Newspaper Page Text
TRUE ACCOUNT OF PIONEER DAYS Craig S. Thomas Writes Inter' estingly of Frontier Life in South Dakota THE NUMEROUS HARDSHIPS He Tells of the Privations of Those Days Thirty Years Ago Craig S. Tliomas, president of the board of trustees of Sioux Falls col lege, lias prepared a history of the early days of South Dakota, a part of which follows: The fact above all others which the Atlantic states are slow to understand is the marvelously rapid growth of the west. This is especially true of that part of the west through which runs the treacherous Missouri. Storms, floods, blizzards, cyclones, In dians, prairie fires, sod houses, wolves, bears, trackless prairies, deer and game of all kinds in abundance—such are the ideas which many easterners have of this portion of the west,where not a few large cities are located and bumper crops are raised. Such lack of knowledge of present western conditions is doubtless due to two facts. First, to the hardships of early western life, which, by letters to friends, and newspaper records, were thoroughly advertised in the east: and, second, to the provincialism of many eastern people who travel little, regard the place where they live as the center of civilization, and forget that those who have built up western cities and towns are people from the most ambitious and enterprising classes of the east. As a matter of fact, not one tithe of the early hardships in the west has ever been told. In many places water had to be hauled in barrels for miles, and even then was sometimes taken from dammed-up draws in which cattle waded and drank. For several years in succession, be cause of drought, hot winds, or grass hoppers, crops failed. At such times many families had neither means witli which to live nor cash to leave the country, and farms had to be mort- mg covering their bodies but thin calico dresses. Prairie fires, set by sparks from en gines and by careless smokers or camp ers, swept the prairies like demons. All the available inhabitants of a town went out by wagon loads, often two or three times a week, to tight the flames. Valuables, piled in trunks or boxes, were buried in gardens to save them from destruction. Household goods were carried to the middle of plowed fields, only to be set on fire by tumbling, flaming Russian thistles, and, notwithstanding all efforts to prevent it, whole towns were often destroyed by the flames. Winter biizzards, with snow as fine as sifted flour, a 60-mile wind, a cruel temperature, and the atmosphere so laden with electricity that one couid not come near a stove without receiv ing a severe shock, blinded both men and cattle, and wrought destruction upon every living thing out of doors. Buying coal for fuel was like pur chasing diamonds, and could be in dulged in only by people of means. For many even wood was out of the question because of the long distance to it. Hay was twisted into large doughnut-like whisps and burned in stoves straw was tramped into sheet iiOn, boiler-like holders, the covers of the stove removed, and the filled holders placed over the fire upside down so that the flames might eat slowly from bottom to top cow chips (dried dung) made hot fires, and were preferred to either hay or stray. Many were prostated by fever and ague and the few well women of a neighborhood went from house to house to bake and do housework for those who were sick while occasional visits from Indians kept a whole neighborhood afraid. At first orops were usually disap pointing. An old pioneer once told me that land, like a colt, had to be subdued, and that many, not under standing this, became discouraged and left before the land had lost its wilderness. Floods occasionally damaged the property of those who had farms in the river bottoms, keeping the land too wet to cultivate, submerging early crops, and sometimes sweeping away buildings and drowning stock. But into these hard conditions came a hardy people. The early settlers from this part of the west were largely from the old world, often from conditions of pover ty and sometimes of oppression. A I luiiua LittVA tu vc UJUIC- uuuujyCaijv nym* anG tf,e single room shack or dug-out on the wide spreading prairies of a free land, and upon acres that were their own, was a home of which the owners were justly proud. Although not a tree was in sight, and the boundless green expanse of spring was often soon with ered by furnace winds and the merci less summer sun although clouds of grasshoppers often left not a shred of growing crops, or flaming tongues licked up the meager harvests which the newly broken sod yielded, these people were inured to hardships: these conditions were bad enough, but they had no better to which to turn. Homes they must make for their fam ilies, and they stuck to the task with grim determination. Asa reward of such perseverance, conditions have entirely changed. Farms that 30 years ago discouraged American owners sold for $1 per acre, that they might have enough to leave the country, are now worth from $55 to$75 per acre. Grasshoppers are of the past the breaking up of the sod has eliminated prairie fires thorough cultivation has brought the land up to its highest efficiency 30 years' growth of trees has modified the winds and mollified the storms. Standing on top of Spirit Mound in South Dakota, where a hundred years ago Lewis and Clark stood and look ed upon treeless prairies, one now sees a land of splendid homes, each home nestled in the shelter of an ample grove of cottonwoods, box elders, sil ver maples, elms and walnuts, and many of them boasting good orchards of apples and plums. The greater part of this marvelous transformation has beer wrought within the last 30 years. MIRACLE TO BE REPEATED The Country to be Subdued and Vast Domain Carved into Counties It is forty-eight years since the first agricultural settlement was made in South Dakota and in that period the agricultural possibilities of the state have been pretty well tried out. Thirty-six first class crops have been grown. Seven others have been fair and five have been practical failures. South Dakota invites com parison with this record. The present year opened with un usual promise. After a prolonged period of inactivity the great rail road companies traversing the state have undertaken vast extension pro jects and the building of more than eight hundred miles of new" track in this state this year is officially an nounced, Jbs „J»he N South Dakota Central. No other state is confronted with a promise of so much development. Most of these new lines run into feitile, but practically, undeveloped sections. The possibilities presented for ground floor opportunities in new business undertakings, town build ing, county seat locations and free homes are unequaled anywhere. The great empire of Butte couuty will for the first time be thrown open. This is a land of fertile black muck soil, luxuriant grasses, clear purling streams fringed with timber, and abundant coal deposits. The Waite and Teton valleys further south will also be made accessible by new rail roads, and immigration is pouring into the region at a rate unequaled since the great boom days of the eighties. In those regions the'miracle of the old days is to be repeated. Towns will be built with schools, churches and all of the activities of high civ ilization. The vast domain will be carved into many counties, their cap itals located and county officials se lected. The familiar American story will be enacted again, for almost the last time. The wilderness is to be subdued. These are some of the things that South Dakota has to offer to settlers this year. The settled eastern por tion has also its splendid offerings. Fertile soil proven by years of depend able cropping. Business opportuni ties of the first importance. A hearty welcome from a prospering and con tented people who desire more neigh bors and the increased opportunities and comforts which a denser popula tion will enable them to enjoy. Last year the agricultural products of South Dakota averaged $278 for each inhabitant. It is to share in this sort of substantial prosperity that South Dakota beckons the homeseeker hitherward.—Black Hills Journal. Going to Build Or beautify your home? Then consult our cornice department. We manu facture a large line of house orna ments, such as will ornament the finest home, madeijin copper, brass, galvan ized iron, sheet steel. If our 200 pat terns do not suit your fancy, we will make to order any design you bring us. Our prices on this will be as low as can be had in any city in this coun try. You save the freight. The qual ity of our work will compare favora bly with the best. ABERDEEN HARDWARE CO M. & ST. L. ROUTE DEFINITELY FIXED Makes Air Line 36 Miles Long Across South Adds at Least Three New Sta tions, Bringing Total to 23 in County Tracing the line of the Minneapolis and St. Louis survey across the town-1 ship maps in Peterson's new county atlas it appears that 51 farms are cut. diagonally in its course of 36 miles, across the western portion of countv, going northwest as straight! as a wild goose could fly. The line cuts through the southwest corner of Garden Prairie five and a half miles west of Verdon, and here, just over in Brown may be the first station after leaving Conde. The line, passing through eastern Kondell, enters Gem east of the Jim, crossing the river on the O. II. Doken place. It is thought the next station will be on the west side of the river, likely on the town line between range 02 and 63, being about ten miles from Aber deen, and on a line seven miles east of Warner and twelve miles west of Ferney. The line runs about 15 miles northwest of the city to the point where it crosses the couuty line, just in the southwest cosncr of Carlisle township. If the tirst towu northwest of the city is located ten miles out it will be very close to J. S. Vetter's farm, and the next station would likely be in Edmunds county a few miles west of Berne post office. The right of way settlements have about all been made in the country. East of the river about $60 per acre was paid, while west of the river, up to the city, an average of about SSo is agreed upon. North west of the city much less is being paid. The right of way of over 36 miles includes over 430 acres of land which at an average of $60 per acre amount of nearly $26,000. In addition to this there are numerous expenses for moving build ings. One house and several barns have to be moved and on the Doken •n'aaeo irn &rESiab^eirl\tTff6ii,ufflfc ifo be paid for. Bills of this kind may run the right of way expense up.sever al thousand more. Adding the cost of right of way and yards in the city the right of way bill through 36 miles of Brown will exceed $2,000 per mile. Mat nn««'i There should be considerable stir ring at the Opera house on next Sat urday evening, when Kilroy and Brit ton will be seen heading the new suc cess, "An Aristocratic Tramp." There is a laugh every minute for the most cynical, and between the laughs there is also a chance for the sympathetic to drop a tear. "An Aristocratic Tramp" contains a sensational automobile race and explosion and the most sen- SSHv? 311 train efTeClS S p,ctei E Tn?' W. E. ABERDEEN DEMOCRAT, FRIDAY, MARCH 23, 190^ Western Brown CUTS DIAGONALLY SI FARMS MM.tLSut •CMiTtoxii. Hi \i/ Klny «uecn IN ARISTOCRATIC TRAMP t0**"erspe with lnely singing and dancing cialties galore. These two clever stars have surrounded themselves with a politan players while the scenic effects atST"8 'tnVery detail- at 2.30, prices 10 and 25 cents. Social Science Club The regular meeting of the Sc ence club MoW wasS. Mil attended. The ttaue for paS two of Which were on the program' was A Study in Government—Eug- faiot paper was led bv Josenh and of the second one by (j ens. Tlle next paper oi th. the next to the last one for thl on, is on a live question: Are Aberdeen Hunk Hunk, the wild goose, whose liome Is in tl:t sky A jnwtini of Ministers inti wild did cry Where the sun threads the heavens In spring adv.mce And darts toward the earth Its kh' lance. Koosu's bill. beam like a Now Honk Honk was kind to his clamorous horde He believed in the rullug by heart not by sword And whenever he found lie could better Pie Tact ile strengthened the armor at that very jilace. Hut Honk wits In trouble, the season was here When earth shed lier suow and the leatlow ap pear And lie and Ills subjects were met liere In form l-"or a prophet had told of an oncoming storm. "Now spc"»k,'' said King Honk Hunk. "Why raise such a fuss? l-'wr the weather is lovely, why frighten us thus?" And as his words died the assembly grew still While they heard the bad news from the gray Ifelieve ye the words from the gray prophet's mouth, l'or I've seen Will Hern lu town mitral Inn south And as men are much wiser than we are, you know, \S'e'd better get out e'er we're caught in the &o mighty King ll iuk Hants and all ins wim crew Away to the southward they Hew and they flew For lack of a !lt pais they all had to fly And the echo sent back the last quivering cry. M. B. A. lodge met last Saturday. Pearl Rogers is or was visiting in this vicinity. Paarl Rogers, Grace Porter and Jim Rogers were in last week. Mrs. Melvin Smebc and Mrs. Geo. Holmes were Warner visitors Tues day. Quite a few went up Wednesday to take the teachers' examination Thurs day and Friday. Mr. Synoground, president of the Groton-Ferney Telephone Co., was in town last week on business. Fred Kaupp was in town last week moving phones and putting in the new switchboard at central. Ed Payne and family returned re cently from California where they have been spending the winter. liof. S. s. better. and Russia iu Vm! topic is to be treated bT W Cochrane, superintendent of schools. Geo. W. Nash °,ty the Northern Normal andS cr?' ^UUeadintbedta.^'- Roscoe. a specialist in diseases of horses will be here for several weeks giving treatment. SCOTCH HIGH BALLS g00d and by Johnson. Discussion of the S of Teachers Commensurate with the Demands Made Upon Them' ^o will do you SCOTCH WHISKY sztrc,sis^atwe with you, and on our vtrTwu'™ you never had any better H0NE66IR Third Ave. West' $m: BUILDING A NEW BARN Fitting it up with a g°°d ^ay wirier is «"f jV* not miss getting one that will stay if you get the LOUDEN TRIPLE CARR|E It works from the end or the centre of the barn qo firm as the Louden all steel (x) cross so firm as the Louden all steel (x) cross Shape Vr"?1*aCTt can be bent to any angle "cold" without breaking Louden Feed Carriers make it easy for you to fpPH stock. Ask to be shown a sample. *ea Warner News Items Will Neiger, Alfred Cate aud Chet Newkirk have installed phones and will play with the elements awhile. Jessie Smebe of Mansfield Is here, a guest of the Warner house and under the care of our home physician, Dr. Pickering. Ray Sweet came down for a stay over Sunday on the farm, returning to Aberdeen Monday evening to attend school again. Says Mrs. Brown to Conleee "I've a full house". Says Conlee to Mrs. Brown "Beats me, I've only got a pair of queens." Last week about fifteen of Miss llassen's pupils surprised her by marching down in a body and taking the place by storm. L. O. Moulton is is still selling horses and from the appearance of some of his sales, which have passed through town, he has some good ones. Geo. Hasse was up to the directors meeting in the court house Saturday »j»«l u.av.^1 tnri iif.lliK JMiiauiJKi eloquence over the assembly. Mr. Kllis Haltezore of Ashton came up Friday night to see whata Warner dance was like and returned the fol lowing morning sleepy and happy. N. M. Morgan is out with a proposi tion to build a Farmers' Elevator No. 1, and will take subscriptions under the following plan, shares to be worth and no one to hold more than 25 shares. Ralph Homing and Gus Wilson rode the Woodmen goatr Saturday night and agreed that Billy was a real soci able fellow after all. Ills bark being pretty bad but his bite—well usk them. Our baseball manager announces a ball game with Columbia May 4th and a double game the 5th with tfie same team. A dance will be held on the evening of the fi'th. The team bids fair to be a crackerjack and all know Columbia, the little base ball zephyr of the Jim. Alma Roby, who has beeD in Ash ton for some few weeks, returned Fri day evening to her home and music pupils and again the orchestral echoes F'H not Resident. JACKSON, Vice-Pres. First National Capital Surplus $55,000. say BROS, Warranu,. can Shane It your surge ar.»und and u« ih, sounding board ti!] iD[ clouds bread up their !it, disappointed sail away. Mr. Wellington and wife1 at. Scati.erw.iorl fur ther tlie f,,riller is holdingrerini with marked suci Sundaj evening lie nieati" that twelve havejoinedUie that place. Apparently tit this place are satisfied rangement fur evenings for a goodly crowd attos ing. Lat Fhursday evening lodge of this place held an per and entertained a friends royally. It warn per given by the committee of the order'', Mrs.ll.fi.' M. M. Fowler, fortlieomi vious incetini by Mis E.C and II. \V. Brown, went away pleased and hj Once a year regularly & as Santa Clans dots p: the evening of the brated in Warner under of the Modern Wood two numbers were sol two pair of aching went sadly homeward the next morning must sutler for the p!" head. We don't know a inine, they don't say praising the mine lie if time, t'asoifs music did spiring while Ilhnades.tbe pointed out the way. At the M. E. churcb. Tii roc km The Best Farm (640 acres) in way township. Inquire of the ufl signed for particular. or ton company moving picture Among their pictures play, which is one of the modem plays being the the life and cieatl) should be interesting to have heard of• the real features of their prog York Firelighters, a_ tion, Finding the Lost lustra* cd songs. The I in twenty-seven scenes, tainment. is given under auspices of our local co 15c, 25c and :15c. ftUSSell, Ordwaii J. 11. AS F- 0. vn\. A ,000.00. $60 'Deposits over yH5x m" Capital Stl^ 8388 JK Cash on hud and in bank*jM^na Toul......„„ MMU 00 k|.foflts,'iie'• Surplus,14"" Circulation Deposit* Total-"