Matador Company boycotted Le Beau, and not long afterwards two fires wreaked havoc in the town. The second blaze (if not the first), which wiped out most of the remaining business houses, evidently had been deliberately set because the town's fire hose and telegraph lines had been cut. To this day no one knows for sure if the fire was the Matador cowboys' revenge. IN ANY CASE, the burned buildings were never restored, and only occasional trains visited the dying town thereafter. Finally the tracks were torn up when the Milwaukee Road chose to cross the Missouri at Mobridge. Years later the backwater of the Oahe Dam finished the job. Once roisterous Le Beau disappeared beneath the rising tide, to become a historical memory like the cowboys and longhorn cattle of its relatively brief existence. Bob Karolevitz is an Argus Leader columnist. -1 ' Critic's choice: Schedules: 2F-4F A SEPTEMBER: The Importance of Being Earnest, Olde Towne Theatre, Worthing. OCTOBER: Christian rocker Michael W. Smith, Sioux Falls Arena. NOVEMBER: Omaha Ballet presents The Nutcracker, . Jeschke Fine Arts Center at Sioux Falls College. DECEMBER: Augustana College Brass Choir Christmas Concert at Our Savior's Lutheran Church. new symphony con ductor, almost 50 plays and an art exhibit that'll look into South Dakota's second century are waiting for area residents between' now and next June. No one can complain that there's nothing to do in Sioux Falls this year. Among the highlights: Henry Charles Smith takes over as music director of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra and hopes to let his audience become friends with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Peter Uich Tchaikovsky. Area theaters hope to stretch their patrons this year with a mix of comedy and drama, music and theater that includes shows from Equus to Mame. The Sioux Empire Entertainment League will begin a series of Broadway-style shows here. Mark McGinnis will explore his concern about U.S. and Soviet intervention in Third World nations in an exhibit at the Civic Fine Arts Center. The Friends of Old Time Music welcomes Ossian, a Scottish band to Sioux Falls, while the Arena hosts Christian rocker Michael W. Smith, who opened last year's Amy Grant concert. Directors return drama to stage By ANN GRAUVOGL Argus Leader Staff Theater will have a little more bite when curtains go up on Sioux Falls area stages this season. Play goers will also have a bigger choice than ever before with the addition of the Sioux Empire Entertainment League's season of Broadway shows. After two years of what can best be called safe theater, the colleges and community groups have decided to try to break their conventional mold. Mentally handicapped men, abused women, trapped homemakers and AIDS survivors make their way onto the area's stages. Directors will use the classics and new scripts to explore social issues and the internal struggles that make people who they are. They also bring us a few big musicals, a few easy laughs for and a few shows meant only to be enjoyed. Even better, this year, the regional theaters do not duplicate each other's efforts. For the most part, we'll be seeing shows that haven't played here recently. The Sioux Falls Community Playhouse turns back to social drama with two one-acts. Nightbird, a new script by E. Vincent Yaroch, a Dell Rapids native, Directors See 2F ...ft Twl-r - y . t - . ,7 s iV f 'vr'""- F"f?S-. .-53 Is, , V 7" -A -Or- - y 1 . "-Ks''- -"-.v,, ..-v-; : '.i' ' , .- . : """"" ' A' NNa, ' , Argus Leader pholo by FRANK KLOCK Frank Pope (left) plays Doolittle, Dale Reed Hart Pickering in My Fair Lady, scheduled to open Oct. 6 plays Higgins, (seated) and Arnie Stenseth plays at the Sioux Falls Community Playhouse. ' v. V "to . f i ( . - J Politics and art blend in an exhibition by Aberdeen artist Mark McGinnis. The above sculpture is part of his Third Wotld Ties series. The wood-encased PHOTO: COUHrtSY OF THE AH I lb T standing structures contain miniature scenarios of war and destruction. The show will be at the Civic Fine Arts Center Dec. 15 to Jan. 21. Art shows look east, west, ahead JANUARY: Mark McGinnis: Third World Ties. Exhibits of the Missouri River, super- sized popples and photographs of backyard shrines are scheduled regional public art galleries this year. Marty Manning, a Sioux Falls native, returns from the East Coast to show her work at the Civic Fine Arts Center this month. Alice Berry, a professor emeritus at South Dakota State University, shows her paintings at the South Dakota Art Museum In Brookings in October. The University of South Dakota opens an installation Oct 27. John Banaslak, a University of South Dakota instructor, shows his photographs of China this month at the Old Flrehouse Gallery, Madison. Ills photographs of backyard - shrines are also on display this month at the South Dakota Art Museum, Brookings. An exhibit of prints and paintings of the water, bluffs, people and towns along the Missouri River will travel through eastern South Dakota making stops at the Civic Fine Arts Center and in Madison. Easily the most ambitious project of the year, Art for a New Century, opens simulta-' neously at the Civic Fine Arts Center and the South Dakota Art Museum in Brookings. Directors Sheila Agee and Joe Stuart looked to the future of art in South Dakota and selected work by II of the state's most progressive artists. They believe these artists will help set the pace for art as South Dakota begins Its second century. Ann Grauvogl Conductor plans classical favorites By ANN GRAUVOGL Argus Leader Staff By May 5, conductor Henry Charles Smith hopes his Sioux Falls audiences feel as if they own Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky. Smith, conductor and music director of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, has made the two composers the threads that tie the 1989-90 season together. Before- the eight concerts are completed, local audiences will hear a symphony and two concertos from Mozart, the 18th-century musical prodigy and genius. We'll also hear a symphony and music from three ballets by Tchaikovsky, the romantic Russian composer. "I think it's kind of neat when both players and audience have enough of an encounter with a particular . com6oser (so) when something comes up later, they treat him as an old friend," Smith says. These are two great composers and their work has not been done often here in the last few years. "They're both accessible and towering genius at the same time," Smith says. 1 A series of guest artists, including pianist Navah Perlman, daughter of violinist Itzhak Perlman; Free Flight, a jazz quartet, and the Chicago Chamber Brass, will join the symphony this season. The Minnesota Opera also will bring its traveling production of Puccini's Madame Butterfly to the Coliseum Oct. 28. Smith relies heavily on well-known composers to fill the symphony season. He's included a hymn from Felix Mendelssohn, a symphony by Antonin Dvorak and a double concerto by Johannes Brahms. "One certainly does not have to apologize for offering the great masterpieces to any audience," Smith says. The familiar classical pieces are the kind of music that an orchestra can play 25 nights In a row, yet each performance is like the first. "These masterpieces have an enormous regenerative power," Smith says. The repertoire includes a smattering of 20th-century American music from this country's favorite Conductor: See 3F . FEBRUARY: Equus, Sioux Falls Community Playhouse. MARCH: Irish Night and Ceili Dance sponsored by The Friends of Old Time Music. Henry Charles Smith APRIL: South Dakota Symphony Orchestra with Free Flight Jazz Quartet. MAY: Man of La Mancha, Sioux Falls Community Playhouse. fcTr iii1ftilfr n ttn nil Mft rUti iml nwVi fit 1Wh ifcjlH.ii iTrf- m Ji id h ifrrtrf f 1 Ii rV rlranfir rf tk irtu iftrft nfl

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