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.

William James Glass, a native of New York state, was born in Glenville, Schenectady County, New York, on December 3, 1861. His parents were Cornelius and Elizabeth Glass. His father was a farmer by occupation. Both parents came from the north of Ireland to the United States in 1848 and settled in the state of New York, where they lived until the father’s death. After the father’s death, his mother moved to North Dakota in 1896, where she still resides.

William J. received his education in the common schools of his hometown. Through hard study, he prepared himself for teaching, but finding that occupation not congenial, he went to Amsterdam, New York, and learned the carpenter trade. He worked as a carpenter until June 1883 when he relocated to North Dakota.

Upon arriving in North Dakota, he continued working as a carpenter in Devils Lake and Larimore until the spring of 1884. In that year, he completed the final proof on a quarter section of land near Churches Ferry. In August 1884, he became the manager of F. H. Stoltze, also known as the Northwestern Lumber Company, in Inkster. He held this position for twenty-three years.

In 1907, the Stoltze interests were sold to the Atlas Lumber Company, and Mr. Glass remained in the same position until January 1908 when he resigned to focus on his farming interests. He owns a fine home in Inkster and is the owner of the Coulee Farm, which spans 960 acres, and the Clear Meadow Farm, which covers eighty acres. Mr. Glass has held numerous local offices, including treasurer of Strabane for ten years, treasurer of the city of Inkster for four years, treasurer of school district 103 for twelve years, and he currently serves as an alderman.

Within the Masonic Order, he has held various positions of honor. He is a member of Forest River Lodge No. 28, A. F. & A. M.; Hillsboro Lodge of Perfection; North Dakota Consistory No. 132, Fargo; and El Zagal Temple A. A. O. N. M. S., in Fargo. Additionally, he is affiliated with the I. O. O. F. in Inkster. Mr. Glass served as the worshipful master of the Blue Lodge for four years.

In January 1889, Mr. Glass married Miss Ellen Mary Sorg of Inkster, N.D. They have one son, Elwyn Cornelius Glass, who was born in 1894.


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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