Biography of David H. Beecher of Grand Forks, North Dakota

David H. Beecher, born March 15, 1852, in Rushford, New York, is a pioneering banker in the Red River Valley. Moving to North Dakota in 1884, he co-founded the First National Bank of Park River and later established the Union National Bank in Grand Forks. Beecher’s extensive banking interests span several national and state banks, with significant capital, deposits, and loans. Known for his conservative management, Beecher’s banks weathered multiple financial panics. A Republican, Beecher married Effie Gifford, and they had one daughter who died in infancy. He resides in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

David Beecher
David Beecher

The subject of this sketch, Mr. David H. Beecher, is one of the pioneer and successful bankers of the Red River Valley, entering this field as a banker in 1884 at Park River, Walsh county, North Dakota. Mr. Beecher was born in Rushford, Allegany county, New York, March 15, 1852, where he resided with his parents until the age of twelve, when the family removed to Tioga county, New York. At the age of eighteen he went to Binghamton, New York, to complete his education and entered business there at the age of twenty-three. He resided at Binghamton until 1883, when he came to Crookston, Minnesota. The following year he became associated with Mr. Sidney Clarke, then with the First National Bank of that city, and established the First National Bank of Park River in Walsh county, North Dakota, taking up his residence at that place. Mr. Beecher still retains his connection with this bank, which has grown to be the largest bank in Walsh county. In 1890 Messrs. Beecher and Clarke removed to Grand Forks and established the Union National Bank with $100,000 capital, which institution has made steady and substantial growth and is recognized as one of the strongest and most conservative banks in the Red River Valley.

Mr. Beecher continued to extend his banking interests through the eastern part of the state, the growth of which now shows him to be the principal officer and leading spirit of five national banks and twelve state banks, with a total capital and surplus of nearly $500,000, deposits of $2,000,000 and loans of $1,500,000.

Mr. Beecher has gathered around him as associates several men of rare genius as bankers, among whom are Mr. Sidney Clarke, cashier of the Union National Bank of Grand Forks; Geo. E. Towle, vice president of the First National Bank of Park River and treasurer of the Northwestern National Life Insurance Company of Minneapolis; Karl J. Farup, cashier of the First National Bank of Park River; Brynjolf Prom, cashier of the State Bank of Milton; Hon. U. L. Burdick, cashier of the First National Bank of Munich, who is also present Speaker of the North Dakota House of Representatives.

It may be said to the credit of Mr. Beecher and his associates that during the panics of 1893, 1896 and 1907, all of the banks in which he is associated maintained their usual strong position and showed careful and conservative management in the largest degree.

Mr. Beecher was married at the age of twenty-seven to Miss Effie Gifford of Utica, New York. This union was blessed by a daughter who died in infancy.

In politics Mr. Beecher is a Republican. He has never sought political honors, but is always found a staunch supporter of the man he considers both worthy and capable of serving the people.


C.F. Cooper & Company, History of the Red River Valley, Past And Present: Including an Account of the Counties, Cities, Towns And Villages of the Valley From the Time of Their First Settlement And Formation, volumes 1-2; Grand Forks: Herald printing company, 1909.

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