When her family homesteaded in 1915, seven-year-old Lenna O’Neill found her first love: the South Dakota prairie. Born in Wisconsin where her Irish immigrant father had come to study for the ministry, she discovered best friends in her pony Duke and her collie Fanny as she adapted to the harshness of prairie life. Eventually the hard times of drought and the depressed economy drove the family back to live in a town, but she never forgot the wonders of her life as a child on the South Dakota prairie.

Through the lens of time and distance, Lenna recorded her life during these prairie years for her family. Child of the South Dakota Frontier is an edited version of her recollections, published as a tribute by her daughter, BJ Farmer. Lenna opens her account with a return to the homestead years later with her husband, William Kolash, and her children. The lone tree remaining by a dilapidated front gate, planted by Lenna and her father decades before, recalls voices echoing from the past and memories that rolled away the years.

Lenna O'Neill