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John Andrews

History Columnist

Our managing editor, web editor and history columnist is John Andrews, a Lake Norden native who attended SDSU, wrote for the Brookings Register and earned a master's degree in history at USD before joining our staff. John writes features, edits our many departments and oversees the day to day writing of the magazine.

Contact John Andrews

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James Earle Fraser, of Mitchell, designed the buffalo nickels that circulated from 1913 to 1938.

Upstaging Mitchell's Sculptor

September 28, 2011
Coin aficionados know the name James Earle Fraser. South Dakotans should, too.

Pouring Pettigrew

September 21, 2011
A statue honoring one of South Dakota’s most vilified characters is nearing completion.

State-U, Version 2: No Frozen Critters

September 14, 2011
Are you ready to renew the athletic rivalry between the state’s two largest universities? It appears one school is.

The Hynes family s historic cedar tree still stands west of Conde, though not as gloriously as it once did.

Trees and Us

September 7, 2011
Full of history, trees are a tangible connection to the pioneer ancestors we never knew.

Capt. J.B. Irvine was stationed at Fort Sully from 1867 to 1874.

Rediscovering J.B. Irvine

August 31, 2011
We were visiting my wife’s parents in Letcher last Christmas when my mother-in-law asked if I’d ever heard of J.B. Irvine.

This quiz was NOT open-book.

Job Ready Since ‘92

August 24, 2011
I started working at South Dakota Magazine in September 2007, but you could argue that I had been preparing for a job here since 1991. That was the year when, at age 12, I finished a 300-page book on my home state.

Civil War Mystery Solved

August 17, 2011
Civil War veteran Jacob Franklin Kinna has lain nearly forgotten in an unmarked grave in Yankton Cemetery for 118 years.

Potato Creek Johnny s famous gold nugget (left) and the Icebox Nugget.

Together One Last Time

July 21, 2011
This weekend could be the last chance you’ll ever have to see the two biggest pieces of gold ever found in the Black Hills side by side.

Hot Springs' Square Thinker

July 13, 2011
People believed for centuries that the earth was flat. Hot Springs businessman Orlando Ferguson thought it was “square and stationary,” and believed it so vociferously that he delivered a series of lectures on the topic and printed maps to visualize his idea.

The Capital Man

July 5, 2011
John Sutherland helped Pierre become the capital of South Dakota. Then he did it again. And again.

Luigi Del Bianco was a master sculptor for the Mount Rushmore monument.

Bringing Life to Rushmore

June 29, 2011
Every year, millions of people gaze upon the four faces at Mount Rushmore. Most visitors could tell you that Gutzon Borglum designed them. But almost nobody knows the Italian immigrant who gave them life.

President and Mrs. Coolidge at the Custer State Game Lodge.

The Summer That Made the Hills

June 23, 2011
Of the millions of summers the Black Hills have seen, the summer of 1927 was surely the most eventful – and perhaps cemented the region’s status as the popular tourist attraction that it is today.

Randy Halverson s  Sub-Zero: A Winter Night Time Lapse  has received national attention.

A Farmer’s Pictures

May 19, 2011
A Kennebec farmer shoots jaw-dropping time lapse videos of South Dakota's night skies.

Can We Live With Asian Carp?

May 12, 2011
Voracious Asian carp are slowly invading South Dakota's rivers and streams.

General Custer didn t leave any gold behind on his 1874 expedition to the Black Hills.

No Gold In Those Hills

May 5, 2011
Photographer Paul Horsted of Custer sets the record straight about the myth of the 1874 Custer Expedition's buried treasure.

Langford Smithy Helped Build First Tractor

May 4, 2011
Norman Olson, a Langford native, writes to us from Colorado this week to tell us about Will Mann, a Day County homesteader and mechanic who helped build the world's first successful gasoline-powered tractor.

Along with writing cowboy poetry, McNaught also creates custom leather belts, wallets and chaps from his ranch near New Underwood.

Slim's Pickings

April 28, 2011
Even if you didn't grow up on a ranch, Slim McNaught's cowboy poetry is bound to make you crack a smile. We wrote about his CD Reminiscin' in our current issue. One of the tracks is called "Tom Cat Wreck." It's the story of how McNaught once got bucked off his horse when a cat jumped from the haymow and dug its claws into the mare. That's bad enough, but McNaught landed face first in a fresh cow pie. ...

Traveling S.D.: 75 Years Ago

April 27, 2011
Interesting historical tidbits from a 1930s South Dakota guidebook.

Bygone Days On Your iPad

April 21, 2011
Perkins County rancher John Penor's historic photos of Bison, South Dakota are now available as an iPad application.

Joe Thorne and Coach Ralph Ginn.

A Fitting Honor for Joe Thorne

April 6, 2011
Every time I return to Brookings, it seems my alma mater, South Dakota State University, has changed. On my last trip there to gather stories for a feature in our next issue, I saw the new Jackrabbit Village residential complex.

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