Henry Abild was born January 14, 1880, on his father’s homestead which is near his present home in Pleasant Valley, South Dakota, township. His father homesteaded there in 1868. The same neighborhood has been Mr. Abild’s home throughout his life. Henry attended the neighborhood school. He vividly remembers the blizzard of 1888. He spent the night huddled with the other children around the school stove.
Fifty years ago Mr. Abild, Wakonda, South Dakota, began the practice of growing legumes and raising pigs on clean ground. This type of management has made him one of the most successful farmers in Clay County.
In 1904, he purchased a bare quarter of land on which his present home now stands, and was married to Anna Nelson of Centerville, South Dakota. The Abilds have three children, two sons and a daughter.
The Abilds carried on extensive cattle and hog feeding. The two sons and their father operated as a unit. They raised 300 to 400 hogs each year and had 150 to 200 head of cattle constantly on feed. They grew all of their own rough feed and as much of the corn and other feed grains as possible.
Mr. Abild was one of the organizers of the soil conservation movement in South Dakota, being a supervisor of the Clay County district and a member of the board of directors of the state association. He was a director of the Producers Livestock Commission association in Sioux City for many years. He was one of the organizers of the Wakonda Shipping association and for many years its chairman.
He was a member of the state livestock committee for several years. As chairman of the county planning board, he was instrumental in employing a delinquent personal tax collector to ease farm taxes. Mr. Abild was active in the county conciliatory committee for foreclosure during the depression years. The committee saved many farms by working out agreements between creditors and farmers. Other activities include membership of the district school board, farmers’ elevator board, farmers’ oil company board, and county commissioners.
Mr. Abild has been a lifelong member of the Methodist Church of Wakonda. He was township chairman of the war bond drives in both World War I and II.