We have started scanning our old newsletters and other documents, and will be posting them on our website as they become available. On this page, we have posted our very earliest newsletters.

1899NovFirstNewsletterCover1899 - 1900 Newsletters

November, 1899: Our first newsletter was published. At that time, it was called the South Dakota Retailer. A subscription to the publication cost one dollar per year; a single copy was a dime. Click on the picture at right to view the publication in its entirety.

Our original newsletters from 1899 and 1900 are on file at the State Archives at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. The copies of the 1899 and 1900 publications have been provided courtesy of the State Archives.

Dec1899Jan1900SDRetailerCoverDecember, 1899-January, 1900 Newsletter

February, 1900 Newsletter

May, 1900 Newsletter

June, 1900 Newsletter

July, 1900 Newsletter

October, 1900 Newsletter

NOTE We have also started posting newsletters from the 1920s through the 1970s at this location on our website: https://www.sdra.org/Information/Historical-Documents/Index.asp


Here's a look a few other interesting items from the South Dakota Retailers Association archives.


On July 7, 1897, 84 men and 1 woman gathered at the Spink County Courthouse in Redfield to form what was originally called the South Dakota Retail Merchants Association. There was an air of excitement as they adopted a constitution and bylaws, and agreed their aim was to "improve and increase the business now being done by the merchants of South Dakota; this to be accomplished by adopting such new and improved methods as will accomplish this result."

During the progress of the convention a number of telegrams were received to congratulate the group. Among them: a telegram from South Dakota Governor Andrew E. Lee, who would later serve on the Associaton's Board of Directors.

(Click on the photo to pull up a larger PDF version of the Association's records regarding the telegrams.)



This record from April 24, 1901 indicates the Association had fallen on hard times, and was forced to sell the furniture and fixtures to make good on their debts.

Inventory included a roll top desk, a cabinet, a shelf book case, three office chairs, a flat top table, and a paper rack file.

Everything was sold for the sum of $69.21. Secretary W.J. Healey presented his resignation, and it was accepted.

(Click on the photo to pull up a larger PDF version of the record.)


When the association was founded in July of 1897 in Redfield, dues were set at $3 a year.

At some point, they were dropped to $1 per year.

Then, at the 1911 convention in Watertown, the dues were raised from $1 to $5 a year.

(Click on the photo to pull up a larger PDF version of the record.)




The Association struggled for many decades before finally gaining a solid financial footing.

In 1923, certificates of indebtedness were issued to help keep the organization afloat. The certificates were for $10 each, "these to be subscribed for by the members of the Association. These will be retired, probably in one year perhaps in two years time, the income from the newly formed insurance department to be used in this connection. The rate of interest was 7 percent.

The certificate of indebtedness pictured was purchased June 1, 1923 by Board Member John Bonde.

(Click on the photo to pull up a larger PDF version of the record.)


Under construction. More coming soon!