|A rugged individual and real pioneer, John Brennan not only led the small group of men who decided on the location of the town for Rapid City, which was staked out with a pocket compass and tape line, but he was one of the few who believed in the future of the town. Brennan stayed with it, while others left within a short time because of discouragement due to the Indian raids and other hardships. Brennan believed that Rapid City could and would eventually become a second "Denver."
Brennan's activities extended to various positions of public trust, and the public welfare was promoted through the prompt, faithful and efficient discharge of his duties. He was the 1st County Superintendent of Schools in Pennington County in 1877 and 1878. Several times, he served as alderman of Rapid City, in addition to the municipal offices already mentioned, and was the first Fire Chief and member of the Fire Department. Brennan's name is engraved on the fire bell which is still in possession of the Rapid City Fire Department, though no longer in use. In December of 1894 Brennan was called to serve the office of State Railway Commissioner for South Dakota. His four-year term in that position ended in December of 1898. Mr. Brennan was also a member of the Elks Lodge #1187. <p>In November of 1900, John and his wife, Jennie, moved to Pine Ridge, SD, where he became US Indian Agent, Superintendent, and Special Disbursing Agent for the Reservation, having 7,000 Oglala Sioux Indians under his charge. John retired in 1917, making the statement that he felt the Indians were making such remarkable progress that soon there would be no need for an Indian Agent. <p>The Brennan's moved back to Rapid City and Mr. Brennan passed away in November of 1919. Rapid City largely stands as a monument to his enterprise, energy and progressive spirit.
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