Trails to the Past

Burleigh County North Dakota Biographies



WILLIAM M. BAKER is one of the pioneer farmers of Dakota and he is now successfully engaged in that pursuit in township 138, range 78, in Burleigh county. He was born in Clinton county, Indiana, on a farm, in 1862.

The father of our subject, Andrew Baker, was born in Germany and came to America with his family and is an old settler of North Dakota. The mother of our subject, whose maiden name was Catherine Hengst, was born in Germany and her father was a farmer in Indiana and died in 1879

Our subject was the seventh in a family of twelve children, eleven of whom grew to maturity, and when he was eight years of age he removed with his parents to St. Clair, Missouri, where the father engaged in farming and our subject grew to manhood. Fie had a limited education and at the age of nineteen years left home and worked in Illinois one year and in the spring of 1883 went to South Dakota and entered a pre-emption claim to land in the northern part of Brown county, thirty miles from Aberdeen, and there erected a claim shanty and began farming. He did carpenter work ill that vicinity and in 1884, with a yoke of oxen, began farming his land and lived alone in South Dakota until the fall of 1885, when he disposed of his interests there and then, with a team of mules and a wagon and some farm machinery, went overland to Emmons county. North Dakota, where he took land as a homestead and thereon built a shanty and engaged in farming there until the fall of 1891. when he sold his farm and went to McKenzie, North Dakota, and farmed there five years and in the fall of 1897 purchased the farm on which he now resides, in township 138, range 78. in Burleigh county. He engages in diversified farming and has made a success of his calling and now has a farm of one hundred and sixty acres and operates three hundred and twenty acres and has a well improved farm.

Our subject was married, in February, 1888. to Miss Lucinda A. Clark, a native of Illinois. Her father, Samuel Clark, was a cooper by trade and also followed farming, and her grandfather was of German descent. Mr. and Mrs. Baker are the parents of four children, as follows: Wesley R., born in 1888: Edward E., born in 1890: Herbert G.. born in 1891; Delia I., born in 1893. The home is a pleasant one and Mr. Baker is a highly esteemed as a citizen of active public spirit. He is now township treasurer. Mrs. Baker is a lady of high character and has been a member of the Baptist church since she was sixteen. She is a good wife and mother and is much beloved by her friends. Mr. and Mrs. Baker are members of the I. A. H. church, conducted by D. C. Cook, of Chicago.

WILLIAM A. BENTLEY, M. D. The universal truth of brotherhood is widely recognized also that he serves God best who serves his fellow men. There is no profession or line of business that calls for greater self-sacrifice or more devoted attention than the medical profession, and the successful physician is he who, through love of his fellowmen, gives his time and attention to the relief of human suffering Dr. Bentley is one of the ablest representatives of this noble calling in Bismarck, and is today at the head of the Northwestern Sanitarium in that city. 

He was born in Lebanon, New London County, Connecticut, November 30, 1837, a son of Eleazer and Fidelia (Henry) Bentley, natives of Connecticut and Massachusetts, respectively. His father also studied medicine but never engaged in practice and for many years taught school. He died in his native state in 1865, and his wife in 1867. In their family were three sons and one daughter. One son was drowned off Long Island in 1852, and the other brother of our subject is now a dentist at Hopkinton, Iowa, while the sister is still a resident of Connecticut.

Reared in his native state, Dr. Bentley began his education in its public schools; and later attended H. A. Balcom's Private English and Classical Academy, and Bacon's Academy at Colchester, Connecticut, At the age of seventeen he commenced life as a teacher in the west and was thus employed for some time. He became a resident of .Minnesota in 1856 and in 1860 removed to Iowa, where during the Civil war he enlisted in November, l86l, m Company H, Ninth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, under Colonel William Vanderer, whose regiment was known as the Iowa Greyhounds after their march of sixty miles on the 5th of March, 1862, to participate in the battle of Pea Ridge, which commenced the following day. The Doctor was in the service one year, and was with General Curtiss in Arkansas, besides the battle of Pea Ridge he took part in a number of small engagements. He was discharged on account of disability.

In 1863. Dr. Bentley went to St. Paul, Minnesota, where he engaged in newspaper work for some time. He commenced reading medicine in 1867, attending a local school in St. Paul, Minnesota, and in 1869 entered .Rush Medical College, Chicago, from which he was graduated the same year. For a time he was engaged in practice with Dr. Woodworth, in St. Paul, and then moved to Rush City. Minnesota, where he remained for several years.  In July, 1877, he came to Bismarck, North Dakota, where he has since engaged in practice with marked success, not only in the city but throughout the surrounding country and towns along the line of the Northern Pacific Railroad. In connection with his private practice he also conducted the Northwestern Sanitarium as proprietor and manager.

In 1860 Dr. Bentley was united in marriage with Miss Emily A. White, a native of Massachusetts, who died in 1894, leaving five children, namely: Hattie F., Nellie S., Emma E., Charles A. and Miriam H. The Doctor is a charter member of the Chicago Orificial Surgical Association, and is acknowledged to be one of the best and most skillful physicians and surgeons of the state. He served as physician at the state penitentiary for five years, and has been County and city physician several terms. He is also a prominent factor in public affairs, and was mayor of Bismarck for four years. He is president of the board of health of Burleigh County, and has been president of the United States pension examining board since 1891, prior to which time he was its secretary for ten years. He was president of the board of trustees of the State Soldiers' Home during the period of its construction and for some time afterwards, and was president of the board of trustees in charge of state capital lands and property from 1889 to 1896. He organized the First Regiment Dakota National Guards, under Governor Pierce, and became its colonel, which rank he held for seven years. He was then commissioned adjutant-general by Governor Burke and served as such for two years. Socially the Doctor is a man of considerable prominence: is past grand master of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows for both North and South Dakota; and past grand treasurer of the Masonic Grand Lodge. He is a thirty-second-degree Mason and is in line for the thirty-third degree.   He is also an influential member of the Grand Army of the Republic and past department commander of the state. Politically he is a Republican, but is an advocate of the coinage of silver on an equal basis with gold. While at Rush City, Minnesota, he was elected to the state legislature and was a member of the North Dakota legislature in 1893. Wherever he goes the Doctor wins friends and has the happy faculty of being able to retain them. In 1897 Dr.  Bentley was the nominee of the opposition caucus in election for United States senator tor the state of North Dakota, and received twenty-seven votes, which was the entire vote of the opposition to Senator Hansbrough.

HORACE P. BOGUE. The man who was content to go through the Civil war as a "high" private, doing his duty nobly and unflinchingly on the field of battle or in camp, is the man who today . is serving to the best of his ability-and that ability is of a superior order-as sheriff of Burleigh county. North Dakota, making his home in Bismarck, where he located in pioneer days.

Mr. Bogue is a native of Illinois, his birth occurring in Ogle county, October 7, 1843. His parents, Virgil and Catherine (Nichols) Bogue, were natives of New York and Canada, respectively. The father, who was a lawyer by profession, located in Ogle county, Illinois, about 1831, or 1832, and became one of its most prominent and influential citizens, serving as county judge for seventeen years. He also entered land there and improved a farm. He died in Ogle county, in December, 1868, and his wife passed away in 1867. In their family were seven children, two sons and five daughters.

In the county of his nativity our subject grew to manhood and was educated. He joined the boys in blue during the Rebellion, In March, 1862, enlisting in Company A, Sixty-first Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He was captured at Harper's Ferry, but was at once paroled and participated in the battle of Kenesaw Mountain, the siege of Atlanta, the battles of Franklin and Nashville, Tennessee, and Fort Fisher and Goldsboro, North Carolina. Fortunately he escaped without wounds and after three years and six months of arduous service was honorably discharged.

Returning to his home in Ogle county, Illinois, he engaged in farming there for one year and then went to Ashland, Nebraska, where he broke prairie for some time. From there he moved to Merryville, Kansas, and in 1872 came to Bismarck. North Dakota, in company with Dr. Burleigh, who was then engaged in building the Northern Pacific Railroad into this place. After working for the railroad company for two months he entered land near Bismarck in 1874. For four years he engaged in clerking here in a grocery house and then opened a general store of his own, which he successfully conducted until 1890, when appointed postmaster of Bismarck, filling that office for three years and a half. He was elected county assessor in 1878 and in 1898 was elected sheriff, which office he is now filling in a most creditable and acceptable manner. While serving in that capacity he hung the second man executed in the state and the first in Burleigh county. He has always affiliated with the Republican party and is a member of the Masonic fraternity and the Grand Army of the Republic. He has met with well-deserved success since coming to this state and as one of the representative citizens and honored pioneers of Bismarck is certainly deserving of prominent mention in its history.

In 1876 Mr. Bogue married Miss Catherine Elliott, a native of Canada , and to them have been born two children: Gilbert F and Mary E.

CHARLES E. CRUM occupies a prominent place as one of the most extensive farmers and stock raisers of Burleigh county. North Dakota. He makes his home in township 139, range 77, where he located in the early days of the settlement of that region, and has made a pronounced success of his life work.

Our subject was born on a farm in Cass county, Illinois, in 1857. His father, Thomas J. Crum, was born in Illinois, and was of German descent, and his grandfather, James Crum, was a farmer and stock raiser. The mother of our subject, who was Sarah Henderson, prior to her marriage, was born in Illinois. The parents were married in Illinois and our subject was tlie eldest of a family of eleven children born to the union.

Mr. Crum attended country school, Protestant Methodist College, at Adrian, Michigan, the Illinois State University and graduated from the Jacksonville Business College and English Training School in 1877. He went to Nebraska in 1878 and engaged in farming and stock raising one year, and in 1889 worked for J. O. Bone, live stock and commission merchant of Chicago, and in the spring of 1882 went to Burleigh county. North Dakota, and worked in Bismarck one year at the Merchant's Hotel, and in that year located land and in the spring of 1883 began operations thereon. He built a claim shanty and had six head of horses and some machinery and his first crop was hailed and dried out. He had a good crop in 1884 and has prospered since that time. He followed grain raising principally the first five years and in 1888 began stock raising, and he now follows the latter line of agriculture extensively and in 1898 started sheep culture and now has eight or nine hundred head. He now has a farm of one thousand acres, with one hundred and fifty acres under cultivation and the rest for stock range and hay and he has all improvements for operating a model farm, making one of the finest pieces of property in the county.

Our subject was married, in 1883, to F. Anna Le Lapp, a native of Illinois. Her father, John M. De Lapp, was of French descent. Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Crum, who are named as follows: Mary Ethel, born in 1888; Sarah A., born in 1889; Roscoe, born in 1891, and Howard, born in 1893. Mr. Crum has served as township treasurer sixteen years and takes an active part in public matters in his township and county. He is a Democrat politically and is earnest in his convictions.

CORNELIUS D. EDICK, the well-known and popular County superintendent of schools of Burleigh County. North Dakota, and a representative citizen of Bismarck, is a native of Oswego County, New York, born June 26, 1844. His parents, Daniel and Minerva (Richards) Edick, were natives of New York and Massachusetts, respectively. The father, who is a harness and shoemaker by trade, is still a resident of the Empire state.

Our subject passed his boyhood and youth in New York and in the common and high schools of that state he acquired his literary education. On leaving home he went to Syracuse, New York, and later to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he engaged in the mercantile trade. In 1883 he came to Bismarck, North Dakota, and entered land in Burleigh County, proved up his claim and followed farming for five or six years. At the end of that period he took up his residence in Bismarck, where he has since made his home.

While still a resident of New York, Mr. Edick was married, in 1855, to Miss Matilda E. Soule, a native of that state. In his social relations he is a Mason, and in his political affiliations is a stalwart Republican, taking an active and prominent part in the campaigns of Burleigh County. In 1892 he was elected county auditor, which office he most creditably filled for one term and then after traveling for two years returned to Bismarck and in 1896 was elected County superintendent of schools. Being re-elected in 1898, he is the present incumbent in that office and has also served his fellow citizens in other minor positions. Genial and pleasant in manner, he makes a popular official and gains the confidence and high regard of all with whom he comes in contact.

JOHN P. FRENCH, Jr. As an all around prominent man of Gibbs township, Burleigh county, our subject is entitled to a foremost place. He is a young man of firm determination, enterprising and progressive, and ably conducts one of the finest stock farms of that region.

Mr. French was born in Augusta, Maine, March 28, 1874. His father, John P. French, Sr., a native of New Hampshire, was a stock dealer, miner and speculator. The grandfather of our subject, Nicholas French, was also born in New Hampshire. The genealogical tree is easily traced back to three brothers by the name of French, who came to America in the Mayflower. The father of our subject had brothers who served in the war of 1812. The mother, Anna E. Downs prior to her marriage, was of Scotch descent, born and raised in Maine.

Mr. French is the youngest in a family of three children. At the age of ten years he came with his parents to North Dakota, and settled in Burleigh county, where the father engaged in farming. He had but limited means, and the first few years were almost total failures, the crops of but four years in sixteen proving profitable. He began sheep raising in the year of 1886, with sixty-three head and made a success of this line of agriculture despite the fact that wolves destroyed as high as forty head in a single night. He built a small house and straw barn and raised but enough to feed the sheep and horses the first few years. Our subject assumed charge of the ranch when he attained his majority, and having conducted it successfully has three thousand two hundred sheep. He is now branching into cattle raising. He owns four hundred and eighty acres of land, and controls six sections aside from tlie home ranch, and is one of the most extensive ranchmen of that community.

During the winters of 1892 and 1893 Mr. French attended the Dirigo Business College of Augusta, Maine, being graduated from that institution in March, 1893.

Mr. French was married, in 1898, to Grace J. Falkenstein, a native of West Virginia. Her father, Edmund Falkenstein, was also born and raised in West Virginia. Mrs. French was engaged in teaching in Burleigh county for several years, and was widely known in educational circles. Mr. French is a member of the Masonic fraternity and the Brotherhood of American Yeomen. He has served as school clerk for the past eight years and is one of the rising young men of Burleigh county. Politically he is a Republican. 

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