Palace City Profile: Making South Dakota dreams come true

Sara and Timothy Steckel, along with their son, Harrison. (Courtesy photo)

Palace City Profiles is an ongoing series of community members’ stories introducing us to our neighbors and the personalities that call Mitchell home. If you have suggestions for individuals or families with a great story, please contact Karen Whitney at 996-1140.

Black Friday 2016 was the beginning of making dreams come true for the Steckel family. Sara and Timothy were married in Mitchell on this day.

Timothy grew up in Letcher and is a graduate of Mitchell Tech in architectural design and building construction. He dreams one day of expanding his woodworking business to full time, training dogs and moving his family to the homestead that has been in the Steckel family for over 130 years.

Timothy currently does woodworking as a hobby, building corn hole boards and custom items. Harrison, Sara and Timothy’s 2½-year-old son even has his own custom-made corn hole board and loves to play, saying “corn hole, corn hole.”

Sarah graduated from Dakota State University in math education in 2013 where she ran cross country. She also has a master’s degree from Southwest Minnesota State University in education with an emphasis in leadership. She dreams one day of earning a doctorate in education and teaching education courses at the college and university level.


Currently, Sara is a teacher in the Career and Technical Education classroom at Mitchell Middle School. She says it is her dream job. She especially likes being back in the classroom with students after the school went online last spring with COVID-19 outbreak.

Timothy, Sara and Harrison live on a farm in Letcher, but spend a good deal of their time working, going to church and attending events in Mitchell. Sara said, “I think Mitchell is huge, from where I grew up.”

Sara grew up in De Smet. “But I feel like it is small enough that we care about everybody. If somebody gets sick or needs help, the community comes to help, and that’s really big for us. We have the support and know people are going to come help us if we need it.”

Timothy and Sara both enjoy participating in the activities and events in Mitchell. Going for walks as a family, hunting and running 5Ks are all outdoor events which the Steckel's enjoy. They also like supporting the Mitchell School District athletic teams and fine arts performers.

Sara and Timothy Steckel believe they are living out their dreams. Timothy says, “Mitchell feels like home to me.”

Next spring they hope to begin building their dream home that Timothy designed and that Sara chimes in, “will be our forever home.” “We are excited for our kids to grow up here.”

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