As found in "The
History of Dakota Territory" Vol. 5
Ernest Mason Sedgwick, a well known resident of Presho and Lyman
county, is not only
cashier of the Presho State Bank, which is one of the most important
banks of that section of South Dakota, but is also the owner of a great
deal of valuable land in this state.
His birth occurred in West
Liberty, Iowa, on the 29th of October, 1865, and he is
a son of Lieutenant Samuel W. and Christina (Givans)
Sedgwick, natives respectively of Vermont and
Ohio. The father was a pioneer lumberman of Iowa
but is now living retired at the age of eighty years at Pukwana,
South Dakota. He has resided in this state
since 1883, in which year he
located in Kimball, where he engaged in the lumber business until he
went to Pukwana.
He fought in the Civil
war, remaining in the military service for
five years, during which period he was for some time a member of the
Eleventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry and for some time was in an Iowa
battery of artillery. He left the service with the rank of lieutenant
and his military record is one of which he has cause to be proud. His
wife is also living and they are the parents of five children, of whom
Ernest M. is the eldest.
The last named attended school in
Davenport, Iowa, but when fifteen years of
age wells to Wyoming, where he remained with a big cattle company for
four years. During this time he also helped to make the first survey of
the Big Horn country and had many interesting experiences typical of
life on the frontier.
In 1884 he removed to
Kimball, South Dakota, and was associated with his father in the lumber
business there for one year but in 1885 located in Chamberlain, where he
engaged in the cattle business. Five years later he took up his
residence in Lyman county and engaged in the cattle business on his own
account, owning at times herds numbering fifteen hundred head.
In 1905 he founded the Presho State Bank,
of which he has been cashier since its organiza-tion
and of which he is the majority stockholder. He directs
the policy of the institution, which is the most important bank between
Chamberlain and Rapid City on the Milwaukee road, and the rapid and
steady growth of its business has been due to the wise policy of
progressiveness tempered with conservatism which Mr. Sedgwick has
It is recognized that he
possesses excellent judgment and his advice is often sought on matters
of investment. He still owns his original ranch of four thousand, four
hundred acres and also holds title to several smaller tracts of land. On
his home ranch he has three thousand sheep and three hundred and fifty
cattle and his stock raising interests return him a handsome income.
Mr. Sedgwick was married in 1889 to Miss
Harriet E. Minar of Chamberlain, and to them were born three children:
Vera, the wife of Albert Henneman, of Meriden, Idaho; Edna M., who
married M. C. Hight, of Presho; and Kenneth O., of Meriden, Idaho.
In July, 1914, Mr.
Sedgwick was again married, his second union being with Miss Alys B.
Callanan, a daughter of James and Catherine (McNichols) Callanan, of
Chamberlain. A son, James Ernest, has been
born to this union.
Mr. Sedgwick is a republican and has
served on the school board but has refused to accept any other office.
He is a Knight Templar Mason and an Elk and is well known in local
fraternal circles. Outdoor life has always afforded him great pleasure
and he spends considerable time on his ranch, while his favorite forms
of recreation are hunting and fishing. He is a great lover of blooded
dogs and owns a number of fine ones.
He has achieved an unusual
measure of success but none begrudges him his
prosperity as it is the direct reward of his sound judgment,
enterprise and determination. He has been quick to recognize and take
advantage of the opportunities offered by this rapidly developing state
and his activities have not only led to his individual success but have
also promoted the advancement of his section.