Thursday, November 6, 2014

Postscript: Reflections Sitting Alone in the Root Cellar

On November 10, 1910 the Valley Irrigator in Newell, South Dakota, published these words which earlier appeared in the Spearfish Mail about conditions further north in Harding County.
While out in the Camp Crook country last week Fred Nash took Dr. Sherrill of Camp Crook to see some patients who were reported sick at their ranch about twenty-six miles northeast from that place. The family consists of father, mother and two little children, and all were bed-fast and literally starving to death, having nothing in the house except rice. They are newcomers and are so destitute that the county will be compelled to care for them for some months to come. They live in a sod house, are two miles from water, have no fuel, and are in a bad way generally. Dr. Sherrill carried the little boy, about four years old, to Camp Crook and placed him in the hospital. The child was nothing but skin and bones, and his chances for recovery were considered rather dubious. Doubtless there are others in that region in the same fix.
Listening to the wind blowing through the prairie grass. Kate


  1. A sod house eh? That reminds me of another family living ina sod house during the first few years after emirtaion to "The City of Platte, South-Dakota" :-) I should have a photo of it somewhere.

    1. Right you are, Hans! Govert Van der Boom's first home in America, while still a boy of only 7, was an abandoned soddie near Platte, South Dakota ... after spending the first years of his life living in a three story building owned by his father in The Hague, The Netherlands ... his father's carpentry shop on the street level and the family occupying the two upper floors.

  2. Proof positive how disastrous it can be for a family not well prepared for winter. This PS to last week's posting is appropriate and adds real life details to your last entry. Thanks, Dear, for making history come alive for us.



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