Biography of Edward Charles Ericson

Edward Charles Ericson, a prominent figure in South Dakota, has dedicated three decades to the state’s growth and progress. As a respected member of the bar, he has served in positions of public trust and responsibility. Currently practicing law in Elk Point, Union County, and holding the esteemed position of president of the South Dakota Bar Association, Ericson’s professional peers highly regard him. Born in Sweden in 1856, he immigrated to the United States with his family at a young age. With a strong educational foundation and a thriving legal career, Ericson is known for his expertise, advocacy, and conservative counsel.

EDWARD CHARLES ERICSON.— Ere this history shall have been issued from the press, the honored subject of this sketch will have passed the milestone which marks thirty years’ residence in South Dakota. He has been most conspicuously identified with the development and progress of the commonwealth, is a representative member of its bar, and has served in positions of distinctive public trust and responsibility, being at the present time actively engaged in the practice of his profession in Elk Point, the capital of Union County. He also has the distinction of being the president of the South Dakota Bar Association at the time of this writing — a fact that indicates the esteem placed upon him by his professional confreres.

Mr. Ericson is a native of Sweden, where he was born on the 24th of August, 1856, being a son of Eric and Johanna (Norden) Ericson. The father of the subject died in 1859, leaving a widow and two children. In 1865, the widowed mother came with her children to the United States, settling in the city of New York, and in 1872, the mother and the younger child, E. W. Ericson, moved to Union County, then in Dakota Territory, where they still reside. Mr. Ericson initiated his educational discipline in the schools of his native land and was a lad of about nine years at the time of the family’s immigration to America. He was reared to maturity in the national metropolis, attending the public schools, and in 1871, he entered the College of the City of New York, where he continued his studies for three years. In September 1874, as a young man of eighteen years, Mr. Ericson came to what is now the state of South Dakota, and for nearly five years, he was successfully engaged in teaching school in Union and Clay Counties, meanwhile being also identified with agricultural pursuits to a certain degree. In March 1879, he took up his residence in Elk Point, Union County, where he began reading law in the office of Alexander Hughes, one of the leading members of the early bar of the Territory of Dakota. He was admitted to the bar of the territory in 1881 and forthwith entered into a professional partnership with his former preceptor, this association continuing until 1883 when Mr. Hughes removed to Bismarck, having been appointed attorney general of the territory. Thereafter, our subject continued an individual practice until 1900 when he formed a partnership with Charles Stickney, under the firm name of Ericson & Stickney, and they have been associated in practice since, retaining a large and representative clientage and being considered among the leading law firms of the state. Mr. Ericson has ever been a close student and is well informed in the minutiae of the law, while he is known as an able and forceful advocate and a safe and conservative counselor. In politics, he accords an uncompromising allegiance to the Republican Party and is one of its leaders in the state. In 1892, he was a delegate to the National Republican Convention in Minneapolis, while he has been active in forwarding the cause of the party during the various campaigns in South Dakota. He served two years as county superintendent of schools, declining a renomination. He was mayor of Elk Point in 1887, was a member of the territorial legislature in 1887 and 1889, and also of the first state senate in 1889 and 1890. Fraternally, he is identified with the local organizations of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, the Modern Woodmen of America, and the Knights of the Maccabees. Though not formally identified with any religious body, he and his family attend the Congregational Church, and he has been a member of its board of trustees for over fifteen years.

On the 22nd of February 1881, the marriage of Mr. Ericson to Miss Sylvia A. Hayes was solemnized. She was born in Richland Center, Wisconsin, on the 22nd of April 1856, being a daughter of Benjamin and Phoebe (Marquot) Hayes. Of this union, three children were born, namely: Harry Francis, who died on the 4th of November 1903, at the age of twenty years and ten months; Nellie H., who is eighteen years of age at the time of this writing (1904); and Sylvia Florence, aged ten years.


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

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