NameJohn Docekal , M
1Marie , F
ChildrenLudmily , F
Notes for John Docekal
JOHN DOCEKAL FAMILY by Lillie Lightfield
In 1910, my dad, John, was taken up with the free land idea and home-steaded in
Ziebach County, South Dakota. Dad came out alone and built a shack in early summer
and my sister, Julia, came out in mid-summer to cook and help get the place in order.
The Nebraska farm and equipment (where we had been living) was sold that winter and
our household and personal things were loaded into an immigrant car. My brother,
Raymond, traveled with the car and the rest of us went by train. What a trip! So exciting
for school kids. I was ten at the time.
We arrived in Dupree on December 28th, stayed in town overnight and drove out to
the claim the next day. A gray, cold day.., not below zero, that came later, but not a real
bright day that we might have appreciated. There we were, eight miles out from
nowhere, it almost seemed.
Dad got us unloaded and settled... packed was the better word. There were 7 people
in a 2-room 10x12. Then Dad had to return to Dupree to wait for the immigrant car and
my brother.
They arrived December 3lst...a cold windy day, and that night the wind howled and
snow drifted into the shack through every small crack. Mother and the girls tore up a pair
of coveralls left by a carpenter and stuffed the strips in around the 2 x 4's where the roof
came down, shutting out the snow and wind. The shack was covered with tar paper so it
wasn't so bad once the air strips were closed off. On New Year's Day the men started
moving out to the claim. Furniture was stored under a tent till spring and Dad built on
another room. Then it was moved under a roof.
Dad plowed a garden spot the next spring and broke out some acreage for crops.
During the summer, the neighbors got together and formed a school district. The school
house was built on school land, 2 miles north of our place and about 1/2 mile west. My
sisters, Jane, Josie, and I walked to school to the Pretty Creek School. Lillian Jeffries
was our first teacher. Her parents were also homesteaders and her father was a
shoester in Dupree. Her younger sister, Ada, came to Pretty Creek also.
I went there to school till I finished the 8th grade. Though the school house was
struck by lightning and burned, the new school was built about a mile east on the corner
of Fred Judson's ranch.
There were, in my family, Dad, Mother (Marie), my sisters, Mary, Julia, Jane, and
Josie, and one brother, Raymond. The older girls soon found employment in Dupree.
Of my family, only Julia Frijouf (now living in Canada) and myself, Lillie (Ludmily)
Lightfield are left. I make my home in Pierre where a doctor and hospital are available
and cab service when family are all working.
My oldest daughter, Mrs. Kenneth (Coral Jeffries lives in Ft. Pierre and she and her
family take care of my many needs.
My family all live in South Dakota except John (Wayne). He and his family are near
Ijamsville, Maryland. Jim and Bernice live in Faith and have a ranch near Red Scaffold.
Jim does trucking and Bernice is a dorm attendant at the Eagle Butte Boarding School.
Emie and Viola live in Brookings. Both teach, Viola in the 4th grade and Emie in high
school. Cora and Jeff are in Ft. Pierre. Jeff(Kay Jeffries) welds wherever the work field
lies and Cora teaches. John (Wayne) works for the government and Ardath works in a
doctor's office. Bill and Wanda live in Waubay. Bill is driving truck and traveling far
distances. Wanda is Counselor at the Waubay School which burned in 1981. Now they
keep school in any available place that is large enough to accommodate a class.
Norman and Florence Schuler live in Eagle Butte where they operate a garage with the
good help of their oldest son. Florence still works for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and
enjoys her work. The adults there work with the ambulance service.
I have 33 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

Source: Text of Ziebach Co., SD History (1982) - pages 320 - 340

This file is the text of the book, "South Dakota's Ziebach County,
History of the Prairie", published in 1982 by the Ziebach County
Historical Society, Dupree, SD
Last Modified 22 Apr 2008Created 17 Aug 2015 using Reunion for Macintosh