South Dakota Government Officials

Gladys Pyle, first female Secretary of State, tells of her duties

Listing of 1885 Territorial Officers

Some Genealogy of Arthur C. Mellette, first Governor of South Dakota

Gov. Frank M. Byrne



Mitchell Daily Republican, Mitchell SD
November 25, 1885, page 4

Contributed by Suzanne Folk

Territorial Officers
Delegate in Congress – O. S. Gifford
Governor – G. A. Pierce
Secretary – J. H. Teller
Treasurer – James W. Raymond
Auditor – E. W. Caldwell
Surveyor General – Maris Taylor
Superintendent of Public Instruction – A. S. Jones
Chief Justice of Supreme Court – Alonzo J. Edgerton
United States District Attorney – John E. Garland
United States Marshal – Dan Maratta


Glascock Family

This is an English name, treated in books of English surnames. The latter syllable, found in a large number of names, such as Hitchcock, Hancock, Babcock, is of doubtful meaning, but regarded by some as a diminutive suffix. In the present case this explanation fits well with the existence of a recognized English surname Glass, about the meaning of which there is, as usual, much variation among the authorities.

This is written, with the knowledge of a tradition, in the West Virginia family, and among the Illinois Glasscocks, of French or German origin. Power's "Sangamon County, Illinois, Biographical History" states that three brothers came with Lafayette, fought in the revolution, and settled on the James river. To one experienced in genealogical study this story bears on its face indications affording strong presumption of inaccuracy.

The name certainly existed in Virginia long before the revolution. Robert Glasscock received two hundred acres in Elizabeth City county, in 1635. The name soon became common, and is of frequent occurrence in the early records of Virginia. The family was especially prominent in Warwick and Richmond counties.

Rev. H. E. Hayden, in his valuable "Virginia Genealogies," says: "Glasscock. An English name of antiquity. If the threadbare tradition of the 'three brothers' is correct, there is another family of this name in Virginia," etc. It is, of course, possible that there are two Virginia Glasscock families of diverse origin, but not probable.

It is cause for great regret that genealogical materials for Virginia families are comparatively scanty, or at least difficult of access. Here we have a family, among the oldest in Virginia, and of colonial as well as present prominence, and yet diligent search fails to make anything approaching a satisfactory family record. New England families have, to a large extent been fully studied and described; even where books have not been written, there are records rendering easy of ascertainment the lines of ancestry of many of their present representatives; Virginia families, of equal distinction and prominence, still have their histories involved in obscurity. The Glasscock family is well worth such study as has been given to many New England families; and, if the whole history could be disclosed, it would be interesting and worthy.

(I) (perhaps Hezekiah) Glasscock, the first member of this family about whom we have definite information, in all probability lived in Virginia. Children, so far as known: John, of whom further; Hezekiah.

(II) John Glasscock was a soldier in the revolutionary war. With his brother Hezekiah and his son Charles he came about 1800 from Fauquier county and settled on Pharaoh's Run, in Marion county, Virginia. Later they settled on Indian Creek, Monongalia county, on the Benjamin J. Miller farm; at this place, John Glasscock, his wife, and one daughter are buried. Children: 1. Charles, of whom further. 2. Juda, married Charles Mellette; one of their sons, Arthur C, was the first Governor of South Dakota. 3. Leah, married Mellette. 4. Hezekiah. 5. John; also one other son, and four other daughters.

(III) Charles, son of John Glasscock, was born July 20, 1775, and died in February, 1840. In his young manhood he came with his father and uncle to the present territories of the state of West Virginia. Settling on Indian Creek, in Grant district, he was a miller. He is buried at the Hogue cemetery, Indian Creek. He married Mary, daughter of Andrew and Elizabeth (Leggett) Arnett, who was born in 1794, and died in 1878. Her mother, surviving Mr. Andrew Arnett, married (second) Price. Children: Elizabeth, died in infancy; Andrew, died in infancy; Stephen, deceased; John, deceased; Malinda, deceased; Minerva, born about 1823, died in 1912, married Teter Arnett; Hezekiah, deceased; William S., born about 1827; Daniel, of whom further; Letitia, deceased, married Kerns; Arnett, deceased; Charles, deceased; Indy B.

(IV) Daniel, son of Charles and Mary (Arnett) Glasscock, was born at Arnettsville, Virginia, in 1828, and died in 1910. He was a farmer. Honest, industrious, frugal, loyal to duty, he was a good citizen. He early gave his adhesion to the newly formed Republican party. In religion he was a Methodist. He married (first) in 1855, ___________ Musgrave, who died in 1857; (second) in 1859, Prudence Michael. Children, all except the first-named by second wife: 1. David. 2. Stephen A. D. 3. William Ellsworth, married Mary Alice Miller; at this date, in 1912, he is governor of West Virginia; his wife is descended in the sixth generation from Colonel John Evans (see sketch in this work). The line is as follows: (I) Colonel Evans, of Welsh parentage, and a leader in the early days of the settlement of the Monongahela Valley, married Anne Martin. (II) Dudley Evans, their son, married Anarah Williams. (III) Margaret Evans, their daughter, married Jacob Miller. (IV) Dudley Evans Miller, their son, married Nancy Thorn. (V) William Calvin Miller, their son, married Martha Ella Amos. (VI) Mary Alice Miller, their daughter, married Governor William Ellsworth Glasscock. 4. Louverna. 5. Samuel Fuller, of whom further. 6. James F., deceased. 7. Sarah, married M. H. Brown; he is a physician, residing at Morgantown. 8. Mary J. 9. Alice. 10. Zana.

(V) Samuel Fuller, son of Daniel and Prudence (Michael) Glasscock, was born March 13, 1867. He was brought up on his father's farm, near Arnettsville. His preliminary education was obtained in the public schools of Monongalia county, in which also he taught for several years. In 1903 he graduated from the University of West Virginia, receiving the degree of LL. B. Immediately he commenced the practice of law, as a member of the firm of Moreland & Glasscock. Several years later he retired from this firm, and formed a partnership with his brother, the present governor of the state, and this continued until his brother's election to that office, in 1908. Mr. Glasscock devotes himself to the general practice of law, and represents numerous important business concerns. He is general counsel for the Morgantown & Kingwood Railroad Company, and for the Elkins Coal and Coke Company. He is a past grand in Monongalia Lodge, No. 10, Independent Order of Odd Fellows. In politics he is a Republican. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.
Mr. Glasscock married, in 1908, Mabel C., daughter of Dr. P. B. Reynolds. She is an alumna of the University of West Virginia, and her father was for many years a professor of metaphysics in that institution. No children.

[Source: Genealogical and personal history of the upper Monongahela valley, West Virginia, under the editorial supervision of Bernard L. Butcher - Transcribed by Therman Kellar]

Who’s Who in South Dakota, Vol. 2
By O. W. Coursey
Educator School Supply Co., Publisher, 1916
Transcribed and contributed by Jim Dezotell



Nearly forty years ago, two young farmer boys, who lived about four miles apart in Allamakee county, Iowa, were at school together in a little old building about eleven miles southeast of Waukon, amid innumerable tree-covered hills, skirted with layers of stone, not far back from the huge bluffs of the Mississippi. Although they were approximately the same age, yet one was teacher and the other pupil.

The equality in their years caused them to become chums. They grew fond of each other. Then they separated. Years later, they came together in Dakota; and the teacher is today Senator Coe I. Crawford, while his industrious pupil is the Honorable Frank M. Byrne, governor of South Dakota.

Governor Byrne has "made good" in every way. A large per cent of the sanest legislation on the statute books of our state, eminated from his brain, was drafted by his pen and was  enacted largely through his own individual exertion.

He was presented to his father and mother in their humble farm home in Allamakee county, Iowa, by a Good Gypsy, as the tradition goes, away back in 1858 — two years after the birth of the republican party, with which he has since been so prominently identified. Had he been born the year he was inaugurated governor of South Dakota, instead of 1858, he would no doubt have been delivered by parcel post.

His boyhood years were spent on the farm. At twenty years of age the western fever got hold of him and he struck out, landing in Sioux Falls in 1879. The next year he homesteaded in McCook county. He and Lieut. Governor Abel both became identified with McCook county. He broke up part of his own farm and did some work for the Honorable Rollin J. Wells, now of Sioux Falls, one of his neighbors, and who has since earned the distinction of being the state's finest dramatic poet. Wells paid Byrne the first dollar he ever earned in South Dakota; and today there isn't a man in the state who is prouder to see Frank M. Byrne governor, than is Mr. Wells himself.

But Mr. Byrne's western fever proved "intermittent," as the doctor would say; at least he suffered a relapse, for, after proving up in 1883, he again pulled west and settled in Faulk county. At that time the little inland town of La Foon was the county seat. Here he made his home for two years. Then he struck for Fargo, now in North Dakota, but at that time a prominent village of Dakota Territory. For the next three years, he roamed between Fargo and Sioux Falls. However, in 1888 he came back to Faulk county and settled on a farm where he remained till 1900 when he moved into the city of Faulkton, where he has since made his home.

During all these years, he prospered, so that today he owns twelve quarter sections of land in Faulk county, and a nice home in the city of Faulkton. Seven quarters of the land lie together in one farm near Miranda. It is a splendid farm — one that Governor Byrne may well feel proud of, because he earned it instead of inheriting it.


Governor Byrne was the first state senator from Faulk county. Later, he served four years (1899-1902) as treasurer of that county. These early experiences gave rise to his growing knowledge of our public affairs. He then retired from politics for four years. But again in 1906 his friends turned out and sent him back to the state senate. He was making good. Faulk county placed confidence in his ability, his integrity and his judgment. It was during his second service in the senate that the eyes of the state were attracted to him. He had some "insurgent" or "progressive" or "reformatory" (whichever you wish to call it) ideas — not red-eyed, fire-eating, irrational, radical, panaceas for all of our political evils, both real and imaginary — but some genuine, sane, manly conceptions of rational progress. So he introduced into the state senate, and succeeded in their enactment, the following laws:

(1) Anti-Pass law — -which has since proved one of the greatest blessings to the state of any law which we have ever enacted.

(2) The Two-Cent Passenger Fare Law — which has since been tied up in the courts. 

(3) The Reciprocal Demurrage Law — which requires railroads to pay damages for delay in furnishing cars to shippers.

(4) A Law Taxing Railways' Terminal Property.

(5) A Law Reducing Express Rates 20 per cent — and authorizing the state railroad commission to reduce these rates still further.

(6) A Law Requiring Standard Forms of Life Insurance Policies.

(7) An Insurance Law — one requiring the insurance commissioner to turn over all fees to the state treasurer, and providing that they could be paid out only on regular vouchers; and

(8) The Anti-Lobby Law.

His legislative record made him an easy winner for the lieutenant-governorship in 1910. Here again, in the organization of the state senate, he showed himself to be a man of great poise, judgment, tact and fairness and withal a statesman. As presiding officer of the state senate, he won the friendship and confidence of the leaders in both factions of his party. So, in 1912, the natural — the logical thing — happened. He became a candidate for governor. There was plenty of opposition, to be sure. A primary is a bid for multiplication of candidates. But when the votes were counted, Frank M. Byrne had polled a plurality of approximately 10,000, over his nearest competitor and a majority of 6,000 over all. He had a tough fight in November, but he won.


On January 7, 1912, amid imposing ceremonies, Frank M. Byrne was sworn in as governor of our great and growing state. His inauguration was one of the grandest in the history of the commonwealth.

From the standpoint of our state's needs, his first message to the legislature was a masterpiece. Again, in detail recommendations, it showed that the governor is not only a man of broad comprehension but that he possesses an exceedingly analytical mind. In all, he made recommendations for specific legislation at once on nineteen different subjects, chief among which were our state institutions, freight and passenger rates, and public printing.

The message, in printed form, consists of fifty pages— exactly one half of which are devoted to our state institutions. His most sweeping recommendations are in a complete change which he recommends for the management of our state educational, our charitable and our penal institutions. At present the five regents have complete control of the state schools, while the five members of the board of charities and corrections have equal authority over the charitable and penal institutions. Instead of dividing the work perpendicularly, so to speak, as it now is, Governor Byrne recommends a constitutional amendment that will reduce each board to three members and authorize the legislature to enact a law dividing the boards' responsibilities horizontally; that is, a board of administration to employ the heads of all of the institutions, and other members, and another board to look after the strictly business affairs of the same. His reasoning invites admiration. A class of men, competent by education, training and experience, to select normal school presidents and faculties, might not be equipped to handle successfully the technical part of the various institutions' business affairs, while a board of three, consisting of an experienced contractor, a banker and a lawyer, would unquestionably look closely after the erection of buildings, the insurance of the same and various kindred matters. 

His foresight in asking the legislature to begin at once to equip the state's grounds, near Watertown, for another asylum, so as to be prepared to take care of our unfortunate citizens, as soon as the Yankton institution has reached an enrollment of 1,200, is an act of statesmanship, and it shows that the people made no mistake in electing Frank M. Byrne governor. 


As a public speaker, Governor Byrne is plain-spoken, straightforward and convincing. As a writer, his first message shows him to be a man capable of expressing himself in simple, modest, but high grade English. His message is that of a thoroughly trained business mind.

He was married in April, 1888, to Miss Emma Beaver of Kenton, Ohio. Mrs. Byrne possesses a modest, kindly, democratic temperament, similar to that of her distinguished husband. As the "First Lady" of our state she has proven companionable, sympathetic and hospitable.  To this couple who have now become so prominent in the public eye of our state, have been born five sons, Carrol B., who graduated June, 1912, from the naval academy at Anapolis; Francis J., Malcolm, Joseph and Emmons.

Governor Byrne, as has been shown, has had splendid preparation in the school of experience to equip him to make South Dakota a great executive. He is a sturdy Irishman — one possessed of a high sense of civic duty, a member of the Congregational church, and a Knight of Pythias, a Mason and an Elk. Governor Byrne was re-elected in 1914, and is now serving his second term.


South Dakota Genealogy Trails  |   Email Me


All data on this website is © Copyright 2009 by Genealogy Trails
with full rights reserved for original submitters.