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Breaking Sod On The Prairies - Taber


(The following is a reference to Hughes County.  Blunt, SD is where I grew up, in the 1950's - 60's.  The timeframe for the following excerpt is the 1880's.   When I lived there I rode my horse over the same wide prairies, and grew to love "the immensity of it all", it keeps you humble.  Of course, by then the buffalo skeletons had disappeared.  I still miss it a lot.  /LCK)

Behind the little village, which we learned was named Blunt, massive hills rose one over the other. The road seemed endless, as we wended our way upward to the summit of hills that, following the Missouri river, spread eastward until merged into the prairies.

When we reached the top, we found ourselves facing a country almost as flat as a table, which extended north and east as far as we could see. We had no trouble in following the road, as it was the only mark of man or beast in evidence. Not a house, not a barn was in sight; not a furrow of plowed land. Mile after mile we drove, and hour after hour!

Often, we would stop and get out of the buggy to rest and to pick prairie flowers; blossoms that we never before had seen. But what interested us most were the many buffalo skeletons, laid out, as it were, to bleach like white sheets upon the green prairies, mute evidence of an almost extinct form of life. Some of these skeletons were almost intact; the teeth in the jaws were unloosened, while great mats of coarse hair still clung to the skulls between the horns.

At one stop in particular, the feeling that perhaps the foot of white man never had trodden these virgin plains took possession of us and we felt that we were on holy ground. The prairie grass, swaying in the summer wind gave the wide expanse of the country semblance of a vast ocean, the waves of which never were at rest. I trembled with fear at the immensity of it all and wondered what this strange country held for us. I seemed in danger of losing any sense of personal identity, merged, as it were, into the eternal vastness of space.

The Barbecue  (Written by Regina Hoefer from information given her by Mrs. E. F. Mercer)

In 1885 during the boom days in Blunt a big celebration was held at which one of the main attractions for the interested immigrants from the East was an Indian War Dance. Over fifty Sioux braves took part in the dance and while many of the warriors wore White and Indian scalps on their belts; they were not on the war path. As pay for the part they took in the celebration the Indians were given a beef by the town people. After killing the animal the Indians cooked it and partook of the feast.

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