Abandoned Bank/Funeral Home in South Dakota

Bank of the Iroquois Building - Hoevet Funeral Home, Iroquois South Dakota
Date added: August 15, 2022 Categories: South Dakota Commercial Bank
Southeast elevation (2001)

In the summer of 1880, the Chicago and Northwestern Land Company placed scrip on 160 acres of land in Kingsbury County and laid out the town site of Iroquois. The town was named after the French name for the Indian Confederacy of the Six Nations. On May 14, 1881, Charles Knecht, a pioneer merchant, purchased the first lot and built the first business structure in the new town. By that fall, however, few other businesses were erected and the town remained almost stationary until the development of the Calliope and Iroquois branch of the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad. When the branch line was located and it became apparent that the town would have two lines connecting it to Chicago, building began in earnest and property values increased.

The Bank of Iroquois was established in the early years of the town, but didn't construct their building until 1887. On July 5, 1887, Charles Frederic Zimmermann, who was the cashier for the Bank of Iroquois, sold his land holding which included part of lots 1-4 in block 8 in the first addition of the Town of Iroquois, to the Bank of Iroquois for $400. The bank President was William P. Thorp. The bank building was started in 1887 and completed in January 1888, and was the first brick building in town. The west half of the building housed the bank, while the east half was a print shop and the Post Office. Although the town was growing, it was doing so slowly. By 1893 the town of Iroquois had two schools, three hotels, five general stores, a hardware store, tin shop, barber, two billiards, a photo studio, meat market, two drug stores, a stationary store, millinery, jewelry store, an agricultural implements shop, three liveries, two harness shops, a printers, the town hall/Opera house, several churches, the railroad depot, four granaries, and a lumber yard. Although there were now more business's in town, the Bank of Iroquois was still the only brick building in the entire town.

Ten years after its construction, on May 21, 1897, the Bank of Iroquois took out a $3,000 mortgage with Henry Niemann, using the bank building as collateral. The mortgage was paid off July 11, 1901, and ownership of the building was returned to the Bank of Iroquois. On February 7, 1910, the Bank of Iroquois leased the store room in the eastern half of the first floor and the cellar underneath to the company H.A. Crawford and Son for $10.00 a month. Then on March 25, 1910, the Bank of Iroquois leased the west half of the first floor, which had housed the Bank of Iroquois, to the Farmers and Merchants Bank, which had been established in 1884, for $168.00 a year, for three years. One year later, on May 17, 1911, the Bank of Iroquois sold the building to Henry A. Crawford and A.G. Crawford for $1.00 plus other valuables and appears to have gone out of business permanently. Ten days later, on May 27, H.A. and A.G. Crawford turned around and transferred the building back to William Thorp, who had been the President of the Bank of Iroquois, for $1500 with a five year mortgage at 6% interest. At this time, in 1911, the west half of the building was being used by the Farmers and Merchants Bank, and the east half was now being used as a hardware store, with the second floor being used as a club room and lodge hall. Although by 1911 the town had four stone buildings, the only other brick building in town was the new school house. The bank building was still the only brick commercial building in town.

On November 13, 1912, William Thorp transferred his $1500 mortgage, with H.A. and A.G. Crawford, to the Farmers and Merchants Bank of Iroquois. Over the next eight years, a series of transactions transferred the property back and forth between the Farmers and Merchants Bank and H.A. and A.G. Crawford. The final ownership finally settled with the Crawford's on January 24, 1920. In May 1922, Henry A. Crawford died, leaving sole ownership of the building to A.G. Crawford. By 1925, the Sanborn Fire Insurance Map shows that the Farmers and Merchants Bank was no longer housed in the building a the west side of the building was being used as a cream station, and the east side was vacant.

In 1929, A.G. Crawford lost the building to foreclosure. In a Sheriffs sale on June 17, 1929, Arthur Walter bought the building for $1760.15. However, Arthur Walter died in 1935 and in May 1939, the property was deeded over to the County for back taxes. The County owned the building until March 1943 when it sold it to C.E. Greer for $205.60. Just four years later, in June 1947, C.E. Greer sold the building to Howard and Edna May Hoevet for $7,400. The Hoevet's used the building for the Hoevet Funeral Home until 1969. During the 1950s and 1960s, the Hoevet's converted the second floor of the building into apartments.

In 1970 the building was again sold. The new owners continued to use the second floor as apartments and converted the west side of the first floor into living quarters for themselves, including a bathroom, dining room, and kitchen. The building has been vacant since the late 1980s and is currently being used for storage.