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Lyman County, South Dakota  Genealogy


Ernest Mason Sedgwick Biography

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 followed.

     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.







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