Biography of John H. Terrett of Michigan City North Dakota

John H. Terrett, born October 24, 1858, in Fairfax County, Virginia, is a notable figure in Michigan City, Nelson County, North Dakota. He pursued education in telegraphy and railroading before moving to Grand Forks County in 1882. Terrett farmed government land and worked for Pillsbury & Hulbert Elevator Company. He later became a station agent and owned an elevator business. In 1895, he transitioned to banking and real estate, achieving significant success. Terrett was Michigan City’s first mayor, a long-term school board member, and an active Democrat. Married to Maggie Reid in 1885, they had three children: Dade R., Fannie R., and Mildred V.

John H. Terrett is an enterprising and wideawake citizen of Michigan City, in Nelson county, North Dakota, who has attained success by honest, faithful and persistent work. He is a native of Fairfax county, Virginia, and was born October 24, 1858, to John H. and Virginia (Hutton) Terrett, both of whom traced their ancestry through old families of English lineage who settled in Virginia in the early colonial days.

Our subject acquired a good English education in private and public schools, and supplemented this by a course of study in a telegraph institute, after which he spent some time in the railway service, his purpose being to acquire a practical knowledge of telegraphing and railroading. In 1878 he returned to the farm in Cass county, Missouri, whither he had moved some years before, and for four years engaged in farming. Then, in 1882, going to Grand Forks county, Dakota Territory, from which Nelson county, North Dakota, was set off at a later date, he took up a tract of government land and began farming, which he carried on from 1883 to 1890, at the same time being employed in buying wheat for the Pillsbury & Hulbert Elevator Company at Petersburg. During the next two years he was station agent at Petersburg, and then for three years owned and operated an independent elevator.

In 1895 Mr. Terrett turned his attention to banking, dealing in real estate and making real estate and farm loans, at the same time looking after his farming interests, and has continued his operations in these several lines with gratifying success ever since.

Mr. Terrett has always taken a lively interest in civic and public affairs, and has been called to numerous offices of trust. He was the first mayor of Michigan City after its incorporation as a city, served a number of terms as a member of the city coun-cil, and has continuously been on the school board at Petersburg, and later Michigan City, for over twenty years. He has always been a Democrat in politics, and has served one term as state central committeeman, and for many years as chairman of the Democratic county central committee.

He is actively identified with the Masonic Brotherhood, having attained the thirty-second degree, and is also a Shriner. His religious affiliations are with the Congregational church.

On August 5, 1885, Mr. Terrett married Miss Maggie Reid, of Cass county, Missouri, and they have three children, viz.: Dade R., Fannie R., and Mildred V., a trio of happy young 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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