Fall River County


These pictures of early life in the communities in Fall River County are for your enjoyment. If you have a photograph that you would like to share, please contact me with a description. I am not looking for portraits, but rather pictures that show the daily lives our people enjoyed or struggled to endure.

I would like to eventually, have more old pictures, and then list them on individual pages, by community (Ardmore, Hot Springs, Oral, Smithwick etc.)


Here is another contribution from our friend Delaine Tinsley. It is a picture of a picture of Eden Valley School (District # 8), dated about 1900. Dealaine's Grandmother, Eloise Gordon is one of the little girls. She was born and raised in Hot Springs. Maybe someone can find one of their ancestors in this picture -- if so, please let us know. -stu-
This old picture (early 1900) of an unusual rock formation in Fall River was sent in by Delaine Tinsley. If anyone has any information about it, and where exactly it is located, send it to me ( Stu Marty ) and I will add it to this caption. Delaine did offer this much, "There are two girls in the photo, one on top and one inside. One is my grandmother Eloise Gordon and the other is her sister Gertrude Gordon."


This is an early picture postcard of the "Plunge" at Hot Springs. Picture contributed by Al Ogden.


Another picture contributed by Al Ogden . This early postcard is the State Soldier's Home, also in Hot Springs.


Early photo of Fall River Sheriff Joe Petty & Deputy Donald MacKinlay. it was submitted by Donald MacKinlay's daughter Donna MorningStar. The photograph is dated 1893, on the back.
She sent the following biographical story:
My grandfather, Donald MacKinlay, after his time as deputy sheriff, worked for the C&NW RR for many years. He started as a brakeman and retired as a conductor on the passenger line between Chadron ,Ne and Long Pine,Ne. He was a conductor on the SD leg when he met my grandmother, Edith Ham. She and her sister Lola were on their way to the Black Hills on his train. Needless to say, Lola returned to Illinois alone. Don and Edith resided on Spring St. I thnk it was the SE corner of 6th or 5th and Spring. They had three boys, Tom, Wm(Bill) and John(Jack) and an adopted daughter Margaret. Bill is the only one living and is quite spry at 93. My father , Jack and the youngest of the boys, went to first grade in the school on the hill. They had a milk cow that they kept in the meadow where the road that goes to the Mammoth Site and the highway meet (about straight across the street from the grocery store). Dad said the boys had a great time playing on the hill behind the house at a place they called "frog rock" because of the way it jutted out of the hill. That was where they used some old barn paint and painted "indian signs" that were found years later.

We spent all hollidays and many summer weekends in Hot Springs when I was a child. The trip up from Nebr seemed to take a long time, Hwy 79 was still gravel at then, but our trips were always just one day. We went to the plunge and then to Cold Brook park for a picnic. Somtimes we ventured out to Cascade Falls or just out to the spring. What fun it was! We were usually joined by friends who still lived in Hot Springs. I think their last name was Jenson. They had lived across the street on Spring.

My greatgrandmother, Mary MacKinlay collected hand fans. Her collection was donated to the museum by Edith, but I don't know if they were ever displayed.

The two pictures below, of downtown Oelrishs (a suburb of Smithwick <grin>) were sent in by Jean Herbison. Her great grandmother (Rosa Bley Herbison) homesteaded around Oelrichs for about 10 years, before moving to Winner, SD.

Early Oral, So. Dak. submitted by Lucille Birkholtz


These three, (Smithwick) were sent in by Alice Gless

Smithwick General Store (postmarked 1909)


We believe this might be the Smithwick Railwy station (postmarked 1909)
Smithwick school in 1911

Top row: Teacher Miss Shay, Thomas Frawley, Preston Jones, unknown, Leafy Jones.
Second row: Dan Larson, Guy Jones, Roy McFee, Clara Reaser, Claud Jones, Guy Heniger, Rex Jones.
Front row: Roland Larson, Earl Perreault, Clarence Reaser, Albert (Pete) Perreault, Marion (Buck) Perreault, Glen (Mike) Reaser, Strain, Walter Jones, Genevieve Frawley, Mattie Frawley, Garnet Strain, Mildred (Sis) Reaser, and Violet McFee.
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