Cad-Re Farm and Ranch Supply opened its doors on the farm in 1970. The founder, Howard Taplin, who was in the Cavalry when they still used horses, formed the feed store name from a combination of two Cavalry terms. The Cavalry term for unit of men was Cadre; and the Cavalry term for the horse was Remount. Howard Taplin took the first part of both of those words, joined with a hyphen to form Cad-Re.The Founder of Cad-Re Feeds: Howard B. Taplin
Since the early days with just feed and tack, and some buckets, CAD-RE has grown to include pet supplies, health food, blasting sand, lawn seed, chicks, (and the resulting fresh eggs), wild bird feeds and feeders, and much more. Guess the Weight of the Turkey and Fall Sale have become two annual events.
Cad-Re maintains a policy of personal service and free advice.
Howard taught many people to ride. Having been raised on the prairie, and having joined the Cavalry, he sat a horse like
he was part of it. Howard once rode around a show ring at a lope, on a big gray Thoroughbred, holding a birthday
cake high in the air in his right hand. Howard's personality and work ethic reflected the difficult times in which he was raised. He always worked hard and long,
and expected it of others. He had high standards. He repaired things rather than discarding them for new. He was
always thinking of new plans and ideas for a new venture. He often worked 2 or 3 jobs at the same time. For instance,
he was a trucker, farmer, and business owner. All three were full-commitment circumstances, yet he persisted. He
raised his sons to understand respect. Howard learned from his mother, Lillian (a nurse), the benefits of cleanliness.
He also taught me to trust instincts rather than to blindly follow some so-called professional's advice. His
early life had clearly given him the ability to work things out for himself to a proper conclusion. I spent time with Howard asking him questions about his early life. Here are some snips from his stories.
Howard's parents gave him the name of Howard Taplin. He later added the middle name, Ben, in honor of the character,
Ben Eide, from a novel he read. Howard started Madsen public school at age of six. He says he fell in love with his first grade teacher and her perfume.
He remembered increasing the farming activities with cattle and horses when family moved from his birth homestead
to Engleson in 1927. In 1927 the family moved to their own place and went into turkey and hog raising. Then the
bottom dropped out of turkeys and hogs; meanwhile the Depression hit. In the early 30's, because of drouth, they
switched to sheep. Besides the home ranch they had ranges on the Moreau River Breaks. Also they had summer
ranges 50 miles to the west into Glad Valley, south of Meadow Creek and north of Thunder Butte. Dad, Uncle Lee, and
the brothers had to go deal with that while Howard stayed home with Mother and mind the farm, milk cows, feed the
animals and go to school. When a little fella, 5 or 6, he was at Robley's a bunch of Indians rode into the yard and sat there. (He called them
"Joe Lemon" and "Vanilla Extract". ) Lee and Elsie gave them tobacco and sugar. Howard told of a hot summer in the wagon with jars of dried apricots and peaches, sitting on the shelf, getting overheated
and fermenting. He went on his first trail drive in 1933, and was the first time he had to defend his life with a gun. Range laws included
a 2 rod easement on section lines so livestock could be trailed to different areas. Some ranchers were more stringent than
others about strays from the easement. Howard (14) was alone with the herd of sheep. He was accosted by an irate
rancher. Howard knew his sheep need to graze, drink, rest. Rancher started getting tough. They changed their minds
when they realized he was carrying a gun and it was obvious he would use it. From that incident until they moved to
Minnesota in 1936, there were several similar incidents in the quest for trailing rights. Range prairie fires were not caused by accident. Once in the sheep camp he woke up nearly choked with smoke. The
sheep were huddled around the wagon, grass was all grazed down. Howard and partner scouted and found a fire was
started along the riverbank in the drooped over grass. They didn't know who or why. Once a sheep herder fellow jumped at him, causing his pocket to rip as he pulled back. He ran for the wagon and got there
a few jumps before the fellow. He grabbed the 30-30, (unloaded, not a shell anywhere) and stuck it right in the man's
gut as he stepped up on the tongue of wagon. After that, man did not bother him any more. Howard said, " I was a
pugnacious individual." When Howard was 13 or 14, the Vandermark's horses got out and went down past the Butte. Howard went out to round
them up and trail them home. It was 38 degrees below zero, the ride was 10 miles or more. At home they heated with
coal, and had no insulation. He stayed with Uncle Lee at the Moreau River Breaks at their cattle ranch until 1938. Of Uncle Lee, Hazel and Lois said:
"He always got us up at 4 am. No light. Nothing to do. I guess he just thought we needed to be up." Howard described some of the old remedies they had for taking care of themselves: Onions and Honey drink from a
tablespoon for a cold. A poultice of turpentine and goose grease-it would take hair off a boar hog- rub it on chest, put
on a hot cloth, for pneumonia. Sulfur and molasses- spring tonic. Tastes like sand. Carbolic acid salve. Silver knife
rub on a bump on your head. As Howard put it: "We were too far from town. Didn't dare get sick." Other stories Howard recounted included the Cudmores, and Burdette Thompson, who visited us in Alaska once. And we
saw him as The Clown at the Timber Lake Reunion in 1985. And he had stories of a life threatening nature. He
described a Model T that backed up a steep hill, died, Howard ran after it somehow it started lights came on, and he
jumped in. Another time a motorcycle accident in Newel nearly killed him. Of these experiences he said: "I must have lived a charmed life. So many things happened that nearly killed or maimed me.
One dark night Lester Williamson and I (about 13) were loping across the prairie, my horse stepped in a badger hole
and flipped end over end, throwing me from here to yonder. We laughed about it. Got back on, and kept riding." Howard helped his father in the cutting of timber for lumber and pulp. Howard told stories of those years which included
repairing an old motorcycle to ride back to South Dakota. It broke down and he chopped wood for folks in order to eat.
He got so hungry that when someone fed him oatmeal with cream it was too rich and he passed out. He finally
abandonded that machine and rode on hugging an old 4 cylinder Indian. He also told of Elmer cutting his foot on a
coulter plow, never got stitches, but it healed fine. Ford got appenciditis which broke open. It was the biggest thing to
happen in Dewey. The doctors opened him up and said it was no use. Mother said to just do what you can. Ford is
fine to this day. Howard told stories about T.O. Traversie (who interestingly had a brother named Joe who was a renowned dog musher in
Alaska). More stories included the O'Learys, Some stories included FBI, issues involving ownership of Clyde's horse,
resolved by Ford, a wagon, a glove, and a gun. (I am leaving out details ...). He left Timber Lake in 1935, moving to Minnesota. The move of the sheep ranching operation to Backus, Minnesota was disastrous due to the cold and the poor quality of the
native grown feed. Besides that tragedy, his beloved mother, Lillian, became ill and passed away. He remembers
she had a lot of pain, but the day before she died she was up and around feeling great, and very happy. In our conversations, at the point of his mother's death, Howard would usally stop talking. So there's not much more to say
until we get to the part of his life when he went into the Cavalry. ##