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1862-1908 Tom Peever
Founder of Peever, South Dakota.
Historical Stories By H. S. Morris (no copyright)
"Tom" Peever was a Canadian, born (August 4, 1862). He came to Michigan in 1881 looking for worlds to conquer. He was a year in Michigan and nine years in Wisconsin, all the while in the lumber business. Then, in March 1892, attracted by the heralded opening of the Reservation, he reached Wilmot, waited there until April 15 and joined the rush to find himself a homestead adjoining the new townsite of Sisseton. Of the townsite company people, he and Harry Spackman (one a Democrat and the other a Republican) were active members. They were the broadcloth boomers, the active salesmen. For several years, Mr Peever sold farm machinery, but about 1898 he and Mr. Spackman formed the partnership of Peever and Spackman, General Merchandise. Several years later, Mr. Spackman retired and the business, under Mr. Peever, finally became the Peever Mercantile Company, a corporation operating what was then perhaps the largest store in the corner of the State. This store Mr. Peever managed and controlled until the day of his death.
Intensely active in public matters "Tom" was the first "mayor" of the city and served on the first School Board. Likewise he was Sisseton's postmaster during the Cleveland administration.
In politics he was first, last and all the time a Democrat. Nothing could change that. Even in the dark days of democracy in Roberts County, he and Edmund Cook of Wilmot, with a few more of the faithful, would hold a convention and nominate a ticket, useless though they knew it to be. In social life, he was first of all a "good fellow". Next he was both Mason and Oddfellow.
Mr. Peever was twice married, first in 1895 to Agnes P. Rice and then after her death to Emma E. Schindler of Sisseton in 1901.
His last sickness developed a remarkable fortitude of mind. Though sick unto death of Fibrous cancer he did not allow a single one of his closest friends to know his true condition. Always a laugh-getting better-even unto the bitter end. He died December 30, 1908, at Sisseton, just 4 days after he quit the store for his bed. With Masonic honors he was buried beside his first wife in the cemetery lots of her people at Henderson, Minnesota. All this was at his request.
So passed a broadcloth boomer, who through fortune and misfortune, through torture and pain, with poker face could smile to the last.
This page is for perpetual written accounts of historical events that have occurred in the city. Anyone who feels they have pertinent information may submit it. This includes all people in or out of Peever and could involve any interested adults or children with events or items that are of interest. Items may be submitted for publication on this page where they will remain as part of a historical archive for the city. Items of interest may include noteworthy events, special events of historical importance, information about area growth that pertains to the history of the city, and other pertinent notes. We hope to establish a large data base of information about the history of each city. Historical Societies are encouraged to open their own page on Key to the City for more extensive historical information.
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