Biography of John D. Smull

John D. Smull, the deputy postmaster at Milbank, was born in DeKalb County, Illinois, in 1865. He grew up in Chicago, where he received his education and pursued a career in the mercantile industry. In 1892, he ventured to South Dakota and settled on government land in the Sisseton Indian reservation. Smull actively contributed to the local community, playing a crucial role in the organization of Blooming Valley Township and serving as president of the Settlers’ Association. He later became deputy postmaster and proved himself as a capable and respected public servant. Smull’s dedication to civic development, political involvement, and membership in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows exemplify his commitment to the betterment of society.

JOHN D. SMULL, deputy postmaster at Milbank, was born in DeKalb County, Illinois, on the 31st of January, 1865, and is a son of Joel W. and Jennie (Dixon) Smull, the former of whom was born in New York and the latter in Pennsylvania. He is deceased, and she resides in Chicago, John D. being their only child. Joel W. Smull devoted the major portion of his active business life to the vocation of a contractor and became a prominent and influential citizen of Illinois, having served for a number of years as a member of the state legislature, while he was at one time grand master of the grand lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

When John D. Smull was five years of age, his parents removed to Chicago, in whose public schools he secured his education, after which he became identified with mercantile pursuits, having finally established himself in the rolling mill business in Chicago, where he remained until 1892 when he came to South Dakota and took up government land on the newly opened Sisseton Indian reservation. He assisted in the organization of Blooming Valley Township, was its first clerk, and was otherwise prominently concerned with local industrial and civic development. He was the president of the Settlers’ Association of the Sisseton Reservation, which had over one thousand members and which was formed to secure an abatement of the charge of two and one-half dollars per acre demanded by the government, and through the medium of the organization, this was accomplished and the government permitted settlers to secure free homesteads, as had been the case in other sections. He remained on his farm, which he still owns, for about seven years, since when he has resided in Milbank. During the fifth general assembly in 1898-9, he served as clerk of the appropriations committee in the house. He is a staunch supporter of the Republican Party and has been a zealous worker in its cause, having served for eight years as chairman or secretary of the county central committee. In March 1899, he became deputy postmaster, in which capacity he has since served, except for a short interval. He is popular, courteous, and obliging, proving to be the right man for the place. He is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in which he has passed the official chairs, taking a lively interest in the work of the lodge and in the welfare of the order in general.

On the 27th of October 1892, Mr. Smull was united in marriage to Miss Annie Clouckey, who was born in Greene, Butler County, Iowa, being a daughter of Joseph and Mary Clouckey, while she was a resident of Greene at the time of her marriage, of which two daughters have been born, Jennie C. and Mary D.


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

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