Roseth Ranch - 100 years of area history

The Roseth Brothers Ranch, once and again ... From left: Duane, Roy and Julian Roseth.

The Roseth Ranch celebrated 100 years, in conjunction with Roy Roseth's 92nd birthday, on August 10 at the Legion Hall in Philip.

Roy and his wife, Clara, married when he was 28. That was in 1944 while he was in the navy during WW II. Clara passed away a few years ago. Their four children are Carmen, Sophie, Duane and Julian.

Carmen and her husband, Clark Alleman, live near Hayes. Sophie and her husband, Pat Foley, live in Midland. Duane and his wife, Lola, still live on the home place. Julian and his wife, Coreen, also still live on the home place.

"Roy lives in the SilverLeaf and his mind is as sharp as a tack," said Carmen. "He did not want a birthday party, but would have a family reunion." Roy has four children, 11 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

The Roseth Ranch has been officially recognized as a Century Farm by the South Dakota Department of Agriculture. Roy's parents both homesteaded in what is now northeastern Haakon County. Mary Olson filed her claim in February, 1907. It was commuted in 1908. Her homestead quarter is still a part of the Roseth Ranch. Julius Roseth filed in December, 1907 and commuted his claim in June, 1909.

The couple was married in December 1909. They eventually purchased another quarter of land and a store from Gus Moen for whom the community is named. They sold groceries and dry goods, also offering gasoline after cars came into use. It was a cream testing station and for 15 years the Moenville Post Office. Mary served the public, cooked for extra men and raised four children. After most people had cars it wasn't financially feasible for small country stores to stay open, so Julius and Mary closed the store and concentrated on ranching.

Over the years, more land was accumulated. After Roy's World War II Navy service, he married Clara Fosheim and returned home to become an active part of the ranching operation with Julius and his brother, Clarence. Brother Paul moved to his own place near Powell and sister Marie married Kenneth Anderson and moved to Midland. Julius passed away in 1955 and Roy and Clarence became partners until Clarence moved to Pierre. Roy and Clara had four children and when their sons, Duane and Julian, finished school, the boys also returned to the ranch which then operated as Roseth and Sons. Roy has since retired and the place is once again known as Roseth Brothers.

Roy has seen a lot of changes during his lifetime. There have been many ups and downs over the past century, but when he looks back, Roy mainly remembers the times that tested a person and made him stronger.

When Roy was only 16 years old, he was given the responsibility of trailing a herd of horses to Fort Pierre to sell. He and a two-man crew made the entire trip in one day. However, with it was the end of the Prohibition Era and with beer readily available, it didn't take long for his crew to imbibe too much. Roy was very glad to see his brother, Paul, the next day when he came to take them home.

Another time, they were trailing a bunch of cattle to Midland to load out on the railroad. While stopped for water at a stock dam a few miles before reaching their destination, a dog ran towards them. It spooked the cattle so they stampeded back towards home and didn't stop until they had almost made a round trip.

Roy remembers the winter storms in 1949 and 1952 when the only way he could get out to feed his cattle was to ride horseback and carry a scoop shovel to dig out the horse when the snow drifts got too deep.