Antelope County - Genealogy Trails





Early Settlements



    The first pre-emption claim made in Antelope County was by George St. Clair commonly know as "Ponca George", a man of Canadian French decent.  His claim was number 941, in the Dakota Land District.  He settled in April 25, 1868 and on June 30, he placed his claim, which was in the St. Clair Valley.  This valley was one of the finest valleys in the county.  George went west in the same year.


    Josiah McKirahan, from Belmont County, Ohio, pre-empted Claim number 957.  The date of his settlement was November 2, 1868.  He "proved up" his claim November 28, 1868, and sold the claim to Cyrus D. Buck on May 6, 1869.  This was the first deed executed in the county.


    Michael J. Hughes brought his family into the county in June, 1868, and moved away in the following October.  His was the first family that lived in the county.


    The first permanent settlement was made by Crandall Hopkins, who came here from Cuyahoga County, Ohio, in November 1868.  


    The next permanent settlers were Thomas Mahan, Charles Timms, J. H. Snider and family, A. M. Salnave, Jacob Bowsman and William Clark, who came in the early spring of 1869.


    A few months later, B. A. Trueblood, Albert Sleitter, August Learman, John Corwin, A. M.Towsley and Charles Dworak arrived and made their claims.


    In 1870, the Cedar Creek settlement was made.  Among the settlers were A. J. Leech, Henry King, Edward and Albert Palmer, S. Morgan, Charles Wilson, Anson L. Kimball and Chauncey Seely.  This settlement is about seven miles above Oakdale.


    About a month later, Martin L. Freeman, Thomas Stolp, Louis Contois, Louis Patras and W.W. Putney, followed later by his family, moved into the county.


    West Cedar Valley was settled in June, 1872, by Thomas Lawton, William Lawrence, Henry Griffith, Henry Rogers, Henry Karl and I. N. Taylor.


    The first birth in the county was that of Anna Kimball, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. L. Kimball, May 1, 1870.


    The first marriage was a double one on August 14, 1869; Allen Hopkins to Miss Frances Bausman and Elias Ives to Miss Hopkins, sister of Allen Hopkins.


    The first death was that of Mary Frances Snider on October 4, 1870.


    The first post office in the county was at Twin Grove.


    The first post master at Twin Grove was J. H. Snider.