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J. Mel O'Rourke Collection

 Unprocessed — Multiple Containers
Identifier: H2008-021

Content Description

The collection consists of one photocopied memoir (ninety-nine pages), two (2) DVD’s, and an image of Strool, SD. The documentary DVD’s are entitled, “Prairie Footsteps, from a memoir by J. Mel O’Rourke - Part One and Part Two.” The documentary was created by Helen O’Rourke and includes reminiscences of J. Mel O’Rourke which were written in his memoir. Images are also included, some of which are from the South Dakota State Archives collections. The documentary is narrated by Jim Thompson. Part one of the documentary covers the O’Rourke family and their move to Perkins County in 1908. Mel was age ten. The memoir covers the history of homesteading in north western South Dakota. Topics include a young boy’s life on the prairie, education, religion, and social gatherings. Part two describes life in and the construction of a sod house, various examples of seasonal farm work, drought, storms, prairie fires, along with a number of family and Strool stories. The O’Rourke’s left Perkins County in the 1920s. The photocopied memoir is the source of the DVD narrative. There are ninety-nine pages (front and back) of the photocopied memoirs. The photo of Strool is placed with the memoir in a separate envelope. An extra set of the DVD documentary was placed in the accession folder.

Acquisition Type


Restrictions Apply



  • 1908-1920s



2 dvds

3.86 Gigabytes

0.1 Cubic Feet