| This biography appears on pages 761-762 in "History of Dakota Territory" by George W. Kingsbury, Vol. IV (1915) |
Since 1906 Andrew Donald Gillies has been engaged in general
merchandising in Florence. His birth occurred in Stormont county, Ontario, on the 15th of September, 1876, his parents being Donald and
Helen Gillies, who were of Highland Scotch descent. The father was a master mechanic and ship carpenter and devoted his life to industrial
activity. Both he and his wife have now passed away.
At the usual age Andrew D Gillies entered the public schools of
his native county and pursued his studies until he had taken the high-school course. When his school days were over he became an apprentice
to the butter and cheese making trades and at the Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893 the cheese which he made was awarded ninety-nine and a half per cent out of a possible one hundred per cent. He is
a graduate of the Guelph Dairy School and the Kingston Dairy School and he was with the Lovell Christmas Cheese Exporting Company for six
years, during which time he had charge of their factories. In 1899 he arrived in South Dakota and engaged in the manufacture of cheese about
six miles west of Florence through three summers, while in the winter seasons he worked as a farm hand. He afterward spent six months in the
employ of F. M. Stewart, a hardware merchant at Bradley, and then went to Clark, where he spent six months in the largest creamery in the
state making butter. He afterward worked on a thresher as engineer and also engaged in farming, but in the fall of 1906 turned his attention
to commercial pursuits, erecting the first general store building in Florence. He started in a small way, but has seen the business increase
each year and his trade become equal to any in his line in his section. He employs five salesmen, carries an attractive line of goods and is
accorded a gratifying and constantly increasing patronage.
On the 15th of September, 1906, Mr. Gillies was united in
marriage to Miss Minnie Best, a daughter of John and Della Best, representatives of one of the old-time pioneer families of this
section. Both parents are yet living and Mrs. Gillies is a native daughter of the state, having been born on the old family homestead at
Florence. The only child of this marriage is Kenneth Donald John, aged seven years.
The parents are members of the Presbyterian church, to the
teachings of which they are faithful, while in furthering the work of moral progress they take an active part. Mr. Gillies enjoys hunting and
fishing and all outdoor exercises and in such finds his recreation.
His political allegiance is given to the republican party.
Fraternally he is connected with the Masons, his membership being in a lodge in Ontario. He is also a member of the Elks lodge No. 838, at
Watertown; the Woodmen of the World; and the Sons of Scotland. For six terms he has filled the office of school treasurer and he is devoted to
the best interests of South Dakota, cooperating in all measures and movements for the public good. While actuated by high ideals, his
methods are practical and the result of his labors is seen in the furtherance of those interests which have been potent factors in
upbuilding his town and county.