The humble little town, located in the south western part of Tripp County, founded in 1910, was named by Mrs. Ross Moore who was originally from Clearfield, Iowa. Land owned by Will and Harry Beieler was plotted out for the new town. The original site of Clearfield today is practically the same as it was in the homestead days. There were three buildings on the east side of the street that moved to the west because the land could not be purchased.
The first Catholic church was located north of the Schultz Store or the old Outlaw Store. After the church was moved the present site it was used as part of the present parsonage. After the church was moved a Pool hall was built on that site.
This pool hall was on the same site as the Catholic Church. It was then moved down the street to the Steele Store location. Roy Davis used a Caterpillar and pulled the building down the street in 1927.
This store was built by Earl Baker. He moved it to his farm two miles east of Clearfield; later sold it to a Mrs. Benson and it then was moved back to Clearfield. Later it was ran by Bill Schultz, who then leased it to Ben Butts of Winner, who ran it as the Outlaw Store. Dances were held at the top of the store in 1913, so the building was probably built around 1911 or 1912.
The post office building located behind the Schultz store was ran by Ida Schultz for twenty eight and half years until she retired in 1944. This post office building was moved to the Clearfield Rodeo grounds and was used as the concession stand. Mary Steele was appointed post master in 1945 and ran the post office from the Steele store until she retired in 1960. It was then turned into a "contract station" located in a small building on the west side of the street and ran by Emma Sharkey. Mrs. Sharkey retired September 15, 1979. Some of the early rural mail carriers include Johen Scloss, Len Penney, Port Mundorf, Jones Merideth. Later carriers include Glen Nelson, Gilbert Duffy and Harold Lewis.
The Clearfield Community Hall was built in 1918 from donations and stock membership sales. Charter members of the hall are listed on a plaque hanging in the hall. The membership cost was $5.00 and this entitled them to a share in the hall. If property was ever sold the proceeds of the sale was to be donated to the Orphans Home in Sioux Falls, S.D.; dated March 4, 1918. Many dances were held in this hall. Among some of the early bands were Happy Jack O'Malley and Rosebud Kids from WNAX all out of Yankton, S.D. and the DeVere Standford Band of Gregory.
The cream station was run by Earl Adrian and later by Borgman. The store owned by Eli Corey and later ran by Borgman. Borgman went into business about 1936. Orr Mundrof bought eggs, cream and poultry on a three day route and then took the produce to this station to sell.
This building was the pool hall located north of the Outlaw Store site and was moved in 1927or 1928. It was known as Peters Pool Hall and made into Steele's Store in 1931.
This was the first store and post office in Clearfield. Professor Oldham was the first postmaster. The Branding Iron Bar owned by Angels was later put in the same location.
This house belonged to Port Mundorf. Mundorf was a rural mail carrier and also did barbering in his home. Frank Richards later did barbering here.
This garage was located west of the Mundorf home and was run by several people including Lloyd Fast, Jim Meyer, Art Kemp and Mr. Glidden. When Art Kemp had the garage he also ran movies there.
Church was held here and later remodeled into a home.
Mr. Oldham, the first postmaster, lived in this home. Don Steele lived on the place for several years and it was later owned by Ishmauel.
Located behind the Steele Store. This house was moved from the east side of the street also. On the east side of the street it sat beside the Engelgau home.
This building used to be the cream station and filling station and was part of the pool hall.
This house was moved from the Oldham homestead. Beieler also lived here. Gilbert Duffy a rural mail carrier from Winner was the last family to live there.
The Lutheran parsonage is the teacherage moved from the Jerusalem Lutheran church location south of Carter and of course has been added to and remodeled.
The Redeemer Lutheran Church was organized October 30, 1940. The church originally was a school house located from the Keyapaha S.D. area. Among the ministers were Palecek, Clip, Litzaeu, Wilk, Jacobson, Hardel, Spolos, Matthiesson, and Vecar Don Patten.
The first telephone office was in the Richard Nelson, Sr., home east of Clearfield. It was later moved to the Joe Engelgau home in Clearfield. The Engelgau house is still standing on the west side of the street. The Dorian Telephone Company was then organized in 1949 and a building built in 1950. It was the first dial system in the county and was owned and operated by the local farmers. Each farmer paid $300.00 to have the telephone system built. Dues were $20.00 and $21.50 the first two years and from then on the dues were $12.00 per year. Because of Winner going to direct dial the Dorian Telephone Company sold the Northwestern Bell Telephone Company part of the equipment in 1963 at a cost of $22,910.00. The remainder of the equipment was then sold at public auction in March 1964; each farmer receiving his $300.00 back after the thirteen years of service. Among some of the telephone operators were Walt Stolenberg, Sam Ziebell, Roy Davis's mother, Mrs. Frank Williams and Birdie Clark.
This was the original site of the Joe Engelgau Garage that was moved to the west side of the street. Joe moved the building by himself with the use of house jacks. Among other blacksmiths in the area were Leonard Storms, located 3 miles west; Joe Hartl, three-quarters mile west of Clearfield; and John Vosika, 1 mile south.
This was the original site of the Frank Williams Pool Hall. It was torn down and the lumber used to build another pool hall across the street in the year of 1935.
The ball diamond built in 1965, is located west of town.
The rodeo grounds located south of Clearfield was started in 1955 through the efforts of the Clearfield Roping Club. Claret Hollenbeck was the first president and instrumental in getting the rodeo to be a yearly event. Other people involved in the organization were Pete Dodson, Ray Kartak and Forest Huddle.
Between marker number 23 and 24 to east is the continuation of the Lone Tree Trail mentioned in our Wewela tour. 0A landmark of lone trees were planted and used for directions and meeting places for traveling people and cowboys.
This originally was the Adolph Prokop place and is noted for the many barn dances held here. The garage on the Assman place was the Prokop School originally located one-half mile south of the farm.
This school now located one mile south and one mile east. The Baptist Church members held church and Sunday School in this school for many years. Rev. HansWold who was the Baptist minister at Witten, South Dakota served a circuit pastor for a number of years.
The Star Prairie School moved from the homestead site to this location in 1961. In 1966 Hiserote School was moved and connected to the Star Prairie School and then remodeled into a two room school. Among some of the teachers in this school were Helen Sharkey, Lucille Mann, Lena Storms, and Katherine Mann. Lena Storms and Katherine Mann were the teachers in 1966. Marsha Soderholm and Sharon Littau are the 1981-1982 term teachers.
Turning west on Highway marker 16 three and one-half miles west and two north was the Shoemaker Store and Post Office. This store was opened for business in April 1910. A well stocked store of staple grocery items were carried with new goods being brought in by Overland Freight from Dallas, S.D., the railroad point. Wile Charles Shoemaker was passing out the mail, Mrs. shoemaker and her son , Floyd Cook , were kept busy at the store. The mail was brought from Carter, S.D. three times a week. At one time there were 270 people getting their mail at this post office. In the early days the inland town was the gathering place for the community. Sunday school and church was held in the Shoemaker home. There were barn dances, wrestling matches, ball games and coyote hunting. The Shoemaker Store closed in 1914.
One acre of land donated by Robert Jerke to be use as the cemetery was the beginning of the Jerusalem church. The church was located 10 miles south of Carter, S.D. Missouri Synod Lutheran pastors in the adjoining territory visited and began services in this locality. Pastor Weertz, then of Naper, Nebr., organized and established the Jerusalem Congregation. During the period of 1911 and 1920 services were conducted in the homes of various members. In 1920 the congregation purchased another acre of land next the the cemetery. The church was built and dedicated that same year. In1924 it reached its largest membership.
The Longview School built on the Mary Ebbe land in approximately 1913. Sam Lucas hauled the lumber from Valentine, Nebr. to help build the school. An addition was built on with a sliding door in the center to divide the lower and upper grades. In approximately 1923 there were 54 children attending the school with a Mr. and Mrs. Johnson as teachers. In 1927 there were 64 children attending with a Mrs. Anderson and Miss Eagelton as teachers. Among the teachers of this school were Grover Meyer (1915-1916), Mrs. Wagner Davis, Sr., Eileen Dillion, Mrs. Don Storms, Claudia Keck (1943-1944), Kathy Meister and Clarice Chancey. Mrs. Clarice Chancey was the last teacher before it closed in 1947. She had four students; three Van Metre children and one Walton child. The school was sold to Bob and Ruth Farnsworth of Carter in 1978 and was moved in 1979. The Farnsworth remodeled the school and made it into their home.
The Star Prairie Baptists Church was built on this sight in 1945. Church and Sunday School was held in the Star Prairie School located on the old homestead site. The church celebrated its 70th anniversary of Sunday School in June 1981.
Source: Tripp County Historical Society 11th Annual Auto Caravan Heritage Tour Clearfield Sunday, September 20, 1981