Grand Forks County

Red River Valley title page vol 2

Biography of William James Glass of Inkster North Dakota

William James Glass, born on December 3, 1861, in Glenville, Schenectady County, New York, was the son of Cornelius and Elizabeth Glass, Irish immigrants who settled in New York in 1848. Educated locally, he initially pursued teaching before transitioning to carpentry. In 1883, Glass moved to North Dakota, managing the Northwestern Lumber Company in Inkster for 23 years. After 1908, he focused on farming, owning significant land in the region. Glass held numerous local offices and was active in Masonic and fraternal organizations. In 1889, he married Ellen Mary Sorg, and they had one son, Elwyn Cornelius, born in 1894.

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Biography of William Spriggs of Grand Forks North Dakota

William Spriggs, born on July 3, 1863, in Elyria, Ohio, was the son of Joseph and Lucy (Fretter-Harrison) Spriggs, natives of England who settled in Rice County, Minnesota, in 1863. Educated locally and at a business college in St. Paul, Spriggs gained experience in the plumbing and heating trade. He co-founded Spriggs Brothers, a leading firm in the industry. He held prominent positions in various organizations and served on the city council. On January 20, 1897, he married Jennie Cross (née Taylor), and they had two children, Alva J. and Louise M.

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Red River Valley title page vol 2

Biography of Joseph R. Poupore of Grand Forks North Dakota

Joseph R. Poupore, a prominent county commissioner and railroad contractor in the Red River Valley, was born in 1860 in Pontiac, Quebec, Canada. At sixteen, he began managing logging crews for his family’s lumber business, gaining valuable experience in labor management. Poupore moved to Grand Forks, North Dakota, in 1881, initially farming before transitioning to railroad contracting and large-scale projects. His work included street excavation, railroad grading, and bridge construction. Elected county treasurer in 1903 and county commissioner in 1905, Poupore also promoted the Grand Forks Central Creamery and managed the Poupore & Kennedy Brickyard. He married Teresa Landon in 1885, and they had ten children, with four surviving into 1909.

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Red River Valley title page vol 2

Biography of John W. Scott of Grand Forks County North Dakota

John W. Scott, born October 21, 1849, in Ontario, Canada, was a notable public official in Grand Forks County, North Dakota. He moved to Wisconsin in his youth and then to Grand Forks County in 1879, where he transformed his homestead into a model farm. A dedicated Republican, Scott was the first commissioner elected from the Fifth District in 1881 and later served in the Dakota Territory General Assembly. In 1892, he became the county auditor, a position he held for eight years. Scott married Ella Harshman in 1875 and, after her passing, married Hannah Varner in 1895. He had eight children from his first marriage and four from his second.

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Biography of John Vallely of Grand Forks North Dakota

John Vallely, born January 21, 1861, in Lanark, Ontario, Canada, is president of the Western Collection Agency in Grand Forks, North Dakota. His parents, Michael and Mary (Ryan) Vallely, were farmers. John moved to North Dakota on June 2, 1882. He has been in the collection business since 1890 and helped establish the Western Collection Agency in 1907. Vallely served as an alderman and was active in the Democratic State Central Committee. He married Lila Moran on November 28, 1889, and they have four children: Mary Lillian, Margaret Irene, Alonza Joseph, and Michael Alexander.

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Biography of John A. Gaunt of Grand Forks, North Dakota

John A. Gaunt, manager of the Cascaden Manufacturing Company’s branch in Grand Forks, North Dakota, was born on December 3, 1863, in demons Grove, Iowa. His father passed away when he was nine, limiting his education to a few winter terms. Gaunt began his career as a collector for the McCormick Harvester Company in 1883, then worked for several other companies before becoming manager at Cascaden in 1905. A successful auctioneer for twenty years, he was also a member of the Masonic Lodge. Gaunt married Leota Springer on December 2, 1888, and they had two children, Ray S. and Wanda Ilene.

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Biography of Jerry E. Stevens of Northwood North Dakota

Jerry E. Stevens, a self-made man and prominent figure in North Dakota, was born near Elgin, Illinois, on April 8, 1854. After moving to North Dakota on July 21, 1881, he engaged in farming and later established a successful general merchandise business in Northwood. A staunch Republican, Stevens served as a senator from the fifth legislative district and held various school and township offices. He married Mazie Rank in Minnesota on January 10, 1883, and they had two children: Joy E. Stevens and Maud C. Stevens.

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Biography of James Twamley of Grand Forks North Dakota

James Twamley, former president of the Old Settlers’ Association of the Red River Valley, arrived in Grand Forks, North Dakota, in 1876. He and Frank Viets established the first wholesale business in North Dakota in 1878. Educated in New York, Twamley worked in wholesale dry goods before moving to North Dakota due to health concerns. He was a significant figure in education and Masonry, serving on the University of North Dakota’s board of regents and as grand chief templar. Twamley married Mary E. Hawkins in 1866, with whom he had two children, J. Fred and M. Edna.

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Biography of Hon. Martin Victor Linwell of Northwood North Dakota

Hon. Martin Victor Linwell, born April 2, 1857, in Rush City, Minnesota, was a prominent figure in North Dakota’s early development. Son of Swedish immigrants John and Anna Linwell, he started his independent life at thirteen. Linwell established a loan and land office in Mayville in 1881 and later expanded his business ventures, including banking and retail lumber. Admitted to the North Dakota bar in 1887, he practiced law and served as Northwood’s mayor for six years. Linwell also promoted local agricultural and commercial enterprises. Married to Anna Paulson, he had three children: Wendell, Emmons, and Delia.

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Red River Valley title page vol 2

Biography of Hon. Charles Joseph Fisk of Grand Forks, North Dakota

Hon. Charles Joseph Fisk, a respected jurist, was born in Illinois in 1862. After a diligent education and a successful career in law, he was elected as a district judge and later elevated to the Supreme Court of North Dakota in 1906. Fisk’s integrity, legal expertise, and genial disposition earned him wide admiration, enabling him to excel in his high office. He married Miss Ida M. Myers, and they have two daughters, Helen Marion and Doris May, who bring much joy to their lives.

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