Date: 1860


Description: This chess/checkers board was made by Louis Dace Letellier, another early settler from Sioux City. According to the label attached to it, this board was used by many of Sioux City’s early greats, including Theophile Bruguier, Joseph Leonais, Dr. John Cook, and Letellier himself. Frontier life was taxing, and there was usually little time for recreational activities. However, learned men like these could devote some of this precious time to intellectual games like chess. Chess games could help facilitate relationships between people on the frontier, as often these people lived far away from each other and may have seen each other rarely. As cities like Sioux City were founded people could live closer together, but chess still remained a conventional pastime. The pieces shown here hand carved by Dr. James A. Ross, a medical doctor in Sioux City during the Civil War.


Donor: Dace G. Letellier