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A. P. McMillan Biography


This biography is from "Memorial and biographical record; an illustrated compendium of biography, containing a compendium of local biography, including biographical sketches of prominent old settlers and representative citizens of South Dakota..." Published by G. A. Ogle & Co., Chicago, 1899. Pages 738-739

A. P. McMILLAN is a well-known merchant and prominent and influential citizen of Conde, Spink county, South Dakota, who has been actively identified with the business interests of the village since its inception. Self-reliance, conscientiousness, energy, honesty - these are the traits of character that insure the highest emoluments and greatest success, and to these may be attributed the success that has crowned the efforts of our subject. 

Mr. McMillan was born in Harmony township, Fillmore county, Minnesota, November 7, 1859, and is a son of Arthur C. and Rebecca McMillan, both of whom were: born and reared in Ohio. The great-great-grandparents of our subject came to the new world from Scotland and located in Canada, where the grandfather, James Enos McMillan, was born. At an early day he came to the United States, and in the war of 1812 served his adopted country as a spy, being able to talk both French and the Indian languages. So ably did he perform his duties that the British government offered one thousand dollars in gold for his capture, either dead or alive. Our subject's ancestors were mostly farmers. He belongs to the Canadian branch of the McMillan family, while Senator McMillan, of Minneapolis, comes from the New York branch. 

A. P. McMillan is the third in order of birth in a family of six children, four of whom are still living. When a young man the father went to De Kalb county, Illinois, and it was in that state that he was married. As early as 1854 he removed to Fillmore county, Minnesota, where he purchased a tract of government land, and engaged in farming, but removed to Cresco, Iowa, when our subject was a lad of fourteen years. The boy had attended school in a log schoolhouse near his Minnesota home, and he remained at home and assisted in the support of his family (his father being an invalid) until he was twenty-five years of age. At this time he was filling a position as clerk in the general store of White & Moon, at Cresco, Iowa, and has since been continuously interested in mercantile pursuits, with the exception of one summer. 

On coming to Spink county, South Dakota, in 1885, he located at Frankfort, where he clerked in a general store for a time, and on the 1st of November, 1886, embarked in business on his own account at Conde in a building 24 x 30 feet, with living rooms above, for which he paid fifteen dollars per month rent. In 1888 twenty feet was added to the length of the store room to accommodate his largely increased stock, and in the fall of 1898 he again enlarged the building, making it 24 x 88 feet. His first stock of goods was obtained from a St. Paul firm, which had taken the goods under attachment, and he bought his first bill of groceries from H. A. Park, of Watertown. He now carries the largest stock of any general store in the eastern part of Spink county, and has built up an excellent trade, which under his able management is constantly increasing. Besides his business property, he now has one of the best residences in the town, erected in 1892, and other real estate there, and owns a fine farm of three hundred and twenty acres, improved with a good set of buildings. He also rents land and is extensively engaged in the raising of grain. He is interested in the Conde Creamery Company and is vice president of the State Bank of Doland, in which he owns an interest. 

Mr. McMillan's father was a soldier of the Civil war and was an ardent Republican in politics. Our subject was therefore reared in that party, but is now a Populist, though not strictly partisan, believing that the laws should be made to protect the common people and entirely disapproving of class legislation. He has attended many county and state conventions of his party, and, as every true American citizen should, he takes an active interest in public affairs. For several terms he has been an influential member of the town council, and his support is always given those measures which he believes will in any way benefit the general public. Socially, he affiliates with the Ancient Order of United Workmen and is one of the oldest grand lodge members in the state, and religiously is an active and consistent member of the Baptist church, serving as superintendent of the Sunday school five years. 

Mr. McMillan was married in Le Roy, Minnesota, on April 22, 1884, the lady of his choice being Stella K. Hard, daughter of John W. Hard, a jeweler and resident of Chicago. They are the parents of six children. Those living are: Arthur E., Calla R., John Wesley, Leone and Lloyd F. and Lillian, who died in infancy.


 

 


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