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Jane Breeden Papers added to the South Dakota Digital Archives

More than 2,456 pages from the Jane Breeden papers are now available on the South Dakota Digital Archives.

Jane Rooker Smith Breeden was born in Pennsylvania in 1853. She moved with her husband, attorney James Knox Breeden, and their three children to a homestead three and a half miles north of Fort Pierre in 1892. In 1896, the family moved to Pierre, and James became a county judge and a member of city council. Jane was a member of the Congregational Church and an active clubwoman, serving in the South Dakota Equal Suffrage Association, Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, Dickens Club, and the Woman’s Club of Pierre. She also helped write the constitution and by-laws for the State Federation of Women’s Clubs and worked with the Carnegie Foundation to secure a Carnegie Library for Pierre. Mrs. Breeden died in Compton, California in 1955.

The Jane Breeden papers were donated to the State Archives in 1974. These papers consist of one cubic foot of correspondence, reports, postcards, and programs relating to women’s suffrage, temperance, and social club activities in Pierre. Thanks to a generous donation from Jane Page and Ruth Page Jones, these records have been scanned and are now available to the public on the South Dakota Digital Archives (

“The Breeden papers are an excellent resource for Pierre and women’s history,” notes State Archivist Chelle Somsen. “We appreciate the support from Jane Page and Ruth Page Jones that allowed us to make this collection available online.”

Ruth Page Jones adds “My sister Jane and I are pleased to have supported this project. The digitized collection truly enhances our understanding of women’s history from an era when women like Jane Breeden provided significant community leadership - even without the right to vote!”

Please contact the South Dakota Historical Society Foundation if you are interested in supporting digitization efforts by calling (605)773-6003 or

For more information, contact the State Historical Society- State Archives at 605-773-3804 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 since 2013, is headquartered in Pierre. The center houses the society’s world-class museum, the archives, and the historic preservation, publishing, and administrative/development offices. For questions or memberships, 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.