George H. Baxter is a prominent business figure in Watertown, South Dakota. Born in Illinois in 1860, he grew up on a farm and later ventured into agriculture and livestock in South Dakota. In 1893, he shifted his focus to the milling industry and became the sole stockholder of the Kampeska Milling Company, which he expanded into a highly efficient and modern facility. Baxter’s astute business acumen, integrity, and involvement in various organizations earned him widespread respect. He married Hattie M. Stone in 1900, and both actively participated in the Methodist Church and held esteemed positions in the community.
GEORGE H. BAXTER is one of the representative business men of Watertown, the attractive capital city of Codington county, where he is now the sole stockholder in the Kampeska Milling Company, owning a finely equipped mill in which is installed the most modern machinery, making it one of the best flouring mills in the state.
Mr. Baxter was born on the parental homestead, in Schuyler County, Illinois, on the 16th of September, 1860, and is a son of John H. and Mary E. (Bell) Baxter, the former of whom was born in West Virginia and the latter in Illinois while they were numbered among the pioneers of Illinois. The father devoted his attention principally to agricultural pursuits, having been a cooper by trade. He died on September 4, 1902, in Hamlin County, South Dakota, where his widow still resides. They became the parents of four sons, all of whom are living, while the subject of this review was the first in order of birth.
George H. Baxter received his early educational training in the public schools of his native county and supplemented this by a course of study at Chaddock College in Quincy, Illinois. He continued to attend school until he had attained the age of eighteen years, and in the meanwhile assisted in the work of the home farm, with which he continued to be identified until 1882 when he accompanied his parents to South Dakota and took up land in Hamlin County, where he developed a valuable farm, making excellent improvements and being prospered in his efforts as an agriculturist and stock grower. He continued to reside on his ranch until 1893 when he came to Watertown and turned his attention to his milling business, having become a stockholder in the Kampeska Milling Company at the time of its organization in the fall of 1887 at Kampeska. He had held various official positions in the company, having been vice-president at the time of taking up his abode in Watertown. In 1900, he purchased all the stock not previously controlled by him and has since conducted the enterprise individually. The original capacity of the mill was fifty barrels per day, and it has since been increased to a one-hundred-barrel capacity, while the facilities of the plant throughout are of the best and most modern type, requiring an investment of about fifty thousand dollars. About forty thousand bushels of grain are shipped annually. The Kampeska Milling Company was organized at Kampeska in 1887 by E. D. and E. S. Whitlock, and in 1888 it was moved to Watertown, where E. S. Whitlock continues as superintendent. Mr. Baxter owns four hundred acres of particularly arable farming land. He raises large quantities of wheat, barley, and oats on this ranch. He is a man of marked business sagacity, is straightforward in all his dealings, and has the unqualified respect of all who know him. In politics, he staunchly supports the principles of the Republican Party, and fraternally he is affiliated with the Ancient Order of Pyramids and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. His commodious and attractive modern residence is located in close proximity to the mill and is one of the hospitable homes of the city.
On the 13th of June, 1900, Mr. Baxter was united in marriage to Miss Hattie M. Stone, daughter of Samuel and Harriet (Tuttle) Stone, now retired, of Watertown, who were pioneer settlers in the state. Mrs. Baxter is prominent in the social circles of Watertown, where she has a host of warm friends. Both are members of the Methodist Church.