Anderson Family History

Punch Boards at the Center, South Dakota Store

The store was a popular gathering place for a few regulars that would come in after supper and engage in a few friendly games of checkers on a large homemade checkerboard. On the backside of the board was another layout game that I believe was called Spiel. It also was played with checkers. Two of the most proficient checker players were Albin Schroeder and Elmer Larson.

Dad usually had one or two punch boards available for those who felt lucky and had a few nickels or dimes to spend. Most of these boards had boxes of candy as prizes for the winning numbers and they paid-out about half of what they took in.

The one person that had the most fun on the punchboard was one of the Frericks. I think it was either Fred or Leo. At any rate, he would start on a board that had perhaps half of the numbers already punched, and would start buying a dollars worth of punches. Then one of the squares on the board would only have a few punches left, and cleaning out a square would entitle you to a box of candy. So he would clean that square and start on another that looked promising.

The final punch on the board always earned the largest prize of a five-pound box of fine candy. This was always an enticement to keep playing when the board was getting low on punches. Fredrick would spend several dollars winning a bunch of candy, and then give it away to whoever was around. Especially favored was the school teacher that stayed with the folks during the school year.

She was always the benefactor of his harvest from the latest punch board.

 By Merland D. Howe, 2000.



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