Thursday, June 2, 2011

Those Places Thursday - Capa, South Dakota

Sometimes the best way to travel through an old ghost town is to have someone who lived there drive you around.  Since Grampa lives in Washington State and I’m in California and “our” ghost town is in South Dakota, the next best thing is to have pictures from him that outline on the back exactly what each thing is…

So here is Grampa’s tour of Capa, South Dakota for us.  Grampa lived there in the 1920s and 1930s.  He attended the one room school house and Catholic Church for 11 years.

For reference, Capa, South Dakota is here:

There are some wonderful pictures of Capa that another person took here:

And a number of them on Flikr:

There is a book about Jones County called Proving Up and I scanned this photo out of the book of a 1917 class outside the school.  This is 2 years before Grampa was even born, but it looks like a different school house.  I wonder if there was a rebuild?  Another question for Grampa...

I also found this and it's one of his aunts but he can't remember which.

Without further ado, here is Grampa's tour:




  1. really nice to see what it looked like. My great great grandmother Nannie Derby lived there. I know next to nothing about her. Does grandpa know the name?

  2. My great grandfather, Arthur Stuart, homesteader and is buried in Capa. My father, Charles Stuart, spend his teenage years there in the early - mid nineteen thirties. Wonder if your grandfather recalls the Stuarts?

  3. Nice to find this site. My mother, Elizabeth Johanna Byl, was born there in 1912. I'm not sure of her age when the family moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan.

  4. Mary Ann, I found your Elizabeth already in Michigan in the 1920 census. In 1913, her father (Ary) was appointed postmaster in Capa and my grandfather's uncle John Kleven took that over in 1919. So I am assuming that your family moved from Capa around 1919- the year my grandfather was born. So glad you enjoyed the Capa story.

  5. My family also lived in Capa. My great Grandmother lived there until her death about 20 years ago and my Great Uncle Phillip still lives there. He is the last lone resident. I went to visit him 5 years ago there. It is quite a place!

  6. Maria,
    how wonderful! What was your great grandmother's name? I will ask my grandfather about her.

  7. Richard
    My grandfather,Charles H. Leuch and his 3 sons, Bernhard, Harry and Lawrence Homestated a ranch in Capa area in the early 1920's. They did dry land farming until the crops failed and they lost the farm due to taxes. They then moved to Council Bluffs Iowa.

  8. When I was 11 and 12 years old I worked at the Olson Ranch 1/4 mile west of Capa, this was in the early 50's. I remember Capa well.

  9. Hi Debbie, My Grandmother was Helen O'Connor and my Great Uncle, who still resides there, is Phillip O'Connor. That would be very interesting if your grandfather knew them! I love his pictures.

  10. Maria, my grandfather did know your family! Here is what my aunt wrote after asking him:
    Yes he knew Helen O'connor. He also knew a David O'conner that was philips 1/2 brother. He and david played together alot . He believes if david is still alive he is living up here in snohomish.

    1. Yes! David is my Grandfather and he lives in Marysville now! Small world!!

    2. That is where my Grampa lives!!! Can you email me? Debbie at mascotmanor dot org