Genealogy Trails

Hamlin County South Dakota



Arneson, Alef O.

Arneson, Gustave A. S.

Boswell, William Benjamin

Burleigh, George H.

Catlett, Joseph Walters

Christensen, Esten E.

Crawford, James Harry

Curtis, Hiram Humphrey

Dixon, Stephen W.


Gorman, James K.

Jensen, James P.

Law, Thomas James

Lohr, George C.


Magee, William George

Meadows, Earl R.

Palm, Andrew P.

Reifel, Benjamin

Staley, Franklin Henry

Turner, Frank

Walsh, John P.

Westfall, Murray W.

Whittemore, Winfred E.






REIFEL, Benjamin, a Representative from South Dakota; born on the Rosebud Indian Reservation near Parmelee, Todd County, S.Dak., September 19, 1906; attended Todd County rural schools; B.S., South Dakota State College, 1932; M.A., 1949, and a Ph.D., 1952, in public administration, Harvard University; served in the United States Army as a lieutenant colonel from 1942 to 1945, with service in Europe; employed by the Department of the Interior since 1933, resigning as Aberdeen area administrator in the Bureau of Indian Affairs in March 1960; elected as a Republican to the Eighty-seventh and to the four succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1961-January 3, 1971); was not a candidate for reelection in 1970 to the Ninety-second Congress; was a resident of Estelline, S.Dak., and Largo, Fla., until his death in Sioux Falls, S.Dak., on January 2, 1990.
Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-Present; transcribed by A. Newell on behalf of Genealogy Trails.

History of Dakota Territory, George W. Kingsbury, Vol. 4, 1915
Transcribed by Genealogy Trails staff


John P. Walsh has been engaged in business as an undertaker of Huron since July, 1908, and has served for two terms as coroner of Beadle county, his second term expiring January 1, 1915. His birth occurred in Falmouth, Kentucky, on the 11th of March, 1876, his parents being John J. and Mary Ann (Durkin) Walsh. In December, 1882, the father removed to Volga, South Dakota, and on the 17th of March of the following year brought his family to this state, taking up government land near the postoffice known as Estelline. There be resided until 1899 and then removed to Castlewood, where he is now living retired. The period of his residence in this state covers three decades, and he is widely recognized as a substantial and esteemed citizen.

John P. Walsh acquired his early education in the public schools, learned telegraphy and also pursued a short course of study in the Globe Business College of St. Paul, Minnesota. Subsequently he became assistant agent at Watertown and Hetland, South Dakota, and later served as night clerk and ticket agent at Willmar, Minnesota, next taking a position as station agent at Appleton. Minnesota. In 1900 he located in Beadle county, this state, and during the following four years was engaged in general agricultural pursuits. Disposing of his interests in that connection, he removed to Castlewood and embarked in the hardware, furniture and undertaking business. He is a 1908 graduate of the Cincinnati College of Embalming. On the 27th of July, 1908, Mr. Walsh removed to Huron and purchased the undertaking establishment of William Tolmie, which he has conducted continuously since in a manner that has gained him an enviable reputation and deserved patronage. He also handles art goods and in this branch of his business has likewise won success.

On the 17th of June, 1901, Mr. Walsh was united in marriage to Miss Margaret T. Tobin, of Huron, by whom he has two children, John R. and Ellen Lucille. He is a republican in politics and served for two terms as coroner of Beadle county, in which connection he made a highly creditable record. In 1913 he was one of the organizers of the Commercial Club of Huron and served as its president until March 1, 1914. He is identified fraternally with the Catholic Order of Foresters, the Loyal Americans and the Knights of Columbus, being grand knight of the last named organization in 1911 and 1912. Both he and his wife are devout communicants of the Catholic church. Of strong integrity and honesty of purpose, despising all unworthy or unfair means to secure success in any undertaking or for any purpose or to promote his own advancement in any way, whether politically or otherwise, he has always enjoyed in large measure the goodwill and trust of the general public, while those who know him personally prize bis friendship because of his genial companionship and his personal worth.

History of Dakota Territory, George W. Kingsbury, Vol. 4, 1915
Transcribed by Genealogy Trails staff


Rev. A. P. Palm, pastor of the Swedish Baptist church at Lake Norden, has had marked influence over his fellow countrymen and those of Swedish lineage among whom he has lived and labored for the cause of moral progress. Born at Nerike, Sweden, on the 15th of February, 1853, he represents an old family of that land, his parents living and dying there. He was reared at home and in the acquirement of his education attended successively the public and high schools in Sweden. His father was a farmer and he early became familiar with the work of tilling the soil and caring for the crops, applying himself to that occupation in early life.

In 1883, determining to better his condition, Andrew P. Palm came to the new world, making his way to Lake Norden, where he arrived on the 20th of May. He had previously engaged in preaching to some extent in Sweden, but was not an ordained minister. He reached Lake Norden on a Sunday afternoon. That evening he delivered a sermon in one of the homes of his fellow countrymen and from that time on has preached almost every Sunday. On the 17th of September, 1888, he joined with others in organizing the Swedish Baptist congregation, of which he was chosen the pastor, and on the 20th of the following month he was regularly ordained to the ministry. For twenty years thereafter he held services in the schoolhouse in the summer months and during the winter seasons the services were usually held in his home, a large residence on his farm two miles from Lake Norden. In 1908 the congregation built a modern church building in Lake Norden and Rev. Palm continues to preside over the congregation. During the years 1893-4-5 he filled the pulpits of the churches at Lake Norden and Huron and his influence has been a potent force in promoting the religious work of his section of the state, especially among the Swedish-speaking people.

Rev. Palm also owns a farm of two hundred and thirty acres in Norden township, Hamlin county, on the shore of Lake Norden, and thereon resided until 1914, when he purchased his town property and took up his abode in the city, renting his farm to his son, A. W. Palm, who has been running it in addition to his work in Watertown, to which reference is made further on in this review. Aside from his other interests Rev. Palm is a stockholder in the Farmers Elevator Company, of which he served as president for two years.

It was on the 2d of June, 1883, tllat the Rev. A. P. Palm was united in marriage to Miss B. Mary Lindell, a native of Sweden, who with her brother, John Lindell, came to the United States in 1880, and each homesteaded a quarter section of land in Hamlin county. To this marriage have been born four children: Anna Maria, the wife of Carl Hawkinson, a resident of Minneapolis, Minnesota; Ellen Augusta, the wife of E. A. Olson, a farmer of Hamlin county; Andrew W., superintendent of the Better Farming Association of Codington county and a graduate of Brookings College, since which time he has been a prominent figure in agricultural circles, especially in disseminating the knowledge of modern scientific methods; and Hannah Lydia, the wife of V. E. Frantz, a druggist and the postmaster of Lake Norden.

In public affairs Rev. Palm has borne an active and helpful part. He was for many years a leading worker in the republican ranks, but in recent years has allied himself on the side of the prohibition cause and was one of the leaders in the organization of the prohibition party in Hamlin .county. He has, indeed, done much to advance the interests of temperance, which he has emphasized in his preaching and on many other occasions. He served for fifteen years as treasurer of the school board, was a member of the township board and has been township treasurer for eight years. His position is never an equivocal one. He is always found on the side of advancement, of truth, justice, reform and improvement and his efforts have, indeed, been a potent force for good.

History of Dakota Territory, George W. Kingsbury, Vol. 4, 1915
Transcribed by Genealogy Trails staff


Earl R. Meadows is the junior partner in the firm of Lattimer & Meadows, general merchants of Thomas, Hamlin county. South Dakota claims him among her native sons, his birth having occurred three miles west of Thomas, on the 23d of January, 1890. His father, Joseph F. Meadows, was a farmer by occupation. He came to South Dakota with his parents in 1879, the grandfather, Francis R. Meadows, having been one of the early settlers and homesteaders of this part of the state. Joseph F. Meadows shared with the family in the usual difficulties, hardships and privations of life upon the frontier. He was reared to the occupation of farming, which he chose as a life work and which he followed until called to his final rest. He wedded Cinderella Cunningham, now Mrs. D. W. Lattimer of Thomas. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph F. Meadows are: Earl R.; Lyle F., who married Anna Eastlery; Francis R., who is in partnership with Lyle F., in the contracting and building business at Hayti; Arthur F., of Washington, who married Grace Nichols, of Watertown; and J. Alfred, at home.

Earl R. Meadows was educated in the public schools of Hamlin county and received thorough training in the work of the fields, to which he devoted his attention when he was not busy with his studies. He was only sixteen years of age when he began farming on his own account, renting a tract of land. For four years he carried on general agricultural pursuits, during which period he lived frugally and economically and as the result of his industry and economy secured the capital that enabled him to buy an interest in his present business in connection with Mr. Lattimer. They have a well appointed store and their success is increasing, for their trade is growing month by month.

Mr. Meadows was joined in wedlock June 17, 1914, to Miss Emmaline Axford, a daughter of D. M. Axford, one of the pioneer settlers of this section of the state. Mr. Meadows is a Methodist in his religious faith and is a Mason, belonging to Sioux Valley Lodge of Castlewood. His political views accord with the principles of the republican party and he is interested in all lines for the progress and development of his section of the state. He is yet a young man and few of his years have won a more creditable or enviable position in commercial circles. He is fortunate in that he has character and ability which inspire confidence in others and the simple weight of his character and ability has carried him into important trade relations.

History of Dakota Territory, George W. Kingsbury, Vol. 4, 1915
Transcribed by Genealogy Trails staff


James P. Jensen is actively and successfully engaged in business as a general merchant at Erwin, having built up an extensive and well merited patronage. His birth occurred in Fillmore county, Minnesota, on the 1st of November, 1872, his parents being P. K. and Anna Jensen. He attended the public schools in the acquirement of an education and after putting aside his textbooks assisted his father for a time. Subsequently he spent a year as an employe in a shoe store at Austin and then resided during one summer at Minneapolis, while later he entered the service of the Milwaukee Railroad. In 1897 he removed to Bryant, South Dakota, and there first secured a position in a hotel, afterward turning his attention to farm work. In 1899 he located in Erwin and entered the general store and postoffice of J. R. Wills, remaining with him for one year. At the end of that time he secured a position with A. J. Hilton, whose establishment he purchased in association with a Mr. Peterson in 1904. Subsequently he bought the interest of his partner and has conducted business independently during the past few years. An extensive and profitable patronage is accorded him, for he carries a large and well selected stock of goods at reasonable prices and has won an unassailable reputation for reliability and integrity. His record as a business man is one well worthy of emulation and commendation, as he started out empty-handed and has worked his way steadily upward unaided to a position among the prosperous and representative merchants of his adopted state.

On the 9th of July, 1902, Mr. Jensen was united in marriage to Miss Ellen Johnson, by whom he has three children, namely: Verna B., Orville H. and Curtis L. He gives his
political allegiance to the democracy and has served as a member of the school board for six years, the cause of education ever finding in him a stanch champion. His religious faith is that of the Lutheran church and fraternally he is identified with the Masons, being a worthy exemplar of the craft. He finds recreation in fishing and motoring and also enjoys the companionship of friends, of whom he has made many during the period of his residence in this state.

History of Dakota Territory, George W. Kingsbury, 1915?
Transcribed by Genealogy Trails staff


Since 1901 Dr. James Harry Crawford has been successfully engaged in the practice of medicine and surgery at Castlewood, Hamlin county. South Dakota. His birth occurred in Birmingham, Illinois, on the 14th of April, 1877, his parents being James Madison and Elizabeth (Carden) Crawford. The father, a farmer by occupation, has passed away.

James H. Crawford supplemented his early education by a high-school course at Plymouth. Illinois, and subsequently spent four years as a student in Rush Medical College of Chicago, which institution conferred upon him the degree of M. D. in 1901. In the same year he located for practice at Castlewood, South Dakota, and this has since remained the scene of his professional labors, his patronage having steadily grown in volume and importance as he has demonstrated his skill and ability. He belongs to the Sioux Valley Medical Association and made a creditable record as health officer of Hamlin county from 1907 to 1911 when he was serving in that capacity.

On the 1st of January, 1905, Dr. Crawford was joined in wedlock to Miss Mary E. Madden. Her father, William Madden, of Pennsylvania, was one of the pioneers of Brookings, South Dakota, locating there at the time the railroad was built. He is now in California, while Mrs. Madden is at Castlewood, South Dakota. Mrs. Crawford was the first female child born in Brookings. The Doctor and his wife have one son, James H., Jr., who is two years old.

Dr. Crawford gives his political allegiance to the republican party, while his religious faith is that of the Catholic church. He finds recreation in motoring and is highly esteemed in both professional and social circles of his community.

History of Dakota Territory, George W. Kingsbury, Vol. 4, 1915
Transcribed by Genealogy Trails staff


Dr. George H. Burleigh has won for himself a prominent position among the practitioners of Estelline and he displays particular ability in surgery and has also specialized to a large extent in the treatment of diseases of the eye, ear, nose and throat. He was born in Cambray, Canada, County Victoria, Ontario, on the 11th of October, 1870, and is a son of William Spencer and Delia Ann Burleigh. The father was a carriage builder, devoting the greater part of his life to that business, but both he and his wife have passed away. After attending the public schools Dr. Burleigh became a student in Trinity University and afterward in the medical school, now the Toronto Medical College, from which he was graduated on the 1st of June, 1900. He then entered the Toronto General Hospital as an interne, there remaining for twelve months, during which time he gained the broad knowledge and experience that only hospital practice can bring. After leaving Toronto Hospital he attended Chicago Clinical School and then located at Emerson, Nebraska. In 1903 he returned to Chicago for six months' study in the Chicago Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat College. He then returned to Toronto for a short while, but on account of ill health again came west. He located first at Lane, South Dakota, where he was first president of the town board Soon after he removed to Estelline, where he has since remained. In 1913 he attended the Polyclinic Post Graduate School of Chicago and each year he goes to Chicago for further post-graduate work in the leading medical colleges of that city. He now has an extensive practice in Estelline and throughout the surrounding country and the nature of his business is of a most important character. He practices surgery in the Volga Hospital at Volga, in the Brookings Hospital, and does nearly all of the surgery for the neighboring country. Even in his surgical work he specializes in the surgical treatment of the eye, ear, nose and throat. His study and investigations along those lines have given him particular ability and power and his efforts have been attended with excellent results. In addition to his other professional work he is health officer for Estelline.

On the 24th of March, 1896, Dr. Burleigh was united in marriage to Miss Carrie Long, daughter of Benjamin and Mary Ann Long of Melbourne, Ontario. Dr. and Mrs. Burleigh have a daughter, Ruby Adelaide, born June 30, 1898. Motoring is a favorite source of enjoyment with the family and when opportunity offers Dr. Burleigh turns from his professional activities to attend the meetings of the Masonic, Eastern Star, Odd Fellows, Workmen and Woodmen societies. Mrs. Burleigh is past matron of the Eastern Star Chapter and past noble grand of the Rebekahs. The Doctor was worshipful master in 1914 of Kurhum Lodge, No. 96, A. F. & A. M., also belongs to the chapter and has passed through all of the chairs in the Odd Fellows lodge. He is most loyal to the teachings and tenets of the craft and he utilizes in his profession the many opportunities offered to exemplify its principles. Along strictly professional lines his membership is with the Third District Medical Society, the South Dakota State Medical Society, the Sioux Valley Medical Society and the American Medical Association. He recognizes fully the duties and obligations that devolve upon him and as the years go by be increases his efficiency by broad reading and study, his ability winning for him high rank in his chosen field.

History of South Dakota, Vol. 2
by Doane Robinson
B. F. Bowen & Co., Publisher, 1904
Transcribed by Genealogy Trails staff

HIRAM HUMPHREY CURTIS, cashier of the First National Bank at Castlewood, Hamlin county, was born in Geneva, now known as Lake Geneva, Walworth county, Wisconsin, on the 6th of December, 1844, being a son of Lewis and Mary Elizabeth (Humphrey) Curtis. The former was born at Plymouth, Chenango county. New York, on the 8th of November, 1813, and is still living and in fair health, though more than ninety years of age at the time of this writing, in 1904. He engaged in the mercantile business at Manhattan, near the city of Toledo, Ohio, but in 1839 removed to Wisconsin, locating at Geneva, that state, in January of the following year, and there continuing in mercantile pursuits for nearly half a century. He still maintains his home there, honored as one of the oldest living pioneers of that section and as one of the noble patriarchs of the state. His wife was born at Middlebury, Ohio, on the 25th of May, 1822, and her death occurred on the 21st of March, 1868. The rather became a prosperous business man and one who wielded much influence. He served for ten years as postmaster of Geneva, under the administrations of Presidents Lincoln, Johnson and Grant, and during the climacteric period leading up to the war of the Rebellion he was a stanch Abolitionist and his home was a station on the famous "underground railway." He became somewhat extensively interested in farming and timber lands in Wisconsin in the early days, and has ever commanded high esteem. His devoted wife was a woman of gracious refinement, a lover of good books and good music, and both became members of the Presbyterian church in early life and ever exemplified their faith in their daily walk and conversation. It may be further stated that the ancestry of the subject in both the paternal and maternal ines became identified with the settlement of New England in the early colonial epoch, and the maternal grandparents of the subject each lived to attain the venerable age of eighty-nine years.

Hiram H. Curtis received his early educational training in public and private schools in his native town, and then entered Beloit College, at Beloit, Wisconsin, where he took up the work of the classical course, but on account of ill health was compelled to abandon his studies in the sophomore year, having been a member of the class of 1870, He entered college with the intention of preparing himself for the ministry of the Presbyterian church and it was a matter of grievous disappointment to him that he was obliged to change his plans and enter upon other work. He was fond of good books and of working with tools, particularly in wood, and also enjoyed riting and bookkeeping. This last proclivity caused his father to make a place for him in his store and office, and at the age of sixteen years he became bookkeeper for the store and also assistant postmaster. In 1862, when so many of his schoolmates were enlisting in defense of the Union, he was most anxious also to tender his services, but his parents decided that it was unwise to permit him to do so. In his eighteenth year he left home for college, going first to the Wisconsin University in the spring of 1863, and in the autumn of the same year to Beloit College, where he passed four years, in the preparatory and collegiate departments, but was unable to complete his course. He returned to his home in Geneva, and in the spring of 1868, through the assistance of his father, there engaged in the mercantile business, opening a stock of drugs, books, etc. He was associated in this enterprise with Pardon McDonald, now of Clyde, Kansas, about one year, and thereafter individually continued the business for ten years, and with fair success until he became interested in the erection of a large business block, which undertaking compassed his financial failure. For about five years thereafter he was employed in his father's store. In August, 1882, he visited the territory of Dakota and was very favorably impressed. In the following October he came here again, in company with a party of friends, among whom was his brother-in-law, Joseph P. Cheever, and after a trip through what is now the central part of what is now South Dakota, along the line of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad, they proceeded up the James river valley to Columbia and Aberdeen, returning to Wisconsin without locating land or really deciding what action to take. During the winter of 1882-3 Dakota was thought about and discussed, and finally, in March, 1883, Messrs. Cheever and Curtis came again to Dakota, visiting Brookings, DeSmet, Huron, Miller, Redfield. Aberdeen, Columbia, Clark, Watertown and some other towns. The immigration was immense in that year, and it almost seemed to Messrs. Cheever and Curtis that there was really no place in which they could begin business with any prospect of success. Finally Thomas H. Ruth, of DeSmet, suggested that they visit Hamlin county. They followed this suggestion and arrived in Castlewood on the 28th of March, 1883, looked about the embryonic frontier town, learned what they could concerning the surrounding country and finally decided to remain. They at once erected a building to include office and dwelling and in the same opened a bank, law, insurance and real-estate office, Mr. Cheever being a lawyer by profession. They had business from the start, but years of drought and short crops came, entailing much discouragement. There were several years of struggle and little or no profit. Mr. Curtis' wife and children did not come to the new home until about fifteen months after he had here located, arriving in June, 1884. During the interim he states that he had learned to appreciate home and family as never before, and when his family finally joined him they found their abiding place on a government homestead about three miles from Castlewood. He made proof on this claim in December, 1884, and they then removed into Castlewood, where they now have a very pleasant and comfortable home. He still owns the homestead farm, to which he has made some addition, and with his family is the owner of other lands in the county, so that as a family they are interested in farming upon a somewhat extensive scale.

In 1891 the banking business established by Messrs. Cheever and Curtis was incorporated under the state law, prosperous years came to the surrounding country, and the enterprise became correspondingly successful. In 1894 Mr. Cheever removed to Brookings to engage in the practice of law, and this left the subject individually to superintend the affairs of the bank, though Mr. Cheever continued to retain his interest in the business. In 1901 the enterprise was reorganized and incorporated as the First National Bank, succeeding the Hamlin County Bank, under which title the enterprise had previously been conducted. The bank is capitalized for twenty-five thousand dollars and is one of the solid and prosperous financial institutions of the state.

As before stated, Mr. Curtis was very desirous of tendering his services in defense of the Union in the early period of the Civil war, but deferred to the wishes of his parents. In 1864, when the call came for seventy-five thousand more men, he was in college at Beloit. Enlistments were called for, and students and other young
men waxed enthusiastic, and thus, without consulting his parents, Mr. Curtis entered the one-hundred-days service, enlisting on the 12th of May, of that year. The company was assigned to the Fortieth Regiment of Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, which was largely made up of students from Wisconsin University and other colleges in the state, and the command was sent to Memphis, Tennessee, and assigned to picket duty, and there remained during its term of enlistment, when, with the
others of the command, the subject received his honorable discharge.

Mr. Curtis was always an earnest Republican until 1896, when he became a party Prohibitionist, because he believed that there was and is no question before the nation of so great importance as the destruction of the American saloon and liquor traffic. In 1902 he was the nominee of the Prohibition party in the state for the office of governor. The state committee's management of the campaign was admirable and brought a largely increased vote over that accorded in any previous campaign. Mr. Curtis is now a member of the national Prohibition committee from his state. In early years of his residence in South Dakota Mr. Curtis served as township clerk and township treasurer, but has never been ambitious for office of local order. He is now considerably interested in and connected with town and rural telephone construction in Castlewood and vicinity. He and his wife are prominent and valued members of the Presbyterian church in their home town, and he is an elder in the same and for the past eighteen years has been superintendent of and a teacher in its Sunday school.

On the 6th of December, 1870. was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Curtis to Miss Mary Annette Allen, the ceremony being performed at the home of her parents, in Linn, Walworth county, Wisconsin. She is a daughter of George and Harriet Amelia (Buell) Allen, her father having been a prominent and wealthy farmer and a citizen influential in political and business affairs in his home town, county and state. Mrs. Curtis completed, her education in the Wisconsin State University, at Madison, being graduated as a member of the first class in the normal department, in 1865. Of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Curtis we incorporate the following brief data: Allen Lewis, who was born June 26, 1874, was graduated in Beloit College, his father's alma mater, as a member of the class of 1901; Kate Lilly, who was born December 12, 1875, was a member of the class of 1902, in the same institution, but was compelled to withdraw on account of impaired health; Amelia Buell, who was born August 2, 1879, was graduated in Beloit College as a member of the class of 1902, and died March 21, 1904, and Annie Mary, who was born on the 7th of February, 1883, expects to enter the same institution in the autumn of the present year, 1904. All of the children were born at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, their father's native place.

History of Dakota Territory, George W. Kingsbury, Vol. 4, 1915
Transcribed by Genealogy Trails staff


"Ben" Boswell is the editor and proprietor of the Hamlin County Republican of Castlewood and he has long been a leading factor in molding public thought and opinion in connection with affairs of vital significance in his part of the state. He was born in Menominee, Michigan, April 16, 1864, and is a son of Albert W. and Ellen (Hannan) Boswell, the former a native of New Hampshire and a representative of one of the old New England families, tracing his ancestry back to the Mayflower Pilgrims. The mother was born in Peterboro, Canada, and her parents were from Ulster, Ireland. Albert W. Boswell and Ellen Hannan were married in De Pere, Wisconsin, and settled in Menominee, Michigan, where the father was identified with the lumber industry for many years. In September, 1880, he came west to South Dakota on a tour of inspection and when on that trip took up a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres in Estelline township, Hamlin county. On his return to Michigan for his family he stopped off at Marshall, Minnesota, to buy one hundred and sixty acres of railroad land adjoining his homestead. The father and his son Ben took up their abode on the homestead in the spring of 1881 and kept bachelor's hall until the fall of 1882, when they were joined by the others of the family. Upon the farm which he there developed Mr. Boswell still remains and own his original holdings of three hundred and twenty acres.

Ben Boswell was reared under the parental roof and was a youth of seventeen years when he accompanied his father to South Dakota. He acquired his education in the high school of Menominee, Michigan, in the South Dakota State College at Brookings and in the Curtiss Business College at Minneapolis, Minnesota, and was thus well qualified for life's
practical and responsible duties. He accompanied his father to this state on his trip of inspection in 1880 and again in the spring of 1881 returned with him and aided in making the initial improvements upon the home farm. He continued under the parental roof until 1893 but during that period, or in 1884, took up the vocation of teaching and for seven years was identified with educational work. He was the first teacher of the Bryant schools, which he helped to organize, continuing as an instructor there for three years, during which time he built up the school system to a high state of efficiency. In 1892 he was elected auditor of the county and served for two terms, retiring from the position as he had entered it, with the confidence and goodwill of all concerned. On the expiration of his second term in that office, in 1897, he purchased the Hamlin County Republican of Castlewood, which he has since published, and he is today a well known figure in journalistic circles in his part of the state. The paper which he publishes is thoroughly up-to-date in its methods of securing and handling news and in its workmanship. In 1885 Mr. Boswell purchased a quarter section of land in Estelline township, which he still owns. He has been active in the public life of the community along many lines. In 1890 he was a candidate for county superintendent of schools but owing to the populist landslide of that year he was defeated by nine votes. In 1900 he was elected county treasurer of Hamlin county, serving in that position for two terms, and in the fall of 1912 he was elected a member of the board of county commissioners, in which position he is now serving. There is perhaps no resident of the county to whom the public owes a greater debt of gratitude for efforts to promote the interests and improve the conditions of the schools, lie has served for seventeen years as secretary of the board of education in Castlewood and has recently been elected for another three years' term. During these years he has worked indefatigably for higher education and better schools and has lived to see the fruition of his hopes and his aims. Today Castlewood has a twenty-five thousand dollar school building, with an approved full four years' high school course, which includes manual training and domestic science, each department being fully equipped, seven teachers being employed to care for the high-school work. Mr. Boswell was also president of the board of trustees of the town of Castlewood from 1901 until 1905 and again from 1909 until 1914.

On the 22d of June, 1892, Mr. Boswell was united in marriage to Miss Minnie E. Shepherd, of Brantford township, Hamlin county, South Dakota. To them have been born seven children, six of whom survive, namely: Edith Pearl, Ellen Mildred, Benjamin George, Theodore Roosevelt, Catherine Louise and Paul.

In addition to his home property in Castlewood, Mr. Boswell is the owner of a fruit ranch in the Bitter Root valley of Montana. He and his wife are members of the Presbyterian church and he is identified with the Masonic fraternity as a member of Sioux Valley Lodge, No. 125, A. F. & A. M., and of Watertown Chapter, No. 12, R. A. M. His life has indeed been a potent force for good in his section of the state. He has worked diligently and persistently to advance the public welfare and has ever used the columns of his paper to further the interests of the community wherein are involved the questions of civic advancement. While his ideals have been high, his methods have been practical and he never gives up until his aim is accomplished.

History of South Dakota, Vol. 2
by Doane Robinson
B. F. Bowen & Co., Publisher
Transcribed by Genealogy Trails staff

JOSEPH WALTERS CATLETT, cashier of the Bank of Estelline, Hamlin county, was born in Monroe county, Missouri. He was reared on the home farm and assisted in its work during the summer seasons, while during three or four months each winter he pursued his studies in the public schools, so continuing until he had attained years of maturity, after which he taught one term of district school and then attended the normal school at Kirksville, Missouri. Thereafter he returned to the homestead farm, and for the following five years taught during the winter terms in the country schools, while for the major portion of the intervening period he was employed as bookkeeper in the office of a lumber firm at Centralia, Missouri. He then obtained a state certificate to teach and applied for the principalship of a city school, but was defeated by one vote, the only objection entered being that he was not a married man. He then came to the territory of Dakota and arrived in Estelline on his birthday anniversary. Here he established himself in the lumber business, becoming one of the pioneers of the town, and later added a hardware department to his enterprise, which he successfully conducted for a number of years, while he is still the owner of the lumber business which he established more than a score of years ago, having disposed of his hardware business. Upon the organization and incorporation of the Bank of Estelline, Mr. Catlett was elected its president, in which capacity he continued to serve until the stockholders felt that the prestige and success of the enterprise would be furthered if he were placed in active charge of its affairs, and he was accordingly elected cashier and has since remained incumbent of this position, while under his direct management the bank has gained a place among the most popular and substantial financial institutions in this section of the state. He is a stalwart advocate of the principles and policies for which the Democratic party stands sponsor, and was prominent in effecting the party organization in Hamlin county, while for the past twelve years he has represented said county as a member of the South Dakota delegation to the national convention of the party in 1900, at Kansas City. He is a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and he was reared in the faith of the Christian church, but is not formally identified with any religious body, Mrs. Catlett being a member of the Baptist church.

Mr. Catlett was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Bland, who was born in Paris, and they have three children.

from "History of Dakota Territory"  (George Washington Kingsbury, 1915)
Transcribed by Genealogy Trails staff

A practitioner at the bar of Hamlin county, Gustave A. S. Arneson is well and favorably known in this connection and has made for himself a creditable position during the thirteen years in which he has been active along professional lines in this part of the state.  He was born in Decorah, Iowa, on the 9th of March, 1868, a son of Amon and Julia (Wolden) Arneson, both of whom have now passed away.  The father was for many years engaged in merchandising and he also held the office of sheriff of Winneshiek county.

Gustave A. S. Arneson, one of a family of eight children, spent his youthful days in his parents' home and when he had passed through consecutive grades in the public schools he entered the high school.  Still later he became a student in the Decorah Institute, from which he was graduated with the class of 1888.  For two years he followed teaching in Iowa.  Deciding to come to South Dakota, he accordingly arrived in Bryant, Hamlin county, in August, 1890, and there followed mercantile pursuits for several years.  In 1898 he was elected clerk of courts for Hamlin county, was twice reelected and occupied that position for six years.  During this time he resolved to follow a professional career and made choice of the practice of law.  While serving as clerk of the court he became a student in the law offices of Judge Bennett and Aubrey Lawrence, formerly states attorney, and after carefully mastering many of the principles of jurisprudence he successfully passed the examination that secured his admission to the bar in April, 1902.

On the expiration of his last term as clerk of the court Mr. Arneson returned to Bryant and entered upon the practice of his chosen profession, remaining there continuously since.  He soon proved his ability to successfully cope with intricate and involved legal problems, to unravel a legal tangle and to present his cause with clearness and force that seldom fail to win the verdict desired.  The court records are evidence of his success, and his ability is further demonstrated in the fact that in 1912 he was chosen to the office of county judge by popular suffrage and was reelected in 1914.

Mr. Arneson was united in marriage to Miss Bertha Braaten, a daughter of Harvey and Mary Braaten, who were pioneer settlers of Hamlin county, South Dakota, but later removed to Saskatchewan, Canada, where they now reside.  To Mr. and Mrs. Arneson have been born six children: Mabel G. and Agnes H., who are now teaching in the district schools; Ralph W.; Dora E.; William R.; and Harlan A.

The family attend the Lutheran church, of which the parents are members, and Mr. Arneson also holds membership in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.  His political views are in accord with the principles of the republican party and upon that ticket he was elected county auditor for four terms.  He also served as city attorney for two years and was reappointed to the latter position in 1915, being the present incumbent.  He enjoys a ride through the country in his motor car and also likes to spend a leisure hour as a disciple of Izaak Walton, but his time and attention are chiefly concentrated upon his professional duties and since being elected to the bench he has made an excellent record, his decisions being strictly fair and impartial, so that his excellent work during his first term led to his reelection to the office.

from "History of Dakota Territory" by George Washington Kingsbury, George Martin Smith 1915
Transcribed by Genealogy Trails staff (Marla Zwakman)


Among those who by popular suffrage have been called to direct the affairs of a commonwealth is numbered Hon. Winfred E. Whittemore, now a member of the state legislature, from the district comprising Hamlin and Deuel counties. In business connections he is well known as a real-estate and insurance broker of Estelline. New York numbers him among her native sons, his birth having occurred in Saratoga County, February 22, 1868, his parents being Josephus W. and Lucy A. (Hoyt) Whittemore, both of whom were also natives of New York, where they were reared and married, subsequently locating on a farm in Saratoga County. They lived in the east until the spring of 1882 and then came to the west with Dakota Territory as their destination. The father homesteaded a quarter section in Deuel county, two and a half miles northeast of Estelline, and there resided to the time of his death. He was killed in a storm in June, 1889, and after being thus widowed Mrs. Whittemore removed to Estelline.

Prior to his father's death Winfred E. Whittemore had been a student in the city schools of Estelline and had thus prepared for entrance into the State Agricultural College at Brookings, but owing to his father's death, he was obliged to change his plans and did not receive his college course. When eighteen years of age he began teaching and followed that profession through the winter months and a part of the summer seasons for about ten years. In 1891 he went to Minneapolis, where he pursued a business course in the Curtis Commercial College. He continued his work as an educator at intervals until the spring of 1895 but prior to that date had embarked in the real-estate business in partnership with H. H. Reeves, then cashier of the Bank of Estelline. Because of this partnership Mr. Whittemore at times worked in a clerical capacity in the bank but continued his activities in the real estate field and in 1901 purchased his partner's interest and incorporated the business as the Whittemore Land & Investment Company, handling farm lands, loans and insurance. He now has a large clientage and is doing a good business in each department. He has brought many settlers to the county in his sale of farm lands, and also writes a large amount of insurance annually. In addition to his business in the town he owns five farms in Hamlin, Deuel and Brookings counties, having made judicious investment in real estate. In addition to his other interests he is a stockholder and a director of the Bank of Estelline.

In 1895 Mr. Whittemore was united in marriage to Miss Margaret Rice, of Brookings county, and to them have been born four children, Walton H., Myrton R., Elwin C. and Dorothy M. Politically a republican, Mr. Whittemore has for many years been an active factor in shaping the policy of his party in this portion of the state and has several times been called to public office. He served for one term as a member of the Estelline town board, has filled the office of township assessor and town clerk and in the fall of 1906 he was voted to the state legislature, serving through the tenth general assembly. In 1912 he was again chosen a member of that honorable body and in 1914 he was elected to represent his district in the state senate. His record at Pierre has repaid the support of his constituents, for he has given careful consideration to each question which came up for settlement and the weight of his influence has been cast on the side of the state's best interests. He had a very large part to do with the removal from the statute books in 1907 of the then notorious and rather infamous divorce law. He has ever placed the good of the commonwealth before personal aggrandizement and the benefit of the majority before partisanship.

from "History of Dakota Territory" by George Washington Kingsbury, George Martin Smith 1915
Transcribed by Genealogy Trails staff (Marla Zwakman)


George C. Lohr is the efficient postmaster of Estelline, where he is also conducting a jewelry and drug business. He was born in Osage, Iowa, August 2, 1856, a son of Peter and Eva Lohr. The father, who was in the furniture and undertaking business in Osage, came to South Dakota in May, 1878, and preempted land where the town of Estelline now stands. He secured a, tree claim covering the southeast quarter of section 24, Estelline Township. On account of his business interests in Osage, Iowa, he could not remain upon his land, however, so surrendered his preemption to Thomas B. Elston, who proved up on it. Immediately after the father's return to Osage George C. Lohr and his brother, W. F., came to South Dakota and filed on a half section of land on section 23, which property is still in possession of our subject and includes twenty acres of timber land. The winter following their arrival in this state the brothers purchased from Mr. Elston the original claim of their father. When they settled in this locality there were no other white inhabitants here and the prairies were covered with long grass on which hundreds of antelope fed. The father died in 1905 and the mother passed away in 1907.

George C. Lohr was the second in order of birth in a family of six children, five sons and one daughter. Spending his youthful days at the family home in Osage, Iowa, he there entered the public schools and passed through consecutive grades until he became a high-school student. Still later he pursued a course in the Cedar Valley Seminary at Osage. The father was in business in that city and George C. Lohr assisted him until his removal to South Dakota in 1878. He afterward gave his attention to farming in Hamlin County and when it was planned to found a town the family gave one hundred and sixty acres to be used as a townsite. Since that period George C. Lohr has been closely, prominently and helpfully associated with the upbuilding and development of this section.

In 1881 he was appointed postmaster of Estelline and has occupied that position for a quarter of a century, faithfully, capably and promptly discharging the duties of his office. He has held the position continuously except during the two democratic administrations of Grover Cleveland. For a time he was in partnership with his brother in the implement business and later he purchased the interests of Clark & Weygant in the drug store in 1883. In 1886 he removed to his present location. The building was destroyed by fire in 1895, but he rebuilt the following year. In addition to selling drugs he carries an attractive line of jewelry, meeting the demands of the public in this regard. During much of this time Mr. Lohr was also interested with his brother in cultivating two sections of land but at length sold most of his property, although he still retains ownership of the old homestead. He has become a most important factor in the establishment and development of the various prominent business interests of Estelline and this section of the state. He is one of the three owners of the Estelline Electric Company, owning the electric light plant and the telephone system. He is president of the Bank of Estelline, is treasurer of the Druggist's Mutual Fire Insurance Company of South Dakota, is vice president of the Dempster State Bank, is secretary -treasurer of the farmers Elevator Company of Estelline, and it was practically through his labors that the Masonic Temple was built. In his vocabulary there is no such word as fail. He carries forward to successful completion whatever he undertakes. His plans are carefully formed but once completed are promptly executed. He seems to readily recognize the possibilities of any situation and in his work he looks beyond the exigencies of the moment to the opportunities of the future.

In 1889 Mr. Lohr was united in marriage to Miss Letha M. Abbott, who died in 1893, leaving two children: A. Louise, now Mrs. L. B. Gibbs; and Mabel E. On the 28th of November, 1912, Mr. Lohr was again married, his second union being with Anna L. Clark, a daughter of Amasa and Julia Clark. They were among the old-time settlers of the state and both have passed away.

Mr. and Mrs. Lohr are adherents of the Congregational church and their many sterling traits of character have won for them high regard. In politics Mr. Lohr is a republican and for a number of years was mayor of his city. He is a very prominent Mason, belonging to Denver Chapter, R. A. M., at Arlington; the Knight Templar Commandery at Brookings and Sioux Falls Temple of the Mystic Shrine. He is also connected with the Elks at Watertown and with the Modern Woodmen of America, and both he and his wife are members of the Eastern Star. His life activities branch out along ramifying lines and make his work one of constantly broadening usefulness and value. What he has accomplished both for himself and for the community places him among the valued citizens of the state. Estelline largely stands as a monument to his efforts and enterprise, for he has been instrumental in founding and promoting many of its leading business interests and in upholding as well its moral, political and legal status.

from "History of Dakota Territory" by George Washington Kingsbury, George Martin Smith 1915
Transcribed by Genealogy Trails staff (Marla Zwakman)

Hon. Thomas James Law, city attorney of Clear Lake and one of the prominent attorneys of Deuel County, was born in Chicago, Illinois, on the 17th of January, 1870, a son of Thomas J. and Josephine M. (Stanley) Law, the former a native of Canada and the latter of New York state. Becoming a resident of the Badger state in his boyhood days, Thomas J. Law, Sr., was graduated from the normal school at Platteville, Wisconsin, and subsequently took up the study of law, under Judge Higbee, one of the prominent barristers of that state. After his admission to the bar he opened an office at Shullsburg, Wisconsin, where his active professional life was passed. He was one of the successful attorneys of the state and served for several years as county judge in Lafayette county, his course on the bench being in harmony with his record as a man and as a lawyer - characterized by the highest sense of personal and professional honor and distinguished by a masterful grasp of every problem presented for solution. He died April 1, 1910, at the age of seventy-three years, but the mother survives and yet makes her home in Shullsburg.

Thomas James Law, whose name introduces this record, was reared in Shullsburg and educated in its public schools, passing through consecutive grades until graduated from the high school with the class of 1887. He then took up the study of law in his father's office and in the fall of 1889 entered the law department of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, from which he was graduated on the 1st of July, 1891. In October of the same year he went to Clear Lake, South Dakota, where he opened an office and has continued in successful practice since that time, rising to a high rank in his profession as he has developed his powers and promoted his talents through wide reading, research and experience. He was elected states attorney in 1896, serving until 1900, and was again called to that office in 1902, serving until 1906. In 1912 he was elected to represent the district composed of Deuel and Hamlin counties in the state legislature, in which official capacity he made a most satisfactory record, giving due and careful attention to all the significant problems which came up for settlement. He is the present city attorney of Clear Lake and he has enjoyed a large practice throughout the period of his residence there'a practice that has connected him with much important litigation tried in the courts of the district.

In 1894 Mr. Law was united in marriage to Miss Ethel Roberts, a daughter of William and Mary Roberts, of Clear Lake, and a native of Canada. Four children were born to this marriage, Elsie, Stanley, Dolores and Thomas. The wife and mother passed away in 1908 and in 1912 Mr. Law was again married, his second union being with Miss Anna Kluckman, a daughter of Frederick and Augusta Kluckman, of Clear Lake. By this marriage he has two children, Frederick and Carroll.

Mr. Law holds membership in Phoenix Lodge, No. 29, A. F. & A. M., of Clear Lake; in Watertown Chapter, R. A. M.; and in the Watertown lodge of Elks. He is likewise a member of the Order of the Eastern Star and of the Modern Woodmen and he has membership in the Clear Lake Commercial Club. He is today one of the best known men of the eastern part of the state and has made an excellent record in office and also in practice, while in private life he has gained the confidence and warm regard of a circle of friends that is almost coextensive with the circle of his acquaintance.

from "History of Dakota Territory" by George Washington Kingsbury, George Martin Smith 1915
Transcribed by Genealogy Trails staff (Marla Zwakman)


For sixteen consecutive years Murray W. Westfall of Watertown has been one of the county commissioners of Codington county and is the only man who has been thus honored, for no other commissioner has been continued for so long a period in the office. In former years he was actively engaged in farming in this part of the state but is now largely living retired from business cares.

He was born in Iowa City, Iowa, on the 16th of December, 1846, a son of the Rev. I. M. and Amanda Westfall. His father engaged in preaching in Iowa City when it was the capital of the territory of Iowa. He was a member of the Universalist church and took an active part in promoting that doctrine in the middle west in pioneer times. He afterward became a physician and continued actively in the practice of medicine for twenty-five years. In 1861 he had removed to Rochester, Minnesota, where he resided until 1880, when the family came to South Dakota and Dr. Westfall secured a homestead. He was a most dignified, courteous and kindly gentleman, well worthy the honor and high regard which were everywhere accorded him.

Murray W. Westfall came with the family to South Dakota and he, too, secured a homestead, which he located on section 24, Oxford Township, Hamlin County, while his father's claim was in Codington county. Dr. Westfall in addition to directing the development of his place also engaged in the practice of medicine in Watertown, and there passed away in 1889, while his wife died in the year 1888. Dr. Westfall was a man of prominence in the different communities in which he lived and was made a delegate to the constitutional convention of South Dakota, which met at Sioux Falls. His ability as a medical practitioner and his influence on the side of moral progress also made him a factor in the upbuilding of his city and state.

Murray W. Westfall was educated in the public schools but because of delicate health his opportunities in that direction were somewhat limited. He was twenty-one years of age when he began farming on his own account in Minnesota, where he followed that occupation for about fifteen years, and then came to South Dakota, as previously stated, in 1880. In addition to securing a homestead he also obtained a tree claim and bent every energy toward bringing the land under cultivation and transforming it into richly productive fields. He remained upon the farm for seven years but about 1887 removed to Watertown. He now owns and rents his father's old homestead and through the careful and economical management of his business interests, his close application and his industry has won a substantial measure of success.

On the 21st of December, 1867, Mr. Westfall was united in marriage to Miss Adele Clough, a daughter of Charles and Adaline Clough, both of whom have passed away. Mr. and Mrs. Westfall have no children of their own, but adopted a boy, Claude C., now thirty- five years of age, upon whom they have bestowed every care and attention. He is now in Krem, North Dakota.

Mr. Westfall holds membership with the Elks. He gives his political allegiance to the republican party, which he has supported since age conferred upon him the right of franchise. For one term he served as a member of the city council of Watertown and in 1898 he was elected county commissioner, which position he has since filled through reelection for sixteen consecutive years, having the honor of being the oldest member of the county board in years of continuous service. He likewise held township offices in Hamlin County and for three years was a member of the school board of Watertown. He is deeply interested in the upbuilding of his city and is enthusiastic in his advocacy of South Dakota. In Watertown and throughout Codington County he is widely known, and both he and his wife have a large circle of warm friends.

from "History of Dakota Territory" by George Washington Kingsbury, George Martin Smith 1915
Transcribed by Genealogy Trails staff (Marla Zwakman)

Stephen W. Dixon, now cashier of the Bank of Vienna, Clark county, and recognized as a business man of ability and energy, has resided almost his entire life in South Dakota, as he was brought to this state by his parents when a child. He was born in Downers Grove, Illinois, on the 18th of November, 1875, a son of Robert and Sarah J. (Rowland) Dixon. The father was born in Belfast, Ireland, of Scotch ancestry, while the mother was born near Buffalo, New York, of English parentage. Her mother was born in the same town that was the birthplace of John Bunyan, the humble tradesman who became famous as the author of Pilgrims Progress. In early life Robert Dixon engaged in the coal and wood business in Chicago and subsequently, in connection with his brothers, followed manufacturing and later for a considerable time was a general merchant in Downers Grove, Illinois. In 1882 he came to South Dakota and in that fall entered a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres and also took up a preemption claim of similar size in what is now Dixon Township, Hamlin County. He spent the following winter there and in the spring of 1883 returned for his family, bringing them to this state and establishing his home here. He was the first man to locate in Dixon Township, which was afterward named in his honor. Some time after settling there he purchased a relinquishment on a tree claim, which brought his total holdings up to four hundred and eighty acres of land, which he still owns. He served during the four years of the Civil war as captain of Company E, Fifty-fifth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, which held seventh place in the government rank for service, as the command took part in thirty- six battles and over two hundred engagements. For four years he was a member of the state senate and has been one of the leaders in Hamlin County since the first settlement of that county.

Stephen W. Dixon was reared under the parental roof and as he was not yet eight years of age when the family removed to this state his education was largely acquired in the public schools here. He attended the district schools near his home, the Vienna public schools and the Watertown high school and after completing the course in the last named institution attended Wessington Springs Seminary, where he took normal and classical work. Still later he completed a classical course at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, graduating with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. For three years after leaving school he taught and for one year of that time was principal of the Wayne (III.) public schools. During his vacations and subsequently during an entire year he worked for the Northwestern Railroad in Chicago and also engaged in reportorial work in that city, being upon the staff of the Inter Ocean. Returning to South Dakota he spent four years upon the home farm and continued to follow agricultural pursuits until 1912, when he purchased a half interest in the Bank of Vienna. He was subsequently made cashier of that institution and still holds that important position. He manages well the administrative detail that is inevitable in the conduct of a bank and combines prudence and initiative in his decisions regarding the larger questions of policy that come up from time to time.

Mr. Dixon was married to Miss Jessie M. Holland of Washington, Illinois, on the 12th of December, 1909, and they have a daughter, Arta June. Mrs. Dixon is a member of the English Lutheran church and Mr. Dixon gives his fraternal allegiance to Bryant Lodge, A. F. & A. M. He is much interested in the state of South Dakota and cooperates heartily in all movements that seek to promote the interests of the commonwealth. He is a well known and representative citizen of Vienna and a man of influence in financial circles. His neighbors and friends esteem him not only for his ability in business affairs but also for his probity and fair dealing.

from "History of Dakota Territory" by George Washington Kingsbury, George Martin Smith 1915
Transcribed by Genealogy Trails staff (Marla Zwakman)

Esten E. Christensen is a native son of Minnehaha County who has been so impressed with the opportunities offered by the county that he has continued to make it his home. He is a successful agriculturist and is also connected with the commercial circles as manager of the Crooks Lumber Company. He was born in Benton Township, Minnehaha County, July 17, 1876, a son of Chris and Ingeborg (Estenson) Christensen, the former a native of Denmark and the latter of Norway. Both parents came to the United States in 1869 and located in Michigan, where they were married. The father worked in the Calumet copper mines for two years but not long after his marriage removed to South Dakota with his wife, arriving in Minnehaha County on the 22d of August, 1871. He immediately filed a preemption claim for eighty acres of land in the Sioux river bottoms in Mapleton Township and six months later he held the deed to the place. He then filed on a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres, constituting the southeast quarter of section 1, Benton Township, to which he removed. At about the same time he purchased a quarter section adjoining the homestead. He soon sold his preemption, but subsequently purchased a quarter section in Mapleton township and a quarter section in Hamlin county, South Dakota, the cultivation of which he directed until about nine years ago, when he gave the greater portion of his land to his seven children. He is still living but has returned to his native land, the past nine years having been spent in Denmark. His wife passed away in 1898.

Esten E. Christensen was reared at home and received the advantages of parental instruction and care. His education was acquired in the common schools of the neighborhood and in the Sioux Falls Business College. Following his marriage, which occurred in 1898, he began farming for himself, taking charge of the operation of the home farm of three hundred and twenty acres. After renting it for seven years he became the owner of one hundred and sixty acres of the homestead, as his father at that time gave most of his land to his children and as the subject of this review purchased the interests of his brothers and sisters in the said quarter section. He has manifested his faith in the agricultural future of South Dakota by purchasing other land, being now the owner of three hundred and twenty-two acres in Brookings County which is as fine land as any in the state. In the fall of 1905 he was made manager of the Farmers Elevator Company and also of the Farmers Lumber Company at Crooks, having the direction of the two business enterprises for a short time. He continued in the management of the elevator company until August 9, 1908, when he resigned that position, and he has since devoted his entire time to the affairs of the Crooks Lumber Company, of which he is manager. He has proved an able executive, his knowledge of business procedure and his sound judgment enabling him to wisely direct the business. He is a stockholder and a member of the board of directors of both the New Hope Grain Company and the Crooks Lumber Company and is ranked among the financiers of the county.

On the 11th of December, 1898, Mr. Christensen married Miss Gertrude Nelson, of Mapleton Township, Minnehaha County, and to their union has been born two children: Inez Mabel and Clara Ovidia. The parents are members of the Norwegian Lutheran church, in whose work they are very much interested. They are also members of the Modern Brotherhood of America, the father being conductor of the lodge. He is independent in politics, his sympathies, however, tending toward the republican party. He has no aspiration for official preferment, as his business interests demand his entire attention. His many friends hold him in high esteem because of his ability, his sterling character and his agreeable personality.

from "History of Dakota Territory" by George Washington Kingsbury, George Martin Smith 1915
Transcribed by Genealogy Trails staff (Marla Zwakman)


Dr. Franklin Henry Staley is one of the able physicians and surgeons of Hamlin county, South Dakota, and since locating at Hazel has gained a lucrative practice. He was born in Bucyrus, Ohio, on the 5th of January, 1860, a son of Josiah and Hannah P. (Stephens) Staley, natives of Pennsylvania and Ohio respectively. The father, who was a cabinetmaker by trade, enlisted in the Union army upon the outbreak of the Civil war and was subsequently captured and confined in Andersonville prison for seven months. After his release he was so emaciated and weakened that he died of exhaustion before reaching the northern lines. His widow removed to Mount Vernon, Iowa, with her family and resided there until 1880.

Dr. Staley had good educational opportunities, attending the preparatory and normal departments of Cornell College at Mount Vernon. He subsequently taught for a few years. In 1880 he accompanied his brother, J. M., and his mother and her second husband, W. J. Clugston, on their removal to Watertown, South Dakota, and taught the first two terms of school ever held in Rauville Township, Codington county. He took up a homestead seven miles northeast of Watertown which he proved up and sold as a means of gaining sufficient money to pay his way through medical college. In 1883 he began the study of medicine and the next fall entered Rush Medical College of Chicago, from which institution he was graduated with the class of 1886. He immediately afterward located for practice near Mount Vernon, Iowa, but subsequently came to Castlewood, this state, where he opened an office for practice and remained there seven and one-half years. He next went to Sheffield, Illinois, where he spent three and one-half years, and then removed to Clear Lake, South Dakota, where he continued to reside for fourteen years. At the end of that time he went to Colorado, where he remained for three years. In the spring of 1914 he returned to South Dakota and located in Hazel, where he is at present engaged in the active practice of his profession. Although he has only been a resident of Hazel for something over a year he has already demonstrated his capability and has gained the respect of both the general public and his professional colleagues. His practice is steadily increasing and he is regarded as one of the successful physicians of Hamlin County.

Dr. Staley was married in 1890 to Miss Violet Marshall, of Castlewood, a daughter of William Marshall, one of the pioneers of Hamlin County. To them were born three children: Winifred M., the wife of Phillip Waterman, of Grand Valley, Colorado; Melroy M., residing in Watertown, this state; and William F., at home. Mrs. Staley died in 1902, and two years later the Doctor married Miss Lena E. Tetzlaff, of this county. They have become the parents of four children, Marion F., Margaret E. and Maxwell F., twins, and Eugene Field. The wife and mother is a member of the Presbyterian Church and takes an active part in the work of that denomination.

The Doctor is a member of Phoenix Lodge, No. 129, A. F. & A. M., of Clear Lake; of the Palisades Lodge, I. O. O. F., of Palisades, Colorado; and Hazel Camp, M. W. A. His political allegiance is given to the republican party. He is a member of the Watertown District Medical Society and served at one time as its president, and he also belongs to the South Dakota Medical Society and the American Medical Association. The life of Dr. Staley has been a busy and useful one and he has gained not only a competence but also that success which finds expression in the regard of one's fellowmen and the consciousness of a worthy work well done.

from "History of Dakota Territory" by George Washington Kingsbury, George Martin Smith 1915
Transcribed by Genealogy Trails staff (Marla Zwakman)


Frank Tumor, actively engaged in the general practice of law, with offices at Faulkton, was born at Hennepin, Illinois, October 20, 1859, a son of A. H. and Elizabeth (Nash) Turner. The father was born in Fulton, Maine, in 1810, while the mother's birth occurred at Auburn, New York, in 1820. In early life the former engaged in the business of lumbering, while later he became a stonemason and subsequently gave his attention to farming. He removed westward to Illinois about 1840 and in that state A. H. Turner devoted his attention to general agricultural pursuits throughout his remaining days. His wife went to Illinois with her people in pioneer times and on a raft the family floated down the Ohio River, for this was before the era of railroad travel. For more than thirty years Mr. Turner served as school director in one district and he held some local political offices. He was twice married and by his first union had five children. By his marriage to Elizabeth Nash there were born six children, of whom Frank Turner is the fourth in order of birth. The father passed away in 1901, while the mother survived only until 1902.

Frank Turner pursued his education in the public schools of Hennepin, Illinois, and in his youthful days became acquainted with the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the farmer. When about eighteen years of age he began operating his father's farm in Illinois and so continued until 1880. He then went to Ottawa, Illinois, where he began reading law with the firm of Blanchard & Blanchard, who directed his studies for two and a half years. He arrived in Faulkton, South Dakota, in March, 1883, and in that part of the state secured a claim, after which he did not engage in law practice to any extent until he accepted the office of district attorney. Since then he has followed his profession continuously and is now successfully engaged in general practice, a liberal clientage being accorded him. In the conduct of his cases he displays ability and resourcefulness and is regarded as an able lawyer. He is also a landowner, his aggregate holdings embracing twenty-five hundred acres of farm land, a part of which he still operates, devoting his attention to the raising of grain.

On the 22d of January, 1890, Mr. Turner was married to Miss Clara Slattery, who was born in Oconto, Wisconsin, a daughter of John and Cathryn (Sweeney) Slattery, the former a native of Nova Scotia and the latter of Ireland. The father was a lumber cruiser and did expert work in that line, engaging in that business in Wisconsin for many years. He still resides in Oconto but his wife passed away there about 1910. Mr. and Mrs. Turner have become the parents of five children, Josephine, Florence, Hamlin O., Clara E., and Frank B. All have attended school in Faulkton and the eldest daughter is now a teacher.

Mr. Turner is a prominent Mason, belonging to the lodge and chapter at Faulkton and to the commandery at Redfield. He is a past master of the lodge and past high priest of the chapter and is an exemplary representative of the craft. He belongs also to the Odd Fellows lodge at Faulkton, of which he is a past noble grand; the Knights of Pythias, in which he has been chancellor commander; the Modern Woodmen camp; and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He also holds membership in the Congregational church. His political belief is in accord with the principles of the republican party and he was called to the office of district attorney in territorial days. In 1890 he was elected states attorney, which position he filled for two terms in Faulk County. For four years he occupied the mayor's chair in Faulkton and was also alderman for several years, and in 1905 became a member of the state legislature, so that he has been prominently connected with local and state interests. He likewise served on the board of education for eight years and in all these connections he has proven loyal to the trust reposed in him and capable in the discharge of his duties. His record as a public official and a private citizen is above reproach and a feeling of warm regard is entertained for him by all who know him.

from "History of Dakota Territory" by George Washington Kingsbury, George Martin Smith 1915
Transcribed by Genealogy Trails staff (Marla Zwakman)


Many regard the practice of medicine as the most important vocation to which man can direct his energies. At all events its usefulness can scarcely be overestimated, and always worthy of high respect and consideration is the man who makes his life a worthy exposition of the highest standards of the medical profession. Such a one is Dr. William George Magee, now practicing in Watertown. He is a western man by birth, training and preference and the spirit of progress characteristic of the development of the Mississippi valley has been manifest in his career.

His birth occurred in Dunkerton, Iowa, April 19, 1875, his parents being Edward W, and Mary Jane (Davis) Magee, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of New York. In childhood they removed with their respective parents to McHenry County, Illinois, where they were reared and married. The father was a farmer by occupation and after his marriage spent five or six years in agricultural pursuits in McHenry County, Illinois. He then removed to Iowa, settling in Black Hawk County, near Waterloo, where he purchased government land at a dollar and a half per acre - land that is today worth two hundred dollars per acre. As time passed and his financial resources increased he added to his holdings until he has today some six hundred and forty acres. Year after year he carefully tilled the soil and improved his farm but about two years ago retired from active life and removed to the town of Dunkerton, where he now resides. In 1911 he was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, who passed away on the 13th of January of that year. In his political views Mr. Magee is an earnest republican and has always taken an active interest in the party's advancement. He has likewise been a stalwart champion of the cause of education and served for a number of years as a member of the school board in his home locality.

Dr. Magee was reared under the parental roof, acquiring his education in the district schools and in the Iowa State Teachers' College at Cedar Falls, from which he was graduated with the class of 1901, winning the degree of Master of Arts. He was also granted a state teacher's certificate and during the last two years of his college course was business manager of the college paper which paid him a nice sum. Before he had completed his college work, however, he put aside his textbooks for a period of two years and taught school, which provided him the funds necessary to meet his expenses during the remainder of his student days. Following his graduation he took up the study of medicine and during that summer read under the preceptorship of Dr. Wick of Cedar Falls. In the fall of 1901 he entered the medical department of the Northwestern University at Chicago, from which institution he was graduated with the degree of M. D., being a member of the class of 1905. His standing in the university was so high that he was permitted to compete in the examination held for internship in the Wesley Memorial Hospital and, successful in that connection, he served as interne for two years. He afterward spent one year as assistant to Dr. W. H. Allport, one of the eminent surgeons of Chicago, and in the fall of 1908 came to Watertown, where he opened offices and has since been very successful in practice, ranking high in medical and surgical circles. He most carefully analyzes and diagnoses his cases and is seldom, if ever, at fault in foretelling the outcome of diseases. He keeps in touch with the advanced thought of the profession through wide reading and research and is an able and learned physician. He has property interests in Hamlin County, where he owns an entire section of land. In addition to his general practice he is one of the chief surgeons of the new Lutheran Hospital of Watertown, which was erected at a cost of seventy-five thousand dollars.

On the 30th of June, 1909, Dr. Magee was united in marriage to Miss Charlotte Irene MacChesney, of Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Magee is a member of Kampeska Lodge, No. 13, F. & A. M., of Watertown. He belongs also to the Aristotelian Literary Society and to Phi Beta Phi, a Greek letter fraternity. He is also a member of the Watertown Country Club and the Watertown Commercial Club. His political allegiance is given to the republican party and he is the present coroner of Codington county. Along strictly professional lines his connection is with the Chicago Medical Society, the Illinois State Medical Society, the Watertown District Medical Society, the South Dakota State Medical Society, the American Medical Association and the American Congress of Surgeons. His ability is pronounced and in a profession where advancement depends entirely upon individual merit he has constantly progressed and stands among the eminent physicians and surgeons of Watertown.

from "History of Dakota Territory" by George Washington Kingsbury, George Martin Smith 1915
Transcribed by Genealogy Trails staff (Marla Zwakman)


Alef O. Arneson resides in Opdahl Township, Hamlin County, and is a man of prominence and influence in his community. He is thoroughly democratic in manner, unassuming, cordial and kindly, and his sterling traits have won him firm hold upon the genuine regard of his fellow citizens. Hp was born in Norway, December 26, 1855, a son of Ole and Mary Arneson. The father was a farmer and stonemason and after coming to the new world settled in Dane county, Wisconsin, in 1864. After the removal of his son to South Dakota he, too, came to this state in 1882, taking up his abode on the northwest quarter of section 26, Opdahl Township, Hamlin County. His wife has passed away, her death having occurred December 4, 1909.

Alef O. Arneson attended the common schools of Norway and of Wisconsin, having been brought to the new world when a lad of about nine years. When fourteen years of age he began working out as a farm hand by the month and was thus employed for eight years. Subsequently he spent some time in different places, being employed for one year in the lumber camps of the upper peninsula of Michigan, for one year in Hammond, Indiana, and for some time in southern Arkansas, whence he made his way to South Dakota, arriving at Huron in June, 1881. He worked for a time in Huron, and having friends in Hamlin County, was induced to remove to that locality. Liking the district, he took up his abode within the borders of the county and was later followed by his father. Alef O. Arneson settled on the northwest quarter of section 27, Opdahl Township, but has since erected a commodious residence across the road on section 22, where he now lives. Prosperity has attended his efforts as the years have gone on and he has added to his original claim until he now owns seven hundred and sixty acres. His business affairs have been carefully managed and beside his farm interests he has other investments, being one of the large stockholders of the Central State Bank of Hayti of which he is now the president. Each forward step in his business life has brought him a broader outlook and wider opportunities and he has carefully utilized the latter with the result that he has gained a place among the most substantial citizens of his district.

On the 18th of November, 1882, Mr. Arneson was united in marriage to Miss Mary Hansen, a daughter of Hans Hansen, of Iowa County, Wisconsin. Her parents are both living and still make their home in Wisconsin. Mr. and Mrs. Arneson have become parents of eight children, as follows: Harry, who wedded Miss Signa Rude of Canada and resides at Wetaskiwin, Alberta; Rosa, who is employed as bookkeeper by Marshall Field & Company, of Chicago; Arthur, the assistant cashier for the Central State Bank of Hayti, South Dakota; Mabel, the deceased wife of Theodore Holt, of Hamlin county; Lillie, who gave her hand in marriage to Gilbert Holt, of Hamlin county; and Clarence, Agnes and Fred, at home.

In religious faith Mr. Arneson is a Lutheran and his political belief is that of the republican party. He has held various township and county offices, serving as county commissioner for two terms, while in 1890 he represented his district in the state legislature and later became state senator. He was elected to the house and to the senate on the populist ticket, but afterward became identified with the republican party and was reelected to the senate on that ticket. He possesses a most democratic spirit, is approachable and at all times courteous to those who seek an audience with him. His life proves the Emersonian philosophy that "the way to win a friend is to be one." He is widely and favorably known throughout his part of the state and is highly respected for what he has accomplished and the honorable methods by which he has attained his success.

from "History of Dakota Territory" by George Washington Kingsbury, George Martin Smith 1915
Transcribed by Genealogy Trails staff (Marla Zwakman)


James K. Gorman is senior partner in the firm of J. K. Gorman & Sons, hardware and implement merchants, at Hayti, but he maintains his residence in Castlewood. He is numbered among the pioneer settlers of that section of the state, having witnessed practically its entire development, for at the time of his arrival there was not a house within thirty- five miles of his location in Florence Township, Hamlin County. His aid and influence have been a potent factor in the development and progress which have resulted in present day conditions.

Mr. Gorman is a native of Canada, his birth having occurred in the province of Ontario, June 4, 1850, his parents being John and Ann (McGinley) Gorman, both of whom are deceased. He pursued his education in the public schools and after his textbooks were put aside left home at the age of sixteen years and began work in the lumber woods of Wisconsin. For an extended period his activities were directed along that line and in 1878 he came to South Dakota, purchasing a quarter section and taking a tree claim in Deuel county, near Goodwin, and also a tree claim in Hamlin county. After securing title to his property he traded it. For twenty-six years he was foreman on the ranch of D. J. Spaulding, having supervision of about ten thousand acres of land, a fact which indicates his ability and efficiency. The interests entrusted to him were of a most important character and at all times he proved equal to the task. He had previously been employed in the lumber woods of Wisconsin by Mr. Spaulding, who, therefore, knew the quality and character of the man whom he made his foreman. In March, 1904, when the town of Hayti was founded, Mr. Gorman established his present place of business, with a full line of hardware and agricultural implements, and, admitting his sons to a partnership, the business is now carried on under the style of J. K. Gorman & Sons. Their trade has increased year by year as their part of the state has become more thickly settled. Their business methods commend them to the confidence and support of the public and their patronage has now reached proportions that make the business a gratifying and profitable one. In fact, they do the bulk of the business in their line in their section and in addition to his commercial interests Mr. Gorman owns a farm of six hundred and forty acres in Florence Township.

On the 9th of October, 1878, occurred the marriage of Mr. Gorman and Miss Margaret Bennett, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Bennett, both deceased. The children of this marriage are: Josie, the wife of William Michaels, of Willow Lake; May, the wife of M. J. Russell, of Hayti; Edward B. and James B., who are associated with their father in business; and Sadie and Grace, both at home.

The family residence is maintained at Castlewood and is a most hospitable one, its good cheer being greatly enjoyed by the many friends of Mr. and Mrs. Gorman. Their religious faith is that of the Catholic Church and his political support is given the democratic party. That he ranks high in the regard of his fellow townsmen is indicated by the fact that he has been elected county commissioner for six different terms. He has also filled township offices and for a number of years has been officially connected with the schools. He certainly deserves mention among the pioneer residents of the section in which he located. He did not dread the loneliness nor shrink from the hardships and privations of pioneer life, but with resolute spirit met the conditions that existed at the time of his arrival, when his place of abode was thirty-five miles from another habitation. He has lived to see remarkable changes and there have been almost equally remarkable changes in his own fortunes, for he started out in life empty handed and through persistent purpose has steadily worked his way upward, his ability and capable management winning for him a creditable measure of success.

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