Copyright Dockters Pheasant Farm. All rights reserved.
A Story Taken About the Land, History of the Farm House:
From I-94 at Mandan, take Exit 32 to Fort Abraham Lincoln following ND Highway 1806 for approximately 8 miles. Signs will direct you to the historical site. After visiting the historical site, return to Highway 1806, go north for approximately 2 1/2 miles to County Road 138. Follow the gravel road west, crossing State Highway 6, continuing on west 5 miles.
In the 1900 Census John Veeder was living in Mandan and again working on the Railroad. His son Roy was also a Railroad brakeman. In 1911 Roy married Florence SMith and their first home was a sod house, south of Mandan on the St. Anthony Road. The osd was cut with a walking plow by Roy. This same house was the first home of Isadore and Margaret Aronson Smith and daughter Gwen was born in there.The 1917 Morton County Atlas shows the following tracts of land owned by the Veeders, all in Township 138, Range 81. Ellen (mother) owned 166.64 acres in S. 14 Roy S. Veeder residence was in S. 14, 91.64 acres The land with the residence and the Ellen Veeder land, were the parcels on the west side of the St. Anthony Road and were purchased by John S. Veeder from Emery Shepard. The house was the only building on the land. The house was built in 1881 by John Vedar. I don’t know the year of purchase but in 1908 Roy was living in the country and riding down to the Smith’s lower farm where Florence was keeping house for her brothers, George and Henry.
Roy S. Veeder lots totaling 156.85 acres in section 14 the sod house was built in the NE edge of SW ¼ of this land. Marion Veeder section 14 the SE ¼. Helen homesteaded 176.50 acres in S. 12. The Heart River ran through the property. Total Veeder Acres was 600.95 Acres. On Helen Veeders homestead, later owned or rented by Roy, Isadore Smith started working 1920 cutting wood for fuel and fence posts for Roy, on the parcel called the island. He built a log cabin and lived in it for two winters, 1924 and 25 on Section 12 Twp 139, Range 81. Cutting timber for Roy; a job he continued until 1932. During the 1927 and 1929 period he hayed on this land part time. Stories told to me about John Veeder. He was a visionary man who was not satisfied working on the railroad or with his success in Washburn. There was always something else on the horizon.
When he purchased the land on the St. Anthony Road, which was the main road to South Dakota. He called it Fairview Farm and he had another vision, truck farming, year around. He dug and shored up a cellar under the kitchen and dining room of the house, put in a furnace to heat the house as well as pipes to heat water flowing through pipes underground and outdoors along the south side of the house. The soil was kept warm from the hot water pipes and the sun on the storm windows that were covering the plantings gave them lite and heat to grow in the winter. The whole idea fizzled when a drunk came to the house on blustery night and stepped through the glass and the plantings froze. He had also dug a kind of reservoir in a side hill west of the garden for the storage of rain water for irrigation. The reservoir was dug in gravel, that idea went down the drain also. An orchard was planted north of the house, but never seemed to do much. The barn, machine shed and granary were built by John Veeder. Other buildings on the farm, shingles on the house, new dormers upstairs and siding was put on the frame wing of the house by Roy. Running water and sewage disposal was put in by later owners. Roy named his farm Shorthorn Dairy. The name was on the bottle caps for raw milk and cream sold. The dairy was truly a family business. Roy and the girls did the milking, by hand, twice a day. The crates of milk bottles were cleaned, sterilized, filled and capped in the entrance of the house for many years by Florence and the girls, later a milk house was built near the barn, taking the mess from the house.
Florence also made butter, and packaged fresh eggs for customers on the milk route. Roy delivered milk and cream and buttermilk each day when the girls were in school. In later years the delivery fell to Margaret. Lillian was teaching school then married and stayed out west. Winopher was doing secretarial work in Mandan and later went to More Dry Dock in California in the 40’s. Other than the dairy work Florence gardened, canned (the best and biggest dill pickles in the world) baked (the pantry always had a large jar with a screw top of doughnuts and one of cookies) she washed and ironed, sewed, and raised chickens. The women did a lot of fancy work in the winter. They embroidered, crocheted and hooked rugs. Roy had his farming, livestock and in the winter put up ice along with hauling coal and wood and the regular chores. He loved to read, and they had quite a variety of books. Margaret worked with her parents until she married in 1946. In 1947 Florence and Roy sold the farm and moved to Hamilton, Montana where Lillian lived than later to Seattle, Washington at Roy’s sister request. Roy died in Seattle and Florence moved to Oakland and lived with Winopher until her death.
My young memories of the Veeder’s, this was my second home with Uncle Roy and Aunt Nannie (when I began to talk I couldn’t pronounce Florence, Nannie was my name for Aunt Florence for many years until teasing changed my thinking) I couldn’t pronounce Lillian, Margaret and Winopher either but soon learned. My most vivid memory of the family was going to their house for milk each evening. On most evenings we drove down about their supper time, (ours meal over with dishes washed, we didn’t have cows to milk and chores to do) Winopher would get my small plate and silverware and put my stool between her and Aunt FLorence and I could have my second supper. I would also get some of Aunt Florence’s dessert. Spoiled, yes. After dishes were done, my mother played the piano and the Veeder girls sang and me, too. I learned the songs of the first world war, and 20’s. Uncle Roy almost broke my heart one day and I never forgot, even though he did the right thing. I decided to go to their house, the reason I don’t remember. He happened to come out of their house and saw me crawl through the fence and head down the hill toward their house, he stood and watched me and came to the conclusion that my mother didn’t know what I was doing, she didn’t. I trudged along and came to Veeder’s, Roy was waiting, he turned me around and sent me home. Needless to say, his rejection ended my going visiting alone before 5 years of age.
As the years passed we left the sod house and moved to Mandan then to the Dairy Station. At least Veeder’s could eat supper in peace and we didn’t visit as often, but they always had a special place in my heart. As I became older I hiked through the pastures and visited and in the summer, sometimes spending a week or so. Riding the milk route with Margaret and going through the pastures picking wild fruit with her and Bobby, the dog. In later years I became more help and had my chores to do, going back and forth, week days at Veeders and weekends at home. My compensation for getting my chores done quickly was being able to read their many books. My delight, I still love reading. I can’t ever remember Aunt Florence scolding me. The girls would take me to Borden’s on occasion. Winopher said mama spoiled you rotten. When they had company I always had my nose in the middle of everything. When I would visit and sleep with Margaret the slats would sometimes move out of place under the mattress and we would waken at a drop to the floor. They had some lovely old oak furniture. Margaret’s bedroom set had marble tops on the dresser and comode, and the headboard was high. The wooden rocking chairs I particularly remember. Different sizes to fit different heights, I believe there were about 3, and legal bookcases with the glass doors that raised and slid into the top of the shelf when they were open. When I was tall enough to reach across half of the dining room table I was allowed to use the silver crumb scrapers on the table cloth after meals.
I cried the last time Uncle Roy left our home at Ft. Lincoln, I knew I would never see him again. He had been with Margaret when LD was buried. On his way to Seattle he stopped, he was very ill. I insisted he see a doctor and get a penicillin shot for his congestion, he did but insisted he had to get home to Florence in Seattle. I will always have fond memories of my “home away from home” The sod house....The house was square with a chimney coming from the peak in the center of the roof. The sod was cut with a walking plow on the hill south of the house. My folks said, in later years, that it was the most comfortable house they ever lived in, maybe because it was their first home. Cool in summer and warm in winter. The sod walls were laid vertical and horizontal every other layer. Wood frames for windows and door were placed and sodded around. The walls were about 2 ½ ft thick, and the window sills rather low to the floor; this is where I sat when mom had chores outdoors and I had to stay in. Walls were lathed, plastered and papered, with newspapers and then wallpaper. The ceiling was embossed tin and there was no opening in the ceiling for an attic. This was fortunate because mice crawled the walls outdoors and got in the ceiling and my dad had a bullsnake that he had pegs on the wall on the northside of the house for it to go up and down. The bullsnake was the mouse trap. The house had three rooms which seemed large to me, of course to a 5 year old anything looked big. The floor was ground level and must have been wood, we had linoleum covering. As a young child I was very happy with my parents in the sod house and really couldn’t understand why we had to move.
Pictured above is General Custer's trail in 1886, the trail went right over our farm land.
Pictured above are a few pictures of the old farm buildings.