South Dakota

Lake County South Dakota



History of South Dakota, Vol. 2 by Doane Robinson
B. F. Bowen & Co., Publisher 1904
Contributed by Jim Dezotell

R. F. LYONS, of Carthage, was born at Poughkeepsie, New York, and was still a child when his parents removed to the Illinois metropolis. He was educated in the Chicago schools and remained in that city about eighteen years, at the end of which time he removed to Winneshiek county, Iowa, where he embarked in the farm and live-stock business. He continued in this line with fair success until he decided to go farther west and eventually became a resident of Lake county, South Dakota. In the spring of 1883 he settled in Miner county and built the first grain elevator and general merchandise store at Carthage, with which enterprises he has ever since been connected. Mr. Lyons was elected as a member of the constitutional convention which met at Sioux City in 1889. In fact he was quite active in politics as a Democrat and lent his best efforts in establishing his party in power, always being ready for necessary work of organization and campaigning. After the great Democratic triumph of 1892, which led to the election of Mr. Cleveland to the presidency, Mr. Lyons was appointed postmaster of Carthage.

Mr. Lyons was united in marriage with Miss Jennie Shea, who died, leaving two daughters, and subsequently he married Miss Sara A. Donlay, of Winneshiek county, Iowa, and by this union there have been born eleven children.

History of South Dakota, Vol. 2
by Doane Robinson
B. F. Bowen & Co., Publisher
Contributed by Jim Dezotell

ALONZO E. CLOUGH, M. D., was born in St. Lawrence county, New York, and received his rudimentary educational discipline in the public schools of his native state. After the family removal to the west, he continued his studies in the common schools and at Cresco Academy, while later he was matriculated in the Upper Iowa University, at Fayette. Subsequently he entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Keokuk, Iowa, where he completed his technical course, being graduated and receiving his coveted degree of Doctor of Medicine. Later he took a special course in the New York Polyclinic, and he has also taken several special postgraduate courses in the leading medical schools of the city of Chicago. Shortly after receiving his degree Dr. Clough came to South Dakota and located in Madison, Lake county, where he has ever since maintained his home and where he has built up a large and representative practice, and he is to be noted as one of the pioneer physicians of the state. The Doctor is a staunch Republican in his political proclivities, and has been one of the leaders in the arty councils in the state, having had the distinction of serving as chairman of the state central committee in 1892-3, though he has never sought official preferment of a personal nature. He is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity and also with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He and his family are communicants of the Protestant Episcopal church.

Dr. Clough was united in marriage to Miss Mary P. Matheny, who was born and reared in Wauseon, Ohio, and of this union have been born three children.


HISTORY OF Southeastern Dakota, Its Settlement and Growth,

Sioux City Iowa: Western Publishing Company, 1881

transcribed by Karen Seeman


O. G. Auley - jeweler; born in Norway in 1839; came to America in 1861, and settled in Chicago; thence to Iowa; thence here; he married Julia Sanderson, also of Norway.


J. D. Andrews - propr of Madison House, Madison, Dak., established in July, 1880, by Wm. Lee; purchased by Mr. A. in Aug. 1881; born in Crawford county, Penn., in 1831; came west in 1855, and settled in Fon du Lac county, Wis.; removed to Waseca county, Minn., in 1857; came to Flandreau Oct., 1878, and kept the Valley House three years; married Eliza L. Nelson, a native of Penn.; nave four children, Luella, Addie, Nettie and Grace.


O. E. Batchelder - real estate dealer; born in Orange county, Vt., in 1837; came west in 1839, and located in Racine county, Wis.; thence to Trempealeau, Wis., and to Dak. in 1873; he married Martha Seymour, a native of New York; they have two sons and one daughter.


John Buckley - contractor and builder; born in Conn, in 1846; be went to Wis. in 1851 and lived there until he came here; he married Margaret O'Neil, a native of New York; they have one son and two daughters.


A. A. Broadie - druggist; born in Bremer county, Iowa, in 1856; from there he removed to Madison, D. T., and engaged in the drug business; he also deals in books, stationery, wall paper, and is a graduate of pharmacy; he married Miss Shephard.


W. B. Cameron - firm of Clark & Cameron; born in Canada in 1855; came west in 1868, and settled in Bremer county, Iowa; came to Dakota in 1879; married in Wisconsin, Mary G. Brewer, a native of Canada; they have one son.


M. L. Clark - merchant; barn in Canada in 1851; he came to Chippewa Falls, Wis., in 1870; removed to Madison, D. T., in Jan., 1881.


A. W. Clark - liveryman; born in Winnebago county, Wis., in 1852; in 1878, he came to Lake county and engaged in farming until spring of 1880; he married Mary J. Davis, a native of Canada; they have one child, Emily.


A. E. Clough - physician and surgeon and dealer in drugs; born in St. Lawrence county, N. Y., in 1850; came west in 1858, and located in Decorah, Iowa; in the spring of 1878 he removed to this county. Mr. C. is a graduate of the Keokuk Medical College; married Mary Matheny; they have one daughter.


A. J. Cornelyson - furniture dealer; born in Dubuque, Iowa, in 1860; came here in Sept., 1881, and established his present business.


J. J. Craney - prop, of Commercial House, established business in 1881; born in Ireland in 1842; came to America in 1845, located in New York city; came west in 1878, and located at LuVerne, Minn., and to this Territory in 1880; married Marian Ryan, a native of Iowi; they have seven children, four sons and three daughters.


J. W. Davison - pioneer merchant; born in Zanesville, Ohio, in 1853; in 1869 he came to Floyd county, Iowa; he removed to this point in 1880, and opened up the first stock of goods; he is also owner and proprietor of the town hall, and member of board
of education


Frank Drew - lumber dealer; born in Portage, Wis., in 1858; in 1873 he removed to Yankton; he soon after returned to Wis., and in 1880, again came to Dakota, and settled in Madison; he married Lillian White.


J. J. Fitzgerald - merchant, established business in April, 1880; born in Kane county; came west in 1859, and settled in Decorah, Iowa; came here in spring of 1880.


A. E. Fuller - Lake County Leader; born in Allegheny county New York, in 1850; came west in 1853, and settled in Columbia county, Wis.; from there he went to Mason City, Iowa, in 1870; thence to Calhoun county, Iowa, and in 1878, he removed to this county.


D. D. Froeliger - proprietor of ten pin alley; born in France, in 1852; came to America in 1872, and settled in Marshall, Henry county, Ill.; came to Jackson county, 1879; in July, 1881, he came to Madison; he married Charlotte Frances Miller, a native of Ohio; they have one child - a daughter.


N. Grosch - merchant; born in Bavaria in 1886; came to America in 1852, and settled in Kenosha, Wis.; in '79 he went to Emmitsburg, Iowa, thence to Sheldon, and from there to Madison; he married Angeline Mischler, of Bavaria.


H. Gulstiue - lumber dealer; born in Norway in 1854; came to America in 1864; and located in Decorah; thence in 1878 to this county; he married Hannah Sivesvend, a native of Ohio.


A. B. Houts - liquor dealer; established business Aug., 1881; born in Indiana in 1842; came west in 1863 to Kansas; from there came here in 1881; married Mary M. Smith, a native of Illinois. They have two children - Minnie E. and Clara A.


P. H. Harth - dealer in gen. mdse.; born in Germany in 1842; came to America in his infancy with parents and settled near Milwaukee, Wis.; removed to this county in Aug., 1876; married Mary A. Stevens, a native of Ohio; they have three children, two sons and one daughter.


E. W. Hart - agricultural dealer; born in York county, Penn., in 1849; came west 1878, and settled in Lake Co. Wesley Hill: - lumber dealer; born in Erie county, Penn., in
1835; came to Minnesota in '56, and settled in Blue Earth City, where he lived 15 years; from there he removed to Delavan, in same county, where he lived until he came here; he married Loretta Stone, a native of Ohio. They have two children, a son and daughter.


S. M. Jenks, M. D. - born in Ohio in 1846; came west in 1851; from there to Minnesota, and thence to Dakota; he is a graduate of the Rush Medical College, of Chicago; he married Marietta Tuttle, a native of Wisconsin; they have two sons and one daughter.


Hon. Chas. B. Kennedy - abstract, land, loan, insurance and express agent; born in Maine in 1850; he came to Mower county, Minn.; removed here in spring of '78; married May E. Williamson, a native of Maine; they have two sons.


T. Lannon - proprietor of billiard parlor; established Jan. 4, 1881; born in Ireland in 1853; came to America in 1861, and settled in Brooklyn, N. Y.; came west in 1877 and located at Flandreau; came from there here in Jan., 1881.


William Lee - bom in Washington county, New York, in 1840; came to Dakota in 1871, and settled in this county. Mr. L. is one of the pioneers of Lake county; he bought and sold furs in an early day, and can safely be said to be one of Lake county's oldest settlers; he married Sarah Walker, a native of Scotland, they have one daughter, Mabel.


A. M. McCallister - dealer in hardware, stoves and tin ware; born in Putnam county, Ohio; came to Avoca, Wis., in 1850; came to Dakota in 1880; located first at Herman; came from there here in Oct., 1880; married A. R. Dimock, a native of Penn.; they have three children, Blanche, Nellie and Bruce.


Alexander McKay - treas. of Lake county, and dealer in general merchandise; established business three years previous in old town of Madison; moved store, stock and all, here; born in Scotland in 1833; came to America in 1859, and settled in Waterville, Le Seuer county, Minn; lived there; then went to Estherville, Emmett county, Iowa, was in business there twelve years; then moved to Lu Verne, Minn., and put up the first frame building; came to this county in 1876; married Mary A. Hammonds, a native of England; they have two sons.


H. J. Patterson - dealer in grain, flour, feed, wood and coal; established business in the spring of 1881; born in Pennsylvania in 1844; came west in 1865, and settled in Tama county, Iowa; came here in August, 1880; married Sophia R. White, a native of St. Joe., Mich.; they have one child, Willis W.


J. M. Preston - Lake County Leader; born in Bourbon county, Ky., in 1841; came to Dubuque, Iowa, in 1863, where he lived until 1878, when he removed to this county; he has been in the newspaper business most of the time since he came to the Territory, and at present is acting postmaster for Mr. P. H. Harth; he married Bessie Hall, of Ohio.


August Proehl - furniture dealer; born in Prussia in 1848; came to America in 1873, and settled in Mapleton, Minn.; thence to Madison; he married Augusta Drefke, also of Prussia; they have five children, Annie, William, Louisa, Minnie and Otto.


C. S. Raymond - dealer in dry goods, groceries, hats, caps, boots, shoes, &c.; established business in Oct., 1880; born in Boone county, Ills., in 1848; came to Iowa in 1875, and settled in Howard county; came here in the spring of 1880; married Martha J. Prindle, a native of Ills.; they have two children.


D. T. Scott - livery; established business in September, 1880; born in Cataraugus county, N. Y., in 1838; came west in 1868, and settled in Yankton, Dakota; lived there until May, 1880. Married Dillian Mellord, a native of N. Y.; they have three children - two daughters and one son.


W. F. Smith, of firm of W. F. Smith & Co., Madison; Citizens1 Bank - born in Franklin county, N. Y., in 1841; came west in 1855, and settled in Clayton county, Iowa Came here in March, 1878; engaged in real estate; was appointed clerk of county in 1879.


H. A. Snyder, head miller Lake County Mill - born in Rock county Wisconsin, in 1852; removed to Clayton county, Iowa, with parents, and came to Dakota in June, 1881; married Mary L. (---), a native of Ohio; they have one son.


B. D. Sprague - grain dealer and owner and proprietor of Madison Mills; he is a native of New Hampshire, and came west in 1859; his first location was in Lansing, Iowa; he afterwards removed to Rushford, Minn., where he still resides.


F. L. Soper - attorney at law; born in Jones county, Iowa, in 1854; he came to Emmet county, Iowa, in 1877, and the following year came to this county; he married Cassie Jones, a native of New York.

G. K. Tiffany, attorney at law - born in Canada in 1850; came to Dakota in 1880.


Frank W. Thaxter, cashier of Lake County Bank, Madison, Dakota, established in April, 1880 - born in Lawrence county, Massachusetts, January 27th, 1852; came west in 1855, and settled in Faribault, Minn.; thence removed to Harding county, Iowa.   Has been engaged in banking business ten years.


J. A. Trow, cashier of Citizens' Bank, Madison, Dakota - born in Green county, Wisconsin, in 1852; came to Dakota Territory in 1874 and engaged in teaching at old town of Madison; engaged in banking when this bank was established; married Eva N. Scoggin, a native of Wisconsin. Mr. T. was elected register of deeds in 1878, and re-elected in 1880.


J. M. VanDervort, proprietor of livery and feed stable - born in Clinton county, N. Y., in 1833; came to Fone du Lac county, Wisconsin, in 1848, where he lived until 1860, when he removed to Spring Valley, Minn.; in June, 1881, he came to this county; he married Jane Hutchinson, a native of N. Y.; have four children, three sons and one daughter.


J. G. Wadsworth, sheriff of Lake county - born in Erie county, N. Y., in 1828; came west in 1852 and settled near St. Paul, Minn.; in 1877 he removed to Lake county, Dakota; where he has since resided; in 1880 he was elected sheriff of this county, which office he still holds. He married M. A. Wainwright, a native of England, and they have two sons and two daughters.


W. W. White, president Lake County Bank, Madison, D. T. - born in Oneida county, N. Y., in 1842; came west in 1845 to Racine county, Iowa; removed to Cresco, Iowa, in 1868; thence here in 1878; been engaged in banking business since March, 1881; married Mary C. Selloway, a native of Racine, Wisconsin; they have two children, son and daughter. 

History of Dakota Territory, George W. Kingsbury, Vol. 4, 1915

transcribed by Karen Seeman


Thomas Naughton is a prominent farmer of Lake county and an early pioneer settler of South Dakota. He was born in Nevada, Iowa, June 24, 1865, and is of Irish lineage. His father, Michael Naughton, was a native of County Galway, Ireland, and on crossing the  Atlantic to America in 1846 landed at Boston, Massachusetts. He soon afterward engaged in railway contracting and did extensive work on various railways from the Atlantic coast  to the Dakotas. He arrived in Dakota territory in the early '60s and hauled lumber for some of the first frame buildings erected in Yankton. In 1869 he took up his abode upon a farm in Union county and there remained an honored and valued citizen until 1896, when he retired from active farm work and made an extended visit to his native land. When he again came to America be removed to the home of his son in Lake county there spending his remaining days, his death occurring in 1900 when he had reached the age of eighty-five years. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Mary Bodkin was also a native of Ireland and died in 1877. Five of their children lived to adult age and the three who survive are Thomas, Mark, and Patrick, the last named being a resident of Sioux City, Iowa.

Thomas Naughton attended the public schools in the various localities into which his father's business called the family and subsequently pursued a course in the Sioux City Business College.   When fourteen years of age he became identified with the railway contracting business, which he followed through the succeeding eighteen years, and in more recent years he has executed several important construction contracts.  In 1896 he retired from that business to take charge of his father's farm in Union county and the following year he removed to Cheater, Lake county, to assume the management of a farm belonging to his father-in-law, Edward Fitzgerald, who was one of the pioneer settlers of Union county. Mr. Naughton has since continued in the successful operation of this farm, which he devotes to the general production of grain and the raising of shorthorn cattle and Duroc hogs.  He is also a stockholder in the Cotton Telephone Company and the Chester Creamery Company. In business his judgment is sound, his enterprise unfaltering and his determination enables him to carry forward to successful completion whatever he undertakes.

On the 17th of May, 1896, Mr. Naughton was united in marriage to Miss Catherine Elizabeth Fitzgerald, her parents being Edward and Julia (Jordan) Fitzgerald, long prominent residents of Union county. Edward Fitzgerald passed away in 1910, at the age of sixty-one years, but his widow survives and yet makes her home in Union county. To Mr. and Mrs. Naughton have been born eleven children, namely: Mary Myrtle; Irene Margaret; Julia Ann; Catherine Elizabeth; Michael; Edward; Thomas, who is deceased; Helen Theresa; Delia Veronica; Dennis Daniel; and Patrick.

In his political views Mr. Naughton is a democrat and broad reading keeps him conversant with the questions and issues of the day. He has served for several years on the township board and has also been a member of the school board. Fraternally he is connected with the Improved Order of Red Men and with the Knights of Columbus, the latter indicating in religious faith to be that of the Catholic church. He belongs to St. Joseph's Catholic church and was one of the liberal contributors to the new Huntimer parish church and has been a generous supporter of its charitable work. He finds recreation in hunting and fishing and is fond of good driving horses. He is a patron of all healthful outdoor sports and moreover be is an advocate and active supporter of progressive movements for the public good.

History of Dakota Territory, George W. Kingsbury, Vol. 4, 1915

transcribed by Karen Seeman


Thirty-three years have come and gone since Frank L. Mease established his home in South Dakota and for an extended period he has been widely known as the proprietor of the Daily and Weekly Sentinel, published at Madison. He was born March 16, 1860, in Benton county, Iowa, and after attending the common and public schools entered Tilford Academy at Vinton, that state. Subsequently he spent three years as a student in the State University of Iowa and in April, 1882, when a young man of twenty-two years, came to the territory of Dakota, settling in Mitchell. Four years passed, and in 1886 he removed to Madison, where he took possession of the Sentinel, a republican weekly newspaper,  which he has since owned and published. He continued it simply as a weekly until 1893, when he brought out the first issue of the daily, and now he publishes both daily and weekly editions of the Sentinel and for each finds a wide circulation. The paper is an attractive journal, giving every evidence of modern ideas and progressiveness in newspaper publication. For a decade Mr. Mease published the State Journal of Education, issued monthly. He has been active in other fields, for he served as postmaster of Madison for eight years, filling the position from 1896 until 1905, and for two years was the president of the Madison Commercial Club and secretary of the Lake County Fair Association. He stands for progress and improvement along all those lines which work for the betterment of conditions that affect the general interests of society.

In 1890 Mr. Mease married Miss L. Nora Scoggin, of Madison, and to them have been born two sons: Myron F., who is a student in the State University at Vermillion; and John Horace, a student in Coe College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.   Frank L. Mease has not only been an interested witness of the wonderful progress of South Dakota in the last third of a century, but he has also to the extent of his power and opportunities cooperated largely in all that has wrought for present-day conditions.

History of Dakota Territory, George W. Kingsbury, Vol. 4, 1915

transcribed by Karen Seeman


Joseph M. Hostetter has been identified with a number of business enterprises and for several years was superintendent of the county farm. He is now farming on section 6, Split Rock township, Minnehaha county, and is one of the popular residents of his locality.

He was born in Lebanon county, Pennsylvania, May 27, 1863, a son of Abraham and Louisa (Mark) Hostetter, both natives of the same county, where they passed their entire lives. The paternal grandfather, Jacob Hostetter, ran a distillery and for many years made the whiskey which was used in the manufacture of Hostetter's Bitters, as the originator of that proprietary article was his cousin. The latter was a herb doctor who came to this country from Switzerland.

Joseph M. Hostetter was reared upon his father's farm and acquired his education in the common schools of the neighborhood. In 1877, when in his teens, he came west to Illinois and for three years was employed in farm work. In 1880 he made the long journey to the Pacific slope and spent a number of months in California, Washington, Oregon and Idaho. From Idaho he went to Colorado and worked in Leadville at mining and also in Denver. He next located in Kansas City, where he worked for Goodsell Brothers, who were owners of a stock farm. Subsequently he returned to Illinois, where he spent a year, and later worked in Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota for some time.

In June, 1888, Mr. Hostetter came to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He had been interested in the state for almost a decade, as in 1870 he had made a trip here, although he did not remain long at that time. On his arriving at Sioux Falls in 1888 he was in the employ of E. B. Smith & Company, furniture dealers, until June 30, 1895, when he was appointed superintendent of the county poor farm. He served in that capacity for four years and six months and then resigned to engage in the implement business at Madison, South Dakota. He was associated in this venture with Sherman Bradiker and the partnership was maintained for one year, at the end of which time the business was sold. Subsequently Mr. Hostetter worked for the Deering Harvester Company for a similar length of time and in August, 1901, purchased the hotel at Hartford, conducting the same for five years. At the expiration of that period he was again appointed superintendent of the county farm and discharged the duties of that office for three years, when he resigned and began fanning independently. He has since given his attention mainly to the operation of the farm in Split Rock township where he now resides. This is rented land, but he owns three hundred and twenty acres in Norman county, Minnesota, which he rents to others. In addition to his farming property, he has stock in the Farmers Elevator Company of Ellis and in the Farmers Cooperative Elevator Company of Hartford.

Mr. Hostetter was married in 1890 to Miss Emma Olson, of Sioux Falls, and to this union have been born four children:   Roy, Guy, Joseph J. and Irene, all at home. The family belong to the Lutheran church and manifest a lively interest in its work. Mr. Hostetter's  political allegiance is given to the republican party and he has served for a number of years as a member of the school board. Fraternally he belongs to Sioux Falls Lodge, No. 9, I. O. O. F., and to Sioux Falls Lodge, No. 262, B. P. O. E. Mr. and Mrs. Hostetter are both very hospitably inclined and their home is the frequent meeting place of their many friends, and the latch string is always out, even for the stranger. There is not a more popular family in the county and their open-hearted generosity and sterling  traits of character are the qualities that bind their friends to them.

History of Dakota Territory, George W. Kingsbury, Vol. 4, 1915
transcribed by Karen Seeman


Walton S. Given, cashier of the First National Bank of Britton, was born in Woodstock, Illinois, February 4, 1879, and is descended from early American ancestry represented in the Revolutionary war among the Virginian troops with Pitkin and Sumter. His parents, C. A. and Elizabeth (Ryder) Given, were both natives of Woodstock, Illinois, although their parents were Virginians. C. A. Given made farming his life work and thus provided a comfortable living for his family. He was a well read and broad-minded man and the salient traits of his character were such as commended him to the confidence and high regard of all. His early political support was given to the democratic party but later he joined the ranks of the republican party. Fraternally he was connected with the Masons and religiously with the Presbyterian church, while his wife was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.

Walton S. Given completed a high-school course in Elgin, Illinois, by graduation with the class of 1897, being then a youth of eighteen years. Soon afterward he made his way to Watertown, South Dakota, and for two years engaged in teaching in the country schools near that place. He afterward attended the State Normal School at Madison, from which he was graduated in 1900, and then accepted the position of principal of the schools of  South Shore, South Dakota. A year later he removed to Britton, where he was city superintendent of schools from 1901 until 1910, and from 1905 until 1910 he spent his summers in teachers' institute work all over Dakota. He was particularly able in that field, as well as in the regular work of the schoolroom, where his ability to impart clearly and readily to others the knowledge that he bad acquired made him a most valued educator.  His efforts have been an important force in the development of the school system of his part of the state, for he was largely instrumental in advancing the standards of the schools. He promoted his own knowledge through attendance for several seasons at the University of Chicago, and broad reading, study and investigation have continually augmented his intellectual force. In 1910 he was elected assistant cashier of the First National Bank of Britton, of which he was made cashier in January, 1911, and has since been identified with this institution, to which he gives his undivided attention.

In 1906 Mr. Given was united in marriage to Miss Annie Sheridan, a native of Madison, South Dakota, and a daughter of Elmer Sheridan, who is engaged in the abstract and insurance business. They have one child, Elmer S. Mrs. Given belongs to the Presbyterian church, while Mr. Given is a member of the Masonic fraternity. In politics he is a republican but has never sought nor desired office, preferring to concentrate his energies upon his business duties. He is now making good in the position of cashier of the First National Bank of Britton and is accorded the high regard and confidence of his colleagues and contemporaries.

History of Dakota Territory, George W. Kingsbury, Vol. 4, 1915
transcribed by Karen Seeman


Emil A. Berke, a well known and able attorney practicing at Elkton, has attained a position which many an older member of the bar might well envy. His birth occurred September 21, 1886, upon a farm in Deuel county, South Dakota, and he comes of Scandinavian parentage and ancestry. He was but a few years old when the family removed to Clark county and there he began his education in the district schools, while later he attended the high school at Bradley, South Dakota. He was ambitious to secure a good education that would fit him for life's practical and responsible duties and when fifteen years of age he went to Madison, where for four years he was a student in the State Normal School, where he came under the instruction of General W. H. H. Beadle.  After putting aside his textbooks Mr. Berke took up the profession of teaching, which he followed in Day county, and later he filed upon and proved up a claim northwest of Philip. He never abandoned his idea, however, of securing an education and preparing for the bar, and after securing his claim he matriculated in the university at Vermillion, South Dakota, where he entered upon a course of law and economics. Notwithstanding the fact that he entered late in the first semester of the school year, he very creditably passed all of his examinations. He has ever been a student and his tastes and habits along that line have gained him rank with the scholars of his part of the state. While a university student he manifested oratorical talent and ability of high order and at the same time he thoroughly mastered the work of the law course and qualified for later successes at the bar. During his college days he became a member of the Delta Theta Phi.

Following his graduation, at which time the Bachelor of Laws degree was conferred upon him, he formed a partnership for practice with Fred W. Cuckow and the firm had two offices, with Mr. Cuckow at the Brookings office and Mr. Berke in charge of the practice at Elkton. A liberal clientage was accorded the firm until 1914, when it was found necessary to dissolve the partnership on account of the illness of the senior partner.

During his university days Mr. Berke formed the acquaintance of Miss Lillian Marzian, a native of Kentucky, and the friendship which sprang up between them ripened into love, resulting in their marriage at Madison, South Dakota, in June, 1913. Theirs is an attractive home by reason of its warm-hearted hospitality and good cheer and is a favorite resort with their many friends at Elkton and through the surrounding country. Mr. Berke concentrates his energies upon his profession and his devotion to his clients' interests is proverbial, yet he never forgets that he owes a still higher allegiance to the majesty of the law.


History of Dakota Territory, George W. Kingsbury, Vol. 4, 1915

transcribed by Karen Seeman


William Clarksean, a farmer and stockman living at Wentworth, Lake county, was born near Niagara Falls, New York, January 5, 1861, a son of Frederick and Sophia (Bauman) Clarksean, both natives of Germany. On leaving New York the family went to Kewaunee, Wisconsin, where the father is now widely known as a wealthy farmer and  dairyman and as a prominent figure in connection with political and public affairs. His  wife has passed away. Their family numbered eight children, two of whom are residents  of South Dakota, Elmer Clarksean making his home in Moody county.

William Clarksean, the third in order of birth, acquired a public-school education at Sandy Bay, Wisconsin, and later resided for a time at Pecatonica, Illinois, whence he removed to Primghar, Iowa, where he was successfully engaged in farming until 1910. That year witnessed his arrival in Wentworth, South Dakota. He purchased his present farm, which he has made one of Lake county's most highly improved and well conducted  farm properties, operated along the most modern lines of agriculture. He raises various crops and also engages in the breeding of registered Durham cattle and Poland China hogs. In addition to his other interests he is a stockholder of the Farmers Elevator Company of Wentworth, of which he is serving for the fifth term as president.

In 1860 Mr. Clarksean was united in marriage to Miss Rika Bauman, of Kewaunee county, Wisconsin, a daughter of Joseph and Dorothy Bauman, and they have become the parents of seven children: Robert Frederick; Mamie, the wife of Lyman Penning; Dora Martha; Henry; Nettie; Elmer; and Frederick. The family are members of the German Lutheran church and Mrs. Clarksean takes a very active and helpful interest in church and charitable work.

Politically Mr. Clarksean is a republican and has served as a member of the township board. He is a stalwart advocate of the movement for improved public highways and of other plans and projects for advancing the general welfare. He belongs to Wentworth Lodge, No. 156, I. O. O. F., and the Modern Woodmen camp, while his religious belief is that of the German Lutheran church. His success has been due to bard work and good business management together with the adoption of modern methods of farming and the use of the latest improved farm equipments and machinery. The buildings upon his place are modern in construction and his farm is a splendidly improved property lacking in none of the twentieth century conveniences.


History of Dakota Territory, George W. Kingsbury, Vol. 4, 1915

transcribed by Karen Seeman


No history of Lake county would be complete and satisfactory were there failure to make reference to Daniel J. O'Connell of Ramona. well known as a successful and enterprising business man and also as a capable official, who has wisely directed public affairs in various positions of honor and trust. He is now owner of a grain elevator and also of an implement business in Ramona and has other commercial and industrial connections which have contributed in large measure to the substantial upbuilding of his part of the county.

Mr. O'Connell was born in Fillmore county, Minnesota, on the 6th of September, 1857, a son of James and Mary O'Connell. His education was acquired in the common schools and later he assisted his father upon the home farm until he attained his majority, during which period he gained intimate knowledge of every branch of farm work, including the best methods of planting, plowing and harvesting. When he reached adult age he came to South Dakota in company with his father and on the 7th of May, 1878, homesteaded on section 10, township 107, range 53, in Lake county. Five years later he purchased the relinquishment of a tree claim. He still owns the original homestead and in addition to the tree claim has purchased a half section, so that he now owns altogether six hundred and forty acres of rich and valuable land, all of which lies in Lake county, and two hundred and forty acres in Stanley county. Carefully and systematically he carried on the work of the farm year after year until 1894 and wrought a marked transformation in the appearance of his place, to which he added many modern and substantial improvements. After sixteen years devoted to general agricultural pursuits he became manager of the Farmers Elevator at Ramona and conducted it for twenty consecutive years. In 1897 he embarked in the implement business, in which he has since continued with growing success, and in 1899 he was joined by his brother. In 1910 he engaged in the elevator business on his own account and is now one of the extensive dealers in grain and firm implements in Lake county. He is also the largest stockholder in the Farmers Elevator Company of Ramona. of which he is the vice president, is president of the Electric Light Company and is secretary of the Woodmen Opera House Company. He is a man of sound business judgment, who readily recognizes opportunities and utilizes them, not only to his personal advantage but also to the benefit of the community.

On the 12th of July, 1883, Mr. O'Connell was united in marriage to Miss Kate Mulvehill, a daughter of John and Margaret (Cox) Mulvehill. The children of this marriage are: James, who is now operating the home farm: John, who is engaged in the grain business in Minnesota; Mary, the wife of Charles Feyder; Daniel, connected with the telephone business; Margaret, the wife of H. Davis, who is editor of a paper at Ramona; Elmer, who was assistant postmaster at Ramona but is now a druggist at Humboldt; Bernadetta, at home; and Walter and William, who complete the family. Their religious faith is that of the Catholic church, to which the parents have long adhered and in which they have reared their children.

Mr. O'Connell gives his political support to the republican party and in 1901 was appointed postmaster of Ramona by President McKinley. He has served as mayor of the city for six years, has been clerk of the school district for thirty-one consecutive years and has been reelected for another three years' term. The fact that he has been so long continued in the different offices which he has filled is unmistakable evidence of his capability, fidelity and promptness in the discharge of his duties. He holds membership with Marquette Council of the Knights of Columbus at Sioux Falls, with the Modern Woodmen, the American Brotherhood and the Royal Neighbors. His life interests are broad, his purposes strong and his activities resultant and thus as the years have passed on he has become a more and more prominent and influential factor in the community in which he makes his home. 


History of Dakota Territory, George W. Kingsbury, Vol. 4, 1915

transcribed by Karen Seeman


Frank Leslie Burnett is clerk of the court of Lake county and as such has made a creditable record since called to his present position in 1910. He is now serving for the third term and only words of commendation are heard concerning the manner in which he discharges the duties of his office. Mr. Burnett is a native of the neighboring state of Iowa. He was born on the 20th of September, 1871, and is the only child of Franklin J. and Sophia E. Burnett, who in the year 1878 left Iowa and removed to South Dakota. The father secured a homestead claim in Buffalo township, Minnehaha county, and at once began to till the soil and develop the fields. Year after year he carefully carried on general agricultural pursuits, but in 1898 put aside the more arduous labors of the farm and retired to Madison, after which he enjoyed a well merited and well earned rest to the time of his death in 1911, at Hot Springs, South Dakota. His widow survived him about two years and died at the home of her son in Madison in 1913. They were worthy pioneer people of their part of the state and took an active interest in everything that pertained to public progress.

Frank Leslie Burnett was a student in Brookings College, also in the Sioux Falls high school and in the Madison Normal School. He was graduated from the high school with the class of 1893 and from the Madison Normal in 1896. Liberal educational training thus well qualified him for life's practical and responsible duties. Following his graduation Mr. Burnett took up the profession of teaching, in which he continued for four years. He was an able educator, giving satisfaction in the schools with which he was connected, but, thinking to find a more profitable field of labor, he turned his attention to commercial pursuits and for ten years was engaged in the clothing business. He then spent two years in the office of deputy county treasurer and on the expiration of that period was elected, in the fall of 1910. to the position of clerk of the court of Lake county. He served for two years, was given the renomination and was again elected in 1912 and was reelected in 1914.  He has made a most efficient public officer and has met his duties in a manner that has brought credit to himself and has proven thoroughly satisfactory to his constituents. He has also served as alderman and has been city assessor for three terms. No public trust reposed in him has ever been betrayed in the slightest degree and his record has at all times been commendable.

Pleasantly situated in his home life, Mr. Burnett was married on the 28th of December, 1898, to Miss Mary E. Marquart, a daughter of Peter and Mary Marquart, of Minnesota, who became early settlers of South Dakota. The children of this marriage are Frank, Donald, Graydon and Dorothy. The third in the family is now attending the normal school.

Mr. Burnett seeks recreation from arduous official labors in tennis, baseball, fishing and hunting. He finds pleasant social and fraternal relations in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and has passed through all the chairs in the subordinate lodge, the encampment and the canton. On January 1, 1915, he was appointed by Colonel George H. Waskey, as assistant adjutant general of the department of South Dakota, which office he now fills. He indicates his interest in the moral progress of the community through his membership in the Presbyterian church. He has always voted with the republican party and in matters of citizenship has displayed public-spirited devotion to the general good. There have been no unusual or spectacular chapters in his life record, but those with whom he has come in contact recognize his sterling personal worth and see in him many of those characteristics which in every land and clime awaken confidence and regard.


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