The City of Golden Valley
In 1908, George Bratzel, from Hebron, decided to build a new town. He purchase 160 acres 40 miles north of Hebron. This was a fairly level tract of land. It was out in the area originally known as the Lee Haven farm, later as the Otmer Tschaekofske farm (1948-1988) and now as the Daniel Brecht farm.
On May 19, 1909, George had his store building completed, stocked and ready for business. The building was 60 x 100 with living quarters. To advertise the opening of his store, he gave a free dance and many people came as far as 20 miles. This was a long way in those days.
On June 1, 1909 George applied for a post office. Theodore Roosevelt was President of the United States at this time when George requested his new town to be named Golden Valley. The request was granted.
The railroad surveyors were to bring the railroad near the new town but due to lack of communication it ended up where the town of Golden Valley now exists.
When the railroad came to the present site of Golden Valley, it was known as Olanta. In 1913, the name was changed to Golden Valley. George moved his store and also the post office to the new location.
Church was conducted in homes, where traveling ministers or missionaries had services. Mrs. Ellen Maxie, mother of Paul and Joe Maxie, opened her home for such services in the community. School houses were also used as public meeting places. When the railroad showed up, the first churches were built.
The first school houses were poorly built and very cold in the winter. Some teachers only had a third grade education. Two to four students shared the same book. Many students rode horseback and brought their own fuel to help build a fire , which consisted of branches.
Before the town was built, it was a common sight to see herds of horses from 100 to 300 roaming the grass plains. They were wild as could be, having a huge range and never a rope on them.