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.

John P. Wolf, one of the pioneers of Spink county, where he is the owner of a well-improved landed estate of one hundred and sixty acres, is a native of the historic and beautiful old city of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where he was born on the 9th of December, 1854, being a son of Henry G. and Margaret F. Wolf. The mother is living, but the father died in Gettysburg, where he passed his entire life, having served for many years as justice of the peace and clerk of the courts. His father, George Wolf, was governor of Pennsylvania in 1829 and was one of the influential and distinguished citizens of the old Keystone state, where the family was founded in the colonial epoch of our history.

John P. Wolf was reared in his native city, in whose public schools he secured his early educational discipline, and he there continued to reside until 1871, when he engaged in the manufacturing of paper at Mount Holly Springs, that state, severing his relations with this enterprise in April, 1876, when he removed to Minnesota, in which state he was engaged in farming until 1881, in which year he came to what is now the state of South Dakota, arriving in Watertown on the 10th of May. A week later he came to Spink county and cast in his lot with its pioneer settlers, taking up a homestead and a pre-emption claim fourteen miles north of Redfield, near the present village of Athol, and at once initiating the improvement and cultivation of his land, which is now one of the valuable farms of this section. He continued to reside on his ranch until December 1, 1897, when he was appointed deputy county auditor and took up his residence in Redfield. He retained this office for two years and was then appointed deputy county treasurer. Upon retiring from this position he became manager of the real estate business of the firm of Bloom & Martin, with headquarters in Redfield, and was thus engaged until January, 1903, when he was again appointed deputy county treasurer, of which position he still remains incumbent. In politics he is a staunch Republican and fraternally is identified with the Masonic order; the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of which he is past grand; the Knights of Pythias, in which he is past chancellor; the Modern Woodmen of America, of which he is clerk in his camp; the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; the Improved Order of Red Men, in which he is past sachem; and the Dramatic Order of the Knights of Khorassan.


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

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