days gone by

2011: World’s oldest man resided in town


December 28, 2011

Walter Breuning was the world’s oldest man at 114 before he died. Breuning moved with his family from Melrose, Minn., to De Smet, where his father had taken a job as an engineer. His earliest memories stretched back more than 111 years including recalling his grandfather’s tales of the Civil War. His secret for living an extraordinary life included: Embrace change, even when the change slaps you in the face; every change is good. Eat two meals a day, that’s all you need. Work as long as you can, that money is going to come in handy. Help others; the more you do for others, the better shape you’re in. The hardest lesson was passed down from his grandfather: Accept death.

January 1, 1997

Gov. Bill Janklow met with people from the De Smet area Monday at the Oxbow Restaurant to discuss medical needs in the community. The room was filled and people were standing around the edges. Organizers of the meeting said they were happy with the turnout. The De Smet Development Corporation has proposed a plan to construct a new clinic. The development group planned to own the clinic and lease it to East River Health Services. But Janklow didn’t want the development group to own it because, he said, non-profit groups come and go, city government is here to stay. Janklow said after the meeting he will find the entire $200,000 in grants the community is seeking to help build a $350,000 clinic designed to house all of the community’s medical professionals. And he said that final word on the funding will come rather quickly once he gets all the pieces in place.

December 30, 1971

Representatives of organizations, cities, park boards, and individuals interested in the PRIDE program will meet at the 4-H Center, De Smet, at 7:30 Thursday, January 6, to make final plans for the big clean-up of junk cars planned for the county.

Mr. and Mrs. Henry Arenda and Sheryl Freeman spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at the Darrel Leach home in Mitchell. They went to Viborg Sunday to visit Mr. and Mrs. Delmar Christianson, returning home that evening.

January 2, 1947

The purchase of Tack’s grocery by Walter Still was made Tuesday, and the store opened this morning as Walt’s Market, with Mrs. Still associated with her husband in its operation. The change in ownership had been expected for some weeks. N.E. Tackaberry states that in his retirement from grocery business, he and Mrs. Tackaberry will remain in De Smet, and and he expects to keep busy with some occupation that will leave him more leisure. Mr. Tackaberry closes a long history in the store that has borne his name for 10 years. He was one of those instrumental in forming the co-operative company in 1909, and in 1917 started to clerk at the Farmer’s Store, later succeeding Fred Clarke as manager.

December 29, 1916

Christmas mail was never so heavy as this year. The parcel post has proven so convenient that it is almost exclusively used for small packages and the result is that the facilities have been severely taxed to handle it. There was at least twenty-five percent increase over last year.

Cohen’s General Store is the name selected by the management for the new store in the Fuller building. This name is the suggestion of W.H. Henney of this city and he gets the $5 prize.


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