Contact Us

South Dakota Loses Piece Of Living History

S.D. Healthcare Association
South Dakota has sadly lost one of its treasures. I say this because this person was the state's only link to the 1800's. So much history has transpired in one lifetime.

Beryl Kapaun, our oldest person in South Dakota has passed away at 113.

Beryl was born on June 4, 1899. She was a year older than my grandpa and grandma who were born in 1900. They passed away many years ago. My parents were old enough to be my grandparents. They were World War II era people and they have been gone a long time.

Beryl's life is fascinating to me. She was born in the time of log cabins and horses and buggies. No telephones, radio or TV. Mail must have taken forever to send and receive through the postal service by today's standards. She saw the rise of the United States from an agrarian society to the greatest, most powerful, technologically advanced country in the world! One lifetime where so much happened!

She lived through the Boxer Rebellion, the building of the Panama Canal, the Phillipine-American War, the first World Series, two world wars, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Desert Shield, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The American Civil War and Abraham Lincoln were probably recent history to her because of the relatives that probably passed on their stories.

Beryl was a living link and possibly a living history book back to these times. She lived an incredible life.

With her death, Beryl passes the torch of being the oldest living South Dakotan to Dagmar “Dolly” Keehn, who's 107 and living in Flandreau. Today, the average life expectancy is 82 for women and 77 for men. Below are a few of the major events that Beryl lived to see. Well done Beryl. Well done!


Getty Images
Getty Images

1901: President William McKinley assassinated

 
 

William McKinley was the president of the United States, which then consisted of 45 states. Life expectancy was 49 years.

 
Getty Images
Getty Images

1903: Ford Motor Company formed

 
 

The first automobile must have been astounding to Beryl and her family.

 
Getty Images
Getty Images

1903: The Wright Brothers first flight

 
 

Beryl also lived in the time of the Wright Brothers and before vaccinations and penicillin.

 
Clipart
Clipart

1917: U.S. enters World War I

 
 

This war was known as The Great War. The name World War I would come years later.

 
Clipart
Clipart

1920: First Radio broadcasts in Pittsburgh and Detroit

 
 

Imagine Beryl's delight as she and her family listened to programs like Fibber and Molly McGee for the first time!

 
Getty Images
Getty Images

1929: Stock market crashes. Great Depression begins.

 
 

Beryl no doubt shared stories of her family and neighbor's plight during such uncertain times.

 
Getty Images
Getty Images

1941: Japan attacks Pearl Harbor. U.S. enters World War II

 
 

December 7, 1941 was a day that forever changed the way Beryl and America viewed the world.

 
Getty Images
Getty Images

1945: U.S. drops atomic bombs on Japan ending World War II

 
 

The U.S. becomes the leading world power, setting the stage for the Cold War with the U.S.S.R.

 
Getty Images
Getty Images

1951: I Love Lucy debuts on CBS, marking the rise of TV in America.

 
 

Beryl no doubt shared stories of what life was like before the advent of television and the new immediacy the news brought to daily life.

 
Clipart
Clipart

1963: President John F. Kennedy assassinated.

 
 

Beryl saw not one, but two U.S. presidents asassinated in her life time.

 
Getty Images
Getty Images

1969: Neil Armstong walks on the moon.

 
 

Beryl's life began when horse and buggy was the only mode of travel. She saw the age of the automobile and then traveling to outer space in one lifetime!

 

Most Local News

Latest Country Music News

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://kikn.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on Kickin' Country 100.5 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here

Register on Kickin' Country 100.5 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!