Gregory County, South Dakota
REV. S. H. STEVENS, an honored resident of Gregory county, is a native of the Empire state of the Union and a scion of stanch old New England stock. He was born on a farm in Cattaraugus county. New York, in the 18th of April, 1837, being a son of Levi and Nancy (Van Tassel) Stevens, the latter of whom was born in the state of New York, being of the sturdy Holland Dutch lineage. The father of the subject was born in Vermont, where he was reared to the age of twelve years when he accompanied his parents on their removal to the state of New York, where he passed the remainder of his life, engaged in gricultural pursuits. His father was for many years engaged in the nursery business in the old Green Mountain state, his property in this line being destroyed during the war of 1812. He located in Niagara county, New York, where his death occurred, while his son Levi died in Cattaraugus county, where he was engaged in farming for many years. He was a Democrat in politics and was a devoted member of the Baptist church, having been identified with one church organization for the long period of sixty-one years, and having been eighty-four years of age at the time of his death, while his wife also passed away at the age of eighty-four years. They became the parents of five sons, all of whom are living.
Rev. S. H. Stevens was reared on the home farm and secured his elementary education in the common schools of his native county, supplementing this by a course of study in Adrian, Michigan, and early determining to prepare himself for the ministry of the Baptist church. He was ordained in 1866, at New Haven, Macomb county, Michigan, and in 1868 removed to Oakland county. Michigan, where he was engaged in the work of his noble calling for the ensuing four years, and thereafter he held for two years the pastorate of the Baptist church at Lenox, Ashtabula county, Ohio. At the expiration of this period he removed to Correctionville, Woodbury county, Iowa, and there continued his effective labors in the vineyard of the divine Master until 1895, when he came to South Dakota and became a pioneer of what is now Gregory county. Here he took up a homestead claim of government land, and on a portion of the same the thriving little village of Bonesteel is located. He was the first regular pastor of the first Free Baptist church organized in the county, and the Baptist church of Bonesteel was the first edifice of the sort erected in the county by the English-speaking people. The subject retired from the active work of the ministry in 1897, but still continues to exercise the functions of his ecclesiastical offices at intervals.
When the dark cloud of civil war obscured the national horizon, Mr. Stevens was among the first to tender service in defense of the Union. In July, 1861, he enlisted as a private in Company F, Sixty-fourth New York Volunteer Infantry, the command being stationed at Elmira until the following October, for the purpose of tactical discipline. The regiment then proceeded to the national capital, remaining in its defensive force until December, when it crossed the Potomac and camped near Alexandria, Virginia, during the winter. It took part in the engagement at Manassas Junction, in the following spring, and then moved onward to old Fortress Monroe and took part in the Peninsular campaign. The subject was an active participant, under General McClellan, in the engagement at Fair Oaks, where he received a ound in the neck, but joined his regiment in time to participate in the battles of Antietam and Chancellorsville, where before crossing the river he was taken ill with fever. He, however, recovered to start forward with his command on the way to Gettysburg, but while enroute suffered a sunstroke, which compelled him to enter the hospital, where he remained until about twenty days before his three-years term of enlistment expired, and received his honorable discharge at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in June, 1864. He retains a deep interest in his old comrades in arms and signifies the same by retaining membership in the Grand Army of the Republic, while he is also identified with the Independent Order of Good Templars. In politics Mr. Stevens has ever given his allegiance to the Republican party.
The subject has attained marked temporal success, and that through consecutive and indefatigable work. He is now the owner of seven hundred and twenty-three acres of valuable land, about three miles
distant from Bonesteel, near which village he also owns an additional one hundred and twenty acres.
On the 5th of March, 1865, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Stevens to Miss Angeline Bassett, who was born in Cattaraugus county, New York, being a daughter of Daniel and Abigail (Libbey) Bassett. Daniel Bassett was born in Washington county, New York, on the 17th of September, 1806, and became a tanner and currier by vocation, while he eventually removed to Cattaraugus county, where he followed this line of enterprise until his retirement, his death there occurring in 1873, while his wife passed away in 1877. Of their nine children all are living except one. Mr. and Mrs. Stevens have two children, Howard, who is now foreman in the painting department of the Great Northern Railroad Company, in the city of St. Paul, Minnesota, and Mabel A., who is the wife of William Redmon, a successful farmer of Plymouth county, Iowa.
HAMPTON RAY KENASTON, M. D., who is succesfully engaged in the work of his profession in Bonesteel, Gregory county, was born near Elmwood, Cass county, Nebraska, on the 24th of March, 1870, and is a son of Dr. James and Caroline Kenaston, the latter being now deceased. They became the parents of twelve children, of whom eight were sons, and of the number ten are yet living. The ancestors of the Doctor in the agnatic line came from Scotland to America in the colonial epoch of our national history, the original orthography of the name having been McKenaston, and the prefix having been dropped by the American branch. At the outbreak of the war of the Revolution the grandfather of the subject was but eight years of age, his parents being at the time residents of Vershire, New Hampshire. His eldest brother was a member of the famous Boston "tea party," and, with others of the older brothers, rendered valiant service in the cause of independence, as a soldier in the Continental line. The Kenaston family followed the march of civilization westward through Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin, and the year 1855 found them in Warren county, Iowa, while the father of our subject served as a valiant soldier in the war of the Rebellion. He removed from Iowa into Nebraska, locating in Elmwood, Cass county, where he engaged in the practice of his profession, and where he passed the remainder of his life. The subject of this review secured his early educational discipline in the public schools of his home town and there remained until the death of his mother, in 1889, after which he accompanied two of his brothers to the Pacific coast, passing a year in Washington and Oregon, and returning home through the Canadian northwest. The Doctor then located in Butte, Boyd county, Nebraska, where, in the spring of 1891, he began the study of medicine under the able preceptorship of Dr. A. S. Warner, of that place. In 1893 he was matriculated in the Sioux City (Iowa) College of Medicine, where he continued his studies for one year, completing his technical course in the medical department of the U. S. Grant University, at Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he was graduated with honors, receiving his degree of Doctor of Medicine on the 22d of March, 1898. In the following month he came to South Dakota, and located in Bonesteel, Gregory county, where he at once began the practice of his chosen profession. He has been most successful as a general practitioner and has built up a large and representative professional business, while he has the confidence and high regard of the people of the community. In 1902 he received a certificate as a registered pharmacist, after examination before the state board of pharmacy, and has since conducted a drug store as a complement to and base of supplies for his professional work. When the Citizens' Bank of Bonesteel was incorporated in May, 1902, the Doctor was one of its incorporators and was chosen a member of its directorate, while in May of the following year he was elected vice-president of the institution. In 1902 he was appointed local surgeon for the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad. In the autumn of 1903 he took a postgraduate course in the New York Polyclinic medical school and hospital, in New York city. In 1900 Dr. Kenaston was appointed vice-president of the Gregory county board of health, and the following year was made superintendent of this board, which incumbency he still retains. He is a stanch advocate of the principles i of the Republican party, and upon the organization of Gregory county was elected coroner, in which office he has ever since continued to serve efficiently. He is a member of the South Dakota State Medical Society and of the American Medical Association, while on February 20, 1904, he was appointed a member of the national auxiliary congressional and legislative committee of the latter association. He is identified with the Masonic fraternity.
The Doctor has an especially well-equipped office, in which is found a fine sixteen-plate X-Ray machine and several other electrical instruments. He is essentially a self-made man, having depended entirely upon his own efforts and resources in securing his education. He has ever been foremost in lending his support to those measures and enterprises which have for their object the enhancement of the material prosperity of the community and the bettering of humanity. He is imbued with distinctive literary taste and has a splendid library.
On the 8th of November, 1899, Dr. Kenaston was united in marriage to Miss Jean May McKee, who was graduated in the State Normal School at Clarion, Pennsylvania, as a member of the class of 1892, and who was prior to her marriage a teacher in the public schools of Butler, that state. Dr. and Mrs. Kenaston have one son, Hampton Ray, Jr., who was born on the 13th of October, 1902.
JOHN N. ELLERMAN, one of the prominent young business men of Fairfax, Gregory county, not only has the distinction of being a native of the state of South Dakota, but also that of being the youngest county treasurer in this commonwealth, which has been his home throughout his entire life. Mr. Ellerman was born at Jamesville, Yankton county, this state, on the 18th of June, 1878, and the date signifies plainly that he is a representative of one of the pioneer families of South Dakota. He is the son of Herman and Emily (Rudolph) Ellerman, both of whom were born in Germany, whence they came to America in their early childhood. Their marriage was solemnized at Jamesville, South Dakota, where the father of the subject took up a homestead claim of government land, which he improved and placed under cultivation. In the years following this settlement Herman Ellerman took an active part in the politics of Yankton county and held several positions of trust, among them being county treasurer and county assessor. He now is the United States collector of internal revenue for the district of North and South Dakota, to which position he was appointed during McKinley's administration and in which he has continued ever since.
John N. Ellerman, the immediate subject of this review, secured his early training in the public schools of the city of Yankton, being graduated in the high school as a member of the class of 1898. In September of that year he entered the celebrated University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor, and in this institution continued his studies for two years, at the expiration of which he returned to his home at Yankton. In 1900 he was appointed deputy county treasurer, in which capacity he continued to serve nearly two years, after which he became business manager of the Dakota Free Press and devoted his ttention to newspaper work until May, 1902, gaining prestige and success in this field of endeavor. In May, 1902, he took up his residence at Fairfax, the capital of Gregory county, and here established himself in the real-estate and loan business. He has been successful in his labors and is known as a progressive and public-spirited citizen. Only four months after his arrival in the county Mr. Ellerman was nominated on the Republican ticket for the office of county treasurer, and in the autumn of the same year, 1902, he was elected to this responsible office. He entered upon the active discharge of his official duties on the 1st of January, 1903, and as an executive and citizen spares no pains to further the best interests of the new and thriving county with whose people he has cast his lot. He still continues his real-estate and loan business and enjoys the liberal patronage of the people of the county. At the time of his nomination for county treasurer he was incumbent of the office of justice of the peace, resigning the same to take up the work of his present office. In politics Mr. Ellerman gives an uncompromising allegiance to the Republican party, and fraternally he has attained high advancement in the time-honored Masonic order, in which his affiliations include membership in St. John's Lodge, No. I, Free and Accepted Masons, in Yankton, and Oriental Consistory, No. 1, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, in hich he has attained the thirty-second degree at the time of this writing. Mr. Ellerman enjoys a marked popularity in Gregory county, as does he also in his old home in Yankton county, and he is one who well exemplified the progressive spirit so manifest in his native commonwealth.
S. M. LINDLEY, of Bonesteel, Gregory county, is a native of the Hawkeye state, having been born on the parental farmstead in Iowa. He grew up under the sturdy discipline of the homestead farm and his educational advantages were such as were afforded in the public schools of the locality. He continued to be associated with the work of the parental farm until he had attained the age of nineteen years, when he set forth to seek his fortunes in what is now the state of South Dakota, being attracted by the discovery of gold in the Black Hills, to which district he made his way. He there remained a few months and then located in Charles Mix county, where he took up government land and gave his attention to farming and stock raising. He was an influential factor in the public affairs of that section, having been elected county commissioner when but twenty-one years of age, while he also served as county clerk and register of deeds. He continued to reside in that county until he disposed of his interests there and came to the new county of Gregory, settling near Wheeler and in the immediate proximity of the embryonic village of Starcher, where he served as the first postmaster. He has ever been a stanch advocate of the principles of the Republican party, and was the one principally instrumental in securing the introduction of the legislative bill providing for a treaty with the Indians for the opening of the Rosebud reservation to settlement. Mr. Lindley was a member of the legislature in 1901, and there gave most effective service in the interests of his constituency, and he was also a member of the Republican state central committee. Fraternally he is identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Ancient Order of United Workmen, while his religious views are in harmony with the faith of the Episcopal church, in which he was reared, his wife being a communicant of the Catholic church. Mr. Lindley was united in marriage to Miss Lizzie Marshall, of Charles Mix county.
T. J. THOMPSON was born and reared in Winterport, Maine, where he received his educational training in the common school. As a youth he sailed before the mast for one year, and then served an apprenticeship at the art of telegraphing, becoming an expert operator. Finally he came to the west and located in Iowa, where he was engaged as operator and station agent at various points for a number of years. He then moved to Hastings, Nebraska, in which city he established himself in the hardware business, there continuing to be successfully identified with this line of enterprise for about fifteen years, at the expiration of which he came to South Dakota, and took up his residence in the thriving and progressive little town of Fairfax, where he engaged in the same line of business, having the only hardware establishment in the town, and having built up a large and prosperous business. He still retains the ownership of a valuable tract of land in Sheridan county, Nebraska. For one year the subject also conducted a branch hardware store in Bonesteel, but he now centers his interests in Fairfax. In politics, he is a staunch advocate of the principles of the Republican party, and fraternally he is identified with the Masonic fraternity.
Mr. Thompson was married to Miss Mary Abbott, who was born and reared in the same town as was himself, and they have three children.
CHARLES F. TURNEY, one of the highly esteemed residents of Gregory county, was born on a farm in Illinois. He passed his youthful days amid the scenes and labors of the homestead farm, while his educational training was received in the public schools of Illinois, Missouri and Kansas, in each of which states his parents resided during his youthful years. He continued to be identified with farming for some time as a young man, but it should be noted that he also attained marked popularity and success as a teacher in the common schools, having devoted eighteen years to this line of work, principally in Arkansas, and for a time in Nebraska and South Dakota. In 1891 Mr. Turney came to Gregory county and became one of the first settlers in Fairfax. He also took up government land and is now the owner of six hundred acres in this county, about two hundred and twenty-five acres of the same being under effective cultivation, while he also gives special attention to the raising of cattle, swine and horses, ever aiming to bring his stock up to the highest standard. Mr. Turney is thoroughly progressive and public-spirited and has taken an active part in local affairs. He is a staunch advocate of the principles of the Republican party, and served for four years as county treasurer, maintaining his residence in Fairfax, the county seat, where he is the owner of valuable property. He has served as a member of the official board of the school district and has exerted his influence at all times for the advancement of the best interests of the county. He and his wife are members of the Congregational church, and fraternally he is identified with the Modern Woodmen of America and the Ancient Order of United Workmen.
Mr. Turney wedded Miss Mary Turner, daughter of John and Margaret Turner, and of this union have been born four children.
JOHN M. PORTER, who is now living practically retired in the village of Fairfax, was born in Pickaway county, Ohio. He was reared on the old pioneer homestead, and such were the exigencies of time and place that his early educational advantages were extremely meager. He continued to be identified with the agricultural industry in Ohio for many years, having assisted in the clearing of much land and in the development of the resources of the old Buckeye commonwealth. In 1882 he disposed of his interests in his native state and removed to Nebraska, where he took up government land, improving the property and there engaging in general farming and stock-growing until 1894, when he sold out and came to Gregory county, South Dakota, where he took up a homestead claim. This property has been placed under an excellent state of cultivation and equipped with good improvements. Mr. Porter there continued to be actively engaged in farming and stock raising until the spring of 1901, when he came to Fairfax, where he has since lived in the home of his son. The subject is a stalwart Republican but has never sought or held public office, and he has long been a zealous member of the Methodist Episcopal church.
Mr. Porter was united in marriage to Miss Martha Kirkpatrick, who was likewise born and reared in Pickaway county, Ohio, and they are the parents of seven children.
C. A. JOHNSON was born in Springville, Erie county, New York, and is a scion of sturdy Puritan stock, the name which he bears having been identified with the annals of American history from the early colonial epoch. The subject was a lad of about nine years at the time of the family removal to Wisconsin, and there he was reared to the sturdy discipline of the homestead farm, while he received such educational advantages as were afforded in the common schools of the locality and period. At the age of seventeen years, Mr. Johnson entered the Elroy Seminary, at Elroy, Wisconsin, where he completed a three-years course of study. His financial resources were limited and in order to accomplish his ambition to thus further prosecute his educational work, he entered the office of one of the leading physicians of Elroy, and by his services in the connection defrayed the expenses of his board in the home of the doctor. He was compelled to borrow money to pay his tuition in the seminary, and this kindly loan he promptly repaid with his first earnings. For a number of years after leaving school Mr. Johnson was successfully engaged in teaching in the public schools of Wisconsin, and his ability and judgment led him to make a number of excellent investments in land; in the connection it is a significant fact that practically every real-estate venture in which he has embarked has been brought to a successful issue. In 1884 he moved to Wood Lake, Nebraska. At that time there was nothing located at that station on the Elkhorn Railroad except a section house and a claim shanty. Mr. Johnson rented the claim shanty and started a general store, established a postoffice, and became the first postmaster of Wood Lake. In 1886 he established the Wood Lake Bank. In 1892, through the efforts of Orion Porter, Mr. Johnson made a visit to Fairfax, South Dakota, and the resources of Gregory county so impressed him that he located several business enterprises. Those at Fairfax were dealing in general merchandise and lumber. On the Missouri river, at Porter's Landing, he established the Johnson Lumber and Grain Company, which he operated for five years and which made necessary the reestablishing of the boat line between that point and Running Water. In 1893 he established the Fairfax State Bank, which is the strongest banking institution in Gregory county. Mr. Johnson's business transactions in Gregory county since starting business here aggregate over a million dollars. He has always been a successful investor in real estate and his dealings in that direction have become so numerous that the C. A. Johnson Realty Company was formed to conduct that branch of the business. The company owns the most desirable of the additions to the towns of Fairfax and Bonesteel, as well as much other of the most desirable realty in the county. Mr. Johnson is the owner of large tracts of land in this county, the same being utilized principally for grazing purposes. He is president of the Fairfax State Bank and also of the Citizens' Bank of Bonesteel. In politics he gives a stanch allegiance to the Republican party, and is identified with the Masonic fraternity, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.
Mr. Johnson was united in marriage to Miss Martha Chandler, and they have two children.
EDWIN M. STARCHER, president of the Gregory County State Bank, at Fairfax, Gregory county, is a native of West Virginia, having been born in Ripley, Jackson county, on Christmas day of the year 1863, and being a son of Jacob L. and Marian G. (Webb) Starcher, the former of whom was likewise born in Jackson county, that state, in 1832, while the latter was born in the city of Charleston, West Virginia, at that time having been still an integral portion of the Old Dominion state. The father of the subject was reared and educated in his native state and is a man of high intellectuality and marked business acumen. In his earlier years he was a successful teacher, having been thus engaged in different places, while he also followed mercantile pursuits as a young man, being now identified with this line of enterprise in Ripley, West Virginia. where he was also engaged in the banking business for some time. He has accumulated an estate of four hundred thousand dollars, the same representing the results of his own efforts since the close of the Civil war. He was a staunch Union man during that crucial epoch and was sheriff of his county at the time, and he is a staunch Democrat in politics. He visited various portions of the great northwest in a very early day, having been with a government surveying party which made its way up the Red river through what is the present state of South Dakota, the same being then on the very frontier of civilization. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and both he and his devoted wife are communicants of the Protestant Episcopal church. They have only two children, the elder of whom, Floyd, is now a resident of the city of Richmond, Virginia.
When the subject was a child of six years his parents removed to the state of Minnesota, and located in Hastings, in whose public schools he secured his early educational training. In 1880 he entered the Northwestern Ohio Normal University, at Ada, where he continued his studies for one year. He then entered the law department of Washington and Lee University, at Lexington, Virginia and was there graduated in June, 1888, coming forth well equipped for the practice of his chosen profession. Shortly after his graduation Mr. Starcher came to South Dakota and located in the town of Wheeler, Charles Mix county, where he established himself in the practice of law, and that he soon gained popularity and professional prestige is evident when we revert to the fact that within the first year of his residence here he was elected state's attorney of his county, of which office he remained incumbent for two years, proving an able and discriminating prosecutor. This was before the admission of the state, and he served as the last district attorney and first state's attorney in that county, being in office at the time of the admission of the state to the Union. He continued in the active practice of his profession in that county for a period of ten years, at the expiration of which, in 1898, he took up his residence in Fairfax, where he has since maintained his home. In his youthful days he was employed in a drug store and gained a thorough knowledge of the business, being now a registered pharmacist. He has been consecutively engaged in the drug business ever since he came to South Dakota, and thus it may be seen that he is distinctively a man of affairs, having a great capacity for work and that of a successful order, both in professional and business lines. When he took up his residence in the present thriving little city of Fairfax, in 1898, the county had not yet been organized, and he was prominently identified with public affairs here from the start. He is a staunch advocate of the principles of the Democratic party, and as a candidate of the samehe was elected the first county judge of Gregory county, to which dignified position he has since been three times re-elected, being incumbent of the office at the present time and having made an enviable record on the bench, as has he also in the active practice of his profession. He has also served for four years as city attorney, having been the first and only occupant of the position in this city. He is the owner of the only drug store here, is president of the Gregory State Bank and is the owner of valuable realty in the village and county. As if all these interests were not sufficient to tax his powers of supervision, Judge Starcher is also engaged in the abstract business, having an excellent system of records and being the pioneer in this line in the county. He and his wife are communicants of the Episcopal church, and fraternally he is affiliated with the Masons, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias and the Modern Woodmen of America.
On the 11th of November, 1901, was solemnized the marriage of Judge Starcher to Miss Marian B. Helenbolt, who was born in Minnesota, being a daughter of Harry and Mary E. (Blake) Helenbolt, who removed to Nebraska when she was a child, her father being now one of the successful farmers of that state.
Starcher, Edwin M., lawyer and jurist of Fairfax. S.D., was born Dec. 25, 1863, in Calhoun county, W.V'a. He is judge of the county court for Gregory county.
[Herringshaw's American Blue-Book of Biography by Thomas William Herringshaw, 1914 - Transcribed by A Friend of Free Genealogy]
ALBERT MASON, of Fairfax, Gregory county, is a native of the state of Iowa, having been born on the homestead farm, in Cedar county, on the 7th of January, 1867, and being a son of James and A. E. (Monroe) Mason. The father of the subject was born in the vicinity of Meadville, Pennsylvania, and there continued to be identified with agricultural pursuits until 1850, when he started for the west and became a pioneer settler in Cedar county, Iowa, where he became the owner of a valuable landed estate of two hundred and forty acres, upon which he made the best of improvements. He continued to reside on the old homestead until his death, in 1883. at the age of fifty-seven years. His widow is still living, being seventy years of age at the time of this writing, and she resides in Fairfax, South Dakota. She was born and reared in Indiana. Of her twelve children only three are living. The father of the subject was a stanch Republican, having identified himself with the party at the time of its organization, and his religious faith was that of the Baptist church, of which his widow also has long been a devoted member.
The subject of this review was reared to manhood on the homestead farm and his educational advantages were such as were afforded in the public schools of the state of Iowa. Mr. Mason continued to be associated in the work and management of the home farm until he had attained the age of seventeen years, having been about sixteen years old at the time of his father's death. In 1884 he came to Holt county, Nebraska, and, with his mother and sisters, resided on a homestead until 1891, and then came to Gregory county. South Dakota, and here took up a homestead claim of government land, while he was one of the first to settle in the embryonic village of Fairfax, of which he is one of the founders and builders. In 1895 he here established himself in the general merchandise business, in which he has ever since continued, having at the present time a well-equipped store, and being recognized as one of the leading merchants of the town. In politics he maintains an independent attitude, using his franchise in support of the man and measures approved by his judgment. He has been a member of the village council from the time of the incorporation of the town, and is at the present time president of the same and is giving a most progressive and able administration as the executive head of the municipal government. Mr. Mason was the first postmaster of the town, having received the appointment during the administration of President Harrison and having continued in tenure of the office for eight successive years. He is a member of the board of education and took an active part in the establishing of the public-school system in the village and county, and has done most of the local surveying throughout the county, and in this capacity has laid out all of its towns. He was prominently concerned in the organization of the county, having charge of the official correspondence and making two trips to interview the Governor in furtherance of the work, while he personally secured many of the signatures to the petition for the organization of the new county. Fraternally he is identified with the local lodges of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Ancient Order of United Workmen, having been a charter member of the latter. He and his wife are prominent and valued members of the Methodist Episcopal church.
On the 6th of September, 1888, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Mason to Miss Bertha Batesole, who was born in Sandusky county, Ohio, being a daughter of William H. and Nancy J. Batesole, both of whom were born and reared in Ohio, where the father was engaged in farming until his removal to the estate of Michigan, where he continued to follow the same vocation until 1885, when he removed to Holt county, Nebraska, where he remained until 1891, since which year he has been successfully engaged in farming in Marshall county, Iowa.
JOY M. HACKLER
ATE JACK-RABBITS AND CUCUMBERS
The names of "Hackler" and "Rosebud" are synonymous. It took Joy Hackler, of the Gregory National bank, to develop the Rosebud reservation, and it took the Rosebud to develop Joy Hackler. You can't separate them without spoiling both. Still, Joy is no "hackler" about rosebuds. While he en"Joy" (s) them, yet sand-cherries are his choice.
Let's not hackle about this proposition, but hit the nail right square on the head at once. Joy Hackler was born five miles from Nebraska City, Nebraska, June 14, 1877. There were June rosebuds everywhere, but Joy found more "joy" among the sand-cherries on the sand dunes and sandy plains, of Nebraska. At six years of age, his parents removed with him to Keypaha county, Nebraska. They were very poor. Here Joy and the other children attended rural school, and lived on sand-cherries and buttermilk. This diet made them poddy, or paunchy, as the typical westerner would say. Their neighbors were equally poor. Their children also washed down their sand-cherries with buttermilk. One of these children finally swelled up and died. The local doctor said its death was caused by the berries and that they were poison. Word was sent over the whole community not to eat any more of them. The Hacklers disobeyed. However, for a winter diet their food varied, and they lived mostly on jack-rabbits and cucumbers. The acid in the vinegar on the cucumbers killed the wild taste of the rabbit meat and the Hacklers lived on this diet for several months at a time, without even getting the scurvy.
However, it is from just such homes as these that the west is developing her strongest and her ablest men. The poverty of boyhood is readily superceded by the riches of manhood, and the transition is not one-tenth so much luck as it is adaptability of a man to his environment. Such a man is Joy M. Hackler. We are proud of him. At twelve years of age, his parents removed with him to Springview, Nebraska, where the lad for a few years had the advantage of town school. He completed the grades and spent one year in the high school. This constituted his scholastic preparation for life.
However, he had gotten along far enough in his studies, so that he passed a teachers' examination in 1894 and secured a third grade certificate. On this he taught one term, for which service truly rendered, he received the magnificent salary of $18 per month. Out of this he paid his board and other expenses. They didn't "live around" in those days like they used to away back in the hoosier days of Indiana and the early years of Illinois.
COMES TO DAKOTA
In December, 1904, when the Rosebud was opened for settlement, Mr. Hackler came to Dakota and organized at Gregory the Gregory State bank, which he opened for business January 1, following. The bank had a capital of $5,000. In 1907, he increased the capital to $25,000; and in 1909, to $50,000 and made it a national bank. This institution was promptly made a United States depository. On January 22, 1913, the Corn Belt Bank and Trust company was consolidated with it — the consolidated institution retaining the name of the Gregory bank. So much for the financial achievements of a self-made lad who grew up on the sand hills of Nebraska, but who has helped to develop Dakota!
Mr. Hackler was married on July 29, 1903 — about a year and a half before he came to Dakota — to Miss Nellie Tissue, of Springview, Nebraska. She was deputy county treasurer at Springview, and as such she had acquired a practical business education. Such girls make the best mothers on earth. Hackler chose wisely. They are today the proud parents of a seven-year-old boy named Victor, and he bids mighty well to be a "victor" like his dad.
Peculiarly enough, Mr. Hackler, like O. L. Branson, president of the First National Bank at Mitchell, and like Lieutenant-Governor E. L. Abel, president of the City National Bank of Huron, is a combination of business sagacity and literary instinct. He is one of the happiest after-dinner speakers in the state. Last year, while Mr. Roosevelt was prominent before the public eye, Mr. Hackler was called upon to respond to a toast at a bankers' convention held in Dallas, this state. It was such an original speech and such a witty "take off," that we have decided to use a portion of it here. The adaptation of his keen thrusts will at once be seen by all who last year were regular readers of the newspapers :
"At a banquet before the last one I attended, I responded to a toast, or rather I attempted to respond and immediately afterwards I declared, and made the statement that 'Under no circumstances would I again accept an invitation to speak at a banquet.' A short time after this announcement I attended another banquet and was called upon for a talk and referred then to my previous announcement and said, 'I have not changed and shall not change that decision thus announced.' "Last evening I was urgently requested by the board of seven little governors or managers of this group to respond to the toast 'Our Association and its Social Side.' It was pointed out to me and I was clearly shown that my speech at the banquet was absolutely necessary to save the association from the domination of the bosses. I thus decided to accept the invitation and shall adhere to that decision until my speech is completed or until I am ejected from the hall.
"My 'hat is now in the ring’ and in view of this very, very urgent request of the seven little governors or managers and the common bankers behind them I'm in the fight to the finish and will not stand for any crooked manipulation by the bosses.
"I will perhaps be criticized for again entering the ring since I had announced that I would not again do so, but I meant that I would not speak at two consecutive banquets.
"I expect to hit straight from the shoulder and will likely put you over the ropes; I may also hit below the belt, but I trust you will not squeal as you are not, or should not be, that species of animal; although I have heard of bankers being called names that would indicate there was some squeal in them.
"I assume that there are no crooked bankers or politicians at the banquet board tonight as I. should certainly have declined to sit with them had I known them to be such. It makes no difference to me whether or not the charge of crookedness had been proven, the charge itself is sufficient to warrant me in saying that he or they 'are undesirable citizens' and should be forthwith ejected.
"I typify and am the embodiment of the progressive banker, and it so happens that I am the only man who can represent you in the role of the 'Social and Moral Ethics of Banking. I am therefore fortunately and peculiarly adapted to the place on the program assigned me of bringing up the rear, and bringing in the sheaves, (when the sheaves constitute hot air and little thought).
"I want it understood that I am against the bosses when they are against me and am with them when they are going my way. I have today seen committees appointed without the aid or consent of myself, although as a member of one committee, I could not control it and 'My Policies' were not adopted in their entirety, and right here I wish to say that hereafter I propose to take my case to the common bankers and do away with the high handed methods that have prevailed in all bankers conventions since there were banks, and put a stop to the work of such consummate bosses as E. A. Jackson, W. S. Ayers, C. E. Burnham, et al.
"I am in favor of the recall in all its ramifications. I am in favor of not only recalling the decision, but the banker himself who loans money for less than 12 per cent and pays higher than 6 per cent on time deposits. I am also in favor of invoking the recall where the bankers organization is dominated by the bosses and does not follow 'my policies’
"I am opposed to arbitration and peace treaties, as they might interfere with my fighting qualities; for how would I have had a great reputation had it not been for my memorable fighting record up a certain hill in a certain southern island? I am also against arbitration, on the theory that it might interfere with my local Monroe doctrine which is this: 'There shall be no infringement on our territory, nor the establishment of any outside or foreign bank or banker on Rosebud soil.’ And I shall fight to the last ditch to maintain that doctrine so long established and adhered to by our fore-fathers and early bankers.
"I am indeed sorry that I cannot address you from the rear end of a special train fully equipped with everything that Harvester and Steel Trust Money can buy. I am sorry that I can not show my teeth to better advantage, take my cowboy hat in my hand and pound it over the railing of the car, cling to the rail with the other hand and shout to the tumultuous and appreciative throng 'Back to the common people,' for I am sure I would create unbounded as well as unbalanced enthusiasm. But I must abide by the arrangements as they have been made and I trust that the next time I am inflicted upon your good nature I will be running the executive branch of the government of the South Dakota Bankers Group No. Eleven, where my word and 'My policies' will be law, absolutely law."
(Strangely, and yet naturally, enough, Mr. Hackler, at the next session of the bankers in "group eleven,” was elected president.)
JOHN N. ELLERMAN.
John N. Ellerman is vice president of the First National Bank of Fairfax and is one of the prominent factors in financial circles in Gregory county and that part of the state. He has the love of a native son for South Dakota, his birth having occurred in Jamesville, Yankton county, his parents being Herman and Emilie (Rudolph) Ellerman, who came to Dakota territory in the early '70s. The father homesteaded land and was actively identified with the pioneer development of Yankton county, where he was called to public office, serving as county treasurer and as county assessor. He is still living at Yankton hut his wife has passed away.
John N. Ellerman early became a public-school pupil and continued his studies in successive grades until he was graduated from the high school. He afterward spent two years as a student in the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and then accepted a position in the office of the county treasurer at Yankton, serving in that capacity for two years. He next became manager of the advertising department of the Dakota Freie Presse
and when two years had passed he severed that connection and came to Gregory county, settling at Fairfax, where he engaged in the real-estate business. His capability and public spirit won him recognition in an election to the office of county treasurer, which position he filled for four years. Still higher honors awaited him, however, for in 1907 he was chosen to represent his district in the state legislature and again was called to that office by popular suffrage in 1909.
After retiring from office Mr. Ellerman went to California for the benefit of his health, spending five years on the Pacific coast. He afterward returned to his old position and in 1904 entered, the bank as vice president, since which time he has bent his energies toward the upbuilding of the business and has been an effective force in increasing its clientage. He is likewise the secretary of the Johnson Farm Loan Company, which is a big institution, controlling an extensive business of that character.
On the 10th of June, 1908, Mr. Ellerman was united in marriage to Miss Lena M. Garrett, a daughter of James M. Garrett, of Caldwell, Idaho. They now have one child, Garrett Herman. The religious faith of the family is that of the Congregational church, while in his political belief Mr. Ellerman is a republican. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity, his membership being at Yankton, where he has attained the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite and has crossed the sands of the desert with the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He also belongs to the Odd fellows lodge at Fairfax. He is interested in gardening, in fishing, hunting and motoring and along those lines finds his recreation. Opportunity has with him ever been a call to action and, utilizing the advantages which have come to him, he has not only steadily progressed in the business world in gaining substantial rewards for his labor but has also won the regard of his fellowmen by an active and well spent life.
HENRY L. EVELAND.
Henry L. Eveland is making a creditable record in the office of county auditor of Gregory county and is well known as a respected resident of Fairfax. He was born in Northern Missouri, August 3, 1874, a son of Robert H. and Mary (Van Dalsem) Eveland. The father devoted his life to manufacturing interests until, having become the possessor of a comfortable competence, he retired and is now enjoying a period of well earned leisure. His wife has passed away.
Henry L. Eveland is indebted to the public-school system of his native state for the educational privileges which he enjoyed, and after his textbooks were put aside he engaged in farming in Missouri until 1903, when he came to South Dakota, settling first at Bonesteel. There he engaged in farming until he was elected to office, save for the years 1911 and 1912, when he served as deputy register of deeds. In 1914 he was elected county auditor, so that he is the present incumbent in that position. In politics he is a republican, having voted with that party since age conferred upon him the right of franchise because of a firm belief in its principles.
On the 24th of April, 1902, Mr. Eveland was married to Miss Effie Elliott, a daughter of E. E. Elliott, of Missouri, and their children are Hazel C, Mary J., Lester D., Ruth H. and Edith E.
Mr. Eveland is a public-spirited and greatly respected citizen, his sterling traits of character having gained for him the warm regard of those with whom he has been associated. He believes in South Dakota and its future and works earnestly to bring about improved conditions. Fraternally he is connected with the Woodmen, while his religious faith is that of the Methodist church, a faith that permeates all of his relations with his fellowmen.
CHARLES A. JOHNSON.
Enterprise and laudable ambition have brought Charles A. Johnson to an enviable position in business circles, he being now president of the First National Bank of Fairfax. His birth occurred in Springville, Erie county, New York, September 11, 1857, his parents being David and Nancy (Quinn) Johnson, who came of English and Irish ancestry respectively. The Johnson family was founded in Massachusetts in 1766—ten years before the Declaration of Independence was written. David Johnson was a farmer by occupation and also engaged extensively in manufacturing cheese. At the time of the civil war he attempted to enlist but was rejected on account of the condition of his health. His grandfather had been a soldier of the Revolutionary war, enlisting three times under General Washington. He was at Valley Forge and at Princeton and participated in a number of the important engagements that brought independence to the nation. Both Mr. and Mrs. David Johnson have now passed away, the latter having died at the advanced age of eighty-seven years. In the family were eight children, five sons and three daughters.
Charles A. Johnson, the fifth in order of birth, supplemented his public-school education by study in the Elroy Seminary of Wisconsin, his people having removed to that state when he was a lad of nine years. Owing to illness, however, he was not able to complete
his course in the seminary. For five years he engaged in teaching school in Wisconsin and in 1884 went to Nebraska, settling at Wood Lake, where he engaged in general merchandising, in the lumber business, in the live-stock business and in banking for twenty-one years, his activities contributing in large measure to the business development of the town.
The story of how Mr. Johnson became a banker, which he told twenty-five years ago to a number of his old time friends, and since then it has been told many thousand times as a joke, is as follows:
"In 1885 I had an inspiration that I wanted to become a banker. I wrote a letter to Mr. Ben Woods, who was vice president of the Merchants National Bank of Omaha, who was acquainted with my father in their boyhood days in Erie county, New York. I asked him to write me a receipt telling me how to become a banker. He replied by saying there was no set rule, and that a knowledge of banking could only be gained by actual contact with the business.
"My desire was so great that I decided at once to apply myself to the contact. I had a fair sized safe which I moved into an empty building, and had the name 'Wood Lake Bank' printed across the front of the building in large red letters. Having procured eleven dollars worth of check books and deposit slips I was open for business. This was before the days of all your foolish banking laws that so aggravate our present day banker. No capital was required and the only law that governed your business was your conscience.
"The first day's existence of the Wood Lake Bank David Hanna came in and deposited five hundred dollars and secured a check book. The next day Alf Morris deposited two hundred and fifty dollars and Mel Hanna deposited four hundred dollars and Wash Honey
deposited one thousand dollars. Sundry other men made deposits that week of various amounts and by Saturday night I had gained sufficient confidence in the institution to deposit my own money from my store and lumberyard.
"The banking business is done largely on confidence of which I have always had a large stock on hand. The ruling rate that small banks charged in those days was twenty-four to thirty-six per cent, but I deny the charge of ever taking an unlawful interest. I figured that if the public were kind enough to furnish us the money to loan, we should be satisfied with ten per cent interest.
"Having learned the lesson of strict economy which is taught in the 'University of Hard Knocks,' of which I was a graduate, I was able to save enough money in two years to capitalize the Wood Lake Bank at ten thousand dollars. This was prior to the passage of a banking law in Nebraska.
"I have often thought the simple laws on banking of Confucius, the famous sage of China, written over five hundred years before Christ and still in force, are superior to our own. When a banker of China goes wrong and embezzles the people's money they chop his bead off with an ax."
Since that time Mr. Johnson has established and been president of six different banks, all now in nourishing condition. He gained from each day's experiences the lessons therein
contained. He studied every phase of the business from n practical standpoint and as the years passed on broadened his interests and connections until lie is today the foremost capitalist of his section of the state. While engaged in the banking business in Nebraska he there acquired many thousands of acres of land. In 1892 he came to South Dakota, at once recognized the possibilities for development in the western part of the state and established a line of stores and lumberyards. He also organized the Fairfax State Bank, the only bank in the Rosebud until the railroad was built through. He established and is president of the Citizens Bank of Bonesteel and the St. Charles State Bank of St. Charles, which he visits once a week, giving careful supervision to the conduct of the business. He is also president of The Johnson Farm Loan Company of Fairfax and his financial connections are now extensive and of an important character. Moreover, he is a resourceful business man and his efforts and activities have been by no means confined to one line. He sees and utilizes opportunities that others pass heedlessly by and when once he has determined upon a course he perseveres therein until he has reached a successful conclusion. He is called the alfalfa man of his part of the state, for he planted the first alfalfa in Gregory county, proved that it could be profitably cultivated and has since encouraged its planting. He is now cutting six tons to the acre in the year 1915. His landed possessions embrace several thousand acres in South Dakota and in other states. He has made very judicious investments in property and he is an enthusiastic farmer, doing everything in his power to produce better farming conditions. He started the movement that has put in the Rosebud one hundred silos and has introduced dairy cows there, claiming that the final conquest of the Rosebud will be by the dairy cow, for he believes that district to be a splendid region for dairy purposes. He was individually instrumental in securing the present railway facilities of Gregory county. When he thought the time ripe he went to Chicago to take the matter up and "dirt was flying" inside of ninety days, securing and donating seventy miles of right of way.
On the 27th of June, 1886, Mr. Johnson was united in marriage to Miss Matie M. Chandler, a daughter of Philander and Miranda Chandler, of Ohio. To them have been born three children, namely: Chester A., who is engaged in the cattle business and farming in Gregory county; Ava Nancy, at home; and Ina, who died at the age of four years.
Mr. Johnson and his family are Protestants in religious belief. He has attained the thirty-second degree in Masonry, belonging to the consistory at Yankton. He is also a Noble of the Mystic Shrine and a member of various other orders and fraternal societies. In politics he is a republican and is a believer in prohibition. Ever a close personal adherent of the temperance cause, he does all in his power to further its adoption and he cooperates in every plan and measure that he believes will prove of benefit in the upbuilding of city, county and state. He has given to Fairfax a library building and many of the books which it contains. He also donated the ground for the city park and planted the trees. He has long been an advocate of good roads and is now grand consul of the Washington Memorial Highway Association. His life record, if given in detail, would present a picture of every public project of the community in which he lives, for he has been identified with all that pertains to progress and upbuilding here. No man in his section of the state is more widely known or deserves in larger measure the gratitude and goodwill of the public. He came to the Rosebud when pioneer conditions existed here, saw its opportunities and has worked for public advantage as well as for private advancement. His fellow townsmen believe that he would ever sacrifice the latter before he would the former and attest that his patriotism is ever shown in actual practical work for the public good.
MARTIN L. PARISH.
Martin L. Parish, a young attorney of Fairfax with a growing practice, was born in New York, December 6, 1881, a son of Hart and Mary A. (Ikler) Parish. The father devoted his life to the occupation of farming and in 1883 brought the family to Dakota territory, settling in Charles Mix county, at Chandler, where he homesteaded. For a quarter of a century he there engaged in farming and he and his wife now reside upon a farm at Dixon. His efforts have been a valuable factor in advancing agricultural progress.
Brought to this state when in his second year, Martin L. Parish attended the public schools and afterward entered Yankton College. He was graduated from the academy and later followed the profession of teaching for six years. In the meantime, in 1904, he homesteaded a tract of land in Gregory county. In 1906 he was elected to the office of clerk of the courts and subsequently entered the office of Edwin M. Starcher at Fairfax, who was engaged in the practice of law and in the abstract business, later succeeding to the business.
Devoting his leisure time to the study of law, he was admitted to the bar on the 26th of October, 1912, and although one of the younger attorneys of the county, has won a fair share of the public practice and it is well known that he is most devoted to the interests of his clients, doing everything in his power to win success along the lines of legitimate practice. He also continues president of the Starcher Abstract Company and is doing a good business in that connection.
On the 19th of August, 1912, Mr. Parish was united in marriage to Miss Lydia Morach, a native of Nebraska and a daughter of the Rev. Jacob Morach, a Congregational minister.
They now have two children, Elizabeth G. and Mary Doris. Mr. and Mrs. Parish hold membership in the Congregational church and are accorded cordial welcome in the best homes of the city, occupying an enviable social position. Mr. Parish exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the republican party and for six years was clerk of the courts. He belongs to the Masonic lodge of Bonesteel and to the Commercial Club of Fairfax, and he is fond of motoring and enjoys outdoor life, thus gaining his recreation. His entire life has conformed to high standards, making him a respected citizen of Gregory county, while his unfeigned cordiality and goodwill toward all have won for him well deserved popularity.