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Percy R. Crothers

Mr. Percy R. Crothers
Percy R. Crothers

Eminent Farmer

County: Brookings

A lifetime of service to the state as an active citizen; to agriculture as a breeder of good livestock and a leader in cooperative movements; to his neighbors as a helpful friend, made the name of Percy R. Crothers respected and revered in South Dakota.

Percy Crothers was born in Adams County, Wisconsin, June 7, 1862.  When he was 18 years old, Mr. Crothers boarded an immigrant car coming to the Dakotas, and upon arriving helped his father choose a quarter section of land in what is now Badger township, Kingsbury County.

In 1885, Mr. Crothers assisted in the organization of the local Farmers’ Alliance and was chosen secretary.   The following year he helped organize the Populist Party and in the fall of 18890 was elected to the lower house of the legislature.  In 1894, he was re-elected to the legislature, and was acknowledged as parliamentary leader of the house.

Mr. Crothers moved to Hetland in 1899 and there promoted the organization of both the Farmer’s Cooperative Association and the Farmers’ Cooperative Grain Company.  When the telephone began attracting attention in the west, Mr. Crothers organized a company in Hetland, South Dakota, and began building lines throughout Kingsbury County.

In 1905, the Crothers family moved to Brookings, and Mr. Crothers worked as manager of the Dakota Central Telephone Company.  After his sons’ graduation from South Dakota State College, he returned to his farm at Badger and practiced diversified farming with emphasis on the breeding of Holstein-Fiesian cattle.

Mr. Crothers played an important part in the organization of the South Dakota Holstein-Friesian Association and served as secretary of this association for 12 years.

At Badger, South Dakota, Mr. Crothers again established a successful Farmers’ Cooperative Grain Company.

During his last years, Mr. Crothers devoted much of his time to writing.  Among his published writings were “Travel Stories,” “Memories of a Pioneer,” and “history of Badger Township.”

Mr. Crothers died on February 21, 1951.