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100 Years of Gackle and Alfred

6/26/2004:

The town of Gackle is celebrating its Centennial this weekend. There used to be a settlement named Hackney about 6 miles south of present-day Gackle where, in 1903, George Elhard, George Gackle, and John Gross of Kulm built a store. They renamed the site Gackle, and Elhard became the postmaster. When the Northern Pacific Railroad bypassed the site, the town was moved north, and the little settlement – instead of going back to the name of Hackney – gave itself the name Minister, but it soon became a ghost town.

Gackle, on the other hand, soon had a restaurant, lumber yard, real estate offices, harness shop, livery and feed stable, hotel and a “small building for handling refreshments.”

Another town celebrating its centennial this weekend is Alfred in LaMoure County. The town’s promoter, Richard Sykes, named it after Alfred the Great, King of England, and the town’s streets were given classic British names like Avon, Warwick and Winchester.

Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm