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Trails to the Past

Stark County North Dakota


Compendium of History and Biography
of North Dakota

Published by George A. Ogle & CO. in 1900





M. L. AYERS, a pioneer newspaper man of Stark county, conducts the "Dickinson Press," at Dickinson, and enjoys popularity and success. He is a young man of intelligence and activity, and has devoted ins career to newspaper work and has accomplished much since taking up the same in North Dakota, and is well known in the newspaper world.

Our subject was born on a farm in Washington county, Vermont, in 1863, where he was reared and attended the country school. He later attended the seminary at Montpelier, Vermont,, and in 1885 went to South Dakota and settled on government land in Edmunds county. He began newspaper work there, and worked on papers in Ipswich and remained in Edmunds county two years. He went to Stark county, North Dakota, in 1887. A colony called the New England colony made a settlement twenty-five miles south of Dickinson, and there our subject started a newspaper in partnership with Col. J. B. Mead, which was styled the "Rainy Butte Sentinel," Mr. Ayers went to Dickinson in 1890 and purchased the "Dickinson Press," which was founded in 1883, by J. T. Scott. The first issue was printed the latter part of March, 1883, and the circulation of the paper was then but two or three hundred copies, which has increased to several times that number under the proprietorship of Mr. Ayers. A well equipped job department is in connection with .new plant, and this is a source of good income, while the newspaper work itself has prospered to a remarkable degree and Mr. Ayers may feel justly proud of his work in North Dakota.

Our subject is a man of good characteristics and is a Republican politically and is firm in his convictions personally, but editorially is conservative as regards party principles and movements.

JAMES G. CAMPBELL, county judge of Stark county, holds a foremost place among the attorneys of North Dakota. He resides in Dickinson, where he has built up a remunerative practice and enjoys wide acquaintance and an enviable public record.

Our subject was born in the suburbs of Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1828, and was a son of Blair Campbell, and his parents were Scotch. Mr. Campbell came to America in 1849, and settled in Illinois, where he followed farming until 1861. He then enlisted in Company F, Nineteenth Illinois Infantry, and entered the service of the state of Illinois in May, 1861, and the service of the United States June 17 of the same year. They drilled in Chicago three weeks, and were then sent to Missouri and served in different parts of that state, and during the summer went to Kentucky and from there, in September, to Cincinnati, and then back to Kentucky, and spent the winter at Bacon Creek. In February, 1862, they went to Bowling Green, Kentucky, and after its capture moved to Nashville, and then went to Huntsville, Alabama, and cut the rebel communication there. When General Buell with his army went north from his position in northern Alabama and middle Tennessee to head of General Bragg"s army in its dash for the Ohio river, his regiment returned to Nashville, and formed part of the garrison under General Negley which held that city till relieved by the army of General Rosecrans after the battle of Perryville, and then were engaged at the battle of Stone River. They formed a part of the .Army of the Cumberland under Rosecrans, and were with the .Army of the Cumberland at Chickamauga, and next were part of the garrison at Chattanooga. Our subject was wounded through the body at the battle of Missionary Ridge September 25, and was sent to the hospital, and was on a leave of absence until the following March, when he joined his regiment in Georgia. He was with Sherman as far as Marietta, Georgia, and was then sent to Chicago, and was mustered out of the service July 9, 1863. He saw a little over three years of active service, and was mustered in as a sergeant and left the service with the rank of captain, his commission as such dating from the day his predecessor was killed at the battle of Stone River, January 2, 1863.

After his return from the war Mr. Campbell began the study of law, and also followed the hardware business at Virginia, Illinois, and was admitted to the bar and began the practice of law at Muskegon, Michigan. He continued the practice of his profession there some ten or fifteen years, and in the meantime purchased and edited the "Muskegon Journal," which was published as a daily and weekly paper. Our subject went to Dickinson, North Dakota, in 1882, and entered a homestead claim to land nine miles from Dickinson, which he continued to farm for three years. He moved to the town of Dickinson in 1886, and established his office there for the practice of his profession, and has prospered since locating there.

Our subject was married at Virginia, Illinois, in 1865, to Miss Martha Hitchcock, who was born in the state of New York. Mrs. Campbell was a daughter of Alvin Hitchcock, a lumber merchant. She died in Illinois, leaving one child named Archibald J. Mr. Campbell was married to Miss Alice Davis in Michigan, in 1878. Mrs. Campbell was born at Muskegon, Michigan, and was a daughter of Theodore Davis, a native of Maine. Nine children have been born to this union, who are as follows : Clyde Leith, Glenlyon, died in childhood; Alice Isabelle, Nina Lucy, Clarence Argyle, James Douglass, lone Genevieve and Theodore Blair. Mr. Campbell was appointed county commissioner by Governor Ordway in the summer of 1883. He was appointed probate judge and afterward elected to the same office, serving two terms, and in 1888 was elected district attorney and served one term. He was elected county judge in 1890, and has been re-elected four times, and is now serving in that office. Mr. Campbell is a Republican in political sentiment, and is prominent in affairs of his party. He holds membership in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Masonic fraternity. He was among the first settlers of the vicinity of Dickinson and well merits his high standing and success.

GILBERT S. CRYNE, one of the oldest pioneers of Stark county, enjoys the comforts of a rural home near Gladstone, and does an extensive dairying business. He was born in South Westerlo, Albany county. New York, January 7. 1839. His father. John Cryne, was a fanner and currier, and later in life followed farming near Sheboygan. Wisconsin. He was of German descent. The grandfather of our subject. Peter Krine, was also a farmer by occupation. The great-grandfather of our subject was born at Hesse Darmstadt. Germany, and came as a soldier with Queen Ann's troops to New Amsterdam, now New York. He bore the name of Peter Krine, and married a Holland woman, and for this was granted seventy-two acres of land one mile west of Boston Corners, the conjunction of the three states, Massachusetts. Connecticut and New York.

Our subject's grandfather and great-grandfather fought in the Revolutionary war. Our subject's mother, whose maiden name was Margaret Robins, was of Dutch descent, and was a descendant of the Knickerbockers of New York. Gilbert S. Cryne was the elder of two children, and was raised in the village and attended the common schools, and in 1851 moved with his parents to Sheboygan, Wisconsin, where the father followed farming and grew to manhood, and from his boyhood days assisted in the support of his parents. He remained at home until 1863, and then moved to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, and followed the carpenter's trade there a few years, after which he went to work in the La Belle Wagon Works, and was employed there until 1881. He was made mechanical superintendent of the establishment, and the responsibility of the position impaired his health. He went to North Dakota in 1882, stopping at Gladstone, and is the oldest continuous settler of Gladstone now residing there. His family joined him in August of that year, and he erected a store and established the first hardware business in the town, which he conducted two years. He then moved to his homestead a mile and a half from Gladstone and built up what is known as Stone Grange farm. He resided there until 1890. and then removed to his present location, where he has continued in the stock raising and dairying business. He has a cream separator and keeps about one hundred head of cattle and from twenty to thirty horses, and has met with most pleasing results in both lines of farming.

Mr. Cryne was married at Scott, Sheboygan county, Wisconsin, November 1, 1863, to Miss Abagail Fancher. Mrs. Cryne was born in Spring, Steuben county. New York, and was a daughter of Rev. Fancher, a minister of the Christian denomination. The family has been in America many generations and were soldiers in the Revolution. Five daughters have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Cryne, who are named as follows: Margaret D., born at Batavia. Wisconsin, March 22, 1865, died October I0, 1866; Estelle A., born December 24, 1866, at Batavia, Wisconsin, and is married and resides in Dakota; Orissa A., born August 12, 1869, at Fond du Lac. Wisconsin, now married and living in Dakota; Mary M., born at Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, October 31, 1873. now married and living in Dakota : and Gilbertine D., born at Gladstone, North Dakota. May 23, 1887. Mr. Cryne is a prominent old settler, and is historian of the Old Settlers" Association, of which W. B. Powers is president. Mr. Cryne is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and politically he is a Democrat.


HOMER A. DAVIS. M. D., physician and surgeon of Dickinson, is well known throughout Stark county, has built for himself a lucrative practice since his location in that county in 1892.

Dr. Davis was born in Canada in 1858, the elder of two children born to Henry and Eleanor (Stannbridge) Davis, the former a native of Maine and a resident of Lewiston. and a school teacher and a graduate of the Dansville Academy. The mother was a native of London, England.

When our subject was but three months of age his parents took him from Canada to Lewiston, Maine, where he was reared and educated, finishing his schooling at Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire, from the high school of which place he was graduated at the age of fifteen. His father was killed at the close of the war of the Rebellion, at Mt. Pleasant, Alabama, and our subject, at the age of fifteen, came west to Illinois. There he taught for two years, and then returned to New Hampshire, where he engaged in the granite business, which he followed about ten years. It was in 1888 that he began his study of medicine. He entered the medical department of Dartmouth College, and was graduated from that institution with the degree of M. D. in 1892.

Immediately after the conferring of his degree he came to Dickinson and began the practice of medicine. He has succeeded to a marked degree, and has won for himself an enviable place in the ranks of his profession. In 1894 he purchased a share in a drug business in Dickinson, of which he now owns a controlling interest. In addition to the usual stock of a western drug store they carry a heavy line of druggists sundries. The stock is valued at nine thousand dollars.

Dr. Davis was married in New Hampshire, in 1880, to Miss Florence I. Davis, a talented musician and accomplished lady. To this union three children were born, namely: Harold, who was graduated from the Dickinson high school at the age of seventeen years, served in the Philippines with the North Dakota Volunteers and was promoted to corporal. He died on the return voyage on board ship. Homer, who was graduated from the Dickinson high school at the age of fifteen, and is now engaged in the drug business with his father. Florence, now twelve years of age, and a natural musician, playing the piano with remarkable ability for a child of her age. The mother died in 1888.

Dr. Davis married Miss Anna Downer in 1889. Mrs. Davis is a native of Keene, New Hampshire, where she was reared to womanhood. She received a good musical education. She presides over the Doctor's home with grace, and the hospitality extended the visitor is marked with a refinement not too often met with in western homes. Mrs. Davis received her musical education at Keene, New Hampshire, her best training being received from private instructors, among them Prof. Ernst Perabo, a noted musician of Boston, Massachusetts.

Dr. Davis has always been a Republican in political faith and has taken an active interest in pubic affairs in the community and county. He has been county physician for six years and president of the county board of health for five years. He is popular as a man and successful as a physician and merits the high esteem in which he is held.

LISANDER A. DAVIS , a prosperous and popular dealer in furniture and undertakers supplies, has his home and business in Dickinson, and has been a resident of Stark county from its pioneer days.

Mr. Davis was born in the state of New York on a farm in Franklin county, March 30, 1855. His father, Jonathan Davis, was a native of New York and a farmer by occupation, and the grandfather, Jonathan Davis and also the great-grandfather, Daniel Davis, were natives of England. The mother of our subject was Elmyra Fletcher, who was born in Vermont and married in New York. Lisander A. Davis was the fifth child in a family of eight children, and was reared on a farm, where he found plenty of hard work. His education was obtained in the district school, which was two miles from his home. At the age of twenty-one years he and his brother Newton took charge of the farm, paying to their sisters their shares of the estate in money. The farm consisted of one hundred and twenty-five acres, and they conducted it for six years. In 1883 Mr. Davis came to Dakota, and located in Dickinson, and started carpentering, a trade he had learned in the east. He also took up a homestead, and lived on it for the first two years, riding to town daily to his work. In 1884 he took a partner and they began the contracting business. This connection continued for about two years. From 1886 in 1892 Mr. Davis was alone in the same business. In 1884 he added a small stock of undertakers goods to his business, keeping the same in his carpenter shop. The business increased with the growth and settlement of the community, and he had a large business by the beginning of the year 1892. That year he was unfortunate in the failure of his health, and for five years thereafter was unable to do any hard work. In 1897 he put in a stock of furniture, and he now occupies a store building 25x70 feet, and his business has prospered.

Mr. Davis was married in New York, in 1880, Mr. Davis was married in New York, in 1880, to Miss Janette Fletcher. Mrs. Davis was born in New York state, and her father was Parker Fletcher, a farmer by occupation. The family has been in America for many generations. Mr. and Mrs. Davis have two children: Arthur, born November 18, 1881, and Clara, born July 30, 1887. When Mr, Davis came to Dickinson his entire property consisted of his set of carpenter's tools. He now owns a valuable business, his building and residence property. He was among the earliest settlers of Dickinson, and helped to erect a good share of its buildings the first few years. He experienced all the trials incident to pioneer life, including the claim shanty period. No man is better acquainted with the history of Stark county, and no one better posted upon its resources and advantages. He is a Republican in political sentiment, and takes an active interest in public affairs. He was justice of the peace at Dickinson from 1890 to 1896. He is a member in good standing of the I. O. O. F.

HORACE L. DICKINSON. In the multiplicity of business enterprises in which Mr. Horace L. Dickinson has embarked he has invariably met with prosperity and is one of the successful business men of Dickinson, Stark county. North Dakota.

He was born on a farm in Franklin county, New York, February 6, 1839. Horace Dickinson, the father of the subject of this biography, was born in Vermont, and was a blacksmith by trade and later in life followed farming. The mother, whose maiden name was Maria Lawrence, died when young Horace was but three weeks of age. She was of American descent.



Mr. Dickinson was one of four children and was raised on a farm in New York. He remained with his father until he was twenty-seven years of age. and after attaining his majority assumed charge of the farm on account of the ill health of his father. He engaged in farming and in the dairy business and conducted an estate covering one hundred and fifty acres. In 1868 Mr. Dickinson built a creamery and operated the same one season and then followed the lumbering and starch manufacturing business until 1881, when he sold the business and went to North Dakota to locate land and the following year began permanent residence there. He located a half mile west of Dickinson, going to that locality with his cousin, W. S. Dickinson, for whom the town of Dickinson was named. In the spring of 1883 the town was platted by Hon. W. S. Dickinson. Mr. H. L. Dickinson has taken an active part in the growth of the town. They continued farming there until 1888 and then sold to a New York syndicate. The subject of this writing conducted the farm for them three years. He moved to Dickinson in 1891 and engaged in the mercantile business with Hon. N. C. Lawrence, and in the fall of 1897 purchased his interests and formed a stock company which now conducts the business under the name of the Dickinson Mercantile Company. Mr. Dickinson is president and his brother, L. J. Dickinson, is secretary. The business has prospered since the organization of the company and carries a general line of merchandise. He is also largely interested in stock and sheep raising. He is also interested in the First National Bank and is one of the directors of the bank.

Our subject was married, in 1866, to Miss Sarah G. Chandler, a native of Moira, New York. Mrs. Dickinson is a daughter of Josiah Chandler, of New Hampshire, who engaged in farming. She was a school teacher and followed that profession for some time prior to her marriage. Mrs. Dickinson died in 1881. One child was born to Mr. and Mrs. Dickinson, a son, who was born in Moira, New York, and was named Guy H. Mr. Dickinson was married, in 1891, to Mrs. H. A. Stoughton.

Mr. Dickinson was the first county commissioner of Stark county, being appointed by Governor Ordway, and was elected to the office for a second term and was a popular officer. He took an active part in the organization of Stark county, and was one of the pioneer settlers of that region and aided in its advancement, and well merits his success in North Dakota.

MARTIN O. DYVSVEN is one of the prominent and prosperous merchants of Taylor, Stark county. He is a pioneer settler of North Dakota and has aided materially in the up building of the business and social interests of the locality in which he has made his home. He follows the general merchandise business in partnership with C. H. Engen, H. Halvorson and Louis Bergon, and has full charge of the establishment, as the other members of the firm are engaged in other pursuits. The business has prospered under Mr. Dyvsven"s guidance and control.

Mr. Dyvsven was born in the central part of Norway, January 20, 1865. His father, Ole Ole-son, is a native of Norway, and still resides there, as is also the mother, whose maiden name was Siri Madson. Our subject is the oldest in a family of six children and was raised on a farm and received a limited education. At the age of sixteen years he began to learn the carpenter's trade and spent five years as an apprentice and then followed his trade in Norway until he came to America, in 1888. He went from New York to Minnesota and spent a year and a half there at his trade and then went to West Superior, Wisconsin, in the spring of 1891 and followed his trade there until the spring of 1893, when he came to North Dakota. He settled at Taylor and established in the lumber business and conducted the first regular lumber yard in the town and continued in that business until 1899. The mercantile business in which he is now interested was established in February, 1898, and during the past year or two Mr. Dyvsven has devoted his attention to that line of business, having disposed of the lumber yard to L. T. Louis in 1899. The store is one of the largest in the west end of the county and carries a stock amounting to ten thousand dollars, including groceries, dry goods, shoes, clothing, etc.

Mr. Dyvsven was among the pioneers of Taylor and has done his full share in its up building and commands the esteem of all with whom he has to do. He is a Republican politically and takes a hearty interest in the affairs of his township and community.

HON. CHARLES E. GREGORY. The profession of law is well represented in North Dakota, and practical skill and theoretical knowledge place many in the foreground, and a prominent place among that number is accorded the gentleman herein named. He has been associate gentleman herein named. He has been associated intimately with the development of the state and is one of the pioneer attorneys and enjoys a growing professional patronage both in his own home, and from abroad.

Our subject was born in Nauvoo, Hancock county, Illinois, in 1858. His father, Edwin Gregory, was an American, and was a farmer by occupation. The family has been in America many generations and have served in all the wars of this country, the great-grandfather, Peter Gregory, serving in the Revolutionary war. The mother of our subject bore the maiden name of Annie Lane. She was of Scotch descent and her family settled in America prior to the Revolution.

Mr. Gregory was the eldest in a family of three children, and was reared in Rochelle, Illinois, and attended the public schools there, and later graduated from the State University of Illinois, with the degree of B. A. He later graduated from the Union College of Law in Chicago, in 1880, with the degree of B. L. He went to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in 1880 and was employed in the office of Senator Frank Pettigrew, and in 1882 went to Carrington. North Dakota, where he established a law and land office, and was appointed clerk of the district court. He was active in the organization of Foster county, and took a homestead where the town of New Rockford now stands, and it was largely through his efforts that the county was divided into Foster and Eddy counties. In 1887 he went to Minot, and there engaged in the practice of his profession exclusively, and while residing there was elected states attorney of Ward county, and served two terms, and then served four years in the state senate. He held the office of grand chancellor of North Dakota in the Knights of Pythias lodge while there, and was prominent in social and business affairs of that region. He went to Fargo, North Dakota, in 1895, and practiced law there until the spring of 1898, when he enlisted in the Rough Riders, and was commissioned captain of Troop G, of Grigsby's Rough Riders. During the time of their encampment in Georgia they met with severe losses by disease, and at times there were hardly enough well men to care for the sick. He served five months, and then returned to North Dakota, and took up the practice of his profession in Dickinson in the summer of 1899. He enjoys an increasing practice and is one of the rapidly rising attorneys of the state.

Our subject was married, in the summer of 1899, to Helen M. Drake, a native of Marshall, Minnesota. Mr. and Mrs. Gregory are the parents of one child, who bears the name of Helen, and was born at St. Paul, Minnesota. Mr. Gregory was a candidate before the Republican convention for nomination for attorney general of North Dakota in 1894, and in 1900 was the nominee of the Republican party for state's attorney of Stark county. He is prominent in secret society circles and is a member of the Knights of Pythias and Masonic fraternity, and has passed the thirty-second degree in the last named order.

ANDREW JOPP, one of the early settlers of Stark county, conducts an extensive general merchandise store in Gladstone and enjoys prosperity. He was born in a village in the eastern part of Germany, November 9, 1839.

The father of our subject, Andrew Jopp, was a carpenter by trade. The mother of our subject was of Polish descent and bore the maiden name of Justina Broniewski. The parents were married in Germany and of their family of eight children our subject was the fifth in order of birth. He was educated in his native village and at the age of fifteen years was apprenticed to learn the tailor's trade, which required five years, after which he spent three years in the German army, being a member of the Fifty-eighth German Infantry. He came to America in 1865, landing at Castle Garden, New York, and was engaged in that locality at truck gardening for about six months, and then followed his trade in New York city fifteen years, the last two years of which time he conducted a business for himself. He went to Wisconsin in March. 1881. and spent fifteen months in search of a good location there for business, and in April, 1882, went to Gladstone, North Dakota, and entered claim to land. He established a small tailor shop in Gladstone and built the first comfortable house in the town, and in connection with his tailor business kept a small line of gents" furnishings. He has erected a good-sized store, and carries a general line of goods and enjoys a good patronage.

Our subject was married, in July, 1888, to Miss Louisa Vandt, who was born in the same village in Germany as our subject, and came to America alone in 1882. Mr. and Mrs. Jopp are the parents of three children, named as follows: Elsie, born in 1891; Grover, born in 1893; and Gretchen, born in 1894. :Mr. Jopp was elected county commissioner twice, and has served as such six years. He was appointed postmaster of Gladstone under Cleveland's administration, and served from May, 1896, until July, 1898. He is active in public affairs, and is identified with the Republican party politically.

FRED KOESEL, the pioneer merchant of Richardton. Stark county, is widely known in business circles, and enjoys an extensive patronage. He is a member of the firm of Koesel & Company, who conduct general merchandise establishments in Gladstone, Antelope and Richardton. They have prospered in North Dakota, and are held in high esteem by all with whom they come in contact.

Mr. Koesel was born on a farm in Germany, June 5, 1870. His father. Fred Koesel, came to America from Germany with his family and settled in Indiana, and in 1885 went to North Dakota. He was a soldier in the German army, and married Elinor Lubbe. The subject of this article was the eldest of a family of three children, and was reared on a farm and attended the country schools and also a college in Missouri one year. He came to North Dakota with his parents in 1885 and began farming and stock raising for himself at the age of twenty-one years. He continued this line of labor in Morton county until 1894. He then entered into partnership with his brothers, August and Albert Koesel, under the firm name of Koesel & Company. They opened the first store at Antelope in 1894. and Fred Koesel conducted the business there three years, and in 1897 established a house at Richardton and has since had charge of the business there. He is also interested in a store at Gladstone, which is in charge of Albert Koesel, while the store in Antelope is managed by August Koesel. They conduct jointly the largest mercantile business of any firm in the county, and the building occupied by the firm in Richardton is 24x64 feet, with warehouses and other buildings adjoining. The firm also engages extensively in cattle raising. They were among the first settlers of Stark county, and from a limited start have acquired a fortune and a liberal trade.

Fred Koesel was married, in 1897, to Miss Bertha Ott, a native of Wisconsin. Mrs. Koesel is a daughter of Adam Ott, a native of Germany, who came to America in 1867 and settled in Wisconsin, and later became an old settler of North Dakota. Mr. Koesel was the choice of the Republican party for county commissioner in 1900. He is prominent in local affairs and is an influential citizen.

CHARLES KONO, sheriff of Stark county, was born in Germany, September 29, 1859. His father, Carl Kono, was a farmer, and came to America when Charles was five or six years of age. The family left Hamburg, landed in New York and proceeded to Wisconsin, where the father began farming. He was killed by a runaway team when our subject was nine years of age. Charles Kono thus began his career when a mere child, as he at once hired out at herding sheep at one dollar per week and board. He later worked at farm work and his school advantages were very limited. The county schools were very inferior and the farm work occupied the greater portion of his time.

In 1882 Charles Kono came to North Dakota, stopping first at Gladstone, April 29th. At that time there were only side tracks west of Mandan, and our subject took up government land and erected a shanty 10x12 feet, which blew down in a storm. He then erected another 12x16. He "batched it" most of the time for nine years. His team was a yoke of oxen at first and later he bought a team of mules. While at Gladstone, about two weeks after his arrival, he was attacked by the measles. He did not have the proper care and took cold before he had entirely recovered and was again confined to his bed and lost more than a month in this way, and was troubled with it so much that he was unable to but little work during the entire summer. He had to sleep in any place he could find, and at one time cut grass with a jack-knife for beds, carrying it two miles on his, back, in this way providing a bed for himself and another for a lady of the party. He was among the earliest pioneers of the county and for a time did a freighting business between the Northern Pacific and the Black Hills, carrying the first outfit to that region from Dickinson to Deadwood. He is now the owner of one hundred and sixty acres of valuable lands, half of which is cultivated annually and the balance in pasture. He followed grain raising; for a few years, but now is engaged in stock raising almost exclusively.

Mr. Kono was married, in 1889, to Miss Bessie Birdsall, daughter of Joseph Birdsall. Her family have been Americans for many generations. Mr. and Mrs. Kono are the parents of five children, namely: Hattie, Edna, Perry Birdsall, Watson Charles and one unmarried, all of whom were born on the farm in Dakota. Mr. Kono is a Republican in political sentiment and has been active in political matters in the county. He was nominated for sheriff in 1896 and was elected, although he had neither sought the office nor made a canvass for votes. He was re-elected in 1898 on an independent ticket, receiving a majority of all the votes cast, although there were two other candidates in the field. He is this year candidate on the Republican ticket for county judge and his faithfulness to duty and his long residence and popularity in the county will no doubt secure for him this honorable position. No man in the county is better posted upon the history and development of that section of North Dakota and no one is more favorably known in the county.

GEORGE W. LEE. An enviable reputation has been gained by this gentleman in North Dakota. He is one of the pioneer settlers of Stark county and among the foremost business men of the county, having his residence in Gladstone, where he is associated with the extensive financial interests of that locality. He is a young man of excellent capabilities and has made the most of his is a young man of excellent capabilities and has made the most of his opportunities and has reaped a just reward.

Our subject was born on a farm near Suttons Bay, Michigan, December 20, 1869. His father, Robert Lee, was born in Yorkshire, England, and came to America at the age of twelve years. The mother of our subject, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Wiegand, was born in America.

Mr. Lee was the second in a family of six children and was raised on a farm until twelve years of age, when the family removed to Northport, Michigan, and there the father engaged in the milling business, and owned a saw and flour-mill. Our subject was educated in the common schools and graduated from Mayhew Business College at Detroit, Michigan. He went to North Dakota in 1883 and settled near Gladstone on a farm and entered claim to government land. His father built the Gladstone Roller Mill in 1885, which is still the only mill in Stark county. Our subject worked for his father several years and after the father's death, in 1893, the property was divided and the mill was allotted to our subject.

Mr. Lee began farming again in 1898 and now owns and operates four hundred and eighty acres of land and engages wholly in wheat raising. He embarked in the lumber business in Gladstone in 1895 and conducts the only lumber yard in the town. He also engages in horse raising to some extent. He conducts the niill and has made a success of the business. The mill is a one-hundred-barrel capacity mill and has various warehouses, etc., and is equipped with a seventy-five-horse-power Corliss engine and a dynamo which lights the mill by electricity.

Our subject was married, at Northport, Michigan, in 1881, to Miss Jennette White, a native of Michigan, of Yankee descent. Her father, Otis L. White, was a farmer by occupation. Mr. and Mrs. Lee are the parents of two children: Rufus, born in 1882, and Hazel, born in 1889. Mr. Lee was elected county treasurer in 1890 and re-elected in 1892 and served two terms, since which time he has served as county commissioner of the second district, having been elected to the office twice. He is a Republican politically and is a leader of his party in Stark county, and attends county and state conventions. He holds membership in the Masonic fraternity.

JEREMIAH S. LETTS, proprietor of the hotel at Gladstone, Stark county. North Dakota, is one of the leading business men of that place. He is the oldest settler in Gladstone, now living in that city, although his residence there has not been continuous since his first settlement. He has taken an active and commendable interest in all matters pertaining to the welfare of the locality in which he lives, and his genial ways have made him many friend among both his fellow townsmen and the traveling public.

WILLIAM A. McCLURE. This gentleman is a member of the well-known firm of Leutz & McClure, dealers in general merchandise, lumber and machinery, in Taylor, North Dakota. Mr. McClure is a pioneer settler of Stark county, and by his energy and enterprise has gained an assured position as a business man and citizen. He was born in the village of Pleasant Hill, now Wingate, Montgomery county, Indiana, April 23, 1858.

The father of the subject of this sketch, John L. McClure, was a farmer by occupation and followed that throughout his life. He was a soldier in the Civil war. Our subject was the eldest in a family of seven children and was raised in the village and assisted with farming, and remained at home until twenty-three years of age. He learned telegraphy and accepted a position in his native town and in 1884 went to North Dakota and worked for the Northern Pacific Railroad Company as operator and agent at nearly every town between Mandan and Dickinson. He stopped railroad work about 1890 and engaged in sheep raising on a ranch north of Hebron and was thus engaged about two years. In 1892 he engaged in the mercantile business at Richardson, purchasing an interest with Krauth & Leutz, which he sold in 1896 and went to Taylor, Stark county, and has since followed the farming implement and lumber business there. He later succeeded L. T. Lewis, general merchant, and about 1898 purchased the business of J. M. Tracy, with two stores being consolidated. The firm is now composed of Herman Leutz, Ferdinand Leutz and W. A. McClure, and is conducting business under the firm name of Leutz & McClure. They carry a stock of $20,000 and four clerks are at work aside from the proprietors. Mr. McClure was appointed postmaster of Taylor in February, 1899, and is now serving in that capacity and is an efficient and popular officer.

Our subject was married, in 1895, to Miss Mary Gallagher. Mrs. McClure is well known as one of the early educators of North Dakota, and served several terms as county superintendent of schools of Mercer county. She is a daughter of John Gallagher, a native of Ireland, and a prosperous ranchman of Mercer county. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. McClure, who are named as follows: Caroline, born March 29, 1896; and Grace, born November 19, 1897. Mr. McClure has resided in Stark county since its organization and has served as county commissioner two terms, the first in 1894 and he is now on his second term. Mr. McClure received the nomination of his party for the legislature in the thirty-first district in July, 1900. He is active in public affairs and is identified with the Republican party politically.

EMMEL F. MESSERSMITH. No one of the citizens of Stark county is better known or more highly respected than Mr. Messersmith. He is engaged in stock raising and real estate business, and has followed various pursuits in North Dakota, all with the most successful results. His active public spirit is commendable, and he enjoys popularity for the active part he has taken in the development of Dickinson and vicinity, and many of the public enterprises of Stark county are traceable to his influence and hearty support.

Our subject was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1845. His father, George Messersmith, was born in Hesse, Germany, and was a weaver by trade. He came to America about 1840. He had eleven brothers and one sister, and they all came to America and the brothers took part in the Civil war, some on the Confederate side and some on the Union side. Two brothers were killed in the Confederate service. The great-grandfather of our subject, Joe Rinehart, was among the Hessians captured by Washington, and his stay in America covered eight years, when he returned to Germany. The family of Messersmiths came to America in 1801 or 1802.

Our subject was the second in a family of five children, and at the age of fourteen years left home and earned his own livelihood. He served with the troops in the rebellion on the army transports from Galveston to New Orleans, and up all the tributaries of the Mississippi in the south, and up the Ohio, Red, Mississippi and Missouri rivers in Minnesota and Montana, and spent five years in this service. He was an eye-witness when the boat Sultana with two thousand four hundred troops was blown up. After the close of the war he went to Iowa and established a butcher business at Strawberry Point, and continued there three years. He went to Minnesota in 1870 and established his family in a home in St. Paul, and then began railroad work for the Northern Pacific Railroad Company, and was with different construction men from St. Paul to Glendive, Montana, and followed this occupation from 1870 to 1881. He was in Fargo before a house was built, and when soldiers had to protect the graders along the line of railroad in Dakota. He put up the first sign in Jamestown on the Jamestown Hotel, which was a large tent, and the town was then called James River Crossing. In 1881 Mr. Messersmith settled with his family at Dickinson. The railroad company built a small portable shack and our subject conducted the first eating house there for the accommodation of passengers on the Northern Pacific Railroad, and continued the business two years until the dining car service was established on that line. In 1883 he shipped the first bunch of cattle into Stark county, and continued the stock business until 1886, when he engaged in the flour and feed business and remained thus engaged about thirteen years. He disposed of the business in the summer of 1899. and now devotes his attention to stock raising and the real estate business. He has followed the former most of the time in which he engaged in the four and feed business, and he conducts the same on an extensive scale, and has made a success. He was among the first settlers of Stark county, and was the first business man of Dickinson, and built the first residence in the town. He spent much time and a residence in the town. He spent much time and means in research for clays for brick and pottery manufacture, and through his efforts a brick plant is now in operation in Dickinson.

Our subject was married, in 1870, to Miss Bertha Gupser, a native of Missouri. Her father, Michael Gupser, was a capitalist. He was of Swiss descent and the mother was of German descent. Mr. and Mrs. Messersmith are the parents of five children, who are named as follows : Rose. Carrie, Joseph, Emma and Jessie. Mr. Messersmith is prominent in local affairs, and was instrumental in getting the county of Stark enlarged. He is a Republican politically, and is firm in his convictions.

W. L. RICHARDS. A prominent place in the business affairs of Stark county is awarded to the gentleman here named. He is president of the Dakota State Bank at Dickinson, and is also interested largely in the ranch business in that region, and is a well-to-do and wide-awake citizen of his locality.


Our subject was born in a village in Randolph county. Alabama, August 16, 1862. His father, T. S. Richards, was a merchant in the early days, and is now a hotel keeper in Texas. He is of English descent, and the family came to America in colonial days. He served as captain during the Civil war. The mother of our subject, whose maiden name was Mary Lawson, was raised in Texas, and was of Irish descent.

Our subject was the eldest of a family of ten children, and was raised on the frontier in Texas and attended the county schools. He left home al the age of eighteen years, and went to the cattle ranches of Texas and followed ranching and the life of a cowboy for seven years in Texas. He then went to North Dakota and settled eighty miles northwest of Dickinson, and worked on a ranch there until 1889, and then assumed management of a ranch forty-five miles north of Dickinson for W. L. Crosby, of La Crosse, Wisconsin, and continued to manage the ranch until the death of Mr. Crosby in 1892. After Mr. Crosby's death the ranch went into the hands of the Crosby Cattle Company, and our subject continued its management and our subject continued its management until 1897, being a shareholder in the company. In 1897 the company closed its affairs, and Mr. Richards continued in the stock business, and is now the owner of the ranch, which is known as the "Old Diamond C." ranch. This was one of the most extensive ranches of the state, and at one time our subject had charge of five thousand head of stock. In the fall of 1898 Mr. Richards removed to Dickinson. Stark county, and established the Dakota State Bank, of which he is president, and J. L. Hughes is cashier. The bank was opened for business March 14, 1900, and does a good and growing business.

Our subject was married, in 1893. to Miss Mabel Smith, a native of New York, and a daughter of Fayette M. Smith, a hotel keeper of Hebron. North Dakota. Mr. and Mrs. Richards have two sons, named Wilson Crosby and Thomas Franklin, both of whom were born in North Dakota. Mr. Richards is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and politically is a Democrat.

ROLLIN J. TURNER, a prosperous merchant of Gladstone, Stark county. North Dakota, has been a resident of the state for eighteen years, and is the present efficient postmaster of Gladstone.

Mr. Turner was born July 16, 1850, at Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, and is a son of John D. and Matilda (Harpan) Turner, natives, respectively, of Ohio and Pennsylvania. His father is dead, but his mother is still living at the venerable age of eighty-four. The elder Turner went to Fond du Lac while still a young man and engaged in farming, and this was his occupation as long as he lived. He was the father of nine children, six boys and three girls, and all of these are dead but the subject of this article, two of his brothers and two sisters. Two of his sons laid down their lives as a sacrifice for the nation during the Civil war and are reverently remembered by the new generation.

Rollin J. Turner was reared on the parental farm and resided at home until he had passed his eighteenth year. He was a student in the public schools of Fond du Lac, and when he reached the age of seventeen became an apprentice at the apprentice at the trade of joiner and builder. For the next ten years this was his occupation mainly in Wisconsin. And during the latter part of this period he was principally engaged in contracting and building. In the spring of 1882 he came to Gladstone and the following year he put up a store building, in which he opened a general store in 1884. In 1883 he brought his family west and they settled on a homestead one mile south of Gladstone. He has materially increased his holdings and now owns four hundred acres of choice land, one hundred and sixty of which are under high cultivation, the balance of his land being used as a pasture and meadow for a large herd of horses. He has erected a commodious and elegant dwelling house, planted trees and has put up barns and sheds sufficient to meet all demands of rural live in the Northwest. The family residence is nicely situated in a nook between the hills and Heart river. Several fine springs of good water rush out from the hill sides and give an abundant supply of excellent water for all purposes, including the irrigation of the garden and groves.

Mr. Turner and Miss Mary H. Heathcote were married at Fond du Lac. Wisconsin, December 20, 1871. She was born in New York and was brought to Wisconsin at an early age by her parents, William and Jane M (Wherry) Heathcote, both natives of the Empire state. Her father was an architect, and is still living at an advanced age. Her mother is dead. Mr. and Mrs. Turner are the parents of three children, two of whom, Claude C. and Vivian, are now living. Guy, the first born, died at the age of two years. Mr. Turner was the first assessor of Stark county, and was elected in 1884. He was appointed postmaster by President Harrison in 1887. and has held this position since that time, with the exception of one and one-half years.  He was appointed by Governor Fancher a member of the state penitentiary board in 1898 and is still serving the state in that capacity. July 11, 1900, at a state convention held in Grand Forks, he was nominated for the position of commissioner of agriculture and labor and has bright prospect of election. He is a representative Republican and was chairman of the county central committee of his party from 1886 to 1893. In 1894 and 1895 he was a member of the state central committee and is known throughout the state as an active and reliable worker for party interests and an honorable and intelligent gentleman. He is a member of the Independent Order of Foresters and is a popular character at all social gatherings.




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