Biography of Theodore Rix

Theodore Rix, a notable agriculturist in Yankton County, South Dakota, was born in Denmark on January 11, 1845. After losing his mother at birth and his father in 1864, Rix emigrated to the United States in 1870. He worked in various trades, including carpentry and farming, across Michigan, Indiana, and Iowa. In 1878, he settled in Yankton County, purchasing 160 acres of government land and expanding his holdings to 400 acres. Rix married Katherina Jensen on December 19, 1883, and they have nine children. Active in the community, Rix is involved with the Farmers’ Mutual Insurance Company and the Irene Creamery Association. He and his family are members of the Lutheran Church.

Theodore Rix, well known as a leading and representative agriculturist of Yankton County, South Dakota, was born in Denmark on the 11th of January, 1845, and is a son of Joachim and Sarine Rix. His mother died at his birth and his father passed away in 1864, both being lifelong residents of Denmark. The latter was twice married and had four children by the first union, our subject being the youngest, and three by the second.

Theodore Rix was reared and educated in the land of his birth and was twenty-five years of age when he crossed the Atlantic in 1870, landing in New York City. He had previously learned the carpenter’s trade and soon found employment in a sawmill in Michigan. After the great Chicago fire in the fall of 1871, he worked at his trade in that city for a time and was also employed on brick work in Indiana. Subsequently, he worked in lumber camps and sawmills in Michigan, and in 1876 went to Waterloo, Iowa, where he was employed on a farm for two years. On the expiration of that time, he came to South Dakota, arriving in Yankton County in January, 1878, and there he bought one hundred and sixty acres of government land. For some time he lived in true pioneer style, his home being a dugout, and he began the cultivation of his land with ox-teams. In 1879 he took a timber claim of one hundred and sixty acres and has since added another eighty acres to his farm, so that he now has four hundred acres on which there is a nice grove of about sixty thousand trees. Mr. Rix has not confined his attention wholly to agricultural pursuits but has continued to follow his trade and has erected many houses throughout the county besides the buildings on his own place. In 1899, he built for himself a fine story-and-a-half residence, the main part of which is twenty-four by twenty-six feet in dimensions, while the L is eighteen by twenty-four feet, and he has also erected a good barn and substantial outbuildings upon his place, making it one of the best improved farms of the locality.

On the 19th of December, 1883, Mr. Rix led to the marriage altar Miss Katherina Jensen, and to them have been born an interesting family of nine children, namely: Joachim, Christian, Maria, Anna, Frederick, Bertha, Louisa, Sarah, and Ida. They have been provided with good educational advantages, and Joachim has attended high school in Nebraska and college in Des Moines. The sons assist their father in the operation of the home farm and are very industrious, energetic young men.

Mr. Rix is now a member of the board of directors of the Farmers’ Mutual Insurance Company and is president of the Irene Creamery Association. He carries on general farming and stock raising, feeding quite a number of cattle and hogs for market. His political support is given to the Republican Party and its principles, and he is actively interested in school work. Religiously, both he and his wife are members of the Lutheran Church and they are held in high regard by all who know them.


Robinson, Doane, History of South Dakota: together with mention of Citizens of South Dakota, [Logansport? IN] : B. F. Bowen, 1904.

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