Andrew Stone

Andrew Stone

Being a carpenter by trade I want to start out by telling about the earliest houses that I built here in the Rockyford neighborhood.

The entire north half of what is now Shannon County was earlier the unorganized county of Washington, attached to Pennington as the nearest organized county that could handle our tax affairs, build roads, schools-all the duties of carrying out the laws of the State of South Dakota. Its southern boundary Was about mid-way between Sharps Corner and Porcupine.

When, during the Second World War the government bought the land and moved the stock, homes and people out to form a bombing range, Washington became the lost county, while our affairs weren’t to the management of Fall River County.

This house was built on Tom O'Rourke's place about six miles south of Imlay. They had been living in a large log house and wanted a modern home. All the earliest settlers had built by springs and could as well have  WATER PIPED INTO a permanent house. This house built in 1912 had eight rooms.

I built a house for William McGaa-Large, modern with water piped into the building for the stock housed there and with a space for barn dancing. A son of McGaa's, Albert, is the young man on the horse in the picture here.

I built a house for the childless couple name of Walraven, who lived on Hart Table and made a business of milking cows. They were living in a sod house and wanted both house and barn modern. They did not get to enjoy the comfort long for both died and buildings, at least the house, was moved to Rapid City.

I built my own claim shack on my claim 6 miles south of Owanka on Hocum Flat in 1910. The next year I married Josephine Steele and this picture taken that year shows us both in 1912.

The Congregational Church. in Scenic was built in 1920. Modern

throughout with oak finish both first floor and full basement. I built a good four room stucco house for - -Snyder and it was later moved from the foundations near Scenic to Wall and is in use there now. Mr. Richard Stirk, sr., from south of Scenic had me build him a good four room house in Scenic for the use of his wife and children when they were attending school. Also made a teacherage in Scenic and a store for Mr. and Mrs. Jack McKay along with a remodeled house to add to it, for a business unit in Scenic.

In those days of 1920 a carpenter might go to a place and everyone in town would want some big job done right away. I ran into such a place in Custer when I went there to build a pool hall for a man named Berry. A R. R. Station 3, Forest Ranger Stations, a store, filling station, dance hall and four houses at Pringle.

I was born in 1887 in Nebraska, lived at Linwood, Octava and David City. My parents, Andrew and Mary Stone, left there later and moved to Sioux City where they lived until 1913 when they came to the Owanka country and lived in Timber Draw 7 miles south west of that town. The Duster family were neighbors there in 1913. Dusters moved to Owanka and went into the Implement Business there, but moved to Rapid City in a few years, Mr. Duster died there but his wife is still living there: out near the School of Mines.

Two members of the Hinsman family took up land near Morris Higgins and my wife and me. The one nearest Owanka proved up fairly early and moved back to Avon, S. Dak.

Morris Higgins lived on the Cheyenne, south of Cactus Flats. Finally bought some land up Rapid Valley and their son moved onto it. It was a good place and about six miles from Rapid. The way folks said his name made it sound like Marsh Higgins.

Old Maurice Kellier from Rapid City, ran a lot of cattle around Scenic, in the Badlands and allover that area and down onto the Pine Ridge Reservation. In the far camps there were lots of riders folks all along his route to visit these camps would see him coming along in a buckboard pulled by a team of little broncs.

Once in the drought of 1911 Himsman and I drove a lumber wagon into Owanka. Only about six miles. The Cheyenne River was about dried up. You could step across it anywhere. Coming back later toward evening we were talking and gadding along as we recrossed the dry ford when a wall of water struck us as we were about the center and would have washed us, the team and the wagon down river had we been less close to the home bank.  We just accidentally made it across.

Mallows, near Morris Higgins sent away and bought an outfit to irrigate his bit of river bottom during the drought of 1911. the fly wheel of the gas engine that was to pump the water weighed a ton, they said. It didn't work that summer for they could not get enough water out of the river to prime the pump, to say nothing of watering a field. It was a year or two before they got around to use it and it didn't pan out just right then. After marrying Josephine Steele in 1912, we built a home on our land about five miles south of Rockyford, S. Dak. It became our permanent home, but at times I went away to work. Also moved into Scenic for two years for school purposes as there were no Public Schools in Washington County at that time.

After schools were established in Washington County we returned to our home and lived there permanently.

Four sons were born to us; Walter, who now resides in Rapid City, is married and has four daughters. He is a building contractor. Chester lives in California. He has two children, a son and a daughter. Robert lives in Overland Park, Kans. He has been a pilot with T. W.A. for 27 years. He has one daughter. Emerson, the youngest son, has run the home ranch for many years. He has two boys and one girl. He also operates a store at Manderson besides operation of the ranch. My wife and I still live on our home place on White River, south of Rockyford.

 

 

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