Biographies from History of South Dakota
by Doane Robinson, Vol. I, 1904
ANDREW J. NOBLE - The gentleman to a brief review of whose career this article is devoted, is a well known farmer and stock raiser of Bon Homme county, also an enterprising citizen who has done much to promote the material development of the community in which he resides. Andrew J. Noble, son of John and Betsy (Webber) Noble was born at Mineral Point, Wisconsin on the 12th day of July, 1846. He received his education in the public schools of his native place was reared on a farm and remained with his parents until thirty years of age, assisting his father the meanwhile and bearing his full share of the family's support. On leaving home he engaged in agricultural pursuits at Mineral Point, but six years later came to Bon Homme county, South Dakota and purchased a quarter section of land which he has since reduced to cultivation and otherwise improved. His farm, which is one of the best in the neighborhood, contains a good modern dwelling, a substantial and commodious barn, and other buildings in excellent condition, and it's general appearance indicates the energy and thrift displayed by the proprietor in all of his labors and undertakings. Mr. Noble has added greatly to the beauty and attractiveness of his place by planting evergreen trees of which there are now nearly fifteen hundred fully matured, and he also devotes considerable attention to horticulture having set out all kinds of fruits grown in this latitude, his orchards at this time being among the largest and most productive in the county of Bon Homme. In addition to cultivating his own place Mr. Noble rents about three hundred acres of land in the vicinity, the greater part of which is devoted to pasturage as he raises live stock on quite an extensive scale besides buying cattle and hogs principally for the Chicago market. Mr. Noble devotes special attention to the Hereford breed of cattle of which he now owns a fine herd, and he also has a wide reputation as a breeder and raiser of thoroughbred Poland China hogs and a fine grade of road and draft horses. He has succeeded in all of his business enterprises and is well situated to enjoy the fruits of his many years of endeavor, being the possessor of a fine country home and of a sufficiency of wealth to make him independent. Mr. Noble is a man of sound judgment and good practical sense and his career since coming west presents a series of successes that demonstrate not only business ability of a high order but tactfulness and fertility of resource with which few are endowed. He has contributed much to the growth and development of the part of country in which his home is situated, and like all enterprising citizens takes an active part in promoting the public welfare, being interested in all progressive measures for the advancement of the community and for the general good of his fellow men.
In the year 1890, Mr. Noble contracted a marriage with Miss Armina, daughter of John McNiell of Tyndall, South Dakota, and his family at this time consists of five children, namely: Percy, Beatrice, Howard, Myrtle, and Gladys.
In politics the subject is a Republican, but his ambition has never led him to seek the honors and emoluments of office. He is content to be a plain common man of the people but, nevertheless, a well rounded man whose influence has always been on the right side of every moral question and whose presence has been felt for good in every relation with his friends and fellow citizens.
John and Betsy Noble, the subject's parents, were natives of Ohio and Pennsylvania, respectively. They moved to Mineral Point, Wisconsin a number of years ago, and the father farmed and dealt in real estate there until 1886 when he came to South Dakota and purchased eleven hundred acres of land in Bon Homme county, which he still owns. Since the death of his wife in 1890, he has made his home with his son, the subject of this review, and is now spending the closing years of his life in honorable retirement. John Noble was twice married, his first wife having been Mary Ann Lieurance by whom he had five children, only two of whom survive, namely: Mrs. Sarah Whitford of Mineral Point, Wisconsin and Henry, a real estate dealer living in Iowa. The second marriage resulted in the birth of children as follows: Mary Ann, wife of William Thomas; Merilda, now Mrs. Oliver Matthews; Andrew J., of this review; Charles, Mrs. Nancy Parkinson; and Clara, of whom the first and last named are deceased.
CAPTAIN JOSEPH LEACH, president and general manager of the Missouri River Transportation Company with headquarters in the village of Running Water, Bon Homme county, has had a varied and eventful career and has passed practically his entire life in the great west, being familiar with the vicissitudes, trials, and dangers incidental to life on the frontier, while he has gained success through his own efforts, having been dependent upon his own resources from early boyhood and being one of the best known citizens of South Dakota, where his friends are in number as his acquaintances. He is a true type of the stalwart, straightforward, honest, bluff, and generous westerner, and is also an astute and able business man and executive, so that there are many points which render most compatible a review of his career in this history.
Captain Leach was born in Cambridgeshire, England on the 7th of March, 1849, and is a son of William and Susan (Edwards) Leach, who were likewise born and reared in the "tight little isle" where the former was engaged in merchandising until 1851, when he came with his family to America, the voyage being made on a sailing vessel and the trip consuming a period of eight weeks. Landing in New York, he soon afterward made his way westward to Cook county, Illinois, and purchased a farm in the district now covered by the beautiful suburb of Washington Heights, the property which he thus owned being now worth millions of dollars. He was there engaged in farming until 1857, when he came to what is now Sioux City, Iowa, the largest and most imposing building in the little frontier village at the time being the barn of the Northwestern Stage Company. He crossed the Missouri river on the 7th of June, 1857, and took up government land where now is located South Sioux City. Upon his claim he constructed, as the first family residence, a rude dugout of the type so common in the early days in that section, as also at a later date in the Dakotas, and he developed and improved a good farm becoming one of the well-to-do and honored citizens of that locality. Privations and hardships of other orders were the portion of the family during the formative era, and at times it was impossible to secure flour and other commodities now considered absolutely essential, and the first flour which he purchased cost twenty dollars for one hundred pounds. William Leach continued to reside in Nebraska until his death which occurred in 1869, and his widow still resides on the old homestead farm in Dakota county, Nebraska, having attained to the venerable age of seventy-six years (1904). She has long been a devoted member of the Presbyterian church, as was also her husband, and he was a stanch Republican in politics, having identified himself with the party at the time of its organization. Of the thirteen children in the family our subject was the eldest, and only he and his sister are now living, she being married and a resident of Chicago, Illinois.
Captain Leach was about two years of age at the time of his parents immigration to the United States, and he attended school for a short time in Cook county, Illinois, being but eight years old when the family came to Nebraska. It is needless to say that in the pioneer locality scholastic advantages were notable chiefly for their absence, so that he received but little schooling after coming to the west. This deprivation has not proved a serious handicap, however, for under the direction of that wisest of all head masters, experience, he has gained a wide and varied fund of practical knowledge and is a well informed man of mature judgment. The Captain left the parental roof at the age of eleven years and began to fight the battle of life on his own responsibility. For five months he was engaged in driving stage between Covington and Onidie, Nebraska and then entered the employ of the firm of Bozler & Hedges who were engaged in the freighting business, for whom he drove a bull team for the ensuing eighteen months, after which he was employed in the office of the firm and later their general store at Sioux City, Iowa. He remained with the firm for three years, then remained one year at the home farm. At the age of seventeen, he inaugurated his career in connection with steamboat transportation on the Missouri river, securing a position on steamer "Miner," commanded by Captain Hawley, and plying between Sioux City and Benton, Montana. He thus penetrated the various sections of the northwest during the early pioneer epoch when the venturesome were making their way into the mountain fastnesses of Montana in search of gold, while buffaloes were to be seen by thousands, and game of all sorts were abundant and the Indians obstinately disputed the encroachments of white men. He continued to be thus identified with the navigation of the Missouri for a few years, and upon attaining his legal majority, started in the agricultural grain and commission business at Covington, Nebraska, where he continued operations until 1875, having been successful in his efforts. It should be noted in passing that he first came into what is now South Dakota in June, 1859, when he accompanied his father here with a load of produce, which they received the sum of three hundred forty dollars, which practically paid for the farm in Nebraska. After retiring from business in Covington, Nebraska, the Captain removed to Dixon county, that state, where he erected the first grain elevator and established the first lumber yard in the village of Ponca. In 1877 he traded his properties there for mining properties in the Black Hills, to which section he made his way, being there engaged in prospecting for a short time, after which he returned to Nebraska, where he remained until 1878 when he came again to the Hills, bringing about fifteen buggies and harness of which he disposed at a good profit, and upon his return to Nebraska he engaged in contracting for ties, supplying the Sioux City, Columbus & Black Hills Railroad, which was then in process of construction. To this enterprise he gave his attention for one year, and then in 1882 he built the steamer "Little Maude," which he put into requisition in connection with his wood trade, securing the product from his land on the river and selling the same in the markets at Sioux City. In the following year, he entered the employ of the Chicago, Milwaukee, & St. Paul Railroad Company transporting passengers and baggage with his boat, and on the 24th of August, 1883, he arrived at what is now his home village of Running Water, Bon Homme county, where he has ever since resided, while he has built up a large and important transportation business of general order on the Missouri river, while he has been the owner and operator of the ferry across the river from this point to Niobrara, Nebraska, from 1883 to the present time. In 1893, he chartered the steamer "Last Chance," which he utilized for transportation purposes until 1898 when he built the steamer "South Dakota," which continued in service until May 10, 1902, when it was burned to the water's edge, at the dock in Hiles Landing, entailing a loss of twenty thousand dollars without insurance. In January, 1903, Captain Leach purchased the steamer "Bachelor," which he now utilizes, having also in requisition the steamer "Little Maude," both of which are operated by the company of which he is president, the stock of the concern being owned in its entirety by his family. The Missouri River Transportation Company, of which he is president and general manager, was incorporated under the laws of the state in 1902, and does a general freight and passenger transportation business, having landings at the following named points: St. Helena, Yankton, Lyter, Springfield, Santee, Running Water, Niobrara, Yankton Agency, Iron Post, Scalp Creek, and Wheeler. His son, Captain Joseph Jr., is general superintendent of the company, while the other two sons of the official corps are William A., who is secretary, and Paul Clifford, who is treasurer. The company handles a large annual business and affords facilities which are of great value. In 1893, the Captain purchased what is known as the Chalk Cliff ranch, in this county, and he made many improvements on the place, which is one of the best in this section. He disposed of this property in 1901. In 1889 he erected his present fine residence in Running Water, the same being one of the most attractive homes in the county, while it is a recognized center of social life and is notable for its gracious hospitality. He is also the owner of a general merchandise store at Perkins, this county, and is known as one of the progressive business men and loyal citizens of the state in which he has made his home for so many years, and in which his circle of friends coincides with that of his acquaintances. In politics he gives an uncompromising allegiance to the Republican party, and is well fortified in his convictions on matters of public polity, as is he also in the other and varied relations of life. He has been an active and influential factor in public affairs, and has been honored with offices of distinctive trust and responsibility. In 1895, he served as a member of the state legislature, and in 1900, was elected to represent the seventh district in the state senate, making an excellent record in both assemblies, and gaining the unqualified endorsement of his constituents. He is an appreciative and honored member of the Masonic fraternity having been a charter member of Mt. Vernon Springfield Lodge, No. 7 Ancient Free and Accepted Masons at Niobrara, Nebraska, where he is affiliated with the other York Rite bodies, and he has also attained the thirty-second degree in the Scottish Rite, being affiliated with Yankton Consistory at Yankton.
At Covington, Nebraska on the 2nd of September, 1871, was solemnized the marriage of Captain Leach to Miss Minnie Seeley, who was born in New York. She was reared and educated at Waterloo, Iowa, being a daughter of Clinton F. and Mary Seeley, who is now deceased, her father having been a successful contracting mason and now living at Anaconda, Montana, aged seventy-five years. Mrs. Leach is a member of the Congregational church in Running Water, and is prominent in its work and also in the social life of the community. Of the ten children of Captain and Mrs. Leach, we enter the following brief record in conclusion of this sketch. Joseph Jr., the general superintendent of the company of which his father is president, is captain of the steamer "Bachelor." Minnie C. is the wife of Marion A. Farver, who has charge of the subject's mercantile establishment at Perkins. George is engineer of the steamer "Bachelor." Paul C. is clerk on the steamer "Bachelor." Willard A. is secretary of the Missouri River Transportation Company, as has been previously noted. Susan B. is a member of the class of 1903 in All Saints College at Sioux Falls. Arthur died at the age of two years, and Vera Minnie and Maude are at the parental home.
ALOIS JEZEWSKI is one of the progressive young business men of the state, being manager of the lumber yards of the firm of J. H. Queal & Company, at Tabor, Bon Homme county, while he has previously held other important positions demanding marked executive ability and discrimination.
Mr. Jezewski is a native of Winona, Minnesota, where he was born on the 24th of November, 1880, being a son of Andrew and Pauline (Jajesky) Jezewski, both of whom were born in Poland. There the father of our subject was reared and educated, and when about seventeen years of age came to the United States in company with his parents, locating in Minnesota, where his father took up a tract of land and engaged in farming. On attaining manhood he became identified with the lumbering industry of that state, securing a position in the sawmills of the firm of Laird, Norton, & Company, at Winona. Here his skill and fidelity met with appreciative recognition and he was soon advanced to the position of edger, and has ever since remained in the employ of the same concern, having filled the position noted for nearly a quarter of a century. He is a Republican in politics, a man of sterling character, and both he and his wife are devout communicants of the Catholic church.
The subject of this sketch was reared to maturity in his native town of Winona, where he completed the curriculum of the public schools, including the high school. At the breaking out of the Spanish-American war he was a member of Company E, Second Regiment of the Union State Militia, and when his command was called into service Mr. Jezewski became a member of Company E, Twelfth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, remaining in service for six months and then receiving his honorable discharge, the regiment having been stationed at Chickamauga Park. He was discharged as corporal of his company and while in active service he was on detail duty in the hospital, also serving as company clerk, while he also did effective work as battalion correspondent for the St. Paul Globe. After his return home he became second man at Minnesota, Minnesota, for the Winona Lumber Company. After a short time he resigned this position to accept a place as machine salesman and stock buyer with Herman Dahl, in whose employ he remained until the winter of 1899-1900, during which he was in the employ of the Lunds Land Agency as traveling representative for a time, then engaging in selling implements and buying stock for C. M. Anderson, of Canby, Minnesota. In the winter of 1900-1901 he engaged in teaching school and was also leader of the band at Wilmo, Minnesota, being an accomplished musician in this line of renditions. In the spring of 1901 he accepted a position as salesman for the Dawson Lumber Company at Ivanhoe, Minnesota, and in the following August the company disposed of its interests at that point. Our subject was then offered a position with the company in connection with their business at Madison, that state, but he did not accept the same but entered the employ of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad Company, continuing in service during the busy season of stock transportation. In December, 1901, he accepted a position with the lumber firm of J. H. Queal & Company of Minneapolis, and forthwith came to Tabor, South Dakota to assume the management of their yards here, and he has since retained this incumbency, having been most successful in forwarding the local interests of the company and having control of a large and constantly increasing business. He is a stanch Republican in his political proclivities and takes a lively interest in public affairs of a local and general nature. He and his wife are both communicants of the Catholic church. He has recently completed a course in architecture through the International Correspondence Schools, of Scranton, Pennsylvania, finding the knowledge of great value to him in his present position, while he is also well equipped for following the business as a profession should circumstances justify a change at any time.
On the 3d of June, 1902, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Jezewski to Miss Stella Hakl, daughter of Frank Hakl, a well-known and honored farmer of Bon Homme county.
VINCENT KABERNA who is now living practically retired from active business in the village of Wagner, Charles Mix county, has been prominently identified with farming and stock raising in this locality, and is the owner of a fine ranch, while he is also a stockholder in the Commercial State Bank of Wagner, and has other interests in the town. Mr. Kaberna is a native of Bohemia, Austria, where he was born on the 19th of December, 1849, being a son of Francis and Frances (Popelka) Kaberna, who were there born and reared. They continued to reside in Bohemia until 1856, when they emigrated to America and settled first in the city of Philadelphia, whence, one year later, they removed to Chicago, Illinois, where they remained until their deaths, the father dying December 29, 1875, and the mother May 18, 1885. The subject came to the territory of Dakota, locating in Tyndall, Bon Homme county, in November, 1883. The subject secured his early educational discipline in the public schools of the city of Chicago and there learned the tinner's trade under the direction of his father, while he followed this vocation, as an employee in the shops of the Chicago, Rock Island, & Pacific Railroad, in Chicago for nearly twenty years. In 1883 he abandoned the work of the shops and came to what is now the state of South Dakota, locating in Tyndall, where he continued to reside for the ensuing twelve years, engaged in the hardware and tinning business. He gained prestige as an able and honorable business man and worthy citizen, and was called upon to fill various offices of distinctive public trust and responsibility. He was a member of the board of county commissioners for one term, and also served as a member of the village council, while in 1891 he was elected mayor of the town, retaining the office three years and giving a most satisfactory and able administration of the municipal government. Later he served two years as treasurer of Bon Homme county.
In 1895 Mr. Kaberna disposed of his interests in Tyndall and came to Charles Mix county, where he filed on and proved up on a claim of two hundred acres, in Rouse township, and he still retains possession of the place, upon which he has made excellent improvements, while in connection with diversified agriculture he has been very successful in raising and dealing in live stock. In 1901 he took up his residence in Wagner, where he has since lived practically retired, though he still maintains a general supervision of his real-estate and other interests. He is one of the stockholders in the Commercial State Bank and is one of the justices of the peace at Wagner. He is public-spirited and ever ready to lend his influence in support of worthy objects, and he has achieved independence and success through his own efforts and is well worthy the high esteem in which he is uniformlv held. In politics he is a stanch Democrat, and has been a Mason for the past twenty-seven years.
Mr. Kaberna has been twice married. In 1871 he wedded Miss Paulina Pisek, who died leaving one child, which died at three years of age. On the 13th of November, 1876, he wedded Miss Geniveva Papik, a sister of Joseph Papik, of whom individual mention is made on another page of this work, and of the four children of this union we give the following record: Frank, who married Miss Minnie Pisha, is engaged in farming in this county; Bertha is employed in a clerical position at Wheeler, this county; Rose is bookkeeper in the Commercial State Bank of Wagner; and John is at home.
LOUIS CHLADEK is a native of Bohemia, Germany, where he was born on the 22nd of February, 1852, a son of Joseph and Anna Chladek. He secured his early educational discipline in the schools of his native place and remained at the parental home until he had attained the age of fourteen years, when he set forth to face the stern battles of life on his own responsibility. He emigrated to the United States, whither he came as a stranger in a strange land, while he was the further handicapped from the fact that he was unfamiliar with the language of the country, but his determination, energy, and self reliance stood him well in hand, as the story of his future career well indicates. After his arrival in the United States he proceeded to the city of Chicago, where he joined his older brother, Frank, who had come to the new world some time previously. He arrived in the western metropolis with but fifteen dollars in cash, and he soon secured employment in a furniture factory, where he learned the trade of cabinet making, to which he continued to devote his attention about five years, continuing his residence in Chicago until the 1st of May, 1869, when he started for the west. He finally arrived in Niobrara, Nebraska, where he remained about two months leaving that point on the 3d of July and continuing his westward journey to the territory of Dakota, having crossed the river and made his advent in Yankton on the evening of July 4th. There he was employed in a furniture store about a fortnight, at the expiration of which he proceeded to a point ten miles west of Yankton and there took pre-emption claim for himself and also one for his brother Frank. In preparation for establishing himself as a western farmer in the new country he purchased a team of oxen, for one hundred and seventy-five dollars; a wagon, for one hundred and ten dollars; a breaking plow, for thirty five dollars; and a cow, for sixty-five dollars. It may be noted in the connection that his cow proved somewhat wayward and independent, since the second day after she came into his possession she took the liberty of starting forth on a predatory excursion of her own, and Mr. Chladek was compelled to make a journey to a point sixteen miles distant before he could recover his property. On his ranch he built a small shanty of cottonwood lumber, and also a small enclosure in which to keep his live stock. He then set himself to the task of breaking his land and making ready for future cultivation, and it is needless to say that these initial experiences were novel ones to him, since he had never before seen a breaking plow or milked a cow. He broke about five acres on his claim and the same amount for his brother, and in September he began securing his crop of hay, utilizing a scythe to cut the same, this likewise being an implement which he had never before handled, and from the long grass he built the winter shelter for his cattle. With financial assistance from his brother he weathered the winter storms without great discomfort, and in the spring he constructed a harrow and seeded the ten acres with wheat. The season proved a dry one and the crop proved a failure. In the autumn Mr. Chladek returned to Chicago, where he passed the winter, returning to his claim in the spring. The summer of 1871 brought disaster to the crops, owing to a visitation from the grasshoppers, and our subject thus passed the ensuing winter in Chicago, where he worked at his trade, as he had done the winter before, utilizing the money thus earned in carrying him through the summers on his farm. The grasshoppers again devastated the country in the summer of 1873, and though the outlook was none too encouraging Mr. Chladek was not disheartened, and he passed the winter of that year in Dakota, and he had duly profited by his experiences and gained valuable knowledge in regard to the best methods to be employed in connection with the improvement and cultivation of his land. The following summer he harvested a good crop, and from that time forward his efforts were attended with definite success. In 1879 Mr. Chladek was employed by the firm of Bramble & Miner in setting up harvesters through this section of South Dakota, and in the following year he entered into partnership with his brother Frank, who had taken up his residence here, and engaged in the sale of farming implements and machinery, with headquarters in the city of Yankton. Two years later, after the railroad had been completed through the town of Scotland, Bon Homme county, they removed their business headquarters to that point and there they built up a large and prosperous enterprise. Four years later they established a branch house in Tyndall, the county seat of the same county, and the partnership thereafter continued until 1900, when it was dissolved by mutual consent, the brother of our subject finding it expedient to give his undivided attention to his large real-estate interests in Yankton county. Our subject then removed the Scotland stock to Tyndall, where he continued the enterprise successfully until 1902, when he disposed of the same and has since lived retired, though his real-estate and capitalistic interests are such as to afford him ample scope for his energies. He is the owner of three thousand acres of land in Bon Homme county, three hundred and twenty acres in Atchison county, three hundred and twenty in Campbell county, four hundred and eighty in Mc Pherson county, and three hundred and twenty in Nebraska, and thus it may be seen that he is one of the extensive landholders of the state, having attained a high degree of success through his own efforts, while he has so ordered his life as to commend himself to the unqualified confidence and regard of all who know him, being one of the honored pioneers of the territory and state. His land in South Dakota is as fine agricultural land as to be found in the confines of the state, and the major portion of the same is under a high state of cultivation and well improved. He still retains his home in Tyndall, where, in 1897, he erected one of the most attractive residences in the town, and he has on the premises a private artesian well, which proves a most valuable accessory. In his beautiful home he may look back upon the labors and difficulties of the pioneer days and congratulate himself upon the steadfastness of purpose which caused him to remain in this section and to profit in the development of a great commonwealth, of which he may be consistently termed one of the founders and builders. He is signally loyal to the state in which he has so long made his home and is public-spirited and zealous in promoting its welfare. In politics he renders allegiance to the Democratic party, and while he has never been ambitious for public office he was the nominee of his party for state treasurer in 1902, meeting defeat with the remainder of the ticket. He is one of the influential citizens of the state and is quoted as one of the most substantial capitalists of the section in which he maintains his home. Mr. Chladek is an appreciative member of the time-honored Masonic fraternity and is one of its prominent figures in South Dakota. He is affiliated with Bon Homme Lodge, No. 101, Free and Accepted Masons, and the various other bodies of the York Rite, while he has also taken the Scottish Rite degrees, being identified with Yankton Consistory, No. 1, while he is also a member of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, at Sioux Falls. He is one of the trustees of the Yankton Masonic temple, and was one of the leading spirits in the promotion of its erection, having been a member of the building committee, in which connection his name appears with others on the corner-stone of the fine structure.
In 1882 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Chladek to Miss Louisa Vyborny, of Bon Homme county, and of their four children we incorporate the following data: Emma is a student in Rockford College, at Rockford, Illinois; Louis is attending a business college in Sioux Falls; and Bessie and an infant remain at the parental home. The family is held in the highest esteem in Tyndall and the attractive home is a center of unalloyed hospitality and good cheer.
JOSEPH V. WAGNER, who is incumbent of the office of treasurer of Bon Homme county, retaining his residence in the attractive village of Tabor, the county seat, is one of the popular and highly esteemed citizens of the county and one of the representative business men of this section of the state, being largely interested in banking and having attained prosperity and definite prestige through his own efforts, being thus entitled to be termed a self-made man, which is ever a title of honor in our republic.
Mr. Wagner is a native of Bohemia, when he was born on the 1st of March, 1855, the family having been resident of that section of the German empire for many generations. He was there reared to the age of fifteen years, having received his educational training in the excellent schools of the locality in which he was born. At the age noted he bade adieu to home and native land, in company with his elder brother, Albert, and set sail for the United States. From New York city they proceeded westward to Wisconsin, and after passing about ten months in Keewaunee county, that state, they came to what is now South Dakota, this being prior to the division of the territory. Our subject located in Bon Homme county, where he secured employment on various farms, being thus engaged for several years, during which time he carefully saved his earnings. In 1876 he took up a pre-emption claim of one hundred and sixty acres and filed a homestead entry on the same property, which was located about twelve miles from present county seat of Bon Homme county. He located on his farm and vigorously instituted work of cultivating and improving the same. He resided on this place until 1887, when he sold the property, which had greatly appreciated in value, and then removed to Tabor, where he engaged in the general merchandise business, building up a large and prosperous enterprise and gaining the good will of the people of the country. In 1901 he disposed of his store and business and engaged in banking, to which important line of enterprise he has since devoted his attention while his interests are of wide scope and importance and he is recognized as one of the substantial capitalists of this section of the state. He is president of the Utica State Bank, the Tabor State Bank, and vice-president of the Lesterville State Bank, all of which have high standing among the monetary institutions of the state, being ably conducted and amply fortified in a capitalistic way.
In his political adherency Mr. Wagner is found stanchly arrayed in support of the principles and policies of the Democratic party, and while in no sense a politician he has taken at all times a loyal interest in the success of the party cause and has been an influential factor in furthering the same in a local way. In the autumn of 1902 he was elected to his present office as county treasurer, and it needs not be said that the fiscal affairs of the county have been placed in most competent hands, his administration being typified by strict business principles and a careful conservation of the interests of the county. Mr. Wagner is public-spirited and progressive and takes a deep concern in all that tends to promote the well-being of the state in which he has gained fortune. He is a communicant of the Roman Catholic church, in whose faith he was reared, and he holds membership in the Bohemian Catholic Central Union, being president of the lodge of the latter in Tabor.
On the 20th of October, 1877, Mr. Wagner was united in marriage to Miss Rosa Bumba, who, like himself, is a native of Bohemia, and of their seven children only three are living, namely: Joseph J., who is cashier of the Lesterville State Bank; James A., who is deputy county treasurer; and Thomas J., who is cashier of the Tabor State Bank, all being young men of excellent business ability and sterling character.
J. M. Dunmire
J. M. DUNMIRE, who is one of the prominent farmers and stock growers of Bon Homme county, and who is serving with marked ability as a member of the board of county commissioners at the time of this writing, is a native of the fine old Buckeye state, having been born in Holmes county, Ohio on the 19th of April, 1850, a son of Jacob and Rebecca (Snediker) Dunmire, of whose thirteen children eight are living at the present time. The father of the subject was born in Pennsylvania, where he was reared to maturity. He there learned the trade of shoemaker, and as a young man he removed to Ohio, locating in Steubenville, as one of the pioneers of that section. After his marriage he removed, in 1831, to Holmes county where he entered claim to eighty acres of land in the midst of the virgin forest, where he cleared and improved a farm, there retaining his residence until 1853, when he removed to Knox county, that state, where he purchased a farm of one hundred and sixty acres, upon which he continued to reside until his death, which occurred in June, 1874, at which time he was seventy years of age. He was a stanch Democrat in politics, sincere and upright in all the relations of life, and he gained a position of independence through indefatigable labor as one of the sterling pioneers of a great commonwealth. His wife passed away in 1897 at the age of eighty years.
J. M. Dunmire, with whom this sketch has to do, grew to manhood amidst the environments and conditions of the pioneer days in Ohio, early beginning to contribute his quota to the arduous work of the home farm and having such educational advantages as were afforded in the common schools of the locality. As he was the youngest of the living children the responsibility of caring for and aiding his parents fell upon his shoulders and he thus remained on the old homestead until the death of his honored father, conducting the farm on shares after attaining his twentieth year. In 1875 he sold his interest in the estate to his brother Isaac and came west to Iowa, remaining one year in Mahaska county and then removing to Jasper county, where he became the owner of a fine farm of two hundred and forty acres, upon which he continued to reside for sixteen years, developing the same into one of the most valuable properties in that section. In 1892 Mr. Dunmire disposed of this farm and removed to Dallas county, that state, where he acquired three hundred and twenty acres of land, to whose cultivation he gave his attention until 1901, when he disposed of the property and came to Bon Homme county, South Dakota, where he is now the owner of a valuable and well improved landed estate of five hundred and seventy-five acres, the entire tract being available for cultivation and of the utmost fertility. He has, however, given his attention more particularly to shorthorn cattle and general live stock, being one of the successful and extensive stock growers of this section and having shown marked discrimination and executive ability in his operations. He received only five hundred dollars from his father's estate, and the gratifying prosperity which he today enjoys, as one of the leading farmers and stock raisers of Bon Homme county, represents the results of his own efforts. While a resident of Jasper county, Iowa. Mr. Dunmire served three terms as county assessor, and for fourteen years he was a member of the directorate of the Farmers Mutual Insurance Company, of that county, and for an equal period a prominent member of the agricultural society of the county. While a resident of Dallas county, that state, he served for six years as vice president of the Farmers Mutual Insurance Company, later was one of the adjusters and served one year as president. In the autumn of 1902 Mr. Dunmire was elected a member of the board of county commissioners of Bon Homme county, in which capacity he is rendering most excellent service to the people of the county, being an advocate of public improvements and of a progressive policy in directing the affairs of the county. In earlier years he was a Democrat in politics, but he has ever had the courage of his convictions and has recently changed his political views in quite a radical way. At the time of his nomination for his present office the question as to his political allegiance was brought up, and he refused to accept the nomination unless it was accorded without restrictions and conditions, and his election testifies to the confidence reposed in him by the voters of the county, while his constant aim is to serve all the people, without regard to political affiliations. He has never been ambitious for office, and such preferment as he has received has come without solicitation on his part. He has served many years, at different times, as a member of the school board, and has ever shown himself to be a loyal and public-spirited citizen. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and he is at the present time a member of the board of trustees of the church in Scotland. Fraternally he is identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
In November, 1873, Mr. Dunmire was united in marriage to Miss Hannah E. Ruby, of Knox county, Ohio, and of their six children all are living save one, Mary Alice, who died in infancy. George M. is a resident of Clark county, Iowa; Cora E. is the wife of J. E. Boot, of Hutchinson county. South Dakota; Rebecca is the wife of R. W. Anderson, of Des Moines, Iowa; Margaret, who is the wife of Walter A. Wickham, of Des Moines, Iowa; and Kirby M., who remains at the parental home.
JAMES P. COOLEY, who is a representative of Bon Homme county in the state senate at the time of this writing, is one of the leading citizens of the county mentioned and his precedence and personal popularity are indicated in the important office to which he has been called and in which he is serving his constituency and the state with signal ability.
Mr. Cooley is a native of the state of Maryland, having been born in Cecil, Cecil county, on the 26th of February, 1845, one of the eight children of Corbin and Mary (Shaw) Cooley, and being the eldest of the four surviving, the others being as follows: Mary S., who is the wife of Robert Christy, of Cecil county, Maine; and Charles and Emma, who are twins, the former being a prominent physician of Madelia, Minnesota, while the latter is the wife of David W. Hutchinson, of East Dowington, Pennsylvania. The father of the subject was born in Hartford county, Maryland, on the 12th of August, 1799, being a son of Samuel Cooley, who was a valiant soldier in the Continental line during the war of the Revolution, the family name having been long identified with the annals of American history. Daniel and Charles Cooley, sons of Samuel, also served their country with distinction, having been active participants in the war of 1812, and they were in Fort Henry at the time when Key and another prisoner there composed the famed national ode, "The Star Spangled Banner." The father of the subject passed his entire life in Maryland, where he died at the age of seventy-six years. He devoted his life to agricultural pursuits, and was a man of marked intellectuality and individuality, his scientific methods of farming having placed him far in advance of his time, while he was a successful grower of live stock and a man of influence in his community, his advice being frequently sought by his neighbors in regard to business affairs and matters of local concern in a public way. His wife passed away at the age of eighty-two years.
James P. Cooley, the immediate subject of this sketch, was reared on the homestead farm and under the direction of his able and honored father gained that knowledge of business principles which has so signally conserved his success in temporal affairs, while his educational training was secured in the common schools and in the academy at West Nottingham, Cecil county, Maryland. He continued to reside in his native state until the year 1870, when he came to what is now the state of South Dakota, becoming one of the pioneers of Bon Homme county, where he has ever since maintained his home. Here he took up a pre-emption claim of one hundred and sixty acres, while later he added homestead and timber claims, while he has since added to the area of his landed estate by purchase of adjoining tracts and is now the owner of ten hundred and forty acres in the home farm, while his holdings in the county include an additional two thousand one hundred and fifteen acres, so that he is one of the extensive landed proprietors of this favored section of the state, the property last mentioned being eligibly located near the town of Springfield, while his fine home farm is located ten miles from Tyndall, the county seat. He raises cattle upon an extensive scale and has been most successful in his operations in connection with this important line of industry, being a man of indefatigable energy and one whose policy is ever a progressive one. He is one of the heavy stockholders in the Security Bank of Tyndall, and a member of its directorate, while his course has been such as to retain to him the highest measure of popular confidence and esteem in the county and state in which he has so long maintained his home.
Mr. Cooley is endowed with fine mental powers and marked business acumen, and he has ever shown a definite interest in public affairs. He gives his allegiance to the Democratic party but is liberal in his political views and ever shows the courage of his convictions, in which he is amply fortified. He served as a member of the territorial legislature of 1872-3, and in 1902 he was elected to his present dignified office as a member of the state senate. He is in no sense a politician but is intrinsically loyal to the duties of citizenship and is thus ready to serve the public with fidelity and to the full extent of his powers, while his present official preferment shows the appreciative estimate placed upon his services by the people of the county. He was a member of the board of county commissioners for four years, and no resident of the county is better known or held in more uniform respect.
In March, 1872, Mr. Cooley was united in marriage to Miss Mary McCollum, of this county, whither she came with her parents from Coon Rapids, Iowa, where she was born and reared. Of the twelve children of Mr. and Mrs. Cooley all but two are still living, and of them we enter the following brief record: Jessie remains at the parental home; Emma is the wife of C. C. Torrence, of Tabor, this county; Mary is at the present time a student in Vermillion University; Lucille is the wife of Lewis Barber, of West Point, Nebraska; Addie is likewise a student in Vermillion University, as is also Ralph; and Corbin, Morris, Charles and George are still beneath the parental roof.
MARTIN E. HITT - The subject of this review is an honorable representative of an old and highly respected American family, which has been closely identified with the history of several states and it is also well known that certain of its members have risen to distinguished position in the public affairs of the nation. Martin Emory Hitt is a native of Ohio and the son of Rev. Thomas and Emily Hitt, the father born in Kentucky, the mother in the state of Pennsylvania. Thomas Hitt was reared in his native commonwealth and when a young man entered the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal church, in which capacity he traveled extensively throughout Ohio, Indiana and other states, preaching at various points and becoming widely and favorably known as an able and faithful minister of the gospel. After spending a number of years in the itinerancy he located at Urbana, Ohio, but three years later removed to Mt. Morris, Ogle county, Illinois, where he subsequently closed a long and useful career by retiring from active life on account of failing health. Later he took up his residence on a farm near the above city and spent the remainder of his days in the enjoyment of the quiet and content which he had so nobly earned, dying about the year 1851.
Rev. Hitt, in 1830, was united in marriage with Miss Emily John, of Pennsylvania, who bore him eight children and departed this life in 1881. The oldest of the children, a son by the name of John, lives in Chicago, where for the last thirty-seven years he has been serving as first deputy collector of internal revenue. Hon. Robert R. Hitt, the second of the family, was one of the distinguished public men of Illinois and for over twenty years represented the old thirteenth district in the United States congress. He was first assistant secretary of state under James G. Blaine, also served as first secretary to the American legation to Paris, France, and accompanied General Grant on his tour of the world, having been a warm friend and personal confidant of the famous soldier and distinguished ex-President. His name has not only added luster to his native state, but his services to the government in different capacities have won for him a conspicuous place among the leading statesmen of the Union. Martin Emory Hitt, whose name introduces this sketch, is the third in order of birth, the fourth being Elizabeth, widow of Captain Benjamin R. Wagner, of Washington county, Maryland. Captain Wagner entered the army at the beginning of the Civil war as first lieutenant of Company H, Thirty-fourth Illinois Infantry, was wounded at the battle of Shiloh and after his recovery rose to the rank of captain, in which capacity he served until the downfall of the rebellion. His military career embraced a period of nearly five years during the greater part of which time he was on duty at Rock Island. Subsequently he was honored with various public positions, including among others that of deputy United States marshal, sheriff, representative and senator, in all of which he rendered distinguished service and made himself popular with the people. In 1874 he came to Bon Homme county, South Dakota, and purchased a large tract of land to which he moved his family four years later and from 1878 to his death he was prominently identified with the public affairs of his adopted state. He represented Bon Homme county in the general assembly from 1882 to 1885 inclusive, served for several years as trustee and commissioner of the board of education and was also president of the state board of education, in which capacity he did much to promote the efficiency of the schools and bring the system up to its present high standard of excellence. Captain Wagner possessed a broad, well-balanced mind, a keen intellect and ripe judgment, and he honored every station in the public service to which he was called. He was as deeply interested in local matters as in state affairs and during his residence in Bon Homme county encouraged every laudable enterprise for the material development of the country and used his influence in behalf of all progressive measures for the social, educational and moral welfare of his fellow men. He was popular with all classes and conditions of people, stood especially high in the esteem of the large circle of personal friends who learned to value him for his sterling worth and his death, which occurred in February, 1898, was deeply lamented by all who knew him. Since the latter year his widow has lived with her brother, Martin E., over whose home she presides and after whose interests she looks with more than sisterly regard. She bore her husband two children, the older of whom Howard H., ex-sheriff of Bon Homme county, is now a prominent resident of the county of Charles Mix, where he is quite extensively engaged in farming and stock raising. He married Miss Lydia Peck and at this time has a family of five children, whose names are: Mary E., Benjamin H., Nina M., Howard W., and Harold. Walter, the second of Captain Wagner's sons, farms the old Wagner homestead and is one of the rising young men of the county of Bon Homme. He took up one of the first claims in the Yankton reservation, was postmaster at Wagner for some years and also conducted a mercantile establishment in that city, of which place he was founder and the name of which was given in his honor. Walter Wagner married Miss Clara James, of Bon Homme county, and is the father of two children, Morris and Francis.
Thomas M. Hitt, the fifth of the children of Rev. Thomas and Emily Hitt, is a retired farmer and stock raiser, living at this time in Tyndall, South Dakota. He served four years in the army as a member of the Fourth Illinois Cavalry, participated in a number of battles and earned an honorable record as a brave, gallant and under all circumstances, faithful and trustworthy soldier.
Henry P. Hitt, the next in succession, was also a farmer and stock raiser, but, like his older brother, is now living a life of retirement in the enjoyment of the fruits of his many years of labor and thrift. Margaret, the seventh in order of birth, married A. W. Newcomer and lives at Mt. Morris, Illinois, where her husband is engaged in business pursuits. Sarah, the youngest of the family, whose home is also in Mt. Morris, is the wife of Charles Newcomer a well-known and popular resident of that city.
Reverting to Martin Emory Hitt, the direct subject of this sketch, it is learned that his birth occurred in Urbana, Champaign county, Ohio, on April 27, 1836. With his brothers and sisters, he received his preliminary education in the schools of Mt. Morris and later entered the Rock River Seminary, of Illinois, where he pursued his studies until finishing the prescribed course. He remained on the old home place in Mt. Morris until the year 1874, when he came to Bon Homme county, South Dakota, and, entering three hundred and twenty acres of land in Hancock township, began the task of its improvement, in which enterprise his labors were in due time crowned with the most encouraging success. By persevering industry he soon succeeded in reclaiming his land from a wild state and converting it into one of the best and most desirable farms in the above township, the meantime adding to its area until he now owns six hundred and forty acres, the greater part of which is leased to other parties, the portion reserved for his own use being largely devoted to pasturage.
Mr. Hitt has been a model farmer, but having accumulated an ample competence he is no longer under the necessity of laboring for a livelihood, consequently he spends the most of his time looking after his live-stock interests and managing his other business affairs. Few men in the community are as well known and certainly no one individual has taken a more active part or exercised greater influence in forwarding the development of this section of the state and developing its various resources. He encourages and supports every enterprise having for its object the material growth of his township and county and the interest he has ever manifested in public affairs has given him prestige second to that of few of his contemporaries, his generosity, unswerving integrity and pronounced ability having gained him a distinctive position as an intelligent, broad-minded citizen and progressive man of affairs.
As already indicated, Mr. Hitt is a man of fine intellectuality and, being a wide and discriminating reader, he keeps in close touch with the trend of modern thought and with current events, having well grounded opinions on the leading questions and issues of the times concerning which men and parties are divided. His study of political economy and kindred subjects has made him an independent thinker; nevertheless he is a politician in the broad sense of the term and believes that every good citizen should manifest an abiding interest in the elective franchise. Of recent years he has given his allegiance to the Populist party as more nearly representing his ideas than any other and, while zealous in maintaining the soundness of his convictions and active in supporting his favorite candidates, he has never been an office seeker in this regard, preferring to labor in behalf of others rather than press his own claims to public recognition.
Mr. Hitt has never assumed the responsibility of family ties, being an unmarried man, and, as already stated, his home at this time is presided over by his sister who spares no pains in making the domestic circle mutually pleasant and happy. A great lover of home, he has done much to beautify the same and add to its comfort and his free-handed hospitality has attracted to him a large circle of warm friends and admirers, who find beneath his roof a welcome characteristic of the typical gentleman of the old school. Mr. Hitt's career has been eminently honorable and crowned with usefulness and, sustained by genuine, popular approval, he is destined long to be remembered as one of the leading men and representative citizens of his day and generation in the county of Bon Homme.
JOHN REICH - One of the best known and most honored citizens of the village of Scotland, Bon Homme county, is he whose name initiates this paragraph, and he is not only one of the leading merchants of the town and postmaster at this point, but he may also claim the distinction of being one of its pioneers and founders, since he is in point of residence one of the oldest of its citizens, having located in the place when its pretentions to the dignity of a village were notable principally by their absence. Mr. Reich is a native of Russia, where he was born on the 16th of February, 1863, so that it may be seen that he is still a young man, though he has the distinction of being a pioneer of his home town. He is a son of Simon and Dorothy (Knoepfle) Reich, of whose eight children five are still living, namely: Jacob, who is associated with our subject in the hardware business; Elizabeth, who is the wife of Adam Schaffer, of Yankton county; Catherine, who is the wife of Adam Kayser, of Hudson county; John, who is the immediate subject of this review; and Christian, who is likewise associated with the subject in the hardware business in Scotland.
In 1873, when the subject was a lad of ten years his parents emigrated to the United States and located in Bon Homme county, Dakota, this being prior to the division of the territory and the organization of the two states. He took up a homestead claim of one hundred and sixty acres and a timber claim of equal area, and here he continued to reside until his death, which occurred in 1879. His widow subsequently became the wife of Christopher Wieland, and they still reside in this county. Our subject received his educational training in the public schools and remained at the parental home until he had attained the age of seventeen years, when he began to carve out his independent career and depend on his own resources. He came to the village of Scotland, where he worked at odd jobs about six months, at the expiration of which he entered upon an apprenticeship at the tinner's trade, becoming a skilled workman and devoting sixteen years to work at the bench. After having been employed as a journeyman for six years he opened a small shop of his own and here continued business as a tinner about ten years, at the expiration of which he became associated with his brother Jacob in opening a hardware store in the village, and they have succeeded in building up an excel lent trade, having a well equipped store and being numbered among the representative business men of the town, while their brother Christian has also become a member of the firm. In February, 1902, the subject was appointed postmaster of Scotland, taking charge of the office on the 28th of the following month, and he has made an efficient and popular official, having the uniform confidence and esteem of the community and being known as one of the progressive and public spirited citizens of the town. In politics he is a stalwart Republican, and he served several terms as a member of the village council. He and his wife are consistent and valued members of the Ger man Lutheran church.
On the 18th of April, 1886, Mr. Reich was united in marriage to Miss Otillie Nieland, of Yankton, this state, she having been born in Guttenberg, Iowa, and of their four children three are living, Robert W., Helen and Della.
JAMES D. ELLIOTT, of Tyndall, Bon Homme county, stands distinctively forward as one of the able and honored members of the bar of the state of South Dakota. Mr. Elliott is a native of the state of Illinois, having been born in Mount Sterling, Brown county on the 7th of October, 1859, a son of William and Mary (McPhail) Elliott, of whose seven children he is the eldest of the five surviving, the others being as follows: Belle, who is the wife of Charles E. Baker, of Condon, Oregon; Effie, who is the wife of Thomas D. Ferguson, of the same place; Lydia, who is the wife of John Stanley, of Parker, South Dakota; and Cliffie, who is the wife of Louis L. Fleeger, also of Parker. The father of the subject was born in England, in the year 1833, and as a child he accompanied his parents on their removal to the United States, the family locating in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. His father was a skilled mechanic, and for many years after locating in Pennsylvania he was superintendent of the Sligo iron works, understanding the secret processes in the manufacture of iron, steel, etc. Early in the 'fifties he removed to Brown county, Illinois, where he purchased land and turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, with which he there continued to be identified during the remainder of his life, attaining an advanced age. The father of the subject received his early educational training in the city of Pittsburg, and there also he began the work of preparing himself for the profession of law, continuing his technical studies after the removal of the family to Illinois, where in due time he was admitted to the bar. Shortly afterward he took up his residence in Mount Air, Iowa, where he opened an office and engaged in the active practice of his profession. At the outbreak of the war of the Rebellion he enlisted in a Missouri regiment and served until the close of the great internecine conflict which determined the integrity of the Union, while he was mustered out as captain of his company. After his loyal and valiant military career Mr. Elliott returned to Mount Air and resumed the practice of the law, becoming one of the leading members of the bar of Iowa, while he also served as a member of the legislature of the state. In 1872 he came as a pioneer to the territory of Dakota, locating a claim in Clay county, where, by reason of impaired health, he continued to reside until 1883, when he removed to Hurley, Turner county, where he resumed the practice of law, soon gaining distinctive prestige. About 1891 he was elected county judge and removed to Parker, the county seat of Turner county, and he has ever since presided on the bench of that county, where he is known and honored as one of the leading legists and jurists of the state. Judge Elliott was a member of the constitutional convention and as such was appointed a member of the committee to which was assigned the work of determining as to the proper division of the territory into the two states, and he has long been prominent in public affairs and in the civic life of the territory and state. In politics he was originally a Democrat, but while serving in the war of the Rebellion he transferred his allegiance to the Republican party, of whose principles he has ever since been a stanch advocate. Fraternally, he is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, and he is known and honored as one of the representative citizens of the state of which he has been one of the founders and up builders. Both he and his wife are members of the Christian church.
James D. Elliott, the immediate subject of this sketch, passed his boyhood days in the state of Iowa, and his early education was obtained in the public schools of Mount Air and Panora, that state. After the removal of the family to Dakota he continued his studies in the public schools of Vermillion, of which Professor Culver was superintendent at the time, and under this able educator he also received a course of special instruction during a period of two years, and while thus attending school he slept in an empty building, in order to protect the owner in the insurance carried on the same, while he also did janitor work to assist in defraying his expenses while carrying forward his studies. He was an ardent and ambitious student, and the burning of the midnight oil while pursuing his educational work was a common thing with him, the expression having no trite application in his case. After completing his more purely literary education Mr. Elliott was engaged in teaching in the public schools for a period of three years, and he invested his savings in cattle, which he placed on his father's farm, his plan being to eventually place his stock, as appreciated in value, on the market and from the sale of the same secure the funds requisite for continuing his studies in the University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor. The flood of 1881, however, swept away and drowned all his cattle, and his plans being thus overthrown Mr. Elliott started for the Black Hills, driving through with a team and expecting to pass the summer in that district. In the autumn of that year he returned home and for the following year he was engaged in teaching in the public schools at Lakeport, Yankton county, while later he taught the winter term in the school at Meckling, Clay county. His father had met with most serious reverses by reason of the flood mentioned, and under these conditions it became necessary for our subject to return home and aid in rehabilitating the family fortunes. He thus abandoned his plans of attending the university, but was still determined to carry on his study of the law, which he had initiated some time previously, and while engaged in teaching he read law under the preceptorship of Colonel John L. Jolley, of Vermillion. In 1883 he entered the law office of Gamble Brothers, at Yankton, and in April of the following year he was duly admitted to the bar of the state, while he remained with the firm mentioned until October 14th of that year, when he located in Springfield, Bon Homme county, and entered upon the practice of his profession. In the spring of the following year Mr. Elliott came to Tyndall, the county seat having been at the time removed from Springfield to this point, and here he has since continued to reside, while he has gained distinction and success in his chosen profession, to which he has applied himself with marked singleness of purpose, being a close student, an able advocate and one thoroughly grounded in the science of jurisprudence. In 1887 he was elected to the office of state's attorney, in which capacity he served four years, and in 1897, under the administration of President McKinley, he was appointed United States district attorney, of which important office he has since remained incumbent, by successive reappointments, his last appointment having been made by President Roosevelt. He has proved a most capable and discriminating officer and is held in the highest confidence and regard by his professional confreres and by the people of the state at large. In politics Mr. Elliott has ever given an unqualified support to the Republican party and he has been an active and prominent worker in its cause, having been chairman of the state central committee in 1896, and as such having marshalled his forces most admirably during the presidential campaign of that year. He has been very successful in his profession and in his business affairs, and is distinctively the architect of his own fortunes. He is president of the Security Bank of Tyndall, is the owner of about fifteen hundred acres of land in Bon Homme county and is largely interested in the raising of live stock. Fraternally, Mr. Elliott is identified with Bon Homme Lodge, No. 101, Free and Accepted Masons; Scotland Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; Yankton Commandery, Knights Templar, at Yankton; Yankton Consistory, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, and El Riad Temple, Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, at Sioux Falls, while he is also affiliated with the Knights of Pythias and the Ancient Order of United Workmen, in Tyndall, and with Sioux Falls Lodge, No. 262, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, at Sioux Falls. He is well known throughout the state and enjoys a high degree of popularity in professional, business and social circles.
On the 29th of May, 1890, Mr. Elliott was united in marriage to Miss Agnes Stilwell, daughter of Charles H. Stilwell, the present postmaster of Tyndall and one of its leading citizens, individual mention of him being incorporated on other pages of this work. Mr. and Mrs. Elliott are the parents of four children, namely: Marion A., Douglas S., Hiram McP., and Mary H.
HENRY M. DAVISON - The enterprising young business man and popular citizen whose name furnishes the heading of this review needs no formal introduction to the people of Springfield and Bon Homme county. Mr. Davison is in every sense of the word a western man, as he was born and reared in South Dakota and thus far his life has been very closely identified with the growth and development of Bon Homme county, where he first saw the light of day on January 5, 1870. His father, Henry C. Davison, was a native of Augusta, Maine, and his mother, who bore the maiden name of Alberta Mead, was born in the state of New York. These parents moved to Illinois a number of years ago, thence in 1869 to Bon Homme county, South Dakota where the father was engaged in merchandising until 1874, when he discontinued that line of business and began dealing in live stock. His experience in the latter industry was of brief duration, however, as he died the latter year, shortly after taking up his residence in Springfield. Mrs. Davison bore her husband two children and about two years after his death she became the wife of George W. Snow, with whom she now lives in the above town.
Henry M. Davison was born and reared in Springfield, South Dakota, and enjoyed the best educational advantages the schools of the town afforded. He early manifested a decided predilection for business and at the age of eighteen entered the Springfield Bank, in which he held an important position from 1888 to 1892. Severing his connection with that institution the latter year, he became associated with other parties in organizing the Springfield Hardware Company, with which enterprise he has since been connected, the business growing to large proportions the meanwhile, until the establishment is now the largest and most successfully conducted of the kind in the city. In 1903 the company added agricultural implements and farm machinery to their stock and the patron age in these lines is already large and lucrative and steadily increasing.
While deeply interested in his business affairs and making every other consideration subordinate thereto, Mr. Davison has not been unmindful of his obligations to the public or of his duties as a citizen. From an early age he has taken a lively interest in matters of public moment and since old enough to exercise the rights of the ballot he has been an earnest and zealous supporter of the Republican party. In recognition of his valuable political services as well as by reason of his peculiar fitness for the position, he was elected in 1896 treasurer of Springfield, the duties of which office he discharged efficiently and to the entire satisfaction of the public for a period of five years. Later he was further honored by being made mayor, and he is now in his second term in this office. During his incumbency municipal affairs have been ably and faithfully managed and the city is now enjoying one of the best administrations in its history.
Mr. Davison is one of the leading young men of his city and county, and his influence in business circles and public affairs has been marked and salutary. As already indicated, his life has been spent in Springfield, and his personal history presents no pages marred or blotted by unworthy actions. Few men in the community are as widely and favorably known, none enjoy higher standing as a generous, obliging, self-sacrificing friend, and from what he has already accomplished it is safe to predict for him increased usefulness and additional public recognition and honor with each succeeding year. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias, in Springfield, and since 1891 has been a member of Mt. Zion Lodge, No. 6, Free and Accepted Masons, in addition to which fraternities he is also identified with the Order of Eastern Star and the Modern Woodmen of America, having held important official positions in all of these organizations. Religiously he subscribes to the Episcopal creed, and with his wife belongs to the church at Springfield, in which he is a zealous worker and to the support of which he contributes liberally of his means and influence.
Mr. Davison, on January 15, 1896, contracted a matrimonial alliance with Miss Eva G. Stevens, an intelligent and accomplished young lady, who was born in Cass county, Iowa, and who with her husband has since moved in the best social circles of the city in which they reside. Mr. and Mrs. Davison have a beautiful home plentifully supplied with the comforts, conveniences and many of the luxuries and their domestic relations are indeed most pleasant and agreeable. Mrs. Davison was elected worthy grand matron, Order of the Eastern Star, of South Dakota, at Deadwood in June, 1903.
JOSEPH C. YOUNG - The subject of this review has had a varied business experience and his career demonstrates the fact that a man of intelligence and well balanced judgment may achieve success in more than one sphere of endeavor. Joseph C. Young, of Springfield, is a native of Waukesha county, Wisconsin, and the son of Noah W. and Mary (Purrinton) Young, the father born in New York, the mother in the state of New Hampshire. The Purrintons are one of the oldest and best known families of New England, being directly descended in one line from the Tabors who came over in the Mayflower, and they have figured in the annals of New Hampshire and other states since the early dawn of American history. Noah Young was a carpenter by trade and when a young man helped build the locks on the Erie canal, besides doing other mechanical work in various parts of his native state. In an early day he and his wife migrated to Wisconsin and were among the pioneer settlers of Waukesha county; after living in that part of the state until 1854 he moved to Fond du Lac county, of which he was also a pioneer locating at Brandon, where he worked at his trade until 1861, when he changed his abode to Iowa county. After a residence there of about eight years he went to Brookfield, Missouri, where he spent the remainder of his life, dying in the year 1888, his wife preceding him to the grave in 1860. Mr, and Mrs, Young were the parents of four children, namely: Mrs. Almira Harker, of Brookfield, Missouri; Thomas W., a manufacturer, of Springfield, South Dakota; Joseph C., the subject of this sketch; and Martin L., of Bon Homme county and a painter by trade.
Joseph C. Young was born in the town of Eagle, Waukesha county, Wisconsin, in the month of March, 1853, and he grew to manhood in his native state, attending the common schools at intervals the meanwhile. In 1878 he came to Bon Homme county, South Dakota, and took up one hundred and twenty acres of land near Springfield, on which he lived during the ensuing five years, devoting his attention the meantime to the improvement of his farm. At the expiration of the period noted he began carpentering, which trade he had previously learned and the better to prosecute the same left his farm and took up his residence in Springfield. He followed contracting and building with marked success until 1890, when he discontinued that line of work and purchased the Springfield Times, a well established weekly paper, which he conducted for a period of seven years. Not finding journalism to his taste he sold the paper in 1897 and, resuming his trade, continued contracting and building until 1901, when, in partnership with Peter G. Monfore, he purchased the harness and furniture store which had formerly been run by George Mead & Son, one of the largest establishments of the kind in Springfield. The firm thus constituted is still in existence and at this time Monfore & Young carry a full line of harness and furniture, in connection with which they also conduct a well equipped undertaking establishment, the business in the different lines being large and lucrative and, as already indicated, their house is now the leading concern of the kind in the city, with a patronage much more than local.
In addition to his career as a mechanic, journalist, and merchant, Mr. Young has had some experience as a civil engineer, to which profession he is now devoting considerable attention. In 1902 he was elected official surveyor of Bon Homme county, which position he now holds and in the discharge of his duties he is exceedingly painstaking and accurate, his record thus far being creditable to himself and eminently satisfactory to all who have engaged his professional services. Mr. Young has been more than ordinarily successful in his different enterprises and is today one of the financially strong men of Springfield as well as one of the county's progressive and public-spirited citizens. His influence has always been on the right side of every moral question and he has encouraged every measure and movement having for its object the material advancement of the community and the social, educational, and moral welfare of the people.
On December 25, 1875, Mr. Young was united in marriage with Miss Florence Britton of Rock county, Wisconsin, a union blessed with four offspring. The oldest of these children, May E., married W. A. Schroder of Yankton, South Dakota, and is now the mother of two daughters, Eva and Marie; Grace, the second of the family, lives at home and is bookkeeper for a business firm in Springfield; Florence, the third daughter, teaches in the public schools; and Myrtle, the youngest of the number, is a student as well as her mother's efficient assistant in conducting the affairs of the household.
In politics Mr. Young is a stanch, uncompromising Republican. His fraternal relations are represented by the Odd Fellows order and the Modern Woodmen and in religion he is a Congregationalist, having been a consistent member of the church for over a quarter of a century, during which time his life has been in harmony with his high calling as a faithful disciple of the Nazarene. Mrs. Young is also deeply interested in religious and charitable work, and is a consistent member of the same church with which her husband is identified.
HARRY D. JAMES, the popular young lawyer of Wagner, belongs to a family whose culture and merit have given them unusual prominence in the state of their adoption. His father, Amos C. James, was born in New York, August 3, 1838. He was brought to Illinois at so early an age that he has hardly been able to regard himself otherwise than as a native of the Sucker state. He had hardly completed his fourth year when this western migration 1 took place and all of his rearing as well as his schooling was obtained in the commonwealth of Lincoln, Douglas, and Grant. Shortly after reaching manhood, the Civil war broke out and Mr. James enlisted in Company B, Ninth Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, with which he served with a fidelity and gallantry that won him high commendation. In January, 1867, he was married to Miss Frances Hewitt, a lady whose intelligence and worth entitle her to more than a passing notice. She is descended from the famous New York family of that name. who trace their pedigree back to the Revolutionary war period. Mrs. James had been a teacher before her marriage, and after the passage of the Illinois law allowing women to hold certain offices connected with the educational system, she was one of the fifteen women in the whole state elected to serve as a school trustee. She filled this office with such marked ability as to be urgently importuned by prominent citizens to accept political places of various kinds, but owing to her husband's objections she declined all such overtures. By his union with this talented lady Mr. James became the father of five children, of whom the four survivors are Harvey, Harry D., George C., and Clara. The latter married Walter Wagner, of Bon Homme county, South Dakota, to which section her father had removed some years ago. Since settling here Mr. James has served three years as commissioner of Bon Homme county.
Harry D. James, the second son and one of the brightest members of this talented family, was born in Ogle county, Illinois, October 14, 1869. He attended Yankton College after the removal of his father to this state and subsequently took a course at the agricultural school in Brookings. After completing his college education, he studied law in the office of Cherry & Powers at Sioux Falls and in due time was admitted to the bar of South Dakota. For one year he practiced his profession at Sioux Falls and then removed to Flandreau, where he remained until three years ago. During his residence at Flandreau he was appointed state's attorney of the county, was retained in the office at the subsequent election and in all served two terms in this important position. During his incumbency Mr. James attracted general notice by the vigor with which he pursued all law violations, without distinction of persons and utterly free from fear or favor. Two of his cases are worthy of especial comment by reason of the prominence of the parties and the peculiarly exciting circumstances accompanying the prosecution. One of these was the case of the state against Wilson, the charge being murder in cold blood of a farm hand, which caused widespread comment throughout that section. In spite of a vigorous defense by eminent legal talent, Mr. James, after a protracted trial, secured a conviction and the defendant is now serving a life sentence in the state penitentiary. Another "cause celebre" in which Mr. James played the star role, was the prosecution of a man accused of adultery, which attracted much interest on account of the prominence of the parties concerned. In this case also, notwithstanding the hardest fight that could be put up by money and hired talent, the plucky young prosecutor succeeded in convicting his man. About a year ago Mr. James opened a law office at Wagner, and combines professional work with stock raising. His ideals of the law are derived from a study of the lives and examples of the great jurists of England and America, whose decisions have so enriched the love of the profession and he aims to conduct all his business on the high lines of rectitude and morality. Mr. James believes most sincerely that an attorney, in his intercourse with the public, should be like Ceasar's wife - not only virtuous, but above suspicion.
In 1895 Mr. James was united in with Miss Emeline Seaman, of Flandreau, and they have an only daughter who has been christened by the classic name of Lucile.
HOSEA BRIDGMAN - The subject of this sketch is a native of Cook county, Illinois, and the son of Chauncy and Betsy Jane (Miller) Bridgman, the father born May 1, 1814, in Tioga county, New York, and the mother on October 2, 1817, in the same state. These parents were married November 1, 1835, and two years later moved to Cook county, Illinois, settling near Elgin, where Mr. Bridgman engaged in farming, in connection with which he also did considerable building in that city and the country surrounding. He died November 8, 1846, while on a visit to New York, after which his wife and children moved to Wisconsin, where the latter were reared and educated. Mrs. Bridgman, who was a daughter of Alvah and Sarah Jane Miller, survived her husband a number of years, departing this life at Springfield, South Dakota on April 3, 1883. She was the mother of four children, namely: Alvah T., born July 25, 1836, present postmaster of Springfield, South Dakota; Mary L. was born June 24, 1840 and died on July 4th, of the same year; Hosea, of this review is the third in order of birth; and Helen, who was born March 21, 1844, lives with the subject and owns valuable real estate in Bon Homme which she entered a number of years ago when she first came west.
Hosea Bridgman spent the greater part of his childhood and youth in Wisconsin and when a young man traveled quite extensively over the counties of Rock and Green, as a photographer, devoting several years to this kind of work. Subsequently he opened a meat market and continued to operate the same until 1873, when he disposed of his business interests in Wisconsin and came to South Dakota, locating at Springfield, Bon Homme county, in the spring of 1874. During his residence in Springfield, which covered a period of twelve years, Mr. Bridgman devoted his attention to freighting and built up a lucrative business, running a number of teams and handling a vast amount of merchandise and other goods and heavy articles. Discontinuing this line of work in 1885, he took up a quarter section of land in section 61, township 93, to which he moved his family in 1885 and from that time to the present he has given his attention to agriculture and live stock, meeting with encouraging success as a tiller of the soil and breeder and raiser of blooded and high-grade domestic animals.
Mr. Bridgman has added to his realty until his farm now contains four hundred and eighty acres of fine, productive land, nearly all of which is under cultivation and highly improved. He has good, substantial buildings, including a comfortable and commodious dwelling, supplied with many of the conveniences and not a few of the luxuries of life. All things considered, he is well situated to enjoy the liberal fruits of his labors, being in independent circumstances, with a sufficient competence laid up for future years. Mr. Bridgman has many warm friends in the community where he resides and his popularity is bounded only by the limits beyond which his name is unknown. He stands high in the esteem of his neighbors and fellow citizens, and by a course of conduct above the suspicion of wrongdoing demonstrates his right to the confidence reposed in him. Politically he is a Republican, but not a zealous partisan.
Mr. Bridgman was married in Green county, Wisconsin, to Miss Hannah H. Van Curan, of Edinburg Erie county, Pennsylvania, the union resulting in the birth of three children, viz: Arthur, manufacturer and dealer in harness, Perkins, South Dakota; Edith, one of county's efficient and popular teachers; and Nettie, who in addition to teaching is skillful in the art of photography. Mr. Bridgman spared no expense in educating his children, all three having taken courses in the State Normal School, at Springfield. They are intelligent, more than ordinarily cultured and greatly respected in the social circles in which they move. In addition to his long and successful career as a farmer, Mr. Bridgman can also boast of creditable military record, having served during the latter part of the late Civil war as a member of Company I, Forty-Sixth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. He spent the greater part of his period of enlistment in Alabama, and later did guard duty principally until the downfall of the rebellion.
ALVIN M. SHAW, who is incumbent of the responsible executive office of cashier of the Delmont State Bank, of Delmont, Douglas county, is recognized as one of the able young business men of the county, where he is held in high esteem and is personally popular. He was born on a farm in Joe Daviess county, Illinois, on the 3d of February, 1876, being a son of Henry and Mary E. Shaw, of whose seven children four are living, namely: William H., who is cashier of the Hutchinson County Bank at Parkston, this state; Ora P., who is a grain buyer at Scotland, Bon Homme county; Ida, who is the wife of Frank L. Wheeler, also a resident of Scotland; and Alvin M., who is the immediate subject of this sketch. Henry Shaw was born in the state of New York, in 1828, and as a young man he removed thence to Joe Daviess county, Illinois, where he was engaged in agricultural pursuits until 1886, when he came to South Dakota and took up his residence in Parkston, where he became associated with his eldest son, William H., in the organization of the Hutchinson County Bank, of which he was president from the time of its inception until his death, which occurred in October, 1902. He also acquired considerable valuable farming land, to the supervision of which he gave his attention, while his son William, as cashier, had charge of the bank, of which he is still cashier. The father was an uncompromising Republican in his political proclivities, and his religious faith was that of the Presbyterian church. He was a man of strong intellectual powers and marked business acumen, and his life was one of signal usefulness and honor. His widow, who is a native of the state of New York, retains her home in Scotland, this state.
Alvin M. Shaw was reared to the age of ten years in his native county in Illinois, where he secured his preliminary educational discipline in the public schools, and after the removal of the family to South Dakota he continued his studies in the Scotland Academy, in which he was graduated as a member of the class of 1893. He shortly afterward went to Vermillion and entered the commercial department of the state university, where he completed a thorough course and was graduated in 1895. Shortly after his graduation he became the assistant cashier in the Hutchinson County Bank, at Parkston, being thus engaged until the 1st of January, 1901, when he came to Delmont to assume the position of cashier of the Delmont State Bank, which Alfred Shepard, a prominent manufacturer of threshing machines, is president, and since that time he has ably managed the executive affairs of the institution, in the capacity cashier and manager. The bank does a heavy business in the extension of loans on farming property and is known as one of the strong monetary institutions of this part of the state. Mr. Shaw gives an unwavering allegiance to the Republican party, is progressive and public-spirited and is one of the representative young business men of the county.
In July, 1901, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Shaw to Miss Nina P. Simmons, daughter of Frank Simmons, a prominent citizen of Parkston, and they are the parents of a winsome little daughter, Margaret.
CHARLES HILL merits consideration in this work for many reasons, being one of the honored pioneers of the state, a citizen of sterling character and a successful and prominent business man of Springfield, Bon Homme county, where he has been identified with the banking business since the year 1890, while he early came to the territory of Dakota as an employe of the government in the maintaining of the Indian agencies. He is familiarly known as Major Hill and is a man whose popularity in his section of the state is of the most unequivocal order. Mr. Hill was born in the city of Toronto, Canada, on the 12th of September, 1849, being a son of George L. and Mary (McKinzie) Hill, who were cousins. Both were consistent exponents of the faith of the Society of Friends, in which they had been reared, and their lives exemplified this faith in all ways.
Charles Hill was reared to manhood in his native city, having received his educational discipline in the excellent schools of Toronto, while he had learned the trade of millwright and had also secured excellent training in the office of a local architect. He continued to reside in Toronto until 1873, when he came to the west in the employ of the United States government. The peace policy promulgated by President Grant in 1871 brought up the question of placing the Indians of the west in charge of various religious bodies, and the Society of Friends, at their general yearly meeting, manifested some hesitancy in accepting the responsibility which would be placed upon them in this connection, and therefore asked that the government select a number of its employes from their members rather than ask them to assume more exacting responsibility, and it was in compliance with this request that Major Hill was chosen. Accordingly, in 1873, he came to the territory of Dakota as an official at the Santee Indian agency, where he remained about seventeen years, during five years of which time he served as Indian agent, rendering most capable service. In 1890 he came to Springfield, where he associated himself with Hon. George W. Snow and Hon. Reuben Groot in the establishing of a banking business, which has since been successfully conducted under the title of the Bank of Springfield, the institution being ably managed upon the highest business principles, having an ample capitalistic support and proving a valuable addition to the business interests of the town and surrounding country, while the interested principals command the unqualified confidence and esteem of all who know them. In politics Mr. Hill gives his allegiance to the Republican party, and he clings to the religious faith in which he was reared, both he and his wife being members of the local organization of the Society of Friends at Monroe, Nebraska. He is an appreciative member of the time-honored fraternity of Freemasonry, in which he has passed the various degrees of the York Rite, except those of the commandery, and has attained also the degrees of the Scottish Rite, being a member of Yankton Consistory, No. 1, being elected most worshipful grand master in 1901, while he also holds membership in the adjunct Order of the Eastern Star, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Daughters of Rebekah.
On the 11th of June, 1877, was solemnized the marriage of Major Hill to Miss Mary Webster, a daughter of Joseph Webster, of Philadelphia, who was at that time an Indian agent in South Dakota, and of this union have been born five children, namely: Emma, Howard J., Clarence, Helen, and William Webster, all of whom remain at the parental home except Howard, who resides in Monroe, Nebraska.
JAMES KIRK. - The honored subject of this review has traveled extensively and mingled much with men, and his long and varied experience in different fields of endeavor has greatly strengthened and enriched his mind, giving him a fund of useful and practical knowledge of far greater value than a collegiate or university training could have imparted. James Kirk, farmer, stock raiser, and representative citizen, is a native of Dumfriesshire, Scotland, and the son of John and Margaret (McKean) Kirk both parents born and reared in Dumfriesshire, the father a farmer by occupation. John Kirk was a man of substantial worth, industrious, upright in his dealings, and he lived a God-fearing life, honored and respected by all who knew him. He never left the land of his birth, and now sleeps beneath the soil of his native heath having died in the year 1896. His widow is still living in Dumfriesshire and of the family of six children three are citizens of the United States, Thomas, the oldest of the family, is a worker in iron, and at this time holds the position of foreman in a large blacksmith shop in Scotland, John, the second son, was graduated from the University of Glasgow, came to America in 1888, and settled in Bon Homme county, South Dakota; later he moved to Sioux Falls, near which place he purchased farm property and for a number of years he has been actively identified with the civic and public interests of that part of the state. He has held various official positions, served in the legislature and is now in the assessor's office at Washington, D.C. William, the third in order of birth, came to the United States a number of years ago and is now a prosperous farmer of Oregon, Robert, also a farmer and stock raiser, lives in Bon Homme county, South Dakota, and Margaret, the youngest of the number, now the wife of David Calvert, has never left the land of her nativity.
James Kirk, the fifth of the above family, was born November 9, 1846, and spent his early life in Dumfriesshire, receiving a good education in the schools of his native place. When eighteen years of age he went to England, where for a period of six years he was engaged in the dry goods business, but in 1869 he closed up affairs in that country and came to the United States. After spending some time in Chicago and other cities, he went to Colorado and engaged in sheep raising, to which he devoted his attention for about six years, and at the expiration of that time returned to Scotland and spent one year at his old home in Dumfriesshire. Yielding to the solicitation of certain friends as well as to his own inclinations, Mr. Kirk, in 1874, went as a missionary to Sierra Leone, Sherboro, Africa, and spent the ensuing three and a half years in that colony, instructing the natives in the principles and truths of Christianity and teaching them in various other ways. At the expiration of the time noted he resigned his position and went back to England, but after spending one year there he was induced to resume missionary work in western Africa, being sent a second time by the Church of England. His second experience in the mission field covered a period of three and a half years, at the end of which time he returned to England, but after a six months sojourn he again went to Africa and engaged in merchandising at Logos, as a member of the firm of Kirk, Fairley & Company. Disposing of his interest in the business at the end of three years, Mr. Kirk returned to Scotland and spent a short time at his old home in Dumfriesshire, after which he came to the United States, arriving in South Dakota in the year 1887. Being pleased with the appearance of Bon Homme county, he purchased a half section of land in the same and a few months later returned to Scotland, where he remained until 1889, when he again came to America for the purpose of improving his land and preparing a habitation for his wife and children. Mr. Kirk brought his family west in 1889 and from that time to the present has lived on his original purchase, devoting his attention the meanwhile to agriculture and stock raising. He has developed his land from a wild state into one of the finest farms in the county, besides adding to his possessions at intervals, being at this time the owner of eight hundred acres of valuable real estate, four hundred of which are in cultivation and otherwise highly improved. By industry and good management he has not only brought his place to a successful state of tillage, but has accumulated a sufficiency of this world's goods to enable him to rent the greater portion of his land and live a life of comparative ease. Despite his independent circumstances, however, he still gives personal attention to his various business interests, making a specialty of live stock, in the breeding and raising of which he has achieved an enviable reputation. His cattle, of which he keeps a large number, are of the noted Galloway breed and for several years past he has given considerable attention to the Poland-China breed of hogs and fine-wooled sheep, also blooded horses of a high grade, meeting with encouraging success in the raising and selling of his different kinds of domestic animals.
Mr. Kirk was married in his native county, in 1879, to Miss Mary Mair, of Galston, Ayrshire, Scotland, the union being blessed with five children, whose names are as follows: John Robert, a student of the Tyndall high school; Margaret, who is attending school in Yankton; Mary, James, and Louise, the last three at home.
Mr. Kirk is a Republican in politics and a stanch supporter of his party. He has been an earnest and devout member of the Congregational church for many years and his zeal and activity in all lines of religious work were the means of his having been sent on the important missions alluded to in preceding paragraphs. He keeps in close touch with religious thought and action throughout the world, stands firm for Christian enlightenment and moral reform in his community, and is a leader in all movements for the intellectual and spiritual good of the people among whom he lives. As a citizen he is public-spirited and progressive, giving his influence and support to enterprises for the material advancement of his county and state and in the ordinary relations of life his conduct has ever been that of a whole-hearted, self-sacrificing philanthropist and true benefactor of his kind.
FRANK NEDVED - The Bohemian settlement of South Dakota is largely the result of the efforts of Frank Nedved. His influence with his fellow countrymen led them to come to this state and to aid in the settlement of a commonwealth which has grown in importance until it now ranks with the leading states of the Union. Mr. Nedved was born in Bohemia on the 18th of August, 1828, and is yet an honored resident of South Dakota, although he has passed the seventy-fifth mile-stone on life's journey. He pursued an excellent education in the schools of his country and when he put aside his text books received training in agricultural pursuits his father's farm. At the age of twenty he was united in marriage to Miss Veronica Stadnik, also a native of Bohemia. His wife's fortune consisted of a nice farm which Mr. Nedved managed until he came to the United States. As years passed nine children were added to household ere they left their native country in Ohio and also in South Dakota each child was born, so that the family eleven altogether.
It was on the 7th of March, 1867, that Mr. Nedved bade adieu to his native country preparatory to seeking a home in the new world. He sold his property there for seven thousand dollars, but because of the depreciation of Bohemian money when it was changed for other currency he had but thirty-five hundred dollars. Attracted by the possibilities of the new world and the excellent business advantages he emigrated to America, settling in Cleveland, Ohio, where he resided for two years. He then left that state as a member of the committee of intelligent, enterprising Bohemian people who started out to visit Dakota and Nebraska for the purpose of locating land for a colony of about five hundred Bohemian families, who were contemplating the establishment of homes in the northwest. After a careful investigation of the land in Nebraska Mr. Nedved decided that it did not compare favorably with the Dakota land, hence reported to the members of the proposed colony. In 1869 he himself demonstrated his faith in this portion of the country by settling in what is now Yankton county, where he secured a claim of one hundred and sixty acres which was then in possession of the government. Not a furrow had been turned or an improvement made upon the farm but he at once began its cultivation and soon good fields returned to him desirable crops. He still lives upon the old family homestead with his son Charles and although he is now seventy-five years of age he is yet very active and energetic, seeming to possess the vigor and strength of a man yet in his prime. In 1893 Mr. Nedved was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, who died on the 13th of November of that year. Their children were as follows: Charles, who married Miss Annie Kafka, a native of Bohemia, is now operating two hundred and forty acres of land which he purchased from his father. He had three children by his first wife, Anton, Annie, and Beatrice, but the second named was accidentally drowned by falling into a well about nine years ago. On the 10th of December, 1895, the death of Mrs. Charles Nedved occurred, and on the 26th of January, 1897, he married Miss Annie Pechous, who was born in Bon Homme county, South Dakota, of Bohemian parentage. This union was blessed with six children, four of whom have passed away, those living being Mollie, now two years of age, and Eddie, a little boy of less than one year. Joseph, James, Stanislaus, and Anton are four sons of Mr. Nedved, who are now prosperous farmers of either Bon Homme or Yankton counties. Frank, another son of the family, met with a very painful accident in 1872. He was caught in a blizzard and his legs and fingers on his right hand were frozen. This resulted in the necessary amputation of both legs and the fingers. He lives with his brothers and he has an income from a forty-acre tract of land lying within the city limits of Tyndall. Mary Nedved became the wife of Jacob Skvaril, a laborer of Yankton county. Annie is the wife of I. A. Walter, a resident farmer of Knox county, Nebraska.
As before stated, Mr. Nedved was the pioneer among the Bohemian settlers of Dakota and it was largely through his influence that so many people of his nationality established homes here and became active and helpful factors in the work of general improvement. Being a man of superior education, he was looked upon as a leader of his people. He is a man of highest integrity in both public and private life and over the record of his career there falls no shadow of wrong or suspicion of evil. He enjoys the unqualified respect of the entire community and was a devoted and faithful member of the Catholic church, as were members of his family. The first Catholic church in Yankton county was built on land owned by him and the cemetery is also located on a tract which was once the property of Mr. Nedved. Prior to the building of this church his home was used by the priest when offering up the sacrifice of the mass and it is said that one-half of the Bohemian settlers of this section of Yankton county received Christian baptism in the home of Mr. Nedved. In political thought and action he has always been independent, carrying out his honest views without fear or favor. In business he has achieved success through honorable effort, untiring industry and capable management, and in private life he has gained that warm personal regard which arises from true nobility of character, deference for the opinion of others, kindliness and geniality.
CONRAD EYMER - A resident of South Dakota since 1869 and one of the oldest, best known and most highly esteemed citizens of Bon Homme county, with the history and development of which his life has been very closely identified, it is eminently fitting in this connection that due mention be made of the successful farmer and public-spirited man of affairs whose name introduces this article. Conrad Eymer is a native of Homberg, Hesse Cassel, Germany, where his birth occurred on August 3, 1842. His father, Jacob Eymer, also born in Hesse Cassel, was a confectioner by trade and followed that line of work all his life, having been an expert in the manufacturing of candies, as well as a man of intelligence and excellent repute. He lived an industrious and useful life and died in the land of his birth in the year 1849. Mrs. Eymer, whose maiden name was Hasenfplug, survived her husband many years, and was called to the other world in 1893, after reaching a ripe old age. To this couple four children were born, the oldest of whom is Kate, wife of Timothy Heineman, a contractor and builder of Covington, Kentucky; Lizzie, the second daughter, lives in Covington also; Conrad is the third in order of birth, and the youngest of the family; a daughter by the name of Sophia married Luke C. Walker and lives in Lower Brule Agency, South Dakota.
Conrad Eymer remained in the land of his birth until about eleven years of age, when he accompanied his mother to the United States and for several weeks thereafter lived in Baltimore, Maryland. Leaving that city, he went to Covington, Kentucky, where he resided until 1869, devoting his attention the meanwhile to mechanical work, making a specialty of carpentry, which he learned in early life. In the latter year he yielded to a desire of long standing by coming west and in due time arrived in what is now Cleveland township, Bon Homme county, South Dakota, where he pre-empted and then homesteaded a quarter section of land, which he at once proceeded to convert into a home. The land was wild and it required a great deal of hard work to reduce it to cultivation and make the other necessary improvements, but with an energy that knew no lagging and a determination that hesitated at no difficulty, he persevered in his efforts until he had one of the best developed farms in his section of the country, besides adding to its area by subsequent purchases.
Mr. Eymer now owns two hundred and forty acres of fine land, all of which is tillable, and as a farmer and stock raiser his success has been marked and his progress steady and substantial. He markets every year a large number of cattle and hogs, which with the products of the farm bring him a liberal income and he is today one of the thrifty, well-to-do men of his township and county, as well as a leading citizen of the community in which he resides. Mr. Eymer is a Republican, but not a very active politician and he has never aspired for office nor to any kind of public station. He has always been an honest, hard-working, law-abiding citizen, content with the quiet life of the farm, but ready and willing to lend his influence and support to all enterprises and progressive measures for the advancement of the country and the welfare of the people. In addition to his long and honorable career in civil life, he has a military record also, having served in the late Rebellion, as a member of Company B, Fifty-third Kentucky Mounted Infantry, which did valiant service for the Union in some of the noted campaigns and a number of the bloody battles of that great struggle. He enlisted in 1863 and shared with his comrades all the vicissitudes of its varied experience until the close of the war, proving under all circumstances a brave soldier, whose loyalty to his adopted country was as strong and enduring as if he had been born and bred on American soil.
Mr. Eymer was married in the year 1867 to Miss Kate Deiss, of Wurtemberg, Germany, who accompanied her parents to America when six years of age, and grew to womanhood in Covington, Kentucky. Eleven children have been born of this union, namely: Albert, a farmer living at Tyndall, this state; Charles, who lives with his parents; Carrie, wife of Charles Bixby, of Bon Homme county; William married Anna Paddock and resides in Cleveland township, where he is engaged in agricultural pursuits and stock raising; Kate is the wife of Oscar Snowden and lives in Lyman county, South Dakota; Walter is deceased; the younger members of the family, whose names are Sophia, Timothy, Arthur, Mabel, and Pearl are still inmates of the parental home. Religiously the subject and his wife subscribe to the Methodist Episcopal creed and are consistent and respected members of the local church with which they are identified.
JOSEPH W. WHITING, a member of the faculty of the Springfield Normal School, at Springfield, Bon Homme county, merits distinctive representation in this work as one of the able and popular educators of the state, where he has maintained his home for more than fifteen years past, the while gaining a high reputation in his chosen vocation.
Joseph Williams Whiting is a native of the state of Wisconsin, having been born in Springvale, Fond du Lac county, on the 4th of September, 1864, and being a son of Amos C. and Valucia Violant (Williams) Whiting. The father of the subject was a farmer by vocation and died May 7, 1900, while his widow's death occurred on November 5, the same year. In the agnatic line Professor Whiting traces the direct ancestry back to Nathaniel Whiting, who settled in Lynn, Massachusetts, in 1638, while on the maternal side the lineage is traced to that historic figure, Roger Williams, the founder of the Rhode Island colony. In Romeo Elton's history of the life of Roger Williams, published in 1853, the ancestral record shows blood relationship of the Williams family and that of Oliver Cromwell.
The subject was reared under the sturdy discipline of the homestead farm, and after availing himself of the advantages afforded in the public schools he entered the Wisconsin State Normal School at Oshkosh, with a definite aim of preparing himself for the pedagogic profession. He completed a thorough course in this excellent institution, in which he was graduated as a member of the class of 1887. He began teaching immediately after his graduation, being thus engaged in the public schools at Oconto, Wisconsin, during the winter of 1887-8, while in the autumn of the latter year he came to Springfield, South Dakota, where he held the position of principal of the public schools for the ensuing two years, his efforts in the connection meeting with marked appreciation and approval. In 1891 he was elected principal of the high school at Scotland, Bon Homme county, and retained this incumbency two years, after which he returned to Springfield and accepted a clerical position in a local mercantile establishment. His tastes and training, however, were in the line of his previous endeavors and he was thus naturally led to resume teaching. In 1897 he was elected a member of the faculty of the Springfield Normal School, and in this capacity he has since continued to serve with marked efficiency, being one of the popular and enthusiastic instructors of the institution and having marked facility in begetting a similar spirit of enthusiasm and devotion in the students. So far as educational matters are involved Professor Whiting believes that they should be entirely segregated from politics if the best ends are to be conserved, but in local and national affairs of governmental order he accepts the faith of the Republican party and is a stanch advocate of its principles. With a deep reverence for the spiritual verities, Professor Whiting is tolerant and liberal in his religious views, contributing to the support of all churches and being personally associated principally with the Protestant Episcopal church, though he is not a communicant of the same. Fraternally he is identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, having been affiliated with Springfield Lodge, No. 107, since 1890; and with the Modern Woodmen of America, holding membership in Seneca Camp, No. 3053, in which he is at the present time incumbent of the office of clerk, having been identified with the organization since 1900.
In Springfield, on the 29th of March, 1890, Professor Whiting was united in marriage to Miss Luna B. Monfore, a daughter of Peter and Diana (Howland) Monfore, who settled in Springfield in 1871, having come hither from Iowa. It is supposed that the ancestry of the Monfores may be traced to Simon de Monfort, the founder of the English parliament. Mrs. Peter Monfore is a lineal descendant from one of the Howland brothers who came to the new world in the Mayflower and were closely associated with the history of Plymouth colony. The subject and his wife are the parents of a winsome little daughter, Madge Monfore Whiting, who was born in Springfield, on the 8th of February, 1894.
CHRISTIAN REMPFER, representative from Hutchinson county in the state legislature and recognized as one of the most prominent and influential business men of Parkston, was born in southern Russia, on the 18th of July, 1859, and was there reared to manhood, securing excellent educational advantages. In 1880 he severed the ties which bound him to home and fatherland and emigrated to America, believing that here were afforded superior opportunities for the attaining of success and independence through personal endeavor. From New York city he came westward to South Dakota, which was at that time still an integral portion of the great undivided territory of Dakota. He remained for a short interval in Yankton which was at the time the capital and most populous city of the territory, and then removed to Scotland, Bon Homme county, where he secured a clerical position in a grocery, being thus employed about two years, within which time he filed claim to a homestead in Douglas county. In 1885 he came to Hutchinson county, where he has ever since retained his home. Upon taking up his residence here he turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, in which he was successfully engaged about eight years. In the autumn of 1893 Mr. Rempfer removed with his family to the village of Parkston, having previously disposed of his live stock and grain, from the sale of which he realized four thousand dollars. It was his desire to engage in business of different order, and, feeling the need of more technical knowledge in regard to business methods, in the autumn of 1894 he entered the Dakota University, at Mitchell, where he completed a commercial course, after which he returned to Parkston, where, in the spring of 1895, he engaged in the handling of agricultural implements and machinery. He developed marked executive and business ability and his enterprise was attended with most gratifying success. He continued the same until the 1st of January, 1902, when he disposed of his mercantile interests and turned his attention exclusively to the buying and shipping of grain. In the following summer he associated himself with other prominent business men in the purchase of a series of elevators, twelve in number, operations being conducted under the corporate title of the South Dakota Grain Company, and Mr. Rempfer being made president of the company at the time of its organization. The concern handles a large amount of business, having the best of facilities and being one of the most important of the sort in the state. The subject is the owner of extensive tracts of valuable farming land and is also interested in other business enterprises of important order.
Mr. Rempfer is an uncompromising Republican in his political allegiance and has been an effective worker in the promotion of the party cause in this section of the state. In the autumn of 1900 he was made the candidate of his party for representative of his district in the legislature of the state, and his able and straightforward course while a member of the legislative body at this time led to his being chosen as his own successor in the fall election of 1902, so that he is now serving his second term. He and his wife are active members of the Baptist church.
On the 16th of February, 1883, Mr. Rempfer was united in marriage to Miss Christina Krin, of Scotland, Bon Homme county, and they are the parents of four children, namely: Henry G., who is a student of telegraphy at Janesville, Wisconsin; William C., who is a student in the State University of South Dakota, at Mitchell; and Helena and Emma, both of whom are attending the Parkston high school.