Biography of Frank W. Meehan

Frank W. Meehan, a native of Wisconsin, is engaged in the abstract business in Milbank, South Dakota. Born in 1863, he grew up on a farm and received his education in Minnesota. In 1889, seeking a change of climate and occupation, he settled in Grant County, South Dakota, where he acquired land and dedicated summers to farming and winters to teaching. Frank’s involvement in local public affairs led to his election as register of deeds in 1896, and he subsequently became a prominent figure in the abstract business. He is known for his meticulously prepared abstracts of land titles and his active interest in education and community welfare.

FRANK W. MEEHAN is engaged in the abstract business in Milbank, having a complete and valuable set of abstracts of titles for Grant County. He is a native of the Badger State, having been born on the parental homestead in Rock County, Wisconsin, on the 14th of June, 1863, and being a son of Andrew and Mary (Topliff) Meehan. Mary is deceased, and Andrew resides with Frank. Andrew Meehan was born and reared in Ireland, from where he emigrated to the United States as a young man. He was engaged in farming in Wisconsin until 1863 when he removed to Steele County, Minnesota, where he continued to be involved in the same great basic industry until recently. He rendered valiant service in defense of the Union during the War of the Rebellion, having been a member of Battery C in a Minnesota regiment of heavy artillery. The Topliff family was established in New England in the early colonial days, and Mary’s paternal grandfather was a soldier in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Mary herself was a native of Massachusetts. Andrew and Mary Meehan had five sons and one daughter, and the only survivors are the subject and his sister, Jennie Louise, who is the wife of W. B. Adsit of Owatonna, Minnesota.

Frank W. Meehan was raised on the homestead farm and received his early education in the public schools. In 1880, he entered Pillsbury Academy in Owatonna, Minnesota, where he continued his studies for four years. After leaving the academy, he taught in the public schools of Minnesota for about three years. However, his health became impaired, leading him to seek a change of climate and occupation. In 1889, he came to what is now the state of South Dakota and settled in Grant County, where he acquired 160 acres of land in Melrose Township. For the next five years, he dedicated his summers to improving his farm while teaching in local schools during the winters. He was successful and popular as an educator. Presently, he owns 320 acres of valuable farmland eight miles northwest of Milbank, along with an attractive modern residence in Milbank. Frank has been a staunch supporter of the Republican party since he came of age and has been actively involved in local public affairs in Grant County. In 1896, he was elected register of deeds, providing a highly satisfactory administration, and was reelected in 1898. Since then, he has been engaged in the abstract business, personally preparing abstracts of land titles from the official records. His efforts have resulted in a complete set of abstract books, which are kept in fireproof vaults specially prepared in a new brick office building erected by Mr. Meehan for this specific purpose. Frank Meehan has maintained an active interest in educational matters and all other affairs pertaining to local welfare and progress. He currently serves as a member of the board of education in Milbank. Additionally, he is a Master Mason and a member of the Modern Woodmen.

On the 26th of November, 1891, Mr. Meehan married Miss Teresa B. Gibson, who was born in Mower County, Minnesota. She is the daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Gibson, both of whom are now deceased. Teresa’s father was one of the prominent farmers and respected pioneers of Minnesota.


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

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