Personal recollections of the Kingsbury County poor farm.

Submitted by: Anderson, Loren (L.E.)
"The Kingsbury county farm was about 3 miles northwest of DeSmet. It no longer exists as a home for the poor and disabled. The buildings have been torn down. It was active into the 1970's, I must guess, as I no longer lived in S. Dakota then. My parents' farm is due west. The county farm had a large brick house, three stories, which stood out in an area of single family frame houses on half section farms. The barn was also quite large. There were also the usual garages and machine sheds. The Herb Harris family ran the place while I was a child. Their youngest child was about my age. I shall ask my mother and brother if they have any pictures showing the place.

Between our buildings and the county farm was the biggest slough for miles. My favorite time of the year was spring, when snowmelt created streams from miles away. All the streams drained into the county farm slough and it became a lake, which held its water for months. In a dry state like South Dakota, this was a special memory. At the edge of the slough/lake was the first airport in DeSmet, a grass strip with one airplane, whose owner was not linked to the county farm.

The poor people who were able, usually had chores on the farm. They could be seen around the buildings and perhaps running a tractor in the fields. We kids did not go over there, as we considered them 'different'."

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