The 167th Birthday for Senator Richard F. Pettigrew

Last Updated by Nate Wek on

This week, the Siouxland Heritage Museums Alliance in Sioux Falls held a celebration for the states first US Senator, Richard F. Pettigrew. On Thursday evening, citizens from around the city gathered in the Cathedral Historic District to tour five historical homes – one of those homes was the Pettigrew Museum.

Senator Pettigrew was born on July 23, 1848, making this the 167th anniversary of his birth.

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According to Museum Director for the Siouxland Heritage Museums Alliance Bill Hoskins, this is the 25th consecutive year of having a birthday celebration for Pettigrew at the museum. Hoskins raved about the community support.

“I think it’s a sign of the appreciation of our community for the cultural heritage,” explained Hoskins. “And South Dakota has a great rich heritage.”

Thomas and Jenny McMartin originally built the home in 1889. In 1911 Senator Pettigrew purchased it from the McMartin’s for $12,000, which is equivalent to around $240,000 today.

On an October night in 1926, Pettigrew and his wife were playing cards in his upstairs study when he suffered a stroke. He was moved into his bedroom where he would ultimately pass away at the age of 78.

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Hoskins said he’s worked for the Siouxland Heritage Museums Alliance for 31-years. He said the Pettigrew residence is very important to the historical district as a whole, because it has been a museum since 1930.

“The Pettigrew home is the public cornerstone of the Cathedral Historic District,” said Hoskins. “The city of Sioux Falls has put money into the museum for many years, which has helped promote the district as a whole.”

This annual summer open house is a fundraiser for the Siouxland Heritage Museums Alliance, and it enables them to continue their preservation of some of the cities most historic locations. For more information, click here.

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