Saturday, November 14, 2015

Alfred D Sears and the 20th Century Dairy Business in Deadwood SD by Jack Sears DHS1958

DickD Comment:  Jack Sears DHS1958 is a great supporter of my dhsclassmates website publication since it started in 2007.   He always contributes quality posts that show his research and attention to detail. We correspond frequently and I value his council and suggestions.  He shares pride of the Deadwood School/High School's quality education system and the life ethic/values they instilled in each student.  

Jack shares interest in the rich history of Deadwood.  I am sure you will enjoy Jack's family history in Deadwood. 


Jack Sears
Dick, when you invited me to write about the creamery my grandfather operated in Deadwood in the early 1900s, I hesitated because I know so little about it.  I remember that, after my grandmother died and we moved into her house on Terrace Street in 1946, there were a few boxes full of old receipts and bills from the creamery, but that was it.  No pictures or anything of much interest.

Gradually, I became more aware that my grandfather Alfred D. Sears had once run something called a creamery -- I remember my dad showing my brother Rich and me where it had been, at 771 Upper Main (near the present "armory building").  I didn't know what a "creamery" was, or what made it different from a dairy.  Later I learned that, back in the day, "dairy" butter was sold by the farm wives who made it by hand; in the 1860s, butter factories, or "creameries," began producing butter in mechanized factories in the East.  

The Deadwood Public Library has microfilm of old editions of the Deadwood Daily Pioneer, some of which carried ads for my grandfather's Elgin System Creamery in Deadwood.  The creamery was affiliated with The Elgin Butter Company of Elgin, Illinois, which had developed a factory system of butter making in the 1870s and gradually expanded westward.

The Deadwood Daily Pioneer
Sunday February 1st 1903
Before coming to Deadwood, my grandfather had also operated a creamery in Fremont, Nebraska, where he met and married my grandmother, but the opportunity in Deadwood must have seemed too good to pass up.  With their two-year old son (Alfred Richards Sears) in tow, they left behind Josephine's extended family in Fremont, arriving in Deadwood around 1899 or 1900 to begin a new life.

My grandfather, Alfred Sears, is the clean-shaven man with the highest hat (top row, left of center), seated with fourteen mustachioed men on a huge stage coach. On the back is written in elegant script: “Compliments of Edward Lytle Butter and Eggs, Omaha Neb, 1897.” The men were apparently all involved in the creamery business in eastern Nebraska 

Upon arrival in Deadwood Alfred opened the 771 Main Street creamery.  It got off to a good start and the family soon settled in at 23 Monroe Street.  Little Rich Sears (my uncle) entered the first grade class of Olive "Dottie" Smith.  

Alfred became an avid trout fisherman, and the family soon grew to love the Hills through frequent outings to places such as Spearfish Canyon and Sand Creek.  

In 1904, The Black Hills Illustrated noted:  

This creamery, the largest in the Black Hills, which is owned by A. D. Sears, is worthy of special mention. It has a capacity of 2,000 pounds of butter per day. It is now making from 1,000 to 1,200 pounds per day, and is increasing fast. Five people are employed in the work and the cream is brought mainly from nine gathering stations in Nebraska, from 200 to 400 miles distant, and shipped in by express. . . . The butter is sold in every town in the Black Hills and shipment has been made as far east as New York City.

Mr. Sears also manufactures ice cream, with a rapidly increasing trade, and does a large poultry and egg business, the poultry being kept alive and utilized as trade demands. The principal jobbing business of the Hills in eggs is done by this creamery, which also conducts a wholesale trade in cream.

The creamery grew, too, and by 1908 employed a dozen workers -- but that year the Alfred Sears family suffered a major blow when their little girl Katharine died at birth.  The next year they sold the creamery and moved back to Fremont, taking the little girl's body with them for reburial.  As close as they had become to Deadwood and the Hills, it was time to go back to Jo's home and the support of her extended family. 

The creamery was then bought by the Beatrice Creamery Company, which later became known as Meadow Gold and was eventually taken over by Borden's.

Once back in Fremont, Alfred left the dairy business behind and started a new construction company.  For the next several years he built railroads, and the roads and bridges increasingly needed for the newfangled automobile.  

Alfred D. Sears Construction, Freemont NB

By 1919, after finishing a construction project for the Northwestern in Chadron, the Sears family decided it was time to return to the Hills and to Deadwood, and Alfred took over the creamery for a second time.  But his health soon began to fail and he passed away; I don't know what became of the creamery after that.  My memories are from a later time, of going out on cold mornings to find cardboard caps raised out of their bottles on columns of frozen milk, a time when dairies such as Kelly's and Gaughn's delivered right to the door.

My grandmother chose to stay on in Deadwood in the home on Terrace Street until her own death in 1944, enjoying dinners and bridge parties with old friends like Edna Ford (an 1893 DHS graduate), Maude Dennee Ogden (who came with her family to Deadwood in 1876), Grace McGahey (wife of Adams Museum curator D. M. McGahey), Mabel DeMouth Hartley and, everybody's favorite first grade teacher, Olive Rae ("Dottie") Smith.  

Early 20th Century was the heyday of railroads, and travelers to Deadwood had a choice:  the Fremont, Elkhorn and Missouri Valley Line, which reached Deadwood in December 1890, or its competitor the Grand Island and Wyoming Central, that finished its own line to Deadwood just one month later.  

The families of many of our schoolmates would have arrived on the same railroads -- maybe in the same cars -- later known as the Chicago and North Western, and the Burlington.  No one then would have anticipated that the age of railroads was ending, and that our generation would be the last to ride the old steam powered passenger trains, like the Burlington that my family and I took when we moved from Fremont to Deadwood in 1946.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Frances Ann Torgrude Erickson (DHS1954), Age 79, of Sturgis, SD, died Oct. 23, 2015 at Sturgis Long Term Care ~ Reported by Shirley Kettelhut Rounesvell DHS1954

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Major William “Bill” Duane Fish, USMC Ret., 83, of Rapid City SD died on Wednesday, September 30, 2015.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


The Lawrence County (SD) Historical Society offers old-timers and newcomers alike an opportunity to learn more about the people and events that have shaped our county. Lawrence County is nestled in the western corner of South Dakota at the northern end of the beautiful Black Hills.

The Society has preserved the history of Lawrence County SD since 1969.  Their Mission is as follows:

*** Promote the awareness of the contributions to this area made by those who lived in Lawrence County.

*** Preserve the history of Lawrence County.

*** Help protect historically significant sites in the County

~~~ Norma Kraemer is the current President of the Society ~~~

150 Sherman Street, Deadwood, South Dakota 57732
INDIVIDUAL (ANNUAL)………………….$5.00
COUPLE (ANNUAL)…………………….$10.00
INDIVIDUAL (LIFETIME)...………....... $50.00
COUPLE (LIFETIME)…….…………….$100.00

Annual memberships run from January 1 through December 31

STREET ADDRESS________________________________
CITY______________________ STATE_____ ZIP________

Please send your payment to:
Lawrence County Historical Society

150 Sherman Street
Deadwood, South Dakota 57732


LCHS has recently released a great new book “LAWRENCE COUNTY, SOUTH DAKOTA TOWN TIMELINES”. The book celebrates South Dakota's 125th Anniversary of Statehood 1889 – 2014. The book's visionary is Mary Gallup-Livingston and she guided the compilation of the historical timelines of Central City, Deadwood, Lead, Nemo, St. Onge, Spearfish, and Whitewood.

Example page of a Nemo Timeline:

Get your copy of this amazing history book and send $18 (book $15 and shipping $3) to and the following information:

STREET ADDRESS________________________________
CITY______________________ STATE_____ ZIP________

Please send your information/payment to

Norma Kraemer
12856 Nemo Road
Deadwood, SD 57732

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Helen Brandt DHS1955 passed away in Tucson AZ on January 31, 2014

Alvin Max Oestreich DHS1950 passed away in Rapid City Regional Hospital on August 11, 2015

Geraldine “Jerry” Page Nelson DHS1955 passed away in Rapid City Regional Hospital on September 19, 2015

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Bob Heller Passed Away July 14, 2015 in Rapid City reported by Renee Bertrand DHS1964

Thursday, April 30, 2015

John Franklin Fillmore DHS1955 of Whitewood, SD passed away Tuesday, April 28, 2015, at Rapid City Regional Hospital


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Deadwood The Commercial and Social Hub of the Black Hills’ Universe by Ann Haber Stanton

Ann Haber Stanton
South Dakota Jewish Historian
Photo courtesy Ann Stanton

1876 was an extraordinary year in the Black Hills. Discovery of mineral treasure opened the door to a deluge of exploration, immigration, and settlement that would change the landscape forever. Deadwood, at first just a series of mining camps downstream from the mother lode, soon became the commercial and social hub of the Black Hills’ universe.

Not every mining endeavor would fulfill its expectations. This was the case for a small party of gold prospectors led by John Brennan. After months of fruitless toil high in Palmer Gulch, beneath the shadow of Harney Peak, still in the grip of a Dakota winter, a more expansive plan developed. Brennan recognized the need for a central location, a town that would connect thriving Deadwood and the surrounding mining and timber camps with each other and with other cities. Brennan envisioned a “new Denver”- a “gateway” in the foothills, close to clean water and good grass and fertile ground, easily accessible by road and rail. A town could be developed and commerce established.

In February of 1876 Brennan and his party descended to a spot in the foothills, where they pitched camp alongside Rapid Creek, in the shelter of a prominent rocky cliff. The next day another small party joined them. Using Brennan’s compass, Sam Scott, a seasoned land surveyor, surveyed a townsite. William Martin named it Rapid City, “Rapid” for the waterway, and “City”, in anticipation of its importance to the Black Hills and its prospect for prosperity, and a “city” was born.

Here there was no mining, no particular mineral treasure. It was all about “location.” The good grass, ideal for grazing livestock and resting oxen, would earn the town the nickname “Hay Camp”. The level route through Centennial Valley made for easy access to Deadwood and points north. Points east and south were similarly convenient. The rocky cliff became the signpost and Rapid City would indeed become the Gateway to the Black Hills.

Commerce began to flow between the Hills towns. John Brennan became Rapid City’s first mayor, and started one of the first hotels. Sam Scott jumped right into the real estate business. William (Billy) Nuttall, another of the founders, and a young man with a taste for the wilder side of life, headed for Deadwood, where he applied his entrepreneurial skills to the theater business, starting by buying the Bella Union theater and saloon.

Deadwood merchants like grocerymen Hermann and Treber, and Jacob Goldberg, and dealers in liquors and cigars, Harris Franklin and Ben Baer, set up satellite wholesale houses for their popular merchandise in Rapid City. Although Brennan and Scott set down roots, Tom Ferguson, like most of Rapid City’s original founders, left. Some headed for Deadwood, still hoping to find their bonanza in the northern Hills.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Charles "Chuck" Crotty DHS1956 Passed Away March 10, 2015, at Home Surrounded by His Family, Age 78

Charles "Chuck" Crotty, DHS1956


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Georgia Lubisher DHS1939 , 94 of Spearfish, passed away on Saturday, February 28, 2015 at Rapid City Regional Hospital

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Meet Our International Musical Guest Nina McIntire

February 15 Update

Nina's next engagement on 3-19-2015
If you are in Texas; PLAN TO ATTEND !!

Also see great video and composition created by Nina:



Original Post ~ December 08 2014

Fans and followers of Nina McIntire describe the ease with which she performs on the piano as 'child's play' could often be taken literally. This talented artist and performer, born and raised in St. Petersburg was playing her first songs on the piano almost before she could walk. This extraordinary musical talent certainly did not go unnoticed, when, at the tender age of four she took up the violin, the instrument which accompanied her during her professional musical studies in Moscow and marked the beginning of a seemingly endless successful musical career.

At the age of 24 she completed her degree in Master of the Fine Arts at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow and soon became an accomplished and extremely sought-after violin soloist, giving concerts world-wide, particularly in Japan, Mexico and many parts of Europe. As a member of several prestigious chamber music ensembles she has also made her mark in the music industry.

Her love for the piano has never waned and she has recently been very active on the international music scene as a pianist, presenting her latest project 'Ivory Fantasy'- a fascinating combination of classical music and her own compositions arranged in a revolutionary modern style, integrating a variety of musical genres such as ragtime, jazz, pop and blues. The popularity of this project is already reflected in the extremely successful concerts in Finland, Russia, Germany and the United States.

McIntire has always placed great importance on the effort to reach a wide audience and she hopes that her innovative and original compositions, together with her passion in presentation and joy of performing will spark off an ever-growing enthusiasm for this type of music.

The combination of classical and modern music reveals a unique quality of freshness which gives it a very appealing character - her concerts are increasingly attracting people of the younger generation. The 'ivory enchantress' has succeeded in removing the divide between the traditional, classical genre and modern, popular music, fascinating and inspiring young and old alike.

Nina Playing Benefit Concert for Lead SD Opera House Renovation January 24, 2014

2014 Video Releases from Nina

DickD Favorite

The Holiday Season is practically here! A music CD is always a great gift. 

My "New Beginnings" CD with its green-red look might be a very nice present for your friends and loved ones. It is available now to purchase on a limited-time holiday sale at a significantly reduced price at the CD Baby distributor.  The physical CD now costs less than the album download.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Marlin Janas DHS1959 Lead Deadwood High School 2015 Hall of Fame Induction Plus all Past DHS Inductees written by Leatha Heinrich Satterlee DHS1959

As a fellow Deadwood High School 1959 classmate and friend of Marlin and Marge Lindstrom Janas, it is with great pleasure and pride that I submit this article about these two very successful DHS alumni and, in particular, the recent honor bestowed upon Marlin. Marlin Janas, Deadwood High School Class of 1959, was inducted into the Lead-Deadwood High School Hall of Fame in a special ceremony in Lead, Saturday, January 10, 2015.   Being influenced by the right people at the right time and lots of hard work launched Marlin on a career path which included setting athletic records in high school to a full paid athletic scholarship to Adams State College in Colorado. Son Bill Janas attending his father’s induction ceremony addressed the committee by stating “While Marlin was  in College, he continued to excel in athletics and was further challenged by the advice of a well-respected Deadwood High School Coach, Glen Burgess who told him 'Marlin, you stick with it and finish college. You will love being a teacher and coach . . . and if you love what you do, you will never dread going to work a day in your life.'  He found Coach Burgess’ words to be true, and that advice led to the most exciting and rewarding life’s work that he could ever have hoped for."

Meeting during their Freshman year at DHS, teamwork became an early part of Marlin and Margie’s lives.  Seeing in him his ability to reach his full potential, Margie, an honor student, became one of Marlin’s biggest supporters and encouragers. While enrolled in the same college, they married and had two children. Balancing parenthood and rigorous college studies gives a small glimpse at their tenuous strength and commitment. They both graduated college in four years with Margie going on to a full 33-year teaching career. Marlin continued to pursue his career in teaching, coaching and school administration.  Their sports loving family produced a son and three grandsons who all have excelled in numerous sports. The achievements of both Marlin and Margie Janas are testimony to the excellent  foundation for future success received at Deadwood High School.
Marlin’s stellar record setting athletic career includes 5 DHS records which were still standing when Deadwood merged with the Lead Schools in 1972. In college he set more track records, one record not broken for another 11 years. He coached track at Del Norte, Colorado for 14 years with his team being champions 9 of those years and runner up the other 5 years.  Teaching, coaching, and setting athletic records were but a small portion of the many accomplishments of Marlin Janas. He eventually went into school administration and spent many years as a principal and then as Superintendent of Schools in Del Norte, Colorado. Eighteen years after retirement he was called back to Del Norte to view a bronze plaque with his picture upon it installed at the entrance of the track and football stadium with the following inscription: “In honor of Marlin Janas for over 40 years of service to the Del Norte School District as teacher, principal, coach, superintendent of schools, and school board member. The lessons he taught about generosity, passion, high expectations and hard work have inspired numerous Del Norte students throughout the years to recognize their potential and ultimately realize it.” This was the first time Del Norte had given an honor like this. Marlin adamantly believes the great life he has enjoyed was given to him by God.

The super-achieving Janas’ story does not end here. It is of significance I mention that in 1987 Margie was chosen Teacher of the Year for the San Luis Valley Schools in Colorado which is comprised of 13 schools. Thereafter, she received honorable mention for the entire state of Colorado for Teacher of the Year.

Both Margie and Marlin are quick to acknowledge they are privileged to have had such excellent administrators, faculty, coaches, and staff at Deadwood High School.

Lead SD, January 10, 2015
Marlin Janas, Deadwood High School Class of 1959

Marlin Janas
DHS Class of 1959

Marlin held four school records in both high and low hurdles, the mile relay and the 880 relay while attending DHS.

1957 - Marlin set two Black Hills Conference records in high and low hurdles.

1959 - He set school record scoring 36 points in his final home game as a senior at DHS.

Marlin attended Adams State College, Alamosa, CO on a four-year scholarship for basketball and track.

1961 - He set an ASC school record in the high hurdles with a time of 14.6seconds, which was not broken for eleven years.

1962 - Marlin placed fourth in high hurdles at the National Small College Regionals in Emporia, KS.

Marlin was a teacher and coach at Del Norte, CO.  He coached track for 14 years.  Marlin's track teams were Conference Champions nine of those years, and runners-up the other five years.  His teams placed third three times and fourth twice at the State Track Meet.

Marlin was a junior high principal for 16 years at Del Norte, CO and spent the last nine years of his career as Superintendent.

2012 - After eighteen years of retirement, a stone marker featuring a bronze plaque was constructed in Marlin's honor at the entrance of the Del Norte track and football stadium for his 40 years of service to the Del Norte School District.


Lead Deadwood High School Wall of Fame

Past DHS Classmates, Coaches, Supporter Inductees

Carole Rypkema Hillard

DHS1954 State A Basketball Champions

Bill Jones

Coach Glenn Burgess

Supporter Vince Coyle

 Coach Stewart Ferguson "Fergie"

Renold "Dint" Furois

Hugh "Hootie" Burrington

James Shea

Roland "Rollie" Furois

Carole Rypkema Hillard

DHS1954 State A Basketball Champions

Bill Jones

Coach Glenn Burgess

Vince Coyle

 Coach Stewart Ferguson "Fergie"

Renold "Dint" Furois

Hugh "Hootie" Burrington

James Shea

Roland "Rollie" Furois
Roland (L) Ronald (R)