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  • Springfield, South Dakota

Main Street

John L. (J.L.) Turner was an original resident of Springfield, having moved to the new town from Genesco, NY in 1870. He immediately opened a general store at this residence. This building, located at 6th Street between Elm and Walnut burned down. He then constructed at the corner of 8th and Main (now College) Streets. For a time this was the largest mercantile business in South Dakota. In 1896 J.L.’s son John W. entered into business with his father. In the April of 1913 the store burned to the ground. The Turners did not rebuild, with J.L. at 70 years of age to old to rebuild and John W. entered into the insurance business.
Fast forward to February of 1984. During a Saturday evening blizzard on February 19th Norm’s Food Market, owned by Norm Kibble, saw a fire that gutted the interior of the building. Fire departments from Avon and Tyndall, arriving behind county snow plows, assisted the Springfield Fire Department in extinguishing the blaze and saving the building. This fire could not have come at a worse time for the town, with final actions underway in Pierre to determine the fate of the University of South Dakota at Springfield. Kibble opted to sell to Tom Jones, a Viborg grocer. Jones rebuilt the store and opened in September of 1984 under the Jones. Today Doug Van Emmerick has been the owner/operator for over 20 years, keeping alive a community staple that has seen a business since before South Dakota was state.