It seems that General Campbell thought
there should be a stage route for mail from Yankton and that a post office should be
established. He wanted to call the place Gunnville but father and the other Gunns
refused their permission..The General swore and said: "We will call it
Scotland, then!" and Scotland it was and Scotland it is.
*excerpted from The Gunns of
Kinlochlaggan: A Scottish Disapora by Kathy Gunn Sullivan.
In the spring of 1870, General Charles T.
Campbell established a stagecoach stop for the Firesteel Trail. This stop, which
included his residence, an inn, a general store and a large horse barn became the original
town of Scotland South Dakota. Campbell, along with about 100 families of Scottish
and English ancestry, located this stop on a flat area beside Dawson Creek, about a
half-mile southeast of the Chalk Rock Museum. In 1879, Campbell encouraged his
friend Alexander Mitchell to build a railroad line through Scotland from Marion Junction
which was northeast of Scotland.
When the railroad arrived in 1880, the town
moved "upland" to meet it onto land owned by John Stafford who deeded the land
to the railroad and platted 80 acres for the new town. With the railroad spurring
new growth, other additions were platted by Phillip Becker, Johanna, Bertha, and Sara
Korb, John Lawler and Abel Stafford. By 1884, Scotland's population was up to 1200
with railroad service connecting it to the east and south. By 1891 the population
had risen to 1500 but was beginning to feel the effects of new homesteading in Charles Mix
County and points west.
Scotland remained a strong business town
through both World Wars and the Great Depression, Saturday and Sunday nights being
excessively active nights--the theater held 400 and would have two showings to sold-out
houses, while the stores and cafes' stayed open until midnight to accommodate the crowds.
This is but one of hundred stories of westward
expansion after the Civil War by the hearty Scots whose homes on the east coast were
destroyed by war. The western frontier held a mystique for freedom and justice the
Scots, Irish and English and German emigrants could not resist.
Scotland South Dakota is a thriving community
with excellent medical facilities, strong schools and many churches and other amenities
that comprises a Small Town with a Big Heart.