From 'Echoing Footsteps', published 1967, Powder River County Extension Homemakers Council
By Walt Nuxoll
Herman Toennis came to this country from Cottonwood, Idaho, on horseback via southern Idaho, working at odd jobs on the way. He arrived here in about 1912 taking up a homestead just over the line in Custer County, which he later sold. He then moved to the Pendergast homestead in 1930. He married Helen Shriner (who already had a son, Earl) in 1931. They had six children: Doris, Rose, John, Agnes, Donald, and Mary Ann. In 1943 they left for Missoula to make their home until his death on May 16, 1955.
Herman Toennis was a pioneer thresherman and has threshed grain all over Powder River County, at times not finishing up until the following spring if winter happened to strike early. He used a 70 horse-power steam engine, which had a top speed for traveling of 2% miles per hour, to move his outfit and for power for threshing. In 1938 he bought a gas-powered Case 25-45 tractor. Many of the Pioneers still living well remember him and his big 36-60 inch threshing machine.
He was also a former stage driver for Sam Jarvis, on the route from Stacey to Miles City in the early days.