September 2019

South Dakota Speaker of the House Chair

Artifact Chair

This chair was one of the original furnishings of the South Dakota State Capitol in Pierre.  It was used by the Speaker of the House, Charles J. Morris. On March 3, 1911, at the closing of the 12th Session of the House, the chair was presented to him in appreciation for his work.

The chair was kept by Morris in his home in Sioux Falls until his death in 1924. At that point, it was given to Morris’ close friend, E. O. Jones. Jones kept it in his home. It 1941, Jones’ son E. G. Jones offered the chair to Judges John T. Medin and Lucious J. Wall, to be used in a courtroom of the Circuit Court.

It seems that the chair was reupholstered in 1962. The original leather, which apparently had the seal of the State of South Dakota on it, had worn out, and needed to be replaced. Jones offered to pay for the reupholstering himself.

By the 1970s, the chair was being used in the chambers of Judge Richard Braithwaite. In 1988, the chair was given to the Siouxland Heritage Museums.

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