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John L. Lockhart Biography


This biography appears on pages 70-73 in "History of Dakota Territory" by George W. Kingsbury, Vol. V (1915) 

The business record of John L. Lockhart, of Pierre, in the field of real-estate and investments is a most creditable one and has constituted an element of prosperity for the city as well as a source of individual success. Mr. Lockhart is a native of Portage, Columbia county, Wisconsin, born April 17, 1856. His parents, John and Agnes (Gray) Lockhart, were natives of Scotland and, leaving the land of hills and heather, in 1852 became residents of Wisconsin, where the father still resides but the mother passed away in March, 1901. 

John Lockhart was reared upon his father's farm in his native county, where he attended the district schools. His educational opportunities were somewhat limited but in the school of experience he has learned many valuable lessons and from the activities and conditions of life he has drawn correct conclusions. When twenty-four years of age he became foreman in a logging camp, operating in Wisconsin for two years. In 1882 he arrived in Dakota territory, settling in Clark county, where he secured a homestead and preemption claim, remaining thereon for a year. He then removed to Milbank, Grant county, where he engaged in the hardware business, successfully conducting that enterprise for a number of years. He never falters in the pursuit of a persistent purpose and his determination and energy have enabled him to carry forward to successful completion whatever he has undertaken. 

Mr. Lockhart has long been active politically and his patriotic citizenship and ability have received recognition in election to public office. In 1894 he was chosen commissioner of school and public lands for the state of South Dakota and in that year removed to Pierre, where he has since made his home. He proved a capable official, retiring from the position as he had entered it with the confidence and goodwill of all, and in 1899 he embarked in general merchandising, in which he continued until 1906. Since that time he has engaged in the real-estate and investment business and has established a large clientele. He has been instrumental in inducing many settlers to come to his part of the state and securing for them favorable locations, He is thoroughly acquainted with real-estate values, knows the property that is upon the market and is thus able to successfully handle the interests of his many clients. 

In 1909 Mr. Lockhart was appointed register of the United States land office at Pierre and served in that office until August, 1913. He again became an active factor in politics, when, at the spring primaries in March, 1914, he was chosen chairman of the republican state central committee and in that connection successfully conducted the following campaign His political record prior to his removal to the capital city is an interesting one and worthy of high commendation. In 1889, while a resident of Milbank, he was elected clerk of the courts of Grant county and was three times reelected. In the spring of 1893, while away from home his party, the republican, nominated him for mayor of Milbank and he proved to be the successful candidate at the polls. He wisely administered municipal affairs in that city for one term but refused a reelection. During the famous fight for the capital in 1904, in which Pierre sought to remain the capital city, Mr. Lockhart's activities were of such an important character that at the close of the campaign the citizens of Pierre presented him with a beautiful solid gold watch and chain, suitably inscribed, in recognition of his serve ices, and this is today probably his proudest possession. His efforts, whether in behalf of his private interests or of the public have always been wisely directed. He possesses the faculty of viewing a question from every possible standpoint and thus arriving at a correct conclusion. His worth is widely acknowledged and his fellow townsmen entertain for him the highest regard. 

On the 1st of December, 1885, Mr. Lockhart was united in marriage to Miss Delilah C. Burman, a daughter of William and Eliza (Russell) Burman, of Grant county, South Dakota. Their children are four in number, namely: John B., William H., Margaret E. and Grace G. 

Mr. Lockhart holds membership with the Knights of Pythias and is a past chancellor come mender of the lodge at Milbank. He has also been a member of the grand lodge of the state and is a member of the grand lodge of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He is also a member of Huron Lodge, No. 444, B. P. O. E. The republican party numbers him among its most loyal and stalwart advocates and he has done everything in his power to advance its interests and secure its success. In matters of citizenship he is ever public-spirited and progressive and he cooperates heartily in every movement for the benefit and upbuilding of the capital and of the commonwealth. He belongs to that class of men who have- been the architects and builders of their own fortunes. Starting out empty-handed, he has utilized energy, industry and honesty as weapons in winning the victory which has come to him in the business world.


 

 


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