South Dakota

Jerauld County South Dakota



Burleigh, George H.

Carlisle, Albert N.

Null, Thomas Henry

Vessey, Frank



from History of Dakota Territory by George Kingsbury. Vol. 4 1915


Thomas Henry Null is a lawyer of Huron, where he has engaged in practice for more than a quarter of a century. He was born in Warren county, Ohio, February 10, 1862. His father, Benjamin Null, was a son of Henry Null and a grandson of Charles Null, who with a brother came to America from Germany before the Revolutionary war, both settling in Virginia and participating in the struggle for independence. In 1796, following Wayne's treaty with the Indians, Charles Null made his way to the Miami valley of Ohio and was among the earliest of its permanent settlers, taking up his abode about forty miles from Cincinnati. In 1800 he returned to Virginia and removed his family to the new wilderness home, after which the Nulls were there represented through several generations. The mother of our subject bore the maiden name of Mary J. Stevens and was also a native of Ohio and a member of one of the earliest pioneer families. Both Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Null are now deceased.

Thomas Henry Null was the second in a family of three children. He attended school in Warren county, Ohio, and at the age of seventeen years began reading law, carefully mastering the principles of jurisprudence until he was qualified for the bar. In 1883 he was admitted to practice in Dakota territory soon after his arrival here in the same year. He settled first in Jerauld county, where he took up a claim, and in 1884 he entered law practice at Waterbury, while in 1886 he locatedat Wessington Springs. He served as state's attorney there from 1886 until 1888 inclusive and proved a capable official in that position. In 1889 he removed to Huron and afterward joined John M. Davis under the firm name of Davis & Null. In 1910 he was joined by Mr. Royhl under the firm style of Null & Royhl, and that relation has since continued. From 1897 until 1901 he served as special counsel to the state railway commission in the celebrated freight rate cases. He has been connected with other important litigation and has proven his ability to successfully solve intricate and involved legal problems.

On the 25th of May, 1887, Mr. Null was united in marriage to Miss Innis Burton, a daughter of James and Caroline Burton, of Jefferson, Iowa, and they have two children, Gertrude and Fern. Mr. Null finds recreation in the study of geology, in which he has always been deeply interested. He is an enthusiastic hunter of big game and is an expert trap shot. Independent in politics, he leaves office seeking to others. However, he is well known in fraternal circles as a Mason, an Elk and an Eagle, and he holds membership in the German Reformed church. Mr. Null is a self-educated as well as self-made man, making his own way in life unaided from his eleventh year. In his youthful days he worked on farms, sold papers, blacked shoes, and also served an apprenticeship to the blacksmith's trade. While working in the blacksmith shop he boarded with students and teachers, and this it was that aroused his ambition for an education. Once he set his face in that direction, he never faltered, and steadily he has advanced step by step until he is now one of the leading lawyers and citizens, not only of Huron, but of the state.

from History of Dakota Territory by George Kingsbury. Vol. 4 1915


Albert N. Carlisle is now living retired at Woonsocket, enjoying a rest which he has truly earned and richly deserves. For many years he was extensively engaged in the grain trade in that part of the state and his capably conducted business affairs brought to him the substantial competence that now enables him to rest from further labors. He was born in Chautauqua county, New York, on the 11th of May, 1855. His father, John Carlisle, was a farmer by occupation and in 1880 removed to Miner county, Dakota territory, where he remained for a short time. He then returned to Minnesota, where he had settled in 1867, making his home in Fillmore county for about thirty-seven years, his death there occurring on the 11th of May, 1903, when he had reached the age of seventy-six. He married Ann Spratt and they became the parents of eight children, of whom Albert N. was the third in order of birth. Both parents were natives of the north of Ireland and it was in the year 1854 that they came to the new world. Both passed away in 1903, the mother's death occurring in the month of January, when she was seventy-three years of age.

Albert N. Carlisle attended the district schools in New York, Wisconsin and Minnesota and was also a high-school pupil at Spring Valley, Minnesota. He started in the business world as an apprentice to the harness maker's trade, which he followed for nine years. In 1880 he removed to Lake Herman, Dakota territory, where he established a harness shop which he conducted for a short time. He then turned his attention to the grain business in connection with an elevator company and in 1884 he came to Woonsocket, representing the grain company until 1900. He then purchased a line of elevators of his own at Woonsocket and at Lane and remained as one of the foremost grain merchants of his part of the state until 1912, when he retired from active business. He had handled a large amount of grain annually, his business reaching extensive proportions. He also owns a farm of six hundred and forty acres north of Woonsocket devoted to the raising of grain, and the place is splendidly improved and presents a most attractive appearance.

On the 14th of December, 1887, Mr. Carlisle was united in marriage to Miss Louisa Seekatz, of Waverly, Iowa, her parents being August and Mary (Schlund) Seekatz, the former a native of Germany and the latter of Wisconsin. Our subject and his wife have one child, Rachael, who is a graduate of the Woonsocket high school and the Dakota Wesley an University.

Mr. Carlisle is the owner of an automobile and makes motoring his chief source of recreation. Politically he is a republican with independent tendencies, and when his judgment dictates an independent course in the exercise of his right of franchise, he does not hesitate to follow it. He was a member of the Woonsocket school board for six years and has also served on the city council and at all times labors for the welfare of the community. Fraternally he is connected with the Masons and the Odd Fellows. He is a champion of the cause of temperance, is an advocate of good roads and a stalwart supporter of many plans and measures for civic progress and improvement. He now has leisure to more thoroughly investigate those subjects which are of significant interest to his community and the people at large and his influence is always on the side of right and progress. In his business career the capable direction of his affairs has led to prosperity. He has ever followed constructive methods in his business and his path has never been strewn with the wreck of other men's fortunes. He is noted for his integrity as well as for his industry, for his justice as well as for his enterprise, and thus it is that he is numbered among the honored and representative residents of his city.

from History of Dakota Territory by George Kingsbury. Vol. 4 1915


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.

from History of Dakota Territory by George Kingsbury 1915
Transcribed by Christine Walters


Frank G. Vessey, president of the Wessington Springs State Bank of Wessington Springs and a member of one of the most prominent pioneer families of Jerauld county, was born in Oshkosh Wisconsin June 26, 1864. His father, the Rev. Charles Vessey, was a native of ENgland and came to America in 1840, settling in Ashland, Wisc. where he served as pastor of the Methodist Episcopal church. In 1883 he removed with his family to Jerauld county, Dakota Territory, where he entered a homestead and in addition to developing his property served for many years as lay preacher, his influence being a potent force in the moral progress of the community. His death occurred on the homestead farm in 1894, when he had reached teh age of 69 years. His wife, who was in her maidenhood Miss Margaret Barker, was a native of England and of Scotch-Irish partenage. In her girlhood she went to Wisconsin, where she was married.
In the public schools of Oshkosh, Frank G. Vessey was educated and when 20 years of age became a resident of Jerauld county, where for two years he assisted in the development of the home farm. In 1886 he left home to engage int he farm-machinery business at Wessington Springs, operating successfully along that line until 1892, when he entered the banking business as bookkeeper for the Bank fo Wessington Springs. He was promoted to the position of cashier and in 1913 was elected president, so that as the chief executive head of the institution is carefully directing its interests. He is also vice president of the Farmers State Bank of Lane, SD, and is largely interested in real estate, his holdings including fifteen hundred acres of valuable farm lands.
His home life had its inception September 7, 1892, when he married Susie J. Neff, a daughter of George and Mary (Ekas) Neff, of Guthrie County IA. The Neff family came from Freeport, PA and were descended from early colonial Swiss settlers in that state. Mr. and Mrs. Vessey have become parents of four children; Leland N., who was educated in the Dakota Wesleyan University; F. Vernon, duputy county treasurer of Jerauld county and also a graduate of the Dakota Wesleyan University; and Aleta N. and Mary M. both attending high school.
Mr. Vessey turns for recreation to motoring an dgreatly enjoys touring in this car. He is a republican, giving unswerving loyalty to the party and has served on several occassions as a delegate to state conventions. While not in any sense a politician, he has for many years been a member of the town council and is a member and the treasurer of the Wessington Springs school board. He affiliates with the Odd Fellows and with the Woodmen of America an dhis religious faith is evidenced in hismembership in the Methodist Episcopal church. He is serving on its board of trustees and was a member of the building committee during the construction of the new church, which is one of the finest church edifices in the state. He contributes most liberally to the support of the church and to its allied charactable activities. He takes a progressive stand on all matters of public improvements and advancement, has always been a strong supporter of the temperance movement and has been one of the pioneer advocates of good roads. For many years he has been interested in the improvement o the livestock industry of the state and has himself bred many prize-winning cattle. He is indeed self-made in the highest and best sense of the term, looking not to outside aid or influence for his advancement but recognizing the fact that progress depends upon the individual. He has been willing to pay the price of success, which is concentrated effort that never permits the sacrifice of interests intrusted to him and which seeks to make of business not only a source of individual profit but an element in public progress as well.



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