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.

William Spriggs, who is a native of Elyria, Ohio, was born July 3, 1863, and is a son of Joseph and Lucy (Fretter-Harrison) Spriggs, both natives of England. They settled in Rice county, Minnesota, in 1863, and the mother died there in January, 1886. The father’s death occurred in May, 1908.

Our subject acquired a common school education in Rice county, and in 1884 attended the Business College at St. Paul. After finishing his studies young Spriggs took a position in the office of Mr. J. T. Holmes, who carried on a plumbing business and dealt in heating appliances at St. Paul, and during the five years he was thus employed gained a thoroughly practical knowledge of that line of business.

In 1890-91 he traveled as salesman for the Western Supply Company of St. Paul. During the year last named, associated with Mr. Black and his brother, R. C. Spriggs, under the firm name of Spriggs, Black & Company, and so continued till Mr. Black’s retirement from the firm in 1898, the firm name changing to Spriggs Brothers, which name is still continued, though the business was incorporated March 11, 1907, Mr. R. C. Spriggs becoming president, Mr. S. S. Harrison vice president, and Mr. William Spriggs, secretary and treasurer.

The concern is doing a general plumbing and heating business, carrying a complete line of everything relating to that trade, and takes the lead in all that relates to the construction and installation of steam and hot water plants, ventilation, plumbing, etc.

Mr. Spriggs is first vice president of the Grand Forks Commercial Club and president of the State Association of Builders and Traders Exchanges. He is a Republican in politics, and has served as a member of the city council. He is actively identified with fraternal and benevolent organizations, being a member of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of North Dakota; also a member of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar and of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.

On January 20, 1897, Mr. Spriggs married Mrs. Jennie Cross, nee Taylor, widow of William A. Cross, deceased, by whom she had two children, viz. : William A. and Lillian Irene. Mr. and Mrs. Spriggs have two children, viz. : Alva J., born September 11, 1899, and Louise M., born July 3, 1903.


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.

Pin It on Pinterest

Scroll to Top