South Dakota Genealogy

South Dakota Genealogy is being developed as a genealogical and historical resource for your personal use. It contains information and records for South Dakota ancestry, family history, and genealogy. Specifically, it provides sources for birth records, death records, marriage records, census records, tax records, court records, and military records. It also provides some historical details about different times and people in South Dakota history.

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South Dakota Genealogy

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Biography of James Alfred Copeland

James Alfred Copeland was born on September 21, 1852, in Fountaindale, Illinois. He was the son of Alfred Williams Copeland, born June 18, 1809, in Massachusetts, and Hannah Brewster, a Pennsylvania native and descendant of Elder Brewster from the Mayflower. James received his education in Illinois and attended Wheaton College. In 1879, he began studying law in Nebraska and was admitted to the South Dakota bar in 1890. He served as clerk of courts, justice of the peace, and county judge in Vermillion, South Dakota. Copeland was active in the Republican Party and various fraternal organizations. He married Estella E….
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Biography of Charles F. Lotze

Charles F. Lotze was born on February 22, 1857, in Vienna, Trumbull County, Ohio, to George and Catherine Lotze. His father, a German immigrant, was a merchant in Ohio. At age four, Charles moved with his family to Girard, Ohio, where he completed his public school education. In 1875, he moved to Berrien Springs, Michigan, and started a jewelry business. In 1879, he relocated to Vermillion, South Dakota, where he expanded his business to include books and music. A successful entrepreneur, Lotze also participated in the Masonic order. He married Martha C. Hurd in 1885, and they had three daughters:…
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Biography of Hon. Jason E. Payne

Hon. Jason E. Payne, born January 22, 1874, in Clay County, South Dakota, was a prominent lawyer in Vermillion and a faculty member at the University of South Dakota’s College of Law. Son of early pioneers Byron S. and Charlotte E. (Woodworth) Payne, he graduated from the State University of South Dakota in 1894 and studied law under notable mentors. Admitted to the bar in 1898, Payne began practicing law in Vermillion in 1901 and was appointed assistant professor of law in 1903. A dedicated Republican, he served in the state senate from 1902 to 1904. Despite losing an arm…
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Biography of Michael Gerin

Michael Gerin, born September 19, 1848, in County Limerick, Ireland, emigrated to Ontario, Canada, with his parents, Michael and Julia (Fitzgerald) Gerin, at age three. In 1877, he moved to South Dakota, settling in Sioux Falls in 1878, where he opened a grocery and crockery store. His business thrived until he sold it in 1902. Gerin then focused on breeding shorthorn cattle, owning over three sections of prime land. He played a pivotal role in founding the Minnehaha County Agricultural Society, serving as its president. Gerin, a devout Catholic, is also active in the Knights of Columbus. He remained a…

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Biography of John P. Wolf

John P. Wolf, born December 9, 1854, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, was a notable pioneer of Spink County, South Dakota. He was the son of Henry G. and Margaret F. Wolf, with his father serving as justice of the peace and clerk of courts in Gettysburg. John initially worked in paper manufacturing in Pennsylvania, then farmed in Minnesota before homesteading in Spink County in 1881. Wolf held various public offices, including deputy county auditor and treasurer, and managed a real estate business. He was active in several fraternal organizations, including the Masonic order and the Knights of Pythias.
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Biography of William H. H. Beadle

William H. H. Beadle, born on January 1, 1838, in Liberty Township, Parke County, Indiana, had a distinguished career as a scholar, educator, legislator, soldier, and lawyer. A graduate of the University of Michigan, he served as a Union officer in the Civil War, earning several promotions and honors. After the war, he practiced law and was appointed surveyor general of Dakota Territory by President Grant in 1869. As president of the State Normal School in Madison, South Dakota, from 1889, Beadle played a crucial role in shaping the state’s educational system, particularly in preserving school lands. A dedicated public…
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Biography of Rev. Edward Ashley

Rev. Edward Ashley, a prominent Protestant Episcopal clergyman in South Dakota, was born on December 12, 1854, in Road Hill, Wiltshire, England. He emigrated to the United States in 1873, settling in Muskegon, Michigan. Initially working as a carpenter, he later became a missionary teacher among the Sioux Indians in Dakota Territory, and was ordained a deacon in 1877 and a priest in 1881. Ashley served on various Indian reservations and became rural dean and examining chaplain for the state. He married Elizabeth Ann Martin in 1877, and they have five children. Ashley is also active in Masonic and fraternal…
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Biography of Ambrose B. Robinson

Ambrose B. Robinson, born on July 18, 1857, in Broome County, New York, is the mayor of Frankfort, Spink County, South Dakota. Son of Edward and Eunice Robinson, he moved with his family to Iowa in the early 1860s and later to Wisconsin. Robinson engaged in lumbering before relocating to Frankfort in 1885, where he achieved success in various business ventures. A dedicated Republican, he was elected mayor in 1902. Robinson is a member of the Masonic fraternity and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He married Alma Jane Ellis on March 27, 1881, and they have five children: Bessie…
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Biography of Ole H. Smith

Ole H. Smith, born on May 11, 1846, near Christiania, Norway, moved to America in 1869. Initially settling in Rushford, Minnesota, he later moved to Dell Rapids, South Dakota, in 1876, where he became a pioneer merchant and eventually president of the Granite City Bank. Smith also excelled in the livestock industry, raising Hereford cattle and Poland-China hogs on a 900-acre farm. A staunch Republican, he served as mayor of Dell Rapids from 1896 to 1898. Smith was married three times, first to Albertha Olson, then to her sister Jacobina Olson, and finally to Anna Strom, with whom he had…
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Biography of Gustaf A. Uline

Gustaf A. Uline, born on October 12, 1849, in Wermland, Sweden, emigrated to America at nearly eighteen. After stints in Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota, he settled in Dell Rapids, South Dakota, in 1874. Uline opened one of the first general stores in the town, eventually establishing the Dell Rapids State Bank in 1892, where he served as president. A Republican, Uline was Dell Rapids’ mayor and a member of the state board of charities and corrections. Married to Minnie Friborg since 1877, they have five children. Uline is active in the Baptist church and the Masonic order. Gustaf A.…

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