A century of neighboring | TSLN.com

A century of neighboring

The Reichert's brand on a cool day with the help of the Phillips and other neighbors. In 2009, the two families celebrated their century branding.

Having a good neighbor is a blessing in any rancher’s life, but having that good neighbor for generations is a rarity. Neighbors Scott Phillips and Monte Reichert have been sharing the work back and forth for their lifetimes, just as their parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents, did. The bond between the two men is more than just neighbors, even more than being third cousins, and is based on friendship and mutual respect.

The rolling grasslands of central Meade County are home to the ranches, and western wheat grass and green needle grass wave in the breeze, having grown tall with ample rain on the good gumbo soil. Abundant hay has kept both families busy in an attempt to harvest as much as possible against the coming winter.

William “Bill” Phillips struck out on his own at the age of 21, when the Hereford area was opened for homesteading in 1909. He chose 160 acres of land, with a good spring, that had been part of the 777 Ranch open range. He built a simple sod home on it that same year.

Four miles north of Bill’s claim, Scott’s grandmother, Ida Boshart, a homesteader originally from O’Neill, NE, built a much nicer sod home on her land. Homesteaders were known for helping each other and also for having a bit of fun together. It was during a community wagon trip to the river that Bill stepped on Ida’s pie and, with that humorous beginning, they married in 1915.

Bill and Ida Phillips had four children, Maxine (McPherson), Ronald, Roy and Howard. Ronald and Roy continued on ranching with their folks. Roy served in World War II before returning to the ranch and marrying a schoolteacher, Helen Larson, in 1949.

Roy and Helen had three children, Sandy (Keith Stover), Mankato, MN; Gayla (Tom Raba), Rapid City; and Scott.

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Scott attended college at SDSU and then bought out Ronald’s share of the ranching operation. He married Paula Sanders in 1978, and they moved into the house that Bill and Ida built in 1926, where they still reside today. They have two children, Casey and Tammy. Casey is 28, and a graduate of Augustana College. He now lives in Arlington, VA where he works for the Republican National State Committee and manages political campaigns. Tammy is 25 and is studying for her masters degree in Chicago, IL. She is engaged to Nathan Hannan, who is presently serving with the U.S. Army in Iraq.

Paula Phillips worked part-time as a nurse for 25 years, retired from that career, and now manages Riverview Lodge, a hunting lodge on the Belle Fourche River south of their home.

The Phillips raise black and black-baldy cows that calve in April. Besides the haying, the ranch also raises some winter wheat. Without the kids at home, it’s quite an operation to run, and Scott and Paula have depended on Jason and Jennifer Langager and their daughter Quynn, who have worked for the Phillips for about 10 years.

Their neighbor, Monte Reichert, ranches about four miles north, as the crow flies. His great-grandmother, Drusilla Reichert, was a sister of Ida Phillips. In 1909, George Reichert sold his quarter section in the O’Neill, NE area, as it had gotten too crowded to be able to operate as he had been accustomed to. Seeking more elbow room, he journeyed by wagon to the Hereford area, and settled on a homestead. He started building a real house and didn’t complete the interior until the following spring.

He built a two story frame house instead of the usual 8×12 homestead shack. He had the funds ($2,500) from selling his property in Nebraska, so was able to afford the lumber and the freight to get it to the homestead from Rapid City. At the time, an 8×12 shack was the norm because that was what could be hauled in a wagon in one trip. After he completed the house, Drusilla and their first two children were able to travel from Nebraska to join him.

George and Drusilla eventually had six children, John, Paul, Hugh, Ruth (Hudson), Edna (Basler) and Lois. Paul married Mildred Gaudig, a school teacher from Miller, in 1939 and they had two children, Gene and Judy (Bundorf). Gene married Joan Tines, and they are the parents of Monte and DeLynn (Willis) of New Underwood, SD.

Paul and Mildred lived in the original homestead house until 1958, without electricity or running water, and then moved about four miles southeast to where the ranch home is now. They built that place from the ground up, starting with bare prairie, just as his father had before him.

The Monte Reichert family is still on the ranch, and the house that George built for Drusilla is still standing, though empty. Monte married Loni Ness in 1986, and they have three children. Marissa, 22, manages a retail store in Rapid City; Lacey, 20, helps on the ranch and is a student at BHSU; and Radley, 7, is a second grader at New Underwood. Loni is the office manager for Rapid City Economic Development, and drops Radley off at school on the way to work every day.

Monte and Loni bought his father Gene’s farm ground to get their start. In 1992, Paul passed away and they bought the ranch from his grandmother Mildred in 1996. Only two people remain that lived on the original homestead; Hugh Reichert, Hereford, and Judy Bundorf, Henderson, NV.

Monte and Loni run a cow/calf operation, running black and black-baldy cows with enough Herefords to keep for replacements. They calve in March, and feed hay and cake in the winter. Besides native hay, they also put up alfalfa, and raise some millet and oats for feed.

Both the Phillips and Reicherts like to do things horseback, though the convenience of the four wheeler is utilized for putting out salt and doing little chores and fencing.

Both agree that electricity, better roads, good transportation and machinery have improved the ranching life. Running water and indoor plumbing were huge improvements, and Scott says “My mom thought it was great for the water to run in, then pull the plug, and it runs out!”

The changes in the neighborhood have been hard to watch. Scott says, “We’ve lost too many neighbors, too many people have had to move on.” The loss of young people on the ranches is felt in the school system too, as the country schools are about all gone.

Scott and Paula’s kids went to school at the Hereford school, and Monte and Loni’s started out in country school. Monte said, “Our girls went to Hope School. There were 26 kids when Marissa started there, but they finally closed it down when Lacey was in the sixth grade. Now Radley has to go to New Underwood. The Hereford school is still open, but it would be an hour’s drive, twice a day, to take Radley, so, it’s just more convenient for Loni to drop him off on the way to work in Rapid City.” Loni’s folks live in New Underwood, so that also simplifies things for them, as Radley can go there if need be.

Keeping the ranches in family hands is the next hurdle. Scott and Paula’s kids think that the ranch would be a nice place to raise their families someday, but they just don’t know if they will be back or not, and whether their spouses would be content there. Monte and Loni have hope that the ranch will keep going when the fifth generation is ready to settle down.

“Most of the ranches around here are in pretty strong family hands,” says Scott. He and Monte’s generation is hanging on to them and trying to keep them solid. “We’d like to expand some, but that’s pretty tough,” adds Monte, who quips, “Being the one to lose it after 100 years sure wouldn’t be good.”

Ranching is a challenge anywhere, and central Meade county is no exception. Harsh winter conditions, an extended recent drouth, increasing costs of operation, and a tepid cattle market combine to make it perhaps a little harder than other areas. Having good neighbors to help through the seasons makes it easier though.

“We had our hundred year brandings this year,” says Scott. “We’ve been neighboring back and forth since the beginning, and have pictures of them helping each other back as far as 1914.”

Today, Scott and Monte help each other with farming, branding, preconditioning calves, shipping, and other cow work. Monte has a truck and hauls cattle for the Phillips too. Both men are on the rural volunteer fire department as well.

Neighboring is beneficial in big rural areas, but with the Phillips and Reicherts, it’s more than just being neighbors and kin. It’s obvious that Scott and Monte are very good friends as well. The laughter, teasing, and good natured banter abounds. They tell of their family heritage as one, not separate enterprises.

For 100 years they’ve been helping each other and it sure doesn’t look like being good neighbors is going to go out of style any time soon.

Having a good neighbor is a blessing in any rancher’s life, but having that good neighbor for generations is a rarity. Neighbors Scott Phillips and Monte Reichert have been sharing the work back and forth for their lifetimes, just as their parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents, did. The bond between the two men is more than just neighbors, even more than being third cousins, and is based on friendship and mutual respect.

The rolling grasslands of central Meade County are home to the ranches, and western wheat grass and green needle grass wave in the breeze, having grown tall with ample rain on the good gumbo soil. Abundant hay has kept both families busy in an attempt to harvest as much as possible against the coming winter.

William “Bill” Phillips struck out on his own at the age of 21, when the Hereford area was opened for homesteading in 1909. He chose 160 acres of land, with a good spring, that had been part of the 777 Ranch open range. He built a simple sod home on it that same year.

Four miles north of Bill’s claim, Scott’s grandmother, Ida Boshart, a homesteader originally from O’Neill, NE, built a much nicer sod home on her land. Homesteaders were known for helping each other and also for having a bit of fun together. It was during a community wagon trip to the river that Bill stepped on Ida’s pie and, with that humorous beginning, they married in 1915.

Bill and Ida Phillips had four children, Maxine (McPherson), Ronald, Roy and Howard. Ronald and Roy continued on ranching with their folks. Roy served in World War II before returning to the ranch and marrying a schoolteacher, Helen Larson, in 1949.

Roy and Helen had three children, Sandy (Keith Stover), Mankato, MN; Gayla (Tom Raba), Rapid City; and Scott.

Scott attended college at SDSU and then bought out Ronald’s share of the ranching operation. He married Paula Sanders in 1978, and they moved into the house that Bill and Ida built in 1926, where they still reside today. They have two children, Casey and Tammy. Casey is 28, and a graduate of Augustana College. He now lives in Arlington, VA where he works for the Republican National State Committee and manages political campaigns. Tammy is 25 and is studying for her masters degree in Chicago, IL. She is engaged to Nathan Hannan, who is presently serving with the U.S. Army in Iraq.

Paula Phillips worked part-time as a nurse for 25 years, retired from that career, and now manages Riverview Lodge, a hunting lodge on the Belle Fourche River south of their home.

The Phillips raise black and black-baldy cows that calve in April. Besides the haying, the ranch also raises some winter wheat. Without the kids at home, it’s quite an operation to run, and Scott and Paula have depended on Jason and Jennifer Langager and their daughter Quynn, who have worked for the Phillips for about 10 years.

Their neighbor, Monte Reichert, ranches about four miles north, as the crow flies. His great-grandmother, Drusilla Reichert, was a sister of Ida Phillips. In 1909, George Reichert sold his quarter section in the O’Neill, NE area, as it had gotten too crowded to be able to operate as he had been accustomed to. Seeking more elbow room, he journeyed by wagon to the Hereford area, and settled on a homestead. He started building a real house and didn’t complete the interior until the following spring.

He built a two story frame house instead of the usual 8×12 homestead shack. He had the funds ($2,500) from selling his property in Nebraska, so was able to afford the lumber and the freight to get it to the homestead from Rapid City. At the time, an 8×12 shack was the norm because that was what could be hauled in a wagon in one trip. After he completed the house, Drusilla and their first two children were able to travel from Nebraska to join him.

George and Drusilla eventually had six children, John, Paul, Hugh, Ruth (Hudson), Edna (Basler) and Lois. Paul married Mildred Gaudig, a school teacher from Miller, in 1939 and they had two children, Gene and Judy (Bundorf). Gene married Joan Tines, and they are the parents of Monte and DeLynn (Willis) of New Underwood, SD.

Paul and Mildred lived in the original homestead house until 1958, without electricity or running water, and then moved about four miles southeast to where the ranch home is now. They built that place from the ground up, starting with bare prairie, just as his father had before him.

The Monte Reichert family is still on the ranch, and the house that George built for Drusilla is still standing, though empty. Monte married Loni Ness in 1986, and they have three children. Marissa, 22, manages a retail store in Rapid City; Lacey, 20, helps on the ranch and is a student at BHSU; and Radley, 7, is a second grader at New Underwood. Loni is the office manager for Rapid City Economic Development, and drops Radley off at school on the way to work every day.

Monte and Loni bought his father Gene’s farm ground to get their start. In 1992, Paul passed away and they bought the ranch from his grandmother Mildred in 1996. Only two people remain that lived on the original homestead; Hugh Reichert, Hereford, and Judy Bundorf, Henderson, NV.

Monte and Loni run a cow/calf operation, running black and black-baldy cows with enough Herefords to keep for replacements. They calve in March, and feed hay and cake in the winter. Besides native hay, they also put up alfalfa, and raise some millet and oats for feed.

Both the Phillips and Reicherts like to do things horseback, though the convenience of the four wheeler is utilized for putting out salt and doing little chores and fencing.

Both agree that electricity, better roads, good transportation and machinery have improved the ranching life. Running water and indoor plumbing were huge improvements, and Scott says “My mom thought it was great for the water to run in, then pull the plug, and it runs out!”

The changes in the neighborhood have been hard to watch. Scott says, “We’ve lost too many neighbors, too many people have had to move on.” The loss of young people on the ranches is felt in the school system too, as the country schools are about all gone.

Scott and Paula’s kids went to school at the Hereford school, and Monte and Loni’s started out in country school. Monte said, “Our girls went to Hope School. There were 26 kids when Marissa started there, but they finally closed it down when Lacey was in the sixth grade. Now Radley has to go to New Underwood. The Hereford school is still open, but it would be an hour’s drive, twice a day, to take Radley, so, it’s just more convenient for Loni to drop him off on the way to work in Rapid City.” Loni’s folks live in New Underwood, so that also simplifies things for them, as Radley can go there if need be.

Keeping the ranches in family hands is the next hurdle. Scott and Paula’s kids think that the ranch would be a nice place to raise their families someday, but they just don’t know if they will be back or not, and whether their spouses would be content there. Monte and Loni have hope that the ranch will keep going when the fifth generation is ready to settle down.

“Most of the ranches around here are in pretty strong family hands,” says Scott. He and Monte’s generation is hanging on to them and trying to keep them solid. “We’d like to expand some, but that’s pretty tough,” adds Monte, who quips, “Being the one to lose it after 100 years sure wouldn’t be good.”

Ranching is a challenge anywhere, and central Meade county is no exception. Harsh winter conditions, an extended recent drouth, increasing costs of operation, and a tepid cattle market combine to make it perhaps a little harder than other areas. Having good neighbors to help through the seasons makes it easier though.

“We had our hundred year brandings this year,” says Scott. “We’ve been neighboring back and forth since the beginning, and have pictures of them helping each other back as far as 1914.”

Today, Scott and Monte help each other with farming, branding, preconditioning calves, shipping, and other cow work. Monte has a truck and hauls cattle for the Phillips too. Both men are on the rural volunteer fire department as well.

Neighboring is beneficial in big rural areas, but with the Phillips and Reicherts, it’s more than just being neighbors and kin. It’s obvious that Scott and Monte are very good friends as well. The laughter, teasing, and good natured banter abounds. They tell of their family heritage as one, not separate enterprises.

For 100 years they’ve been helping each other and it sure doesn’t look like being good neighbors is going to go out of style any time soon.

Having a good neighbor is a blessing in any rancher’s life, but having that good neighbor for generations is a rarity. Neighbors Scott Phillips and Monte Reichert have been sharing the work back and forth for their lifetimes, just as their parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents, did. The bond between the two men is more than just neighbors, even more than being third cousins, and is based on friendship and mutual respect.

The rolling grasslands of central Meade County are home to the ranches, and western wheat grass and green needle grass wave in the breeze, having grown tall with ample rain on the good gumbo soil. Abundant hay has kept both families busy in an attempt to harvest as much as possible against the coming winter.

William “Bill” Phillips struck out on his own at the age of 21, when the Hereford area was opened for homesteading in 1909. He chose 160 acres of land, with a good spring, that had been part of the 777 Ranch open range. He built a simple sod home on it that same year.

Four miles north of Bill’s claim, Scott’s grandmother, Ida Boshart, a homesteader originally from O’Neill, NE, built a much nicer sod home on her land. Homesteaders were known for helping each other and also for having a bit of fun together. It was during a community wagon trip to the river that Bill stepped on Ida’s pie and, with that humorous beginning, they married in 1915.

Bill and Ida Phillips had four children, Maxine (McPherson), Ronald, Roy and Howard. Ronald and Roy continued on ranching with their folks. Roy served in World War II before returning to the ranch and marrying a schoolteacher, Helen Larson, in 1949.

Roy and Helen had three children, Sandy (Keith Stover), Mankato, MN; Gayla (Tom Raba), Rapid City; and Scott.

Scott attended college at SDSU and then bought out Ronald’s share of the ranching operation. He married Paula Sanders in 1978, and they moved into the house that Bill and Ida built in 1926, where they still reside today. They have two children, Casey and Tammy. Casey is 28, and a graduate of Augustana College. He now lives in Arlington, VA where he works for the Republican National State Committee and manages political campaigns. Tammy is 25 and is studying for her masters degree in Chicago, IL. She is engaged to Nathan Hannan, who is presently serving with the U.S. Army in Iraq.

Paula Phillips worked part-time as a nurse for 25 years, retired from that career, and now manages Riverview Lodge, a hunting lodge on the Belle Fourche River south of their home.

The Phillips raise black and black-baldy cows that calve in April. Besides the haying, the ranch also raises some winter wheat. Without the kids at home, it’s quite an operation to run, and Scott and Paula have depended on Jason and Jennifer Langager and their daughter Quynn, who have worked for the Phillips for about 10 years.

Their neighbor, Monte Reichert, ranches about four miles north, as the crow flies. His great-grandmother, Drusilla Reichert, was a sister of Ida Phillips. In 1909, George Reichert sold his quarter section in the O’Neill, NE area, as it had gotten too crowded to be able to operate as he had been accustomed to. Seeking more elbow room, he journeyed by wagon to the Hereford area, and settled on a homestead. He started building a real house and didn’t complete the interior until the following spring.

He built a two story frame house instead of the usual 8×12 homestead shack. He had the funds ($2,500) from selling his property in Nebraska, so was able to afford the lumber and the freight to get it to the homestead from Rapid City. At the time, an 8×12 shack was the norm because that was what could be hauled in a wagon in one trip. After he completed the house, Drusilla and their first two children were able to travel from Nebraska to join him.

George and Drusilla eventually had six children, John, Paul, Hugh, Ruth (Hudson), Edna (Basler) and Lois. Paul married Mildred Gaudig, a school teacher from Miller, in 1939 and they had two children, Gene and Judy (Bundorf). Gene married Joan Tines, and they are the parents of Monte and DeLynn (Willis) of New Underwood, SD.

Paul and Mildred lived in the original homestead house until 1958, without electricity or running water, and then moved about four miles southeast to where the ranch home is now. They built that place from the ground up, starting with bare prairie, just as his father had before him.

The Monte Reichert family is still on the ranch, and the house that George built for Drusilla is still standing, though empty. Monte married Loni Ness in 1986, and they have three children. Marissa, 22, manages a retail store in Rapid City; Lacey, 20, helps on the ranch and is a student at BHSU; and Radley, 7, is a second grader at New Underwood. Loni is the office manager for Rapid City Economic Development, and drops Radley off at school on the way to work every day.

Monte and Loni bought his father Gene’s farm ground to get their start. In 1992, Paul passed away and they bought the ranch from his grandmother Mildred in 1996. Only two people remain that lived on the original homestead; Hugh Reichert, Hereford, and Judy Bundorf, Henderson, NV.

Monte and Loni run a cow/calf operation, running black and black-baldy cows with enough Herefords to keep for replacements. They calve in March, and feed hay and cake in the winter. Besides native hay, they also put up alfalfa, and raise some millet and oats for feed.

Both the Phillips and Reicherts like to do things horseback, though the convenience of the four wheeler is utilized for putting out salt and doing little chores and fencing.

Both agree that electricity, better roads, good transportation and machinery have improved the ranching life. Running water and indoor plumbing were huge improvements, and Scott says “My mom thought it was great for the water to run in, then pull the plug, and it runs out!”

The changes in the neighborhood have been hard to watch. Scott says, “We’ve lost too many neighbors, too many people have had to move on.” The loss of young people on the ranches is felt in the school system too, as the country schools are about all gone.

Scott and Paula’s kids went to school at the Hereford school, and Monte and Loni’s started out in country school. Monte said, “Our girls went to Hope School. There were 26 kids when Marissa started there, but they finally closed it down when Lacey was in the sixth grade. Now Radley has to go to New Underwood. The Hereford school is still open, but it would be an hour’s drive, twice a day, to take Radley, so, it’s just more convenient for Loni to drop him off on the way to work in Rapid City.” Loni’s folks live in New Underwood, so that also simplifies things for them, as Radley can go there if need be.

Keeping the ranches in family hands is the next hurdle. Scott and Paula’s kids think that the ranch would be a nice place to raise their families someday, but they just don’t know if they will be back or not, and whether their spouses would be content there. Monte and Loni have hope that the ranch will keep going when the fifth generation is ready to settle down.

“Most of the ranches around here are in pretty strong family hands,” says Scott. He and Monte’s generation is hanging on to them and trying to keep them solid. “We’d like to expand some, but that’s pretty tough,” adds Monte, who quips, “Being the one to lose it after 100 years sure wouldn’t be good.”

Ranching is a challenge anywhere, and central Meade county is no exception. Harsh winter conditions, an extended recent drouth, increasing costs of operation, and a tepid cattle market combine to make it perhaps a little harder than other areas. Having good neighbors to help through the seasons makes it easier though.

“We had our hundred year brandings this year,” says Scott. “We’ve been neighboring back and forth since the beginning, and have pictures of them helping each other back as far as 1914.”

Today, Scott and Monte help each other with farming, branding, preconditioning calves, shipping, and other cow work. Monte has a truck and hauls cattle for the Phillips too. Both men are on the rural volunteer fire department as well.

Neighboring is beneficial in big rural areas, but with the Phillips and Reicherts, it’s more than just being neighbors and kin. It’s obvious that Scott and Monte are very good friends as well. The laughter, teasing, and good natured banter abounds. They tell of their family heritage as one, not separate enterprises.

For 100 years they’ve been helping each other and it sure doesn’t look like being good neighbors is going to go out of style any time soon.

Having a good neighbor is a blessing in any rancher’s life, but having that good neighbor for generations is a rarity. Neighbors Scott Phillips and Monte Reichert have been sharing the work back and forth for their lifetimes, just as their parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents, did. The bond between the two men is more than just neighbors, even more than being third cousins, and is based on friendship and mutual respect.

The rolling grasslands of central Meade County are home to the ranches, and western wheat grass and green needle grass wave in the breeze, having grown tall with ample rain on the good gumbo soil. Abundant hay has kept both families busy in an attempt to harvest as much as possible against the coming winter.

William “Bill” Phillips struck out on his own at the age of 21, when the Hereford area was opened for homesteading in 1909. He chose 160 acres of land, with a good spring, that had been part of the 777 Ranch open range. He built a simple sod home on it that same year.

Four miles north of Bill’s claim, Scott’s grandmother, Ida Boshart, a homesteader originally from O’Neill, NE, built a much nicer sod home on her land. Homesteaders were known for helping each other and also for having a bit of fun together. It was during a community wagon trip to the river that Bill stepped on Ida’s pie and, with that humorous beginning, they married in 1915.

Bill and Ida Phillips had four children, Maxine (McPherson), Ronald, Roy and Howard. Ronald and Roy continued on ranching with their folks. Roy served in World War II before returning to the ranch and marrying a schoolteacher, Helen Larson, in 1949.

Roy and Helen had three children, Sandy (Keith Stover), Mankato, MN; Gayla (Tom Raba), Rapid City; and Scott.

Scott attended college at SDSU and then bought out Ronald’s share of the ranching operation. He married Paula Sanders in 1978, and they moved into the house that Bill and Ida built in 1926, where they still reside today. They have two children, Casey and Tammy. Casey is 28, and a graduate of Augustana College. He now lives in Arlington, VA where he works for the Republican National State Committee and manages political campaigns. Tammy is 25 and is studying for her masters degree in Chicago, IL. She is engaged to Nathan Hannan, who is presently serving with the U.S. Army in Iraq.

Paula Phillips worked part-time as a nurse for 25 years, retired from that career, and now manages Riverview Lodge, a hunting lodge on the Belle Fourche River south of their home.

The Phillips raise black and black-baldy cows that calve in April. Besides the haying, the ranch also raises some winter wheat. Without the kids at home, it’s quite an operation to run, and Scott and Paula have depended on Jason and Jennifer Langager and their daughter Quynn, who have worked for the Phillips for about 10 years.

Their neighbor, Monte Reichert, ranches about four miles north, as the crow flies. His great-grandmother, Drusilla Reichert, was a sister of Ida Phillips. In 1909, George Reichert sold his quarter section in the O’Neill, NE area, as it had gotten too crowded to be able to operate as he had been accustomed to. Seeking more elbow room, he journeyed by wagon to the Hereford area, and settled on a homestead. He started building a real house and didn’t complete the interior until the following spring.

He built a two story frame house instead of the usual 8×12 homestead shack. He had the funds ($2,500) from selling his property in Nebraska, so was able to afford the lumber and the freight to get it to the homestead from Rapid City. At the time, an 8×12 shack was the norm because that was what could be hauled in a wagon in one trip. After he completed the house, Drusilla and their first two children were able to travel from Nebraska to join him.

George and Drusilla eventually had six children, John, Paul, Hugh, Ruth (Hudson), Edna (Basler) and Lois. Paul married Mildred Gaudig, a school teacher from Miller, in 1939 and they had two children, Gene and Judy (Bundorf). Gene married Joan Tines, and they are the parents of Monte and DeLynn (Willis) of New Underwood, SD.

Paul and Mildred lived in the original homestead house until 1958, without electricity or running water, and then moved about four miles southeast to where the ranch home is now. They built that place from the ground up, starting with bare prairie, just as his father had before him.

The Monte Reichert family is still on the ranch, and the house that George built for Drusilla is still standing, though empty. Monte married Loni Ness in 1986, and they have three children. Marissa, 22, manages a retail store in Rapid City; Lacey, 20, helps on the ranch and is a student at BHSU; and Radley, 7, is a second grader at New Underwood. Loni is the office manager for Rapid City Economic Development, and drops Radley off at school on the way to work every day.

Monte and Loni bought his father Gene’s farm ground to get their start. In 1992, Paul passed away and they bought the ranch from his grandmother Mildred in 1996. Only two people remain that lived on the original homestead; Hugh Reichert, Hereford, and Judy Bundorf, Henderson, NV.

Monte and Loni run a cow/calf operation, running black and black-baldy cows with enough Herefords to keep for replacements. They calve in March, and feed hay and cake in the winter. Besides native hay, they also put up alfalfa, and raise some millet and oats for feed.

Both the Phillips and Reicherts like to do things horseback, though the convenience of the four wheeler is utilized for putting out salt and doing little chores and fencing.

Both agree that electricity, better roads, good transportation and machinery have improved the ranching life. Running water and indoor plumbing were huge improvements, and Scott says “My mom thought it was great for the water to run in, then pull the plug, and it runs out!”

The changes in the neighborhood have been hard to watch. Scott says, “We’ve lost too many neighbors, too many people have had to move on.” The loss of young people on the ranches is felt in the school system too, as the country schools are about all gone.

Scott and Paula’s kids went to school at the Hereford school, and Monte and Loni’s started out in country school. Monte said, “Our girls went to Hope School. There were 26 kids when Marissa started there, but they finally closed it down when Lacey was in the sixth grade. Now Radley has to go to New Underwood. The Hereford school is still open, but it would be an hour’s drive, twice a day, to take Radley, so, it’s just more convenient for Loni to drop him off on the way to work in Rapid City.” Loni’s folks live in New Underwood, so that also simplifies things for them, as Radley can go there if need be.

Keeping the ranches in family hands is the next hurdle. Scott and Paula’s kids think that the ranch would be a nice place to raise their families someday, but they just don’t know if they will be back or not, and whether their spouses would be content there. Monte and Loni have hope that the ranch will keep going when the fifth generation is ready to settle down.

“Most of the ranches around here are in pretty strong family hands,” says Scott. He and Monte’s generation is hanging on to them and trying to keep them solid. “We’d like to expand some, but that’s pretty tough,” adds Monte, who quips, “Being the one to lose it after 100 years sure wouldn’t be good.”

Ranching is a challenge anywhere, and central Meade county is no exception. Harsh winter conditions, an extended recent drouth, increasing costs of operation, and a tepid cattle market combine to make it perhaps a little harder than other areas. Having good neighbors to help through the seasons makes it easier though.

“We had our hundred year brandings this year,” says Scott. “We’ve been neighboring back and forth since the beginning, and have pictures of them helping each other back as far as 1914.”

Today, Scott and Monte help each other with farming, branding, preconditioning calves, shipping, and other cow work. Monte has a truck and hauls cattle for the Phillips too. Both men are on the rural volunteer fire department as well.

Neighboring is beneficial in big rural areas, but with the Phillips and Reicherts, it’s more than just being neighbors and kin. It’s obvious that Scott and Monte are very good friends as well. The laughter, teasing, and good natured banter abounds. They tell of their family heritage as one, not separate enterprises.

For 100 years they’ve been helping each other and it sure doesn’t look like being good neighbors is going to go out of style any time soon.

Having a good neighbor is a blessing in any rancher’s life, but having that good neighbor for generations is a rarity. Neighbors Scott Phillips and Monte Reichert have been sharing the work back and forth for their lifetimes, just as their parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents, did. The bond between the two men is more than just neighbors, even more than being third cousins, and is based on friendship and mutual respect.

The rolling grasslands of central Meade County are home to the ranches, and western wheat grass and green needle grass wave in the breeze, having grown tall with ample rain on the good gumbo soil. Abundant hay has kept both families busy in an attempt to harvest as much as possible against the coming winter.

William “Bill” Phillips struck out on his own at the age of 21, when the Hereford area was opened for homesteading in 1909. He chose 160 acres of land, with a good spring, that had been part of the 777 Ranch open range. He built a simple sod home on it that same year.

Four miles north of Bill’s claim, Scott’s grandmother, Ida Boshart, a homesteader originally from O’Neill, NE, built a much nicer sod home on her land. Homesteaders were known for helping each other and also for having a bit of fun together. It was during a community wagon trip to the river that Bill stepped on Ida’s pie and, with that humorous beginning, they married in 1915.

Bill and Ida Phillips had four children, Maxine (McPherson), Ronald, Roy and Howard. Ronald and Roy continued on ranching with their folks. Roy served in World War II before returning to the ranch and marrying a schoolteacher, Helen Larson, in 1949.

Roy and Helen had three children, Sandy (Keith Stover), Mankato, MN; Gayla (Tom Raba), Rapid City; and Scott.

Scott attended college at SDSU and then bought out Ronald’s share of the ranching operation. He married Paula Sanders in 1978, and they moved into the house that Bill and Ida built in 1926, where they still reside today. They have two children, Casey and Tammy. Casey is 28, and a graduate of Augustana College. He now lives in Arlington, VA where he works for the Republican National State Committee and manages political campaigns. Tammy is 25 and is studying for her masters degree in Chicago, IL. She is engaged to Nathan Hannan, who is presently serving with the U.S. Army in Iraq.

Paula Phillips worked part-time as a nurse for 25 years, retired from that career, and now manages Riverview Lodge, a hunting lodge on the Belle Fourche River south of their home.

The Phillips raise black and black-baldy cows that calve in April. Besides the haying, the ranch also raises some winter wheat. Without the kids at home, it’s quite an operation to run, and Scott and Paula have depended on Jason and Jennifer Langager and their daughter Quynn, who have worked for the Phillips for about 10 years.

Their neighbor, Monte Reichert, ranches about four miles north, as the crow flies. His great-grandmother, Drusilla Reichert, was a sister of Ida Phillips. In 1909, George Reichert sold his quarter section in the O’Neill, NE area, as it had gotten too crowded to be able to operate as he had been accustomed to. Seeking more elbow room, he journeyed by wagon to the Hereford area, and settled on a homestead. He started building a real house and didn’t complete the interior until the following spring.

He built a two story frame house instead of the usual 8×12 homestead shack. He had the funds ($2,500) from selling his property in Nebraska, so was able to afford the lumber and the freight to get it to the homestead from Rapid City. At the time, an 8×12 shack was the norm because that was what could be hauled in a wagon in one trip. After he completed the house, Drusilla and their first two children were able to travel from Nebraska to join him.

George and Drusilla eventually had six children, John, Paul, Hugh, Ruth (Hudson), Edna (Basler) and Lois. Paul married Mildred Gaudig, a school teacher from Miller, in 1939 and they had two children, Gene and Judy (Bundorf). Gene married Joan Tines, and they are the parents of Monte and DeLynn (Willis) of New Underwood, SD.

Paul and Mildred lived in the original homestead house until 1958, without electricity or running water, and then moved about four miles southeast to where the ranch home is now. They built that place from the ground up, starting with bare prairie, just as his father had before him.

The Monte Reichert family is still on the ranch, and the house that George built for Drusilla is still standing, though empty. Monte married Loni Ness in 1986, and they have three children. Marissa, 22, manages a retail store in Rapid City; Lacey, 20, helps on the ranch and is a student at BHSU; and Radley, 7, is a second grader at New Underwood. Loni is the office manager for Rapid City Economic Development, and drops Radley off at school on the way to work every day.

Monte and Loni bought his father Gene’s farm ground to get their start. In 1992, Paul passed away and they bought the ranch from his grandmother Mildred in 1996. Only two people remain that lived on the original homestead; Hugh Reichert, Hereford, and Judy Bundorf, Henderson, NV.

Monte and Loni run a cow/calf operation, running black and black-baldy cows with enough Herefords to keep for replacements. They calve in March, and feed hay and cake in the winter. Besides native hay, they also put up alfalfa, and raise some millet and oats for feed.

Both the Phillips and Reicherts like to do things horseback, though the convenience of the four wheeler is utilized for putting out salt and doing little chores and fencing.

Both agree that electricity, better roads, good transportation and machinery have improved the ranching life. Running water and indoor plumbing were huge improvements, and Scott says “My mom thought it was great for the water to run in, then pull the plug, and it runs out!”

The changes in the neighborhood have been hard to watch. Scott says, “We’ve lost too many neighbors, too many people have had to move on.” The loss of young people on the ranches is felt in the school system too, as the country schools are about all gone.

Scott and Paula’s kids went to school at the Hereford school, and Monte and Loni’s started out in country school. Monte said, “Our girls went to Hope School. There were 26 kids when Marissa started there, but they finally closed it down when Lacey was in the sixth grade. Now Radley has to go to New Underwood. The Hereford school is still open, but it would be an hour’s drive, twice a day, to take Radley, so, it’s just more convenient for Loni to drop him off on the way to work in Rapid City.” Loni’s folks live in New Underwood, so that also simplifies things for them, as Radley can go there if need be.

Keeping the ranches in family hands is the next hurdle. Scott and Paula’s kids think that the ranch would be a nice place to raise their families someday, but they just don’t know if they will be back or not, and whether their spouses would be content there. Monte and Loni have hope that the ranch will keep going when the fifth generation is ready to settle down.

“Most of the ranches around here are in pretty strong family hands,” says Scott. He and Monte’s generation is hanging on to them and trying to keep them solid. “We’d like to expand some, but that’s pretty tough,” adds Monte, who quips, “Being the one to lose it after 100 years sure wouldn’t be good.”

Ranching is a challenge anywhere, and central Meade county is no exception. Harsh winter conditions, an extended recent drouth, increasing costs of operation, and a tepid cattle market combine to make it perhaps a little harder than other areas. Having good neighbors to help through the seasons makes it easier though.

“We had our hundred year brandings this year,” says Scott. “We’ve been neighboring back and forth since the beginning, and have pictures of them helping each other back as far as 1914.”

Today, Scott and Monte help each other with farming, branding, preconditioning calves, shipping, and other cow work. Monte has a truck and hauls cattle for the Phillips too. Both men are on the rural volunteer fire department as well.

Neighboring is beneficial in big rural areas, but with the Phillips and Reicherts, it’s more than just being neighbors and kin. It’s obvious that Scott and Monte are very good friends as well. The laughter, teasing, and good natured banter abounds. They tell of their family heritage as one, not separate enterprises.

For 100 years they’ve been helping each other and it sure doesn’t look like being good neighbors is going to go out of style any time soon.