top of page

About Peggy

Peggy Sanders is a student of local history whose great great-grandparents Ira and Hattie Tillotson homesteaded near Cascade, Dakota Territory in 1883; six generations of their descendants have lived and worked in Fall River County, SD, always in agriculture.  She has written five vintage photo histories in the Images of America series, including Fall River County and Hot Springs: 125 Years (2008); The Civilian Conservation Corps in and Around the Black Hills, (2004); Custer County (SD) (2005); Wind Cave National Park: The First 100 Years, (2003); and Fall River County and Hot Springs: Views from the Past 1881-1955, (2002). She is a contributor to the anthologies, Woven on the Wind (2001), Life on the Farm and Ranch: South Dakota Stories. (2009) and Ankle High and Knee Deep: Women Reflect on Western Rural Life (2014). Peggy is a member of Western Writers of America and Wyoming Writers, Inc., and immediate past sheriff of the Hot Springs, SD, Jedediah Smith Corral of Westerners International.


Peggy has served as an at-large elected member of the SD State Historical Society Board of Trustees since 2013. She is the originator and past chairman of the Focus on Fall River County History Conference, held annually for the past 16 years in Hot Springs, SD. Peggy is on the Board of Directors of the Civilian Conservation Corps Museum of South Dakota in Hill City, SD, a museum she helped create as a charter member. A columnist since 1999, she won the National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ Will Rogers Writing Contest in 2007 and second place in the South Dakota Newspaper Association general interest column contest in 2018. Her weekly columns are in The Fence Post out of Greeley, CO and the Fall River County Herald Star, Hot Springs, SD.


The magazine Wild West published her articles, “Big Fred’ Evans’ Big Ideas Paid Off in Hot Springs, Dakota Territory,” “Annie Tallent, the First White Woman in the Black Hills,” and “Requiem for a Cowboy Poet (Badger Clark).  She has been published in South Dakota Magazine, Antique Power, Grass and Grain, Denver Post, Billings Gazette, Rapid City Journal, Tri-State Livestock News, Ag Week, High Plains Journal, Wheels of Time, Western Ag Reporter, Architecture SD Magazine, North American Bison Journal, and The Country Register. She has entries in the Dictionary of American History, published by Charles Scribner's Sons/Thomson Gale. Peggy has twice been a speaker at the South Dakota Book Festival.


Peggy earned her B.A. from Central College, Pella, IA. She spent her junior year at the Sorbonne, Paris, France where she also studied at the École Ménagère du Quartier Latin.


After their marriage, she and her husband lived in on a US Army post in Germany until he resigned his officer commission and the couple returned to South Dakota. They purchased and have operated a farm at Oral, SD since 1974 when the Army moved them into the home where they continue to live. Their two grown sons and their families live nearby and are involved in agriculture.

bottom of page