George Cassady, born in Hamilton County, Ohio, in 1849, was a pioneer in horticulture and played a significant role in introducing fruit growing to South Dakota. After working as a telegrapher in the West, he settled in Valley Springs, South Dakota, where he established large orchards and co-founded Cassady & Bailey, one of the state’s largest nurseries. Recognized as one of the earliest advocates of horticulture in South Dakota, Cassady’s success demonstrated the region’s potential as a fruit-producing area. He actively participated in local politics, held various offices, and was respected as a leader within the Republican Party. A dedicated Mason, Cassady made his mark in both professional and fraternal circles.
GEORGE CASSADY was born in Hamilton County, Ohio, May 25, 1849, the son of George and A. M. (Sampson) Cassady. He was educated in the public schools of Cincinnati, and when a young man learned telegraphy, which profession he followed at different times in the West from 1865 to 1878. In the latter year, he came to Valley Springs, South Dakota, as an agent for the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railroad at this place and has had charge of the office ever since, being one of the oldest local agents in point of continued service in the state. The year following his arrival in Valley Springs, Mr. Cassady began experimenting in horticulture and finding the soil and climate of this part of Dakota adapted to fruit growing, he planted large orchards, and from that time to the present has pursued the business with most gratifying success. In partnership with J. M. Bailey, under the firm name of Cassady & Bailey, he is now interested in one of the largest nurseries in the state, in which all kinds of fruit trees, shrubbery, and small fruits grown in this latitude are reared and sold. The business is so extensive as to give the proprietors a wide and constantly increasing reputation. To Mr. Cassady belongs the credit of being one of the first men to introduce horticulture into South Dakota, and he has demonstrated beyond a doubt that the state is destined at no distant day to become one of the greatest fruit-producing sections of the Union. He has made a careful study of the business in its every phase, is a member of the State Horticultural Society, and takes an active interest in the deliberations of this and other organizations for the promotion of the fruit industry throughout the West.
Mr. Cassady has held a number of local offices since becoming a resident of Valley Springs and been quite prominent in municipal matters. He is a Republican in politics and an influential factor in the councils of his party in Minnehaha County, having been a delegate to state conventions and a leader during that time in local affairs. He is a Master Mason, belonging to the lodge at Sioux Falls, and in this fraternity, as elsewhere, has made his presence felt among his associates.
Mr. Cassady was married on October 23, 1870, to Miss Anna Costello, of Minnesota, who has borne him children as follows: Alice; Charlotte, wife of J. M. Bailey, of Valley Springs; Mabel, now Mrs. E. W. Schmidt, of the same place; Lulu, and Ruth.