Obscure Facts About South Dakota & Thereabouts: First in a series

Harm Harmelink sitting tall in the saddle on the plains of western South Dakota before he met Miss Violet. If you could see his face you’d realize just how sad and lonesome he was.
Miss Violet looked pretty surprised when Harm proposed to her.

First marriage between a man and a sheep – March 24, 1902

A Hollander by the name of Harm Harmelink (top photo, riding horse) and a purebred Ramboulet ewe named Violet (bottom photo) tied the knot in rural northern Butte County. It is said that Mr. Harmelink,46, who was technically an East Friesian, had been distraught the previous fall, as he was the only one from his home country living in these parts. That is, until he met Miss Violet, 5.

As there were no local clergy members available to perform the service, Mr. Harmelink sent for a friend, the Rev. Frederich De Koerlin of Rolfe, Iowa to do the job. One of the wedding guests reported that the pastor travelled by train to Belle Fourche, where the groom picked him up and transported him to the wedding site north of Bean Blossom Creek.

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