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Mini Bios of People of Scots Descent
David Paterson


DAVID PATERSON is an American by adoption, his native country being Scotland, where his birth occurred on the 6th day of October, 1856, His parents, William and Margaret (Duncan) Paterson, were born in Scotland, spent their lives there on a farm, and both lie buried in the old cemetery where sleep so many of their kindred and friends. David Paterson was reared to agricultural pursuits and enjoyed the advantages of a common-school education. When a youth he learned the tanner's trade and followed the same at different places in Scotland until his twenty-second year, when he decided to go to America, accordingly in 1879 he and his brother, Colin, took passage and in due time arrived at their destination, after which they spent a couple of months in New York, where the subject found employment in a tannery. In. July of the same year the brothers went to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where they worked at the tannery trade during the two years following, and it was while thus engaged that David made a trip to South Dakota and entered a tract of land in Kingsbury county. Hiring a man to break about twenty acres, he returned to his work in Milwaukee and there remained until the spring of 1881, when he again came to South Dakota to take possession of his land and attend to its cultivation. After erecting a small, but comfortable dwelling, he planted twenty-five acres of his own land and twenty acres on the claim belonging to his brother, and in due season reaped fair returns from his first effort at South Dakota farming. On June 5, 1881, Mr. Paterson chose a wife and helpmeet in the person of Miss Jane Allardice, of Scotland, the marriage being the culmination of a tender attachment between the two, which began in the old country, where they first became acquainted. After preparing a home and finding himself in circumstances to support a wife, he sent for his intended bride, who in due time made the long journey from Scotland to South Dakota, where the nuptials were duly celebrated. 

Mr. Paterson began life in the west under very modest auspices, but by industry and thrift he soon succeeded in getting the fair start which paved the way to more favorable circumstances. He developed a fine farm, raised cattle and other live stock, from which he usually received a liberal income, and by well-directed and persevering efforts, as well as excellent management, finally reached the condition of prosperity he now enjoys. His farm, which embraces an area of four hundred acres, is admirably situated in one of the richest agricultural districts of the county, and with its good residence, a comfortable barn, fences and other improvements indicates the home of a man of enterprise, who is thoroughly familiar with every detail of agricultural work. In addition to general farming and stock raising, Mr. Paterson, since 1895, has been interested in the dairy business, keeping about twenty cows, the milk from which finds a ready market at the creamery in Lake Preston.

The career of Mr. Paterson from the time of landing on American soil with less than one hundred dollars in his possession to his present conspicuous position, among the leading farmers and representative citizens of his adopted county, presents a series of successes such as few achieve and affords many lessons which the young of the present generation may study with profit. Mr. Paterson is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America of Lake Preston, and in politics supports the principles of the Populist party, though formerly a Republican. He has religious convictions and has been a leading member of the Congregational church at Lake Henry since its organization in 1886, besides serving three years as superintendent of the Sunday school. His wife and three daughters also belong to the Lake Henry church and, like him, they are zealous workers, demonstrating by their daily lives the genuineness of their religious profession. Mr. Paterson takes a special interest in temperance work and all agencies for the benefit of the people. He has never been a seeker after office or any kind of public place, notwithstanding which his fellow citizens, irrespective of party, have honored him at different times with positions of responsibility and trust. 

The family of Mr. and Mrs. Paterson consists of seven children Colin C., a young man of very good habits, who assists his father on the farm; Beatrice, a graduate of the DeSmet high school and a teacher of much promise; Frances, also a graduate from the above school; Margaret, who is pursuing her studies in the high school; William, David and Florence are three bright, intelligent students of whom their parents feel proud, and in whom are centered many fond hopes for the future.