Biography of Fred LaPlant

Fred LaPlant, born in 1861 in Deer’s Ear, North Dakota, is a prominent stock grower in South Dakota. His father, Louis LaPlant, was among the first white settlers in Dakota, significantly contributing to its early history. Fred was raised on the frontier, gaining firsthand experience in livestock raising alongside his father. In 1888, he began raising cattle independently with his brother George, and since 1896, he has utilized the Cheyenne Indian reservation’s range for his cattle operations. Fred typically manages five to six thousand head of cattle and has expanded into the general merchandise business at the Cheyenne agency. A staunch Republican and a 32nd-degree Mason, he is married to Virginia Travesty of Sioux City, Iowa. They have four children: Maud D., Lucille, Fred Ellsworth, and Irene.

Fred LaPlant is one of the extensive stock growers of the state, using the extensive range on the Cheyenne Indian reservation and having the best of facilities for carrying on his operations as a cattle raiser. He bears a name which has been most conspicuously identified with the history of the northwest, his father having come into Dakota among the very first white men to penetrate its untrammeled wilds and having been a conspicuous figure in the strenuous life of the frontier. He is frequently mentioned in connection with the general history appearing in this work, and an individual sketch of his career is also incorporated, so that a recapitulation is not demanded in this connection.

Fred LaPlant was born in the locality known as Deer’s Ear, north of the Black Hills, in what is now North Dakota, the year of his birth having been 1861. He was reared on the frontier and thus his educational advantages were limited, but his alert mentality has enabled him to overcome to a large extent this early handicap. His father, Louis LaPlant, was among the first to engage in the raising of livestock in the territory of Dakota, and our subject early became familiar with the labors involved in connection with this industry, being associated with his father during his youthful days on the stock range, while he was also identified with him in freighting to the Black Hills in 1876-8. For details of which enterprise see the sketch of Louis LaPlant. In 1888 the subject engaged in the raising of cattle upon his own responsibility, becoming associated with his brother George, and they successfully continued in partnership until 1893, when Fred established himself in the same line of enterprise individually, and has since continued operation with ever-increasing success. He for some time utilized the open range along the Bad River, while since 1896 he has availed himself of the unexcelled range of the great Cheyenne Indian reservation. He usually runs as high as five or six thousand head of cattle, and he has shown marked discrimination and executive ability in his operations in connection with this great industry, while he has not been denied a due reward in the way of financial success. On June 1, 1903, Mr. LaPlant also became identified with the general merchandise business, becoming associated with Dr. L. P. Michael in the opening of a well-stocked establishment at the Cheyenne agency, under the firm name of Michael & LaPlant.

In politics the subject is a staunch Republican and fraternally he has attained distinguished advancement in the Masonic order, in which he has passed the thirty-second degree in the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite and been designated as a Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret. He is a member of Oriental Consistory, No. 1, at Yankton.

In the year 1889 Mr. LaPlant was united in marriage to Miss Virginia Travesty, of Sioux City, Iowa, she being a daughter of August Travesty, who was one of the very early settlers in the territory of Dakota, and a man of prominence in the stirring life on the frontier. Mr. and Mrs. LaPlant have four children: Maud D., Lucille, Fred Ellsworth, and Irene.


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

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top