Merritt B. Wiseman, a native of Grant County, South Dakota, was born in 1879 and holds the distinction of being the first white child born in the county. Coming from a pioneer family, he grew up in Milbank and received an education from the local schools, later graduating from Milbank High School in 1897. After gaining experience in the printing trade, Wiseman served as deputy auditor in the county auditor’s office. He also had affiliations with various fraternal organizations and remained an active member of the Republican Party. In 1902, he married Lillian Lau from Wisconsin.