The Hansen Homestead became vacant after Otto
( Slim) died in 1980. Farming in South Dakota generally is going to larger
farms with fewer smaller farms as yesteryear. Though 11 quarters is large
for Faulk Co. Lester Hansen does own a farm next to the homestead and has
more modern facilities then the Hansen brothers; especially after they aged, the
buildings serviced but not efficiently.
I went out to the homestead in November of
2006 and took these photographs. My purpose was to take photos of Eda's
grave. While there I almost wished I did not have to, seeing this grand
ole farm which held the dreams of a young immigrant couple, raising their family
and a potential future of greatness. Alas, that is not how life goes.
However, the farm did it's job honorably. It raised a family, great
memories were made and as day turns to night, it's life must change. The
land remains in the Hansen family through Lester and his son
Lee. The land
continues to be tilled and harvested. The heart of the farm has moved a
bit further to the west to Lester Hansen's buildings and farmyard.
A cold brisk day, the
is now gone. It was between the old shed
on the left and the pole. You can see the rubble between where the
basement was located. The farm buildings had been vacate for 24 years.
Vagrants broke in and smashed up things in the house plus raccoons entered and
really made a mess. Lester was concerned for liability and felt a disaster
was waiting to happen. So, he voluntarily set the
house on fire and let it
burn to the ground. It was a dry old building and must have been quite a
burn! The remainder of the debris was pushed into the basement hole.
Hansen home in it's prime, circa 1928.
Barn & granary
Eda's grave looking east; notice windmill and then look at.........Christ
walking. This must have been in the early 40's as he died in 1942.
The patriarch was still putting in his days of work.
Hansen farm from south roadside
Facing John Eschenbaum farm Hansen farm from
highest point west of Mississippi
Old entrance from south, now west 2-3 miles
from Hansens where
Bill Eschenbaum grew up.
Ted on south side of house
Ham on south side of house.....
Closed in porch was built by the boys closing in the open porch seen on many of
Probably the last Hansen reunion on the homestead taken in 1997.
Anna's (click for group ID's)
Melvin & Clara Eschenbaum
Virgil Hansen, Millie, Ethel Porter holding sign
Ken & son James Eschenbaum children & siblings
Others too numerous, 2 sisters are
in the photo
Melvin & Ken
Josephine, Ethel, Alice
Leslie, Loretta & Lester's
standing east side of house
Melvin & Ken reminiscing at the reunion. Bet they had a lot of
memories! Two brothers growing up as twins, only 11 months apart.
Aerial View of Hansen farm 1958