Biography of John W. Tuthill

John W. Tuthill, a leading businessman and president of the John W. Tuthill Lumber Company, has achieved remarkable success through his own efforts. Born in Greene, New York, in 1846, he established a lumber yard in State Center, Iowa, which served as the foundation for his thriving business. In 1884, he incorporated the John W. Tuthill Lumber Company, which now controls numerous yards across South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa. Tuthill’s dedication to his business has made him a respected figure in Sioux Falls. Despite his focus on entrepreneurship, he has shown civic-mindedness, contributing to the public library and engaging in community affairs.

JOHN W. TUTHILL, who is one of the leading businessmen of the state, being president of the John W. Tuthill Lumber Company, which controls twenty-one lumber yards in South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa, maintains his home in Sioux Falls and is honored for his sterling character and for the energy and sagacity which have enabled him to attain so high a degree of success through his own efforts.

Mr. Tuthill was born in the village of Greene, Chenango County, New York, July 6, 1846, being a son of George and Hannah S. (Davis) Tuthill, both of whom were born in the state of New York, where the latter died in 1852. The father of the subject removed to Pennsylvania in 1851 and was a resident of Carbondale, that state, until 1856 when he came west to Iowa, where he devoted the remainder of his life to his trade, that of millwright, his death occurring in 1877. The subject was five years of age at the time of his father’s removal to Pennsylvania, where he received his early scholastic training in the public schools of Carbondale, and he was ten years of age upon coming to Iowa, where he completed his common-school education. In 1862, he went to the city of Chicago, where he was employed four years as a bookkeeper and teller in the banking house of Cholbaugh & Brooks. In October 1865, he entered the employ of C. Lamb & Son, lumber manufacturers in Clinton, Iowa, remaining with this firm until July 1869, when he decided to engage in business upon his own responsibility. He accordingly located in State Center, Iowa, where he established a lumber yard, the same proving the nucleus of the magnificent business which he has since built up in this line. In March 1882, Mr. Tuthill came to Sioux Falls and purchased the lumber business of Edwin Sharpe & Company, the firm of Tuthill & King being then organized for the prosecution of the enterprise. Mr. King died on the 3rd of February 1884, and then the subject entered into partnership with his brother Squire G., under the firm name of Tuthill Brothers. On the 18th of August 1884, the John W. Tuthill Lumber Company was incorporated, having now a capital stock of two hundred thousand dollars and controlling an extensive and important business throughout this section of the great northwest. In addition to the large and well-equipped yard in Sioux Falls, the company also has branch yards at Hartford, Montrose, Humboldt, Salem, Spencer, Farmer, Valley Springs, Ellis, Fulton, Trent, Wentworth, Redfield, and Athol in this state; Windom, Worthington, Beaver Creek, Hills, and Round Lake in Minnesota, and Merrill and Larchwood in Iowa.

Mr. Tuthill is a staunch advocate of the principles of the Republican Party but is intrinsically and essentially a businessman and has never found time to dabble in politics, though he manifests a public-spirited interest in all that concerns his home city and state. He is a Master Mason and also a member of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He takes a deep interest in the welfare and progress of Sioux Falls and is one of its valued citizens. In 1903, he presented to the public library a valuable collection of books, the same representing an expenditure of about one thousand dollars.

On the 22nd of September 1868, in Columbus, Ohio, Mr. Tuthill was married to Miss Jennie M. Buck, and of their children, we enter the following brief record: Arthur W. is secretary and treasurer of the lumber company of which his father is president; George B. is general manager of the outside yards, and Chauncey L. is cashier of the company.


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