George A. Luce

George A. Luce, one of the leading citizens of Hope, North Dakota, conducts a thriving agricultural implement business and is a wide-awake and progressive man. He was the first established business man of that city, and has met with continued success in whatever line he has directed his abilities, and is the proprietor of a well-stocked establishment, and also engages in wheat raising on his farm near there.

Our subject was born in Wheeling, Cook county, Illinois, August 18, 1842, and was the oldest son and second child born to Benjamin C. and Mrs. Rebecca (Brown) Luce. His mother bore the maiden name of Ruth. The name of Luce is probably a French name, Luci, which has been perverted. The great-grandfathers of our subject, both paternal and maternal, served with the Vermont soldiers in the Revolutionary war, and the grandfather, Andrew Luce, served in the war of 181 2.

Until eighteen years of age our subject resided on his father's farm in Cook county, and he attended school, and spent two years in a private school in Connecticut. He purchased forty acres of timber land in Berrien county, Michigan, when eighteen years of age, and developed a fruit farm, and resided in that state almost continuously until 1875, and while there he was agent for a steamboat for three years and bought grain one year. He took charge of his father's farm until 1882, and in February of that year went to Hope. North Dakota. The town was then but platted, and consisted of but one story of the Hope House hotel. Our subject erected the first "shack" in the town, a 14 x 32-foot structure, and hauled three carloads of machinery sixteen miles across the country from Clifford and established the first business of the city. He was in partnership with C. G. Merriell, under the firm name of Luce & Merriell and in the fall of 1882 two of Mr. Merriell's brothers joined the firm and introduced hardware, and the firm was changed to Merriell Brothers & Luce. They continued in business thus until 1892, when our subject withdrew, and now conducts the agricultural implement business himself. He enjoys an extensive patronage and is among the well-informed men in that line. He is the owner of one section of land six miles northwest of Hope, and rents out the land, which is devoted to wheat raising.

Our subject is the father of five children, three by his first marriage and two by his second marriage. The elder children bear the following names: Ernest M. C, employed with the Deering Company at Hope: Leona M., now Mrs. J. T. blasters, of Steele county; and Myrtie, now Mrs. George Swingle, of Chicago. Two younger children bear the names of Elsie and Georgie. Mrs. Luce bore the maiden name of Minnie N. Ellsbury. Mr. Luce is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Masonic fraternity, and has taken the thirty-second degree in the last named order. He is a Democrat in political faith and stands staunchly for party principles.

Source:  Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota 1900 Page 265

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