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Wes's Story

We have only good memories of our time spent with him at Stone Hearth. Those memories erase the problems and concerns we had about his health and safety while he was still trying to live alone at home. -Britt & Jo Anderson

Jo's Story about her father-in-law, Wes...

My father-in-law lived about 1 1/2 years at Stone Hearth. The staff knew almost immediately that he was no longer as independent as he and we had assumed he was. In a few months, we moved him to Memory care giving him the feeling of safety he didn't even know he needed. He loved having an open door with staff and other residents and visitors within view and visiting distance. He participated in the activities, went for rides, and enjoyed the food and good care. He looked forward to returning "home" to his room when we would take him out for family occasions.

As the last months of his life drew closer and he was placed in Hospice care, the staff at Stone Hearth went above and beyond keeping him entertained and comfortable. They worked closely with the Hospice nurses which gave our family confidence that he was getting great care in a home-like setting. We felt they listened to our concerns, worked with our suggestions, and kept us informed of his changing condition. We have only good memories of our time spent with him at Stone Hearth. Those memories erase the problems and concerns we had about his health and safety while he was still trying to live alone at home. We are grateful Stone Hearth was there for him when after a short period of adjustment, he was able to go on living his life with dignity and contentment.

Wes's story... Wallace and Wesley Anderson were born on May 2, 1924 at home on the farm south of Etna. Their father, Charlie, immigrated from Sweden in 1888 at the age of two. Their mother Hattie Peterson's family had come from Denmark and settled in the New Hope community. Wes never lived without indoor plumbing. His father, Charlie, remodeled their house and brought pipes from a cistern on a hill so they had running water and an indoor bathroom. Charlie also dug pipes to the barn for watering cattle. They were the only ones in the community to have such convenience.

Wes and Wally rode a Shetland pony to school, one day it was 29 below zero when they rode. The worst year of the dust bowl and depression was 1934. They sold heifers for 3 cents/pound in the fall in Omaha that year. Dust blew and grasshoppers came and leveled everything. Charlie had listed his corn deep and it at least came up. However, it only got about knee high. In those years, people in the north hills with livestock were considered "rich". The Germans in the valley south of town almost starved to death and left the area.

In 1941 Wes and his family went to town to see "Gone with the Wind" a rainstorm came up and the valley got flooded, they couldn't get home.

Wes graduated in 1941, he helped Charlie farm and worked for other farmers as well. They cultivated with a 2 row front mounted cultivator on a B tractor (which the family still owns). Wally, his twin, went to the service in March 1945. Wes had a thumb joint that did not pass medical requirements so he was not drafted. The year prior the boys picked 7000 bushels of corn by hand throughout the winter for neighbors. In 1947, wheat produced about 30 bushel an acre and brought $2 a bushel. With ground valued at $60 an acre, those who bought ground that year paid if off in one year.

On December 2, 1951 Wes married Dorris Henderson. Wes was the first to get irrigation in 1954. A Super M tractor was used to pull a dirt scraper to level a draw to make the water run down field. He did 200 rows the first year, it took about 3 seasons and 13 weeks to get everything done. In 1955 it was so dry that no one even pulled out the corn pickers to harvest corn. In 1956, it rained over 9 inches and the creek flooded, at least 3 bridges washed out and ended up on the Custer/Dawson county line road. For a few years following the valley south of the county line had rattlesnakes which had washed down creek from the flood.

In 1980 Dorris and Wes moved to town. The Anderson family got the Pioneers Award in 2011 for 100 years of continuous family ownership. Wes was always very social, he was an excellent bridge player and enjoyed dances. Dorris passed away Dec. 5th, 2005. Throughout his life Wes continued to be very active in farm life and was so grateful to know that his son and grandsons continue to grow the family operation.


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