Buckskin Johnny built the first home in Butte County, South Dakota back in 1876. However, he never lived in the small cabin with the love of his life.

Johnny met this love, Nettie Dobbs, in 1869 in southwest Minnesota. He was a boarder in Nettie's parents home for three years. When she turned 16 and he 22, they promised to get married. To support his new found love, he went west to make his fortune with a promise to return to her as soon as he could. Unbeknownst to Johnny, his letters that he wrote Nettie went undelivered by her parents.

When he returned 2 years latter, he found that Nettie had given up on him and married another. He headed west once again and eventually built the small cabin. At the age of 49, he pulled up stakes again and went to California. He spent a time in the Army during the Spanish-American War.

Jump ahead 28 more years, and somehow Johnny learned that Nettie's husband had passed away. Johnny reached out to Nettie, and a reunion was planned. A week later they were married, him 77 and her 72. They would live out their lives, a short 5 more years, in California. Johnny died in January 1932, and Nettie followed a few months later.