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In Pierre, South Dakota, we visited the capitol building. It was quite nice on the inside:
In one hallway, we found a few display cases featuring photos of former South Dakota first ladies/families.
Two names that caught my eye were Calantha and Borghild.
Calantha was the step-daughter of governor William Bulow, in office from 1927 to 1931.
She was the daughter of his second wife, Sarah. Sarah’s younger daughter, Venice, had died as a baby. Bulow’s children with his first wife, Katherine, were named Maurene, William Jr., and Kathleen.
Borghild was the sister of governor Nils Boe, in office from 1965 to 1969.
Nils wasn’t married, so Borghild served as first lady while he was governor. Their parents were Norwegian immigrants named Nils and Sissel (Sissel is a form of Cecilia). Their three sisters were named Karen, Dagney and Lois.
My favorite baby name stories tend to be those that I find most memorable. Several of them (e.g., Aku, Karina, Maitland) even taught me something new. In a few cases, it’s not the original story I like so much as something that happened later on in the tale (as with Georgia, Salida, Speaker).
Here’s a unique (and prophetic!) occupational name for you.
Before George T. Mickelson became the 18th Governor of South Dakota in the late ’40s and early ’50s, he served in the South Dakota House of Representatives for two terms (1937-1941). His second term, he was Speaker of the House.
His son was born on January 31, 1941, “during a mid-session recess of the legislature.” House members asked to name the baby, and Speaker Mickelson (after consulting his wife) agreed.
The baby was named George Speaker Mickelson by a resolution of the South Dakota House of Representatives.
Talk about “like father, like son” — George Speaker Mickelson ended up becoming the 28th Governor of South Dakota in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Before that, he served in the South Dakota House of Representatives for three terms (1975-1980). His third term, he was Speaker of the House.
And that made him Speaker George Speaker Mickelson.
“Legislature Names Speaker’s New Son” St. Petersburg Times 13 Feb. 1941: 6.