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Ella (Peter P.) Vallery

Mrs. Ella (Peter P.) Vallery
Ella (Peter P.) Vallery

Eminent Homemaker

County: Butte


Mrs. Ella (Peter P.) Vallery, was a resident of Butte County continuously for 64 years. She was born March 1, 1857, in Green Lake, Wisconsin. Her family lived in Minnesota during her youth.

Mrs. Vallery is a graduate of the Normal School, Mankato, Minnesota. She taught several years in Minnesota before her first marriage to George R. Ames in 1879. Mr. Ames died two years later leaving his widow with two small sons.

Following Mr. Ames’ death, she lived with her husband’s people in Missouri. Her father was at that time trailing sheep from New Mexico to Butte County and wished to establish a home near his livestock. He asked his daughter and two small sons to live with him.

The family established their home in a three-room dugout in a bank of the Belle Fourche River, 12 miles east of Belle Fourche, west of Nisland, South Dakota.

Since her father had used his homestead right in Minnesota, Mrs. Ames filed upon a homestead. She was asked to teach the local school and the following year was placed on the “Cowboy” political ticket as a candidate for county superintendent. She served as county superintendent from 1884 to 1891. As county superintendent of Butte County which then included Butte, Harding and Perkins counties, she received $100 a year. In addition she received $2.50 for each school visited. Her two small sons always accompanied her on these trips in a buckboard over prairie roads and trails.

In 1892, she married Peter P. Vallery, who died in 1937. Three children were born to this marriage.

Mrs. Vallery’s activities as a contributor to the betterment of her community are legion. Years ago she held at Minnesela, the now deserted county seat, an “Afternoon with Authors” in connection with her work as County Superintendent of Schools.

She served many years as an officer of her school district. She organized the Hillside Women’s Study Club and was a member of a Home Extension Club. She was a member of the Rocking Chair Club, the oldest club in Belle Fourche. With the organization of the county fair in 1921, she became superintendent of the women’s department. She was active in church and Sunday school work.

Mrs. Vallery died in Canby, Oregon, February 2, 1950.

Mrs. J. E. Boyd was born January 16, 1873, near LeRoy, Minnesota, and came to Lake County, South Dakota with her parents when she was seven years old. The family arrived in Herman township, June 14, 1880, and homesteaded a few miles from Junius.