Hughes County, South Dakota
Vessey, Robert Scadden, banker and statesman of Pierre. S.D., was born May 16, 1858. in Oshkosh, Wis. He is president of Vessey Brothers; and has been governor of South Dakota.
Whiting, Charles Sumner, lawyer and jurist of Pierre, S.D., was born May 25, 1863, near Rochester, Minn. In 1908-13 he was associate justice of the state supreme court of South Dakota.
Polley, Samuel C., lawyer and jurist of Pierre, S.D., was born Jan. 13, 1864, in Houston county, Minn. He graduated from the university of Minnesota; and in 1890-1913 practiced law in Dead Wood, S.D. In 1901-02 he was state's attorney of Lawrence county; and in 1909-12 was secretary of state for South Dakota. He is judge of the supreme court of South Dakota for term of 1913-19.
Robinson, Doane, journalist, lawyer, author and poet of Pierre, S.D., was born Oct. 19, 1856, in Sparta, Wis. He is secretary and superintendent of the state department of history. He is the author of History of South Dakota from the Earliest Times.
Sebree, James S., marshal and librarian of Pierre, S.D., was born Oct. 22, 1844, in Canton. Ill. Since 1905 he has been marshal and librarian of the South Dakota supreme court library.
Burke,Charles H.,business man and statesman of Pierre, S.D., was born Dec. 14, 1850, in Milford,N.H. In 1899-1903 he was a member of congress. He is president of Nashua iron and brass foundry and other corporations.
Corson, Dighton,lawyer and jurist of Pierre, S.D., was born in Somerset county, Maine. Since 1900 he has been presiding judge of the state supreme court of South Dakota.
Haney, Dick, lawyer and jurist of Pierre, S. D., was born Nov. 10, 1852, in Lansing, Iowa. Since 1900 he has been judge of the supreme court of South Dakota.
Bryne, F. M., statesman of Pierre, S.D. In 1913 he became governor of South Dakota.
Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771 - Present
Contributed by A. Newell
BURKE, Charles Henry (1861-1944)
Charles Henry Burke, a Representative from South Dakota; born on a farm near Batavia, Genesee County, N.Y., April 1, 1861; attended the public schools of Batavia, N.Y.; moved to the Territory of Dakota in 1882 and settled on a homestead in Beadle County; moved to Hughes County in 1883; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1886; engaged in the real estate investment business in Pierre, S.Dak.; member of the State house of representatives in 1895 and 1897; elected as a Republican to the Fifty-sixth and to the three succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1899-March 3, 1907); unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1906 to the Sixtieth Congress; elected to the Sixty-first, Sixty-second, and Sixty-third Congresses (March 4, 1909-March 3, 1915); chairman, Committee on Indian Affairs (Sixty-first Congress); minority whip (Sixty-third Congress); did not seek renomination in 1914 having received the Republican nomination for United States Senator, but was unsuccessful for election; resumed the investment business; appointed Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Washington, D.C., on April 1, 1921, and served until his resignation on June 30, 1929; engaged in the real estate and loan business in Pierre S. Dak., and also worked in the interest of Indians in Washington, D.C.; died in Washington, D.C., April 7, 1944; interment in Riverside Cemetery, Pierre, S.Dak.
The Biographical Directory of the Railway Officials of America
Smith, Daniel Howard, Member South Dakota Railroad Commission. Office Sioux Falls, S. D. Residence Miller, S. D.
History of Dakota Territory, George W. Kingsbury, Vol. 4, 1915
CAPTAIN FREDERICK BONSEY.
Captain Frederick Bonsey, of Pierre, South Dakota, carefully supervisee his invested interests and has contributed in substantial measure to the business development and prosperity of the city. A native of Maine, he was born in Ellsworth, May 5, 1855, his parents being Samuel and Susan (Lords) Bonsey, both of whom were descended from old New England families. The first of the Bonsey family came to America from Scotland early in the seventeenth century, making settlement in Maine and through generations representatives of the name have been seafaring men. Samuel Bonsey was a sea captain, devoting his entire active life to that vocation. His death occurred in 1896 when he had reached the venerable age of eighty-six years. His family numbered ten children, all of whom are yet living, excepting Edward, who passed away in June, 1915, and the youngest is fifty-four years of age. Two of the sons are sea captains.
Captain Bonsey of this review attended the common schools until his fourteenth year when, following the family precedent, he went to sea, shipping before the mast. He sailed out of New York for eight years in the West Indies, Windward Islands and South American trade and subsequently became captain of the schooner Senator, plying between New York city and Maine, remaining there three years. He saw his share of excitement and dangers and when in a reminiscent mood relates many interesting experiences of those days. In 1883 he resigned his command and came west, settling for a short time in Minneapolis, but later in the same year removed to Dakota territory. For a time he resided in Spink county and later in Sully county, where he took up homestead, preemption and tree claims. Later he returned to Spink county and at Ashton conducted the Bonsey Hotel for three years. In 1889, soon after the capital was established at Pierre, he removed to that city and served as the first chef of the Locke Hotel, remaining in that connection for three years, when he resigned to engage in the restaurant business on his own account. He continued therein with growing success for sixteen years, having one of the first class establishments of the city and enjoying a most liberal patronage. In 1914 he sold that business and then entered into the canning business, being one of the organizers and a director of The Hield Canning Company, of which he is also manager. Their only line is tomatoes and they now have forty thousand tomato plants out which they cultivate themselves. This company is one of Pierre's most important commercial productive institutions. He is likewise the owner of considerable residence property, from which he derives a gratifying annual income.
On the 7th of February, 1886, was celebrated the marriage of Captain Bonsey and Miss Frances Winter, a daughter of Nicholas and Mary Winter, of Boscobel, Wisconsin, and they have two children, Ruth and Andrew. Mr. Bonsey exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the republican party. In matters of citizenship he is thoroughly progressive, supports all measures of public improvement and does everything in his power to advance those interests which are a matter of civic virtue and civic pride. His chief sources of recreation are hunting and fishing and he has hunted big game in all sections of the northwest, bringing off many trophies of the chase. Fraternally he is a member of Lodge No. 23, A. O. C. W. In his broad and varied experiences he has learned much concerning the correct valuations of life and has due regard for all those forces which make for the benefit and upbuilding of the community and which count as factors in those warm friendships which make life worth living.
History of Dakota Territory, George W. Kingsbury, Vol. 4, 1915
HON. CHARLES HENRY BURKE.
Hon. Charles Henry Burke, who as a member of the fifty-sixth, fifty-seventh, fifty-eighth, fifty-ninth, sixty-first, sixty-second and sixty-third congresses represented South Dakota in the national house of representatives for fourteen years, makes his home in Pierre, where he will later engage in active business. The Burke family of which he is a representative is of Norman origin and with the Butlers and Fitzgeralds is ranked with the most distinguished of the Norman Irish. The ancestor of the Irish Burkes was William Fitz-Aldelm-de-Burgo, who accompanied King Henry to Ireland as his steward in 1171 A. D. The family was related by the ties of blood to that of William the Conqueror. Two of them, Robert de Burgo and his brother William, were with the Norman conqueror at the invasion of England, and the former was afterward created Earl of Cornwall. In the reign of King John the Burkes obtained large possessions in Connaught through rivalry and quarrels with the O'Connors. Becoming powerful, they subsequently renounced their allegiance to the kings of England and adopted the Irish language, dress and customs and compelled all other families of Norman origin in Connaught to do likewise. Two of them became Irish chiefs and settled in what is now embraced in the present County Mayo. Other branches settled in Limerick, Clare and Tipperary. Many members of the family attained distinction in military achievements, while others won fame along literary lines. Edmund Burke, "one of the greatest sons of men" was of this family. John Burke, the celebrated genealogist who established "Burke's Peerage," was also of this family. Thomas Burke, of Revolutionary war fame as a writer and patriot, was a native of Galway, Ireland, and became governor of North Carolina. Robert O'Hara Burke, the celebrated Australian explorer, was a native of Galway and also of this family. Joseph Burke, an uncle of Charles Henry Burke, acquired renown both in Europe and America as an actor and violinist and almost in his infancy was a histrionic and musical prodigy. He played in Great Britain and the United States before immense audiences, his ability being accounted the most astounding instance of precocious talent the musical world has ever known. Constant study and practice continually developed his talent and his standing as an artist is indicated in the fact that he was chosen to accompany Jenny Lind on her tour of the United States in 1850 in the role of violinist. He afterward became her treasurer and private secretary as well as her musical director. He was born in Galway, Ireland, in 1817, and died in Batavia, New York, in 1902.
Dr. Miles Burke, the grandfather of Charles H. Burke and a native of Galway, Ireland, was a physician and surgeon of wide repute who was graduated from a famous school of surgery of London, England, in 1809 and afterward practiced in Ireland for a number of years. He emigrated to America in 1830, taking up his abode in New York city, where he resided for a number of years. Subsequently he removed to Troy, New York, and finally to Canada, near Niagara Falls, where his demise occurred in 1845.
Walter Burke, his son and the father of Charles H. Burke, was also a native of County Galway, born November 10, 1820. He came to America in 1830 with his father. Following the death of his father he located, in 1846, in Genesee county, New York, purchasing and settling upon Summerville Farm, where he continued to live and carry on agricultural pursuits the remainder of his life, passing away in 1911 at the venerable age of ninety-one years. He was married in 1856 to Miss Sarah T. Beckwith, who was born in Connecticut, October 17, 1828. While Mr. Burke is a representative of an old and noted Irish family on the paternal side, his ancestral record in the maternal line is traced back through the history of one of the prominent old New England families. The maternal grandfather of Mrs. Burke was Nathan Tinker, a Revolutionary soldier and pensioner, and her father, Josiah Beckwith, was a soldier in the War of 1812. Mrs. Burke, the mother of Charles H. Burke, was a school teacher in her younger days, being a lady of liberal education and wide culture. She died in 1907. Mr. and Mrs. Walter Burke became the parents of five children who lived to maturity, as follows: Catherine Elizabeth, who is the wife of C. J. Harris, of Genesee county, New York; Joseph W., residing on Summerville Farm, the old homestead in Genesee county, New York; Charles Henry, of this review; Lulu J., who is the wife of John G. Torrance, of Batavia, New York; and Grace, a resident of Batavia, New York.
Charles Henry Burke was born on Summerville Farm April 1, 1861, and there his boyhood days were passed, his early education being acquired in the rural schools of the neighborhood. At one period in his life he drove five miles to and from school each day while doing the ordinary farm chores morning and evening. During the summer seasons he worked as other farm boys usually do, assisting more and more largely in the labors of the fields as his years increased until he was making a full "hand" upon the place. When he was still in his teens he secured a teacher's certificate and taught for four months in the year, covering the winter season, while the remainder of his time was devoted to active farm work. Immediately after attaining his majority, on the 6th of May, 1882, he started for the west with capital only sufficient to take him to his destination—Moorhead, Minnesota. There he secured employment at the carpenter's trade in the midst of a building boom. He faced life with courage and determination and each day saw him farther advanced because of the good use he made of his time and opportunities and the lessons which he learned from experience. In the summer of the same year he joined a former New York friend of about his own age in a mercantile venture at Broadland, Beadle county, South Dakota, and at the same time home-steaded. After a year he removed to Blunt, Hughes county, and in 1887 he became a resident of Pierre, where he has since made his home. When he took up his abode at Blunt in the spring of 1883 he entered into partnership with Caldwell & Smith, of Huron, in the land and real-estate business, and while negotiating property transfers he devoted the hours which art usually termed leisure to the study of law and was admitted to the bar in 1886. He then entered upon active practice, which he followed in connection with the conduct of his real-estate business at Blunt until September, 1887, when he removed to Pierre and entered the employ of the Security Mortgage & Investment Company, in which connection advancement brought him to the position of manager. He continued in that capacity until he closed up the company's business and subsequently he became a member of the law firm of Burke & Goodner of Pierre, which connection was dissolved when Mr. Burke was elected to congress.
Previous to his congressional experience, however, he took an active part in local and state affairs. In 1890 he was secretary of the Pierre capital committee, in which capacity he devoted eight months almost exclusively to campaign work, his labors proving most effective and winning him high appreciation. From the beginning of his public service he has been very forceful in political circles and in 1894 was elected on the republican ticket to the state legislature, in which he served for two terms. His ability as a lawmaker was quickly recognized, for his course showed that he readily grasped the various phases of the different questions which came up for settlement and that in all of his legislative work he was actuated by a desire to further the public good.
Accordingly in 1898, appreciative of his worth in the general assembly, Mr. Burke was nominated by the republicans as a candidate for one of two congressmen at large and elected in November of the same year. During his first term in congress his course met the highest expectations of his constituents so well that in the three succeeding nominating conventions, in 1900, 1902 and 1904, he was nominated by acclamation and elected in each succeeding election. In 1906 he was defeated in convention but was again nominated in June, 1908, in a statewide primary and elected to the sixty-first congress, and reelected to the sixty-second and sixty-third congresses. Mr. Burke's congressional career is one which reflects honor and credit upon the state which honored him, his service being most useful to his district, to his commonwealth and to the nation. During the sixty-first congress he was chairman of the important committee on Indian affairs, succeeding Vice President Sherman in that capacity, and during the sixty-second and sixty-third congresses he was the ranking minority member of that committee. He was also a member of the committee on interstate and foreign commerce in the fifty-eighth and fifty-ninth congresses, which committee had charge of the famous Hepburn rate bill. During the sixty-third congress he was the "republican whip," an indication of his standing among his colleagues. During the sixty-first congress he was chairman of the special committee that investigated the Gore charges in Oklahoma and he was a member during the sixty-third congress of the joint Indian commission from the house and senate, of which Senator Robinson was chairman, this commission having full investigating powers on all general Indian affairs. At the same time he was a member of the special commission to investigate and report on the Yakima Indian reservation irrigation project of Washington and the New Mexico Indian tubercular sanitarium, of which subject the commission made an exhaustive study and reported fully to congress. In 1913 Mr. Burke announced his retirement to private life, owing to three severe surgical operations which he had undergone. In January, 1914, in spite of Mr. Burke's firm opposition and without his sanction, his friends proposed him as a republican nominee for United States senatorial honors as the opponent of Senator Crawford, a representative of another faction of the republican party. Mr. Burke was nominated over Crawford in the primaries, carrying forty-one of the sixty-one counties, but was defeated at the general election of November, 1914, by the democratic candidate, Ed S. Johnson of Yankton.
On the 14th of January, 1886, Mr. Burke was united in marriage to Miss Caroline Schlosser, a native of Lodi, Wisconsin, by whom he has four children, as follows: Grace, who is the wife of Milton P. Goodner, of Seattle, Washington; Elizabeth, at home; Walter H., a resident of Chicago; and Josephine L., who was born in Washington, D. C, and is also at home.
Mr. Burke is now living retired temporarily save for the supervision which he gives to his personal property interests and investments. He is a director of the Pierre National Bank but otherwise is not before the public in any business connection. During territorial days he was a member of the militia of South Dakota. Fraternally he is identified with the following organizations: Pierre Lodge, No. 27, A. F. & A. M.; Pierre Chapter, No. 22, R. A. M.; Pierre Commandery, No. 21, K. T.; the Ancient Order of United Workmen; and the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. The religious faith of Mr. Burke is that of the Episcopal church. He holds membership in Trinity church at Pierre, in which he is serving as vestryman and treasurer. He is most popular among his fellow townsmen and the sterling traits of his character are indicated by the fact that he is most highly esteemed where best known.
It would be an incomplete and unsatisfactory record of Charles H. Burke if there was no mention made of the opinions which have been expressed concerning him by his colleagues in public life, for it has been through his congressional service that he has become best known to the country. When it was known that he would retire from congress, in March, 1907, Hon. William P. Hepburn of Iowa, chairman of the committee on interstate and foreign commerce, appointed from that committee a committee which made the following report: "That the committee on interstate and foreign commerce, upon which the Honorable Charles H. Burke has served for two congresses, hereby express its sincere regrets that our colleague will no longer be a member of the house after March 4th next, and that his membership on this committee will end. It is the unanimous opinion of this committee, made known in regular committee meeting, at which every member was present, that by the retirement of Mr. Burke from the house this committee loses an able and most efficient and faithful representative, one who at all times has devoted his time, ability and attention to the public business, and by his courtesy, kindness, and gentlemanly bearing, has endeared himself to all who knew him, but more particularly to the members of this committee." On the same occasion Mr. Hepburn said: "Your comrades on the committee are not willing that this connection should be terminated without many an expression as to their regrets, and they have deputed me to strive to express to you, in part, their feelings. You have been a member of the committee for many years. Your industry, your punctuality, the interest you have always shown when on the duties with which it has been charged, and the high order of ability you have brought to bear upon all questions it has considered, have marked you as one of its most valued members. These qualities could not have been exhibited as they have without doing something more than winning our respect. They call for our admiration, in largest measure our confidence. As a slight mark of our high appreciation of your personal and valued qualities, the committee have procured this service which I am directed to present to you as coming from all the members. It is an expression of affection and admiration for your splendid virtues of courage, fortitude, intelligence, and gentleness, which are marked essentials in your character, and in part the qualities that make us love you. In this parting our regrets are very many and lasting, but wherever you go you may be assured that you carry with you our best and kindliest wishes for your well-being—that the future may have in store for you only the choicest of blessings."
James R. Mann, in his characteristic and vigorous way, spoke of Mr. Burke as follows: "We know him to be great. He has made good on this committee, he has made good as a public servant. Men come and go in public life; they appear and disappear from the halls of congress. The world goes on much the same, but I venture to believe that few men have made so great an impression in the present house of representatives during his term of service as has Charles H. Burke. He has established himself in the absolute confidence of this committee, which, in my opinion, is the greatest committee in the house. Our committee deals with more subjects covering a greater variety in interests than any other committee of congress. It takes hard work and long experience to become of the greatest value in this committee. By his assiduous devotion to his public work, by his conscientious efforts to study the work coming before our committee, Mr. Burke has made himself so valuable to us that we who remain will miss him more than we can tell."
"I have had peculiar opportunity to learn of Congressman Burke's personal qualities," said Congressman Esch of Wisconsin. "I have been impressed with his industry, his good judgment, his attention to duty and his high ideals." With genuine warmth, Congressman Townsend, of Michigan, spoke in part as follows: "I have learned to respect and admire Mr. Burke for his modest, earnest and effectual work on this committee. He is differently constituted from myself, and I have profited by his example. I have known him outside of this committee room. It is said that one must 'summer and winter with a man' in order to know him well. Since I came to Washington I have lived at the same hotel with our colleague and in his modest, unassuming manner there, the same as here, he won his way into the hearts of all. I trust and believe that the same qualities of heart and head which have made his congressional life so great a success, will enable him to render even greater service to his state and this during what I hope will be the many years to come."
One of Mr. Burke's democratic colleagues in congress, Mr. Adamson of Georgia, said: "In my association with Charles H. Burke here as man, member of committee and congressman, I have admired in him the highest merit, exercised with the most beautiful modesty. Patient, industrious and wise, polite and considerate of his opponents, vigilant with adversaries, he stands a splendid example of a great, useful congressman. His sincere and genial disposition, constantly doing kindnesses, make all love him. He gives the most complete. exhibition of generous unselfishness I have ever observed in the conduct of any man. He never loses his temper. He uses intellect in transacting business. He analyzes the issue with his mind and is convinced by his reason. He will rank with the greatest and with the best and brightest who have served mankind in these halls."
At the conclusion of the consideration of the Indian appropriation bill in the house of representatives on January 9, 1915 (See Cong. Rec, p. 1364), the chairman of the committee, Mr. Stephens, yielded to the republican leader, Mr. Mann of Illinois, who said:
"Mr. Speaker, I think it is quite appropriate for me to say a word, under the circumstances, conveying at least the best wishes of the House to those members of the Committee on Indian Affairs who will not be with us in the next House.
"There are eight of them who go off the committee. On this side of the House two of the oldest members in point of service upon the committee will retire. Two of the ablest Members on this side of the House will go out of the House and off the Committee on Indian Affairs. The gentleman from South Dakota (MR. BURKE) has shown that he is one of the most capable men who ever sat in this Hall and one of the men who had the most intimate knowledge of the intricacies of Indian affairs. While we on this side of the House had hoped still to have his services in another body, we sincerely regret that we are to part with his services. Mr. Burke, in my opinion, has at different times, both as chairman and as member of the Committee on Indian Affairs, saved to this Government and to the Indians many millions of dollars, and we could well have afforded, so far as money considerations are concerned, to have paid him a pension for life in order that he might give us his knowledge and his sound judgment of Indian affairs.
"I say the same kind words to the gentleman from Oklahoma (MR. McGUIRE), and I extend the best wishes of this side of the House to the Members on the other side of the House who are going off this great Committee on Indian Affairs, where more service is rendered that is not of a personal interest to Members, probably, than on any other committee of the House" (APPLAUSE.)
History of Dakota Territory, George W. Kingsbury, Vol. 4, 1915
JOHN L. EICHHOLTZ.
John L. Eichholtz, of Blunt, is now living largely retired although he still deals to some extent in real estate. He was formerly one of the leading horse dealers of the county and is still somewhat active in that line. He was born at Altoona, Pennsylvania, October 14, 1839, a son of Henry and Angeline (Crissman) Eichholtz. The father was born in Germany and the mother in New England. Henry Eichholtz learned the weaver's trade but later turned his attention to farming, in which he engaged until 1867, having in the meantime removed to Ogle county, Illinois. He continued to reside there until his death and his wife has also passed away, her demise occurring in 1876.
John L. Eichholtz, who is the third in order of birth in a family of seven children, attended school in Ogle county, Illinois, and was for one year a student at Mendota College, that state. In 1862 he put aside all personal considerations and went to the defense of the Union, enlisting in Company K, Sixty-seventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry. Although he at first enlisted for three months he reenlisted at the expiration of that period and continued at the front until after the fall of Vicksburg, when on account of illness he was discharged and returned home. In the spring of 1864, having recovered his health, he enrolled in Company K, Fifteenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and served with that command until September, 1865, when he was mustered out and again returned home. He was slightly wounded in the left hand but feels that he was fortunate to escape more serious injury.
After his return from the front Mr. Eichholtz operated the home farm for one year, after which he removed to Iowa, where he spent about two years, during which time he followed the painter's trade. He subsequently engaged in the coal business at Parkersburg, Iowa, for two years. Later he turned his attention to the livery business and in 1882 went to Huron, South Dakota, where he conducted a livery barn. After remaining there a year he removed to Blunt and continued in the livery business there. In 1894 he also became interested in the hotel business and managed both his livery barn and his hotel until February 12, 1900, when all of his buildings were burned. He then turned his attention to the stock business and became one of the most extensive dealers in horses in the county. He still follows that business to some extent and is also engaged in dealing in real estate, handling chiefly his own land. In the fall of 1914 he had the misfortune to break a leg and has since lived somewhat retired. His investment in South Dakota land includes six hundred
Mr. Eichholtz was married October 14, 1875, to Miss Della H. Adams, who was born in the state of Maine and is a descendant of the Adams family, which has contributed so many men of prominence and influence to the country. Her parents, Dr. Henry and Julia (Hill) Adams, were both natives of Maine but in the early '40s removed to Iowa before the Illinois Central Railroad was built in that state. The father practiced medicine and gained an enviable reputation as a physician. In 1880 he removed to Brule county, South Dakota, where he resided until 1903, when he took up his residence in Blunt. He passed away there in the fall of 1912. The mother of Mrs. Eichholtz died when she was but a small child and the father subsequently married a sister of his first wife. Mr. and Mrs. Eichholtz have a daughter, Angeline, the wife of Harry Persson, a stockman of Blunt, by whom she has one child, Clair Besancon.
Mr. Eichholtz is a democrat and although he has never been a politician in the sense of office seeking he is at present city assessor and census taker. His religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Presbyterian church, and fraternally he belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in which he is at present serving; as secretary. He is a loyal member of the Grand Army post and is now filling the office of adjutant. Throughout his entire life he has manifested a spirit of patriotism and devotion to the general good that prompted him to serve his country as a soldier during the Civil war. He has gained the confidence and respect of all who know him and at the same time has won financial independence.
History of Dakota Territory, George W. Kingsbury, Vol. 4, 1915 (?)
C. R. GARNER.
C. R. Garner, who is successfully engaged in the real-estate, loan and abstract business in Onida, was born in Douglas county, Illinois, on the 15th of December, 1872, a son of William E. and Hester A. (Turner) Garner, both natives of Clinton county. Ohio. They removed from the Buckeye state to Illinois shortly after their marriage and resided in the Prairie state until 2883, when they came to South Dakota and located on a farm near Onida. The father gave his time and energies to the improvement of that place until 1910, when he and his wife removed to California. They now reside in Banning, Riverside county, that state, and he is living practically retired although he engages in the growing of fruits and nuts to some extent. He still owns land in South. Dakota and has many friends here. He was one of the early settlers of Sully county and erected the first residence in Garner township. Although never an office seeker he was elected to a number of township offices. To him and his wife were born two children: Camillus R.; and John Newton, who resides in Banning, California, and who is an important official in the government forestry service, having charge of a large district.
C. R. Garner received his early education in the public schools of Onida and Pierre and later attended the State Normal School at Madison and Huron College. A number of years before completing his education, however, he helped provide for his own support, as when about sixteen years of age he was employed by others. When twenty-two years old he began teaching school in Sully county and for two terms taught the Onida school and for seven terms the Waterford school. During vacations he farmed and thus added to his income. In 1901, however, he became a resident of Onida and engaged in the real-estate, abstract and loan business, with which he is still connected. He deals in South Dakota lands and also handles real estate in other states and has negotiated many important transactions. He also has a gratifying patronage in the other branches of his business. He is a stockholder and a director in the Mexican Oil Company, whose well at the time it was sunk, in 1913, was the second largest in the world; and in the Idol Island Oil Company of the same place, which now has three wells. He owns farm lands in South Dakota and is one of the substantial citizens of Sully county. He devotes practically his entire time to his real-estate, loan and insurance business and has demonstrated his acumen and sound judgment.
Mr. Garner was married on the 12th of October, 1914, to Miss Maud Cole, a daughter of John F. Cole, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work. To this union has been born a daughter, Audrey Belle, who is attending school. Mr. Garner is a republican and is now serving his second year as mayor of Onida. He is a very able official and his conduct of the affairs of the office has gained him the commendation of his fellow citizens. His religious faith is that of the Presbyterian church, and fraternally he is identified with the Masonic order, belonging to the blue lodge of Onida, in which he is senior warden, and the chapter of Pierre, and to the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He has gained the friendship of many and the respect of all with whom he has been brought in contact.
History of Dakota Territory, George W. Kingsbury, Vol. 4, 1915
JAMES A. HELMEY.
James A. Helmey, a well known and successful druggist of Sherman, South Dakota, was born in Rushford, Fillmore county, Minnesota, on the 25th of May, 1870, his parents being Lewis P. and Martha (Jackson) Helmey, natives of Norway. The father emigrated to the United States as a young man, while the mother came to this country with her parents as a girl. Their marriage was celebrated in Fillmore county, Minnesota. Lewis P. Helmey was for some years identified with the hotel business, conducting the Winona House at Winona, Minnesota, but subsequently turned his attention to agricultural pursuits. In 1878 his wife died and the following year he came to South Dakota, locating on a section of school land in Lincoln county, of which he later purchased a quarter section when it was put on the market. He has reached the venerable age of eighty and during the past several years has lived retired, now making his home at Humboldt, Minnehaha county. He gives his political allegiance to the republican party and, while never an office seeker, served for a number of years as justice of the peace in Rushford, Minnesota. The period of his residence in this state covers more than a third of a century and he is widely recognized as one of its honored pioneers and representative citizens.
James A. Helmey was reared under the parental roof and attended the common schools
In 1898 Mr. Helmey was united in marriage to Miss Anna Paulson, of Kimball, South Dakota, by whom he had two children, Martha E. and James A., Jr. The wife and mother was called to her final rest on the 10th of July, 1902, passing away in Dell Rapids. In politics Mr. Helmey is a stanch republican, while his religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Norwegian Lutheran church. Fraternally he is connected with Sioux Falls Lodge, No. 262, B. P. O. E., and Sherman Lodge of the Knights of Pythias. In all relations of life he has proven himself upright, honorable and straightforward, well worthy of the high regard in which he is uniformly held.
History of Dakota Territory, George W. Kingsbury, Vol. 4, 1915
JUDGE JOHN F. HUGHES.
Judge John F. Hughes, of Fort Pierre, who is sitting on the bench of the sixth judicial circuit of South Dakota, is now serving his second term in that office and is recognized as a jurist who adds to a thorough knowledge of the law an unbiased mind and the ability to decide a question solely upon its merits. He was born in Scott county, Iowa, November 26, 1856, a son of John and Eliza (Parks) Hughes, both natives of the north of Ireland, the father born in County Monaghan and the mother in County Armagh. John Hughes resided for seven years in Scotland, but in 1848 came to America and for a time engaged in contracting with a cousin. About 1852 he located near Davenport, Iowa, and for a time worked as a farm hand, but eventually became the owner of land nine miles north of that city, where he spent the remainder of his life, dying on the 22d of May, 1882. He gave his political allegiance to the democratic party and held a number of local offices. His wife died March 1, 1894. Their marriage was celebrated in Iowa and they became the parents of two children, of whom our subject is the elder.
Judge John F. Hughes attended the country schools of Scott county, Iowa, and subsequently took a classical course in St. Vincent's College at Cape Girardeau, Missouri. He resided upon the homestead during the period of his minority and when sixteen years of age, owing to his father's illness, he assumed charge of the operation of the farm. Before he was eighteen years old he began teaching near Davenport, his first school being located three miles from the city. Later he taught school in his home district. While teaching he took up the study of law in Davenport and for some time continued his studies, teaching at intervals. In 1883 he was admitted to the bar and in the fall of that year he made his way to Dakota territory and took up a preemption near DeSmet, but a few days afterward went down the river and a little later removed to Pierre. In the winter of 1882 he returned to Iowa, but in the following spring located in Pierre, where he engaged in the practice of law. He soon gained recognition as a lawyer of ability and built up a large and lucrative practice. He specialized in trial work, handling both criminal and civil cases, and the court records show that he won a large percentage of favorable verdicts for his clients. He recognised the fact that success in court depends first upon careful preparation and overlooked no point that might have a bearing upon the case. This habit of careful study of all phases of the case combined with his power of skillful and convincing presentation of his arguments caused his colleagues to recognize the fact that he was an opponent worthy of their best steel. During the period following the election of 1896, when Governor Lee was chosen for chief executive of South Dakota, Judge Hughes was retained as counsel for the governor in all litigation resulting from actions of defeated politicians. Judge Hughes ably represented his client and by prompt and accurate work secured the election of Kelley and Freeman Knowles to congress. He has held a number of offices in the path of his profession, having been city attorney of Fort Pierre and having served for four years as states attorney of Stanley county. He is now serving the first year of his second term as judge of the sixth judicial circuit, the excellence of his record having won him reelection without opposition and with the indorsement of all parties. His ability and strict integrity have gained him not only the confidence of the people but also the unqualified respect of the members of the bar of the circuit.
Judge Hughes has also been connected with business interests of Pierre for a number of years. For some time he engaged in the real-estate and insurance business and for three years was a partner in J. D. Hilger & Company, who owned and conducted a clothing store. About 1890 he began dealing in live stock on an extensive scale and still raises and sells many fine horses. He owns a half section of land adjoining Fort Pierre, which he personally operates, devoting it chiefly to the raising of alfalfa. He also owns two sections of land about four miles from Fort Pierre and has a number of other sections under lease, the entire tract being operated as a stock farm by his son, who is also financially interested in the property. Judge Hughes likewise owns valuable property in Pierre and Fort Pierre. In 1901 he removed from Pierre to Fort Pierre and at that time homesteaded the farm which he owns adjoining the latter place. However, he did not remove his office to Fort Pierre for a number of years.
Judge Hughes was married June 29, 1886, to Miss Helen Feeney, who was born in County Galway, Ireland. Her father, Patrick Feeney, died in Ireland, but her mother, who bore the maiden name of Margaret Connally, accompanied her family to Hughes county and passed away in Pierre. Mrs. Hughes was only about ten years of age when she came to this state. An uncle had previously settled in Hughes county and had the only house between Huron and Pierre and was well known in that section of the state. To Judge and Mrs. Hughes have been born thirteen children, namely: Felan, who operates the stock ranch before mentioned and who married Miss Florence Chamberlain; Francis, a rancher and stockman of Stanley county; Helen M., who teaches music and reading in the Fort Pierre high school; Kiran, who graduated from the high school with the class of 1915; Mary, who also graduated in 1915 and was the valedictorian of her class; Leo and Katherine, both attending high school; Loretta, Joseph, Irene and Josephine, all attending school; and two who died in infancy.
Judge Hughes is a republican and his advice is often sought in local party councils. In addition to the offices which have already been mentioned, he has held a number of positions of trust and honor. For four years he was receiver of public moneys in the Pierre land office, for several years in the early '90s he was chairman of the board of commissioners of Hughes county and for four years he was a member of the board of education of Pierre. During the various campaigns for the location of the capital, Judge Hughes took a moat active interest in supporting Pierre and has always been an earnest worker in behalf of any movement that would benefit his city or county. His religious faith is that of the Roman Catholic church and fraternally be is connected with the Knights of Columbus. He is not a club or fraternity man, but prefers to spend his leisure time at home with his family, to whom he is devoted. He possesses a naturally keen mind which has been disciplined by thorough training, and seldom fails in quickly distinguishing between the essential and the nonessential in any issue that arises in the work of the courts. His record as a lawyer and as judge is one of which he has just cause to be proud and he has been equally successful in his business enterprises. Although his official duties and his private interests have made heavy demands upon his time and attention, he has, nevertheless, found opportunity to assist in bringing about the advancement of his community along lines of civic and moral progress, and his public spirit has added to the esteem in which he is held wherever known.
History of Dakota Territory, George W. Kingsbury, Vol. 4, 1915
JOHN ANDREW LAUGHLIN.
John Andrew Laughlin, filling the office of treasurer of Hughes county, entered upon the duties of his present position in January, 1913, following four years' service as deputy county treasurer, whereby he was thoroughly qualified for the position that he is now capably filling. He was born January 6, 1884, in Allamakee county, Iowa, a son of John and Katherine Marie (Hall) Laughlin, who in April, 1884, removed with their family to this state, settling in Hughes county. The son was there reared and at the usual age became a public-school pupil. Later he had the benefit of instruction in a commercial college at Brookings, South Dakota, and entering upon the profession of teaching, he proved a capable educator, imparting clearly and readily to others the knowledge he had acquired. His sterling qualities of manhood and citizenship led to his selection for public office and in January, 1909, he was appointed deputy county treasurer of Hughes county, which position he continued to fill for four years. In November, 1912, be was a successful candidate at the polls for the office of county treasurer and entered upon the duties of the higher position in the following January.
At Highmore, South Dakota, November 11, 1908, Mr. Laughlin was united in marriage
The religious faith of the family is that of the Catholic church and Mr. Laughlin holds membership with the Knights of Columbus, the Brotherhood of American Yeomen and the Fraternal Order of Eagles. His political allegiance is given to the republican party and be keeps well informed on the questions and issues of the day, so that he is able to support his position by intelligent argument. He has been practically a life-long resident of South Dakota and is one of the men who further progress in every possible way in this new and growing state.
“History of Dakota Territory”, George W. Kingsbury, 1915
HON. LORING ELLIS GAFFY.
Hon. Loring Ellis Gaffy, lawyer, jurist and Dakota pioneer, now one of the leading citizens of Pierre, was born in Clinton county, New York, on the 12th of January, 1850, a son of James Gaffy, whose birth occurred in County Westmeath, Ireland, and who in the year 1834 crossed the Atlantic to the United States, settling in New York, where he remained until 1855. In that year he removed westward to Wisconsin with his family, settling near Fond du Lac, where he engaged in farming until his death, which occurred in 1836 when he was on a visit to North Dakota. He wedded Nancy Dale, a native of Vermont, and of their family of three children. Judge Gaffy is the second in order of birth. His sisters are Mrs. C. A. Walker, of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin; and Mrs. W. J. Young, of Seattle, Washington.
The public-school system of Fond du Lac afforded Judge Gaffy his early educational privileges, which were supplemented by study in De Lands Commercial College. His review of the broad opportunities of the business world led to his selection of the law as a life work and he began his preliminary reading in the office and under the direction of Judge Drury in his home city. In 1871 he went to Greeley county, Nebraska, where he remained until 1873, when he became compass man on the United States survey of western Nebraska. In 1874 he went to Grand Island, Nebraska, where he continued his studies in the office of George H. Thummel, and in 1876 was admitted to the Nebraska bar. The following year he came to Dakota territory, settling at Deadwood, where he continued in active practice until 1884. In the meantime he had become recognized as one of the leaders of the republican party in that locality and was made the candidate for the territorial senate in his district in 1880.
Four years afterward Judge Gaffy removed to Pierre, where he has since resided, and throughout the intervening years he has been almost continuously in office, his official duties, however, always being in the strict path of his profession. He was elected states attorney of Hughes county in 1888 and was the incumbent in that office for four years, or until 1893.
In 1894 he was appointed judge of the sixth judicial district and was thereafter elected and reelected to the bench until he had served continuously for twelve and a half years. His decisions were strictly fair and impartial and were characterized by a masterful grasp of every problem presented for solution. On his retirement from the bench he resumed the private practice of law as a member of the firm of Gaffy & Stephens and is now senior partner in the well known and leading law firm of Gaffy, Stephens & Fuller. He has always made the practice of law his real life work and there is no one who more fully recognizes the necessity for a most thorough preparation or prepares his cases with greater care. In argument he is strong, logical and convincing and his utterances lead through the steps of
Judge Gaffy has been married twice. In March, 1878, he wedded Fannie B. Price, whose death occurred in Pierre in 1887. In February, 1900, he wedded Adelaide W. Warwick, of Mount Pleasant, Iowa, a daughter of Judge William I. Warwick, and again death entered his household on the 14th of February, 1913.
Judge Gaffy is prominently known as one of the foremost leaders of the republican party in South Dakota. He was among those most active in the spirited contest which finally resulted in the choice of Pierre as the state capital and he has always been found in the van of every movement of a progressive nature affecting his city or the state at large. His fraternal relations are with the Masons and Huron Lodge, No. .444, B. P. O. E. and along professional lines he is known as a member of the South Dakota Bar Association and the American Bar Association. He has broad insight into the basic principles of the law, supplemented by an intellect keen, discriminating and analytical. Moreover, he is a profound student along many lines and an omnivorous reader of the best English literature. Outside the diverse activities of an especially busy life he has found time to devote to the many complex questions arising from the development of a new country from the condition when sod and claim shacks were prevailing features of the landscape to that of modern civilization. His influence has ever been a potent force for progress and development. For many years he has been deeply interested in prison labor reform and the general betterment of prison conditions and is a member of the Prison Labor Reform Society. In fact, he has studied deeply the grave political, sociological and economic questions of the day and at all times keeps abreast with the best thinking men of the age. He finds pleasure and recreation in hunting, fishing and horseback riding and through these means has maintained that even balance in life which is lacking when business cares monopolize attention. The state accords him position as one of its foremost lawyers and Pierre places him among its most prominent citizens.
History of Dakota Territory, George W. Kingsbury, Vol. 4, 1915
MILTON M. RAMER.
For many years Milton M. Ramer has been connected with the educational development of the state of South Dakota and has contributed much toward improving the school system. He still keeps in contact with interests of this kind as editor of the Associate Teacher. Mr. Rainer also is a director and secretary of the Capital Supply Company. He was born in Lewiston, Minnesota, February 11, 1869, and is a son of Charles H. and Abbie A. (Rice) Ramer. The father, a farmer and mechanic, was born December 31, 1840, and died on account of an accident, December 14, 1894. He lived in Indiana, Minnesota and North Dakota. His wife, Mrs. Abbie Ramer, was born February 3, 1842. She is now living in California, where she has turned her attention to fruit-raising. The parents were devoutly religious and willingly assumed more than their burden in the uplift and betterment of the world. They had seven children, all of them sons, of whom they reared five, and of whom four are still living. The Ramer family is of German origin, coming to Pennsylvania about 1750. They later removed to Ohio and Indiana. The ancestors of Mrs. Ramer were originally English and came to New England at a very early period in the history of our country.
Milton M. Ramer attended the common schools of Minnesota and North Dakota. He took part of a course at Moorehead (Minn.) State Normal School, and attended the Baptist College at Tower City, North Dakota, which is now defunct. He also took instruction in the University of Minnesota, attending summer terms. Early in life he turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, having been brought up on a farm. He taught country school in North Dakota and in 1893 became principal of the school at Big Stone City, South Dakota, which connection he retained until 1899. In that year he was chosen county superintendent of schools of Grant county, South Dakota, remaining until 1903. In 1903-04 he was superintendent of schools at Milbank, and in 1904-05 was principal of the high school at Mitchell. His excellence as a teacher was recognized, and this, combined with his ability and executive talents well fitted him for the position of president of the South Dakota Educational Association, to which office he was elected in 1905. In September of that year he was appointed by Governor Elrod, state superintendent of public instruction, which office he held until January 1, 1907. During that time he promoted a number of valuable and farreaching measures which were of great benefit in building up the system of instruction in this state. At the end of his term of office Mr. Ramer returned to the high school at Mitchell for one year and in 1908 was chosen superintendent of schools at Pierre for a period of four years. He retired from active school work to become a director and secretary of the Capital Supply Company, in which capacities he is still serving. Since 1910 he has been editor of the educational journal now known as the Associate Teacher, and by this means has continued to make valuable contributions to the field of labor with which he has been so long identified. He has always advocated definite instruction in the public schools along moral lines, which, to make it effective, should have a religious background. He led the campaign which resulted in the creation of "Ethics For Children," and he succeeded in bringing about its adoption by the state as the textbook in ethics.
On April 26, 1902, Mr. Ramer was united in marriage, at Tower City, North Dakota, to Miss Augusta K. Wasem, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Wasem. Mrs. Ramer was educated in the common schools. She is a noble-minded woman, a valuable helpmeet to her husband and a good mother. She excels as a homemaker, is also a fine needlewoman and paints in oils, manifesting considerable talent along that line. Mr. and Mrs. Ramer have two daughters, Gladys Irene and Almeta Leona. The parents affiliate with the Methodist Episcopal church and have taken a deep interest in its work and in that of its allied societies.
In 1905-6 Mr. Ramer was president of the South Dakota Sunday School Association, in the work of which organization he has always taken a most helpful interest. Mr. Ramer is a republican of the conservative type but is not bound by partisan lines, considering as of first importance the qualifications of the candidate, and not his party affiliation. Mr. Ramer served for one year in the North Dakota National Guard but was discharged upon his removal from that state. He is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and for three years served as venerable consul at Milbank. He also belongs to the American Yeoman. As a member of the Commercial Club of Pierre, he stands with those men who exert themselves for the growth and expansion of the city along commercial and industrial lines. He is devoted to golf and is a member of the Pierre Golf Club.
History of Dakota Territory, George W. Kingsbury, Vol. 4, 1915
SAMUEL S. RUBLE.
Samuel S. Ruble is successfully engaged in the undertaking business in Pierre and for ten years was president of the state board of embalmers. He is a native of Pennsylvania,
Mr. Ruble was married at Mifflintown, Pennsylvania, June 28, 1892, to Miss Laura A. Reynolds, a daughter of Ruben Reynolds of Mifflintown and a niece of General Reynolds who was killed in the memorable battle at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Both Mr. and Mrs. Ruble are well known in Pierre, for their many good qualities have gained for them warm regard. In 1891 Mr. Ruble joined the Westminster Presbyterian church at Mifflintown, but on their removal to the west he and his wife transferred their membership to the Congregational church of Pierre in 1900. In politics he has always been a republican and has never known a member of the family that did not support the same party. For two years he was a member of the board of education of Pierre, but he has never sought nor desired political office, preferring to concentrate his energies upon his business affairs which have been of growing importance. Fraternally be is well known, holding membership with the Masons, Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias, the Knights of Malta, the Ancient Order of United Workmen, the Red Men, the Junior Order United American Mechanics, the Degree of Honor Fraternity and with the Eastern Star and the Rebekah Lodge, the ladies' auxiliary organizations of the Masons and Odd Fellows orders respectively. He is likewise a member of the Pierre Commercial Club in which connection he does everything to further the interests of the city along material lines. He ever stands for progress and improvement and his influence and efforts count for good in those directions.
History of Dakota Territory, George W. Kingsbury, Vol. 4, 1915
John Sutherland, member of the well known law firm of Sutherland & Payne, of Pierre, was born in New Brunswick, Canada, in 1858, a son of Andrew and Catharine (McVicar) Sutherland. The latter died on the 4th of April, 1915, at the advanced age of ninety-one years. Liberal educational advantages were afforded our subject. During his early youth the family removed to Eau Claire county, Wisconsin, and he attended district school No. 2 at Union, in that county. His more advanced literary studies were pursued in Chicago University and in Brown University of Providence, Rhode Island, in which he won his Bachelor of Laws degree as a member of the class of 1880. During the following four years he was instructor in Greek and Latin in Way land University of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. Preparing for the bar, he entered upon the active practice of law, to which he has devoted his life.
Mr. Sutherland came to Pierre, South Dakota, in August, 1884, and as one of the practitioners of the bar of that section of the state has made a creditable record. He recognizes the necessity of careful preparation and no one more thoroughly prepares his cases or is more careful to conform his practice to a high standard of professional ethics. He studies closely every, cause to which he gives his attention and his arguments are strong, logical and convincing. The court records bear testimony to his ability and growing efficiency. He controlled the abstract business of Pierre for many years and has been prominently and successfully identified with real-estate enterprises. His loyalty to city and state has been a matter of much favorable comment. For six years he served as president of the Pierre board of education and he took an active and forceful part is
On the 5th of September, 1881, Mr. Sutherland was united in marriage at Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, to Miss Laura Paulina Aiken, a daughter of Josiah Aiken. To them have been born two children, namely: Martha E., who is now the wife of J. M. Coon, a practising attorney of Sioux Falls; and Laura Paulina, who gave her hand in marriage to Dr. R. C. Woodruff.
The religious faith of the family is that of the Baptist church, to which Mr. Sutherland belongs. He holds membership with the Delta Kappa Epeilon. a college fraternity, the Knights of Pythias and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He has always been prominent in civic and public affairs and in politics is a republican with progressive tendencies. In a word, he does not believe in the blind following of party leaders but in the steady progression of the organization to meet the demands of the time, recognizing ever that the interests of the majority and not of the few should govern legislative enactment. At different times he has been called to local offices and in 1905 he represented his district in the state legislature. He has made a most creditable record in office, ever placing the general good before partisanship and the public welfare before personal aggrandizement. His activity in party organization has been a most important feature of his career, as he has always been a foremost figure in republican councils.
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