* Three of the children became pioneers of the "Old Dakota Territory": Laura Catherine
(better known as "Cash"), Wallace Emmons, and Anna (better known as "Annie"). After the
death of his wife in Michigan in 1895, Frederick, the father, also went to Dakota
Territory where he lived with his two unmarried daughters until his death.
* Annie PETRIE, unmarried, came to Dakota Territory with her unmarried sister 'Cash' in 1886, via train to Groton, SD, and then team and wagon to Winchester which was 4 miles west and one mile south of the present town of Linton, Emmons Co., ND. She and her sister took out homesteads and were also the first teachers in what became Emmons County. They started a small store in Winchester and Annie was also postmistress for some time. Annie is credited with importing the first purebred Shorthorn cattle inmto Emmons County. In 1917, Miss Annie Petrie sold a shipment of 18 loads, 263 head, all Shorthorn in Chicago for $55,025.39 - a world record regardless of breed at the time. "In the summer the cattle had the best pasture in the world, native prairie grasses." Operating a cattle ranch in Dakota Territory in the 1880's was considered to be a tough, full time job for a strong and determined man. It was grueling, heartbreaking work for a woman to personally operate a sizable spread and was practically unheard of. Miss Petrie broke most of her own horse stock herself and had many of them trained to come at her command or at a whistle. But it was not all work and no play. There were dances at the ranches and Miss Petrie says: "The dances started early in the evening and lasted until daylight the next morning. There was no use stopping early because no one could drive home in the dark anyway. There were always about 10 or 15 bachelors to dance with every girl." Stock for their Winchester store came to Eureka, SD, the nearest railhead. During her long trips to Eureka by team and wagon, houses were few and scattered and one time she and a trusted employee were making the trip they were asked to stay all night at a farm home. It was very small but they made room for them and gave them a good supper. Later she was shown to the bedroom and sank gratefully in a bed with a warm feather tick. A short time later the woman of the house crawled into bed beside her, and later the husband came and he too got in bed. Still later, two hired men came in and slept on the floor. She had planned to make an early start, but decided to stay in bed until the "family" had gotten up first.
* Laura Catherine PETRIE (better known as "Cash") never married. She came to Dakota Territory in 1886, with her younger unwed sister Annie, and both established homesteads near Winchester (in what is now Emmons County). For several years they were pioneer school teachers. They became cattle ranchers, personally operating a sizable spread, that was grueling and heartbreaking work for a woman. At one time these two sisters had 3,000 acres and were leasing other properties nearby. They often ran a herd of 200 cattle and had a horse herd of 100 head. Theirs were the first registered shorthorn cattle in the area and they did very well in that venture. The two sisters also became merchants at Winchester. The closest railhead was at Eureka, SD, and they hauled supplies by teams and wagons, often sleeping under the wagons at night. In failing health, Cash went to Chicago for treatment and failed to rally after an operation. Her remains were returned to Linton for burial at her request.
1. S. Earl, Petry Genealogy (Herkimer County [NY] Historical Society, Herkimer, NY).
2. Petrie, Rev. Jeremiah, History of the Petrie Family.
3. Ionia Co, MI, courthouse records.
4. John Harvey Treat, The Treat Family: A Genealogy of Trott, Tratt, and Treat.(1893)
5. Personal knowledge of family members.