South Dakota

Union County South Dakota



JAMES M. TALCOTT, lumber merchant at Elk Point, and one of the leading and prominent business men of South Dakota, is a native of Salisbury, Herkimer Co., N.Y., and was born November 3, 1839. He is a son of Samuel and Laura (Cole) Talcott, who were natives of Herkimer county and Oneida county, respectively. The Talcott family originally came from Essex county, England, to America, in 1632, and settled in Massachusetts. Nathan and Laura (Hill) Cole, the parents of Laura (Cole) Talcott, were natives of Hartford, Conn., Mr. Cole being in early life a music teacher and later a dealer in furniture, which business he continued till his death. Our subject's father was a contractor and builder, and died May 4th, 1873, in the same county in which he was born. He had been sheriff and town collector during his life, and had held various other offices. Mrs. Talcott died in Dodgeville, Herkimer Co.,N.Y., December 2, 1894. Both Mr. Talcott and his wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and were the parents of ten children, five of whom are now living, viz.: James M., Mrs. Electa S. Brown, George S., Josiah S. and Frederick N.

James received a good education in the schools of his native county and also attended the Whitestown Seminary at Whitesboro, Oneida Co., N.Y. He learned the carpenter trade of his father, and followed this vocation until 1860, and in the spring of 1861 he enlisted in company K, Thirty-fourth regiment, New York infantry as orderly sergeant. In the spring of 1862 the company was badly broken up, three officers---captain, first and second lieutenants---being disabled. Our subject was breveted lieutenant and took command of the company for a year until the return of the captain. He was discharged with the regiment at Albany, N.Y., in July, 1863, and re-enlisted in the Second New York regiment heavy artillery, as a private in company L, January 12, 1864. At the battle of Cold Harbor, Va., June 2, 1864, he was shot during the engagement through the left lung. He was transferred to the hospital at Alexandria, Va., but after twenty days there was taken away by friends. While an inmate of the hospital he was commissioned first lieutenant of this company, but was unable to muster in on account of the wound. He was discharged from service while yet in the hospital in January, 1865. Mr. Talcott participated in all of the engagements which the army of the Potomac engaged in from that of Bull's Run to Cold Harbor, Va., and took part in twenty-seven battles. After his return to civil life he accepted a position with the Remington Agricultural Implement works as foreman for whom he worked two years, and in 1869 he came to Elk Point, Dak. Ter., and started a furniture store, he being the first one at Elk Point in that business, which he conducted for about four years, during which time he was fairly successful. His present business he engaged in after disposing of his furniture stock, and has continued in it ever since. He has served his fellow townsmen in many ways and has held the following city offices: Alderman, six terms; mayor, four terms. He was appointed by Governor Mellette of Dakota territory as trustee of the Dakota hospital for the insane during the years 1888-9, and was appointed by the same governor of the state in 1890, as a member of the first board of charities and corrections, having in charge the state hospital for the insane at Yankton and the reformatory school at Plankinton; also the state penitentiary and deaf mute school at Sioux Falls. He served during the years of 1890 and '91. He has also been treasurer of the Elk Point high school since 1881 and still holds that position, and he has been a trustee of the Yankton college for the past four years. Besides his lumber business he has been extensively engaged in buying and selling real estate, and is now a large owner of South Dakota lands.

Mr. Talcott married Miss Hannah R. Chamberlain, of Elk Point, March 22, 1872. She is the daughter of Rinaldo and Sally (Colville) Chamberlain, and was born in Bradford county, Penn. They came to Elk Point in 1870, where Mrs. Chamberlain died in 1882. Mr. Chamberlain died in November, 1894, in his native county, Bradford, Penn. Mr. and Mrs. Talcott are the parents of eight children, seven of whom are living, viz.: Allie L., Myrtle M., Lillie L., Glennie M., Flossie L., James E. and Ethel B. The eldest, Genia M., is deceased. Our subject by a former marriage has one daughter, Lizzie, now the wife of C.E. Hutton, superintendant of the Pierce Flouring mills, at Pierce, Nebr. They have two children, Fay and Roy.

Mr. Talcott is a staunch supporter of the Republican party's principles. His wife and family are members of the Congregational church, and Mr. Talcott is a regular attendant at and trustee of the same. He has taken and active interest in the welfare of the community and has assisted materially in the construction of various churches and schools of the city. He is generous, and heartily supports any worthy enterprise that tends to promote the public welfare.

Source: "Biographical Record of Turner, Lincoln, Union and Clay counties, South Dakota", publisher Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1897, transcribed and contributed by Carey Robley.



CLARK NORTHUP, a fine specimen of the early settler who has in his composition the stuff that characterizes the true pioneer, was born in Erie county, N.Y., near Hamburg, August 15, 1827. His boyhood was spent in his native county until he was ten years old, when his parents moved to Pokagon township, Cass Co., Mich., where his father William Northup, and mother Eunice (Clark) Northup, entered a farm of government land upon which they resided until their deaths. such education as our subject received was obtained in the common schools of that day, which was supplemented with a couple of terms in the select school. He remained home till twenty-three years of age, when he went overland to California in company with four others, starting February 27, 1850, with ox-team and five yoke of cattle. The trip was long and wearisome and taxed their courage and strength to the utmost. they arrived in Sacramento City August 26 following, having been six months on the way. In California he engaged in mining and packing goods into the mountains on mules for a period of eight years, and on one of their trips through the Humboldt desert their cattle gave out on account of poor forage and alkali water. They were compelled to stop several days to recruit their stock, and one old ox, being unable to go farther, they left behind; but before leaving, Mr. Northup paid $1 for a bunch of hay which he place by him when they bade the faithful animal good bye. In 1858, he took a ship and San Francisco for return via the Isthmus of Panama, which he crossed and reshipped to New York; he was twenty-two days and half on the return trip. After he came back he settled in Michigan and took up farming until his departure for Dakota. In 1861, he went to Pike's Peak, Colo., on a gold-hunting expedition, where he stayed one year, at the expiration of which time he came home; but he subsequently returned there, it becoming necessary that he do so in order to settle up a partnership arrangement. In his mining experiments he has been fairly successful.

In 1860 Mr. Northup was married to Miss Mary Cook, and he came to Dakota in company with his wife and three children, settling first on land a mile from his present location, buying fifteen acres first and subsequently entering eighty acres on which property he now lives. He resided on the first place where he located in Union county for twelve years. The record of the children is as follows: Minnie, now Mrs. H. J. Muhs, resides in Akron, Iowa; Clara, now Mrs. Cannon, resides in Elk Point; and Major resides at home with his parents. He has served one term as county commissioner and one term as justice of the peace, and always voted the Democratic ticket until a few years ago when he joined the Populist movement.

Mr. Northup has rather a varied experience in life, and one which does not fall to the average man. he is a man hardy and courageous, and no danger ever appalled or labor tired him. He is true to his convictions, and his career has been that of an honorable, upright man. He is well preserved for his age, considering the years of privation and hardship which has been his lot, and he is widely and favorably known and respected by all who have the pleasure of his acquaintance. Frugal and industrious, he has gotten together a competency to tide him and his wife to the shore from which all must embark to the life beyond. he has been a good husband and indulgent father. Mrs. Northup is a lady of more than average intellectual ability. She is a model housewife, wrapped up in the affairs of her household, and the kindest of mothers.

John Northup, a brother of the subject of this sketch, and the only other living representative of this branch of the family, emigrated to California in 1852, and has since resided there. His home is in Amador county. During late years he has devoted his time to fruit culture and probably has one of the finest orange groves in that section of the country; he also raises various other kinds of small fruits. He has made a success of the business and has gathered quite a competency for his declining years.

Source: "Biographical Record of Turner, Lincoln, Union and Clay counties, South Dakota", publisher Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1897, transcribed and contributed by Carey Robley.




WILLIAM W. MAIN, county commissioner and farmer, is one of the most highly respected and representative citizens of Union county. He is a resident of Elk Point township, is widely known as a man of intelligence and influence, and may truly be said to be one of the leading men of the county. Mr. Main has been a resident of Union county since 1885, at which time he settled upon the place where he now lives. He was born in Wilmington, Will Co., Ill., March 30, 1855. His parents where Chester and Tamor (Coon) Main, both of whom were natives of New York. The father was of Scotch descent, his father having emigrated from Scotland and was probably the founder of the family in this country which bears his name. The Coon family were from Vermont.

The subject of this sketch received his education principally in the district schools, supplementing this by a course of study at Evanston. In 1876 he was married to Eva D. Franklin, and for some time carried on farming in Illinois. He then went to Topeka, Kans., where he leased land and remained four years, returning at the expiration of that time to the old homestead in Illinois, which he conducted and managed for two years. In 1886 he came to Dakota territory and purchased two hundred and ninety acres of partially improved land; this has since been his home and the improvements and general condition of his place reflect much credit upon his good judgment and taste. He has the place well stocked, having some splendid specimens of Poland China hogs, short horn and Durham cattle, etc.

In this connection a few words in regard to Mr. Main's father will be of interest. Chester Main, as stated above, was a native of New York. In 1843 with his family, he left the Empire State and settled in the woods of Michigan, near where the thriving city of Saginaw has since been built. He was a pioneer there and one of the earliest settlers, and endured all the hardships and privations which are characteristic of pioneer life. At that time that portion of Michigan was almost wholly undeveloped, and wolves and other wild animals were plenty. In 1848 the family pushed on westward and located near Wilmington, Will Co., Ill. Here they were again pioneers; they took up government land upon which they located and made their home until 1890. They still own the old homestead, but Chester Main has retired from active business cares and now resides in Wilmington City. He is one of the most highly respected citizens of the locality in which he lives, and is a man of sterling integrity. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.

Wm. W. Main, since his home has been in Union county, has taken an active and prominent part in all matters of a public nature. He was elected county commissioner in 1889, and has been re-elected for three successive terms; his popularity is attested by the fact that his party (Republican) was largely in minority, and at one time he was the only Republican official holding office in Union county. he is a member of the A. O. U. W. and in many other ways takes an active interest in those things in which his fellow citizens are interested. he possesses business acumen in a large degree, and is a practical man of affairs, moving with that force and energy that universally characterizes the successful man. In the conduct of his personal affairs he has always displayed sound and mature judgment, his plans being the result of deliberate thought and seldom miscarry. He is well informed upon current topics, and he takes an active interest in all public questions and public affairs. In the improvement of his home is to be seen the well developed taste and judgment which marks his general business efforts. Arrangement and method exist in everything, and his home is a beautiful one, efficiently presided over by his wife, who is a lady of culture and refinement. In the conduct of public business and county affairs Mr. Main has an enviable reputation for his intelligent handling of public business, and he holds the confidence and esteem of all.

Mr. and Mrs. Main have been blest with two children, viz.: Cora and Chester. The former was born in Kansas, the latter in Illinois.

Source: "Biographical Record of Turner, Lincoln, Union and Clay counties, South Dakota", publisher Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1897, transcribed and contributed by Carey Robley.




ALLEN D. KELLER. Among the prominent gentlemen engaged in the practice of law in Elk Point is Allen D. Keller, state's attorney. He is a native of Stark county, Ohio, and was born in 1853, a son of John H. and Mary (McCavit) Keller, also natives of Ohio. The father of our subject was an attorney-at-law and practiced the profession since he was a young man in Ohio, then in Illinois, and is at present located in Jackson county, Kans. He was at one time district judge there, has also been a state senator, and is a very prominent man of his locality where he is highly respected by all who know him.

Allen D. Keller was educated at Massillon, Ohio, and graduated in 1872. He then entered his father's law office in Kansas and was admitted to the bar there in 1874. He remained in partnership with his father for nine years under the firm name of Keller & Keller until 1882, when he left Kansas and came to Elk Point, Dak. Ter., where he has been actively engaged in practice of his profession since. He came to Dakota for his health, which has been much better since his residence here. Mr. Keller has set an example for his fellow townsmen and shown his confidence in the future of the city by building a nice family residence, which he occupies with his family. He has been closely identified with the development of Elk Point and the vicinity, and always supports any worthy enterprises that tend to promote the public good. He is highly esteemed as a citizen and a man of undoubted integrity. Socially he is a member of the K. of P. and is now grand chancellor of that order for South Dakota, and also uniform commander of the same organization. Politically he uses his right of suffrage in supporting the Republican party. He was sent as a delegate to the state convention in 1892, and, at Madison, S. Dak., was elected chairman of the delegation from Union county. He is also lieutenant colonel of the state military organization---Dakota national guards.

Mr. Keller was married in 1874 to Miss Alice J. Proctor, a native of Ohio, and a daughter of Alexander and Elizabeth (Pollock) Proctor, who were also natives of the "Buckeye state." Mr. Proctor was a soldier in the Civil war, and is now a resident of Linn county, Iowa. To Mr. and Mrs. Keller have been born four children, viz.: Eldon C., Hazel M., Goldwin G. and Claire P. The family are all attendants at the Episcopal church.

Source: "Biographical Record of Turner, Lincoln, Union and Clay counties, South Dakota", publisher Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1897, transcribed and contributed by Carey Robley.


WILLIAM HAZEN. One of the pleasant farms of Spink township, Union county, is that owned and operated by this gentleman, who has placed upon it such improvements as entitle it to rank among the finest farms to be found throughout the community. It comprises 160 acres in section 24, every acre of which is tillable and improved, and among other adornments with which it has been embellished is a grove and small orchard.

Mr. Hazen is a native of Mercer county, Penn., and was born September 24, 1830. On a farm in his native county he was reared until attaining his majority, acquiring a good common-school education, and in the spring of 1851 he came to Jackson county, Iowa, with his parents. For ten years he made a good living cutting wood, which he sold to steamboats plying the Mississippi river, and then he located upon a farm in Jackson county. He made his first appearance in Union county, Dak. Ter., in 1872, when he settled upon the farm which he now on as a homestead. He was one of the first settlers in the immediate neighborhood, and, with his family, passed through many hardships and privations, among which was a cyclone and the grasshopper plague, as well as much sickness in the family. His first home was a sod house, but the next spring after his arrival he built a frame shanty, in which to house his family, and later on erected his present commodious residence. He has been exclusively a farmer, devoting his time and energy to the improvement and betterment of his property, and, although he takes an interest in local government, as all good citizens should, he has never been a candidate for any political office. He was formerly a Republican politically, but now casts his lot with the Populists, and is a member of the school board, having assisted in organizing the school district in which he resides.

Our subject's marriage to Miss Martha Jane Roe, a native of New York, occurred in 1856, and they were the parents of three children, viz.: May, the wife of Charles Goodroad; William B., and Grace, the wife of F. G. Newell, of Aberdeen, S. Dak. After his first wife's death, which occurred in 1864, he was subsequently married to the lady who now manages the affairs of his household, the ceremony taking place in 1866, and Martha Moles, a native of West Virginia, being the bride. This union has been blessed by the advent of six children, as follows: Salina, Theresa, Martha, James, Vernon and Arthur. One daughter, now deceased, had grown to womanhood, and was a school teacher. All the children have had the advantage of liberal educations, and make up an interesting family.

Source: "Biographical Record of Turner, Lincoln, Union and Clay counties, South Dakota", publisher Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1897, transcribed and contributed by Carey Robley.



SAMUEL HAMMOND, deceased, one of the "brave boys in blue," and formerly a resident of Elk Point township, Union county, was born in Paris, Oxford Co., Me., May 4, 1833. He was a son of Jason Hammond, who was a descendant of an old family of that state.

The subject of this memoir grew to manhood in his native place, receiving during his youth a practical education in the district schools. Shortly after his marriage in 1855, to Miss Clarinda Robbins, a daughter of Charles and Mary Ann (Cotton) Robbins, who was also born in the Pine Tree state, he removed to Winnebago county, Wis., where he resided with his family sixteen or seventeen years, engaged extensively in farming, and subsequently located in Dakota territory, purchasing 225 acres near Elk Point, which constitutes the home farm. For a number of years prior to his death he and his sons were engaged in railroad contracting, and in this business he was also eminently successful.

Mr. Hammond has an interesting war history. he was one of the many brave and courageous fellows, who, at the call of their country, shouldered arms and prepared to defend the national honor. Of company A, Thirty-eighth Wisconsin regiment, infantry, he was enrolled a member in 1864, and he served till the close of hostilities, taking part in the last battle of that period of strife. He was a private soldier, under the command of Gen. Grant, and participated in all the engagements fought in and around Richmond and Petersburg. Mr. Hammond was wounded twice in battle---in the head and hand---and to the effects of the first named wound, from which he never completely recovered, his demise is attributed. As a brave and efficient soldier he served his country well, enduring without complaint the hardship and suffering incident to camp life, as well as active duty during the great Civil war, and was honorably discharged June 2, 1865. He was affiliated with the Grand Army of the Republic, and held membership in the post at Elk Point.

To Mr. Hammond and his estimable wife were born four children, two sons---Horace and Eugene, who reside with their mother on the farm, and two daughters, deceased. The [sic] were both named Mabel.

Mr. Hammond in life was an ardent Democrat. He was widely and favorably known and respected for his many excellent traits of character. Possessed of keen business judgment, he was prospered in his undertakings, and his name was a synonym of honesty. As a citizen he was ever alive to his duty, and as a husband and father was affectionate and indulgent.

On January 22, 1893, Mr. Hammond passed to the world beyond, mourned not only by his sorrowing wife and family, but by all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance and friendship in life.

Source: "Biographical Record of Turner, Lincoln, Union and Clay counties, South Dakota", publisher Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1897, transcribed and contributed by Carey Robley.




HON. EDWARD C. ERICSON, a leading and prominent attorney-at-law of the city of Elk Point, is a native of the Scandinavian peninsula and was born in 1856 in Sweden. he is a son of Eric and Johannah (Norden) Ericson, also natives of Sweden. Mr. Ericson died in the old country in 1859, and his wife and two sons emigrated to American in 1865 and settled in New York city. Eric, the younger son, is now a resident of Union county, and a representative farmer of Big Springs township.

Edward, the subject of this sketch, attended the public schools of New York Free academy, and later on the College of the City of New York. He left college in 1874 and came to Union county, Dak. Ter., and for a while taught school and farmed till 1879, when he took up the reading of law in the office of Alexander Hughes, at Elk Point. He was admitted to the bar in 1881, and in company with Mr. Hughes, under the firm name of Hughes & Ericson, practiced for two years, when, in 1883, Mr. Hughes moved to Bismarck, N. Dak., having been appointed attorney-general. since then our subject has been alone in active practice of his profession.

Mr. Ericson is a Republican in politics, and has served in various political offices. he was a member of the legislature during the sessions of 1886-7 and 1889-90, and in 1892 was a delegate to the Republican national convention. He was also elected mayor of the city of Elk Point, in which capacity he served for one term, and has been on the board of regents when the present states of South Dakota and North Dakota were one territory. He has taken an active interest in all the public affairs of the locality, and has labored industriously for the improvement and upbuilding of the community's resources. He has a pleasant home on the main street of Elk Point, ably conducted by his estimable wife. Mr. Ericson was united in marriage in 1881 to Miss Sylvia A. Hayes, a native of Wisconsin and a daughter of Benjamin and Phoebe Hayes, and they are the parents of three children, viz.: Harry F., Nellie H. and Florence S. He is a member of the A. O. U. W. society, and the family are members of the Congregational church, of which he is trustee.

Source: "Biographical Record of Turner, Lincoln, Union and Clay counties, South Dakota", publisher Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1897, transcribed and contributed by Carey Robley.



ROBERT DUNCAN. This name will be at once recognized by many of our readers as that of a prominent and influential old settler of Union county, in Prairie Prairie township, of which he is conducting farming operations. He has been since 1873 connected with the agricultural labors of the county, and is well-known and highly regarded for his progressive ideas in all matters pertaining to the cultivation of the soil.

The parents of our subject were Samuel and Janet (Flockhart) Duncan, both natives of Scotland, where the latter died at the age of forty-eight years. Mr. Duncan was a blacksmith by trade and a fine workman. He emigrated to Canada in 1846 and on the voyage was shipwrecked off the coast of St. Johns, narrowly escaping death. He crossed the dark river after having attained the ripe old age of eighty-nine years. They were the parents of eleven children, of whom a complete record will be found in the sketch of Archibald Duncan, Sr., in another part of this volume.

Robert was the seventh child in order of the birth of the children and first saw the light of day in Sterlingshire, Scotland, August 9, 1837. He was reared until eighteen years of age amid the usual surroundings of farm life in the land of heather, and under circumstances that developed in him habits of industry and practical observation of that which was going on about him. He attended the common schools, acquiring a good knowledge of the branches usually taught, and prepared his mind for the battle of life in future years. In 1856 he emigrated from his mother county to Canada and located at East Oxford for two years, at the expiration of that time buying a piece of land at the head of Georgian bay. He cleared this land and lived on it until 1861, when he sold out and went to Omaha, Neb. He came back to Canada shortly after, however, for his family, and then went to southern Illinois, settling on a farm in Effingham county. He lived there all during the Civil war, surrounded by "copperheads" and rebel sympathizers, but he remained true to the northern cause, and on one occasion carried word to Union headquarters of a contemplated raid on the railroad property which through this timely information was prevented. He continued to make his home on the farm there until 1873 when he removed his family to Dakota territory, settling on the property where he now lives. The settlers lived in "dug outs" then and when he arrived the grasshoppers were in their glory, "devouring everything that came in their way. The farm on which he located was all prairie, and there wasn't a neighbor near. He first lived in a "dug out" and later built the first house in Prairie township. He had to travel thirty miles for provisions in those pioneer times, which, on account of the poor roads, etc., occupied almost two days. He has lived here continuously and has taken a prominent part in the development of the county and the elevation of its civilization. All the present improvements on his farm he has put there himself; the land is well cultivated and tilled and compares favorably with any in the township. He originally owned the whole of section 17, but divided it in half and gave 160 acres to each of his two eldest sons. He carries on an extensive general farming business exclusively, and the methodical manner in which the arm is conducted, speaks well of its manager.

The subject of our sketch was married in Scotland in 1855, shortly prior to his emigration to Canada, the bride being Miss Mary Meikle. Mrs. Duncan was born October 10, 1837, and followed her husband to the home he had located in the new world in 1857. To this congenial union have come the following children, viz.: Janet, the wife of Willis Thompson; William, married Miss Louise Blake; Archibald, married Miss Nellie Oaks; Mary, now Mrs. William Staley; Marian, the wife of Stephen Godfrey; Margaret, deceased; Eva; Ella; John; David; Robert; and an infant, deceased. Mr. Duncan has always taken an active interest in educational matters, and has given all his children the advantages of good, sound schooling, sending them to various colleges after completing their common school courses. He was instrumental in organizing his school district; in fact he built the first school house and hired the first teacher, and has ever since been a member of the board of directors. the family are all members of the Baptist church at Beresford, in which Mr. Duncan has served as deacon for a number of years.

Besides the interest in the advancement of the cause of education which our subject takes, he also takes an active part in local political matters. He is a Populist in belief and was the first man in his section for the county to renounce the Republican party for the Populist, and he has always attended the various conventions of the party. Although he has often been importuned to do so, he has never accepted the nomination for any public office, preferring to allow others of his fellow citizens to become candidates and then use his influence in their favor. Take him all in all, he is a man of prominence in agricultural, political and religious circles, and has made himself useful to the community in divers ways.

On another page of this volume the reader will notice a portrait of our subject and his estimable wife.

Source: "Biographical Record of Turner, Lincoln, Union and Clay counties, South Dakota", publisher Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1897, transcribed and contributed by Carey Robley.

William John BULOW

(1869-1960) / Senate Years of Service: 1931-1943 / Party: Democrat William John Bulow, a Senator from South Dakota; born on a farm near Moscow, Clermont County, Ohio, January 13, 1869; attended the public schools in Moscow, Ohio, and graduated from the law department of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1893; admitted to the bar the same year and commenced practice in Beresford, Union County, S.Dak., in 1894; member, State senate 1899; served as city attorney of Beresford, S.Dak., 1902-1912 and 1913-1927; mayor of Beresford 1912-1913; county judge of Union County, S.Dak., 1918; Governor of South Dakota 1927-1931; elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate in 1930; reelected in 1936 and served from March 4, 1931, to January 3, 1943; unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1942; chairman, Committee on the Civil Service (Seventy-third through Seventy-seventh Congresses); retired and resided in Washington, D.C., until his death there on February 26, 1960; interment in St. John's Catholic Cemetery, Beresford, S.Dak.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present; contributed by A. Newell.

Eli B. Wixson
The founder of Elk Point, Honorable Eli B. Wixson, was born May 6, 1833, at Wayne, Steuben County, New York. He came to Sioux City in 1856 and for a lime was engaged in the daguerreotype business. He came to Dakota in 1859, and settled at the present site of Elk Point. He was the first white man to settle at this location. His first house was built of logs. It was 12 x 16 feet with ground floor and roof. In this rude structure Mr. Wixson kept hotel and grocery store at the same time.

During the following winter Mr. Wixson's only neighbors were some seventy-five Santee Sioux Indians who had encamped here for the purpose of hunting. He dealt quite extensively with them and reports say he lost nothing in bis bargains.

An incident or two occurred at this time which serves to illustrate the quality of stuff necessary to constitute a successful pioneer. The heart of the savage, like that of civilized man, is deceitful alt times. Mr. Wixson says they disposed of their chief in the following manner:

"One bitter cold night I was called to go to the Indians1 camp. The messenger said the chief was dead. On my arrival I found the body of the chief wrapped in the American flag. Unfurling a portion of the Stars and Stripes, I found to my surprise, that the body was warm and lifelike. This recalled to memory what one of the tribe had told me a few days before; that a certain grayish powder, which he showed me, when smoked together with 'Kinnikinick,' would cause the smoker to take a 'long sleep.' And I thought that in the case of the chief the powder was being put to the test, and was working to a charm. But I discreetly kept my own council. About noon of the following day, there was a commotion in the camp of the reds. The bucks divested themselves of by far the greater portion of their clothing and bedaubed their persons with mud or clay. Then with their dead chieftain strapped to poles attached to a pony, they began their parade. They very soon brought up in front of my cabin and began to horribly mutilate their bodies. Each one would take hold of the skin and pull it out from his body and thrust a knife entirely through it, thus inflicting great gashes from which the blood flowed profusely. One big brave pulled up the skin upon his breast and then handed me the knife to see if I had the pluck to draw blood. I took the knife and made a feint as though I would strike right down into his body. He dodged and displayed much astonishment at my threatening attitude. For two or three hours they kept up these hideous performances and then began their march to Minnesota, carrying their chief with them.

At another time I was awakened from my slumbers late at night by the loud cracking of the fire in the chimney corner. Looking about I saw a score or more of the reds. Indignant at the liberties thus taken by them, I sprang from my bunk and gave orders to evacuate. I used strong arguments, and they all adjourned except one surly fellow, whose tardy motion provoked me. I caught him by the hair and led him to the door, where I administered a good swift kick that sent him into the outer darkness. They afterward called me by a peculiar name, which I have forgotten, but which meant the 'little brave white man.'"

Mr. Wixson was on the first city council when Elk Point was incorporated in 1862 and was also appointed the first postmaster. He at one time represented the county of Union in the house of representatives of Dakota. He served one term as register of deeds of this county and one term as county commissioner as well as acting as notary public.

In the fall of 1862 he enlisted in company H. First Dakota cavalry, in the organization of which he materially assisted. This battalion, along with the Sixth Iowa cavalry, rendered excellent service until the close of the war in successfully keeping back the Indians from the frontier settlements. Mr. Wixson served during the entire time and was commissary sergeant of the battalion.

Eli B. Wixson was one of a family of ten boys and one girl born to Daniel Wixson, born August 18, 1786, died December 2. 1852, of English descent; and Deabrah (Conkling) Wixson. born July 7, 1793, died in March, 1864 of Dutch ancestry.

Mr. Wixson was married on November 30, 1865. in Elk Point to Mrs. Clara E. Christie (nee Cook). To this union six children were born, three boys, William, Frank and Eli; and three girls, Mary, Clara and Alice. Frank, the only surviving member of the family makes his home in Santa Monica. California.

Mr. Wixson died January 1, 1908 at Elk Point.

Source: "A Century in Review, Elk Point, South Dakota 1859-1959", transcribed and contributed by R. Bergendahl


W. L. Cusick is a prominent and well known firmer of Clay county, owning six hundred acres of land, three hundred and sixty of which are located in that county, and two hundred and forty in Stanley county. He was born upon the farm on section 27, Fairview township, where he still lives, in 1875, a son of Nelson W. and Annie (Ledew) Cusick. The father was born in New York state and the mother in St. Mary, Iowa, in 1857. The father came west when a young man and first located in Michigan, but afterward removed to Dakota territory in the early '60s, becoming one of the pioneers of Clay county, where he entered a homestead and also a preemption claim. In company with Cornelius Andrews and Jonas Meckling he platted the town site of Burbank in June, 1873. He fanned and raised stock until his death, which occurred in 1889 when he was in his sixty-fourth year. He was an excellent business man and was one of the wealthy men of the county at the time of his death, owning thirteen hundred acres of land situated in Clay, Union and Yankton counties. During the Civil war he enlisted in Company A, Volunteer Dakota Calvary, under Captain Nelson Miner, which was organized chiefly to protect settlers from Indian outbreaks, etc. In political matters he adhered to the democratic party but never sought office for himself. In 1894 his widow joined him in death when in her thirty-sixth year. To their union were born six children, three sons and three daughters: W. L., of this review; Mollie, the wife of James Hitchcock, of this state; William, of Clay county; Carrie, the wife of W. A. Chaussee, of Clay county; Lillie, deceased; and John, a resident of Montana.

W. L. Cusick was given excellent educational opportunities, as he was a student in the University of South Dakota after finishing the course in the local schools. When he began his active business career he turned his attention to farming and stock-raising, which he still follows. He is residing upon the old homestead where his birth occurred and owns   six hundred acres of land, three hundred and sixty of which are in Clay county and the remainder in Stanley county. He is progressive, energetic and businesslike in all that he does and his extensive interests are well managed and yield him a large annual income.

In 1897 Mr. Cusick was united in marriage to Miss Emma O. Russell, a native of Lincoln county, South Dakota, and a daughter of C. S. and Catherine A. Russell. Her parents removed to South Dakota from Iowa in 1876, and previous to living in the latter state  they were residents of Wisconsin. The mother was born in Pennsylvania and the father in Ohio. He passed away in 1900 and was survived by bis widow for nine years. He was a veteran of the Civil war, having served faithfully and gallantly in the Union army, and was familiarly known as Uncle Sam in his neighborhood. All of his six children survive and they are as follows: W. R., a resident of Lake Andes, South Dakota; Mrs. Ida L.  Sherman, living in Hotchkiss, Colorado; Mrs. Abbie J. Smith, a resident of Berkeley,  California; Calvin L., who lives in Vermillion, this state; Mrs. Cusick, the next in order of birth; and Mrs. Katie May Hopson, who makes her home in Winnifred, South Dakota. To Mr. and Mrs. Cusick have been born five children: La Verna whose birth occurred in 1898 and who is now attending high school; Frank R., born in 1900; Lee Wallace, born in 1902; Corinne M., in 1907; and Arthur Burdette, in 1910.

Mr. Cusick it a democrat in his political allegiance but has confined his political activity to the exercise of his right of suffrage. Fraternally he belongs to the Knights of Pythias, the Modern Woodmen of America and the Yeomen, and in his life exemplifies that spirit of brotherhood which is the basis of all fraternal organizations. He has won at the same time material success and the sincere respect and esteem of those who know him, as his integrity and honor have been no less marked than his business ability.

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


A distinguished and honored citizen of South Dakota is General Mark Wentworth Sheafe, of Watertown, who was identified with the pioneer development of the territory and has as well been a factor in the upbuilding of the state.   He was born May I8, 1844, in Brooklyn, New York, and in the paternal line is descended from one of the oldest  English families, the name of Wentworth being not unknown in English history and at the same time appearing frequently on the pages of America's annals.  The lineage can be traced back to the year 1066, before the time of the Norman conquest.  The records have been carefully preserved and proven and many men of distinction in England have borne the name of Went worth, which is still known there.  The name of Sheafe originated in Cranebroke, Kent
England, in 1520, and the family history has been preserved from that time to the present. John Wentworth. an ancestor of General Sheafe, was the last royal governor of New Hampshire in 1775.   His father, Governor Benning Wentworth, was mentioned by Longfellow in his poem entitled "Tales of a Wayside Inn."  The son of Governor Wentworth was one of the signers of the original Articles of Confederation in 1778, representing the colony of  New Hampshire.

In the maternal line General Sheafe is also descended from good old colonial stock, having emigrated from England to Massachusetts in 1646. The family during the Revolutionary war owned Bunker Hill at Charlestown, where, but for a mistake, the battle of that name would have been fought. In that battle were two great-grandfathers of General Sheafe and the records show that the family have participated in every war waged by this country from the first Indian war, King Philip's, down to the Spanish-American war.

General Sheafe passed his boyhood and youth in Boston, acquiring a liberal education for those days, and at the age of seventeen was examined for and prepared to enter Harvard College. However, the Civil war had just begun and, fired with enthusiasm, he, with a number of his fellow students and friends, enlisted in the Forty-fourth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers, becoming members of Company H, with which he went to the front.  On the expiration of his term of service he accompanied his father to Janesville, Wisconsin, where he entered the First National Bank. While there residing he was married in 1866 to Miss Cassa A. Hall, by whom he had three children.

In 1871 General Sheafe was desirous of going to the frontier and Dakota territory seemed to him a promising field for endeavor and energy. Accordingly in the fall of that year he removed lo Elk Point, Union county, where he became extensively engaged in a lumber business and also in milling. It is a strange coincidence that he should have been the first to ship freight by rail into the territory, and in connection with his large flouring mills he was the first in the territory to adopt the roller process, discarding the old-time millstones. While conducting private business interests he was always more or less prominently connected with public interests and activities and thus aided in shaping the history of county and state along various lines. In 1877 he was selected by Governor Pennington to accompany Colonel, later General, F. D. Grant on a trip into the Indian country with s view of establishing a trail between the Missouri river at Fort Pierre and the Black Hills.

The Indians were restive and somewhat hostile but the trip was made in company with four other parties and its object successfully accomplished, the old Black Hills trail being adopted. In 1881 General Sheafe witnessed the great flood of the Missouri river bottom when the city of Vermillion was completely wiped out and the fertile river valley was ten feet under water. At that time he lent his endeavors to saving the lives of settlers and was himself reported drowned. In fact he had the doubtful pleasure of reading his own obituary as printed in the Sioux City Journal, but apologies were duly made to the public.

In 1882 General Sheafe married Miss Agnes Spark, a native of Edinburgh, Scotland, and to them two children were born, Mark Wentworth and Mary Agnes. The former is a prominent lawyer of Codington county and has been twice elected as state's attorney.

In 1885 General Sheafe was appointed register of the United States land office at Watertown under President Cleveland and removed to the city which is now his home. In that year he also received at the hands of Governor G. A. Pierce the commission as colonel of the Second Regiment, Dakota National Guard, with instructions to perfect the organization of the regiment, which he did. serving as colonel commanding for fifteen years with great success.   In 1893 he was again appointed register of the United States land office at Watertown, which position he filled until April, 1897.

In the meantime he continued the successful management of his business affairs and broadened the scope of his  activities. In 1890 he was elected president of the Dakota Loan & Trust Company, a financial institution for making loans on real estate, the stock of which was owned in New England. Crop failures and a low ebb in financial matters throughout the west compelled the liquidation of this corporation, with but slight loss, however, to its stockholders and clients.

In 1898, at the time the war was declared against Spain by the United States, Colonel Sheafe prepared his regiment for active service and it was one of the first ready for the front. The First South Dakota Regiment made a record second to none. At this time Colonel Sheafe was appointed brigadier general of the United States volunteers by President McKinley and was ordered to report for duty with his brigade, which consisted of the Third New York. Twenty-second Kansas and One Hundred and Fifty-ninth Indiana Regiments. In command of his brigade he gained great credit and the love of his officers and men. The war ending, he asked to be relieved of his command and returned to civil life, assuming again the management of his business affairs. He was for many years largely engaged in handling range cattle on the then uninhabited plains west of the Missouri river and looks back upon the free life with the cowboys, among the wild Texas steer and the bronchos with great pleasure, especially so from the fact that they have both been legislated out of existence in the northwest.

General Sheafe was six times elected mayor of Elk Point and was also elected to the territorial senate in 1874, being today almost the only survivor of that body. In 1890 he was elected to the second state legislative assembly as senator from Codington county and served with credit to himself and honor to his constituents. In 1876 he was selected as territorial delegate to the democratic national convention at St. Louis. In 1897 General Sheafe represented the state of South Dakota at the inauguration of William McKinley to the presidency and was assigned for duty with a mounted troop, acting as bodyguard to the president. In 1913 he was selected to represent the state at the inauguration of President Wiison and on that occasion acted as aid to the grand marshal. In politics General Sheafe is an old-time Jeffersonian-Jacksonian democrat, with all the honor that the name implies. His religious creed is that of the Protestant Episcopal church, of which his forefathers had been adherents for over four hundred years. He is connected with the Masonic fraternity, having had the higher degrees conferred upon him. He is also a member of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and regards that organization as one doing much good in the world. He likewise holds membership with the Sons of the American Revolution and the Military Order of Foreign Wars of the United States. General Sheafe has had a varied experience. Descended from an old distinguished family of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, distinguished both in civil and military connections, he yearned for the freedom and simple life of the far west- As a soldier in the Civil and Spanish-American wars he received praise and as a government official he has done his full duty; as a lawmaker his record is good and as a business man he has ever been known for his probity.   He has seen the territory which he loved and which contained a total of twenty thousand white inhabitants in 1871, blossom and bring forth two noble states. He has witnessed the passing of the buffalo, the antelope and the cowboy. He has seen his own beloved state, South Dakota, spring up from a few organized counties on the Missouri river and become a grand sovereign commonwealth, rich in soil and resources and equally rich in its acquired advantages. He has lent the best endeavors of his best days to helping bring about this result, and when the last call is made and "taps" are sounded over his body,  his wish is that it may rest in the bosom of this state, his home.

Source: "History of Dakota Territory", George W. Kingsbury, 1915.


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

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

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

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

Source: "History of Dakota Territory", George W. Kingsbury, 1915.


The name of Hon. Amund O. Ringsrud is written large on the pages of South Dakota's history because of his prominent and helpful connection with public offices and his activity in the field of commerce, which constitutes the basis of the material development and greatness of the state. While he is now widely known as the proprietor of an establishment conducted under the name of the Ringsrud Mercantile Company at Elk Point, he is equally widely known as having had the honor of serving as the first secretary of state of South Dakota.

He was born in Norway on the 13th of September, 1854, a son of Ole O. and Karen (Amundson) Ringsrud, who came to the United States in 1887. They were among the first residents of Union county, Dakota, and the work of development, improvement and civilization seemed scarcely begun in that district. Much of the land was still in possession of the government and Ole O. Ringsrud homesteaded a quarter section of land in Brule township, on which he lived to the time of his death in 1876, devoting his energies to the cultivation and improvement of his farm. His widow survived him for thirty-eight years and passed away at the advanced age of ninety-one years. She was born November 17, 1822, and death called her on the 2d of April, 1914.

Amund O. Ringsrud was a little lad in his thirteenth year at the time the family made the long voyage across the Atlantic to the new world. For a brief period after the establishment of the home in South Dakota he attended public school and then worked upon his father's farm until he reached his sixteenth year. He then received his initial training along mercantile lines in a clerkship in a general store at Elk Point. He spent eight and a half years in that way, gaining broad, practical experience, which constituted the foundation for his present success in mercantile lines. After that period spent in a clerkship, however, he became an active factor in political circles and the recognition of his worth and ability on the part of his fellow citizens led to his election to the office of registrar of deeds of Union county in 1878. Reelection continued him in the position for three terms, or six years, and he retiremd from office as he had entered it, with the confidence and goodwill of all concerned.  When his third term as registrar had expired he was elected county treasurer of Union county and continued as the custodian of the public funds through two terms, or for a period of four years. Still higher political honors awaited him, however, for in 1889 he was elected secretary of state of South Dakota, having the honor of being the first man chosen to that position in the newly organized commonwealth. As in the positions which he had previously held, he discharged his  duties with such promptness, faithfulness and capability that he was reelected and remained for two terms as one of the state officers. In the meantime Mr. Ringsrud had become actively and prominently identified with the business life of Elk Point, having established a mercantile enterprise in 1885, which he incorporated under the name of the Ringsrud Mercantile Company in 1896. In that year he was candidate on the republican ticket for governor of South Dakota but in the election met defeat when Bryan and free silver swept the state, the party losing in the election the congressman, the governor and the presidential electors. He now represents his county us a committeeman of the  republican party and is still deeply interested in the political situation of the country, although not seeking office at the present time. He now devotes the greater part of his  energies to the conduct of his growing commercial interests and is today at the head of one of the most important mercantile establishments of his part of the state. He carries a very large and carefully selected line of goods and is thus ready to meet the varied wants and needs of a diverse patronage. His store is attractive in its arrangements, his prices are reasonable and in the conduct of his business he displays unfaltering energy and progressiveness.  He is also a member of the board of directors of the Union County Bank.

In 1876 Mr. Ringsrud was married to Miss Emma F. Snyder, of New Hampton, Iowa, and to them have been born two daughters and a son: Grace Ellen, now the wife of F. W. Ford, of Elk Point; Stella May, at home; and Alfred H., who is engaged in the automobile business in Elk Point. Mr. Ringsrud is a leader in Masonic circles, holding membership in Elk Point Lodge, No. 3, F. & A. M.; Vermillion Chapter, No. 21, R. A. M.; De Molay Commandery, K. T., of Yankton; Oriental Consistory, No. 1, A. & A. S. R. of Yankton; and El Riad Temple A. A. O. N. M. S., of Sioux Falls. He is now president of the Elk Point Commercial Club and displays in marked measure the spirit of initiative in promoting and fostering the interests whereby the club is doing such splendid work in advancing the commercial connections of the city and in furthering all interests which  are a matter of civic virtue and civic pride. From early manhood Mr. Ringsrud has been a leading figure in South Dakota and is widely known throughout the state as one whose record is of signal usefulness and honor.

Source: "History of Dakota Territory", George W. Kingsbury, 1915.


Oliver A. Robinson is a well known and greatly respected resident of Spink county, where he owns a farm of one hundred and sixty acres located on section 31, Harmony township. In addition to the cultivation of his farm he follows his trade of carpentering to some extent and is known as a capable and reliable workman. He was born in St. George, Quebec, Canada, on the 22d of February, 1867, a son of Francis Xavier and Emily (Russeau) Robinson. The family are of Scotch descent, but have been in the new world for many generations. The father came to South Dakota with his family from Iowa, where he had lived for thirteen years, and after coming here took up a homestead in Brown county, which he improved and where he lived for ten years, after which he removed to Spink county, but subsequently went to Parker and resided there for a time. Still later he took up his residence in Jefferson and is now a resident of that place. He is eighty-six years of age, but is in better health than many a man ten years his junior. His wife passed away in 1892 and is buried in Aberdeen, this state.

Oliver A. Robinson received his education in Iowa, but left school when a youth of seventeen. He then assisted his father upon the farm until he had reached the age of twenty-four years, when for two years he rented a farm, after which he purchased a relinquishment. He still owns that farm and raises both grain and stock, keeping eleven head of cattle, nineteen horses and a number of hogs. In connection with farming he works at the carpenter's trade and has built a number of residences, barns, etc., in his locality. Whatever he does is done well and his labors return him a good annual income.

Mr. Robinson was united in marriage, on the 6th of June, 1893, at Frankfort, South Dakota, to Miss Barbara Valder, a daughter of Peter and Matilda (Duren) Valder, the former a hotel proprietor at Frankfort. Her father passed away in 1901 and was buried in Frankfort, but her mother still resides in that city. Mr. and Mrs. Robinson have ten children, namely: Loretta, the wife of Merritt Sheldon, a farmer of Spink county; Ermena, at home; Loraine and Louis helping their father; Stephen, who passed away in 1914, at the age of thirteen years and is buried at Frankfort; Callist and Alma, who are attending school; and Audrey, Eulalia and Maurice.

The father is independent in the exercise of his right of franchise, voting for the man rather than the party. He is a member of the Catholic church and is ever ready to aid in the furtherance of its work.   For three, decades Mr. Robinson has farmed in South Dakota and has always been among the first to adopt new machinery or new methods that promise to be of value. His progressive spirit and his industry have brought him prosperity and he is one of the substantial farmers of Spink county. Those who know him best esteem him most, as his character is based upon those admirable qualities which stand the severest tests of life.

Source: "History of Dakota Territory", George W. Kingsbury, 1915.

J. H. Bryan - wagon and blacksmith shop; was born in Ashland county, Ohio, on the 18th of December, 1834; came west in 1853 and settled in Wisconsin; then came to Iowa and from Iowa to Dakota. His first wife was Mary C. Hawthorn; have four children by first wife: Ida. Edwin, Calvin and Laura. Married his second wife in April, 1873; have one child: Addie. Mr. Bryan his served one term as sheriff in this county.

Source: "History of Southeastern Dakota, Its Settlement and Growth", 1881.

H. H. Blair - druggist; established business in 1871; was born in Buffalo, Erie county. New York, in 1839; came west in 1845, and settled in Wisconsin, where he resided until 1869, when he removed to Elk Point, Dakota, and two years after established this business; served in the army one and a half years in the 8th Wisconsin, under Col. Murphy; he has served two years as probate judge and county treasurer of Union county; he married M E. Dey, of Wisconsin; they have three children, Winnie M., Frank H. and Jennie J.

Source: "History of Southeastern Dakota, Its Settlement and Growth", 1881.

J. E. Blair - was born in Wisconsin in 1852; came to Dakota in 1864 and located at Elk Point; served as clerk in a drug store six years, and was deputy postmaster at the same time; he is now postmaster, in which capacity he has served three years; he was town treasurer two terms, and lodge treasurer one year; he married Permelia Snyder, of Lawler, Iowa.

Source: "History of Southeastern Dakota, Its Settlement and Growth", 1881.

Trefle Bail - carpenter and joiner, was born in Canada East, in August, 1841, came to the United States in 1861, and settled in Rhode Island; in 1875 moved to Dakota; he married Mary Russell, of Providence, Rhode Island; they have three children: Louisa, Moses and Georgie.

Source: "History of Southeastern Dakota, Its Settlement and Growth", 1881.

Benjamin Briggs - furniture dealer; born in LaFayette, N. Y. in 1824. Came west in 1866 and settled in this vicinity; in 1844 was united in marriage to Sarah A. Rose, a native of the state of New York; have lost, by death, three children: Emily J., Letitia M., and infant not named.

Source: "History of Southeastern Dakota, Its Settlement and Growth", 1881.

Rev. D. O. Darling - born in Madison county, Ohio, August 21st, 1850; immigrated west in 1871, and settled at Monticello, Illinois, and from there he removed to this section of country, where he has been stationed the past five years; in 1871 he married Mary A. Warford, a native of Ohio; they have three children: Idella G., Charles M. and an infant.

Source: "History of Southeastern Dakota, Its Settlement and Growth", 1881.

George Ford - Presbyterian minister, born in Boston, Mass., in 1819; received his education at Harvard College, where he graduated in 1842; he then attended Andover Theological Seminary, where he graduated in 1845; he was appointed missionary to India, in which capacity he served for six years.   After his return he was Pastor in New York State until 1874, when he removed to Elk Point, D. T., where he is now a resident, (1881). He married Miss Ann Jennet, a native of Patochogue, Long Island; they have three children: George Ford, Jr., who is now a merchant in Elk Point; James T. Ford, Presbyterian minister at Oxford, Wis., and John S. Ford, a printer and stationer in Chicago.

Source: "History of Southeastern Dakota, Its Settlement and Growth", 1881.

Rev. G. W. Freeman - pastor Baptist church; ordained June, 1844, at Rupert, Vermont, where he lived three years and then removed to Fort Edward, N. Y., where he resided four years; he was born in the town of Vernon, Madison county, N. Y., August 10th, 1819; came west in April, 1851, and settled at Whitewater, Wis.; he then removed to Waupun, Wis., and from thereto Horicon, in Dodge county; from there he removed to Fox Lake, where he remained five years in charge of the Wisconsin Female College; from there he moved to Lake City, Minnesota, and took charge of the Baptist church; he then removed to New Lisbon, and from there to Kilbourne City, and from there to the U. & C. P. R. R., as general superintendent of missions, transferred by the Board of Home Missions to the charge of home missions in. Dakota. He married Charlotte Dyer, of Shaftsbury, Vt., who died October 21st, 1880, in Elk Point, D. T. After coming to Elk Point, Rev. Freeman returned to Fort Dodge, Iowa, where their denomination built a very fine church; he was appointed by Gov. Randall, of Wisconsin, chaplain of Gen. Blake's staff. He has four children: Charlotte M., George R., Charles H., Carrie A., (wife of the clerk of court in Elk Point.)

Source: "History of Southeastern Dakota, Its Settlement and Growth", 1881.

Warren Fisk - butcher; was born in Washington county, N. Y.,May 8th, 1837; came to Wisconsin at the age of 19, where he resided twelve years; served in the army two years under Gen. Sherman, "Co. F," 16th Wisconsin; arrived in Dakota the 11th day of October, 1868; in 1858 he married Elizabeth Scott; have two children: Frederick and Jennie. Mr. Fisk has been school treasurer in Elk Point the past 11 years.

Source: "History of Southeastern Dakota, Its Settlement and Growth", 1881.

Dr. J. Griffin Conley - physician; born August 1, 1838, at Phinebeck Flats, New York; received his education at Rush Medical College, and graduated in 1861; entered the army as assistant surgeon with the third Wisconsin regiment, in March, 1862; was promoted to surgeon in February, 1864, and served till the close of the war; the last six months or the service was promoted to sureon in chief; served on Gen. Hawley's staff; married Miss Ella Savage, February 20, 1867; have three children, May, Arthur B., infant.

Source: "History of Southeastern Dakota, Its Settlement and Growth", 1881.

Rev. Alnion Gore - Groceries, confectionery and dining hall; established business in 1879; was born in Gennessee county, N. Y., in 1829; was raised in Michigan; came west to Dakota in 1863; was a member of the Michigan annual conference nine years, of the M. E. Church; in 1867 he was elected county commissioner of Union County, but failed to qualify; he married Ann E. Lee, of Ohio; they have five children, Ada A., Clarence S., Terrence A., Irwin A. Arvin J.; have buried three children, Ida L., Almon Tyson, and Harriet E.

Source: "History of Southeastern Dakota, Its Settlement and Growth", 1881.

Dr. George W. Havens - was born in Hartford, Washington county, N. Y.; graduated at Castleton in 1832; came west in 1854, and settled in LaCrosse, Wisconsin; while there he was elected county superintendent of that county; in 1874 he moved to Elk Point, Dakota; he married Catherine A. Woolhiser, a native of Alleghany county, New York.

Source: "History of Southeastern Dakota, Its Settlement and Growth", 1881.

H. Halverson - established business in August, 1881; was born in Norway in 1836; came to America in 1862 and settled in Chicago; in 1881 he moved to Elk Point, Dakota; he served in the military in Norway four years as sergeant; he married Carrie Selwick, who died in Chicago in 1879; he has four children: Hilmer A., Helena C, Maggie M. and Richard M.

Source: "History of Southeastern Dakota, Its Settlement and Growth", 1881.

Joshua Vaughan Himes, Elk Point: was born in Wickford, R. I., May 19, 1805; in 1822 he went to New Bedford, where he was converted under the labors of Elder Simon Glough; February 2, 1823, he united with the First Christian Church; he afterwards became a preacher, holding revival meetings in the neighboring school houses, and success crowned his efforts; in 1827 he entered upon the work of the ministry as the work of his life; he was then appointed evangelist by the Massachusetts Christian Conference, to labor in Southern Massachusetts till the autumn of 1827, when he located at Fall River, Massachusetts; in 1830 he was invited to take the pastoral care of that people; which invitation he accepted and continued with them till 1837, when he resigned; in 1839 he embraced the views of Mr. Miller, relating to the prophecies, the age of the world, and the second coming of Christ; he has published numberless papers, tracts and books which were distributed gratuitously by him; he has visited England, Ireland and Scotland as a missionary, and has traveled in nearly all the States of the Union; open, frank, courteous, liberal and sympathetic, he has a great faculty to enlist the attention and hearts of the people; in 1863 he established "The Voice of the West," in Buchanan, Michigan, which was published many years, and afterwards transferred to an association; at the age of 76 his interest and ardor are still unabated; during his ministry of more that 50 years he has organized over three hundred churches, assisted in organizing 14 state and sectional conferences, and immersed over 1,500 souls; he is now pastor of the Episcopal churches in Elk Point and Vermillion, D. T. (1881.); his first marriage was in New Bedford to Miss Mary Handy; she died in 1873; his second marriage was to Hannah C. Harley, June 13, 1879; he has four children, Joshua V.. Jr., farmer; William L., clergyman; Walter J., clerk, Berrien county, Michigan; Arthur T., grain merchant, in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Source: "History of Southeastern Dakota, Its Settlement and Growth", 1881.

S. W. Kent - harness maker; was born in Plainfield, Will county, Illinois, on the 17th day of February, 1849; moved to Dakota the 22d of February 1868, and settled here permanently on the 15th of July, 1874; he married Edwina C. Lull; they have two children: Glen C. and Ira M.

Source: "History of Southeastern Dakota, Its Settlement and Growth", 1881.

E. W. Miller - attorney at law; established business in 1871; was born in Wayne county, Ohio, in 1835; came west on a visit in 1871 and located permanently; from Ohio he went to Pennsylvania; thence to Georgia; has been practicing law since he came to Elk Point; has been superintendent of public schools for two years; he married Ella E. Planner, a native of Huntington, Pa.; have two children: one son and one daughter.

Source: "History of Southeastern Dakota, Its Settlement and Growth", 1881.

John Mounsey - Groceries and liquors, Elk Point; born in Canada in 1837; came west in 1871, and settled in Eik Point; married Adeline Lalaune April 4, 1864; have four children, Adeline, Ephriam, Henry and Mary W. M. W. Sheafe, Prop. Dakota Flouring Mills; this mill was built in the winter of '73 and '74, by J. W. Hoffman, banker, and one of the founders of Elk Point, at the cost of $22,000; it had three run of stone at the time it was built, but in 1877 it was bought by Mr. Sheafe, who, at the expense of $5,000,  increased its capacity by another run of stone, so that now its capacity is 100 barrels of flour every 24 hours; and he added all the modern machinery for making the new process flour; Mr. S. has been awarded the government contract for furnishing flour to the Indian Department for the past three years; he ships flour to all parts of the country, and also does a large exchange business, farmers coming 30 and even 40 miles to exchange their wheat for flour; this mill ranks as one of the best mills in this part of the country; it is run by steam and therefore is not bothered either by lack ot or too great a supply of water; Mr. Sheafe was born in Boston, Mass., in 1844, came west to Janesville, Wis.; from there he moved to Elk Point, Dakota, where he engaged in the lumber business, which was the first lumber-yard in Elk Point; he was the first man that ever shipped freight, by rail, into the Territory; he represented this district in the Territorial Legislature (in the Council) one term; was mayor of the city of Elk Point for four years; in politics he figures with the Democratic party; he served in the army one year, under Burnside and Foster, in "the Eighteenth Army Corps;" he married Cassie Hall, of Wisconsin; they have two children: Anna W. and William W.

Source: "History of Southeastern Dakota, Its Settlement and Growth", 1881.

G. B. Steckman - watchmaker; was born in Pennsylvania in 1839; came west in 1861, and stopped in Iowa six years, and then moved to Dakota; he married L. E. Harper; they have one child, Helend, one and a half years old. Mr. S. was alderman in Elk Point four years.

Source: "History of Southeastern Dakota, Its Settlement and Growth", 1881.

F. Stroble - proprietor city meat market; was born in Germany in 1846; came to America with parents in 1851 and settled in Ohio; then moved to Sioux City, Iowa; thence to Dakota; made one trip through to Montana in 1865, and came back by the way of Salt Lake by team. He has served as city marshal of Elk Point two years; he married Mary Snyder, of Dakota, and they have three children, Hattie, Harry C. and Arthur.

Source: "History of Southeastern Dakota, Its Settlement and Growth", 1881.

F. W. Smythe - harness maker; was born in Huntingdon county, Canada, Nov. 10th, 1836; came west as far as Chicago in 1862; the year of 1867 he spent in Sioux City, Iowa; in 1868 came to this territory, where he settled permanently; on the 13th of October, 1859, he married Dormthilde Turcot; they have nine children: F. Diendonne, Anicet, Dion, Francis, Byron, Henry, Antoine, Josephine, Martin. Mr. Smythe has served as city and county justice for eight years.

Source: "History of Southeastern Dakota, Its Settlement and Growth", 1881.

Rev. Seymour Snyder - M. E. minister; was born in Salisbury, Connecticut, April 23, 1837; attended Cornell college, and became a minister in 1861. At the age of eight years he moved to Illinois, where he remained nine years. He then removed to Iowa, where he resided until 1879, when he removed to Dakota. He married Miss Blanche E. Goo, of Dakota; they have one child, named Frank A. Mr. Snyder is a member of the Masonic and Odd Fellows lodges.

Source: "History of Southeastern Dakota, Its Settlement and Growth", 1881.

P. Vail - carpenter and builder; born in Duchess county, New York, in 1826; he went to California in 1850 and returned "in same year; again he went west as far as Colorado, and in 1870 he located at Elk Point; married Elmira Horton; they have two children: Joseph and Anne Mary.

Source: "History of Southeastern Dakota, Its Settlement and Growth", 1881.

Uriah Wood - teamster and liveryman; was born in Wisconsin in 1849; then moved to Minnesota, where he resided three years; then moved to Dakota and settled permanently. He served in the army three years, under General Sully; then traveled all through the west. He married Jennie H. Collins, of New Hampshire; they have three children: Eddie A., Gertie, Vernie.

Source: "History of Southeastern Dakota, Its Settlement and Growth", 1881.

J. A. Wallace - lawyer, was born in Davies county, Indiana, July 22d, 1842; immigrated to Illinois in August, 1865, remained there till the spring or 1869, when he moved to Dakota Territory, where he arrived the 5th day of May; he served in the army and was the third man to enlist in "Co. C " from the county from which that company went; this company was the 6th Indiana, (3 months service) and was the first regiment from that state to participate in the Rebellion; he re-enlisted in M Co. G of the 42d Indiana and served,until the last day of October, 1864, making three and a half years service. In 1868, at Hardin, Illinois, he married Martha L. Miller, daughter of Rev. M. Miller; they have three children dead and one son living, named Hubert, age 11 1/2 years.  Mr. Wallace has served two terms of two years each as county prosecuting attorney in this county, and served one terra as a member of the territorial legislature (in the Council); he was also member of the school board for six years; was mayor of Elk Point one term and city justice four terms. He is the first attorney that ever opened a law office in Union county; he was admitted to the bar in 1866, and is a graduate of the Washington high school.

Source: "History of Southeastern Dakota, Its Settlement and Growth", 1881.

John R. Wood - liveryman, was born in Montgomery county, N. YM in 1821; immigrated west in 1844; settled at Bristol, Wis., (near Kenosha) where he lived two years; he then moved to Columbia county, where he farmed four years; he then removed to Kingston, where he kept hotel two years; he then removed to Pertage City, where he kept livery stable six months, and  from there to  Minneapolis, where he  lived a year and a half; from there he moved to Elk Point, Dakota. He served in the army three and a half years, also his two sons; he married Evaline C. Farmer, of the state of New York. They have eight children: Charles H., Lorenzo, Uriah, Harriet E., Margaret, Alfred (deceased), Mary J., Evaline C., Lottie J.

Source: "History of Southeastern Dakota, Its Settlement and Growth", 1881. 

P. H. A. PINARD, M. D.

Dr. P. H. A. Pinard is a leading citizen and prominent physician and surgeon of Jefferson, South Dakota, where he has practiced his profession continuously for the past third of a century. His birth occurred in the province of Quebec, Canada, on the 17th of October, 1853, his parents being Noel and Emma (Steyr) Pinard, both of whom were natives of France. They emigrated to Canada as boy and girl with their respective parents and in that country attained manhood and womanhood and were married. In early life Noel Pinard was a professor in the Model School in Nicolette, province of Quebec, but later became connected with the lumber industry and became a large holder of mill property. This, however, was wiped out by floods and in 1868 he removed to Meriden, Connecticut, where he embarked in the grocery business. There he continued to reside until his death in 1886, while his wife passed away in 1870. P. H. A. Pinard, who was in his fifteenth year at the time of his parents' removal to Connecticut, remained in his native country to complete his education in Laval University of Quebec, from which institution he was graduated in the class of 1870 with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. In the same year he was graduated from the Military School of Quebec with the rank of captain. He joined his parents in Meriden, Connecticut, and took up the study of medicine, reading under the preceptorship of a Dr. Fisk. Subsequently, however, in order to obtain the means to continue his professional training, he secured a position with the Meriden Britannia Company, for which concern he worked during his college vacations. In the fall of 1874 he entered the American Medical School in Philadelphia, from which he was graduated with the class of 1877. In 1885 he matriculated in the College of Physicians & Surgeons at St. Louis, Missouri, completing the course in that institution by graduation with the class of 1887. His first location as a practitioner was made in the fall of 1877, at Fall River, Massachusetts, where he remained until 1881. He next spent about six months in Clifton, Illinois, and then removed to Jefferson, South Dakota, arriving there on the 2d of July, 1881, and having remained there in active and successful practice to the present time. In 1895 he pursued a post-graduate course at the New York Post Graduate Medical School and in 1906 did post-graduate work in the Chicago Polyclinic. He has been a lifelong student of his profession and has ever kept abreast with the steady advancement of the medical science as a member of the Sioux Valley Medical Society, the South Dakota State Medical Society and the American Medical Association. For two terms he served as county physician of Union county and for three terms held the office of county coroner, making a most creditable and commendable record in both connections. Dr. Pinard is a stockholder in the Farmers Elevator Company and in the Jefferson & Civil Bend Telephone Company and owns about five hundred acres of valuable farm land in Union county. He has likewise conducted a drug store in Jefferson during the past quarter of a century and has been accorded a gratifying patronage in this connection.

On the 4th of February, 1878, Dr. Pinard was united in marriage to Miss Emma Bibo, who is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and a lady of French extraction. They have seven children, as follows: Walter, who is a druggist of Vincent, Iowa; Carl J., a practicing physician of Gary, South Dakota; Romeo J., who is an undertaker of Oakland, California; Nettie, the wife of Arthur Stroebel, of Elk Point, South Dakota; Bertha, who gave her hand in marriage to A. A. Camp and resides in Los Angeles, California; Etta, the wife of Joseph Staska, of Wagner, South Dakota; and Pearl, who is the wife of W. E. Lemire, of White Cloud, Michigan.

Dr. Pinard was sent as a delegate to the territorial convention held in Huron, in 1889, to bring about the territory's admission to the union as a state. He has been a stanch friend of the cause of education and for more than fifteen years was a member of the school board, doing able service in the interests of education. He was the incorporator of Jefferson and he has been prominently identified in many ways with its upbuilding and growth. Fraternally he is identified with Epiphany Council, No. 743, of the Knights of Columbus, and Sioux City Lodge, No. 112, of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. He is a devout communicant of the Catholic church, to which his wife and children also belong. The varied interests of life are in him well balanced forces and he is continually proving the strength and sanity of his position by his cooperation in those movements which work for progress and the public good.

Source: "History of Dakota Territory", George W. Kingsbury, 1915.

A. P. Asbjeld

A. P. ASBJELD, the able and efficient auditor of Union county, was born in Norway in 1855, and is a son of Peter O. and Carrie (Krogen) Asbjeld, also natives of Norway. The former was a carpenter by trade and was engaged in contracting and building in the old country. He came to the United States in 1870, and settled in Marquette county, Mich., where he was engaged in the iron mines of Ishpeming. He was employed there for three years when he came to Dakota Territory, and settled on a farm of 160 acres in Spink township, which he entered as a homestead. Here he was engaged in farming till death overtook him in 1891. His wife died in 1895. They were the parents of three children, two sons now living, our subject and Ingebrigt, the later residing in Spink township. The only daughter, Mary, a promising young lady, died when she was twenty-one years of age.

The subject of this biography, when his parents left Michigan, went to Minneapolis, Minn., and attended the Augsburg seminary from which he graduated five years later. He then secured a position at teaching in Worth county, Iowa, where he stayed for two years and then went to Decorah, Iowa, to attend the Lutheran college at that point, where he graduated from the teacher's department in a year. After this he returned to Worth county, Iowa, and taught for one term, and then in 1882 came to Dakota and employed his time at teaching school and farming till 1894, when he was elected to his present position of county auditor. He also has been assessor of Union county for four years, and is interested among other things in farming land in various parts of the state. He is a strong Republican in politics and actively engaged in local affairs of the county.

Mr. Asbjeld was married to Miss Lava Jamtgaard, a daughter of Ole and Sigrid (Lium) Jamtgaard, natives of Norway, who came to Dakota in 1882, and settled in Big Springs township, where Mr. Jamtgaard is now living, his wife, who was born in 1822, having died November 23, 1886. Mr. and Mrs. Asbjeld have three children---Marenus, Johanna and Peter. They are members of the Lutheran church, of which Mr. Asbjeld has been secretary for over ten years. They reside in Elk Point.

Source: "Biographical Record of Turner, Lincoln, Union and Clay counties, South Dakota", publisher Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1897, transcribed and contributed by Carey Robley.



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