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Richard W. Mathieson Biography


This biography appears on pages 1401-1402 in "History of South Dakota" by Doane Robinson, Vol. II (1904) 

RICHARD W. MATHIESON, one of the prominent and honored citizens of Fort Pierre, Stanley county, was born in Colesburg, Delaware county, Iowa, on the 5th of August, 1849, and is a son of Robert and Ann (Wood) Mathieson, the former of whom was born in Scotland, where records extant trace the lineage back through thirty-four generations, while the latter was born in England. The father of the subject was killed in the Indian massacre at Spirit Lake, Iowa, in 1857, his devoted wife surviving him by several years. The subject came with other members of the family, including his widowed mother, to the territory of Dakota in the spring of 1862, settling first in Bon Homme county and removing thence, in the fall of the same year, to Yankton, which was the family home for several years, Mr. Mathieson having completed his early educational training in the public schools of that city. In 1863 he entered upon an apprenticeship at the printer's trade in the office of the Union and Dakotan, a paper published in Yankton, and on the 28th of February of the following year he enlisted in Company B, First Dakota Cavalry, of which William Tripp was captain, and in the same year accompanied his regiment on the expedition to the Yellowstone river, under General Sully. In 1865 he took part in the expedition to Devil's Lake, and was mustered out of the service in November of that year, at Sioux City. Thereafter he was for some time employed at his trade, and also identified with early surveying work in the territory. Thereafter he conducted a wood yard and farmed and freighted four miles below Yankton for about five years. In the spring of 1871 he went to Colorado, where he was engaged in prospecting and mining during the major portion of the next eighteen months. In 1873 he made a trip up the Missouri river with a mule-team and assisted in the erection of Fort Lincoln, and in 1874 had charge of the cutler's teams in General Custer's expedition to the Black Hills. There he panned out about fifty cents, in gold dust, which he brought back with him, the amount being sufficient to prove to others that gold was to be found in that section. In September, 1874, he was associated with another man in the building of a skiff, in which they came down the Missouri river from Bismarck to Yankton. In March, 1875, Mr. Mathieson went to the Black Hills with a stock of merchandise, and disposed of the same, returning to Yankton in the fall. He then purchased teams and engaged in freighting to the Black Hills, making the enterprise a most profitable one and continuing the same until 1882, when he disposed of his outfit and purchased a stock of general merchandise in Fort Pierre, in company with his brother, George D., while they also purchased a bunch of cattle and engaged in the raising of stock. After two years the partnership was dissolved, the subject taking the cattle while the brother retained the store as his share. In 1887 our subject removed his cattle to the range on the Cheyenne river, and when the reservation of that name was opened up he took up his residence in Fort Pierre, where he has since maintained his home, while simultaneously he removed his cattle to a ranch at the Bad river, at the mouth of the Grindstone river, where he has since continued to be engaged in stock growing on an extensive scale. Mr. Mathieson has ever taken a deep interest in the civic and material development and progress of the state of which he is a sterling pioneer. He served one term as a member of the board of commissioners of Stanley county and one term as mayor of the city of Fort Pierre. Fraternally he is affiliated with the following named bodies: Hiram Lodge, No. 123, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, at Fort Pierre; Pierre Chapter, No. 22, Royal Arch Masons, in the capital city of the state; De Molay Commandery, No. 3, Knights Templar, in Yankton; and Lodge No. 75, Ancient Order of United Workmen, at Fort Pierre. 

On the 28th of August, 1884, Mr. Mathieson was united in marriage to Miss Clara B. Pratt, who was the adopted daughter of David Pratt. She was born in Anoka, Minnesota, on the 14th of March, 1862, and is a daughter of Jonathan L. and Emily Nash, who died when she was a child. Of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Mathieson we enter the names, with respective dates of birth: Maud E., July 28, 1886; Kenneth W., June 19, 1890; Donald E., December 19, 1897.


 

 


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