This file is the text of the book, "South Dakota's Ziebach County,
History of the Prairie", published in 1982 by the Ziebach County
Historical Society, Dupree, SD

Permission from Jackie Birkland.


     Delbert W. Miller, son of Eliza and Walter C. Miller, Sr., and Eva C. Henderson, daughter of Ben and Elsie Henderson, were married on March 8, 1947.

     Delbert was born March 2, 1918 in Potter County. In 1929, he came with his parents to Ziebach County to the old Jake Maca place southeast of Dupree. He finished grade school at the Gage School. He stayed out of school a few years, then went to high school, graduating in 1940. While going to high school, he stayed with Dr. and Mrs. Creamer, and drove for the doctor. He went to the School of Mines one term, then went to California and worked at Lockheed for a year or two. He returned to South Dakota and joined the Cadets of the U. S. Air Force. He served as a bombardier in the Pacific theater, was shot down and taken prisoner about three months before the end of World War II. At the end of the war, he was released from prison camp, received a promotion to 1st Lieutenant and discharged from the service, returning to Ziebach County.

     Eva was born in Brown County on October 25, 1915. She came with her parents to Ziebach County in 1918, went to grade school and then graduated from high school in 1932. She worked in the county agent's office (who handled the farm programs at that time) on the various farm programs, also part-time for the Farm Credit Administration in Dupree.

In 1942, she left Dupree, working first in Kansas, and later in the
eastern part of South Dakota. She returned to Ziebach County in about 1945, and taught school at Little Ireland for two years before her marriage to Delbert.

     Delbert and Eva lived south of Dupree on their ranch until 1957.
They raised cattle, milked cows and even raised mink one year! In 1956, Delbert was elected county commissioner in the same district his dad had been commissioner of for so many years. In 1957 he resigned as commissioner, and accepted the job of manager of the Farmers Co-op Elevator in Dupree, and they moved to Dupree. He became rural mail carrier, on the route formerly served by Roy Lawrence, and served there from May 1961 to December 1975. At that time, he was transferred to a route in New Underwood, South Dakota. During that time he served on the town board and the school board.

     He retired from the mail route in New Underwood in 1978 and they returned to Dupree where Delbert is now the County Director of Equalization.

     We have four daughters: Sally(Stout) Segelquest, who lives in
Angleton, Texas. Sally has four children from her first marriage, Kelly, Kristi, Jeffry and Sara.

     Sue married Vernon Starr, a science teacher, and lives on the old
Wartenweiler place north of Dupree. She is Dupree's new postmaster. They have four children, too, Lisa, Lori, Jesse and Duke.

     Mary married Lee Briggs and lives on a ranch in Haakon County,
about 60 miles northeast of Philip. They have two daughters, Rea and Keva.

     Janie married Arlie Davis and they live north of Dupree on the
Davis ranch. Janie is bookkeeper at the Farmers Union Oil Company, and they have two sons, Zachary and Joshua.

     Delbert also has a son, Warren, from his first marriage to the
former Marjorie McDaniel.


BEN and ELSIE HENDERSON by Eva C. Miller

The Henderson family came to this country from England and lived in what is now New York City. They were Loyalists at the time of the Revolution and fled to Canada, where John William married Eliza UptoGrove or Bratt. From Canada they moved to Wisconsin, where Emerson, my grandfather, was born. Emerson Wesley Henderson and his wife, Ada Savinna Griffin, had Mary Luella and Albert, both deceased before age 21. Their other children included George, Chester, Florence, Benjamin, Harvey and Clarice Henderson.

My father, Ben Henderson, the sixth of eight children, was born on June 24, 1888 near Heart Prairie, Wisconsin.

At the age of 14, his family moved to Brown County, South Dakota. On November 1, 1911, Ben was married to Elsie Kranhold, the daughter of Frederick Kranhold and Anna Kraus Kranhold. She was born on November 1, 1890 in South Dakota. To this union two children were born, Eugene Harvey, on June 19, 1913 and Eva Clarice, on October 25, 1915.

My parents lived and farmed near Groton in Brown County until the fall of 1918, when they moved to Ziebach County south of Dupree. They continued to farm and ranch until 1948, when they moved to Sturgis, South Dakota.

Our family did not homestead but my father and his oldest brother, George, bought the SE 1/4 and NE 1/4 of Sec. 1, R. 11, T. 20. We arrived in Dupree by train with George, his wife, Eliza and their two sons, Donald and Dyle. George's family didn't stay long, moving back to Brown County within a couple of years. Our two families lived in a large tent while the men mowed, raked, and gathered their winter supply of hay. Next they built houses, a bank barn, and dug a well by hand. My dad, always a peaceful man, did on one occasion, have to take up his revolver to prevent, so he thought, our hay from being stolen. Strapping on his gun he bravely strode out to the nearest rack. The "hay rustler'' happened to be an Italian, J. P. Werner, who spoke very little English. He waved his hands and pointed to the next man. Turns out it was Anson Callen and anyone who knew Anson can imagine how tickled he got when dad accosted him. Instead of stealing the hay, they had come to haul and stack it for the "new neighbors". They were served lunch and got to meet the wives and children when they were finished.

Before they left we had been invited to Thanksgiving dinner at the Olivers, who lived south of us, where Erling and Linda Wilkins Olson are now living.

Our house, a two-room shack, had a boxcar roof and was lined only with building paper. In the winter it was heated by the cookstove and the frost never thawed from the corners till spring. I remember one time we had gone to bed and there came a knock at the door. The caller was one of the Longbrake girls. She'd heard there was a barn dance at Talbott's (probably 8 or 10 miles east of us) and thinking we might be going, wanted to ride along. She must have lived 10 or 12 miles north and west of us. The folks got up, got us all ready, hitched up the team and we all went to the dance! Dad played the violin and was often called upon to play for these neighborhood dances. The women took cake or sandwiches and we kids usually lasted at least until after lunch was served before falling to sleep on a pile of coats. Sometimes the women fixed box lunches, trying to outdo each other in decorating their boxes, and they were auctioned off to the highest bidder. This was usually done to raise money for the schools. Or, they would take pies to be sold. If a young "courting" couple happened to be in the crowd, the men would try to find out which was her pie or box lunch and they would run the price of it way up.

Eugene and I attended the Whittler school, the Pretty Creek School, and when the winter snows came, we went to the Hanneman School were we would live with the teacher during the week. What a long winter! In order to have spending money for the Fourth of July and Labor Day celebrations, we would trap gophers, remove their tails and keep them in a tobacco tin. When it was full, we'd take it to the courthouse and were paid 10 cents a piece. We also rode the creeks and killed crows for 10 cents each. We'd also try to enter all the street sports we could at the celebrations. There were three-legged races, sack races, 50 yard or 100 yard dashes and pie-eating contests. We were lucky some of the time and won our share of the money.

In the fall of 1927, while we were back visiting in Brown County for Thanksgiving, our house burned down. Nothing was saved and in those days, we didn't carry fire insurance either. Once again we came to know of the generosity of friends and neighbors. Jess Miller and Lester Jennerson contacted everyone for miles around, and each one donated what he could to buy lumber for a new house. By January, the neighbors pitched in and helped us to build a new home. Jess and his son-in-law, Clarence Phillips, drove a team over 4 miles every day to help. I was in the 8th grade at the time and took turns staying at the Miller's or with the teacher, Mrs. Leach. Mom, Dad, and Eugene stayed over at Owen Shedd's while work was going on in the house. At that time, all the farmers milked cows and sold cream, either at the local Cream Station or shipped it in 5, 8, or 10 gallon cans to some produce company like Tilden's or the Equity in Aberdeen. Dad and Mother discovered they had a talent for making good butter and they could make more money by churning their cream and delivering the butter to regular customers. So we churned our cream every week and on Friday or Saturday delivered it to our customers. We must have had 25-30 customers taking an average of from two to four pounds of butter weekly. They paid 50 cents a pound which was usually a little higher than creamery butter price.

In 1934, Dad was elected County Commissioner in the District south and west of Dupree. He served in that office until 1948. At that time he moved to Dupree, which was out of the district. He had also served as community committeeman, and county committeeman on the then AAA program (Agricultural). In the early forties he traded places with Cully (Lewis) Miller, who lived on Cherry Creek in a settlement that became known as Little Ireland. The year before he traded and moved, Mother had suffered severe burns on her face, arms and legs, from an explosion in our cellar --one we thought must have been due to a natural gas leakage, as there was water in the cellar at the time. There seemed to be no other explanation. The house did not burn--it was just a flash explosion.

After they moved to Dupree, they ran a lunch counter a year in an old building next to the old laundromat. They moved to Sturgis in 1949 where Dad had secured employment as a Nurses Aide at Ft. Meade. Dad worked at Ft. Meade until about 1959, when he retired because of ill- health. He died at Sturgis in June, 1961.

Mother continued to live in Sturgis until December of that year, 1961. She came back to Dupree and lived in a trailer in our yard until her death in December 1964.

While they lived in Sturgis, they were active in the Presbyterian Church, then mother joined the United Church of Christ in Dupree. During those early years, some of our neighbors were: Norman and Nora Jennerson, and Lester; the Carl Johnson family, Anson Callen family, Les Leake, Vern Oliver's, Pevoy's, the Solomonson's, John and Henry Nagel (they were bachelors and each had a claim), the Tupy family, Zacek's, the Klinchuch family, Diermier's, the Jesse Miller family. Further south and southwest were the Serres' family, Wall's, Herren's, Holmes, Mitchell's, Hensley and Starr, Wuennecke's, Ike Lee's, Floyd Frames, Bolander's and Bowlings, Ritter's, Bridwell's, Longbrake's, Thede Lafferty's, Ed Lafferty, Glen French's, Ohnemus' family, and the Campbell Bros. Owen Shedd's came later, and the Walter C. Miller, Sr. family moved on to the Jake Maca place, also the Pete Christiansen family. I think the one memory that stands out above any of them was Henry Nagel, the bachelor. He used to come to our school picnics and dances, etc. and when he opened the door to come in, he flipped over on his hands and walked around the room that way. He walked everywhere and he said it rested him to walk a ways on his hands.

Eugene married Jane Miller in 1933 and Eva married Delbert W. Miller in 1947.


Eugene H. Henderson, son of Ben and Elsie Henderson was born at Groton, South Dakota on June 19, 1913. He came with his parents to Ziebach County in the fall of 1918 where he grew up.

On June 24, 1933 he married Jane Miller, daughter of Jesse and Maggie Miller. They lived on the old Oliver place, where they farmed, milked cows and Eugene and his dad built dams under the Range program.

Eugene C. (Gene) was born in Dupree on August 14, 1934. They moved to Idaho and lived there a year or two. Harley, their second son was born in Idaho on October 30, 1937. While Harley was a baby, they returned to Dupree and lived on the old Thede Lafferty place.

Their house burned in 1940, when Harley was three, and Harley was badly burned on his legs. As before, when the Ben Henderson residence burned, members of the Henderson family knew the wonderful generosity and love of the people in this community. Money, furniture, clothing and food were donated. In February, 1941, after their home burned, Eugene, Vin Jeffries, Ben Olmstead and Cully (Lewis) Miller bought a ranch down on Cherry Creek. The location came to be known as "Little Ireland".

A year or so later, Cully and Ben Henderson traded places and Ben and Elsie moved down on Little Ireland, while Cully and his family moved up on Section 1-11-20 where Ben had lived. The same fall Eugene and Jane moved to Little Ireland, on November 19, 1941 their third son, Benjamin Jesse, was born. They lived on Little Ireland until the spring of 1947, at which time they sold the Cherry Creek ranch to Voyle Samuelson and moved to the old Andrew Lee place, southwest of Dupree. Then they moved to Dupree for a year, while he worked for the State Highway Commission. They bought a small acreage from Bill Wartenweiler and built up the place north of Dupree where they still reside. Gene, Harley and Ben all went to Dupree High School.

Gene married Elsie Fuhrer, daughter of William and Christine Fuhrer, and they have two sons, Bill and Dale. Both sons graduated from Dupree High School and are living at Dupree--both unmarried. Harley served a term in the Army, stationed in the Philippines, then he went on to school at Aberdeen where he met and married Terri Hayashi from North Dakota. They are now living at Rosholt, South Dakota and he is vice- president of a bank in that area. They have five children--Jimmy (attending SDSU at Brookings), Tracy (a high school senior), Shawn, Audra and Michael. Ben went to college at Brookings and Aberdeen, then served a hitch in the army. He was stationed in Germany. When he came back, he married Audrey Rohrer from Faith. He then finished school in Spearfish and Vermillion and went on to become a doctor. He rejoined the army and served his internship at Fort Sam Houston, then to Ohio and is now at the clinic in Mobridge. Ben and Audrey have two sons, Travis and Josh, still in elementary school.


My uncle, Harvey Henderson, (Dad's youngest brother) his wife, Pauline and two of their four children, Ivan and Alveretta, moved to Ziebach County from Brown County in 1919. Their other two children, Mildred and Milton LeRoy (Bud) were born in Dupree. They lived on the old Philips place west of Dupree and north of the old rodeo grounds. Later, they moved south of Dupree on the Les Leake place. Ivan and Alveretta attended the Whittler school for one year. Harvey played the guitar and mouth organ, Dad played the violin, and together they often played for dances in the area. Harvey's family moved back to Brown County in the mid-1920's.





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