Biography of George H. Grace

George H. Grace, the incumbent superintendent of schools in Hand County, was born in Green County, Wisconsin, on August 8, 1871. His father, John Grace, served as a courageous soldier in the Union army during the Civil War. George received his early education in Wisconsin before his family relocated to South Dakota. After completing his studies, he served as clerk of the courts and later became the county superintendent of schools. Known for revitalizing and systematizing education in his jurisdiction, Grace is highly regarded by both teachers and the community. He is a dedicated advocate of the Republican Party and has made significant contributions to education in South Dakota.

GEORGE H. GRACE, who is the incumbent superintendent of schools of Hand County, is a native of Green County, Wisconsin, where he was born on the 8th of August, 1871. He is the son of John and Harriet (Thorpe) Grace, who currently reside in Mitchell, South Dakota. John Grace, a retired farmer, was a valiant soldier in the Union army during the Civil War, serving for four years. He enlisted as a member of the Third Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry and participated in many notable battles, including Gettysburg and Chancellorsville, where he received a severe wound.

The subject of this review received his early education in the public schools of his native state. When he was about fourteen years old, his parents moved to what is now South Dakota, settling in Lincoln County, where his father engaged in farming and stock raising. After completing the curriculum in the public schools, Mr. Grace continued his studies at Wessington Springs Academy in South Dakota. In 1899, he took a special course at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

During the first two years of his residence in South Dakota, he lived in Lincoln County. Later, he resided in Buffalo County, where he was elected clerk of the courts in 1894. A few months later, he was appointed county superintendent of schools. He was later reelected to this office through a general election, receiving the endorsement of both political parties. In 1897, Mr. Grace resigned from this position to become the principal of the high school in Mitchell, where he served for three years. Afterward, he moved to the town of Miller, accepting the principalship of the public schools there. He held this position for two years. In November 1902, he was elected county superintendent of schools for a two-year term in his county, running as a candidate on the Republican ticket. He has achieved an admirable record in revitalizing and systematizing the schools under his jurisdiction and has gained the earnest cooperation of the county’s people and employed teachers. Mr. Grace is a staunch advocate of the principles of the Republican Party.

On the 6th of July, 1894, Mr. Grace married Miss Minnie Waterbury, originally from East Pierre, South Dakota. However, she passed away fifteen months later. On the 26th of June, 1900, Mr. Grace married Miss Belle C. Leffingwell, a native of Iowa and daughter of A. J. Leffingwell, who currently resides in Exira, Iowa. Mrs. Grace, a woman of gracious presence and high intellectual accomplishments, was appointed principal of the Miller schools to succeed her husband when he was elected county superintendent. The couple does not have any children.


Robinson, Doane, History of South Dakota: together with mention of Citizens of South Dakota, [Logansport? IN] : B. F. Bowen, 1904.

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