Highway 14 from Philip to Fort Pierre to be designated James "Scotty" Philip Highway
The portion of South Dakota Highway 14 between the towns of Philip and Fort Pierre will officially receive the designation of the James "Scotty" Philip Highway.
The state Transportation Commission, under the South Dakota Department of Transportation, agreed Thursday, November 26, to designate Highway 14 between Philip and Fort Pierre as James "Scotty" Philip Highway. Plans are for one sign to be erected just west of Philip and one sign just outside of Fort Pierre along Highway 14. Each designation sign will be two feet high and six feet long. A silhouette of a buffalo will be on each side of the lettering.
The request came from Mary Burnett, Philip, who is the co-chairperson of the Philip Horizons organization. The other co-chair is Britni Ross. In Burnett's official letter, she described Scotty Philip as one of South Dakota's treasures and said the Philip community is named for him. Philip is the county seat in Haakon County.
In the request, Burnett wrote, "Through his foresight in saving the buffalo from extinction, he built his herd to nearly one thousand head and many of the nation's parks, including Custer State Park, have their herd origins from Scotty Philip stock. Scotty Philip was not only a notable part of our history. He is South Dakota nobility. He will forever be remembered as 'The Buffalo King.' "
Through letters of support, the request was backed by Philip Mayor John Hart and Fort Pierre Mayor Sam Tidball. Tidball is also a member of the Transportation Commission. There was no opposition to the designation among the commission members.
Scott Rabern, SDDOT operations support assistant construction engineer, worked with Burnett on this project. The region traffic engineer and his staff will order the signs and do the installation. Rabern and Burnett could not use the term "historical" as this section of highway is not technically historical. The word "memorial" was also not wanted. They had to "go back and forth a couple times and see if we can come up with something you like that is within any guideline/requirements that we need to follow," said Rabern.