Name: Catherine “Kate” Taubman
Lifespan: 40 years, 1862-1902. Born in Cedar Falls, IA, 06/26/1862. Died in Deadwood, 01/27/1902. Buried in Armour.
Locations: Iowa (1862), Plankinton (1882), Aberdeen (1896) Deadwood (1900). Homesteaded in Aurora County (Firesteel: 160 acres in section 22) and also 160 acres in Jerauld County.
Profile: Kate Taubman achieved statewide recognition as a leader in public education. In 1882, she homesteaded two quarter-sections in Aurora and Jerauld Counties, while supporting herself as a teacher and then principal in the Plankinton school. In 1890, she ran for county superintendent of public instruction, serving two terms. She then served as principal at Aberdeen High School and later, assistant principal in Deadwood. Also, during those years, she provided leadership in state organizations, participated in a national organization, and traveled widely to obtain more educational training. In 1896, when she ran for the statewide elective position of superintendent of public instruction, and women couldn’t vote, she came very close to becoming the first female to win a statewide election, needing only another 270 votes to win. When running as a Populist for state superintendent, the Dakota Farmer’s Leader noted, “She is well known in various parts of the state as an educator of remarkable ability and thoroughly qualified to handle the responsible duties of the office. Miss Taubman keeps abreast of the times in everything pertaining to advanced and scientific education. She will be an honor to the position and the state.” Taubman achieved a remarkable level of prominence for a woman of her era. Sadly, her sudden death from heart failure in 1902 cut short her legacy.
Roles/Talent: Homesteader, educator, political candidate, state leader in education.
Parents(ethnicity): William Phillip, Scottish, and Mary A. Taylor, born in West Virginia
Sisters: Henrietta, Cora, Mona Belle Reeves
Education: State Normal School, Cedar Falls, IA, 1882, Summer schools in Denver and Buffalo, NY.
Work Experience: School teacher, Iowa. Plankinton School elementary teacher, high school faculty, Principal (1885-1890, possibly earlier). Aurora County Superintendent of Schools, elective office-(1891-1894). Principal, Aberdeen High School (1896-1900). Assistant Principal, Deadwood High School (1901-1902).
Church, Clubs and Organizations: Recording Secretary, South Dakota Education Association. (1892-1894). President, South Dakota Education Association (1895). Member National Education Association (1894+).
Family Connections/Occupations: Her parents and brother came to Aurora County about the same time she did. She and her father both homesteaded in Firesteel Township. In 1884, her parents ran the Taubman House in Plankinton. Her brother Thomas, appointed US Postmaster in 1894, published the Plankinton Herald. In 1908, he won election as Mayor of Plankinton.
Time in Aurora County: 12 years