Frederick is located in the northwestern part of Brown County, South Dakota. The town of Frederick was platted and staked out in August, 1881. on September 12, the railroad tracks reached the townsite, and in Decemer the lots were put on the market. The town was named for Kustaa "Frederick" Bergstadius who was a railway clerk employed by the Chicago-Milwaukee-St. Paul Railway Company as a salesman clerk and emigrant agent.
By Januray 4, 1882, S. D. Cone, agent for the railroad, had erected two small shanties. He lived in one and sold the other to a Mr. Claybots who immediately opened a hotel.
C. F. Campau built the first business building in Frederick which was a general store. Woodward and Light followed soon after with another store building and hotel. In February Haase and Dam put up a building and opened a hardware store. Other businesses followed with a newspaper, "The Free Press", being established in March. Town lots were sold by telegraph and many investors came to Frederick to construct buildings in rapid succession. In January of 1881, only 12 or 15 claims had been filed for all of the land around Frederick and the town was growing rapidly.
By January 1, 1883, Frederick had $150,000 invested in buildings and businesses, Frederick was advertised as the "The Future Metropolis of the Northwest - Located on the Banks of the Beautiful Maple River - The Junction of Three Railroads - A Good Opening for Businessmen in General". "This beautiful 'town on the hillside' is surrounded by a rich and gentle rolling stretch of prairie land, settled by a class of farmers that came here at a time when this country was 'unknown', and experience has convinced them that this is not only the finest farming area in the world, but the most healthy country in the west, and thousands who came 'just to look around' have concluded to rear their children in God's holy sunlight, in the pure embracing air of this northern country, where the filth of the East is not, and where the moral corruption of the city life is unknown."
As the years 1882 and 1883 stand paramount in forming the history of the city of Frederick, so also do its institutions take their beginnings from that time. As soon as the early pioneers had their claims and homes started, churches and schools were begun.
In 1883, Frederick was defeated in its bid to become the county seat.
A flour mill was erected in 1886 and bragged about its capacity to process 125 barrels of flour a day. In 1888 the Frederick Creamery opened.
Work on an artesian well was finally completed in 1890. It was able to pump 28 barrels a minute. By 1894 the well had run dry.
In 1894, 14 main street buildings burned to the ground. Thirty-four businesses and offices were affected. In 1895, lightning struck the roller mill and it burned to the ground. The above information was taken from the 1982 Frederick History Book.
Today, in the year 2006, Frederick is certainly not the growing metropolis that it strived to be. There are far fewer businesses and the main street is rather bare, but it is still a very nice community on the banks of the beautiful Maple River that truly is an excellent place to raise your children. The spirit and desire for a thriving community that early residents worked for is still desired today. Current residents will continue to put their best foot forward to help this cause in any way possible to ensure that their children and other future residents of Frederick will continue to have a thriving school and great small community to raise their families.
For more information: Frederick Demographics
and Frederick Profile