Deuel County Biographies

 

History of Dakota Territory, George W. Kingsbury, Vol. 4, 1915

EMIL A. BERKE.

Emil A. Berke, a well known and able attorney practicing at Elkton, has attained a position which many an older member of the bar might well envy. His birth occurred September 21, 1886, upon a farm in Deuel county, South Dakota, and he comes of Scandinavian parentage and ancestry. He was but a few years old when the family removed to Clark county and there he began his education in the district schools, while later he attended the high school at Bradley, South Dakota. He was ambitious to secure a good education that would fit him for life's practical and responsible duties and when fifteen years of age he went to Madison, where for four years he was a student in the State Normal School, where he came under the instruction of General W. H. H. Beadle. After putting aside his textbooks Mr. Berke took up the profession of teaching, which he followed in Day county, and later he filed upon and proved up a claim northwest of Philip. He never abandoned his idea, however, of securing an education and preparing for the bar, and after securing his claim he matriculated in the university at Vermillion, South Dakota, where he entered upon a course of law and economics. Notwithstanding the fact that he entered late in the first semester of the school year, he very creditably passed all of his examinations. He has ever been a student and his tastes and habits along that line have gained him rank with the scholars of his part of the state. While a university student he manifested oratorical talent and ability of high order and at the same time he thoroughly mastered the work of the law course and qualified for later successes at the bar. During his college days he became a member of the Delta Theta Phi.

Following his graduation, at which time the Bachelor of Laws degree was conferred upon him, he formed a partnership for practice with Fred W. Cuckow and the firm had two offices, with Mr. Cuckow at the Brookings office and Mr. Berke in charge of the practice at Elkton. A liberal clientage was accorded the firm until 1914, when it was found necessary to dissolve the partnership on account of the illness of the senior partner.

During his university days Mr. Berke formed the acquaintance of Miss Lillian Marzian, a native of Kentucky, and the friendship which sprang up between them ripened into love, resulting in their marriage at Madison, South Dakota, in June, 1913. Theirs is an attractive home by reason of its warm-hearted hospitality and good cheer and is a favorite resort with their many friends at Elkton and through the surrounding country. Mr. Berke concentrates his energies upon his profession and his devotion to his clients' interests is proverbial, yet he never forgets that he owes a still higher allegiance to the majesty of the law.


History of Dakota Territory, George W. Kingsbury, Vol. 4, 1915

HON. JOSEPH HEBAL.

Hon. Joseph Hebal has a highly creditable record as a member of the general assembly, in both the house and the senate, and has performed much notable public service. He was also for many years a leading merchant of Goodwin and is at present director of the local bank and secretary of the local elevator company. He was born in Austria on the 8th of December, 1849, a son of Wenzl and Teresa Hebal, who in 1864 brought their family to the United States and located in Portage county, Wisconsin. The father there engaged in farming to a large extent, although he also followed his trade, which was that of a brick and stone mason. He eventually sold his farm and moved into Wausau, Wisconsin, where he lived retired until his death, which occurred about 1904.

Hon. Joseph Hebal had passed his fourteenth birthday when he accompanied his parents to this country and his early education was acquired in the government schools of Austria After coming to the United States he attended the public schools of Wisconsin and the high school at Waupaca. In early manhood he took up the profession of teaching and for five years was identified with educational work. In September, 1879, he came to South Dakota and located at Goodwin, where he formed a copartnership with George F. Nelson and established a general store conducted under the firm style of Nelson & Hebal. For eight years this was one of the leading mercantile enterprises of Goodwin but in 1887 Mr. Hebal sold his interest to his partner, Mr. Nelson. He then associated himself with a brother, Peregrine Hebal, and founded the firm of Hebal Brothers, with which he was actively connected for twenty-five years. In 1913 he retired from active business life. His administrative ability, his knowledge of the details of merchandising and his sound judgment all combined to make him one of the most successful business men in Goodwin. He has been equally prominent in political affairs, both in local and state circles. A republican, his opinions have long carried weight in political circles. He was elected treasurer of Deuel county in 1884, serving in that office for six years, in 1893 was still more highly honored by election to the state senate, and was reelected in 1895. In 1905, 1907 and 1909 he was chosen state representative from his district, his reelection proving the acceptability of his work in the state legislative body. He has the mental power of seeing things in large and of deciding questions with reference to their influence upon the state as a whole without allowing any petty personal or local interest to bias his mind. His former connection with the business development of Goodwin as a merchant has been already mentioned and he is Still a force in the financial circles of the town as a stockholder and director of the State Bank of Goodwin and as a director and secretary of the Farmers Elevator Company of that place.

Mr. Hebal was married in 1885 to Miss Abigail A. Van Buskirk, a native of New York state and daughter of Garret and Dorcas (Palmer) Van Buskirk who settled in Wisconsin in early days. Mr. Hebal is widely known in South Dakota and his name is always spoken of with respect and honor and his life in private and in public alike has been one of strict adherence to high ethical standards.


History of Dakota Territory, George W. Kingsbury, Vol. 4, 1915

JAMES A. HELMEY.

James A. Helmey, a well known and successful druggist of Sherman, South Dakota, was born in Rushford, Fillmore county, Minnesota, on the 25th of May, 1870, his parents being Lewis P. and Martha (Jackson) Helmey, natives of Norway. The father emigrated to the United States as a young man, while the mother came to this country with her parents as a girl. Their marriage was celebrated in Fillmore county, Minnesota. Lewis P. Helmey was for some years identified with the hotel business, conducting the Winona House at Winona, Minnesota, but subsequently turned his attention to agricultural pursuits. In 1878 his wife died and the following year he came to South Dakota, locating on a section of school land in Lincoln county, of which he later purchased a quarter section when it was put on the market. He has reached the venerable age of eighty and during the past several years has lived retired, now making his home at Humboldt, Minnehaha county. He gives his political allegiance to the republican party and, while never an office seeker, served for a number of years as justice of the peace in Rushford, Minnesota. The period of his residence in this state covers more than a third of a century and he is widely recognized as one of its honored pioneers and representative citizens.

James A. Helmey was reared under the parental roof and attended the common schools in the acquirement of an education. On reaching his twentieth year he took up the study of pharmacy, entering his brother's drug store in Canton, South Dakota. In the fall of 1895 he matriculated in the Minnesota Institute of Pharmacy at Minneapolis, Minnesota, from which institution he was graduated with the class of 1896, and on April 8th of the same spring he passed his examination before the state board of examiners at Huron. He then worked as a pharmacist for his brother in Canton until 1898, when he established himself in the drug business at Dell Rapids. At the end of three years he removed his stock to Trent, South Dakota, but sold out shortly afterward and took charge of the Brandt Drug Company at Brandt, this state, which he managed for about two years. Subsequently he spent two years as traveling representative of Frederick Ingram & Company, of Detroit, dealers in pharmaceutical specialties, and in 1905 opened a drug store in Toronto, South Dakota, where he was engaged in business for three years. On the expiration of that period he removed his stock to Brentford, this state, but soon afterward sold out and during the following two years was employed in Pierre, South Dakota. In 1910 he located in Sherman as manager of his brother's drug business and there has since remained, conducting the enterprise in a manner that has won and held an extensive
patronage.

In 1898 Mr. Helmey was united in marriage to Miss Anna Paulson, of Kimball, South Dakota, by whom he had two children, Martha E. and James A., Jr. The wife and mother was called to her final rest on the 10th of July, 1902, passing away in Dell Rapids. In politics Mr. Helmey is a stanch republican, while his religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Norwegian Lutheran church. Fraternally he is connected with Sioux Falls Lodge, No. 262, B. P. O. E., and Sherman Lodge of the Knights of Pythias. In all relations of life he has proven himself upright, honorable and straightforward, well worthy of the high regard in which he is uniformly held.

 

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