In this unusual blend of chronological and personal history, Dorothy Hubbard Schwieder combines scholarly sources with family memories to create a loving and informed history of Presho, South Dakota, and her family's life there from the time of settlement in 1905 to the mid 1950s.
Schwieder tells the story of this small town in the West River country, with its harsh and unpredictable physical environment, through the activities of her father, Walter Hubbard, and his family of ten children. Walter Hubbard’s experiences as a business owner and town builder and his attitudes toward work, education, and family both reflected and shaped the lives of Presho's inhabitants and the town itself.
While most histories of the Plains focus on farm life, Schwieder writes entirely about small-town society. She uses newspaper accounts, state and county histories, census data, interviews with residents, and the childhood memories of herself and her nine siblings to create an entwined, first-hand social and economic portrait of life on main street from the perspective of its citizens.