Thunder Butte

October 11, 2005

West of Glad Valley to Southwest of the Butte

Just west of the Glad Valley store, [a man by the last name of] Domina and his wife and daughters lived and farmed. His daughters were slight little girls, but it was said they drove teams of horses and farmed as good as any man.

Further west, about [six to] ten miles west of Glad Valley was an intersection of country roads and the farm of Charley Hall and his family—his wife Grace, and daughter Lois, and sons Ray and Forrest. I remember staying all night with the kids, as Lois and Forrest were about my age. I also remember very well when the Halls would visit my parents and play bridge and whist. Also, I clearly remember, when I was about four years old, Lois and I took the old gray mare and went for a ride, bareback, of course. A mile north of the house the old horse shied (ducked sideways) when a jackrabbit jumped in front of her, threw us both off, and I broke my collar bone. Then, the horse ran away. I well remember that trip home, Lois supporting me with one arm, while picking our way—barefoot—through the cactus patches. All the way home, I was crying my eyes out.

The Hall place was straight north of the butte, eight to ten miles. Somewhere on that stretch of road lived Dave Trainor. He was so fond of my brother Neal that he named one of his sons after him. I believe Neal Trainor still lives around Faith.

At the foot of Thunder Butte, on the east, was the homestead of the Syfie brothers. One of them sent back to Syria for a woman. She was somewhat of the gossip of the country because she wore the arabic style of clothing, head covering and all. People used to think they were crazy to dress like that in the South Dakota heat. I believe it is probably a lot hotter in Syria, but we didn’t know it then.

Directly south of the butte, a couple of miles on Stove Creek, “Raggy" Simmons used to live. Raggy was a hermit who lived in a hole dug in a bank of the creek. He was none too clean. He used to come snooping around our place, looking for food, I suppose. I remember my mother running him off the place with a shotgun, one time.

Southwest of the butte, a couple of miles, was Joe Shockley’s homestead, my mother’s brother. I remember going along with my dad when they took teams of wagons to an old, abandoned house about ten miles to the north. One day, they jacked up that house, ran the wagons under it, and with about four wagons and as many teams of horses, pulled that house down to the Shockley claim.

--John Crowley
Mike Crowley Tuesday, October 11, 2005


john: thanks for sharing your stories. I just found your blog and I am really enjoying it. I hunt 5 - 6 times a year in the area b/w glad valley and dupree. many of the things you describe are unchanged and fortunately for me will not likely change in my life time. thanks again
Dear Anonymous,

Most of these stories are my dad's--who is John. I'll pass your comments along to him and I'm sure he'll appreciate them. Thanks. --Mike Crowley
I misspelled the name "Syfie" as "Sifi" in the original post -- which I've now corrected.

--Mike Crowley
do you still blog

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