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William L. Ryburn Biography


This biography appears on pages 1086-1087 in "History of South Dakota" by Doane Robinson, Vol. II (1904) 

WILLIAM L. RYBURN, cashier and general manager of the business of the First National Bank of Alexandria, was born in Rockford, Illinois, May 10 1872, a son of William and Mary (Legge) Ryburn, to whom were born six children, namely: Anna, who resides in Alexandria; George, who is engaged in the real estate business in this place; John, of Alexandria; Minnie, who is the wife of G. H. Montgomery, engaged in the furniture business in the same place; William L., who figures as the immediate subject of this sketch, and Maud, who is the wife of Dr. E. E. King, of Mitchell, this state. Both the father and mother of the subject were born in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, the former in 1836 and the latter in 1835. The parents of each died when they were children and they were reared in the homes of relatives, and after attaining maturity each came to America in company with relatives. Both located in the city of Rockford, Illinois, where the father learned the trade of blacksmith, in which he was there engaged for nearly thirty years. In 1883 he came with his family to South Dakota and purchased a pre-emption claim in Hanson county, where he continued to be engaged in agricultural pursuits and stock growing up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1898, his devoted wife having been summoned into eternal rest in 1893. Both were worthy members of the Presbyterian church and were folk of sterling character, honored by all who knew them. 

The subject of this review was about ten years of age at the time of his parents' removal to South Dakota, and his early educational training had previously been secured in the public schools of his native city, to which he later returned for the purpose of taking a course in the Rockford Business College, in which he was graduated in 1891, having completed a thorough commercial course. He then returned to his home in South Dakota and was given a position in the Hanson County Bank, in  Alexandria, proving himself a capable and faithful executive and being made assistant cashier of the institution in 1894, while in 1899 he was chosen cashier. In 1901 the bank was reorganized and incorporated as the First National Bank of Alexandria, with a capital stock and surplus of fifty thousand dollars, and Mr. Ryburn was forthwith placed in executive charge of the affairs of the institution, which has gained a leading position through his able and well-directed efforts. In 1899 he was sent to Elk Point, Union county, to superintend the business of the Citizens' Bank, which was practically a branch of the bank at Alexandria, and there he remained about eighteen months, within which time the institution was reorganized as the First National Bank of Elk Point. 

Mr. Ryburn is one of the leaders in the local ranks of the Republican party and is secretary of its county organization. He is a member of Celestial Lodge, No. 37, Free and Accepted Masons, and Mitchell Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, of Alexandria; St. Bernard Commandery, Knights Templar, at Mitchell; Oriental Consistory, No. 1, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, in Yankton, and El Riad Temple, Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, in Sioux; Falls, being an appreciative and enthusiastic affiliate of these various bodies of the time-honored order of Freemasonry. He has held the office of worshipful master of his lodge for the past three years. He and his wife hold membership in the Presbyterian church. 

On the 28th of April, 1898, Mr. Ryburn was united in marriage to Miss Edith Peckham, of Alexandria, and they are the parents of two children, Leota and Helen.