Roy Norman, a Stanley County farmer-rancher who professes that a person gets more done helping behind the scenes than as chairman, claims his favorite hobbies have been “hunting, baseball, and antagonizing people.”
Mr. Norman, recipient of the 1970 Eminent Farmer award, was born in Alva, Oklahoma, in 1900 and arrived in the Pierre, South Dakota area at age 5 months with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Frank L. Norman, who were awaiting homestead openings.
Roy went to work at age 13, earning $15 a month milking cows. He married Edith Fackelman in 1926. The couple had five children: Sons, Philip, 42, and Gaylord, 41, in a ranching-farming partnership with their father and a Hayes area neighbor, Roscoe Riggle. Daughter Regina, 40, and her husband, Gene Stoeser, also farm part of the Norman land. The other daughter, Mrs. Lynn (Velma) Wilder, 34, is the wife of a mechanical engineer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The youngest Norman, son, Albert, died in 1945 at the age of 13. The Normans have 19 grandchildren and a great grandchild.
Between five and ten hired men are required to operate the 12,000 to 15,000-acre ranch and the 5,200-acre farm layout. Until recently, Roy’s wife operated a wayside store-filling station in their log home, built in 1940. Mr. Norman also carried mail and operated a trucking service.
Norman is past president and director of the Historical Society of Old Stanley County and is director for Fort Pierre’s Verendrye Museum. He has been an avid baseball player and fan and has promoted baseball for young persons in the area. He was instrumental in obtaining the lighted ball park at the rural community of Four-Corners. The South Dakota Amateur baseball Association honored him with an annual lifetime pass in 1955.
The Stanley County farmer-rancher is a Stanley County Soil Conservation District cooperator and was on the first County A.A.A. Board. He also is a charter member of the advisory board for the South Central Experiment Substation at Presho and has been a member of the Stanley County Crop Improvement Association since its founding in 1956.
He retired this year after 16 years as director of the West Central Electric REC. Norman helped sell the idea of rural electrification in Stanley County, was involved in getting telephone service to rural areas and helped on the Kirley Community Hall project.