Contributed by Loren H
Description: Kuiper's StoreDate: November 18 1929
Source: my granary
Inseparably linked with the Kuipers and Company general merchandise store of this city is an important incident in South Dakota history, for the man who founded this business and is still active in its affairs today, H A Kuipers, was a figure of importance in the early settlement of this part of the state.
Away back in 1881 H A Kupers left his native home in Holland came to America to locate a suitable place in which to found a colony. At Le Mars, Iowa, he fell in with a fellow countryman H F Mos, by name who, like himself, had come to America to seek his fortune. Together these two congenial souls journeyed northwestward and in Bon Homme county they contacted one R Sielstra, another Hollander, here on a quest similar to their own, hence he joined them in their journey to the frontier fo this then unsettled state.
In Charles Mix county the quest of the trio of fortune seekers ended. They decided that this was a good enough place in which to locate, and Mr Kuipers returned to Holland to report. Upon his return there a description of the country he had visited was written up and published. Much interest was aroused and meetings were held for the purpose of enlisitng members in the proposed American colony.
A certain Dutch minister, however, disapproved of the project and issued a warning against settling in the faraway uninhabited region of South Dakota. Notwithstanding this, a colony of some 30 families and a number of single men was formed and Mr Kuper's father, A H Kuipers, who was a man of some means and influence, became chief patron of the enterprise. They sailed from the homeland and arrived in Charles Mix county in the spring of 1882.
The Kuipers colony settled close to Platte Creek and in 1883 a postoffice was established there. It was the original town of Platte and is what is spoken of today as Old Platte. The first houses there were generally of sod. Wood and timber were hauled from the creek and the Missouri river and lumber from Kimball, White Lake and Armour.
Mr Kuiper continued in business here until 1902, when he sold out and returned to his original homestead which he still owns together with other real estate holding.s Later however, he came back to town and three years ago built the fine modern brick store buildig on one of the city's principal business corners, in which at present his son, Peter and daughter, Mary, own and oeprate a general store under the firm name of Kuipers and Company, the store where you get the most for your money.
The Kuipers new store building was erected at a cost of between $16,000 and $18,000. It is the last word in modern fire prrof, brick construction, 25 by 120 feet in ground measurements. A sensible convenience for the store's customers is a cozily furnished women's rest room on the ground floor.
A full basement affords the firm ample storeage room for fruits, vegetables and such like merchandise, while in the rear above is a spacious warehouse for other merchandise accessible from the basement by elevator.
H A Kuipers, pioneer founder of the business, still takes an active part, serving his son and daughter as bookkeeper, in which his long experience makes for efficiency.