Knights of Pythias

History of South Dakota vol 1 title page

Biography of Charles Frederick Halbkat

Charles F. Halbkat, born June 20, 1870, in Fillmore County, Minnesota, is a prominent jewelry businessman in Watertown, South Dakota. He acquired the oldest jewelry business in Watertown from W.T. Keating in 1898, succeeding the establishment originally founded by pioneer W.R. Arnold. Halbkat’s store, located in the Granite block, offers a wide range of jewelry, watches, silverware, and features a well-equipped optical department. An official watch inspector for three railroads, Halbkat is esteemed in both commercial and social circles. Married to Georgia Wert in 1899, they have one son, Charles Angus.

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History of South Dakota vol 1 title page

Biography of James H. Brannon

James H. Brannon, a pioneer of Grant County, established the first livery business in Milbank, South Dakota. Known for his well-directed energy and honorable methods, he has achieved prosperity in the farming, livestock, and livery industries. Born in Massachusetts in 1859, Brannon apprenticed as a cabinetmaker before venturing west. After facing setbacks, including a prairie fire that destroyed his farm, he erected the first livery and feed barn in Milbank. Today, he owns the largest barn and controls the county’s biggest livery business. Brannon is highly regarded for his geniality, courtesy, and prominent position in Grant County’s industrial, business, and civic affairs.

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History of South Dakota vol 1 title page

Biography of William H. Semple

William H. Semple, owner of a fine farm in Yankton County, represents the intelligent and progressive class of American agriculturists. Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1858, he overcame hardships and embraced pioneer life. With perseverance and dedication, Semple and his uncle developed their land, facing challenges such as floods and grasshoppers. Despite setbacks, they achieved remarkable success, acquiring extensive acreage. Semple’s strong work ethic and honorable business practices earned him respect and friendship within the community. He married Augusta D. Fisher, and together they raised two children while actively participating in their Lutheran church and local organizations. Semple’s story exemplifies the rewards of hard work, determination, and integrity.

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History of South Dakota vol 1 title page

Biography of William A. Kriesel, M. D.

Dr. William A. Kriesel, a respected and popular member of the medical profession, has established a successful practice in Milbank. Born in Holmesville, Indiana, in 1870, he received his education in Stillwater and graduated as a Doctor of Medicine in 1897. Dr. Kriesel’s dedication to medicine is evident through his involvement in various medical societies and associations. He is known for his skill as a physician and surgeon, serving the community with distinction. Additionally, Dr. Kriesel is active in public affairs, affiliated with fraternal organizations, and deeply committed to his role as a Republican and a member of the Episcopal Church.

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History of South Dakota vol 1 title page

Biography of Thad L. Fuller

Thad L. Fuller, a prominent lawyer practicing in Milbank, South Dakota, has established himself as a distinguished figure in the state’s legal community. Born in Eldora, Iowa, Fuller’s early education was received in public schools before pursuing further studies at Redfield College and the state university. After being admitted to the bar, he formed a successful partnership with Burtin D. Gamble. Known for his effective advocacy and exceptional public speaking skills, Fuller has made significant contributions to the Republican Party and was elected as Grant County’s state’s attorney. His professional achievements are complemented by his involvement in fraternal organizations, enjoying widespread popularity in various circles.

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History of South Dakota vol 1 title page

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.

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History of South Dakota vol 1 title page

Biography of Lester H. Bentley

Lester H. Bentley, a prominent figure in both the legal and business realms of Milbank, South Dakota, is known for his active involvement in politics, civic affairs, and industrial ventures. Born in Minnesota in 1871, Bentley honed his skills through farm work and pursued a legal education at the University of Minnesota. Graduating in 1892, he embarked on a successful legal career in Montevideo before establishing himself in Milbank. Bentley’s expertise extends beyond law, as he holds positions in various financial institutions and industrial enterprises. With his remarkable acumen and progressive mindset, Bentley has left an indelible mark on his profession and the community.

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History of South Dakota vol 1 title page

Biography of Merritt B. Wiseman

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.

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History of South Dakota vol 1 title page

Biography of John T. Belk

John T. Belk, a prominent and successful businessman in Codington County, South Dakota, was born in Illinois in 1860. After gaining a practical education, he worked in various industries before settling in South Dakota and acquiring land. Belk’s diligent management of a grain business earned him the trust of the G.W. Van Dusen Company. Alongside his business pursuits, he actively participated in politics, supporting the Republican party and serving as a respected legislator. Belk was also involved in fraternal organizations and held a high position in the Pythian fraternity. He married Jennie Hazlett in 1893, and they had three children.

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History of South Dakota vol 1 title page

Biography of Hon. Thomas L. Bouck

Hon. Thomas L. Bouck, a distinguished figure among South Dakota’s public men and a leading member of the Grant County Bar, has built an impressive career marked by high official positions and the successful discharge of responsible duties. Born on January 29, 1865, in Fulton, New York, he hails from a prominent farming family with a legacy dating back to colonial times. Bouck’s legal aspirations led him to complete his studies at Albany Law School, after which he established a thriving practice in Milbank, South Dakota. Throughout his career, he held esteemed positions such as county judge, state senator, and mayor of Milbank, while maintaining personal popularity that transcended political differences.

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History of South Dakota vol 1 title page

Biography of Hollace Lincoln Hopkins

Hollace Lincoln Hopkins, a prominent figure in South Dakota’s business and political history, has left an indelible mark on the state. As the manager of the Sioux Valley Land Company and the founder of The Independent newspaper, Hopkins achieved widespread recognition and influence. He played an instrumental role in the expansion of the land company and actively participated in local and state politics. With a deep commitment to the welfare of his town, Hopkins tirelessly worked to advance its social, moral, and material progress. Beyond his professional pursuits, he was actively involved in the Pythian Order and cherished family life with his wife, Encie Plank, and their four children.

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History of South Dakota vol 1 title page

Biography of Henry M. Davison

Henry M. Davison, a prominent businessman and influential citizen of Springfield, South Dakota, was born and raised in Bon Homme County. After excelling in education, he joined the Springfield Bank and later co-founded the highly successful Springfield Hardware Company. A dedicated Republican, Davison served as treasurer of Springfield for five years and is currently in his second term as mayor, leading the city with exceptional management. His integrity and contributions to the community have earned him a stellar reputation. Davison’s personal life is equally fulfilling, with a loving marriage to Eva G. Stevens, and he actively participates in various fraternal organizations and supports the Episcopal Church.

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History of South Dakota vol 1 title page

Biography of David F. Jones

David F. Jones, a prominent figure in the drug business in Watertown, is renowned as one of the leading representatives in the state. Born in Wisconsin in 1869, he pursued a career in pharmacy, graduating from Northwestern University in 1894. Jones established his own drug store in Watertown and gained recognition for his expertise and dedication to the field. Not only has he served as the president of the State Pharmaceutical Association and the state board of pharmacy, but he is also highly regarded as one of the most knowledgeable pharmacists and chemists in the region. In addition, Jones actively participates in local public affairs and holds a position on the board of aldermen.

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History of South Dakota vol 1 title page

Biography of David E. Ward

David E. Ward is a prominent figure in Dell Rapids, known for his role as the efficient and popular postmaster, as well as the editor and publisher of the Dell Rapids Times. Born in Darlington, Wisconsin, in 1864, Ward embarked on a successful career in the printing industry after completing his education. In 1892, he became the sole owner of the Dell Rapids Times, transforming it into a respected local publication that also exerted influence in political affairs. Ward’s unwavering allegiance to the Republican Party and his active involvement in various conventions have furthered its cause. His contributions to his hometown have earned him the respect and esteem of those who know him.

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History of South Dakota vol 1 title page

Biography of Charles L. Loffler, M.D.

Charles L. Loffler, M.D., born on July 4, 1871, in Hampton County, Iowa, was a highly accomplished physician. After receiving his early education in Yankton, South Dakota, he graduated from Barnes Medical College in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1901. Dr. Loffler practiced medicine in various locations in Iowa and South Dakota before settling in Sioux Falls in November 1902. He achieved great success in his specialized branches of medicine and held state certificates to practice in several states. Additionally, he was involved in numerous fraternal organizations. Dr. Loffler married Marie M. Dresselhuys in 1895, and they had no children.

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History of South Dakota vol 1 title page

Biography of Charles E. Hill

Charles E. Hill, editor and proprietor of the Vidette, is a native of Greene County, Ohio. With a strong inclination towards the printer’s trade from a young age, he served his apprenticeship at the Cleveland Daily Herald, where he connected with influential Republican politicians. Hill’s ambition led him to work in various cities across the United States and Canada before settling in Valley Springs, South Dakota. There, he acquired the Vidette, transforming it into a highly regarded publication and a leading Republican voice in eastern Dakota. Hill’s dedication to his town’s growth, involvement in politics, and esteemed presence in social circles have earned him great prestige and influence.

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