John Davies, Cresbard, South Dakota, has worked constantly to improve his livestock and crops and to conserve the soil on his farm.
“One of the most serious problems in agriculture today is the great lack of attention to conserving our soil,” he says. “We cannot continue to produces crops without returning something to the soil.”
He shows the same progressiveness of thought with livestock and crops. He has always grown purebred Herefords and all the major breeds of hogs. He has never used a boar of a bull on his farm that was not registered stock of the highest grade.
Mr. Davies was born in Wales, November 4, 1860. He landed in Galveston, Texas, Christmas Day, 1879, when 19 years old. He had three sisters and a brother near Creston, Iowa. But he spent three years in Texas working on cotton gins and railroading.
In 1883, his brother in Creston persuaded Mr. Davies to accompany him to Edmunds County, South Dakota. The young men drove to the present site of the Davies farm 10 miles north of Cresbard. This was before South Dakota became a state and before the area was open to homesteading. The boys squatted there in the completely bare country and later filed upon homesteads, preemptions and tree claims. The neighborhood has been the Davies home ever since.
The first summer he lived in a wagon and on the ground, building a sod shanty and barn that fall. John worked in his spare time on the railroad grade and track then being built through Ipswich. A few years later he hauled lumber from Northville to build his first house.
On March 15, 1888, he married Phoebe Lewis, the daughter of a neighbor. The Davies had nine children. Mrs. Davies died in April 1925.
The home farm in 1944 consisted of six quarter sections. At one time Mr. Davies owned 22 quarters of land and deeded it to the children as they married. The farm has a fine large modern house, a big barn and a complete set of good buildings. One of the strongest artesian wells in the county furnished water for ht stock and running water for the house.
Mr. Davies was drafted three times to run for public office and served as county treasurer from 1896 to 1900 and in the legislature in 1901 and in 1913.