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Mini Bios of People of Scots Descent
Gregor Cruickshank Biography

This biography appears on pages 1301-1302 in "History of South Dakota" by Doane Robinson, Vol. II (1904)

GREGOR CRUICKSHANK was born in Inverness-shire, Scotland, on the 15th of November, 1852. He was reared in the schools of the same, and when a youth in his teens entered upon an apprenticeship to learn the stone-mason's trade, completing his term of service in his twentieth year. In 1873 he came to the United States and for some time thereafter followed his trade in St. Paul, Minnesota, later doing considerable masonry work in the cities of Minneapolis, Stillwater and Huron, besides spending the greater part of two years in the timber region of Minnesota. Mr. Cruickshank, in 1873, went to New York and after working for some time in that state, returned to his native land for the purpose of revisiting his home and the scenes of his childhood. After spending several months with relatives and friends he went to Glasgow, where he found employment at his trade, but later left that city for Liverpool, England, at which place he spent one year on the police force. Resigning his position at the expiration of the time noted, he again returned to Scotland where he was engaged for two years as foreman on a railroad and after severing his connections with that line of work, he went to Inverness-shire, his native place, and took up the pursuit of agriculture on the home farm. His experience as a tiller of the soil covered a period of two years, at the end of which time he made his second voyage to the United States sailing in September, 1883. On arriving at his destination he came direct to South Dakota, locating in the Black Hills, where his brother Alexander was then living, and accepted a position with the Homestake Mining Company, at Lead City. His first work with this great corporation was in the ditches. but after some months he resumed his trade and did considerable stone and brick laying in Spearfish, including the state normal school building, one of the finest structures in the state. Later he re-engaged with the Homestake Mining Company, as foreman of masonry work, which responsible position he still holds, being one of the company's faithful and trusted employee. 

Meantime, 1885, Mr. Cruickshank took up land on Alkali creek, fifteen miles from Sturgis, which he converted into a fine ranch, and since that date he has devoted a great deal of attention to stock raising, in connection with his duties at the mine. His ranch, which contains about three thousand acres of rich grazing land, is in excellent condition and fully answers the purpose for which intended, being well improved with good buildings, fences and other accessories necessary to the successful prosecution of live-stock raising. Mr. Cruickshank, in 1896, purchased for his brother Alexander a ranch three and a half miles east of Sturgis, on Bear Butte creek, where the latter has since lived and prospered as a stock man, the two working to each other's mutual interests, and their efforts have been crowned with the most encouraging success. 

While exercising personal supervision over his ranch and his large and constantly growing live-stock interests, Mr. Cruickshank spends the greater part of his time in Lead City, where, as already indicated, much of his attention is required to attend to the duties of his position with the Homestake Company. His various enterprises have resulted greatly to his financial advantage, and he is now in independent circumstances, owning, in addition to his ranch and live stock, considerable real estate in Lead City, also valuable mining interests in various parts of the country, besides a large amount of capital invested in different business and industrial enterprises. His success since coming west has been remarkable, and his career bespeaks for him a soundness of judgment, a fertility of resource and executive ability of an order far higher than those with which the great majority of his fellow men are endowed. 

Mr. Cruickshank has been actively identified with the material interests and public affairs of the city and county in which he lives, and is also a politician of more than local reputation, being one of the staunch Republicans of his part of the state and an aggressive party worker. Like the majority of wide-awake, enterprising men of every community, he manifests a decided interest in secret benevolence work, holding membership with the Masonic fraternity of Lead City, the Mystic Shrine, at Deadwood, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and the Master Workmen of America, at the former place, besides being a leading spirit in the order of Scottish Clans of America, an organization composed of his fellow countrymen throughout the United States. 

Mr. Cruickshank was married in Glasgow, Scotland, June 18, 1878, to Miss Annie McLennan, a native of that country, and has a family of six children, whose names are as follows: John M., Robert, Donald M., Jessie A., Roderick A. and Edwin W.



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