South Dakota

Perkins County, South Dakota




Clark, James K.

Clark, Orson

Curtis, John Edward

Lemmon, George E.

Papke, Vaughan G.

Payne, E. D.

Roland, Charles



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


Charles Roland is one of the partners in a hardware store at Hill City and is regarded as an energetic business man whose well formulated plans deserve to be crowned with the success with which he is meeting. He was born in Delaware county, Iowa, March 7, 1858, and is a son of Ira and Sarah (Gibson) Roland, natives of Wales and England respectively. They were married, however, after coming to the new world, whither they emigrated in childhood. The father was reared in the state of New York and in the early '40s removed westward to Iowa, settling in Delaware county, where he secured a homestead claim and engaged in farming, spending his remaining days there. His was a busy and useful life and his death, which occurred in 1875, was a matter of deep regret to many who knew him. His widow still makes her home in Delaware county.

Charles Roland is the oldest in a family of five children. He spent his youthful days under the parental roof and supplemented his early education, acquired in the district schools of Delaware county, by study in the Manchester high school or academy. He left home at the age of twenty-three years and went to the Black Hills in the spring of 1883, settling near Deadwood, where he was employed in the Uncle Sam mill for about three years. He was afterward employed in a mine at Bald mountain and prospected in what is now known as Ragged Top. He continued in that business until 1889, when he arrived in Hill City. He was then employed in the tin mines and mills for about two years, after which he went to Dawson, Alaska, and was engaged in prospecting in that country for two years, meeting the usual hardships and experiences of life in the far northwest. He then returned to Hill City and was connected with mining interests there for a time. Later, however, he sold out and in 1900 entered the hardware business in partnership with George W. Coats for the conduct of a general hardware store. They carry a large line of both shelf and heavy hardware and machinery and enjoy a liberal trade which has grown rapidly. The partners also operate a stock ranch near Faith, in Perkins county, comprising two hundred and forty acres of land. Upon their ranch they have range horses and this branch of their business is likewise proving profitable. Mr. Roland also owns land in Texas but devotes the greater part of his time to his mercantile interests in Hill City.

In his political views Mr. Roland is a stalwart democrat but has never aspired to office, preferring to concentrate his energies upon his individual interests. He is a member of the Elks lodge at Rapid City and he has many substantial qualities which have won him high regard in a district where character rather than conventionality is the standard by which men are gauged.

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


E. D. Payne is the president and founder of the J. C. Elliott Company, a wholesale and retail mercantile business conducted at Lemmon. This is one of the important commercial enterprises of the western part of the state and the energy, insight and ability which E. D. Payne displays in the conduct of his interests mark him as a valued citizen. He was born in Berlin, Wisconsin, December 15, 1863, a son of Ansyl F. and Julia A. (Palmer) Payne, both natives of Indiana, where they were reared and married. Subsequently they removed to Wisconsin and in 1871 went to Nebraska, where they spent their remaining days upon A farm.

E. D. Payne was educated in the common schools and remained at home until his sixteenth vear, when he became a wage earner, working with the surveying crew of the Union Pacific Railroad, which was being built from Columbus to Fullerton and thence to Cedar Rapids, Nebraska. Mr. Payne was engaged on the survey of this section and subsequently became identified with the livery business at North Loup, Nebraska, where he continued for a year or more. He then went to the northwestern part of the stale and afterward he and his employer established a livery business in Hemingford, Nebraska, where he continued until 1888, when he opened a lumberyard at Alliance, that state. He was prominently identified with various business enterprises there until 1897, when he came to South Dakota, settling at Lead, where he became very actively and helpfully connected with important business interests of the town as a member of the W. H. Dacy Grocery Company, with which he was connected for six years. He next removed to a ranch south of Grand River, in what was then Butte but is now Perkins county, and engaged in the cattle business for four years. When the railroad was built through the county and the town of Lemmon was established, he erected the first building on the site and opened the first general mercantile store. J. C. Elliott was in his employ and subsequently became connected with Mr. Payne in incorporating the business, the latter becoming president of the company, with Mr. Elliott as the secretary and treasurer and business manager. This is one of the most important commercial interests of the western part of the state, business being conducted along both wholesale and retail lines, their constantly growing trade now covering a wide territory. Mr. Payne is also identified with the I. T. Skiles Lumber &, Mercantile Company, operating at Lemmon and at Chance, South Dakota, and was formerly connected with a mercantile house at Meadow, South Dakota, but disposed of his interest there in 1903. He now has extensive land holdings in Perkins county and the importance of his business connections places him with the foremost men of the town.

In 1897 Mr. Payne was united in marriage to Miss Bessie Beckwell, of Alliance, Nebraska. They occupy an enviable position in social circles and theirs is a hospitable home, its good cheer being enjoyed by many friends. Each change which Mr. Payne has made in his business connections has marked a forward step in his career. His entire course has been characterized by an orderly progression, resulting from the wise utilization of his time, talents and opportunities, and he is today standing in the foremost rank of the business men of Perkins county.

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


The history of the west is a familiar story to George E. Lemmon. A native of Utah, he has spent much of his life on the frontier and was the founder of the town of Lemmon, in which he now makes his home. He was born at Bountiful, forty miles from Salt Lake City, May 23, 1857, a son of James H. and Lucy E. (Whittemore) Lemmon, who were natives of Ohio and Illinois respectively. They were married in Marengo, in the latter state, and soon afterward went to California. The father had made the trip to the Pacific coast in 1847, before gold was discovered, in the second emigrant train to cross the plains, and was engaged in merchandising, in freighting and in various other enterprises. He also participated in the Oregon Indian war from the start to the finish. Returning to Illinois in 1852, he was married and with his bride again made the trip to the far west. Their first child, Hervey, was born in an emigrant wagon when they were crossing the plains. Mr. Lemmon took with him a herd of thoroughbred Durham cattle, and being held up by the winter weather in Utah, he bought a farm at what was then Grantsville but is now Bountiful. There the family lived for six years and it was during that period that the birth of George E. Lemmon occurred. The following spring the father continued the trip to California with his freighting outfit of fifteen or twenty wagons and after spending that summer and the following winter in California returned to Utah, where he lived until 1859, when he removed to the vicinity of the present site of Hastings, Nebraska, and established a stage station at that point. In 1866-1867-1866 be was one of the subcontractors engaged in building the Union Pacific Railroad through Ogden, Utah, to the vicinity of Salt Lake City. He died at his home in Nebraska in 1903, having long survived his wife, who passed away in 1875. He was always prominently identified with livestock interests, raising, buying and selling cattle and horses on an extensive scale. He was also a well read man and one of considerable influence in the community in which he lived.

George E. Lemmon was reared on the plains and was educated in the public schools of the different localities in which the family home was maintained. In 1870 he was in the employ of J. W. Iliff, the cattle king of Wyoming, and in 1877, before reaching his twentieth birthday, he purchased his first bunch of cattle and his connection with the cattle business has been continuous, while the growth of his business has made him one of the prominent cattle men of the western country. For three years he resided at Ogallala, Nebraska, and in 1880 removed to Buffalo Gap, in the Black Hills district of South Dakota, within twenty-five miles of the Bad Lands. He transferred the base of his operations to the Moreau river in South Dakota in 1888 and thence went to the Grand river in 1892, there operating prominently as a stockman until 1907, when the town of Lemmon was established. At that time he held extensive government land script and assisted the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul engineers in laying out the route for the building of the transcontinental road. Knowing that the route was the only available one through that part of the country, he bought extensive land scripts with the view of establishing town sites and the town of Lemmon was located on his holdings. Thirty days after the establishment of the first bank in the town he bought an interest in the institution and acted as president thereof until he disposed of his stock in the early part of 1914.

Mr. Lemmon was married in 1886 to Miss Bertha Reno, of Buffalo Gap, South Dakota, by whom he had three sons, namely: James H., who is engaged in the banking and cattle business; Roy E., a ranchman residing in Meeker, Colorado; and George R, who is a ranchman of Red Lodge, Montana. For his second wife Mr. Lemmon chose Miss Rosella Boe, of Deadwood, South Dakota.

Fraternally Mr. Lemmon is a Mason, belonging to the lodge in his home town. In politics he is an earnest republican and for many years served as county commissioner of Fall River county, South Dakota, of Adams county, North Dakota, and of Perkins county. He continued in that position in Perkins county from its organization until January 1, 1915, when he refused to continue longer as an incumbent in that office. He now concentrates his attention upon his land holdings and he still operates in the purchase and sale of cattle. At one time he had the largest cattle pasture in the United States, having under fence eight hundred and sixty-five thousand four hundred and twenty-eight and one-half acres which he held under lease. He was at one time the largest cattle operator in the country and in this connection he is widely known. Every phase of western life is familiar to him and in his chosen line of business he has taken advantage of the conditions offered by the west, finding excellent range for his cattle on the open prairies. He has keen business insight and sagacity, is ready in resource and at all times is capable of wisely meeting a situation. His operations have been carried on most extensively and his success is the merited result of his ability.

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


Dr. John Edward Curtis, engaged in the practice of medicine and surgery at Lemmon, was born in Grant county, Wisconsin, February 17, 1876, his parents being William B. and Sarah (Dennis) Curtis, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of England. The mother came to the United States when a maiden of sixteen summers with her mother, her father having died in England.

Dr. Curtis completed his literary education in the high school at Fennimore, Wisconsin, and when seventeen years of age began work on the Fennimore Times in the capacity of printer's devil. He rose through successive promotions to the position of foreman on the paper in eighteen months, becoming an expert workman with comprehensive knowledge in the printing business and also of the editorial department. The paper was owned by Henry E. Roethe, who was candidate for governor in 1914.

In the year 1899 Dr. Curtis was married in Fennimore to Miss Minnie Dempsey and the following year removed to Lone Rock, Wisconsin, where he opened a barber shop, conducting business along that line for five years. In 1905 he went to Louisville, Kentucky, and became a student in the medical department of the University of Louisville, from which be was graduated in 1909. After completing his course he located for practice in Haynes, North Dakota, where he continued for four years, and in 1913 he went to Lemmon, South Dakota, where he has since remained, gaining a creditable position in the foremost rank of the medical profession in that part of the state.

The Doctor and his wife have four children, namely: Dennis Dempsey, Stanton Clark, Camilla Irene and Aldene Elizabeth. Fraternally Dr. Curtis is identified with the Masons, belonging to Palestine Lodge, No. 114, of Lone Rock, Wisconsin, and he is likewise a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, the Mystic Workers and the Beavers. His political allegiance is given to the republican party but the honors and emoluments of office have no attraction for him. Along strictly professional lines his membership connection is with the Aberdeen District Medical Society and the State Medical Society and through broad reading and conference with his colleagues he keeps in touch with the most advanced thought of that profession. He is conscientious in the discharge of his duties, accurate in analysis, careful in diagnosis and by reason of his ability has gained a place among the most able representatives of medical science in Perkins county.

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


Orson Clark, vice president of the First National Bank of Mobridge, has devoted practically his entire life to the banking business, starting out in a clerical capacity. He was born in Lawson, Ray county, Missouri, May 31, 1873, and is a son of Robert J. and Sallie A. (Moore) Clark, the former a native of Tennessee and the latter of Missouri. In young manhood Robert J. Clark toured the western country, covering many of the middle western and coast states looking for a permanent location. However, after his marriage, which was celebrated in Missouri, he settled in Lawson and for many years was prominently identified with its mercantile interests. Subsequently he became associated with the banking business and for twenty-six years was cashier of the Lawson Bank, becoming well known among the loading financiers of the state, remaining in active connection with the bank until he retired from business life, his home being now in Richmond, Missouri. He was formerly a prominent figure in democratic circles but while he had marked influence in party councils he was never an aspirant for public preferment although he served for some years as public administrator in Ray county, Missouri. He and his wife are consistent members of the Methodist Church, South, and he belongs to the Masonic lodge, of which he was secretary for thirty years.

After his graduation from the Lawson high school Mr. Clark entered the Presbyterian College of Upper Missouri but toward the close of his first year the college was destroyed by fire and his educational work was never resumed. He then entered a mercantile establishment in Lawson and for seven years gave his attention to clerical work in the different stores of the town. Still later he entered the Lawson Bank as assistant cashier of that institution, serving under his father for seven years. In July, 1907, he arrived in South Dakota, making his way to Lemmon, where he became assistant cashier of the Grand River State Bank. That bank was afterward nationalized and merged into the First National Bank, of which Mr. Clark became the vice president, continuing in that capacity until March, 1910, when he sold his interest and returned to Missouri. For two years thereafter he engaged in the hardware business in Maryville and in the spring of 1912 he returned to South Dakota, settling at Mobridge, where he acquired an interest in the Mobridge State Bank, which was later converted into a national bank and merged into the First National Bank, of which Mr. Clark is now the vice president. Thorough training along banking lines with broadening experiences throughout his entire business career has well qualified him for the discharge of the duties which devolve upon him and for the solution of the intricate problems connected with the banking business.

On the 19th of September, 1899, Mr. Clark was married to Miss Emma Campbell, of Lawson, Missouri, and to them have been born two children, Ernestine Frances and Dorothy Virginia. Mr. Clark votes with the democratic party and is active in public affairs, serving as police commissioner and as member of the school board of Mobridge, acting as treasurer of the board at the present time. His fraternal connections are with Mobridge Lodge, No. 164, A. F. & A. M., and Lemmon Chapter, R. A. M., while he and his wife are members of the Order of the Eastern Star at Mobridge. He is also identified with the Mobridge Lodge of the Knights of Pythias, the Elks, the Modern Woodmen of America and the Owls. He and his wife hold membership in the Congregational church and the varied phases of public life are to him matters of interest. He never neglects his obligations of citizenship nor his opportunities to aid in promoting public progress.

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


James K. Clark, vice president of the Lemmon State Bank, a well organized and carefully managed institution of the town of Lemmon, was born in Polo, Missouri, August 26, 1881, a son of Robert J. and Sallie A. (Moore) Clark, natives of Tennessee and Missouri respectively. In the latter state they were married, the father having removed to that district when a young man. For twenty-five years he was active in financial circles as the cashier of the Lawson Bank of Lawson, Missouri. Further mention of him is made in connection with the sketch of his son, Orson Clark, on another page of this work.

James K. Clark was educated in the public schools of Lawson and in the Presbyterian College of Upper Missouri, from which he was graduated with the class of 1899. He then entered his father's bank, acting in the capacity of bookkeeper for nine months. On the expiration of that period he went to Oklahoma where he entered into partnership with R. P. Nickelson in the cattle business near Bristow, continuing his activities along that line for two years. Later he was associated with the civil engineering department of the Frisco Railroad, operating in southern Missouri, Tennessee and Arkansas. He worked for the railroad for about a year and in December, 1903, he located at Evarts, South Dakota, where he was made cashier of the Evarts State Bank, acting in that capacity until 1906, when he removed to Seim, this state, and organized the Grand River State Bank, of which he remained cashier until June, 1907. At that date the bank was removed to Lemmon, was subsequently nationalized and merged into the First National Bank. In March, 1911, Mr. Clark sold his interest in that institution and for six months thereafter engaged in the real estate business in partnership with B. R. Watt. He then removed to Morristown, South Dakota, and purchased an interest in the Morristown State Bank, with which he was identified until October 1, 1912, when he disposed of his interests there and returned to Lemmon, becoming one of the stockholders of the Lemmon State Bank, of which he was elected vice president. He is now active in control of this institution and is regarded as one of the safe and conservative financiers of his part of the state. He also has some land holdings in Perkins county and also in Adams county, North Dakota.

In November, 1910, Mr. Clark was united in marriage to Miss Donna Tripp, of Eyota, Minnesota, by whom he has one child, Floyd O. Fraternally he is identified with the Masons, belonging to Lemmon Lodge, No. 151, A. F. & A. M., of which he has served for two terms as master; Lemmon Chapter, No. 44, R. A. M., of which he served as high priest; and the local chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star, of which he is the present worthy patron, he is a worthy exemplar of the teachings and principles of the craft and is regarded, moreover, as a representative business man and valued citizen whose work has been a directly beneficial force in bringing about the material progress and upbuilding of the city in which he lives.

Vaughan Griffin Papke
Vaughan Griffin Papke ('40), of Ramona, California died at the age of 80 in the San Diego Hospice Acute Care Center on August 18, 1995. Vaughan Papke was born July 25, 1915 in St. Paul, Minnesota, the son of Earl E. and Nellie B. (Madsen) Papke. He attended school in Lemmon, South Dakota where he graduated from Lemmon High School in 1934. He then attended the University of Minnesota where he was a member of the Gamma Eta Gamma Fraternity. He graduated in 1940 with a Bachelor of Law degree. He enlisted in the United States Army in 1941 and served in the South Pacific Theatre of Operations. At the time of his discharge in 1945, he was a Technical Sergeant with the 819th Tank Destroyer Battalion. Vaughan entered the automobile business in 1946. He operated the Lemmon Auto Company in Lemmon, South Dakota until he sold the business, retiring in 1973. He was actively involved as a member of the Lemmon Lions Club and the American Legion. On May 7, 1971, he married Eleonore Nickelson at the wayfarerís Chapel in Portuguese Bend, California. They resided in Southern California until his death last year. He is survived by his wife, Eleonore Papke of Ramona, California; one stepdaughter, Sandra Hanson also of Ramona, California; one stepson, Richard Nickelson of Missoula, Montana; seven grandchildren; two nephews; and two nieces. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, George G. Papke.


Vaughan G. Papke
Alumnus Wills Coin Collection to Law School
$50,000 Bequest from Papke Estate Nets Law School $384,000
by James D. McLees and Lee A. Clements
After graduating from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1940, Vaughan G. Papke began collecting coins. For fifty years he passionately collected high grade rare coins, and in 1960 he found a $4 Gold "Stella" minted in 1880 that he purchased from a well respected Beverly Hills, California coin dealer for $10,000. In August of this year, that coin brought the highest price of any single coin offered at the American Nuimismatic Association (ANA) Auction in Denver, Colorado, with a price of $101,200.
Vaughan Papke passed away on August 18, 1995, but he remembered the University of Minnesota in his will, specifying that his prized coin collection be donated to the Law School. Of all the assets listed in the Papke Estate, the significance of gifting his coin collection to the University may never be known. The gift, however, was significant with the aggregate price for the entire Papke Estate collection totaling $415,156, well over the $50,000 value originally estimated in the will. The sale proceeds will result in a cash gift of approximately $384,000 to the Law School. Upon receiving the proceeds from the auction, Dean Sullivan announced that the Law School would establish the Vaughan G. Papke Enrichment Fund, which will support student recruitment and faculty development.
James D. Mclees and Lee A. Clements are partners in Mclees Investment Company, Inc. of El Segundo, California and represented both the Vaughan G. Papke Estate and the University of Minnesota Law School in converting the Estate assets to cash.
(submitted by Ida Maack Recu)



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