Dana Reed Bailey.

History of Minnehaha county, South Dakota. Containing an account of its settlements, growth, development and resources ... Synopsis of public records, biographical sketches .. online

. (page 61 of 99)
Online LibraryDana Reed BaileyHistory of Minnehaha county, South Dakota. Containing an account of its settlements, growth, development and resources ... Synopsis of public records, biographical sketches .. → online text (page 61 of 99)
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& Marine Insurance Co., and held this position until it went out of
business. In 1891 went to New Orleans in the employ of the Mil-
waukee & Mechanics Insurance Co., and remained there one year;
then returned to Sioux Palls, and eng-ag-ed in the insurance business
with John S. Pewis, under the firm name of Morcom & Lewis. On
the 1st day of December, 1895, entered into a copartnership w ith
E. S. Knowles in the insurance business, under the firm name of
Morcom & Knowles, which copartnership still continues. He is the
special ag-ent for South Dakota of the National Pi re Insurance Co. of
Hartford, Conn.; has been a member of the school board of the city
of Sioux Palls four years, three years of which he was its president.
Mr. Morcom is a g-ood business man, an enterprising- citizen, active
in political matters, and socially — well, he has been king- of a


Morgan, Dr. John Cass, was born on a farm in Portao-e
county, Ohio, on the 4th day of February, 1843. While (juite youno-
he moved with his parents to Rock county, Wisconsin, where he re-
mained until twelve years old. In 1855 went to Minnesota, where he
resided until 1859, and then returned to his old home in Wisconsin.
During- his vouth he worked on a farm, attended the common school,
and took a partial academic course, and at the time of the breaking-
out of the rebellion had commenced the study of medicine. In 18(>1,
he enlisted in Co. D, 7th Wis. Inf., and remained in the service until
July, 1865; was w^ounded in the battle of Gettysburg-, and on the
31st day of March, 1865, was ag-ain wounded while in battle, and this
time so seriously that an amputation of one of his feet became neces-
sary. After the war he resumed the study of medicine, attended
the Medical University of Michig-an, and finally g-raduated at Rush
Medical Colleg-e in 1869. Immediately after his g-raduation he com-
menced the practice of medicine in Prankville, Iowa, where he re-
mained until he removed to Sioux Falls in April, 1873. When he
arrived in Sioux Falls there were three other physicians in the
county. Dr. J. L. Phillips and the two Drs. Roberts, father and son.
Dr. Morg-an took up a timber claim in Lincoln county, and a home-
stead and pre-emption in Benton township, this countv, and has also
purchased other real estate so that at the present time he is the
owner of 1,010 acres of land. Since his residence in Sioux Falls, he
has been actively eng-ag-ed in the practice of his profession, and a
long- list of the early settlers w ill always employ him when needing-
medical attendance. He was county physician ten years, and for the
same leng-th of time the onl}^ pension examiner at Sioux Falls, and
then one of- the board of pension examiners, consisting- of himself,
Dr.LeBlond and Dr.Olney, for ten years more; was the health officer
of the city of Sioux Falls several years, and the physician at the pen-
itentiary and the school for deaf mutes since the location of these
institutions until June, 1899. He has been a prominent member and
official of the Minnehaha County Medical Society since its org-aniza-
tion, and its president one \"ear. He never could balance himself on
a fence for a minute. He is always on one side or the other of every
proposition that is of public interest, and within his circle everybody
is aware which side he is sustaining-. He is an energ-etic, honest cit-
izen, a g-ood friend, and, for a short time, a fairly good hater. As a
neig-hbor he is kind and oblig-ing-.

MoRSTAD, Peter J., was born near the city of Christiania, Nor-
way, on the 27th day of December, 1853. He came to the United
States in 1870 and worked on a farm near Albert Lea, Minnesota for
about five years; was traveling- ag-ent for a machine company known
as Fuller, Johnson & Co., four years, and was clerk in a mercan-
tile store two years and a half. In 1881 he moved to Grand Forks,
North Dakota and eng-agfed as clerk in M. I. Mendelson's clothing-
store for about seven months, when he and A. Christopherson
boug-ht the stock and continued the business under the firm name
of Morstad, Christopherson & Co. for about three months. On the
18th day of December, 1882, the building- occupied by them was
destroyed by fire and being- unable to rent another building- at that

Dr. John C. Morgan,


])1<ice they removed to Sioux Palls, where thi' elothin^;- llrni of
Morstad & Christopherson has done a successful Inisiness since
then. Mr. Morstad was elected alderman from the Fifth ward in
18*)4, and was re-elected in 1896 and in 1898, althouo-h his politics is
not in accord with the majority of the voters of that ward, but he is
a o'ood official, <'i yood business man and a respected citi/en.

Mri.LKR, Henry A., was bom in Cassville, Wisconsin, August
3, 1865. He was raised on a farm and attended the common schools
during- his youth. When twenty years of age he came to Dakota
and entered the Brookings Agricultural College, where he remained
two years and then went to Scotland, in this state, and was a stu-
dent in the academy at that place four terms. Then entered the
university at Vermillion, and after having- remained there a few-
terms came to Sioux Palls and commenced the study of law in D. R.
Power's office. He was admitted to the bar November 16, 1892, and
since then has been in the practice of his profession at Sioux Falls.
He is now associated with D. J. Conway in the practice of law un-
der the firm name of Muller & Conway. Mr. Muller is a studious,
well-read lawyer and deservedly popular among his professional
brethren, and is one of the young men of the Minnehaha county bar
who is expected to attain a high standing in his profession.

Nelson, CharlEvS M., was born in Mount Carroll, 111., Septem-
ber 11, 1867. In June, 1872, he came with his parents tothis county
and has since then resided here. He was reared on a farm, attended
school and fitted himself for teaching; has taught school twelve years
in the countv; was appointed deputy sheriff by Sheriff Donahoe in
June, 1898, and is in charge of the jail. Mr. Nelson is honest, indus-
trious, and one of the g'rowdng young men of the county.

Nelson, W. H., was born in Somerset county, Maine, on the 5th
day of March, 1842. He worked on a farm and attended the public
schools until twenty years old; then went to California and engaged
in the lumber business until 1870, w^hen he removed to Dakota. He
arrived in Sioux Palls on the 10th day of April, 1870, and for seven
years was bookkeeper for B. P. Roderick, w ho at that time was
in the lumber and grain business. In 1878 the subject of this
sketch opened a drug store, in which business he has since con-
tinued. He was president of the city school board eig'ht years,
and took a lively interest in educational matters during- his term
of office. He is a good neighbor and a respected citizen.

Newell, Harrison C, w^as born at Westfield, Wis., June 13,
1863. He was reared on a farm, attended the public school and
gratuated from the high school at Baraboo, W^is., and was a student
at the University at Madison a short time. In 1883 went to Pierre,
S. D., and w^orked for Ward & Prick in the wholesale grocery busi-
ness until June, 1886, when he removed with them to Sioux Palls, and
remained in their employ until they sold out to Jewett Bros. & Jew^ett
in 1888, and was in the" employ of this firm until 1889, w^hen he en-
gaged in the real estate business for one year. In 1890 he went into
the wholesale fruit business, but sold out in 1893, and then, in con-
nection with Charles Ransom, operated the canning factory in Sioux


Falls one vear. In 18*)4 they formed a copartnership under the firm
name of Ransom & Newell in the retail <>-rocery business, in which
they have since continued. Mr. Newell is a y-enial o-ood fellow, a
o-ood business man, and a «"ood citizen.

Nichols, Geor(;e M, was born near Watertown, Wisconsin,
March 15, 1842. He was raised on a farm and attended the public
schools until fourteen years of, when he entered the machine
shops of the Milwaukee Railroad Company. In 1863, enlisted for one
year in the U. S. navy, and served out his time on the boat Pittsburg.
In an eng-agement on Red River he was severely wounded. In 1864,
received a recruitin(>- commission from Governor Lewis of AVisconsin,
and enlisted three hundred and twenty-seven men; was made first
lieutenant, and was in command of Co. H, 51st Wisconsin infantrv.
In 1866 he and his brother built a larg-e saw and stave mill at Kauk-
auna, Outag-amie county, Wisconsin, which was destroyed b}" fire in
1871, causing- them a loss of several thousand dollars. He then went
back to the Milwaukee shops, and remained in the employ of the Mil-
waukee Railroad Company until he removed to Sioux Palls in the fall
of 1882. His first work in Sioux Palls was to fit up the first steam
laundry in that place, situated at the foot of Ninth street, on the bank
of the Sioux river. He worked several months in doing- this, and
only received a cap and a suit of clothes in payment. He afterwards
rented and run the laundry for about a year, when he established a
dyeing- and cleaning- house, which he run for about four years. He
then eng-ag-ed in the mercantile business, and when he sold this out
conducted a butcher shop for awhile. The physical disabilities from
which he is suffering-, resulting- from military service, have taken him
from the field of active work, but he is nevertheless able to participate
in public matters.

NiiOL, James M., was born in (ilasg-ow, Scotland, December 25,
1854, and emig-rated with his parents to Milwaukee, Wis., in 1857;
attended the city schools until eleven years old, w^hen he entered a
paint shop and learned the painter's trade, in which he has contin-
ued since then. On the 12th day of March, 1884, he came to Sioux
Palls, where he has since resided. He is an expert in his business,
as the signs and decorations in the city will fully demonstrate. He
is a g-enial g-ood fellow, and a g-ood citizen.

Nolan, Rev. William V., w^as born at Niag-ara Palls, New
York, April 17, 1854. He attended the public schools until sixteen
years old and for the next five years was a student at the seminary
and colleg-e of Our Lady of Ang-els, where he was g-raduated. He
then took a special course for the priesthood at Philadelphia, Pa.,
and was ordained a priest June 24, 1880. Prom this time until 1883
he was connected with St. John the Baptist church and colleg-e at
New York, teaching- and doing- ministerial w^ork. Prom there he
went to Cape Girardeau, Mo., where he was eng-ag-ed in teaching- and
parochial work until he removed to South Dakota in November, 1891,
with the exception of one year, which time he spent in St. Louis and
LaSalle, 111. When he first came to this state he was located at
Huron, and had charg-e of all the Catholic churches and missions in

Charles L. Norton.

John Francis Ncjrtun.


Beadle county vintil April 13, 18-)3, when he removed to Sioux Falls,
and since that time has had char^-e of the St. Michael pro-cathedral
church in Sioux Falls. Father Xolan is a scholarly man, an eloquent
preacher, a devoted pastor, and o-reatly l^eloved by the people over
whom he is placed.

NoKBERG, S. Albert, was born in Sweden, April 12, 185*). He
worked on a farm and attended the public school durin^- his minority.
He then learned the painter's trade, and in 1882 emij^-rated to the
United States, where he arrived June 5, of that year. He worked on
a farm one vear, and as a painter two years, and then returned to
Sweden, l)ut after residing- there a year ao-ain came to this country,
and has since worked at his trade, at first in Chicag-o, but since 1887
at Sioux Falls, where his brother Peter is associated with him under
the firm name of Norberg- Brothers. They are l)oth enterprising-
g-ood business men and respected citizens.

Norton, Charles L., was born at Glens Falls, New York, May
2(), 1852, and removed with his parents to Edg-erton, Wisconsin, in
18()(). In 1869 he came to St. Paul, Minnesota, and went into a tele-
g-raph office in connection with a railroad. He eng-ag-ed in the same
business at Duluth and Minneapolis, and finally became the "end
man" of the St. Paul and Sioux City Railway Company, or, in other
words, was the terminal box car ag-ent of the company. He w^is at
Sibley and Luverne and was finally run into this county on the 1st
dav of Aug-ust, 1878, and dumped, with the title of station ag-ent, at
Sioux Falls. He kept this position for two years and then for a
short time became the assistant cashier of the First National Bank,
and then a director and cashier of the Sioux Falls National Bank and
has been from its orgfanization and is now the cashier of this bank.
He served several years on the school board; was alderman two
years; and was appointed county treasurer upon the resig-nation of
C. K. Howard in January, 1886, and remained in that office during-
the year. He w^as elected county treasurer in 1890 and 1892, and
ag-ain in 1898. Althoug-h the office of county treasurer was not cre-
ated for him, still he fills it admirably and g-ives g-eneral satisfaction.
After his term of office expired January 1, 1895, he eng-ag-ed in the
insurance business in addition to his official duties as cashier of tlie
Sioux Falls National Bank. He is one of those gfenial g-ood fellows
who is liked by everybody, and any person having- trouble with liim
must originate it himself. In addition to his admirable social (|uali-
ties he is an enterprising-, level-headed citizen.

Norton, Eben S., was born at Glens Falls, N. Y., Februarx
11, 1846; moved to Edgerton, Wis., with his parents in 1860; was
reared on a farm and received his education in the public schools
and in Milton College at Milton, Wis. When twenty years old was
employed as telegraph operator at Edgerton, and after working at
several places was appointed station agent atTomah, Wis., where he
remained until he moved to Sioux Falls, where he arrived October
15, 1880, and since then has been station agent on the Omaha road.
Mr. Norton has been on the school board two terms, is a member of
the Masonic order and the A. O. U. W. He is a good business man


and pleasant to do business with, is a g-ood neig-hbor and a hig-hly re-
spected citizen.

Norton, John Francis, was bom in Schenectady, New York,
November 14, 1843, and lived there until he was three years of ag-e,
when he removed with his parents to Rouse Point, N. Y., where they
resided for a few vears and then removed to Union Prairie, Alama-
kee county, Iowa. He attended the city schools at Rouse Point. In
Iowa he worked on a farm until twenty years of ag-e. While residing-
at Union Prairie he held the offices of town clerk, assessor and col-
lector, g-iving- an official bond of $50,000 as collector when he was onlv
twentv-one years old. At the ag*e of tvventy-eig'ht years he eng-ag-ed
in the implement business at Lansing-, Iowa, carrying- on the busi-
ness for two years alone and then with a copartner for one year.
When this copartnership was dissolved he entered into another co-
partnership in the implement and livery business, which continued
until 1878, He removed to Sioux Palls in October of that year,
where he at once eng-agfed in the implement business in connection
with John J. Murry, under the firm name of Norton &Murry. Since
taking- up his residence in Sioux Palls he has been a very active citi-
zen. In 1884 he was elected alderman from the Third ward for two
years, and in 1886 he was re-elected, serving- three years in all. In
1887 he was elected mayor and served the full term of two years. He
was elected a representative to the first leg-islature of South Dakota
and at the expiration of his term was re-elected. In 1892 was ap-
pointed deputy collector of the internal revenue, which position he
held for two years. In January, 1895, when C. W. Hubbard assum-
ed the office of sheriff of Minnehaha county Mr. Norton was appoint-
ed deputy sheriff, which position he held until the summer of 189().
He is now in the real estate business. As a business man he has al-
ways been well liked; as a citizen he has been active and enterpris-
ing-, and as an official he won the respect of his constituency. He is
a g-ood neig-hbor and a steadfast friend.

O'GoRMAN, Rt. Rev. Thomas, second bishop of the Catholic
diocese of South Dakota, is a native of Boston, Mass., and was born
in 1843. His parents moved West, and his boyhood was spent in
Chicag-o and St. Paul successively. Upon reaching- the proper ag-e
to enter a theolog-ical seminary (after receiving- a colleg-iate course
and g-raduating- with hig-h honors) he was sent to Prance to be edu-
cated for the priesthood. He was ordained in St. Paul in 1865, and
until 1876 had charg-e as missionary of a district in southern Minne-
sota which now comprises fifteen separate parishes. In 1877 he
joined with the Paulist Pathers in their missionary work, and dur-
ing- a portion of two years preached in the Cathedral in New York.
In 1885 he was made president of the seminary of St. Thomas in
St. Paul, and also occupied the professorship of philosophy and dog -
matic theolog-y. In 1890 he was appointed professor of ecclesiastical
history of the Roman Catholic university located at Washing-ton, D.
C, where he remained until he was made Bishop of South Dakota in
1896. During- his residence in Washing-ton he was selected to write
a history of the Roman Catholic church in the United States, and

Rt. Rev. Thomas O'Gorman.


Volume IX of the series of denominational church histories, pul)-
lished under the auspices of the American Society of Church His-
tory, was written by him. This volume evidences the fact that no
mistake was made in his selection for the work. It covers a wider
held than any other volume of the series, commencing- with the first
landing- of Columbus on this continent, and, advancing- step bv step,
gives a complete account of the development and g-rowth of the
church to the present time. It is a g-reat work, written in a most
attractive and scholarly style, and places the Bishop in the front
rank of historical writers.

On the 2d day of Mav, 1S*)(), Bisliop O'Ciorman arrixed in Sioux
Falls, accompanied by Archbishop Ireland, of St. Paul, and other
Iiigh dignitaries of the church, and the reception, the ceremonies
of the installation the day following- in St. Michael's church, and the
l)anquet tendered him, will always be remembered b}^ its partici-
pants as among- the grandest events in the history of the city. It is
not too much to say that a more cordial and elaborate welcome was
never g-iven to anyone in Sioux Falls; and one of the most pleasant
features attending- the coming- of this eminent prelate to our midst,
was the hearty co-operation of the clerg-y of other relig-ious denomi-
nations in making- the event a notable one. Since coming- to South
Dakota he has labored with g-reat zeal and ability in advancing- the
welfare of his church, and under his administration some of the
Hnest and most costly church building's in the state have been
erected. The bishop is g-reatly beloved by his people; and through-
out the state, reg-ardless of denominational preferences, he is highly
esteemed, and the city of Sioux Falls is especially ])roud of her dis-
tinguished citizen.

Olney, Dr. Stephen, was born in Warren, Pennsylvania, on the 2d
day of March, 1846. He attended the city schools at Warren dur-
ing his early youth, and then went to Poland, Ohio, and attended the
Union Seminary, where he g-raduated. He remained in Poland about
six years, and after graduating- from the seminary studied medicine
in Dr. Truesdale's office. He attended the Medical University in
Michig-an one year, and then went to the Western Reserve Medical
College at Cleveland, Ohio, where he g-raduated in 1868. He then
practiced medicine about one year at Struthers, Ohio. In the spring-
of 18()') he came West, and located at Sioux Rapids, Iowa, where he
remained in the practice of medicine until the spring- of 1875, when
he removed to Swan Lake, Turner county, this state, where he was
engag-ed in his profession until he removed to Sioux Falls in Aug-ust,
1877, where he has since remained. He was the first treasurer of
the Territorial Medical Society, and was active in the organization
of the Minnehaha County Medical Society, of which he was the presi-
dent in 1885. He has been city physician of Sioux Falls, chairman
of the city board of health and also an officer of the county board of
health. He is not only learned in his profession, but well informed
upon topics eng-ag-ing- public attention, especially those of a scientific
character. But he is best known and most appreciated in the sick
room, where his patients are encourag-ed by his quiet, assuring- man-
ner and attentive consideration of their ills. His practice is quite


extensive, and he is acknowledg-ed by his coUeag-ues to be one of the
most skillful and successful practitioners in the state.

Olson, John, is a native of Sweden, and was born March 22d,
1838. When he was only three years old he lost his father, and as
soon as he was able to earn wag-es worked out on a farm. When he
was seventeen years old he emigrated to this country and settled in
Carver county, Minnesota. He took up a claim and opened a country
store. For ten years he was a justice of the peace, and for several
vears was deputy postmaster, having- charg-e of the office. He also
held the offices of town assessor and treasurer several years. He had
an interest in a mill that was erected at the place of his residence,
and was treasurer of the company. In the spring- of 1883, he came to
Sioux Palls, where he has since resided. In Aug-ust of that year he
opened a store on Phillips avenue, and had a stock of merchandise
valued at ten thousand dollars, but on the 6th day of November, fol-
lowing-, it was destroyed by fire, and it was a total loss, except SI, 000
of insurance. He then commenced business in a small way in the
confectionerv line, and graduallv worked into the g-rocery business
in which he is now engag-ed. In 1897, he was elected city treasurer,
and was re-elected in 1808. Mr. Olson is an uprig-ht, honest man, and
a respected citizen.

Orr, Alpha F., was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, April 28,
1860; when two years old went to Florence, N. Y., with his parents;
was educated in the public schools, Whitestone seminary and Hamil-
ton college, where he was a student for two years; studied law and
was admitted to the bar at Rochester, N. Y., in 1882; commenced
practicing- his profession at Rome, N. Y., where he remained one
year, and then went to Camden, N. J., where he practiced law until
1889. In the fall of that year he came to Sioux Falls, where he has
since resided eng-aged in professional work. Mr. Orr is a good law-
yer, and althoug-h he has not been a candidate for office he is always an
active participator in political campaigns, taking- the stump in the in-
terest of his party, and always makes a g-ood speech. He tries his
cases well, is well liked, and is a good citizen.

Palmer, Cornelius S., was born in Underbill, Vermont, No-
vember 2, 1844. His father was a farmer, and the subject of this
sketch worked on the farm until he enlisted in the military service in
his seventeenth year. He enlisted in the name of, and took the place
of an elder brother, Simeon M. Palmer, and served out the term of
his enlistment. Returning- to his home he attended the Underbill
Academy, and studied law with L. F. Milbur, Esq., of Jericho, an
adjoining town. In 1872, was admitted to the bar, and immediatelv
commenced the practice of his profession at Jericho. Six years after
was elected state's attorney for Chittenden county, and held this
office for two years. During the administration of this office he gained
considerable notoriety for vigorous prosecution of all classes of
oiTenders, and especially violators of the law prohibiting the sale of
intoxicating liquors. In 1880, was elected to represent the town of
Jericho i^n the Vermont legislature. In 1882, was appointed assistant
United States district attorney for Dakota territory, and removed to


Yankton on the22ddayof Jiineof that year; remained at Yankton in the
discharo'e of the duties of this office until he recei\ed the ap])oint-

Online LibraryDana Reed BaileyHistory of Minnehaha county, South Dakota. Containing an account of its settlements, growth, development and resources ... Synopsis of public records, biographical sketches .. → online text (page 61 of 99)