Biography of Harris Haven

Biography of Harris Haven

This biography appears on pages 731-732 in
"Memorial and biographical record; an illustrated compendium of biography, containing a compendium of local biography, including biographical sketches of prominent old settlers and representative citizens of South Dakota..." Published by G. A. Ogle & Co., Chicago, 1899

Among the prominent and enterprising farmers of Tetonka township, Spink county, who have aided in the growth and development of this region from pioneer days, is the subject of this review. He is a native of the far-off state of Massachusetts, born in the town of Holland, Hampden county, April 14, 1838, and is the second in order of birth in a family of four children. His father, who was a blacksmith by trade, made his home in Massachusetts until 1847, when he removed with his family to southeastern Wisconsin, settling at what is now Kenosha. There he opened a blacksmith shop, which he conducted until 1850, when he purchased a farm in that locality at what was then an extravagant price of $40 per acre, and to agricultural pursuits he devoted his attention for eight years. In 1858 he removed to St Anthony, Minnesota, now St. Anthony Falls, in Minneapolis, and embarked in the grocery business, which he carried on until the death of his wife, in 1863, when he retired from business and lived with his children until he, too, was called away, in 1892.

Harris Haven remained on the home farm, assisting in its work through the summer and attending the district schools of the neighborhood in winter, until twenty years of age. In 1858 he went with the family to Minnesota, but disliking the country, he left home and started out for himself. During the following three years he worked alternately on farms and in the logging camps, and in 1862 secured a position on a farm in Dane county, Wisconsin, where he remained until 1865. He was next employed as road expert by a windmill company, and in 1872 embarked in business for himself at Madison as a wholesale dealer in windmills, in which undertaking he met with excellent success, practically controlling the windmill trade of five counties in central Wisconsin.

It was in the spring of 1881 that Mr. Haven came to Spink county, South Dakota, and homesteaded the southeast quarter of section 11, Tetonka ,township, where he has since resided. He is now the owner of a large and valuable farm, two hundred acres of which he plants in wheat; one hundred and twenty acres in corn, oats and barley; while thirty-five acres are fenced for pasture. He keeps from ten to fifteen head of cattle and has fifteen horses which he is raising for the market.

On the 4th of December, 1884, Mr. Haven was united in marriage with Miss Mary Lerdall, of Madison, Wisconsin, a native, however, of Norway, and to them have been born two children: George and Herman, both at home.

Originally Mr. Haven was a Republican in politics, but for the past eight years has affiliated with the Populist party, though at township and county elections he votes independent of party ties, supporting the men whom he believes best qualified to fill the offices. He has always been a no-license prohibitionist and believes in woman's suffrage. He has served two terms as township treasurer, beginning at the organization of Tetonka township; was also chairman of its first school board; and has served three terms as school treasurer. His official duties have always been most capably and satisfactorily discharged, and he is recognized as one of the valued citizens of his community. When a young man he joined the Independent Order of Odd Fellows but has not kept up his connection with the society.

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