Wilmarth Grocery


George B. Wilmarth was one of the first settlers to choose De Smet for a business location. He came from Marshall, Minnesota, before the railroad was built. George is believed to have spent the winter in Watertown, South Dakota, arriving here in early 1880. Mrs. Wilmarth and their two sons came in June when the railroad was completed. The winter of 1880-81 was a trying one for a merchant, and Mr. Wilmarth did all he could to keep supplies in his store.

An early article in the newspaper for the store stated that, “Today they are at the head of one of the largest and best-stocked general stores in Kingsbury County”. Wilmarth was a respected citizen and very active in the community until his death in 1897.

Willmarth Grocery was located on the northeast end of Main Street. It was the location of Larks Cafe and Barbershop, Ford Implement dealership, car dealership, car wash and several different banks. It now houses City Hall.

In The Long Winter, Laura spoke of the grocery store:

“When Miss Garland, Mr. Foster and the students were lost in the blizzard after being dismissed from school early, the Wilmarth boys had only to cross the street to their home and grocery store.”


5 comments on “Wilmarth Grocery

  1. Joan says:

    This is such a fascinating photograph! Any information about when it was taken?

  2. bgfairweather says:

    I love these old pics, it’s fascinating! Have never been to DeSmet, did go to Mansfield and it was so wonderful. DeSmet is on my bucket list for sure!

  3. TLynn says:

    I, too, enjoy seeing the old photos. They really make the books come alive, being able to picture just how it was. I’ve posted some pics of George Wilmarth on my blog, too, with a link back to this post. http://henscratches.blogspot.com/2014/09/more-about-george-wilmarth.html

  4. Peggy Ward says:

    I am thrilled and over joyed to see this blog about my 3rd great grandfather, George Bester Wilmarth.
    My great grandmother was Alice Mary Wilmarth and the first girl to be born in De Smet, So. Dakota On Dec. 24th, 1881.

  5. Peggy Ward says:

    Correction on George Bester Wilmarth he is my 2nd great grandfather.

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