Dakota. Founded by Nathaniel J. Shields and his wife Mary and
their four children in 1896. Shields' population peaked in 1920 with 250
people. Its elevation is 1,808 feet (551 m) above sea level.
Shields, once known as the Gateway City of southern Grant County, had its beginning as a village in 1910, when the Cannon Ball branch of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway entered the territory in which it is situated. The sale of town lots was held on July 26th, 1910 and building began almost immediately. The first post office was established about 1 1/2 miles northeast of the village in 1894. The first post-mistress was Mrs. Mary Shields who was living on her homestead at that time. The mail route was from the old Stevenson ranch on the Cannon Ball to Janesburg. The first mail carriers were "Rancher" Billy Owens and Denny Hallihan who loaded the mail on a work horse and followed the river to Wade and thence to Janesburg. About two years after its establishment, the post office was moved from the Shields homestead to the Murphy store on the Cannon Ball, with J.W. Murphy as postmaster. In the fall of 1910, the store and post office were moved to town.
In the early years, Shields was home to two general stores, a hardware and implement store, a lumber yard, a garage and blacksmith shop, a pool hall, an ice cream and confectionery, a restaurant, and "the best hotel along the entire Cannon Ball branch of the Milwaukee."
Shields also boasted of a fine church, school, a commercial club, an Odd Fellows chapter, and Legion.
Some historic photos from Shields past.