Andrew T. Brakke came to Lyman County, South Dakota in 1890, a year and a half before the land was surveyed and opened for homesteading. It was on this location, four miles east of Presho, that Mr. Brakke and family made their home for more than half a century
Mr. Brakke was born in Sansvoramt, Norway, June 15, 1864. At the age of eight he immigrated to America with his parents to settle near New Richland, Minnesota. Three years later, the family moved to Blooming Prairie, Minnesota. While living here Andrew received training in the common schools. In 1882 the family homesteaded in South Dakota southwest of Pukwana in Brule County.
Cattle raising was of greatest importance at that time, and little farming was done until 1905, when the arrival of a large number of settlers limited the grazing areas. In 1892, Mr. Brakke formally homesteaded his farm.
In 1990 Andrew Brakke married Anna Overgaard. Their first home was a sod house.
Because their cattle could roam wherever they wished, sufficient feed was always available. In 1904, however, widespread prairie fire consumed all available feed. This made it necessary for Mr. Brakke to spend the winter near the White river, where his livestock would have sufficient feed.
Mr. Brakke was active in community, business, and social affairs. He was a member and treasurer of the local school board. He was assessor of Earling township.
He was one of the charter members of the first church in the community, the Norwegian Lutheran Church of Presho, organized in 1890.
The Brakke family got their first modern convenience when the cooperative telephone came into the community in 1904. Mr. Brakke was also active in the organization of the farmers’ cooperative elevator, the farmers’ creamery, and he was an active Farmers’ Union member.
Eleven children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Brakke. The children all received a good education.
The Brakke farm comprised 880 acres. While some hogs, chickens and cash grain crops are produced each year, the main enterprise of the farm was beef cattle.
He practiced considerable contour farming on land that required it.