Bios of People of Scots Descent Alexander R. Dempster Biography
This biography appears on pages 945-946 in "History of Dakota Territory" by George W. Kingsbury, Vol. IV (1915)
Sioux Falls with its pulsing industrial and commercial activities
is continually drawing to itself men of enterprise who recognize the opportunities found in the great and growing northwest. Prompted by
laudable ambition and impelled by enterprise and sound judgment, Alexander R. Dempster came to this city to establish a wholesale
distributing house for the products made by the pump and windmill factory at Beatrice, Nebraska, in which he is interested.
His entire life has been passed in the Mississippi valley. His
birth occurred in Dundee, Illinois, January 28, 1848, his parents being Alexander R. and Jane Blythe (Whittaker) Dempster. The former was a
native of Aberdeen, Scotland, born May 15, 1811, and in 1832, about the time he attained his majority, he came to the new world. He first
located in New York city, where he worked at his trade of quill making, but soon after his marriage went to Chicago, Illinois, subsequently
settling on a farm near Dundee, Kane county, that state, where he devoted the remainder of his life to agricultural pursuits. There he
passed away in 1893, having attained the venerable age of eighty-two years. His wife was born July 4, 1816, in New York state but her father
was of Scotch birth. To Mr. and Mrs. Alexander R. Dempster, Sr., were born ten children, equally divided as to sex, of whom three sons and
three daughters yet survive.
Alexander R. Dempster of this review acquired his early education
in the public schools of Carpenterville, Illinois, and afterward attended the Elgin Academy at Elgin, that state, being graduated on the
completion of several courses. He left Elgin in 1877 and went to Chicago, where he was in the employ of Field, Leiter & Company and
subsequently with Marshall Field & Company until 1884. In that year he
went to Beatrice, Nebraska, where he became connected with the manufacture of pumps and windmills. In 1895 he removed to Des Moines,
Iowa, where he established a similar business, while still retaining his interests at Beatrice. Fifteen years were passed in Des Moines and
in 1910 he came to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to open a wholesale distributing house in order to handle the products made in the
factories at Beatrice. This brings him into closer connection with the trade of the northwest. The sales now cover a wide territory in this
section of the country and the business is a growing and profitable one. Mr. Dempster has already become recognized as one of the
representative business men of the city, belonging to that class who, while promoting individual interests also contribute to public
On the 20th of July, 1871, at Dundee, Illinois, Mr. Dempster was
united in marriage to Miss Jennie Crichton and to them have been born several children: Grace Ethel; Jennie; Mabel, the wife of Roswell R.
Marsh of Fort Pierre, South Dakota; Edna Alexandria, the wife of Lee A.
I,umbard, of Des Moines, lowa; and Arthur Ruben Dempster, who was married November 26, 1914, at Mankato, Minnesota, to Veva Churchill,
and is now conducting a cattle ranch at Fort Bennett, South Dakota.
The religious faith of the family is that of the Congregational
church and Mr. Dempster belongs also to the Masonic lodge. His political allegiance is given to the republican party, but he has never
been an aspirant for office, preferring to concentrate his energies upon his business affairs which are growing in volume and importance.
In youth he made good use of his educational opportunities, in manhood he has made equally good use of the possibilities for business
advancement and his determination and laudable ambition have carried him into important relations.
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