R. M. Crowder came to South Dakota with his father in 1892 from Bethany, Illinois, where he was born in 1870. His family settled near Elk Point, South Dakota, and Mr. Crowder spent the remainder of his life in that vicinity. He married Mande Hershey of Decatur, Illinois, and raised a family of four boys.
Mr. Crowder believed that livestock was important for successful farming in South Dakota, and became a leading and prominent breeder of Angus cattle. As early as 1902 he built the first hip-roofed barn in the southeastern part of the state. It was here that he fitted his show herd of Angus cattle, which were displayed at different fairs, and with which Mr. Crowder won numerous outstanding prizes.
He was also active in several other phases of farming. He was the first farmer in that section of the state to use sweet clover for building and preserving soil fertility.
In addition to being a progressive farmer, he took much interest in organized agriculture. He was an officer in the Union County Farm Bureau and the State Farm Bureau Board. For many years he was a director of the Farmers State Bank of Elk Point, and after he retired from the farm, he was elected mayor of that city.
Mr. Crowder’s eminent farmer award was acknowledged by his sons at the recognition banquet as Mr. Crowder died before between the time of his selection and the banquet.