Oliver O. Stokes is now living retired at Belle Fourche
but has led a most active, useful and busy life in connection with
commercial, agricultural and stock-raising interests and still has
important investments along those lines. He was born in Van Buren
county, Iowa, August 27, 1845, a son of Jose N. and Mary D. (Walker)
Stokes. The father's birth occurred in Virginia on the 22d of July,
1822, and the mother was born in Maryland on the 6th of June, 1822. Jose
N. Stokes always followed the occupation of farming. He was reared on an
old southern plantation, his parents being slaveowners, as were the
maternal grandparents of Oliver O. Stokes. It was in Iowa territory, in
1843, that he wedded Mary D. Walker. He had gone to Iowa in 1842 and he
became a landowner there, where he continued active in business
throughout his entire life, his labors being ended by death on the 21st
of April, 1895. For only eleven days he survived his wife, with whom he
had so long traveled life's journey. He held various county offices and
was a prominent and influential citizen of the community
in which he made his home.
Oliver O. Stokes is the eldest in a family of five children. Reared under the parental roof in Iowa, he attended the common schools of that state and later continued his education in the Bentonsport high school and in Birmingham College at Bentonsport, Iowa. He has ever placed high value upon intellectual progress and has therefore made good use of his opportunities to extend his knowledge along all lines that are of worth to the individual. He was a youth of but sixteen years when, aroused by the spirit of patriotism, he enlisted on the 7th of May, 1S62, as a member of Company K, Forty-fifth Iowa Regiment, in which he became a corporal. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant and was on active duty until September 2S, 1864. While at the front he sent his money home and his wise economy in this connection was an indication of the elemental strength of his character. After his return to Iowa he again attended school and also engaged in teaching. He earned his own way through college and by teaching made his start in life. He followed that profession for thirteen terms in his home district and resided with his parents during that period. Carefully saving his earnings, he became the owner of one hundred and sixty acres of valuable land and when he put aside the work of the school-room he turned his attention to farming, in which he continued actively in Iowa until 1886.
In that year he disposed of his property there and removed
to South Dakota, settling in what is now Harding county. He took up his
abode upon a ranch and there engaged in the stock business for a time,
but his health became impaired and be gave less attention to his stock.
He then opened a store on his ranch and continued in general
merchandising there for sixteen years. Since starting his mercantile
venture the Harding postoffice has been established. He carried a
complete line of general merchandise and successfully managed the
business until the 1st of August, 1914, when he turned the management of
the store over to a son-in-law, Henry G. McCord, and removed to Belle
Fourche. He still retains his financial interest in the store, however,
is the owner of seven hundred and forty acres of excellent ranch land in
South Dakota and is also interested in a large sheep ranch in Montana,
ninety miles from Belle Fouche, which is under the management of another
son-in-law, Charles Shipley. In his business affairs he has carefully
directed his interests, carrying forward to
successful completion whatever he has undertaken, his record proving the value and worth of intelligently directed industry and keen sagacity.
On the 27th of August, 1868, Mr. Stokes was united in marriage to Miss Anna C. Gilbert, who was born in Van Buren county, Iowa, and who had formerly been his schoolmate. She is a daughter of Riley and Margaret (Jensen) Gilbert, the former a native of Vermont and the latter of Ohio. They became residents of Iowa when that state was still under territorial rule and they were married in Van Buren county. For a considerable period the father followed the occupation of farming there and then removed to Harding county, South Dakota, where both he and his wife spent their remaining days. In addition to tilling the soil he became an active church worker as a local preacher. To Mr. and Mrs. Stokes have been born six children: Florence E., who resides with her sister on the old home ranch and is acting as postmistress of the Harding postoffice; Mrs. Mary D. McCord, who conducts the store upon the ranch; Maud Evelyn, who became the wife of Charles Shipley and passed away on the 28th of March, 1915; and three who died in childhood.
Mr. and Mrs. Stokes hold membership in the Congregational church and adhere closely to its teachings. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, has passed through the chairs of the local lodge, has been a member of the grand lodge and was deputy grand master of Iowa. He also belongs to the Grand Army of the Republic and proudly wears the little bronze button which indicates his valiant service as a soldier of the Civil war. He was vice president of the Commercial Club at Belle Fourche and recently was elected president of that organization, which does splendid work for the city of Belle Fourche and the surrounding county. In politics he has ever been an earnest republican, giving inflexible support to party principles. He served as commissioner of Butte county before the division of the county and from 1905 until 1907 represented his district in the lower house of the state legislature. In 1909 he was chosen state senator from a district which then comprised five counties. After the division he was in the house from Harding county, having been elected in 1913, his fellow townsmen prevailing upon him to become their first representative. He has done active work as a member of the state legislature, thus leaving the impress of his individuality upon the laws of the commonwealth, his course being characterized by the utmost devotion to duty, combined with a recognition of the needs and possibilities of the state. He has proven a broad-minded legislator, looking beyond the exigencies of the moment to the opportunities of the future and working ever for the welfare of the public rather than for self-aggrandizement.
Paul D. McClelland is proprietor of a large and well appointed mercantile establishment at Hermosa, where he carries a stock valued at from seven to ten thousand dollars. He also has other business interests and the careful and intelligent direction of his affairs is bringing to him substantial return. He was born in Portage county, Ohio, January 10, 1871, a son of John C. and Sarah A. (White) McClelland, both of whom were natives of Ohio. The lather was born in 1829 and for a number of years engaged in merchandising in Ohio but in 1376 removed to Iowa, settling upon a farm in Page county. In April, 1884, he arrived in South Dakota and located twelve miles east of Hermosa on a homestead claim, there residing until 1892, when he removed to a small farm near Custer. He is now living retired at Southwick, Idaho, making his home with a son. His wife, who was born in 1836, passed away in 1913.
Paul D. McClelland is the youngest of a family of four
children. He attended school in Page county, Iowa, and was a pupil in
the academy at College Springs, that state. He likewise attended school
in South Dakota and pursued a private course under his older brother, a
college graduate and teacher, who has been engaged in educational work
for many years. At the age of nineteen Paul McClelland was employed as a
cowboy in Custer county. He rode the range between the ages of fifteen
and twenty and on attaining his majority was appointed deputy register
of deeds at Custer, which position he filled for two years. He was
afterward deputy sheriff of the county for four years and following his
marriage, which was celebrated in 1896, he conducted a meat market in
Custer City for eighteen months. He next went to New Mexico in the fall
of 1897 and during the succeeding winter was employed in the machine
shops of the Santa Fe Railroad Company, occupying that position until
April, 1898. He was at Raton, New Mexico, and upon his return to Custer
joined the military company of which he was first lieutenant and with
which he went to Sioux Falls, being there mustered into the United
States service. The troops proceeded to San Francisco, California, and
on the 29th of July, 1898, sailed for the Philippine Islands. Mr.
McClelland was appointed quartermaster and served also as commissary
officer and ordnance officer on the United States transport St. Paul,
which after a stop of four days at Honolulu reached Manila on the 31st
of August. Mr. McClelland was on duty for eighteen months and sustained
a gunshot wound in the left arm at the battle of Marilao. He was in
command of his company from October,
1898, until mustered out in October, 1899, having been advanced to the rank of captain at Manila.
Captain McClelland was mustered out at San Francisco and returned to Custer, where he engaged in merchandising in connection with his brother-in-law, J. M. Donaldson, from November until April. He then purchased the business, which he conducted alone for a time. Later he sold an interest to Mr. Waugh and the business was conducted under the firm name of McClelland & Waugh for about eighteen months, but Mr. McClelland sold out in April, 1902. He then purchased five hundred and twenty-two head of steers in connection with George Raver and was engaged in the livestock business until January, 1903. He then located in Hermosa and organized the Paul McClelland Corporation for the conduct of a general mercantile business. He became secretary and treasurer and so continued until 1907, when he became sole owner. He has a well appointed store, carrying an attractive line of goods valued at from seven to ten thousand dollars. He is also half owner with Mr. Raver in a bunch of Holstein cattle and shipped from New York sixty-five head of full blooded stock. He also operates a dairy farm eight miles east of Hermosa and is the owner of farm lands, business property and residence property in Hermosa. His investments have been most judiciously made and his sound judgment and unfaltering enterprise are factors in his continued and growing success.
On the 1st of May, 1896, Mr. McClelland was united in marriage to Miss Grace E. Beardshear, a native of Nebraska and a daughter of George E. Beardshear. Her father was engaged in the operation of a sawmill and also of an electric light plant at Sturgis and was among the pioneer settlers in the Hills, where he died in the fall of 1900. His widow survives and makes her home in Sturgis. Mrs. McClelland died ten months after their marriage on the 18th of March, 1897, Mr. McClelland was again married on the 3d of July, 1901, his second union being with Mrs. Anita M. (Pettijohn) Willard, a daughter of William C. and Marie (Nunez) Pettijohn, the former a native of Missouri. By her first marriage Mrs. McClelland had three children: Walter, who is engaged in the live-stock business in Harding county, South Dakota; Birdie, who is a music teacher and is secretary and treasurer of the McClelland Company; and Pearl, who also assists in conducting the business of the company. By the second marriage there are two children, Vera and Verna, twins, who were born April 12, 1902, and are attending school.
In his political views Mr. McClelland has always been a
stalwart republican, and in addition to the offices already mentioned
that he has filled, he has served as United States commissioner for two
years and on the town board for two years, acting as clerk and later as
chairman. He has been deputy sheriff altogether for about twenty years
and is occupying that position at the present time. Fraternally he is
well known as a member of the
Masonic lodge at Hermosa, of which he is treasurer, of the Odd Fellows lodge, of which he is a past grand, and of the Knights of Pythias. He has long been an interested witness of events which have shaped the history of his section of the state and has borne an active and helpful part in the work of public progress. During the Indian outbreak in 1890 and 1891, when the Indians began stealing horses, Mr. McClelland, under orders of Governor Mellette, organized a volunteer cavalry troop, of which he acted as lieutenant and which recovered several hundred head of horses from the Indians. They had a fight at the Jack Daly ranch, twenty-five miles from Hermosa, on which occasion five Indians were killed. With all the story and experiences of pioneer life Mr. McClelland is familiar and the part which he has played in developing the county numbers him among its substantial and worthy citizens.