There's a little town called Peever..we built along the track. We came here from the east and......we're never going back. It's got hotels, livery barns and banks.....shoe shops and grocery stores....And when more people move here they're sure to build some more.

Harry Spackman and Tom Peever were the men who bought the land.......a plot of forty acres was the beginning of their plan. They began to sell the lots and soon the people flocked on build new homes and businesses and help to build the town.

From the song by Char Jarman and Valerie Hill

But before there was a little town called Peever there was a little town called Keller that was built in the 1890's about two miles up the tracks to the north. It was intended to be a depot for unloading the supplies that came to the Indian Agency which was five miles west of there. It was named Keller for Anton Keller who was one of the agents. It had, besides the depot, a post office, at least one store, a grain elevator and some houses. We aren't sure how many people actually lived there.

Samson Renville and his wife Rose were in charge of the post office and the store. You will read about Samson and Rose farther along in our Pioneer Pages, as they came to figure greatly in the life of Peever also.

But within a few years the decision was made to discontinue the town and that's when Tom Peever got his idea. There was a forty acre plot to the south of Keller that a homesteader was willing to sell and once this man got his patent ....the plan went into action without delay. There were three people actually involved with the investment. We hear alot about Peever and Spackman, but there is a shadowy figure in the background .... N.H. Miller..... whose name appears on many of the lots before they were resold. Who is N.H. Miller? I haven't a clue, but perhaps someone reading this might know.

Following are the actual records at the Roberts County Courthouse in Sisseton concerning the sale of the land to the investors: (Note that the day George Brunell received his patent he sold it immediately to Spackman, Peever and Miller.)

12/6/1900…Patent from USA to George Brunell..Nw1/4 of NW of Sec. 8..124…range..50
12/6/1900…George Brunell to HL Spackman, TH Peever, NH Miller…NW of NW1/4 of 8-124-50
12/14/1900………Platted the town of Peever…and signed by the above three men….Spackman, Peever and Miller.

Some of the buildings from Keller were moved to Peever. We know for certain that the grain elevator was moved and also the Renville's store building.

In the year of 1901 the town of Peever was incorporated and a list of names signing the legal papers are as follows: Walter Dinger, George W. Hensel, William Dinger, William C. Ferver, Pius Laing, Bert Bloomhall, W.E. Bickford, Samson Renville and Robert Butler. This document states..."List of the names of those voting at the special election held on July, 30, 1901 for the purpose of voting on the proposition of incorporating the town of Peever, Roberts County, South Dakota, at Bert Bloomhall's Hotel Building, in said proposed Town of Peever."

The rest, as we like to say, "Is history." The town of Peever is still here. I am going to copy a quotation from the last paragraph of the book "Maggie..Woman of Roberts County"written in 1998.

"The little town by the edge of the slough still stands, and nearing its hundredth year is remembering the early days. Ravaged by fires, flood, depression and drought, it goes on. Smaller by far, but not beaten yet. Unlike Travare and the many other ghost towns that dot the old maps of Roberts County, Peever, with the determination of its citizens, will move into the new century with hope."