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State Historical Society presenting Governor’s Awards for History

The South Dakota State Historical Society will recognize three individuals and two organizations with Governor’s Awards for History for their efforts in preserving state history.

The award winners include Gary Conradi of Sioux Falls, Scott Beehler of Iroquois, Lisa R. Lindell of Brookings, the Brookings County Historical Society & Museum in Volga and the Elkhorn Ridge Development Company of Lakewood, Col. The awards will be presented Friday, April 26, during the annual state history conference in Pierre.

“These people and organizations represent the best of our state,” said Gov. Kristi Noem. “Through their efforts, South Dakota history will be preserved for future generations.”

“We are pleased to give out these awards,” said Jay D. Vogt, director of the State Historical Society at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. “These are just a few of the shining examples of how people across the state are helping us in our efforts to promote, nurture and sustain South Dakota history.”

Conradi is the individual award winner. Through his documentary photographic work in projects across the state and country, Conradi, a retired Raven Industries executive, has been described as a model “citizen historian,” a professional in a field other than history or another academic discipline who assumes responsibility for researching, interpreting and preserving the record of the past.

Beehler is the 2019 History Teacher of the Year. He has spent all eight of his teaching years in the Iroquois School District. Using a positive, no-nonsense approach, Beehler presents knowledgeable and enthusiastic lectures that make his lessons more interesting to his students. Beehler says the teaching of history is important because, before students can move into the future, they must first know and understand their past.

Lindell is the recipient of the 2019 Herbert S. Schell Award for the best article in Volume 48 of “South Dakota History,” the State Historical Society’s award-winning quarterly journal. The Schell Award is named for Herbert S. Schell, a historian and long-time University of South Dakota professor. Lindell’s article, “In Their Own Words: Women of Brown County, South Dakota, in World War I,” appeared in the Spring 2018 issue of the journal. Women from Brown County joined thousands of others across the country in volunteering for the war effort. In her article, Lindell explores these women’s contributions in the areas of nursing, medical practice, clerical posts, and canteen work both abroad and at home and what the experience meant in their own lives.

The Brookings County Historical Society & Museum is an organizational winner and is being recognized for 80 years of gathering and displaying items related to Brookings County and area history. What began in 1939 has grown into a campus of six buildings, housing and displaying thousands of artifacts that attract thousands of visitors a year.

The Elkhorn Ridge Development Company, a second organizational winner, is responsible for the redevelopment of the historic Frawley Ranch near Spearfish. Daryll Propp and his team at Elkhorn Ridge bought Frawley Ranch, which was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977, from Hank Frawley in 1998 and began restoring the crumbling structures throughout the ranch while maintaining a growing buffalo and cattle business.

The Friday awards dinner is part of this year’s State Historical Society annual history conference, taking place Friday and Saturday, April 26-27 in Pierre. This year’s theme is “New Insights into Old Stories.” Registrations are still being accepted. Call 605-773-6000 for more information or visit

About the South Dakota State Historical Society
The South Dakota State Historical Society is a division of the Department of Education. The State Historical Society, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is headquartered at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. The center houses the society’s world-class museum, the archives, and the historic preservation, publishing and administrative/development offices. Call 605-773-3458 or visit for more information. The society also has an archaeology office in Rapid City; call 605-394-1936 for more information.

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