Trails to the Past

Burleigh County North Dakota Biographies


HARVEY HARRIS, deceased, formerly chairman of the board of county commissioners of Burleigh county, and who was successfully engaged in the real estate and loan business in Bismarck up to the time of his death, did much to promote the commercial activity, advance the general welfare and secure the material development of the city and surrounding section of the state. As a business man he was enterprising, energetic and always abreast of the times, and gamed a comfortable competence.

Born in Butler county, Ohio, December 12, 1852, Mr. Harris is a son of John H. and Mary A. (Rose) Harris, natives of Ohio and Pennsylvania, respectively. The father, who was a farmer by occupation, died in the Buckeye state in 1869, and there the mother also passed away in 1896. Our subject's paternal grandfather was born in Ireland and died in Butler county, Ohio.

Harvey Harris, of this review, was one of a family of six children, having four brothers and one sister. He was reared and educated in Butler county, Ohio, and there engaged in farming until eighteen years of age, when he commenced teaching and successfully followed that profession for five years. He then engaged in general merchandising at Oxford, Ohio, until 1883, when he came to Bismarck, North Dakota, and embarked in the real estate and loan business, which he successfully followed until his death, which occurred in Bismarck May 16, 1900.

On the 13th of November, 1884, Mr. Harris was married, in Ohio, to Eliza N. Jackson, a native of that state. Both are earnest and consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal church of Bismarck, and Mr. Harris served as superintendent of the Sunday school for years. He was a life-long Republican, a member of the county committee and secretary of the same. His support was never withheld from any enterprise calculated to prove of public benefit, and he was a member of the board of education for twelve years and president of the same for eight years. He was elected county commissioner in 1894, re-elected in 1897, and has served as chairman of the board all but the first year in office. He was also a prominent and influential member of the constitutional convention and a member of the joint committee that divided the two states.  Mrs. Harris still makes her home in Bismarck.

GEORGE W. HARRISON, the present well-known commissioner of insurance of North Dakota, and a prominent citizen of Bismarck, was born in Defiance county, Ohio, September 15, 1867, a son of David and Louise (Heskett) Harrison, both natives of Belmont county, that state. The father was for thirty years superintendent of the Wabash railroad between Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Toledo, Ohio, and resided in the former city. He died in 1884, at Hicksville, Ohio, where the wife and mother still continues to reside. To them were born three sons, two of whom are now living, the older being W. C. B. Harrison, who was a member of the Indiana legislature and is also well known throughout that state as a man of brilliant literary attainments and with marked qualities as a statesman and party worker. The paternal grandfather of our subject was a relative of President William H. Harrison.

Our subject was educated in the graded schools of Hicksville, Ohio. During his youth he learned the art of printing and later engaged in the publication of the "Hicksville Independent" with W. C. B. Harrison, his elder brother. At the age of eighteen he went to Goshen, Indiana, where he accepted a position on the "Daily News" with Thomas A. Stare, and a year later associated himself with Congressman Joel P. Heatwole on the "Northfield (Minnesota) News." While there he was united in marriage with Miss Myrtie E. Allen, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Allen, and three children bless their union: Lorane. George, Jr., and Fay Ruth.

Mr. Harrison was the founder of the "Daily Register," the first daily paper of Austin, Minnesota, and later was a member, of the "Minneapolis Tribune" staff, in the interest of which paper he was sent to North Dakota during the Harrison presidential campaign. Shortly before the famous Roach senatorial election in North Dakota, Mr. Harrison accepted the city editorship of the "Fargo Argus," under Major George K. Shaw's management, and when the legislature convened was detailed as staff correspondent at Bismarck. His keen political conception of conditions and his able forecasting of events during that long struggle over the United States senator ship won him a reputation as well as many friends. After the close of the session he purchased the "Lisbon Star" of C. E. Johnson and changed its name to the "Free Press," and the paper at once took rank among the foremost weekly journals of the state. His carefully written and pointed editorial utterances were soon felt by the people of his county and state and his friends were not slow to reward his worth as a Republican, for he had the satisfaction of being the unanimous choice of his party for the position of commissioner of insurance. He was nominated in the Fargo convention of 1898, by acclamation, and was elected by over ten thousand majority to succeed Hon. F. B. Francher, who was elected on the same ticket as the chief executive of the state. This is the first office ever held by Mr. Harrison and the only one to which he has ever aspired. He has been a life-long Republican, in fact his political principles are hereditary, being a descendant of the old Harrison family. He has fought his own battles in business and political life and has achieved a success worthy of emulation by young men who have to make their own way in the world. He is an able journalist and as a public official is meeting with marked success.

JOHN P. HOAGLAND is an honored pioneer and a prominent contractor and builder of Bismarck, who has taken an active part in promoting its substantial improvement and material development. An adopted son of America, his loyalty is above question and his labors in the interests of the city have been most effective and beneficial. Mr. Hoagland was born in central Sweden October 29, 1840, a son of John and Mary Hoagland, who spent their entire lives in that country.

Our subject was reared to manhood in his native land and there learned the carpenter's trade, which he followed in Sweden until 1868, when he emigrated to America, landing in Quebec, Canada. He proceeded at once to Red Wing, Minnesota, and remained in that state until coming to Bismarck, in 1873, arriving here in May, of that year, on the first train run into the place. For two days and a half he had stopped some miles out of Bismarck, waiting for the track to be completed.

Here Mr. Hoagland found employment at his trade and soon went to work on Fort Lincoln, which was then being built, remaining there until its completion. The Indians at that time were very troublesome and our subject had several exciting adventures with them, being chased to the fort by small war parties. At one time, in company with a number of other carpenters employed there, he left the fort one bright Sunday morning in search of wild berries, as fruit of all kinds was very scarce and even potatoes were considered quite a luxury. They had gone, perhaps, a mile from the post and had found an abundance of June berries in a small ravine. After eating all they were able to dispose of, they lay around on the grass enjoying the sunshine and passing the time by shooting at blackbirds with their revolvers. By the merest chance Mr. Hoagland happened to look up over the hills and discovered a large band of Indians stealthily approaching them. As our subject and his party were only armed with revolvers, their only safety lay in flight. With the others he ran in close pursuit by the Indians for perhaps a half-mile and then concealed himself in a patch of brush where he was soon joined by the rest of the party. They remained in hiding there for some time and then cautiously made their way by a circuitous route back to the fort. Mr. Hoagland says he was never so badly scared in his life and it required some time for his heart to resume its normal action.

In 1876 he assisted in building the fort at Standing Rock, where he was employed for about two years, the lumber for its construction being sawed from Cottonwood logs cut on the river bottom. When that work was completed he returned to Bismarck, where he has since engaged in contracting and building with marked success, and also conducts a lumber yard. He has assisted in building most of the leading business houses of the city, including the First National Bank building, the Center block and the Dakota block. In connection with his other business he has also engaged in farming to some extent. Upright and reliable in all things, he conscientiously fulfills his part of every contract and is an important factor in the business circles of the city. Through his own well-directed efforts he has become the owner of a handsome property. He takes a deep and commendable interest in public affairs and does all in his power to advance the interests of his adopted city, giving two thousand dollars toward getting the capitol located at Bismarck. In political sentiment he is a Republican. He was elected county treasurer on an independent ticket, but was re-elected as a Republican, serving in all four years with credit to himself and to the entire satisfaction of the public.

MARSHALL HENRY JEWELL, publisher of the "Bismarck Tribune," the oldest newspaper in North Dakota-the weekly edition being established in June, 1873, and the daily in April, 1881-was born in Hector, on the banks of Seneca lake, in New York state, April 29, 1857. His father was a newspaper man, and back in the '50s published the "Seneca County Sentinel" at Ovid, New York. In 1858 Mr. Jewell's parents moved to Michigan and were among the early pioneers in the region north of Grand Rapids. Mr. Jewell, Sr., in order to support his family while making an "opening" in the pineries, worked much of the time at the printer's trade in Grand Rapids, the nearest town, walking through a dense forest a distance of over thirty miles every Saturday night to spend Sunday at home. These were the surroundings of the first ten years of the life of the subject of this sketch.  Obtaining such education as was possible in the "old log school house," he attended school in the village of .Cedar Springs. Mr. Jewell's parents moved to Wheaton, a suburb of Chicago, where Mr. Jewell attended the college for a brief period.

During his early school days in Cedar Springs Mr. Jewell found opportunity to work "after hours'' in the "Clipper" office, and was thus enabled to learn the printer's trade. He went to Chicago and in 1876 was made foreman of the "Daily Courier,'' and later the telegraph editor of the "Telegraph," on whose presses the first issue of the "Daily News" was printed. Associated with Stanley Hunter, Mr.  Jewell came to Bismarck in 1878 and secured control of the "Weekly Tribune" from its founder, Colonel C. A. Lounsberry. He was associated with these gentlemen a few years, succeeding to their interests in 1883. The "Bismarck Tribune" is now widely known as one of the leading and most influential newspapers in the Northwest, while the publishing department, which has handled the state printing since 1883, when the capital of Dakota was located in Bismarck, is one of the most complete of the kind in the country.

Mr. Jewell has always taken an active part in politics as well as business, and is a familiar figure and prominent factor in all state Republican gatherings. He was chosen secretary of the Republican state committee in 1893 and again in the McKinley campaign of 1896. He has a wife and one son, and owns one of the coziest homes in the capital city.

MILTON D. KING. This gentleman is one of the most extensive farmers of Burleigh county, and is widely known as a citizen of honest industry and excellent business capacity. He was born on a farm in Franklis county, New York, in 1870.

The father of our subject, Chester King, was a farmer by occupation, and he served four years in the Civil war and received a gunshot wound after he had surrendered to the enemy, from the effects of which he died in August, 1898. The grandfather of our subject, John B. King, also served in the Civil war and was wounded and died in Libby prison.

Our subject's father was a contractor for the Northern Pacific Railroad Company, and supplied ties for the construction of the road, and he went to Minnesota in 1873 and lived at Aiken for some time, and in the fall of 1875 moved with his family to Fort Berthold, North Dakota, and he was Indian farmer there two years, and had many experiences with the red men. He removed to Bismarck in 1877, and conducted the Capital Hotel there two years, and then began farming, and in 1880 moved his family to the new home fifteen miles east of Bismarck, since which time our subject has resided on the home farm. The father conducted the dairy business and engaged extensively in that line, and our subject now keeps from twenty to thirty cows for that purpose. He also engages in stock raising extensively, and has one hundred and forty head of cattle, and since 1895 our subject has conducted and had full charge of the farm. The home farm originally consisted of three hundred and twenty acres, but has been increased to six hundred and forty acres, of which four hundred acres is cultivated, and Mr. King operates from five to six hundred acres of land, he has a complete set of buildings on the home farm, and of such nature as entitle it to rank among the best improved farms of Burleigh county. He has sixty horses, good machinery and conducts a model farm.

Mr. King attended Carleton College at Northfield, Minnesota, in 1889, '91, '92 and 95, and then assumed management of the home farm. He was married, September 27, 1898, to Miss Mabel Murrey, who was born at White Earth, Minnesota, and was raised among the Indians. Her father, A. K. Murrey, was a. farmer, and was of Scotch-Irish descent. One child has been born to Mr. and Mrs. King, whose birth is dated July 20, 1899. Our subject has held numerous township offices, and is prominent in local affairs. He and wife are members of the Congregational church and are highly esteemed in the community in which they make their home.

CLARENCE B. LITTLE. Prominent among the business men of Bismarck. North Dakota, is this gentleman, who for seventeen years has been closely identified with the history of the city, while his name is inseparably connected with its financial records. The banking interests are well represented by him, for he is today at the head of the First National Bank, the leading moneyed institution of the place. He is a man of keen discrimination and sound judgment, and his executive ability and excellent management have brought to the concern with which he is connected a high degree of success.

Mr. Little was born in Merrimack county. New Hampshire, November 18, 1857, a son of George P. and Elizabeth A. (Knox) Little, who have been life-long residents of that state, where the father is still extensively engaged in farming. Reared in his native state, our subject completed his literary education in Dartmouth College, and in 1879 entered the law department of Harvard University. In 1882 he came to Bismarck, North Dakota, and entered upon the practice of law, which he followed for four years.

In 1885 Mr. Little was elected a director of the Capital National Bank, and two years later was elected president, which position he held until the bank was consolidated with the First National Bank, in February, 1896. He has been connected with other business enterprises in the town and county, and owns a state bank at Braddock and another at Washburn, .North Dakota, being president of both. He also conducts a lumber business at the latter place. The First National Bank of Bismarck, of which he is now president, was organized in August, 1879, with Walter Mann, of St. Paul, Minnesota, as president, and George H. Fairchild as cashier. The capital stock at that time was fifty thousand dollars, but was afterward increased to one hundred thousand dollars. A year after its organization, Mr. Mann retired and Mr. Fairchild was made president, and W. A. Dillon, cashier. In 1888 Asa Fisher was elected president and Mr. Dillon retained as cashier. On the 6th of May, 1895, the present officers were elected: C. B. Little, president, and S. M. Pye, assistant cashier. Under their excellent management the bank has steadily prospered. It is one of the solid financial institutions of the state, and does a general banking business and also issues foreign exchange.

In 1885 Mr. Little was united in marriage with Caroline (Little) Little, of Boston, Massachusetts , and to them have been born two children: Veroque M. and George M. Socially, our subject is a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity, and is past commander and was also deputy grand commander in territorial times. As a Republican he takes an active and influential part in political affairs, has been a member of the state central committee for years, and was chairman of the last Republican state convention. In 1884 he was elected judge of probate; was re-elected two years later, and the same year was also appointed inspector-general of territorial troops, in which capacity he served for three years. He was formerly president of the school board of Bismarck, and is one of the most popular and prominent members of the state senate, to which he was first elected in 1889 and has been four times re-elected, being president pro tern. of that august body at the present time. He is a pleasant, genial and polished gentleman of high social qualities and is very popular, having a most extensive circle of friends and acquaintances throughout the state. 



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