Homer A. Northro

Homer A. Northrop, a prosperous and progressive farmer of Willow Lake township, in Steele county, is one of the pioneer settlers of that locality. His pleasant home is on section 20, and the surroundings meet the approval of the eye, in striking contrast to the monotony of the prairie lands around.

Our subject was born in Fairfield county, Connecticut, May 20, 1840, and was the eldest in a family of seven children, born to Burr B. and Maria ( Benedict) Northrop. The Northrop family is of English descent, and their settlement in America dates to Colonial times. Our subject was taken to the state of New York by his parents when he was but an infant, and the family made their home in Onondaga county, where our subject remained on the farm until after attaining his manhood. He enlisted in Company G, One Hundred and Forty-ninth New York Volunteer Infantry, September 16, 1862. The first engagement was the battle of Chickamauga, then he served on detailed duty at Gettysburg, after which followed Wauhatchie, Lookout Mountain, Ringgold, Resaca, Peach Tree Creek, and the capture of Atlanta. Thence he went southward to the sea, 'through the Carolinas, and joined in the Grand Review at Washington. He was mustered out at Syracuse, New York, in June, 1865, after a long and faithful service. After returning from the war our subject obtained land and engaged in farming near his old home, and in the fall of 1881 he disposed of his interests in the East and sought his fortunes in the new West. He went to Tower City, Dakota, in March, 1882, and in company with three other land seekers was shown over Griggs county. Mr. Northrop located in the part of Griggs county which later became known as Steele county. The country was then wild and the prairie scenery monotonous, and our subject chose land on the north bank of a beautiful little sheet of water known as Willow lake, it then contained about ten feet of water, but has since become dry, but the surroundings are pleasant and the farm is admirably adapted to stock raising, affording fine grange and shelter. Our subject moved his family to the new home in the fall of 1883, and they were installed in a 12x24-foot shanty. Crops as a whole were light until 1891, since which time they have yielded well, and prosperity has attended the work, and our subject is now the fortunate possessor of one and a half sections of land.

Mr. Northrop was married in 1886, to Miss Lydia AL Newton, a native of New York. Five children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Northrop, as follows: Charles N., now farming in Willow Lake township ; William H., a graduate of Valley City Normal, a student of McAllister College, and a teacher in Steele county, and also associated with his father in farming; Edwin M., farming in Willow Lake township; Rida A., a teacher in the schools of Hope, North Dakota, and Mary E., now Mrs. George Smith, of Barnes county, North Dakota. Mr. Northrop takes an active part in public affairs, and is the present township treasurer, and has also served as chairman of the township board of supervisors. He is a member of the Presbyterian church. Politically he is a Republican, but does not mix in party affairs to any extent.

Source:  Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota 1900 Page 406

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