Henry Preheim has always lived in Turner County. While he has been an exceptional leader in agriculture, perhaps his greatest accomplishment and one of which he is justifiably proud, is the fact that he and Mrs. Preheim have successfully raised a family of two daughters and six sons. Five of the boys have followed their father’s successful footsteps in the farming business.
Henry was born in Turner County on March 26, 1890. He married Dora Gering on October 5, 1911 at the Salem Mennonite Church. Mr. and Mrs. Preheim then settled down on their present farm which is located eight miles south and three west of Parker, South Dakota, in the Turkey Ridge Creek Valley.
Even though they had a large family and times were not so good, Henry found time to champion the cause of agriculture and be active in community organizations.
For example, he helped organize the South Dakota Crop Improvement Association and served as a director on the State Board for several years. He played a prominent part in organizing the Turner County Crop Improvement Association and was the first chairman. He was also the first chairman of the Turner County Extension Board, a position which he also holds at the present time. He has been a member of the County Commissioners for eight years and has headed up the school board for 32 years.
Henry also helped inaugurate the Freeman Crop Show back in the “Model-T Days.” Besides serving on the County Fair Board, he worked with 4-H clubs, promoted soil conservation programs and helped promote the cause for REA. The Preheims have been active in the work of the church and worked closely with a church affiliated Junior College. All the Preheim children graduated from Freeman Junior College.
Preheim has won a countless number of ribbons from crop exhibits in competition that took his exhibits from Pierre, South Dakota, to Chicago, Illinois. He is the permanent holder of the A. J. Wimple Trophy.
His first hobby was stamp collecting and later he turned to painting. Several paintings which now hang in the Preheim living room provide proof of Henry’s artistic ability.