The first school was built at approximately the center of SE 1/4 of Section 16 about 30 rods NW of the present school. About 1916 as more homesteaders came, the need for more schools became necessary. this building was moved to 3/4 mile NW to the SW corner of Section 9. Sometime later about 1920 to 1922, the population of the district kept growing and warranted the building of three additional schools. The NE school became known as the Hiserote School. The SE school was just across the road NE of the St. Boniface's Catholic Church and was known as the Churchside School. The SW school was built on the NE corner of the Bob Farley farm and was known as the Farley School. in the fall of 1926, Vern started to school at the Farley School. There were about 18 pupils and 6 of these were in the first grade. in those years, the teachers boarded with a family close to the school and many walked to school in all kinds of weather, built the fire, and had the school warm by the time the pupils got there. The Hiserote School burned in 1931 and was rebuilt, but only remained open until 1933. the Farley School was also closed at that time. In 1962, it was decided to centralize the schools in the Star Prairie District. After a cote, it was decided to move the Hiserote School (the newer building) to the present location. It was run as a one room school for several years, then the original building was dismantled, the floor moved to a foundation annexed to the east end of the Hiserote building and the salvage lumber was used to make the present day two room school. when the new building was completed, the Churchside School was closed and sold.
STAR PRAIRIE BAPTIST CHURCH
The Star Prairie Sunday School was organized in 1911 by a Methodist minister, Rev. Lane Nelson's Murray's, Keszler's, Hansen's and other were among the people who attended. Mrs. J. P. Hansen was the first Sunday School superintendent and Carl Keszler was the first Sunday School teacher. The members came from different denominations as Star Prairie was pretty much interdenominational Sunday School.
1920 members of the South Crystal Springs Sunday School, including Schaer's, Meyer's, Berry's, and Mrs. Underwood joined the Star Prairie group were meeting in the NW Star Prairie School House. Their minister was Rev. Keepers, who lived in Carter and served the Carter Church. When Rev. Keepers moved, about 1925, the group asked Rev. Wold from Witten, SD, to stop by and preach as he went to Keyapaha. These services were held about every other Sunday afternoon. rev. Wold cont8inued to serve until he retired in 1944 due to failing health. many remember the big tent he would bring down for special meetings.
Over the years this Sunday School had a great influence on young people, bringing them to Christ. In 1928, a young people's group with Carl Keszler as a sponsor, was organized and was active for many years. The Vacation Bible school has also been a project of the Sunday School.
In 1945 we purchased a school house north of Carter, that Henry Wentz had located for us, and moved it to the location on NE corner of the Carl Keszler farm. Curtis Gatson came by to candidate and had the dedication of the corner stone June18, 1945.
Rev. Gatson continued to serve us many years, even through this time we were still a missionary church with assistance from the American Baptist denominations. In 1945 we organized into a church and adopted a constitution and had a preaching ministry every Sunday. Pastors Howard Remmick, David Lydeeker, Harley Henderson, David Stratton, and Francis Hubbel were later ministers.
Star Prairie celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Sunday School in 1981. With rural population declining and many young people leaving the community, attendance dropped. however, many people continued to be influenced by the Sunday School. On June 3, 1984, the doors were closed with a special service and in 1992 the church building was sold to replace the 1000 year old historical Ascension Chapel.
The Longview School was built on the Mary Ebbe land in about 1913. Sam Lucas hauled the lumber from Valentine, Nebraska to help build the school. An addition was built on with sliding doors in the center to divide the lower and upper grades.
In approximately 1923,there were 54 children attending the school with Mr. and Mrs. Johnson as teachers. In 1927, there were 64 pupils with Mrs. Helen Anderson and Mrs. Eagelton as teachers. In the early years, the basement was used to house the teacher.
Among the teachers of this school, were Grover Meyer (1915-1916), Mrs. Frances Davis, Eileen Dillon, Leona Storms, Claudia Keck (1943-1944), Kathy Meister and Clarice Chancey.
Mrs. Clarice Chancey was the last teacher before the school closed in 1977. she had four students; three Vanmetre and one one Walton.
The school was sold to Bob and Ruth Farnsworth of Carter in 1978 and was moved in 1979. the Farnsworths remodeled and the school was made into their home.
There was a South Longview school that stood on the NW corner of the NW 34-97-79. some of the teachers were: Alice Dougherty, Helen Storms DeLeeuw, Merle Meyer Jorgensen, Velva Davenport Mapes, Rose Kunde Diez, Elizabeth Lawler Muth, Mary Jane Legge Devish, Irene Yerke, and Detta Menke.
The school was closed in 1977.
The Buttes were named after an Indian named Dorian. It was the site of the 1944 plane crash during World War II. The crew bailed out so no one was injured but it was an awesome sight and was witnessed by John Welsh, Jr.
According to the Winner Advocate of Oct 5, 1944: Heavy Bomber Crashes Near Clearfield Late Last Thursday Afternoon Sept. 28, 1944. "The big plane passed over the Lyle Nelson's ranch and was reported burning before it crashed. A prairie fire was started but was put out by neighbors and area ranchers. All the members of the crew bailed out. Before the crash, nine bailed out near Misson and the pilot bailed out near Carter. One member of the crew was reported to have suffered a broken leg in jumping and was taken to the Valentine Hospital for treatment. The bomber was from Kearney, Nebraskan Airbase and was in route from the Rapid City Airbase. The plane was completely demolished and scattered over a considerable area. Three big army trucks loaded with wreckage of the plane passed through Winner on Oct. 4, 1944."
Dorian Store with a post drop was located nine miles west of Clearfield or one mile west and one mile due north of Dorian Meadows School.
The store was built on the Mr. Walker's land which he got as a Soldier's Declaratory. Worth Holsclaw helped build this store in 1910. Mr.. Holsclaw came to this country in 1893 and worked at the Curtis Ranch for several years. earl Fraizer put in groceries for the first store and a year or so later sold the store to matt Boyle of Millboro and Wallace Moffit. They served the people by buying eggs and cream.
Tom Reynolds, who had the post office appointment for Clearfield, tried to get a post office appointment for Dorian, but failed. he sent young Tom Reynolds over to Dorian several times a week with the mailbag for the people in that area. matt and Wallace had rental boxes for the people and they came to the store to trade and pick up their mail. Bringing over the mail and delivering the mail was all free gratis by the Reynolds. About 1915 or 16 Worth Holsclaw bought the store. Charlie Hakings had a barber shop and John Welsh, Sr. did the freighting for the store.
Dorothy Holsclaw Lamprecht told about Ben McKaffney losing a team of horses in Kelly Creek west of the store. While Ben was at the store, the horses ran away hitched to a wagon and went into a deep pond and the wagon pulled them under. that was a big loss in those days. after World War I, the store was owned by Mr. and Mrs. Verne Legge and continued to operate for some time. No appointment was ever made for a post office there.
DORIAN MEADOWS SCHOOL
The following by Leona Quick Storms and John Welsh:
The Vanderpol House Movers of Corsica, SD moved the Dorian Meadows Schoolhouse in Jan of 1974 to the museum town site of Tripp County. L. V. Anderson was county commissioner at the time and did a lot to coordinate the moving of the school. Those on the museum board that were in charge of directing the moving were: Harold Anderson, Pres.; Harry Jorgensen; Jack Lapp; Selmer Nelson; and Harry Schueth.
The school was built in about 1923 by Roy Rohm. Some of the teachers were: Ruth Sundall Charbeaneau, Nellie May, Merle Meyer Jorgensen, Harry Muth, Mary Jane Legge Devish, Mrs. Bell Lyons, Georgia Ewing Nahnsen, Anna Dougherty, Mary Dougherty Johnson, Katherine Sell Mann, Ruth Harter Swartz, Arlene Huber, Frances Davis, Rita Quick Carr, Edna Lawler, Lena Emme Storms, Darlene Meyers, and Darlene Huddle. The school was closed about 1968 and donated and moved to the Historical site east of Winner and represents an early rural school in Tripp County.
MILITARY FREIGHT TRAIL
This trail was used to freight supplies to the forts.
Tales of the military trail by Wes and Donnella Ross:
George D. Huggins known as "Curly" Huggins helped gather and move the Sioux Indians from Fort Laramie, Wyoming to Yankton, South Dakota. In Fort Laramie he met his future wife, Louise Moran, who was Cheyenne. when Curly helped walk the Indians from Yankton to the rosebud Reservation, he state, "There was a killing in camp most every night." many horrible things happened but he would never talk about it. He said, "No one would believe him." When Curly hauled freight for the Army, he liked this country. During his travels, he decided to settle here, which is now New Huggins Township in Tripp Co., SD.
Louise Huggins Arens, Curly's granddaughter, said south of the Huggins house there were stone markers that marked the trail. Her grandfather said they had been there since he had lived there.
Irene Huggins Ross state that her father, Curly Huggins, imported the first Galloway cattle from Scotland to this area. The George Huggins family known as "Curly" had a thriving horse and cattle ranch along the Shadley creek in Southwestern part of Tripp Co. before land was open to homesteaders.
Norman Strain also stated there was a trail between the Harkin land and his land that the military used, that went to Fort Randall to For Niobrara. Bob Huggins, Curly's son, told Norman the military used to camp by the Curly Huggins place where Bob lived. there is a spring there that they could water from on Shadley Creek.
Charles Mahaffa filed on Section 17-95-78 on Sept. 14, 1909 on land of Mr. Huggins had told him about. this is the quarter, the Shadley Valley Church sets on today. Mr. Mahaffa was one of many homesteaders that Curly directed to good land.
Story as told by Wes Mason Woods: "A relative of Wes, was an Indian scout for the Army. all the Indian scouts got invited to attend the Officer's Ball. During the Ball, one of the Officers got drunk and told about attacking an Indian village along the Keyapaha River, killing women and children. The drunken Officer was spouting about the men doing the killing and who they were. Shortly after that the Officers and all the Army personal involved in the massacre were murdered. The Indian scout went to Canada."
Mrs.. Francis (Wood) Davis tells about when she and her brother, John Wood, were children. they used to like to play on the Military Trail by jumping and hopping across the deep tracks. Their parents soon put a stop to that as the rattlesnakes liked to lay in the deep tracks and sun themselves.
GOOBY POST OFFICE AND STORE
Gooby established as a post office March 16, 1910 It was located in the Holsclaw Township in the SW corner of Section 25 in the homestead store building of Mr. and Mrs. William Gooby.
The Gooby's came to Tripp Co. in the fall of 1909 from Carthage, SD where Mr. Gooby ran a store for 26 years. he shipped a carload of grocery stock from the old store, along with furniture and livestock to Valentine, NE., where it was freighted to their homestead in Gooby. Their living quarters were in the upstairs over the store.
Mrs. Della Gooby went to Valentine to make application for the establishment of a post office and received the appointment as postmaster on March 16, 1910. The name of Gooby was chosen by the postal department as there was no other post office with a similar name.
Dave Peipgrass, the first mail carrier, brought the mail from Sparks, NB, three times a week. After the railroad was extended from Dallas to Colome the route was changed. The mail left Gooby about 7 AM and added mail at Clearfield and McNeely and then at Colome and arriving back at Gooby at 6 PM. Bill Parkjurst was mail carrier and later Art Phillips was the carrier. About 80 people received their mail at the Gooby post office.
The Post office at Gooby was discontinued on June 20, 1920 and moved to Keyapaha. Gooby's operated this store until the mid 1940's when they moved to Colome. Mr. Gooby was a jeweler and carried a good stock of rings and other jewelry. He fixed watches, pulled teeth, and did many services for the early settlers. Mr. Gooby played the banjo and can be remembered sitting on the north side of his store in the summer evenings and entertaining the young folks.
As the pioneer community progressed, the people in it found a need for a cemetery. The James White family lost a baby daughter, Clara Ollie white, about 1915 and was buried in the SE corner of their homestead (NE of 23-96-79). In 1918, Myrtel Gooby, a 15 year old daughter of the William Gooby's was buried there also. the cemetery was named after the town of Gooby.
KEYAPAHA STORE AND POST OFFICE
Keyapaha is the Lakota word meaning "Turtle Butte". The town is located in section 24 of Holsclaw Township in southwest Tripp county. No one is sure why it was built where it was but some people believe that it was built there because it was near the Keyapaha River and because there was a wagon trail for supplies a few miles away. This wagon trail carried supplies from Fort Kearney Nebraska to Fort Bennett in western South Dakota. It is also said to have been the trail that was followed when the Indians were moved from Fort Laramie Wyoming to Yankton South Dakota, and then from Yankton to the Rosebud Reservation. Sitting Bull was said to have been born on this trail in 1831.
The town site was donated by Walter Braden. E. H. Lawler built the store in 1918. In 1920 the post office that was in the town of Gooby was move to Keyapaha.
E. H. Lawler owned the store and his family operated it for 50 years.
In the 1920's, two brothers, Andy and Chris Jensen, operated the garage, next was Frank Smith who sold out to Ed Smith who ran the garage in the early 1930's. In 1935, Mr. E. H. Lawler bought the service station and Dan Lawler ought the repair service part of the garage from Ed Smith. Dan and his wife, Alice, ran the store and locker during the 40's and 50's. Walter and Lucy (Lawler) Stoltenberg took over the store about this time. Dan sold the garage to Newelll McCoy and Newell sold it to Sam Zibell. The Dan Lawlers and the Stoltenbergs moved to Billings, Montana.
Martin and Edna Lawler then took over the store and their daughters, Joanne and Janet helped with running it. Marie Lawler was the postmistress from 1929 to 1976 when Edna was appointed officer in charge.
The books in the library were from the Tripp County Library in Winner and were exchanged once a month when the book mobile would come around. The book mobile would also visit the schools. Marie also had her own books that she had gotten on her many trips and would occasionally lend them to people. her personal library was located in her beauty parlor. The walls were lined with shelves.
The egg and cream station was a place for people to come and sell their eggs and cream. the eggs and cream money is what families use to buy their groceries. The eggs and cream were later picked up and take to town in the mail truck.
The garage was a place that anyone could bring any kind of machinery and Martin would fix it for them. It has also been told that the rooms at the back of the garage were at one time used as a place to show movies.
The old store is no longer there because when the road was put in the side of the hill was cut out. In the old store martin and his family lived in the upstairs.
Marie worked in the beauty shop, post office, cream station, and the library. Edna ran the store most of the time especially when Martin was working in the garage. When the girls had free time they also helped with the store. Edna was also a schoolteacher in the schools of the area. At one time there were 3 schools in Holsclaw Township.
In 1981 Leon Storms bought the town from the Lawlers. he ran it until 1989 when he sold it. His wife Connie was the Post Mistress, and Patty Duffy ran the beauty shop and was assistant in the post office from 1985 until 1989.
The people Leon sold the store to only worked there for about a year. It is rumored that while they worked there they secretly stole goods. Then after they supposedly stole a vehicle from one dealer in Winner they packed up all the goods they can and ran off. The told everyone that they were going on a fishing trip. They never returned and warrants were put of for their arrest in all the states from here to Washington but they were never found. after they disappeared Keyapaha was considered a ghost town due to the fact that there were fewer people in the area and the roads wee better, so they could then travel to Valentine or Winner.
Source: The information for this section was gathered by Christine Keierleber from Shelly and David Storms; Leona Storms; Patty Duffy; Angela Keierleber; Ramona Keierleber Sheely; Jocelyn Keierleber Blume; and Joel Keierleber
SAND CREEK SCHOOL DISTRICT 31
The Sand Creek School was a framed building built in 1910, 1 1/2 miles west and a 1/2 south of the Gooby store and post office. Miss Laura Moffett, a homesteader's daughter taught the first term beginning in Sept. 12, 1910. There were around 30 pupils. my sister Violet Gooby, age 15 and myself Lily age 9, attended 3 days. We were town children and had lived 2 blocks from school. The long walk and the change to country school seemed too much, so we quit. The second year, Sept. 19, 1911 with Mary Hodges as teacher. We started again and attended when the weather was fit. Violet took eighth grade and I took fourth grade catching up.
Miss Elizabeth Braden was the teacher from 1914-15. In 1915-16, Sand Creek had two teachers that year: Ruth Maynard who taught two months and quit because of illness and Miss Braden, who finished the term. Margaret McNair taught in 1916-17 then Irma nelson in 1917-18, and Elizabeth Braden from Nov. 25, 1918 to June 5, 1919. Schools were closed through Nov. 1918 because of the flu epidemic. This was also the year of WWI.
Lily Gooby Bowles taught the north school in 1918-19 which was a sod school and was located south of the George (Bud) Mann's place. James Welsh recalled going to school in the sod house and taking the seventh and eight grade with Miss Agnes Kavanaugh as a teacher.
it was decided by the school board to move the school south several miles across the Keyapaha River and close the sod schoolhouse. The board made plans and built a new schoolhouse with a basement on land donated by William Gooby in 1920-21.
Martin and Lawrence Lawler recall some of their teachers in the 1920s: Miss Nelson (was Mart's first teacher), Miss Braden, Lara Larson, Bob Young, Miss Lockhart, Lynn Dick, Marian McCart Rears, Nellie May in the 30's, James Lyons in 1935-36, Elizabeth Lawler 1938-41, Helen Weaver 1941-43, lima Sjoblom Peterson 1943-46, Audrey Schmitz 1946-47, John Welsh Jr. 1947-49, Mary Dougherty 1949-50, Gene Lawler 1950-51, Dorrian Meadows 1962-64, Darlene Steele Huddle 1964-67, and Lena Storms 1967-68.
Dick Lyons recalled that his brother James Lyons taught Sand Creek in 1935-36. He rode to school about 4 miles and received $35 a month for salary.
During the 60's their were so few pupils in the district that the board alternated school. The first half at Sand Creek (South School) and the second half at Dorrian Meadows (North School). Then reversed the term for the next year. This saved tax dollars and the school closed in 1968.
At one time the population in Holsclaw Township warranted 3 schools. the first school was moved to the SE corner of Section 16 and was known as the Volmer School. There was high school at this school in the late 190;s and early 30;s. After the Volmer School was closed, it was used as a 4-h clubhouse or meeting place for the local Keyapaha Wranglers 4-H club. The other school was Dorrian Meadows.
LINDEN PIONEER CEMETERY
The cemetery is located in Huggins Township in the SW 40 of NW Section 7 on the homestead land of Ludwig Kirschmannn. The cemetery plot contains approximately two acres of land. in 1915, Dick Grant passed away and was buried in the cemetery. Lester Jaynes died in 1918 in the flu epidemic and was also buried there. Over the years sever were buried there and in 1966 a group of interested citizens in the Keyapaha community formed the Linden Cemetery Organization to renovate the Old Linden Cemetery. The plot has been cleaned up, fenced and many of the tombstones have been restored.
LINDEN STORE AND POST OFFICE
Linden was located in the corner of the NE 1/4 Section 3 on a homestead of Gus Linden about 1/2 mile south of the cemetery. He built a homestead shanty in 1910, and in 1911 built a building to be used as a store and post office. The post office was established in Oct. 19, 1911 with Gus Linden as postmaster.
Dave Peipgrass carried the mail from Sparks, NE to Linden and Gooby. Later the mail was carried by the route carrier from Colome post office.
Mr. Linden organized a ball team and the Saturday afternoon ballgames were well attended. One of the early 4th of July celebrations is said to have attracted a crowd of 1500. The post office was discontinued Aug. 31, 1918.
SHADLEY VALLEY SCHOOL AND CHURCH
Mrs. Roy Wiles was the first teacher, she was paid on Oct. 28, 1910 at $45 per month for 8 months. On Oct. 2, 1911 Ervilla Short was paid $45 and again on Oct. 30, 1911 Ervilla was paid $52.50. Then Eva E. Mahaffa became the teacher and was paid Dec. 15,1911 through May 25, 1912.
Fred Roberts bought the lumber for the coal shed and outbuildings for the sup of $71.29. Fred freighted the school desks for a sum of $30.24. In Oct., Fred got coal, stove, and fence for the new school. He also did the first school census for the payment of $5.00. In the year of My 1910 there were 40 school children from the ages 6-19 from 16 different families.
In May 1911 the census was totally 42 children in the Township and in 19121 a total of 53 children. By 1913 there was a total of 76.
at a meeting on June, 17, 1913 a motion was made to move the Shadley Valley School to the NW 1/4 of Section 17, Township 95 Range 78 in Tripp Co., SD.
One of South Dakota's first hot lunch program was carried on some 43 years ago when a 2 year high school was held by special permission at Shadley Valley, a remote community located in the far SW corner of Tripp Co. by Miss Mary E. Hodges.
The Shadley Valley schoolhouse was used for a host of many events, today we would call it a community building. Sunday School was taught on Sundays, anniversaries were held, and after 1955 this school became a nondenominational church.
Teachers: Mrs. Roy Wiles (1910-11), Ervilla Short (2 months in 1912), Eva E. Mahaffa (1912-13), Mary Hodges (1914-20), Mrs. Ellis Clover (1920-21), Josephine Lawler (1921-22), Mabel Holfeldt (1922-23), Hattie Mahaffa (1923-35), Raymalee Adams (1935-36), Helena Sprechles (April and May of 1936), Ruth Taft(1936-37), Robert Bentz (1937-39), Frances Larsh (1939-40), Francis Larsch Peterson (1940-42), Tana O'Dell (1942-43), Ardath Hopkins Ewing (1944-46), Amelia Haytford Monroe (1946-47), Nellie Soles/bud Soles (1947-49), Ann Doughtery (1949-50), Doris Jorgensen (1950-53), John Welsh Jr. (1953-54), and Frances Wood Davis (1954-55)
THE TOWN OF SMITH (SMITH'S STORE)
Mr. and Mrs. Art Smith moved to this country in 1910 and started this store. their children were: Maude, Loretta, Mary Ellen, Gene, James, Edward, Tom, Sue, Agnes, John, and Leo.
The Smiths put up ice and stored it under the store. they got the ice from Hayford's Lake 2 miles south of the Nebraska line. they first dug a well by hand about 100 feet east of the store, then later in 1920 had a man from Valentine drill a well east of the house.
Art Smith freighted lumber to many homesteaders from Dallas to the area to build their homes. Their frame house cost $500 including the labor in 1928. They quit operating the store in 1925.
BEAVER CREEK SCHOOL
Beaver Creek School, District 39 was begun in 1910. The first building was a small square structure built late in the fall of 1910. the township voted a $500 bond and let a contract to Eder McCormick, a homesteader in the township. According to the records, the first school board members were Andon Jenson as chairman. V. G. Morrow as clerk, and Dave Piepgrass as treasurer. Due to the large number of children, school was held at the Dave Piepgrass home for a time to accommodate them all. His home was located near what is now Sundell Lake. This was approximately 1918. according to the District's clerk's annual report of 1919-20, the enrolment was 30 pupils.
In 1926 the school census showed 45 children from the age of 6-17 and 5 children from the age of 17-20. They had outgrown the little school and it was torn down and a much larger one was built. This school was 44' x 40' with a full basement. The school was divided in half, one side for 1st through 8th grades and the other for high school classes. The basement held the coal furnace and served as a boarding room for teachers and some high school student s who came from a distance. also at this time a barn was built to house the many horses that were ridden or driven to school each day. The construction of the school and barn was under the direction of E. H. Lawler of Keyapaha.
The first teachers in the new school were Nelle D. Metzger teaching the elementary grades and J. E. Metzger teaching the high school. High school classes held at Beaver Creek included the ninth grade at all times and the 10th and 11th. they did not always have all three grades every year. The last high school classes were held during 1943-44.
When a fire completely destroyed the building on January 7 1952, classes were held in the tenant house of Forest and Eva Huddle until the end of the school term.
The school board entered into an agreement with R. S. Swenson of Wakefield, Nebraska to build the structure for $12,665. the new school was ready for students for the 1952-53 school term.
many changes have occurred since the new building was built. Reorganization of all the schools in Tripp County occurred in 1970. This was the end of the local school boards for each school. with reorganization came the first indoor plumbing for the school. It now has tow indoor bathrooms. The outhouses were torn down in 1995.
Sundell Lake and Dam was constructed as a WPA (Works Progress Administration) project. It was begun in the summer of 1934 and finished in the spring of 1935. The WPA was one of the programs of the New Deal set forth by President Franklin Roosevelt to help employ needy people in the depression days of the United States. Some jokingly referred to them as the "We Poke Along" workers.
The lake bed was excavated by using a scraper pulled by 4 horses. The Fresno scrapers as they were called were furnished to the workers by the township. the workers brought their own work horses and those who could not, brought their shovels and strong backs. One person would drive the horses and one would ride the scraper, using the long handle to set the tilt of the scraper so it would dig dirt. When the scraper was full, it was pulled to the top of the dike an dumped. One person was the timekeeper, and called out every half hour to stop and rest the horses. At the noon break the horses were fed and watered, and the men ate their lunches. Approximately 20-30 people worked on this project. nearly everyone in the township was thus employed. checks were issued to the head of household. Hours of work required from each family determined by family size.
Charles Borland was the WPA foreman for the building of the dam. A large crew did the cement work for the spillway according to plans set forth by the state. The first spillway plans had the spillway set too high in the dike. the resulting level of the lake was too high nearly reaching R. E. Sundell's barn and almost going over the dike. Some of the local people dug out a ditch on the west side of the spillway to relieve some of the pressure of the high lake. About 2 years later, the county used a caterpillar and scraper to make a new spillway just east of the old one. The spillway was set lower, and the level of the lake dropped to an acceptable level. The old spillway was filled in and became part of the dike. The dike was raised and widened at this time.
On July 4, 1935, Ruth Sundell, daughter of R. E. Sundell who lived on the west side of the new lake, was rowed out to the middle of the lake. She wore a large full dress of red, white, and blue. She threw flowers into the lake as she christened it Sundell lake. This was the beginning of the community celebration which included a bowery dance on temporary wooden floor set up Southeast to the spillway. pole were set up and across the floor and branches were put across them for shade for the people as they had dinner there. Many ball games were played in the afternoon and evening concluding the dance.
The lake has been a favorite fishing spot for many years. It is fed from the south by Sand Creek, a live running stream. Today it is still used for fishing and recreation, mostly swimming below the spillway and sliding down the spillway on tubes. It provides good ice fishing in the winter as well and a source of thick clear ice for harvesting in the years before refrigeration.
ST. ANN'S CATHOLIC CHURCH
Soon after May 15, 1910 it was discovered that there were a number of Catholic families among the homesteaders. The first Mass in the area was performed by the D. B. Lyons home in the summer of 1916 by a Jesuit priest form St. Francis named Father Sialm.
In the fall and winter of 1920-21 the first church in the Keyapaha area was built. Roy Rohmn was the carpenter in charge. He also built St. Boniface Church near Clearfield. St. Ann's church is located 1 1/2 miles west and 2 1/2 miles south of the Keyapaha town site. it stands on a portion of the D. b. Lyons ranch.
A priest named Father Eardly was sent here to serve both churches. he left during the winter of 1920-21 and was replaced by Father Quilligan who was followed by Father Groel. When Father Groel was sent to Edgemont, Father Bonner came and served until the time of his death in 1949.
On June 24, 1930, St. Ann's was completely destroyed by a tornado. Marie Storms and James Welsh had been married in the church in the morning of that day. the parishioners decided to rebuild as soon as they could. This time E. h. Lawler was the carpenter. The church was rebuilt by October of that same year. The extension Society paid for the altar in the new church.
Some of the early members were the Joe Storms family, the Mike Sharkey family, D. B. Lyons family, andrew Kinney family, John Volmer family, Mrs. Fred Roberts and family, Steve Sieler family, Ed Sieler family, and Harold Glidden family. Today second and third generation people attend the church.
Other priests who served this parish included: Father Doyle, Father Conner, Father Kruswicki, Father Stroh, and Father Burger. Services had not been held at St. Ann's for the seven years before Father Burger came. Father Burger served the church for over 20 years before his retirement to Wisconsin in 1992. After that the parish was under the administration of Father Brian lane of Winner, and was served by priests from St. Francis, and Mission. Father Walleman, Father Gill, and Father Paul Strittmatter have also served the church.
With the help of a $500 grant applied from the Extension Society, a new steel roof was put on the church in the winter of 1994-94. In September 1995 the interior of the church was painted and vinyl siding was used to replace the old siding. This job was completed in the spring of 1996. the old carpet was replaced. St. John's of Witten donated their large crucifix and their altar, as well as a statue of St. Anthony upon closure of their parish in the spring of 1996.
Source: Tripp County Historical Society Annual Auto Caravan and Heritage Tour, Keyapaha Community Historical Tour, Sunday, September 15, 1996