Tripp County, South Dakota
Biographies

Allan Boyden

Present address, Hamill, Tripp county, South Dakota.

Born at Mills Center, Wisconsin, September 30, 1881.

Entered Lawrence Academy September, 1897; graduated from Lawrence College in 1904. Attended College of Law University of Wisconsin February, 1907 to June, 1909. Degree of Ph. B. from Lawrence. Employed by D. M. Ferry & Co., Detroit, Mich., until 1911 when he became cashier of the Roseland State Bank, Hamill, South Dakota. Is interested in politics and public matters in South Dakota.

Married, June 19, 1912, at Kenosha, Wisconsin, to Stella B. Goodenow. Children: Dorothy Ann, whom he says is occupied in the business of "Sunshine maker."

[Lawrence College Alumni Record, Appleton, Wisconsin, 1857-1915, submitted by Cathy Danielson]


Mart Coffman

Mart Coffman, filling the position of postmaster at Dallas, is a native son of Illinois, born September 4, 1868. His father, Amos J. Coffman, was a school teacher and farmer, being identified with interests along those lines in Illinois. He has now passed away but his widow survives and has homesteaded in Tripp county.

Mart Coffman supplemented a public-school education by study in the law department of the University of Nebraska, from which he was graduated with the class of 1901. He first practiced in Oklahoma and also followed his profession in Nebraska and South Dakota. He came to this state in 1904, settling at Bonesteel, where he remained for two years, and later he homesteaded in Gregory county, near Lucas. He dates his residence in Dallas from 1908, at which time he opened an office for the practice of law and for the conduct of the real-estate business, along with both his businesses he has since been active.

On the 22d of December, 1908, Mr. Coffman was married to Miss Daisy G. Ward, a daughter of Andrew Ward, and they have become the parents of two sons, Marshall W. and Amos J. Mr. and Mrs. Coffman hold membership in the Methodist church, taking a helpful interest, through that channel, in promoting the moral advancement of the community.

Mr. Coffman is a third degree Mason and is also affiliated with the Odd Fellows. In politics he is a democrat, active in party circles since coming to Dallas, and in 1913 he was appointed to the position of postmaster, which office he is still acceptably filling, discharging his duties in a systematic manner that is highly satisfactory to the patrons of the office. He is a supporter of the good roads movement and, in fact, is in sympathy with all plans that look to the immediate and future benefit of the locality. When the cares of business become too heavy he finds recreation in motoring and hunting and is a most genial companion on such trips.

(Source: History of Dakota Territory, 1915)
Submitted By: Cathy Danielson


Val J. Fetzner

Val J. Fetzner is cashier of the Tripp County State Bank at Colome, in which connection he is bending his energies to the upbuilding of an enterprise that is proving of great worth and benefit to the citizens of the district. He has made it his purpose to thoroughly acquaint himself with every phase of the banking business and in his present connection he has been active in maintaining a policy that most carefully safeguards the interests of depositors. In all that he does he is actuated by the spirit of western enterprise, for he is a native son of the west, his birth having occurred in Brownsville, Minnesota, June 12, 1875 his parents being Valentine and Elizabeth Fetzner. The father is now living retired, enjoying a well earned rest after long connection with business.

Val J. Fetzner is indebted to the public-school system of Brownsville for his early educational privileges. After completing the work of the grades he attended the high school at La Crosse, Wisconsin, and later pursued a course in a business college. After completing his education he became connected with Synder Brothers, merchants of Salem, South Dakota, and remained with them two years. He then started out on his own account and for nine years was engaged in merchandising at Platte, South Dakota, after which he removed to Colome and aided in the organization of the Tripp County State Bank in 1909, assuming the position of cashier, in which office he has done much to build up the business of the bank. He is always a courteous and obliging official, helpful to the bank's patrons as far as is consistent with the safety of the bank and at all times working to establish and further maintain the substantial character of the institution. He is likewise largely interested in real estate and in live stock.

On the 20th of June, 1899, Mr. Fetzner was united in marriage to Miss Susie G. Graf, a daughter of George Graf, of Brownsville, Minnesota. To them have been born six children, namely: Vivian, Agnes, George, Harold, Frances and Paul. Mrs. Fetzner is a member of the Catholic church. Mr. Fetzner has no church relations but belongs to the Woodmen and to the Elks lodges. His political indorsement is given the republican party. He makes fishing and motoring his recreation and he recognizes and advocates the value of good roads both as an asset for pleasure and for business. He is also active in efforts to secure better railroad connections with the eastern part of the state and cooperates in every measure that tends to the material benefit of the community.

(Source: History of Dakota Territory, 1915)
Submitted By: Cathy Danielson


Fred L. Flint

Almost coexistent with the first settlement of a new country comes newspaper publication. It is the tie which connects and unifies all interests; it is the promoter of public progress, the molder of public opinion and in many instances the inspiration for work that culminates in great good for the community. Fred L. Flint is owner and editor of one of the progressive sheets published in western South Dakota, the Colome Times, and there is no project put forth for the benefit and upbuilding of town or county which does not receive the endorsement and support of this paper, which reflects the enterprising spirit of its owner. Mr. Flint is a native of Iowa, born on the 19th of January, 1873, at Spirit Lake, his parents being J. W. and Ella R. (Cloud) Flint, who were farming people, the father devoting his attention to the tilling of the soil until his life's labors were ended in death. His widow, surviving, now lives in Colome.

Reared in his native state, Fred L. Flint was educated in the public and high schools of Sibley, Iowa, and then turned his attention to newspaper work, becoming owner of the Advertiser at Fairfax, South Dakota, in 1903. He later homesteaded near Hamill, South Dakota, and began the development of a farm but afterward returned to Colome and purchased the Colome Times, of which he is now owner and editor. This paper has a subscription list of twelve hundred and is accorded a good advertising patronage. The paper is neat and attractive in its make-up and furnishes its readers all the local and much of the general news of interest.

In May, 1910, Mr. Flint was united in marriage to Miss Dorothy Parchen, a daughter of W. H. Parchen, of Hoskins, Nebraska. To them have been born three children, namely: Dorothy, Gail and Roma. The family are Protestants in religious belief and Mr. Flint is n republican in his political connection. He served as a member of the school board at Hamill and at all times his cooperation can be counted upon to further practical measures for the general good. He realizes the value of improved public highways and staunchly advocates the good roads movement; in a word, he stands for progress and improvement at all times in all parts of South Dakota, but particularly in the Rosebud district.

(Source: History of Dakota Territory, 1915)
Submitted By: Cathy Danielson


Will D. Forbes

Forbes. Will D., of Winner, S. D., late president of the Citizens State Bank of Butte, Neb., and of the Anoka National Bank, was born in Elizabeth City, N. C., January 31, 1860, son of James and Sarah (Whitehurst) Forbes, both born in Elizabeth City, N. C.

He attended the J. S. Dunning Academy at Jefferson, Ia., and taught school two terms, and in 1879 entered the employ of J. S. Grisier, a leading merchant of Jefferson, as cashier. After two years he went to Audubon, Ia., and established a grocery store, where he remained until July, 1892.

In 1892 he came to Butte and organized the Citizens State Bank. The incorporators were Will D. Forbes, D. W. Forbes, J. M. Forbes, and S. E. Forbes. He was also in the land and loan business and was president of the Forbes Abstract Company.

Mr. Forbes was married to Miss Jennie M. Roberts in June, 1884. They are the parents of three daughters: Hazel M., Marie, and Mildred.

[History of Nebraska, Vol. III, 1913, submitted by Cathy Danielson]


Rev. Charles N. Goergen

Rev. Charles N. Goergen is pastor of St. Isadoris Catholic church at Colome. He was born at Ponca, Nebraska, February 5, 1883, a son of Martin and Marie (Hentgen) Goergen, who were farming people, the father devoting his attention to general agricultural pursuits for many years, but at the present time he is living retired, he and his wife making their home at Ponca.

After attending the district schools and spending a year in a public school, Rev. Charles X. Goergen pursued a course in Conception College at Conception, Missouri, and further continued his preparation for the priesthood in the study of philosophy and theology at St. Meinrad, Indiana. Having thus prepared for holy orders, he was ordained at Louisville, Kentucky, by Bishop O'Donohue in the year 1910. He afterward had charge of various missions with headquarters at Philip, South Dakota, where he remained for four years, after which he came to Colome in June, 1914. There are twenty-five Catholic families in the parish and Father Goergen also attends several small missions elsewhere. He is bending every energy to the upbuilding of the church and the extension of the cause and he has gained the hearty cooperation of his parishioners.

Rev. Goergen is a democrat in his political views. He belongs to Rapid City Council, No. 1489, Knights of Columbus, and is interested in. promoting the social as well as other features of that organization. He feels that his interests are thoroughly allied with those of the community in which he is now located and he is doing much for the material and moral uplift of the town.

(Source: History of Dakota Territory, 1915)
Submitted By: Cathy Danielson


Rev. Francis J. Guessen

The Rev. Francis J. Guessen, pastor of St. Joseph's Catholic church at Gregory, was born at Heidelberg, Rural Route No. 2, New Prague, Minnesota, August 21, 1872, a son of Peter J. and Anna Sophia (Karl) Guessen. The father devoted his life to the work of the farm until called to his final rest and is survived by his wife.

Their son, Francis J. Guessen, was educated in the district and parochial schools, in St. John's University of Minnesota and in St. Thomas' College, St. Paul. Then because of illness he finished his philosophical course at Kendrick's Seminary, St. Louis, and completed his theological course in St. Meinrad's Seminary at St. Meinrad, Indiana. Having thus prepared for holy orders he was ordained to the priesthood on the 8th of May, 1904, by Bishop Stariha and was assigned to duty as first assistant at Lead, where he remained for sixteen months. Later he was rector at the Sacred Heart Indian church, south of Burke, for three years, and in 1907 he built the church and parsonage at Gregory. When he took up his abode there the district was nothing but prairie. There is now a beautiful parish house and church edifice and also a Sister's residence. He bought the old city high school and made it the parochial high school, which is in charge of four Sisters of the Benedictine Order, of Sturgis, with eighty children in attendance.

Father Guessen has missions at Dallas, Lucas, Dixon and Lona, of which Lucas and Lona have churches, and there are about one hundred and thirty families. At one time he had charge of missions at Tripp and at Gregory and of Catholic interests in Lyman county. During that period he built churches at Oarlock, Gregory county, and at Colome and Winner, Tripp county. He is rural dean of his part of the diocese of Lead and is diocesan examiner. He belongs to Gregory Council, No. 1532, K. C., of which he was the organizer, and he gives his political support to the democratic party. His work has been fruitful of good results for Catholicism, the church growing continually under his guidance and ministrations.

(Source: History of Dakota Territory, 1915)
Submitted By: Cathy Danielson


Graydon B. Jackson

Graydon B. Jackson, of the firm of Jackson Brothers and manager of the farm loan department, is a representative business man, farsighted, alert, energetic, and belongs to that class of representative business men, who, while advancing individual interests, contribute largely to public prosperity. A native of Buchanan county, Iowa, he was born at Independence, May 11, 1879, a son of Hon. Frank D. and Anna F. (Brock) Jackson. The father, now president of the Royal Union Mutual Life Insurance Company of Des Moines, was governor of Iowa from 1893 to 1895 and in various ways has left the impress of his individuality upon the history of that state, where he and his wife still reside.

After attending the public schools Graydon B. Jackson continued his education in the Des Moines Preparatory College and in the Culver Military Academy of Culver, Indiana, completing the course in 1898. He then entered his father's office in Des Moines, at which time he became connected with the mortgage and loan department, gaining broad experience in this his initial undertaking in the business world.

In 1900 he arrived in South Dakota, but previously was located for a time at Stuart, Nebraska, where he was interested with F. Barclay in the cattle and loan business. When he arrived on the present site of Dallas there was nothing but a tract of wild land, no collection of buildings giving evidence of a growing town. In fact, there were only a few buildings in Gregory county. His brothers soon afterward came and all filed on homesteads five miles south of Gregory. The town of Dallas was then located southeast of the present site of Dallas on Ponca creek, but when the railroad was built the town was left to one side and on the 1st of January, 1907, all of the buildings were removed from the old to the present town site of Dallas, drawn by teams. Jackson Brothers had purchased the town site in 1906 and from that moment have been most active in the development of the town. It was a bitterly cold winter when they moved the buildings. The snow was deep, rendering the task a difficult one, but they placed the buildings on steel cables and thus drew them over the frozen snow. Throughout the intervening period to the present the company has dealt extensively in farm lands and made many loans.

They own forty thousand acres in Gregory, Tripp and Mellette counties and are the owners of several town sites, including Dallas, Winner, .lordan, Carter, Chilton, Berkley and White River. Jackson Brothers have carefully systematized their work and are following out carefully defined plans and methods in developing the towns in which they are interested, looking ever beyond the exigencies of the moment to the possibilities and opportunities of the future. In addition to his other interests Graydon B. Jackson is the vice president of the Bank of Dallas.

On the 31st of March, 1903, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Jackson and Miss Leila 8tewart, a daughter of Bush M. Stewart, of Fremont, Nebraska. They are Episcopalians in religious faith and Mr. Jackson is a Mason of high degree, holding membership in Oriental Consistory, No. 1, S. P. R. S.

His attention, however, is chiefly given to his business affairs and he is a member of what, by the consensus of public opinion, is regarded as the most progressive firm of Gregory county. Their interests are most extensive, they having been the largest investors in the county, and in conducting their business they have contributed in superlative measure to the up-building and improvement of this section of the state. Mr. Jackson is in every way a fine man, for while business ability has brought him to the forefront in that connection, his admirable social qualities and manly principles have given him firm hold upon the regard and good will of all with whom he has been brought in contact.

[History of Dakota Territory, South Dakota Its History & Its People, 1915, submitted by Cathy Danielson]


Winnie M. McDermut Keller

One of the First Editors of the Tripp County Journal and charter member of Winner Woman’s Club.

Winnie McDermut Keller was born on July 22, 1875 in Van Wert, Van Wert Co., Ohio to Joseph and Lucretta (Cratty) McDermut. She was married in 1905 to Joseph Keller. Mrs. Keller worked with her husband Joseph Keller, who was a U.S. Commissioner in the development of the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota during the time the land was opened to the homesteaders. Joseph Keller died in 1936.

Mrs. Keller graduated from Ohio Northern University in 1900 and taught school for 13 years in Gilboa, Spencerville, and Ade, Ohio. In an era when married women customarily stayed at home, Winnie was an outspoken woman who voiced her opinions on politics and world affairs. In 1912, Winnie invited a select few ladies to her home to organize a woman’s club. The club was first called the Bay View Literary Club, but the ladies also took a keen interest in civic affairs. Later it became known as the Winner Woman’s Club. One of their early projects was promoting the establishment of the Winner Park. Another project was to promote a Clean-Up Week, “appealing to the “civic pride of the citizen”. Excerpts from an article published in the Winner Advocate in the spring of 1912 stated: “The week of April 23rd to 28th inclusive is hereby proclaimed as clean-up week and the civic pride of the citizens is appealed to, to the end that all unsightly and unsanitary conditions be removed or remedied. Weeds should all be cut and disposed of, together with all trash and manure piles. The ordinance of last year relative to garbage will be in operation again this year and all families should supply themselves with proper receptacles for containing garbage. Sanitary conditions relative to privy vaults [outdoor toilets] should be scrupulously attended to. The regular inspection by city officials will be made in May”. The Winner Woman’s Club also took a stand in favor of woman’s suffrage in South Dakota. In 1920, the wide diversification of community interest was shown by the establishment of departmental work by the Women’s Club. The five departments were: literary, musical, the mother’s department, home economics, and the civic improvement department. The Winner Woman’s Club in 1921 had a membership of 154 and was the only club in the state outside of the larger cities doing departmental work. In 1921, The Woman’s Club circulated a petition to the county commissioners and were the guiding hand behind the establishment of the Tripp County library, only the second library in the state governed by the county.

In 1918, Mrs. Keller was Deputy Superintendent of Schools. Mrs. Keller ran for the office of County Superintendent of Schools in March of 1922, but apparently was defeated as no record of her actually holding that office.

Winnie became the owner and editor of the Tripp County Journal from 1920 through 1946. In May of 1925, Winnie was appointed the first Animal Humane officer in Tripp County by the Sioux Falls Humane Society, which the appointment was endorsed by the Tripp County Commissioners and the Winner City Mayor.

In 1950 she returned to the home of her youth at Ada where she continued her civic involvement as a member of the Current Events Club, P.E.O., and a member of the First Presbyterian Church.

Winnie M. Keller died on Sept 13, 1960 at Lima, Allen County, OH and is buried at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Ada, Hardin Co., OH. She had no surviving relatives.

[Sources - Winnie's obit, Sixty-fifth Anniversary of the Winner Woman’s Club, SD Library Bulletin, Vol. 49,
Aberdeen American Newspaper, Oct. 1918, Aberdeen, SD, and
Tripp County Journal, March 1922, and May 1925; submitted by Helen Turnquist.]


A. P. Kimball, M. D.

Dr. A. P. Kimball, physician and surgeon successfully practicing at Colome, is well qualified to take care of onerous professional duties, having in May, 1915, established a well equipped hospital. He was born in La Platte, Nebraska, March 14, 1885, a son of Levi and Emily (Wilkinson) Kimball. The father was a pioneer farmer of Nebraska, settling in that state in 1855 when the work of civilization and improvement seemed scarcely begun there. He operated a ferry across the Platte river before the building of the railroads and owned the first livery stable in Omaha. In fact he was closely connected with many of the early events which left their impress upon the early settlement and upbuilding of that state. Both he and his wife have passed away.

Dr. Kimball mastered the elementary branches of learning taught in the district schools and afterward attended the Nebraska City high school, from which he was graduated with the class of 1904. He decided upon the practice of medicine as a life work and in preparation therefore entered the Creighton Medical College of Nebraska, in which he completed a course by graduation with the class of 1908. He then located for practice in Wahoo, Nebraska, where he remained for a year, and also spent a year at Creston, that state, before removing to Colome, South Dakota, where he is now the only physician. He established his hospital in May, 1915, and has accommodations for twelve patients. The hospital is splendidly equipped with all modern medical and surgical appliances, including the latest improved surgical instruments, permitting him to perform all the major operations. He has marked skill in surgery and at the same time displays sound judgment in administering those remedial agencies which check the ravages of disease.

On the 26th of November, 1908, Dr. Kimball was united in marriage to Miss Mary Ellen Boland, a daughter of Matthias and Johanna (Ahearn) Boland. To them have been born three children, namely: Albert, Mary and Robert. Dr. Kimball belongs to the Episcopal church, while the religious faith of his wife and children is that of the Catholic church. He votes with the democratic party and he belongs to the Masonic fraternity, in which he baa attained the degree of Master Mason, but these things are all subservient to his professional duties. He keeps in touch with modern thought and research along medical lines through his membership in the Rosebud Medical Association, the State Medical Association, the Missouri Valley Medical Association and the American Medical Association, and when professional duties allow him leisure he turns to outdoor sports and to hunting and fishing for rest and recreation.

(Source: History of Dakota Territory, 1915)
Submitted By: Cathy Danielson


Roscoe Knodell

The office of states attorney in Tripp county is being acceptably filled by Roscoe Knodell of Winner, who is a native of Wayne county, Illinois. He was born September 13, 1882, of the marriage of William and Christina (Melrose) Knodell. The father, who made farming his life work, has now passed away but the mother is still living and makes her home in Illinois. He was a soldier of the Union army, enlisting twice in defense of the Federal government and serving for four years with the boys in blue.

Roscoe Knodell pursued his law studies in the Northwestern University of Chicago after mastering the common branches of learning as a public-school pupil in Illinois. In 1906 he was admitted to practice and for a year followed his profession in his native state, during which time he was city attorney of Fairfield, Illinois. When he retired from that position he sought the opportunities of the northwest and became a resident of Fairfax, South Dakota in 1907. He was admitted to practice in the courts of this state in 1907 and in 1908 opened an office at Lamro, Tripp county, but when the railroad was built through the county the town of Lamro was moved and Mr. Knodell located in Winner, where he entered upon the active practice of law. It was not long before he won a liberal share of the public patronage and in the fall of 1914 he was elected states attorney on the republican ticket. He is well qualified for the duties of the position, being an able young lawyer, his ability being displayed in the masterly manner in which he handles his cases.

On the 10th of December, 1914, Mr. Knodell was united in marriage to Miss Clara Brown, a daughter of O. S. Brown, of Cisne, Illinois. Their religious belief is that of the Methodist church, of which they are loyal adherents, and Mr. Knodell also belongs to the Masonic lodge, to the Woodmen camp and the American Yeomen. He is interested in South Dakota's development, is a progressive citizen of Tripp county and is highly respected for his sterling qualities of manhood.

(Source: History of Dakota Territory, 1915)
Submitted By: Cathy Danielson


Dr. Robert Mahaffey Malster

Born on November 19, 1868, Robert Mahaffey Malster was a native of Ohio. His father was a farmer and Robert was the ninth in a family of ten children.

Before going into medicine Dr. Malster was a pharmacist. Working his way through Rush Medical College, Chicago, he received his M.D. in 1894. For six months he served as an intern at St. Joseph's Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska, and then became house surgeon at the same institution. Dr. Malster began his career in 1895 in Omaha where he was in private practice, served as surgeon for the Union Pacific dispensary, and was on the visiting staff at St. Joseph's Hospital.

Coming to Honolulu on the S.S. "China" on November 26, 1900, Dr. Malster was granted a license the following month and then went into private practice. In July, 1901, he was appointed resident Medical Superintendent of the Oahu Insane Asylum at a salary of $165.00 a month, a position he held until October, 1903. Reportedly, the climate did not agree with him, and he resigned to accept a position on the Mainland.

Dr. Malster practiced for a time at Waterford, Ohio. In 1917 he was licensed in South Dakota and for many years practiced in Carter. During World War I, he served as a medical officer and saw duty overseas, having the rank of captain. His active practice ended in September, 1948, after he suffered a slight stroke. For about a year thereafter he made his home with his niece, Mrs. Alice A. Stacey, in Ohio.

Dr. Malster spent his last years in Harding Hospital in Worthington, Ohio, where he died on July 10, 1954, at the age of 85. He was unmarried.

The doctor was a former member of the Nebraska State Medical Association, the South Dakota Medical Association, and the American Medical Association. He was also very active in Masonry. While he was in Honolulu, he was elected president of the newly organized Buckeye Club in 1901.

Mrs. Stacey described her uncle as "the nicest man you will ever know."

[Mamiya Medical Heritage Center, Hawaii, submitted by Jerry Mercier]

Note: While Dr. Malster practiced in Carter he was Edward and Emily Raycroft's doctor. She worked with him in nursing, helping many patients and delivering babies in Carter, South Dakota. Dr. Malster signed the death certificate's of both Edward and Emily Raycroft in 1938 and 1945.


Lee McNeely

The many friends of Lee McNeely of Dubuque, Iowa, assistant clerk of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, admire his pluck in leaving the desirable position in the government service he has held so many years to go into business for himself.

He has been so long an employee in the Senate and House that he is regarded as a veteran at the Capitol. Beginning in 1897 as confidential clerk to Colonel Henderson, he retained that position during the four years of the Colonel's service as speaker. Following the latter's retirement from Congress, Mr. McNeely served for two years as clerk to Speaker Cannon, acting in the same capacity also for Representative Birdsall of Iowa and Wiley of New Jersey. Later he was for more than three years associated as private secretary with the late Senator Allison.

Several weeks after the death of that veteran legislator in August, last, Mr. McNeely went to Dallas, South Dakota, to attend the opening of the Rosebud Reservation. While there he joined several others in organizing the Pioneer Trust Company, with headquarters at Dallas, their principal business being to locate those settlers who received numbers in the famous land lottery, thereby gaining a right to pick out a quarter-section in Tripp County. The company will take a prominent part in opening up this slice of the reservation.

Because of his long and varied experience in clerical work, and his wide acquaintance with public men, Mr. McNeely was elected secretary of the new company.

[National magazine, Volume 29 - Page 589 1908, submitted by Tripp Co. Historical Society]


Marian Hurd McNeely

Drawing on her experiences as a homesteader in South Dakota, author and poet Marian Hurd McNeely wrote a novel set in Tripp County that went on to win accolades as a Newbery honor book.

Born Marian Kent Hurd in Dubuque, Iowa, on 23 July 1877, she was the daughter of Louis G. and Lymna Maxfield Hurd and the second of four children. Louis Hurd was a successful attorney, a member of the local school board, and a trustee of the public library, offering a home environment that may have encouraged his daughter's interest in writing.

McNeely began her homesteading experience when she married Lee McNeely on 4 May 1910. The couple had met in Dubuque, where Lee McNeely worked as a private secretary to Iowa congressman David B. Henderson.

In 1908, Lee McNeely moved to Tripp County and took a homestead about seven miles southwest of Winner. He also served as postmaster of the nearby town of McNeely, originally plotted as Minneota. The couple lived on the farm for about two years and then returned to Dubuque, where they raised four children and Marian McNeely pursued her writing career.

McNeely wrote primarily for children, publishing poems and short stories in a variety of publications, including Saint Nicholas, Ladies' Home Journal, and Literary Digest. Two books, Miss Billy: A Neighborhood Story (1905) and When She Came Home from College (1909), were co-written with other authors and published under the name Marian Kent Hurd. Rusty Ruston: A Story for Brothers and Sisters (1928) was the first book published under her married name, followed the next year by The Jumping-Off Place. The novel related the experiences of the four orphaned Linville children, who lived on a homestead in South Dakota with their Uncle Jim. Following his death, they must prove up without adult help. The volume was named a Newbery honor book for 1930. McNeely wrote a humorous poem entitled 'A Ballade of Losers" about being "an Also-ran" in the contest, which was published in the Saturday Review of Literature.

Marian Hurd McNeely was fifty-three when she died on 18 December 1930 after being struck by an automobile while crossing a street in Dubuque. Her husband witnessed the accident. Her novel Winning Out (1931) and the collection The Way to Glory and Other Stories (1932) were published posthumously. Each year until his own death in 1960, Lee McNeely sent out a Christmas card containing one of his wife's poems. —Patti Edman

[Dakota Images, South Dakota History, submitted by Tripp Co. Historical Society]


George W. Mitchell

The town of Winner is a typically representative western municipality. Of rapid growth, its advancement has been substantial, its builders recognizing that they should lay the foundation not only for present progress but for future growth and upbuilding. Among the worthy and influential citizens of the town is numbered George W. Mitchell, the president of the Lamro State Bank. He was born in Lodi, Wisconsin, August 27, 1867, and is a son of William H. and Susan (Canning) Mitchell. The father, who was a farmer by occupation, has departed this life but the mother survives and makes her home at Winner, South Dakota.

Spending his youthful days under the parental roof, George W. Mitchell attended the public schools of Wisconsin and afterward entered the State University at Madison, while still later he became a student in the Northwestern Business College in the same city. He then went to the west and for a period sojourned in Denver but afterward removed to Nebraska and while in that state entered a general store, in which he was employed as a clerk at a salary of forty dollars per month. It was about that time, or in 1890, that he married and established a home of his own. He continued clerking for seven years, during which period he carefully saved his earnings, practicing close economy as well as industry in order to acquire the capital which would enable him to engage in business on his own account. When he felt the sum was sufficient he opened a general store, which he conducted until 1906, when he sold out and removed to South Dakota, first settling at Presho. In the spring of 1909, however, he came to Lamro, South Dakota, and established the Lamro State Bank, which he subsequently moved to Winner. Other banks were also founded here at the opening of the town, but Mr. Mitchell is the only one of the original bankers remaining. From the outset he has enjoyed a good patronage and the business of the bank ia now large and satisfactory. Mr. Mitchell has ever maintained a safe policy in conducting the bank and has thoroughly won and merited the confidence of the stockholders, patrons and the general public. He has made judicious investments in property, becoming a large landowner in the state. He is one of the organizers of the Chamberlain Land & Loan Company, which purchased seventy quarter sections and has since disposed of the greater part of this at a good profit.

In 1890 Mr. Mitchell wedded Miss Delia Saunders and they have one child, Brandon E. The parents are members of the Episcopal church, taking a helpful interest in its work. Mr. Mitchell votes with the republican party and puts forth earnest effort in its behalf yet is not an office seeker. Fraternally he is a third degree Mason, a member of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, the Knights of Pythias and the Modern Woodmen. His interest in community affairs is manifest in many tangible ways, including his service as president of the executive board of the local Chamber of Commerce. He approves the good roads movement and stands at all times for public progress, in which connection he is a man of action rather than theory. He enjoys horseback riding and motoring and is fond of fishing and hunting and utilizes those interests for rest and recreation. He leads a busy life, makes his work count for the utmost and his ready discrimination between the essential and the non-essential is one of the salient features in his increasing prosperity.

(Source: History of Dakota Territory, 1915)
Submitted By: Cathy Danielson


Clement S. Mortensen

See Miliary Clement S. Mortensen

See Mortensen & Burkhard Garage

See News Mortensen and Horner

See Obituary


Donald A. Sinclair

Donald A. Sinclair, conducting an abstract business at Winner, where he is also filling the position of mayor, is never so engrossed with individual interests that he neglects public duties. On the contrary, his is a well balanced character and he gives to each activity its due relative proportion of time. Advancement has been his watchword and he has contributed no less to public progress than to individual success. He was born in Charleston, West Virginia, March 31, 1872, a son of Peter and Margaret (McPherson) Sinclair, who in the year 1883 removed with their family to Nebraska, where the father homesteaded, securing land which he converted into productive fields, thereon spending his remaining days, his death occurring April 3, 1895. His wife has now survived him for twenty years and is living at Winner, South Dakota'.

Donald A. Sinclair entered upon clerking after acquiring a public-school education, spending his time in that manner until called to public office in 1903, when he became county clerk of Boyd county, Nebraska, which position he filled for four years. When the Tripp county lands of the Rosebud reservation were opened for settlement in 1908 he came to South Dakota and established his home in Winner, aiding in the early settlement, development and upbuilding of the town. He was appointed its first postmaster and .served in that capacity until 1914, when he resigned. However, his friends were loath to give up his service in office and in May, 1914, elected him mayor of Winner for a term of two years. Already his administration has been characterized by marked advancement, for during his term of office the waterworks have been installed, wells being located seven miles from the town to which the water is conveyed by the gravity system. An adequate supply of pure, sparkling water has been secured and the system is unsurpassed in the state. Mr. Sinclair is now concentrating his efforts upon securing a sewer system and will no doubt succeed, for it is his custom to carry forward to successful completion whatever he undertakes.

On the 20th of September, 1899, Mr. Sinclair was united in marriage to Miss Rose Davis, a daughter of Clement Davis, of Clay county, South Dakota. To them were born four children, namely: Margaret, Jessie, Roy D. and Donald, Jr. The wife and mother passed away September 10, 1911, to the deep regret of many friends as well as her immediate family, for her good qualities of heart and mind had endeared her to all with whom she was associated.

Mr. Sinclair attends the Episcopal church and is an exemplary representative of the Masonic fraternity, the Modern Woodmen of America and the Woodmen of the World. He has given his political allegiance to the republican party since age conferred upon him the right of franchise and at all times keeps well informed concerning the questions and issues of the day. At local elections, however, he subordinates partisanship to the general good and at all times is recognized as a public-spirited man who regards a public office as a public trust and who is never negligent of his duties. On the contrary, he is watchful of opportunities to advance the general welfare and his efforts have been far reaching and beneficial.

(Source: History of Dakota Territory, 1915)
Submitted By: Cathy Danielson


Rev. Charles H. Virnig

Rev. Charles H. Virnig, pastor of the Immaculate Conception church at Winner and thus identified with the work of planting the seeds of Catholicism in western South Dakota and in nourishing the interests and growth of the church, was born at Cross Plains, Wisconsin, October 6, 1879, a son of Adrian and Agnes Virnig. The father was a farmer in early life but afterward put aside the plow and turned his attention to commercial pursuits, engaging in mercantile business. Success attended his efforts until, possessed of a handsome competence, he retired and with his wife resides in Cross Plains, Wisconsin.

Charles H. Virnig attended parochial schools in early boyhood and afterward pursued a classical course of study at Mount Calvary, Wisconsin. He later studied philosophy at St John's University of Minnesota and theology at St. Meinrad, Indiana, after which he was ordained to the priesthood in May, 1906. He was assigned to his first mission at Meadow. South Dakota, in which connection he had charge of Catholic interests in one-half of Perkins county and part of Meade county, attending fourteen different missions, the nearest being ten miles distant and the farthest eighty-five miles. He had charge of that work for two years, after which he was sent to Faith, South Dakota, where he continued for two years.

In June, 1914, he was assigned to the church of the Immaculate Conception at Winner, where he has since continued and from this point he ministers to five out missions, his total charge numbering ninety families. When he was appointed to Faith there was not a single house there, only a cellar. He built the parish house at Faith and also the parish house at Winner and is now making improvements in the church property. He votes with the democratic party and is fond of outdoor life, but with him all interests are subservient to his purpose of up-building the church and advancing the material and spiritual welfare of his congregation.

[History of Dakota Territory, South Dakota Its History & Its People, 1915, submitted by Cathy Danielson]


Frank E. Wells

Frank E. Wells, filling the position of auditor of Tripp county, is a native of the neighboring state of Iowa, his birth having occurred in Black Hawk county, December 20, 1884. He is a son of Rollin R, and Elizabeth (Smith) Wells, the former a farmer during the years of his active business career, but both he and his wife have now passed away.

At the usual age their son Frank became a public-school pupil and is indebted to the school system of his native state for the educational privileges which he enjoyed and which prepared him for business duties in later life. When his textbooks were put aside he continued with his father on the home farm for a time but turned to other pursuits for a livelihood and for four years was in the employ of the Swift Packing Company of Iowa.

In 1909 he came to South Dakota, settling at Witten, where he engaged in the hardware business, conducting his store at that point for about four years. He was then called to public office, being nominated and elected county auditor of Tripp county in 1912, in which year he disposed of his business and removed to Winner. He discharged his duties promptly, systematically and efficiently and was reelected in 1914, so that his present term of office will continue until 1916.

On the 24th of June, 1908, Mr. Wells was united in marriage to Miss Anna Gibson, a daughter of Peter J. and Johanna (Johnson) Gibson. To them have been born two children, Doris A. and Hazel R. Mr. and Mrs. Wells are communicants of the Episcopal church and he belongs also to the Masonic fraternity, which counts him among its exemplary representatives. He has always adhered to republican teachings since he acquired the right of Franchise and is never loath to announce and support his honest convictions. Hunting is one of his favorite recreations and he enjoys all kinds of outdoor sports. One cannot enter the west with its great, broad prairies, its thriving towns, its populous business centers, without becoming imbued with the progressive spirit that is accomplishing much day by day, a spirit which has its root in the desires and the efforts of the citizens who recognize their opportunity and are building for present and future greatness. To this class belongs Frank K. Wells.

(Source: History of Dakota Territory, 1915)
Submitted By: Cathy Danielson

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