J. O. Melham, a prominent businessman from Minnesota, was born on a farm in Fillmore County in 1866. He grew up in a family of Norwegian heritage, and his father was a teacher before immigrating to America. J. O. Melham excelled in his education, attending schools in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and South Dakota. After leaving school, he worked on the family farm before embarking on an independent career in the agricultural industry. Eventually, he found success in the lumber and hardware business, establishing the Melham Brothers Lumber Company. Mr. Melham is also involved in banking and holds significant land holdings in South Dakota and British Columbia.
Hollace Lincoln Hopkins, a prominent figure in South Dakota’s business and political history, has left an indelible mark on the state. As the manager of the Sioux Valley Land Company and the founder of The Independent newspaper, Hopkins achieved widespread recognition and influence. He played an instrumental role in the expansion of the land company and actively participated in local and state politics. With a deep commitment to the welfare of his town, Hopkins tirelessly worked to advance its social, moral, and material progress. Beyond his professional pursuits, he was actively involved in the Pythian Order and cherished family life with his wife, Encie Plank, and their four children.