South Dakota

Spink County, South Dakota



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

AMBROSE B. ROBINSON, the able and popular mayor of Frankfort, Spink county, is a native of the old Empire state, having been born in Broome county, New York, on the 18th of July, 1857, and being a son of Edward and Eunice Robinson, who were born and reared in that state, being of Scotch ancestry. There the father of the subject was engaged in lumbering until the early 'sixties, when he removed with his family to Iowa, locating in Scott county, where he followed farming until 1868, when he located in Jackson county, Wisconsin, and continued in the same line of enterprise, both he and his wife being now in the state of Washington. The subject of this review was reared to the sturdy discipline of the farm and his educational advantages were such as were afforded in the public schools of Iowa and Wisconsin. In the
latter state he was engaged in lumbering until 1885, when he came to South Dakota and took up his residence in Frankfort, Spink county, where he has ever since made his home and where he has been most Successful in his business enterprises, which have been carried forward with energy, discrimination and good judgment, while his reputation as a reliable, sincere and straightforward business man and public-spirited citizen is unassailable. He is well known in the county and commands the confidence and esteem of all with whom he has come in contact in a business or social way. He is a stalwart advocate of the principles of the Republican party and has been called upon to serve in various offices of local trust and responsibility, including that of mayor of his home city, to which position he was elected in 1902 and in which he is giving a progressive and able administration. He is identified with the Masonic fraternity and also the Ancient Order of United Workmen.

On the 27th of March, 1881, occurred the marriage of Mr. Robinson to Miss Alma Jane Ellis, who was born in the city of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, on the 11th of December, 1861 being a daughter of William and Amanda Ellis. They have five children, namely: Bessie M.. Grace D. Clark A., Clare and Zedna.

Who's Who in South Dakota, Vol. 1 By O. W. Coursey
Educator School Supply Co., Publisher, 1913
Contributed by Jim Dezotell



Freckled faced twin girls, bare-footed and bare-headed, chasing butterflies and winged grasshoppers over Dakota prairies, is a vision that brings back to many of us Monnie and Myrtle Lee, of Spink county. How kind was Providence when He decreed that most girls should shed their freckles as they merge into womanhood.

Here was a pair of ideal twins, the greatest earthly blessing that can come to any man's home. Nature never produces any two things just alike, but she almost was caught napping in fashioning the Lee twins. In fact we have always thought that one of them should have been named Kate and the other Dupli"Kate," and that their names should have been tattooed on their foreheads, for the sake of identification. They fooled their teachers in school, surprised the right fellow by informing him at the gate that he had escorted the wrong girl home, and cut up all sorts of pranks.


The surname which they bear is familiar to all of us. One of the most conspicuous names in American history is that of Lee. One of Washington's major-generals bore this name, while at the outbreak of the Civil War there were in the American army thirty-two officers of various ranks, bearing this name.

The famous Lee twins were born at Cresco, Iowa. In 1880 their parents brought them to Dakota and settled on a farm near Big Stone City. The next year they removed to a farm near Ashton, in Spink  county.

Here the twin girls got their secondary education in the Ashton public schools. At the age of sixteen their parents sent them to Dakota Wesleyan University, at Mitchell, where they graduated from the normal course with the class of '94.


The girls were musicians by birth, instinct, training and choice. Their mother is a splendid musician. She gave piano lessons to her promising twins at an early age. 

When the girls entered the D. W. U. their natural and acquired musical ability was soon detected. The old music teacher, Miss Curran, at once said, "They are unusually talented girls of great promise."

These twins not only played well but they sang with great charm and power. Dame Nature favored them, in that she gave to Myrtle a sweet, strong full soprano voice; and to Monnie an alto voice of equal triumph. 

At the D. W. U. two literary societies, the "Protonian" and the "Zeta Alpha," were struggling for supremacy. Each was determined to capture for part of its membership the Lee twins. The "Zetas" won, but the "Protonians," were always equally favored with their services. Whenever it was shown by the posted programs that the Lees were to appear in either a vocal or an instrumental duet before either society, that  night the opposing society had a lot of delinquents.

After graduating from the normal department of the D. W. U. these twin sisters taught school and saved their money with which to complete their musical educations. In 1898 they went to Chicago and entered the "W. S. Mathews's School of Piano," specializing on piano work, but also taking voice culture under Bicknell Young of Chicago, and John Dennis Mehan, of New York City.


Just why a pair of such promising twin sisters, parts of each other's physical, mental and moral beings, parts of each other's very souls, should be separated by death just as the budding hours of womanhood and the gilded sunrise of success were dawning upon them, is not within the finite powers of man to conceive. 

The young ladies had just gotten nicely started in on their work, and saw before them the realization of their girl-hood hopes, when Monnie was taken very ill and was sent to Wesleyan hospital, in Chicago. Only a few days had elapsed when Myrtle was summoned to hurry to the hospital. Imagine, if you can, her feelings when she was led to her twin sister's death chamber and told that the unconscious form before her, that intrinsic part of her very self, which she thought more of than life itself,would soon be stilled in death.

Is it any wonder that Myrtle turned away her face, felt a clammy coldness come over her, bit her lips and then looking upward through tearless eyes, said to herself, "There's no such thing as God!" Cringing under a sting of remorse such as Jesus suffered upon the cross when he cried out, "My God! My God! Why hast thou forsaken me?" she presently heard a voice whisper plainly in her ear -as plainly as though her own mother had spoken to her- "You will both meet again."

Instantaneously hope returned, faith was resurrected, courage sprang up. Monnie died; Myrtle went to the undertaker's, selected a casket for that half of herself which had just passed away, had her sister's body placed in it, and at five o'clock of the same day she was accompanying the remains on a Milwaukee train bound for Mitchell where Monnies's body was tearfully laid away in Graceland Cemetery. Why this sacrifice? None ever will know. Perhaps sadness entering into Myrtle's life was the very thing that was needed to mellow her soul and give to her the power that caused her to bring over a massive assemblage in the Corn Palace at Mitchell one year ago a hush that melted an entire audience into tears, as accompanied by the United States Marine band, she closed the week's engagement on the last night with an almost supernatural interpretation of "Home, Sweet Home." Perhaps after all one of the twins was sacrificed for the development of the other. Let
us believe this to be the case.


Returning to Dakota Wesleyan, Myrtle was elected instructor in music. Here for nine consecutive years she served faithfully and well, doing the work that three people are doing today. In addition she handled without pay the Methodist choir. Her work wore her out. On one occasion, during the last year of her D. W. U. work, she gave completely out while walking up the long slope to the school and had to lie down on the side-walk until she rest and accumulate sufficient energy to move on.


But always in her soul there was that burning desire to develop her talents, to mount to the top of her chosen career. She longed to go to Berlin; the opportunity came; her niece, Miss Hazel Lathrop, of Mitchell, agreed to go with her. They departed in 1907 and remained in Europe for two years.


Miss Lee intended, when she went abroad to continue her studies in both voice and on the piano. In the try-out before that great artist, Mme. Corelli, of Berlin, one of the world's sweetest singers and greatest musicians, she asked the young lady to sing for her.

It so happened that Mme. Corelli's mother, Mme. Rose Cillac, was, in her day, one of the greatest singers and musical interpreters in all Europe. Mme. Corelli had inadvertently placed before Miss Lee, on the piano, one of Mme. Cillac's favorite songs. When the young singer had finished its beautiful strains, and had breathed into its rendition the essence of her own soul, she was surprised as she turned around to find Mme. Corelli in tears. Asked as to the cause, she said: ''Yours, my child, is the only voice I have ever heard that sounds so like my mother's that it brings her dear, sweet face back to me." 

At this, she clasped the young American in her arms, exclaiming: "You cannot afford to divide your energies in the future, in attempting to master both piano and voice. A great career awaits you, as a concert singer. You have a marvelous voice. There's a fortune in it. You will return to America a great concert artist, that your country will be proud to claim." Momentarily a deep-seated friendliness was kindled between teacher and pupil, which resulted in Miss Lee's being the recipient of much extra time and attention on the part of her instructor, as well as numerous tokens of appreciation.


Whatever the future may bring forth in Miss Lee's life, she can never fully discharge her bond of indebtedness to Mme. Corelli. For two years she specialized on tone production work under the supervision of this great artist; sang at numerous state ceremonies abroad; was enthusiastically received and loudly applauded wherever she appeared; returned to America and sang for a week at the Mitchell Corn Palace, being accompanied by Santleman's famous United States Marine Band; and then removed with her aged mother to whom she has brought so much delight, to the city of Chicago, where at present they live at 6106 Kimbark Avenue.


During her first eight months in Chicago, Miss Lee appeared in 189 solos in various parts of the city, but it was not until the evening of November 4, that she made her regular debut at Music Hall and was formally introduced to the city at large. 

She was assisted by Theodora Sturkow-Ryder, pianist; Siegmond Cull, violinist; Julius Fuhrmann, flutist, and Miss Bernice Lathrop, accompanist.  Her program was given in English, Italian, French and German; yet her articulation was equally distinct in all four tongues, and she won unstinted praise from all her critics.

On this occasion she was terribly handicapped by a severe cold. Several times. between numbers, she was compelled to go behind the curtains and gargle her throat with hot witchhazel. Despite the capacity of Music Hall the room was filled. Some had come to be entertained but many who themselves were artists that had been studying abroad came to criticise. Despite the handicaps, at the end of her first number she had already broken down the barriers of prejudice and had sung herself so completely into the hearts of her hearers, that she was obliged to respond to three successive encores. 

Chicago music critics are severe. Any singer who makes his or her debut and escapes an adverse criticism from at least one, or more of them, may well feel proud. Miss Lee did more than this, she escaped censure and won ringing praises from them all. At the conclusion of her program over thirty trained artists went forward to congratulate her in person; and an eminent French critic, making a tour of this country to form an estimate of the best living American singers, stepped up to her and said, "Miss Lee, you possess the greatest concert voice I have ever heard. When I return to my native land and write up for publication the account of my trip, I shall have nothing but words of commendation for you."

Miss Lee's voice is a rich coloratura mezzo-soprano of wide range and exceptional charm. She colors her interpretations with a deep sympathy, weaves around them a charming personality, and she gives to them a dramatic effect which shows she thoroughly appreciates the power of the platform.

Since her formal introduction to the musical world, her services have been everywhere sought for with an earnest persistence. She has now signed up under New York management for two years to give Music Concert Lecture Recitals in all of the large cities of the United States. Her initial appearance in this role will be in San Francisco in February. Her stage title will hereafter be "Sofia Stephali." Although she has left our state, we as South Dakotans will forever be proud of the little surviving twin girl who once roamed our prairies, who earned every dollar she ever spent, who all these years since 1894, when her father died, has supported her mother and sister; and who now has gone forward into the world, a finished product at her own expense, to sing herself into fame and fortune. God bless her!

Who's Who in South Dakota, Vol. 1
By O. W. Coursey
Educator School Supply Co., Publisher, 1913
Contributed by Jim Dezotell

Adelbert E. Beaumont was born in Faribault, Minnesota, January 21, 1871. In the fall of 1879, he removed with his parents to Spink county, Dakota Territory, and they settled on a homestead close to the banks of the James river. Here, for eight years, far from any line of railroad, the family underwent all the hardships of pioneer life. The Beaumonts were among the first settlers in that portion of the James River Valley. Bands of Indians roved the plains but showed no hostile inclinations. In a sod house, surrounded by the seemingly boundless prairie, the character that forms the theme of this sketch, spent his boyhood days and became acquainted with Nature in her "grander mien" and formed an attachment for the Universal Mother that remained with him in his later years.

The family went through the "winter of the big snow" and "the starving time" - familiar terms to the early settlers in Spink county - and finally becoming weary of the hardships moved back to civilization.
As a youth Beaumont taught school in Osceola county, Iowa, and later learned the printing trade and became associated in the publication of the Sibley, (Iowa) Gazette. For a time he was also interested in the Register, published at Akron, Iowa, to which place he moved after his marriage in the summer of 1893. Later he returned to Sibley and was  one of the publishers of the Gazette for a number of years. He came to Sioux Falls in January, 1902, to accept the position of city editor on the Sioux Falls Press. Three years later he took the post of telegraph and assistant editor with the Sioux Falls Daily Argus-Leader, remaining with that paper until November, 1909, when he resigned to become editor of the Sioux Falls Daily Press. This position he occupied until December, 1911, when he accepted an offer of an editorial position on the Sioux City Daily Tribune, and took up his duties there January 1, 1912.

Few men can write entertainingly in both prose and poetry. The latter must come from a poet's heart and move along rhythmically like a pacing horse. Prose is more like a trotting horse, and usually, a prose writer, when trying his hand at poetry, acts just like a trotting horse hobbled for a pacer. Beaumont is chuck full of double action. He resolves himself into one of those charming literary moods, spins off some of the most bewitching poetry, and then, as if by magic and without stopping to take off his mental hobbles, he dashes off a piece of prose as vibratory and as flashy as an eruption of Vesuvius. Such is the commendable, composite, qualitative mental make-up of the man with whom we are now to deal. 

Having spent his boyhood on the plains in the northern part of what is now South Dakota, Beaumont received a vivid impression of the charms of the prairie which remained with him as a pleasant memory in later years. He saw the beauties as well as the wonders of "the untracked plain." In a descriptive poem on "The Prairie in Autumn" he mingled with pictures of the phenomena of Nature in that new part of the world a tribute to members of his family. Of the lavish profusion of prairie flowers that brightened the autumn turf, he says: 

To me the potent breath of Autumn brings
A fond remembrance of serener things -
A broad and noble sweep of virgin plain,
Where traces of the Red man yet remain,
Its billowed bosom dotted here and there,
With those fair blossoms - rarest of the rare -
The prairie flowers of fall. No well-kept bed
With gaudy leaves and petals blazon-ed
Can show more variegated form or hue;
No woodland ferns or flowers that ever grew,
More simply grace or symmetry obtain,
Than these that blossom on the untracked plain.

His appreciation of Nature's wilder phases is shown in the same poem
where he describes a hailstorm on the prairies:

Upon this wild and treeless tract is seen
Each mighty element in grander mien;
The rush of winds, the storm cloud's awesome crest,
Struck chords responsive in a boyish breast.
When burning, blighting winds had seared the plain
For days, unswept tempestuous hail and rain,
Driving before the timid beast and bird,
>From hollowed lair or grassy nest bestirred.
Often the storm-fiend drove so fierce a pace,
The stock to shelter ran a losing race
Staked in the hollow when the storm began,
The frightened cattle broke away and ran,
Pelted and blinded madly down the wind,
Dragging the twisting rope and stake behind.

One of the vivid impressions of his youth was afforded by the terrible
fires which frequently laid waste the land, and which he also
describes in his "Prairie in Autumn:"

When, sapped by later frosts, the upland yield
Lay crisp and yellowing - a ripened field
Swept o'er the plain with devastation dire,
The awful bosom of the prairie fire.
Far in the distance first appears a glow,
Redder where evening clouds are hanging low,
Spreading and mounting up the dome of night;
Then breaks the dim horizon into light;
A long, red line of flames that leap and dance
Still higher with their undisturbed advance;
Skyward the columns dense of smoke up-pour;
Follows the crackling and the awful roar;
A million hollowed stalks of grasses burst;
Withers the prairie like a thing accursed;
Louder the uproar and the fiery wave
Rolls by, beneath its far-flung arms a cave
Infernal. With a dazzling, deafening sweep,
'Tis gone-and darkness comes, and silence deep.

We reluctantly come to a close by publishing in full three of is
shorter poems which reveal his originality in composition as well as
in thought.

There is in grace an ample store
Of benediction, sent to bless
The heart, whene'er it bows before
The altar of unselfishness.

And we receive no dearer gift
Of happiness, than we plan
To leave our beaten path, and lift
His burden from a fellow man.

The stream of bounty long hath flowed
From many a living spring supplied.
And every cheerful gift bestowed,
Is to the giver multiplied.

What tender joy the mother knows,
That well from Nature's kindly spring,
When to her infant's lips there flows
Her fruitful bosom's offering.

The blessings we receive from Heaven
Refill the cup that we dispense:
And by the largess we have given,
Is measured out our recompense.

Ay, muffle with the barrier rocks,
And check with mighty walls
The monody of ages gone -
The music of the falls.

The song that through ten thousand years
No interlude hath known,
Is dead. But hark! The sudden wail
That parts the lips of stone!

There once the wandering Redmen stood
Upon the spray-wet shore,
And heard the voice of Manitou
In that unceasing roar.

How fair the artless scene appeared,
In spreading cedar's shade
Where classic Nature's prefect touch
The misty background made.

Now vandal hand of man hath torn
The canvas from the frame;
The triumph of his strength the loud
Discordant notes proclaim.

How like my fettered soul to thee,
On, prisoned waterfall!
That foamed past rock and flower and tree
And found a joy in all.

But checked by sordid circumstance,
The eddies sluggish grow,
And crowding walls of fate enclose
The once unhindered flow.

Aye, stifle it with rocky bands,
And with unyielding walls -
The song that older is than man -
The cadence of the falls.

Staunch builders of a nation's fame,
Partakers of her former woe
Thy dearest bequest of peace we claim;
Our tender gratitude bestow.
Dread memory of a gory field;
Wild cannon roar and shriek of shield;
The furrow, where ye would not yield,
And dying, fell.

Sons of those standard-bearers true,
Who late in far-found islands fared,
The purpose of those sires ye knew;
Their lofty patriotism shared.
Dense tangle of the jungle main;
The noisesome marsh - the torrid sun;
Mad throbbing of a heated brain;
The trenches won.

Sad watchers by a cold hearthstone,
Thy heavy burden mutely borne,
Let bride-white blossoms, newly blown
Thy cherished sepulchre adorn.
Long waiting with a dreadful fear;
Dull nursing of a silent care;
Consoling with a bitter tear
Thy lone despair.

Sire, son and mother, trinity
That rears the bulwark of our home,
Each floating flag is dipped for thee
On steel-girt ship and statehouse dome.
Wide stretch of plain and sweep of shore,
Hills, falling into the ocean's swell;
Our fair land's name in stress of war,
Ye guarded well.

The sad procession, moving by
Drops bud and petal on the sod.
Where in a sacred place there lie
These servants of our country's God.
Clouds floating in the summer sky,
Green fields reclining 'neath the blue,
And over all, tranquility
That hallows you.

Mrs. Beaumont is one of our prominent educators. She may almost be said to be the mother of Industrial work in the South Dakota schools. She is an ideal educator. Nature endowed her with a gentle disposition, with sober thoughts, with high ideals, and with a dozen-and-one other virtues that go to make up a great teacher. 

She is director of the training department of the South Dakota State Normal School at Madison, and she is the highest paid woman educator in the state.

Mrs Beaumont graduated from Col. Francis W. Parker's famous normal school in Chicago. She first devoted her energies to primary and kindergarten work, establishing a public school kindergarten at Sibley, Iowa, where she taught for a number of years. She accepted a position as primary teacher in Sioux Falls, in 1903, and introduced kindergarten work into the Sioux Falls public schools. Mrs. Beaumont was active in forwarding industrial and manual training work in the grades in the Sioux Falls schools and she was principal of a ward school in that city for four years. This is her fifth year in the Madison Normal. She is in such great demand as a lecturer and instructor in methods in teachers' institutes that she is not able to fill all the requisitions made upon her time.


    Anatole F. Labrie is a member of the Spink County Abstract Company, conducting business at Redfield, South Dakota, and has numbered him among her citizens since September 1880 in which year he came from Kankakee County, Illinois. He was born in that county June 8, 1857, a son of Joseph E. and Marie L. (Brosseau) Labrie. The family is of French lineage and was established in Canada during the reign of Louis XIV of France. Joseph E Labrie went from Canada to Illinois in 1847 and for twenty five years was postmaster of Manteno and also served as justice of the peace. He was a well known and popular citizen there, having located in Kankakee County during pioneer times and being an active and valued factor in its public affairs. He died at Momence, Illinois in 1903 when he was eighty years of age. His wife died in 1900 at the age of seventy five years and they were laid to rest in the cemetery at Manteno. They had come to Spink county South Dakota in 1882 and settled on a homestead but in 1895 returned to Illinois.

     Anatole F Labrie acquired his education in the public schools of his native county and in St. Viateur's College at Kankakee, in which he pursued his studies to the age of fourteen years. He then became assistant postmaster at Manteno under his father, remaining in that position for nine years. On removing to South Dakota in September, 1880, he filed upon a homestead and in 1882 he engaged in the land business in connection with his brother AC Labrie at Frankfort.  After five years there spent he removed to Doland, South Dakota where he engaged in business with his brother Joseph E. Labrie for two years. In 1889, he was appointed clerk of the court and occupied that position for five years. On his retirement from the office in 1894, he purchased an abstract business which he conducted for four years. He then, returned to the real estate business in partnership with SE Wightman and HA Babcock and was thus engaged until 1903 when he removed to St Paul and became interested in the piano trade in connection with J Kalcheuer. There he remained until he again entered business circles in Redfield as proprietor of the Spink County Abstract Company. He has a splendid set of abstracts and is conducting a good business. He is also agent for various prominent fire insurance companies, writing many policies annually.

     On the 7th of April 1885 Mr Labrie was married in Frankfort, South Dakota to Miss Regina A. Blain, a daughter of Nazaire and Marie L Brosseau Blain. Her father was one of the pioneer farmers of Spink County, South Dakota and now resides in Los Angeles, California. His wife passed away in 1908 and was laid to rest in Kankakee, Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Labrie have four daughters and a son: Marie L., the wife of Leon A Dunton residing at St Paul, Minnesota; Corinne, the wife of Paul R. Bohen living at St. Paul, Minnesota; Irene, who is connected with St. Joseph's Hospital at St. Paul; Leila, at home and Paul B., who is assisting his father. The family are Catholics in religious faith and Mr. Labrie assisted materially in the building of St. Bernard's Catholic church. He also belongs to the Knights of Columbus and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. His political endorsement is given the Republican Party and he has filled the office of deputy United States marshal. The various changes in his business career have usually meant a step in advance. He is now well established at the head of a growing business in Redfield and is numbered among the representative and worthy citizens of Spink County.

from History of Dakota Territory, Volume 5 By George Washington Kingsbury, George Martin Smith - Submitted by Eddena Hissong


    George L. Baker is filling the position of postmaster at Britton, where he is also conducting a drug store. He was born in La Salle, Illinois, November 22, 1850, a son of Richard and Sarah (Raycraft) Baker, who were natives of Ireland, born in 1818 and 1823 respectively. About 1848 Richard Baker went to Canada and it was in that country that they were married. In 1849 they removed to La Salle, Illinois, and for a number of years he engaged in farming. In Canada he had conducted business as a brewer. The year 1880 witnessed his arrival in Dakota territory, at which time he homesteaded in Clark county, and he proved up on his claim and there resided until his death. The town of Elrod now stands upon his old homestead. His parents never left Ireland, but the maternal grandparents of George L. Baker came to the new world and died in Wisconsin. In his political faith Richard Baker was a democrat and both he end his wife were consistent and active members of the Methodist Episcopal church, in the faith of which they passed away, the former in 1901 and the latter in 1907. To them were born nine children, two of whom died in infancy, while five are yet living, as follows: George L., of this review; Esther, who is the widow of Frank Salter and makes her home in Chicago; John, who lives on the old homestead at Elrod, South Dakota; Mollie, who makes her home with her brother John; and William, who is engaged in the wholesale liquor business in Chicago.

    George L. Baker attended both public and parochial schools in La Salle, Illinois. He started in life as a farm hand and afterward was connected with a meat market at Ohio, Illinois, for five years. Removing westward to Dakota territory, he secured a homestead claim in Spink county upon which he lived for about a year and then went to Groton, remaining there one year. In 1884 he located in Britton, where for a short time he conducted a hotel but later traded his interest in that business for a drug store. Afterward he disposed of that but again purchased a drug store and has since continued in this line of business, his son, George G. Baker, being an equal partner in the undertaking.

    In 1878 Mr. Baker was united in marriage to Miss Rate Fagan, a native of Illinois, by whom he has three children, namely: Edward W., who lives with Mb father; George G., who is engaged in the drug business at Britton; and Claude C, who conducts a moving picture show in Britton.

    Mrs. Baker belongs to the Presbyterian church and she presides with gracious hospitality over her home, making it a delightful resort for many friends. Mr. Baker is well known as an exemplary representative of the Masonic fraternity. He belongs to the lodge, the chapter, the commandery, the consistory and the Mystic Shrine and he is also a member of the United Workmen and the Maccabees. He has served as master of the lodge, was its secretary for twenty years and has been high priest of the chapter. His political views accord with the principles of the democracy and during President Cleveland's first term he was appointed to the position of postmaster and was again called to that office by President Wilson in September, 1914. He also served as probate judge for one term during territorial days and at all times he has most ably and efficiently discharged the duties of the positions to which he has been called. At the same time he has made a creditable record in business circles, for he came to Dakota a poor boy and is now numbered among the substantial residents of his district, owning town property to the value of twenty-five thousand dollars, together with a quarter section of land in Marshall county.   

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


    A representative farmer of Mellette township is A. Scott Blair, who owns and cultivates one hundred and sixty acres of the rich land of Spink county. South Dakota numbers him among her native sons, for he was born on the old homestead claim on which he now resides, his natal day being February 4, 1887. He is a son of William F. and Eliza A. (Scott) Blair. The father came to Spink county in June, 1881, when the work of development and improvement had scarcely been begun in this section of the state. He filed on the homestead which is now the farm of his son and with characteristic energy began and continued its development until his life's labors were ended in death. He was a very industrious and energetic man and also a popular citizen, for he was friendly, cordial and genial in manner and possessed many sterling traits of character. He died on the 20th of October, 1905, at the age of fifty-eight years, and his death was deeply regretted by many who knew him. His widow made her home with her son, A. Scott, until 1914 when she removed to Mellette. She had two sons, and the other James Blair, is a resident of McCleary, Washington. The family is of Scotch descent in the paternal line and is of Irish lineage on the mother's side.

    A. Scott Blair acquired a country school education and afterward continued his studies in Mellette to the age of sixteen years. He later concentrated his efforts upon the farm work, greatly assisting his father, who was ill for a considerable time. He has practically managed the farm since his nineteenth year and has led a busy, active and useful life. The result of his labors is seen in the excellent appearance of his place, which is always well kept, the fields being in a high state of cultivation, the buildings in good repair, while farm machinery and other equipments show wise care. In addition to growing the cereals best adapted to soil and climatic conditions he also raises cattle, horses and hogs. He has erected most of the buildings upon the place and has improved the farm in a general way, so that today it is lacking in none of the accessories of the model farm of the twentieth century.

    On December 16, 1914, Mr. Blair married Martha B. Hanson, a daughter of John and Anna (Bergeson) Hanson, of St. Paul, Minnesota. In politics Mr. Blair is an earnest democrat, believing firmly in the party platform, yet never seeking office. He holds membership with the Odd Fellows and with the Maccabees, but the guiding principles of his life are found in the teachings of the Presbyterian church, of which he is a devoted member and an elder.

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


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.


Dr. Jesse E. Brosseau, one of the prominent practicing physicians of Frankfort, Spink county, this state, was born near Clyde, Kansas, on the 5th of December, 1875, of the marriage of David and Virginia (Grandpre) Brosseau. They removed to the vicinity of Kankakee, Illinois, in 1876, but in 1883 they settled near Turton, Spink county, South Dakota. The father died in 1899 and is buried at Turton, but the mother is still living and makes her home in Chicago, to which city she removed after the death of her husband. Mr. Brosseau was a prominent farmer of his community and many of the older residents there still remember him and speak of him in terms of high praise.

Dr. Brosseau attended the State College at Brookings, South Dakota, from which institution he received the degrees of Ph. G. and B. S., and in 1902 he entered the medical department of the University of Illinois at Chicago, remaining a student in that institution until 1906, when he was graduated with the M. D. degree. He practiced for two years in Chicago but in 1908 made his way to Frankfort, this state, where he has since remained. As his ability and conscientiousness became better known his patronage increased and he is now numbered among the most successful physicians of his county. He is thorough and careful in making a diagnosis and as be keeps in touch with the latest developments in the field of medical and surgical science he has to his credit a large percentage of cases cured.

Dr. Brosseau was married in Aberdeen, South Dakota, in 1910 to Miss Elizabeth H. Young, a daughter of James and Lillias (Denholm) Young, who emigrated in the early '80s from Illinois to the vicinity of Andover, Day county, South Dakota. The father died October 25, 1906, and is buried at Andover, but the mother survives and is living at Aberdeen at the age of sixty years. To Dr. and Mrs, Brosseau have been born two children, Marie Joyce Enid and Joseph Mayo Douglas.

Dr. Brosseau is independent in politics, believing that the greatest good of the country demands the consideration of the issues involved and the personalities of the candidates without regard to party ties. He has served as county physician and as physician for the county poor farm for five years, discharging his duties efficiently. He is a member of the Catholic church and also belongs to the Knights of Columbus. He is concerned for all that affects the welfare of his city and county and his public spirit prompts him to cooperate in many worthy causes.

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


Urban H. Cooke is one of the extensive landowners of Spink county, his holdings embracing ten hundred and forty acres in Frankfort township, where he has resided since 1890. South Dakota has claimed him as a citizen since 1883, at which time he came from Kankakee county, Illinois, to this state. His birth occurred in Manteno, Illinois, August 22, 1860, his parents being Chester W. and Mary (Merwin) Cooke. The father is of English lineage, his ancestors having come to this country on the Mayflower, while some of the maternal ancestors of Urban H. Cooke were soldiers of the Revolutionary war. Chester W. Cooke is a farmer by occupation. He became a resident of Illinois in 1858 and  is now residing in Frankfort, South Dakota, at the ripe old age of eighty-five years. His wife passed away in Manteno, Illinois, in December, 1912, when seventy-seven years of age.

Urban H. Cooke acquired his education in the public schools, in which lie continued his studies to the age of fifteen years. He afterward worked for his father until be reached the age of twenty-two and gained practical experience in all lines of farm work. He was afterward employed at various occupations until he came to South Dakota, at which time he accepted a clerkship in a general store at Frankfort, spending two years in that employ. He then returned to Manteno, Illinois, where he engaged in clerking until he once more came to South Dakota in 1891. At Frankfort he entered into partnership with J. B. Blain and in 1896 be purchased the interest of his partner and conducted the store alone until 1908. He was then joined by F. M. Kuhns and together they successfully conducted the business until 1911, when they sold out to M. E. Cooke, a brother of Urban H. Cooke. Since that time the latter has lived retired from commercial pursuits, giving his attention now to the supervision of his property holdings, which are extensive and valuable. He has made judicious investments in property and is the owner of ten hundred and forty acres of valuable land in Frankfort township, a half section near Orient, a tract in the western part of the state and also a ranch in Canada, his entire possessions aggregating over two thousand acres. He is likewise vice president of the Farmers State Bank of Frankfort. He erected his residence in the town, has also built other dwellings and a business block and has greatly improved his farm properties, thus adding to the material development and improvement of this section of the state.

On the 12th of March, 1900, in Frankfort, Mr. Cooke was united in marriage to Mrs. Mary (Cutter) Hagerman, of that place, who is a native of Portland, Maine, and they are well known in Frankfort, having an extensive circle of warm friends. They have an adopted son, Walter Peterson, who is now attending school at Valparaiso, Indiana. Mr. Cooke is president of the board of education and school interests find in him a stalwart champion. In fact, he is at all times a public-spirited and progressive citizen and works earnestly and persistently for the development and upbuilding of the county along many lines of advancement and improvement. His has indeed been a busy and useful life, fraught with good results both for himself and the community in which he lives, for while promoting individual success he has also greatly advanced public prosperity.

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


George Hagmann, who since 1902 has been the owner of an excellent farm of two hundred and forty acres in Redfield township, Spink county, South Dakota, came to this state in the year 1882 and through the intervening period, covering almost a third of a century, has remained within its borders. He removed westward from Wisconsin, his native state, his birth having occurred in Iowa county on the 18th of July, 1870. His parents were John J. and Eva B. (Wichner) Hagmann and the family is of Swiss lineage. The father was a veteran of the Civil war, loyally serving the country as a soldier in the Union army during the period of hostilities between the north and the south. In 1879 he first came to South Dakota, locating at Redfield, and in 1882 he brought his family to this state, but was not long permitted to enjoy his new home, his death occurring in 1886. His wife survived him for an extended period, passing away in 1903, and both were laid to rest in Redfield cemetery.

George Hagmann was a youth of twelve years when he accompanied his parents to this state and he largely acquired his education in the schools of Redfield, which he attended until his twenty-first year. He studied, however, only through the winter seasons, for in the summer months he assisted his father and following the latter's death gave his services for the benefit of his mother in the summer months. In fact, he continued to support his mother through his labors until he was twenty-eight years of age. He afterward engaged in the draying business in Redfield for four years, but, wishing to follow agricultural pursuits, he rented land, undertaking the cultivation of three hundred acres. That he met with success in this is indicated by the fact that he was eventually able to purchase two hundred and forty acres. He is carrying on diversified farming at the present time, raising the various crops best adapted to soil and climate and also raising pure bred cattle and horses. His farm is ably managed in every particular and he is meeting with a gratifying measure of prosperity. He is likewise a director of the Farmers Elevator at Redfield and a director of the Cooperative Store.

On the 21st of December, 1898, at Redfield, Mr. Hagmann was married to Miss Lillie Bruell, a daughter of Gustave and Martha (Myers) Bruell, the former a pioneer farmer of his section of the state and both now residents of Redfield. Mr. and Mrs. Hagmann have three daughters: Ruby and Hazel, who are attending school; and Florence. Mr. Hagmann belongs to the United Workmen. In politics he is a republican and has held various local offices, including that of treasurer and assessor. He has worked persistently and diligently from early boyhood and whatever he possesses has come to him as the direct reward of his earnest and efficient labor. He is one of the energetic and representative farmers of Spink county.

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


Thomas N. Gilman resides on section 32, Mellette township, Spink county. His farm of three hundred and twenty acres extends also over the dividing line on section 5. For three decades Mr. Gilman has resided in this state and throughout the entire period has borne an active and helpful part in the work of general improvement, his labors being a potent force in bringing about the present agricultural advancement of his county. A native of Maine, he was born near Farmington on the 20th of November, 1875. The Gilman family is of English lineage and has been represented on the American continent since early colonial days. Some of its members fought for independence in the Revolutionary war.

James Nelson Gilman, father of Thomas N. Gilman, spent his life in New England until 1884, when he brought his family to the northwest. He had married Susan E. Chase and their children were also born in Maine. After reaching South Dakota he secured a claim of one hundred and sixty acres and purchased an adjoining tract of one hundred and sixty acres. With characteristic energy he began the arduous task of breaking the sod and preparing the land for cultivation, but in course of time good crops rewarded his efforts and he continued the development and improvement of his place until he passed away in 1889, at the age of fifty-two years. His wife survived him for almost a quarter of a century, dying October 23, 1913, at the age of sixty-six years. Their remains are interred in the Mellette cemetery. They were the parents of four children who reached adult age and they lost a little daughter, May, who died at the age of two years, while the family were still residents of Maine. The others are: Thomas N.; Edwin, a farmer residing a mile north of the old homestead in Spink county; William, a farmer who makes a specialty of the raising of fruit and vegetables, his home being in Med ford, Oregon; and George, also residing at Medford, Oregon.

Thomas N. Gilman was a lad of but eight years when the family came to South Dakota. His education, begun in the schools of Maine, was continued in the Ford district school of Spink county, which he attended to the age of fifteen years. During that period he also received training in farm work, assisting in the development of the fields through the summer months, and later he concentrated his energies upon the further cultivation of the old homestead. Ultimately he took over the management of the farm and at length purchased the interests of the other heirs in the property. A month before his mother's death he bought her share and is now sole owner of a farm of three hundred and twenty acres, pleasantly located on sections 5 and 32, Mellette township. He annually harvests good crops, for his methods are practical. He follows crop rotation and every feature of his farm work is conducted according to the advanced ideas of the present day. He has upon his place a number of head of cattle, ten horses and about forty hogs. His home is a large and attractive residence, which he erected. It is built in modern style of architecture, is comfortably furnished and is the abode of warmhearted hospitality. Mr. Gilman also built the barns and made other improvements upon his place, and modern machinery is utilized to facilitate the work of the fields.

On the 28th of February, 1913, Mr. Gilman was married; in Cherokee, Iowa, to Mrs. Nellie M. Brown, a daughter of William and Hansi (Butler) Like. Her father died and was buried near Cherokee. Mrs. Gilman has two children by her former marriage: Harvey H., who is now assisting on the farm; and Lila May. Mr. Gilman belongs to the Ancient Order of United Workmen and politically he is independent, voting for men and measures rather than for party. He and his wife have become widely and favorably known in Spink county and have a large and growing circle of friends, almost coextensive with the circle of their acquaintance.

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


C. F. Graves owns and operates a fine farm of four hundred and eighty acres situated on sections 19 and 20, Clifton township, Spink county, and has been a resident of South Dakota for over thirty years. He was born near Chicago, Illinois, on the 26th of April, 1861, a son of Daniel P. and Leonora (Diggins) Graves. The family is of Scotch descent, but was established in this country before the war of the Revolution. Daniel P. Graves was a farmer of Champaign county, Illinois, where he had removed in 1865 and where he remained until 1882, when he came to this state and homesteaded a part of the farm now belonging to C. A. Graves. The land was raw prairie when it came into his possession, but he brought it to a high state of cultivation and gathered therefrom abundant harvests. He died in October, 1908, at the age of seventy-eight years, having survived his wife since 1889. She was sixty-nine years of age when she passed away and both she and her husband are buried in the Ashton cemetery.

Charley F. Graves was educated in Champaign county and left high school when a youth of nineteen years. He then assumed the management of his father's farm, but when twenty-one years of age came to South Dakota and filed on a preemption claim which he improved. In 1899 he purchased his father's property and that farm and his claim, making four hundred and eighty acres in all, are both well improved and highly cultivated. He follows mixed farming, but is giving added attention to the raising of stock. He is a man of untiring industry and, as his crops are planted in good season and well cared for according to the most approved methods, he almost invariably has a high average per acre of grain. His stock is of good grade, bringing a high price upon the market.

Mr. Graves was married in Ashton, this state, on the 3d of December, 1888, to Miss Esther Roberts, a daughter of John T. and Ellen (Davis) Roberts, the former a pioneer farmer and carpenter of that district. He died in 1904 and was buried in the cemetery at Ashton. His wife survives and makes her home at Ashton. Mr. and Mrs. Graves have one daughter, Nellie, the wife of Erwin Bloomhall, who is residing upon the homestead, and they have a little daughter, Edna. Mr. Graves is a republican and has taken an active part in local public affairs, serving as county treasurer for two years and in a number of town offices. Fraternally he is a chapter Mason and also holds membership in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He likewise belongs to the Eastern Star. For over three decades Mr. Graves has been actively connected with the agricultural interests of the county and has been one of those progressive farmers who have made Spink county one of the prosperous flections of the state. He has made many improvements upon his farm, erecting all of the buildings, and has kept everything in splendid condition, and the success which he now enjoys is but the merited and natural reward of his enterprise and ability.

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


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 the acquirement of an education. On reaching his twentieth year he took up the study of pharmacy, entering his brother's drug store in Canton, South Dakota. In the fall of 1895 he matriculated in the Minnesota Institute of Pharmacy at Minneapolis, Minnesota, from which institution he was graduated with the class of 1896, and on April 8th of the same spring he passed his examination before the state board of examiners at Huron. He then worked as a pharmacist for his brother in Canton until 1898, when he established himself in the drug business at Dell Rapids. At the end of three years he removed his stock to Trent, South Dakota, but sold out shortly afterward and took charge of the Brandt Drug Company at Brandt, this state, which he managed for about two years. Subsequently he spent two years as traveling representative of Frederick Ingram & Company, of Detroit, dealers in pharmaceutical specialties, and in 1905 opened a drug store in Toronto, South Dakota, where he was engaged in business for three years. On the expiration of that period he removed his stock to Brentford, this state, but soon afterward sold out and during the following two years was employed in Pierre, South Dakota. In 1910 he located in Sherman as manager of his brother's drug business and there has since remained, conducting the enterprise in a manner that has won and held an extensive patronage.

 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.


Agricultural and stock-raising interests have a prominent representative in D. W. Jones, who owns and operates a farm of three hundred and twenty acres on sections 32 and 29, Harmony township, Spink county. He was born in Fort Scott, Kansas, on the 7th of February, 1872, a Bon of John N. and Ann (Davis) Jones. The family is of Welsh descent and Mr. Jones manifests the resoluteness and determination of character of his race. His father was a farmer by occupation and settled in Kansas in 1869, buying raw land in that state. He improved and cultivated it until his death, which occurred on the 6th of May, 1892, when he was sixty-six years of age. The mother survived him until May 12, 1904, when she passed away at the age of sixty-two years. Both are buried in the Evergreen cemetery at Fort Scott.

D. W. Jones received good educational advantages, as he attended the Fort Scott schools until he was a youth of seventeen. He then devoted his time to assisting his father with the work upon the farm for a number of years. In 1897 he came to South Dakota and bought the property which he now owns. Although he does mixed farming, he gives especial attention to the raising of pure blooded stock, which branch of his activities proves very profitable. He keeps two hundred head of cattle, about forty horses and about one hundred and fifty hogs and is one of the extensive stockmen of Spink county. As be has a high grade of stock and takes good care of them, his animals command a high price.

Mr. Jones is independent in politics, voting for the man rather than the party and refusing to be dictated to by politicians. He has been very successful in his chosen calling and attributes his prosperity to hard work and thorough knowledge of the stock-raising business. His honorable life and uprightness of character have won for him the esteem of his fellow citizens who value his friendship highly.

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


Morris H. Kelly, who at the time of his death, which occurred on the 21st of December, 1904, was receiver of the land office at Aberdeen, was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, in the year 1849, of Quaker parentage. His father, John Kelly, was a farmer by occupation, making that pursuit his life work. He married Elizabeth Hunt and they became the parents of eight children. Good educational advantages were afforded the family and Morris H. Kelly, after attending the public schools, continued his studies in the Quaker Academy at Bloomingdale, Indiana. When a young man he left home and went to Farmer City, Illinois, where he engaged in the hardware business. Thinking that he would find still broader opportunities in the new but growing northwest, he came to South Dakota, moving a stock of goods to Ashton, where he arrived on the 3d of March, 1882. He opened the first hardware store in the town and conducted the business successfully until July, 1887, when he went to Aberdeen. There he joined the Western Farm Mortgage Company, of which he became treasurer. He was connected therewith for a number of years. Later he was made receiver of the land office and continued to acceptably fill that position to the time of his death.

Mr. Kelly was not only active in a business way, but also in connection with public affairs. He was interested in everything that pertained to civic progress and improvement and for several years did excellent service for the city as a member of the city council. He was also a member of the building committee at the time the Mitchell library was erected. He believed in the employment of each opportunity and in many ways he demonstrated his devotion to the public good, even though he would derive no individual benefit therefrom.

In 1872 in Tuscola, Illinois, Mr. Kelly was united in marriage to Miss Bertha Glasgow, who was born in Charleston, Illinois, a daughter of Kimball Glasgow, a native of Hardin county, Kentucky, who removed to Charleston, Illinois, at an early period in the development of that place. He was extensively engaged in farming and stock-raising in that locality, being one of the leading representatives of agricultural interests there. He married Margaret Reat, of Ohio, and they were the parents of eight children. Mr. and Mrs. Kelly had a family of four children, namely: Mrs. A. W. Vodish; Margaret R.; John R., who is now a lieutenant in the United States army; and Herbert G., deceased.

Mr. Kelly voted with the republican party and was always ready to support his political position by intelligent argument. He stood very high in Masonic circles, was most active in the order and attained an honorary thirty-third degree, given only in recognition of valuable service to the craft. At one time he was grand commander of the grand commandery of the state. In his passing death removed one of the valued citizens of Aberdeen, for he was reliable and enterprising in business, loyal in citizenship, faithful in friendship and devoted to the welfare of his family.

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


Frank J. Klapperich, who owns a farm of one hundred and sixty acres on section 25, Sumner township, Spink county, is a native of that township, born December 27, 1882, of the marriage of Jacob and Anna (Lenz) Klapperich. The father died in 1897 and is buried at Turton, but the mother is still living and resides in that city. They were both born in Germany and upon emigrating to this country in 1882 became pioneers of South Dakota.

Frank J. Klapperich attended the public schools of Spink county until he was a youth of sixteen years, when he turned his attention to farming, assisting his father with the work of the homestead. He remained under the parental roof until he was twenty-six years of age and then he rented the home place and began operating on his own account. He later bought the farm and in addition to this quarter section he now rents four hundred and eighty acres, cultivating in all about five hundred and fifty acres. He not only raises the usual field crops, but also keeps about twenty-eight horses, fifteen cattle and forty hogs. He understands conditions in this state and adapts his methods of farming thereto with the result that his profit from his labor each year is a gratifying one.
On the 22d of February, 1909, Mr. Klapperich was married at Turton to Miss Leah Remialy, a daughter of William and Adell (Bourell) Remialy. The latter died when her daughter, Mrs. Klapperich, was but an infant, but the father survives and lives near Doland, to which place he emigrated from Illinois in 1907. The mother is buried at Manteno, Illinois. To Mr. and Mrs. Klapperich have been born three children: Roy W., who was born on the 19th of December, 1909; Erdine Adell, whose birth occurred May 8, 1911; and Clarence J., born November 18, 1912.
Mr. Klapperich is a republican and for about eight years has served efficiently as road overseer. He is a communicant of the Catholic church and fraternally is connected with the Knights of Columbus and the Catholic Order of Foresters. He has great faith in the future of his native state and has definitely cast in his lot with that of South Dakota. His public spirit is commendable and his aid can always be counted upon in the promotion of any worthy cause.

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

John Knox Kutnewsky

Dr. John Knox Kutnewsky, superintendent and physician for the State School and Home for the Feeble Minded at Redfield, was born in Groveland, Illinois, April 20, 1858, his parents being John and Margaret (Knox) Kutnewsky. The former died in 1884 and the latter in 1903 and their remains were interred in the Redfield cemetery. The father was one of the pioneer settlers and business men of Spink county and in 1882 began the operation of the first mill of Redfield, which also still remains the only mill. He was quite prominent and active in local political circles in Illinois, where he filled the position of postmaster. To him and his wife were born five children: Martha, now residing in Maiden, Washington; John K., of this review; Benjamin H., who is engaged in general merchandising at Maiden, Washington; Charles F., who is state agent for the Equitable Life Insurance Company at Boise, Idaho; and Fred H., who is conducting a hardware store in Maiden, Washington.

In the district schools of his native state Dr. Kutnewsky began his education. He afterward attended the Illinois State University and then in preparation for a professional career entered Rush Medical College of Chicago, from which he was graduated at the age of twenty-three years. He then entered upon the active work of his profession at Groveland, Illinois, where he continued until February, 1884, when he came to South Dakota following his father's death. Opening an office in Redfield, he there remained in active practice until 1901, when he was appointed superintendent of the School for the Feeble Minded. Here he has since remained in charge, covering a period of fourteen years. He has closely studied modern methods of teaching and caring for this unfortunate class, has introduced new and improved ideas and has made the institution a creditable one to the humanitarian spirit which prompted its founding.

In 1882, at Athens, Illinois, Dr. Kutnewsky was united in marriage to Miss Etta Kincaid, a daughter of John K. and Vienna (Williams) Kincaid, both of whom are deceased and lie buried at Athens. Our subject and his wife have two children, namely: Walter Knox, of North Yakima, Washington, who is a land agent and also captain of Company C of the Washington National Guard; and Edna, who is still under the parental roof. Liberal educational advantages have been accorded the children, Walter K. being a graduate of the University of Minnesota, while Edna completed a domestic science course in Columbia University of New York city and is now dietitian of the Redfield institution. Dr. Kutnewsky is a republican in his political views and for four years filled the office of alderman, during which period he put forth every effort in his power to advance the welfare of the city and uphold its civic interests. He is also a school trustee. Fraternally he is well known as a member of various organizations, including the Masonic lodge, the Elks, the Modern Woodmen of America, the Ancient Order of United Workmen and others. He has filled all of the chairs in the blue lodge and chapter of Masonry and at the present time is eminent commander of the commandery. In 1906 he was grand high priest of the Grand Chapter of South Dakota, and he is a past president of the Masonic Veterans Association. High and honorable are the principles which have actuated him in all life's relations. He has ever reached out a helping hand to the unfortunate and at the same time he is ever embracing his opportunities for advancement that his life work may be of greater usefulness and benefit to his fellowmen. The course which he has ever followed in his official connection with the School for the Feeble Minded has won high encomiums, and various plans and methods that he pursues might profitably be adopted by other institutions of similar character.

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


J. A. Lunstrum is one of the excellent citizens and agriculturists whom Sweden has given to South Dakota and is now the owner of a fine farm of six hundred and eighty acres located on sections 25, 26 and 35, Great Bend township, Spink county. He was born in Westerg�tland, Sweden, November 18, 1858, and is a son of Lars J. and Sarah (Pearson) Larson. The father came to this country but returned to his native land, where he passed away in February, 1910. His wife had preceded him in death, her demise occurring in 1867, and both are buried in the same cemetery in Sweden.

John A. Lunstrum was educated in the land of his nativity but bis school advantages were somewhat limited, as he put aside his textbooks when but fourteen years of age. From that time on he has been compelled to provide for his own livelihood and the prosperity that is now his is the direct result of his own energy and good management. After leaving school he found employment upon farms in the neighborhood and was so engaged until 1881, when he emigrated to the United States, making his way to the vicinity of Madison, Wisconsin. He worked there for one winter but in the following spring went to St. Paul, Minnesota, where he remained until August 28, 1882. Thence he went to Canada and for a few months worked upon the Canadian Pacific Railroad, returning to St. Paul in November of that year and remaining there for a time, after which he went back to Wisconsin.

In the spring of 1883 Mr. Lunstrum came to South Dakota, arriving at Redfield, on the 6th of April, and he has since made his home in this state. He took up a preemption claim in Faulk county and proved up on the same but felt that he could find a more desirable location and therefore gave away the claim and removed to Spink county. He had previously joined his brother, Sanford Lunstrum, at Madison, Wisconsin, and the two worked together until they were married. They rented land in Spink county and after some time the subject of this review purchased two hundred acres with his share of the profits of their farming operations. He devoted his time to the cultivation of his land and, as he was industrious and familiar with the best methods of agriculture, he annually harvested good crops which brought him high prices upon the market. As his resources increased be added to his landed possessions, buying a quarter section at a time, and is now the owner of six hundred sad eighty acres. He has followed diversified farming, as he believes that that method secures the greatest returns from land, and his activities have gained him more than a competence. He raises considerable stock, keeping thirty horses, forty-five head of cattle and about forty hogs. Every year since his farm came into his possession he has made some improvement thereon. When he purchased it the greater part of it was wild prairie and he had to break one hundred acres before he could put in crops. The first home in which he and the family lived was a sod house, and that remained their residence from 1889 to 1897. In the latter year it was washed away and he built a temporary frame building which served as a home until he could erect on higher land the present fine residence, which is one of the most desirable farm homes in Spink county and which was built in 1911. He has made other improvements, the farm having an excellent set of buildings, including barns and granaries, and the fields being well fenced.

Mr. Lunstrum was married, in Great Bend township, on the 10th of July, 1889, to Miss Mary Jacobson, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lars Jacobson. The father was a pioneer farmer of Fillmore county, Minnesota, but both be and his wife are now deceased and are laid to rest near Preston, Minnesota. Mr. and Mrs. Lunstrum are the parents of five children: Leda, who married James Hanson, of Lodi township, Spink county; Selma; Emma; and Amanda and Esther, both attending school.

Mr. Lunstrum is independent in the exercise of his right of franchise, supporting men and measures rather than party. His religious faith is that of the Lutheran church and he takes an active part in its work. He has always manifested a laudable interest in the public schools and for ten years has served as chairman of the board of education, doing much in that time to raise the standard of the schools in his district. He has resided in South Dakota continuously since 1883 and, as he is excellently informed concerning the early history of the state, it is but natural that he should be a member of the Old Settlers' Association. Fraternally be belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America. In addition to his farm he has a number of business interests, being a stockholder in the Farmers Elevator end in the Cooperative Store of Redfield. He has labored persistently and intelligently and, as he has recognized and utilized all the opportunities that have presented themselves, he has gained more than a competence. All who know him rejoice in his success, for it has been won by honorable methods, and he himself is held in high regard because of his upright character and his loyalty to bit friends.

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


Thomas W. Madden, a conductor on the Chicago & Northwestern Railway residing at Redfield, came to South Dakota in 1886 and has since been identified with interests of this state. He was born on the 13th of March, 1868, in Sibley county, Minnesota, a son of Thomas and Emily (Payne) Madden. In 1871 the father died and was buried in that county. The mother is living at Livingston, Montana, at the age of eighty years. They were prominent pioneers of Minnesota, removing to St. Paul when there were only a dozen buildings in the town and times were so hard that Mrs. Madden knitted socks which she sold to the stores in order to add to the family income. They later settled upon a farm in Minnesota, having at the time only twenty-five cents and a loaf of bread. In one day the father erected a log house which served as a shelter for his family.

Thomas W. Madden received his education in the Silver Lake district schools of Minnesota, but when fifteen years of age put aside his textbooks and thereafter devoted all of his time to assisting his mother with the farm work for two years. At the expiration of that period he became a brakeman on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, his run starting from Minneapolis. After two years he removed to South Dakota, locating in Huron on the 11th of September, 1886. He was passenger brakeman on the Northwestern running from Tracy to Pierre for six years, after which he was made freight conductor. He held that position for seventeen years and then became passenger conductor on the Chicago &, Northwestern. His reliability and coolness of nerve fit him excellently for his responsible duties and his record is a most creditable one.

On the 9th of May, 1893, Mr. Madden was united in marriage in Huron to Miss Josephine Gabel, a daughter of Mathias and Katherine (Bower) Gabel. Her father passed away in 1909 and was buried in Cavour, South Dakota, but her mother is still living and makes her home near Huron. To Mr. and Mrs. Madden have been born three children: Marietta, Claire and Phyllis.

Mr. Madden is a democrat and casts his ballot in support of democratic principles and candidates. He is a communicant of the Roman Catholic church and is at all times loyal to that organization. Fraternally he is a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and the Order of Railway Conductors. The same qualities which have won him promotion and the respect of his associates have gained him the esteem of his fellow citizens and his attractive personal qualities bind many to him in ties of friendship.

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


John Mannings, who has been on the frontier in three states, arriving in Wisconsin in 1847, locating at Winona, Minnesota, in 1854 and settling in Dakota in 1881, now owns one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 27, Great Bend township, Spink county. He has given several farms to his sons, as a quarter section is all that he cares to operate and as he has already gained a competence. He was born in London, England, January 11, 1841, and was brought by his uncle and aunt, Thomas and Elizabeth Mannings, to this country in 1847, when they settled at Port Washington, Wisconsin. The uncle was killed in the Civil war and the aunt has also passed away and is buried at Port Washington.

John Mannings was but seven years of age when brought to this country and had but limited opportunity to secure an education, as he was obliged to earn his own livelihood when fourteen years of age. He learned the painter's trade and after following that for a few years was employed as a farm hand until 1854, when he removed to Minnesota, where he again began to work at his trade, so continuing until April, 1861, when he enlisted for service in the Union army in the First Minnesota Regiment. He enlisted for three years and was in the charge at Gettysburg. On the expiration of his term of enlistment he reenlisted for another year as a corporal in the First Minnesota Heavy Artillery and served until the close of the war, when he received his honorable discharge.

Mr. Mannings returned to Minnesota and for eight years was janitor of the State Normal at Winona. At the end of that time failing health compelled him to give up indoor work and he came to South Dakota, taking up a homestead two and one-half miles east of Redfield. He held it for some years but finally lost it on account of crop failures. He then rented the place where he now lives and carefully husbanded his money, as it was his ambition to purchase land. When he had saved sufficient capital he bought three hundred and twenty acres and began the cultivation of his newly acquired property. As his sons grew old enough they assisted him with the work of the farm and from time to time he was able to purchase additional land until he became the owner of eight hundred and eighty acres in all. Some time ago he gave the land to his sons with the exception of one hundred and sixty acres which he retains for life. He has always followed the diversified method of farming and has given considerable attention to the raising of stock, which branch of his business has proved especially profitable. He takes great pride in the appearance of his farm and keeps everything in the best repair, and has spared neither time nor pains in making his home one of the attractive country places in Spink county. He has planted many shrubs and flowers upon his lawn and the residence is in the midst of a veritable flower garden. He is a man of great industry and of excellent judgment and the success which has attendedship labors as an agriculturist is the natural result of his intelligently directed labor.

Mr. Mannings was married, in Winona, Minnesota, on the 21st of March, 1867, to Miss Evelyn S. Gilman, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Gilman, both of whom are deceased. The father is buried in Winona, Minnesota, and the mother in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Mannings became the parents of four sons and two daughters, namely: Arthur J., who was accidentally killed on the 14th of June, 1883, and is buried in Redfield; Charles E., who represents an automobile company at Fargo, North Dakota; Herbert J., who is assisting his father and is a live-stock dealer; Clarence L., who is an agriculturist and lives upon the home farm; Lucy, the wife of Edward Bent, a retired farmer residing in Wishek, North Dakota; and Nona, who married Menie Aken, a farmer residing near Redfield, Spink county.

Mr. Mannings is a republican and for twenty years has served as town treasurer. He is also chairman for his township and delegate to the state convention of his party. He is prominent in the Grand Army of the Republic, being senior vice commander for South Dakota and commander of the Redfield post. At times Mr. Mannings has met with discouragement but has not allowed himself to become disheartened, feeling that perseverance must conquer in the end, and the success that has come to him has fully justified his faith. He has also won that greater success, the respect and esteem of his fellowmen, as all who know him honor him for his sterling qualities of character.

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


A farm of three hundred and twenty acres in Mellette township, Spink county, pays tribute to the care and energies of John McCall, whose work has placed him among the representative agriculturists of his section of the state. He dates his residence in South Dakota from 1888, having come from Viroqua, Wisconsin, where he was born on the 14th of February, 1866, being, therefore, a young man of twenty-two years when he arrived in this state. His parents were James and Annie (McAllen) McCall. The father, a native of Ireland, settled in Wisconsin on crossing the Atlantic to the new world, taking up his abode on a tract of timber land, out of which he hewed a farm. The work of clearing the place was all done by hand and when the trees were cut down, the brush burned and the stumps grubbed out he planted his fields and continued the active work of cultivation to the time of his death, which occurred in 1882. His wife passed away in 1905, and was laid to rest by his side in the cemetery at Risingsun, Wisconsin.

John McCall had the usual experiences of the farm boy, dividing his time between the duties of the schoolroom, the pleasures of the playground and the work of the fields until he reached the age of sixteen years, after which he gave his entire attention to the task of planting, plowing and harvesting. He remained with his parents until he started out in life on his own account on coming to South Dakota. Here he purchased a farm of one hundred and sixty acres, on which he erected a residence. He at once began to till the fields and convert the wild prairie into a productive tract. He has always employed modern methods of farming, keeping in touch with the spirit of progress which is as strongly manifest in agricultural life as in any other department of business. He has extended the boundaries of his farm until it now includes three hundred and twenty acres, much of which he has brought to a high state of cultivation, and at the same time he has successfully engaged in raising horses, cattle and hogs. He is likewise one of the directors of the Farmers' Elevator at Mellette.

On the 26th of March, 1894, in Mellette, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. McCall and Miss Ella Schaper, a daughter of Henry and Elizabeth (Ott) Schaper, of La Crosse, Wisconsin. Her father died in 1899 and was laid to rest in the cemetery near La Crosse, since which time his widow has made her home with her children. Mr. and Mrs. McCall have become parents of a son and two daughters: William, who is assisting his father; and Dorothy and Ella, who are in school.

In politics Mr. McCall is a democrat and fraternally he is connected with the Odd Fellows lodge, of which he has been a representative for twenty years. He has allowed himself comparatively little leisure for recreation, closely applying himself to his work, and his industry and diligence have been the foundation upon which he has built the superstructure of his present success.

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


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

Contributed by Jim Dezotell

JOHN J. McCAUGHEY, one of the leading business men of Aberdeen, being president and general manager of the Aberdeen Hardware Company, is a native of the state of New Jersey, having been born in the historic old town of New Brunswick, Middlesex county, on the 11th of June, 1857, and being a son of Robert and Agnes (Cummings) McCaughey, the former of whom was born in County Antrim, Ireland, about twelve miles distant from the city of Belfast, on the 12th of March, 1833, while his wife was born in the same locality, on the 12th of January, of that year. The paternal grandfather of the subject was a weaver and a designer of shawl patterns, and removed from Paisley, Scotland, in which city he became one of the leading designers of the famous Paisley shawls, to Ireland in the fall of 1832, just prior to Robert McCaughey 's birth. The latter and a younger brother were born in Ireland and two older brothers and two sisters in Scotland. From Ireland he immigrated with his family to America and located in the city of Philadelphia, where he was associated with two of his sons, John and William, in the manufacturing of shawls. About 1858 or '9 the grandparents moved to Wisconsin, near Madison, there continuing to reside until the close of their long and useful lives. Robert McCaughey was a child at the time of the family immigration to the United States, and in his youth he learned the tanner's trade, continuing to follow the same in New Jersey until i860, when he came west and joined the family near Madison, Wisconsin. He was there engaged in farming until the autumn of 1875, when he removed to Kasson, Dodge county, Minnesota, where he devoted his attention to farming for the ensuing five years, at the expiration of which he came to the present state of South Dakota, being among the first to file claim to government land in township 120, range 62, Spink county, making entry on the 28th of May, 1880, while he did the first plowing in said township. June 11, 1880, he and his son John J. first filed on land in range 63, but this filing was rejected, as the land had not as yet been thrown open, and thus each of them secured claims in range 62. In the spring of 1881 the remainder of the family came to the county from the old home in Minnesota, and the land secured here in the early pioneer epoch is still retained by the family, the same being located in LaPrairie township and being well improved and under effective cultivation.

John J. McCaughey received his educational training in the public schools of Wisconsin, and accompanied his parents on their removal to Minnesota and eventually to South Dakota, as noted. He remained on the farm until the spring of 1884, when he accepted a position as traveling salesman for farming machinery, being thus engaged for one year, at the expiration of which he established himself in the implement and farming machinery business at Northville, Spink county, where he continued operations two years. He then disposed of his interests in that line, and thereafter was engaged in the buying and shipping of grain until the autumn of 1896, when he became traveling representative of the Acme Harvester Company, of Pekin, Illinois, covering a very considerable territory in the northwest and being thus engaged until the spring of 1899, when he and W. G. Wells purchased the hardware business of E. O. Mead, of Aberdeen, which was thereafter continued under the firm name of Wells & McCaughey until the 1st of January, 1902, when the subject effected the purchase of his partner's interests and forthwith organized the Aberdeen Hardware Company, which was duly incorporated under the laws of the state. He became president and general manager of the company and has since remained incumbent of this important dual office, while he is directing the business of the concern with consummate discrimination and ability. The company utilize a store fifty by one  hundred and forty-two feet in dimensions, with basement, and also have a large warehouse located on the line of the Chicago, Minneapolis & St. Paul Railroad. They carry a full and comprehensive stock of heavy and shelf hardware, stoves, ranges, paints, oils, glass, etc., while in addition to controlling a large and representative retail business their jobbing trade is one which is far ramifying and constantly expanding. In politics Mr. McCaughey is stanchly aligned with the Republican party, but has had no ambition for official preferment. He has attained to the thirty-second degree of Scottish-rite Masonry and is also affiliated with the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Modern Woodmen of America. 

On the 11th of June, 1884, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. McCaughey to Miss Nettie L. Austin, who was born in Minnesota, being a daughter of Philip B. Austin, who was one of the honored pioneers of LaPrairie township, Spink county, where he located in 1881, there continuing to reside until 1900, when he removed to the city of Aberdeen, where his death occurred August 26, 1903. Mr. and Mrs. McCaughey have one son, Lester, who is employed in the establishment of which his father is the head.



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