Biography of Judge Walter Crisp

Judge Walter Crisp, a progressive and influential figure in Dell Rapids, South Dakota, was born in England in 1849. After immigrating to the United States in 1869, he settled in Wisconsin before eventually making South Dakota his home. With a thriving career as a farmer and later as a public servant, Judge Crisp played a vital role in the growth and prosperity of Dell Rapids. Known for his charitable endeavors and active participation in various fraternal orders, he was respected as a well-rounded individual dedicated to the betterment of his community. Judge Crisp’s success, integrity, and devotion to family and civic duty made him a highly regarded member of society.

JUDGE WALTER CRISP, of Dell Rapids, South Dakota, was born in Cambridgeshire, England, June 23, 1849, and spent the first twenty years of his life in that country, receiving in the meantime a fair education by attending the schools of his native place until completing the usual course of study. On May 17, 1869, he was united in marriage to Miss Lottie Topcott, of Hertfordshire, and the following month brought his bride to the United States, settling first in Dane County, Wisconsin, where he lived as a farmer for a period of a little over three years. In April 1873, Mr. Crisp disposed of his interests in Wisconsin and migrated to South Dakota, arriving at Dell Rapids on the second Sunday of June following, and immediately thereafter took up a homestead in what is now Logan Township, which he at once proceeded to improve and upon which he lived and prospered until 1901. In the fall of the latter year, he moved to Dell Rapids, and since then has made this city his home, being prominently identified with its growth and prosperity, besides filling at different times important public and municipal positions. In addition to his city interests, he has large landed property, owning in Sections 9 and 16, Logan Township, a fine ranch of eight hundred acres, a considerable part of which is under a high state of cultivation, the rest being devoted to stock raising, a business he has pursued with marked success ever since coming west. While living in this place, he served for a number of years as justice of the peace, also held several other minor positions, and since changing his abode to Dell Rapids, he has been almost constantly in public office, being at this time police judge, to which post he was elected in 1902.

Judge Crisp is a wide-awake, progressive western man, fully in touch with the enterprising spirit of the new state in which he lives and an influential factor in all matters concerning the growth and prosperity of the thriving city of his residence. He enjoys worthy prestige as an intelligent, public-spirited man of affairs, and as a citizen, he has used his best efforts to promote the welfare of his fellow men, being not only progressive in business but charitable to the extent of aiding all organized and private benevolences and a leading spirit in a number of fraternal orders which tend to the social and moral advancement of the community. The Judge is an honored member of the Masonic fraternity, in which he has risen to the thirty-second degree, and is also an active worker in the Odd Fellows, Pythian, Modern Woodmen of America, Knights of the Maccabees, and Elks lodges of Dell Rapids, in all of which he has held, and in some still holds, important official stations. He was reared in the faith of the Episcopal Church, and since early youth has been a consistent member of the same, being at this time warden of the church in Dell Rapids and one of the congregation’s staunchest supporters and most liberal contributors. Broad-minded and liberal, he recognizes good wherever found and by whatever name designated. Consequently, his liberality is by no means confined to the religious organization in which his interests are chiefly centered but is also extended to other churches, in fact to all agencies for the moral and spiritual uplifting of humanity. He has been successful in his business career, having acquired a sufficiency of material wealth to render his condition independent, and he is now enjoying a comfortable and luxurious home and the advantages derived from a well-spent life, being respected by the community, beloved by his family and friends, and standing the peer of any of his contemporaries in all that constitutes symmetrically developed manhood. Mrs. Crisp, whose birth occurred in Hertfordshire, England, on August 19, 1846, has borne her husband four children, all sons, their names being Walter J., William H., Elmer E., and John F.


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

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