Biography of Hon. Nicholas T. Lowthian

Hon. Nicholas T. Lowthian, a distinguished pioneer of Grant County, played a vital role in the industrial and civic development of the state. Born in Ontario in 1840, Lowthian overcame early tragedy and embraced a life of service. After military service in the Civil War, he established himself as a successful farmer in Minnesota before settling in South Dakota. A devoted Republican, Lowthian held various public offices and contributed significantly to education. Married to Susan Beighley, he raised three children while also adopting two more. Now retired in Milbank, Lowthian remains connected to his farming interests and enjoys a well-deserved reputation as a respected figure in his community.

HON. NICHOLAS T. LOWTHIAN, one of the honored pioneers of Grant County, has been prominently identified with the industrial and civic development of the state. He is a native of Ontario, where he was born on the 17th of March, 1840, being a son of Timothy and Dinah (Irvin) Lowthian, both of whom died when he was an infant. He was reared by his sister and attended the public schools of his native province until he had attained the age of fourteen, after which he was employed in a telegraph office until 1856, when he removed to Worth County, Iowa, where he was identified with farming until March 9, 1862, when he enlisted as a private in Company C, Fifth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, the regiment being assigned to the Army of the Tennessee. He participated in thirteen battles and for eighteen months was in the medical department, assisting in hospital work and caring for the wounded. He received his honorable discharge at St. Paul on the 9th of March, 1865, and then returned to Iowa and engaged in farming in Worth County. In 1867, he removed to Freeborn County, Minnesota, where he continued to pursue agricultural pursuits until his relocation to South Dakota, having in the meantime served for five years as captain of a company of the Minnesota National Guard. In 1879, Mr. Lowthian came to what is now Grant County, South Dakota, and entered a homestead in Melrose Township, and there he developed and improved a fine farm, including one hundred and sixty acres, which was owned by his wife. There he continued to be actively and successfully engaged in farming and stock growing until the spring of 1903, when he moved to Milbank, purchasing a pleasant and commodious residence on South Grant Street, where he has since lived, practically retired from active business, though still maintaining a general supervision of his farming interests.

Mr. Lowthian accords an unswerving allegiance to the Republican Party, and he has been a prominent figure in public affairs since coming to the state, having held various local offices. He was also a delegate to the constitutional conventions of 1883 and 1885 and a member of the state senate in 1893 and 1895. From 1867 to the present, he has served officially in connection with schools in Minnesota and Dakota.

On the 22nd of December, 1859, in Gordonsville, Minnesota, Mr. Lowthian was united in marriage to Miss Susan Beighley, who was born and raised in Butler County, Pennsylvania, being a daughter of Peter and Elizabeth Beighley, and they are the parents of three children, namely: William, who carries on the farm in Melrose; John P., who is now engaged in the drug business at International Falls, Minnesota; and Dr. George H. Lowthian, who is currently practicing his profession in Hewitt, Todd County, Minnesota. The subject and his estimable wife also adopted two children, Kate, who is now the wife of M. McMillan, of Kansas City, Missouri, and Nina, who still remains at the home of her foster parents. Also, on his return from the South, Mr. Lowthian brought a Mississippi boy, Jacob Des Muke, to Iowa, who remained in the family until his marriage. He is now a resident of Condee, Spink County, South Dakota.


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

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