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Learning about America's 17 Hudsons - South Dakota

Published: May 21, 2017 12:02 AM
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Hudson is the easternmost community in all of South Dakota. It is located along the Big Sioux River which forms the border bewteen South Dakota and Iowa. Hudson lies midway between Sioux Falls, SD to the north and Sioux City, Iowa to the south.

Originally known as "Eden" Hudson is a community of 395 people.

A resident describes the town as a place that "has seen hard times during the past 40 years, but . . . (where) people are discovering this secret hideaway and have come to enjoy its secluded, quiet atmosphere." Property prices have risen. Hudson has expanded and renewed much of its downtown business district. There is a new fire station, city hall and daycare center. Other buildings have received facelifts. The town's board and Economic Development Corporation are working to assure Hudson's future.

Attitudes of residents have changed. For example, people use to think of the Big Sioux as a "nasty old river," but today there is an appreciation of the river for its beauty and recreational canoeing and hiking opportunities.

There are only 134 homes in Hudson. The average value is $172,000. The annual household income approximates $64,000. The median age for Hudson residents is 47.7 years. 91.7 percent of the town's adults graduated high school. 8.3 percent hold a bachelor's degree or higher.

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Students from Hudson attend Alcester-Hudson schools. The District serves 281 K-12 students who come from a 176 square mile area. In terms of physical land size Hudson is tiny, covering only .28 square miles. Police protection is provided by the Lincoln County Sheriff. Hudson has a volunteeer fire department.

Settlers first established the town of Hudson, originally called Eden, in 1868. Ten years later the Chicago Minneapolis & St. Paul Railway reached a site one mile north and ° mile east of Eden. That proved to be the death knell for the original town. Businesses and residents abandoned Eden to be near the railroad. A church was built in 1879 and a new school opened in 1880. President Garfield appointed the village's first postmaster in 1880. A plat from 1881 shows 10 businesses and about a dozen homes in the relocated village of Eden. Sometime later, residents changed the name of their town to Hudson. According to lore, many of those residents were native to Hudson, Iowa.

Today, Hudson has two eateries. A more upscale establishment, the Buckaroo Grill, and Waddy's. The Fill-In is the town's gas station. The public library, founded in 1922, moved into the former Hudson Furniture and Floor store in 2007. The library is a community point of pride.

Arguably Hudson's most notable resident was Amanda Clement (1888-1971). She was the first female umpire and is recognized in Baseball's Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. In 1929 Clement returned to Hudson to care for her mother. She became the town's assessor, justice of the peace and police matron. She also clerked in the local drug store clerk and set type for the local paper.

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