The state of South Dakota recognized our family at the South Dakota State fair for having land in the same family for 125 years. Pictures from the fair are below and made for a fun birthday weekend for the boys. But first, for those who know my dad, know that he likes to tell stories, especially stories with Wilhelm and Wilhelmena. Here is the story about the land told straight from my dad!
Thanks Grandpa Al for all you do as a farmer and keeping up the tradition of our family farm!
Edward William Raeder (Evan, Jaden & Kylie's great-great Grandpa), a South Dakota homesteader, was born in Eldorado, Wisconsin, August 8, 1864, to Wilhelm and Wilhelmena Luedke Raeder. He came to Dakota Territory with his parents and his brother, Albert, on April 17th, 1888. They settled about 8 miles southeast of Webster, SD. On March 5, 1890, Edward went back to Wisconsin and married Marie Augusta Koplitz.
Marie and Edward
In 1892 they moved three miles closer to Webster. Wilhelm purchased 160 acres of land and Edward and Marie homesteaded the adjoining 160 acres. For five years Edward dug wells, but never was successful getting water. After President Grover Cleveland gave them the deed for the land, they moved the buildings about 250 yards from Wilhelm's building site and used the same well.
By the early 1900's, Edward and Marie had accumulated 720 acres of land and things were going well. After the Great Depression, Edward and Marie owed an insurance company $11,000.00. Marie said that was more than the land was worth and the insurance company wanted their money. Three of their sons received a Land Bank loan and each son purchased 240 acres. The sons were lucky and the rains came after a ten year drought and prices increased significantly. The sons purchased additional land and had their mortgages paid off by 1947.
Edward passed away September 24th, 1941 and Marie passed away September 30th, 1945.
George (Evan, Jaden and Kylie's Great Grandfather) purchased 80 of the 160 acres that Edward homesteaded in 1892. That land is still in our family after 125 years!
Dad shared an abbreviated version of that story on stage at the fair.
One of the best parts of the SD State Fair: All you can drink milk/chocolate milk!
Thanks Great-Aunt Bondell for the carousel ride!
Evan could not get enough of the baby chicks. No matter where we were on the fairgrounds, we somehow ended up back in this building about five times!