Alcester, SD

A genuine “Small Town Treasure” nestled in the rolling hills of Union County South Dakota is the little city of Alcester. Only 40 minutes from either Sioux Falls, South Dakota or Sioux City, Iowa, Alcester offers a great place to live, work, play and raise a family. TheAlcester community is proud of its school system and the high standards it maintains. The school has produced outstanding livestock judging teams winning national honors; the school paper Dakota, now called Bear Facts, has won many yearly top ratings as well as the school annual Cubette; top honors in music events, as well as sporting events and the list goes on. The school has produced its share of impact in the world of today as its graduates have gone on to become outstanding educators, professors, doctors. editors, authors, artists, nuclear scientists and more.


In the late eighteen hundreds the town of Alcester was located on the west edge of the Finn School District. For the first seven years of the town’s existence, Alcester’s children went to the Finn School. When conditions became crowded there, a private school was started in Alcester. Miss Minnie Catlin conducted this school during the winter of 1888-1889 in the home of A.S. Disbrow, who provided most of the financial support. In 1889-90, the enrollment had increased so greatly that the school was moved to the Congregational Church and it was under the supervision of Mrs. Kate Amey. The citizens of Alcester saw the need for building a schoolhouse, consequently, the necessary steps were taken to organize the Alcester School District No.76. The new school house was built in 1890 at a cost of $1,223.15, at a site where the home of Albert Muller now stands.

Will Chamberlain, who has since achieved fame as a poet, writer, and newspaper columnist, was the first teacher. The enrollment continued to grow rapidly and in 1893 another room was added. The ninth grade was included in the 1896-97 school year. In 1947 the school district rebuilt some barracks, which had been secured from the Sioux Falls Air Base for a Vocational Agricultural building. Tax-wise the Alcester district became rated as one of the best in the state. In early 1969, the Alcester Independent District No. 176 was reorganized. With more elementary pupils coming to Alcester space was definitely needed. To alleviate this condition temporarily, two houses without the inside wall partitions were constructed just north of the present high school building. These were used until the new elementary school with its attached auditorium was built. One of the houses was then sold and moved off to become Mac Kratochvil’s home, the other continues being used for school purposes.

Contact Information

  • City of Alcester, 106 West 2nd, Alcester, SD 57001
  • (605)934-2851
Categories: Cities, Eastern SD

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