|Carroll Erskine arrived in Sturgis in June of 1906 to fill two pastorates of Presbyterian Mission churches in Sturgis and Whitewood for the summer. He ended up filling this position for the First Presbyterian congregation for 47 years with only a two-year break when he served as Chaplain in WWI.
Erskine was particularly compassionate to the “powerless”. Rather than just preaching or advising people, he provided concrete and immediate help in writing letters, furnishing food, clothes, small loans, transportation, room and board, visiting shut-ins and accident victims, helping widows and orphans and especially relatives of the deceased involving arranging funerals, etc. <p>In 1920, Erskine was elected to the South Dakota Senate to serve a two-year term. He was re-elected for three additional terms. As a State Senator, Erskine introduced and sponsored the bill creating the Mt. Rushmore Commission with an initial appropriation of $10,000. He also introduced and sponsored the resolution inviting President Coolidge to spend his 1927 summer vacation as guests of SD at the State Game Lodge in the Black Hills. It was Aug. 31, 1927 when Rev. Erskine delivered the dedicatory address for the new Boy Scout Camp in Custer State Park, with President Coolidge in attendance. <p>Erskine led the fight for the first bond issue of $40,000 to put an addition on the Sturgis High School. He established the first library in Sturgis, making books available to all citizens even though the library was located in the First Presbyterian Church.
|Home Town (Binghamton, NY)|