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Eugene Reiley Biography


This biography appears on page 576 in "History of Dakota Territory" by George W. Kingsbury, Vol. IV (1915) 

One of the representative and able citizens of Sioux Falls and one of the most popular men in public life who ever held office in Minnehaha county is Eugene Reiley, who on December 31, 1914, ended the second term of his efficient and conscientious service in the office of sheriff. He was born in Burlington, Iowa, February 11, 1864, and is a son of Michael and Sarah N. (Ingraham) Reiley. The grandfather, Deocis D. Reiley, came to America from Scotland in 1848 and in 1849 went overland with ox teams to California, where he was murdered for his gold. 

Eugene Reiley acquired his education in the public schools of Burlington and in Elliott's Business College in that city. At the age of seventeen he entered a wholesale shoe house and remained in this connection until 1888, when he came to Sioux Falls. Here he established himself in the retail shoe business, conducting this enterprise until 1895. Two years hater he was appointed deputy circuit court clerk and served two years, after which he was appointed clerk to fill a Vacancy caused by a resignation. Upon the close of his term he engaged in the real-estate business until 1907, when he was made deputy sheriff of Minnehaha county, serving in that position for four years. In 1910 he was elected sheriff by a majority of fourteen hundred and nineteen, taking the office January 1, 1911, and so remarkable a record did he make that at the expiration of his term he was reelected to that position This is the more noteworthy from the fact that Mr. Reiley ran on the democratic ticket in a county which normally showed a republican majority of twenty-five hundred. 

On the 16th of June, 1885, at Brighton, Iowa, Mr. Reiley was united in marriage to Miss Molly Swisher, a daughter of Benedict Swisher, and they have become the parents of six children: Ethel Fern, the wife of P. I. Neister; Ruth Eva, who married Ray F. Manary; Michael Eugene; Sarah Eliza; Floyd Benedict; and Florentine Molly. 

Mr. Reiley is a member of the Presbyterian church, is a blue lodge Mason and is connected also with the Knights of Pythias and the Elks. He is probably one of the most popular men in public life in Minnehaha county. His election as a democrat in a strong republican county, the first time by a large majority and the second time without opposition, proves this assertion to the fullest extent. He is pronounced by attorneys generally as the most efficient, most courteous and most absolutely impartial sheriff who ever held office and his friends and opponents alike speak in the highest terms of his accomplishments and of the qualities in his character which made them possible. Mr. Reiley is a gentleman at all times and as such holds the trust, confidence and high regard of all who are in any way associated with him.