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George H. Stoddart Biography


This biography appears on pages 977-978 in "History of Dakota Territory" by George W. Kingsbury, Vol. IV (1915) 

George H. Stoddart, city auditor of Brookings, was born in Shullsburg, Wisconsin, on the 29th of July, 1854, his parents being William and Sophia (Hats) Stoddart, the former a native of Glasgow, Scotland, and the latter probably of New York city. William Stoddart was but a young lad at the time his parents died and he and his four brothers were reared by their grandparents. In his young manhood he and two of his brothers came to the United States and William Stoddart settled at West Point, New York, where he pursued a seven years, medical course under one of the government surgeons at that place, eventually winning his M. D. degree. At that time Lee, McClellan and Burnside were all at the West Point Military Academy and Mr. Stoddart knew them well. Following his graduation he went to Shullsburg, Wisconsin, where he practiced for several years, and subsequently removed to Minersville, afterward to Jamestown and still dater to Boscobel, Wisconsin. In the meantime he had entered upon the work of the ministry of the Congregational church and gave his later life to Christian service. He passed away at Black Earth, Wisconsin, where he was occupying a pulpit at the time. 

George H. Stoddart spent his youth in Wisconsin and was educated in the public schools. He left the parental roof at the age of nineteen years and in 1873 made his way to Yankton, South Dakota, where he became identified with the government survey work, with which he was connected for five years. In the spring of 1878 he removed to Codington county and took up a homestead on the shores of Lake Kampeska. In 1880 he proved up on the land, for which he paid a dollar and a quarter per acre, and that year he went to work in the engineering department of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad Company, working with the surveying force of that road for eight years, during which period he gradually advanced and in 1888 became road master of that division, in which important capacity he served for ten years. During that time, or in 1891, he transferred his headquarters to Brookings, where he has since resided, and in 1898 he resigned his position, but the following year ran the transit for the surveying gang on the location of the road from Tyler to Astoria and subsequently did special work for the road at different times. In 1903 he was elected city clerk of Brookings, which was then acting under a special charter. After the city came under the general laws he continued his work, but the name of the office was changed to that of city auditor, in which position he has continued to serve. From the fact that the city owns its electric light, heat and power plant, heating the business section of the city, and also owns its telephone line, the position is one of importance and Mr. Stoddart has been most faithful and efficient in the discharge of his duties. 

In 1891 Mr. Stoddart was united in marriage to Miss Marie Marrow, of Redfield, South Dakota, and they became the parents of three children, of whom two are yet living: Mattie, who is attending the South Dakota State College at Brookings; and Harriett. 

Mr. Stoddart is a member of Brooking's Lodge, No. 24, A. F. & A. M.; Brookings Chapter, No. 18, R. A. M.; Brookings Commandery, No. 14, K. T.; and he and his wife are members of Brookings Chapter, No. 15, O. E. S. He also belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America and the Ancient Order of United Workmen and he has membership in the Brookings Commercial Club, while his wife and daughters are members of the First Presbyterian church. He is one of the representative citizens of Brookings and in an analyzation of his life work it will be found that loyalty to duty has been one of his strong characteristics. If study and work can make for efficiency—and it always does—there is no doubt that he has displayed efficiency in every position to which he has been called. Another proof of this is found in the fact that he has been continuously promoted and that his life work has been of constantly increasing responsibility and value.