History - Stratford Upon Avon? Avon, New York? Mrs. George Phoenix chose the first reference and Mr. Phoenix the second. Thereby they gave the name of Avon to a post office in 1879, which they operated at their home. The present location of Avon is one and a half miles northwest of the Phoenix home, from which the relocation of Avon became necessary due to the placement of a railroad track.
Rural Free Delivery (RFD) routes came into place in 1906 to enable farmers and ranchers to receive newspapers and letters daily. For the first time, they could acquire information of all types without leaving home. From the outset, RFD carried parcel post, including packages from mail order outlets such as Sears, Roebuck, and Company.
The Avon Clarion was, and still is, the town's only newspaper. The current editor is Jackson Brodeen. When settlement approached the western edge of Bon Homme County on February 7, 1901, the Avon Clarion went into print, and remains a vigorous publication.
The earliest schools in the Avon area were known as "subscription schools," supported by fees. For rural residents, classes were offered at private homes until schoolhouses could be built. Supplies, such as slates and books, were difficult to come by. Teachers simply were forced to be creative, without much material support. Subjects considered essential by parents and legislators were reading, writing, and ciphering. Beyond these, each district school board could add other subjects as desired. Today, pride in the Avon school is reflected not in a building but in support for excellent academic and athletic programs, which the school faculty maintains. Dropout rates are low and a large percentage of Avon graduates pursue some form of higher education.
Churches and their congregations always have played a large role in the community. They include: First Baptist Church, Danzig Baptist, Avon Wesleyan Church, Friedensburg Bible Church, First Presbyterian Church, Trinity Presbyterian Church, and Zion Lutheran Church. Former U.S. Senator George McGovern's father, Reverend J.C. McGovern, served here as pastor during the 1920s at the Wesleyan Church. Assumption Catholic Church is within 10 miles.
For its location along South Dakota Highway 50 and its continued service to farmers and ranchers at the western edge of Bon Homme County, Avon is among the pioneering towns of the county most likely to survive. It represents a population of varied ethnic heritage and religious beliefs.
Established in 2000 when the Wesleyan Methodist Church closed, building was given to house the museum.
Exhibits and items of historical value given by family members of Avon citizens
Contains memorabilia of former Sen. George McGovern
School history including annuals, trophies, banners, early uniforms
Records of individual home history
Records of each lot and business history, including present owners/operators