Thomas Walsh

Thomas Walsh. This gentleman is one of the pioneer settlers of Grand Forks county, and is one of the widely known and most highly-respected citizens of North Dakota. He was born in county Lauth, Ireland, November 14, 1822, and is now living retired from active labors in the city of Grand Forks.

Our subject's parents. George and Bridget (McGurry) Walsh, were natives of Ireland and they emigrated to America in 1824, and followed farming in Canada during the remainder of their lives. They were the parents of three sons and four daughters, all of whom are now deceased, except our subject.

Mr. Walsh was reared and educated in Canada until eighteen years of age and in 1840 went to Burlington, Vermont, and there found work at his trade, that of tailor, which he learned in Canada. He remained in Vermont about two years and then spent two years in Canada again, after which he went to New York. Sibley county, Minnesota, became his home in 1856 and he resided there eight years, and in 1862 enlisted in Company I, Tenth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, and served three years in the war. He participated in the battles of Oldtown Creek, Nashville, Tennessee. Spanish Fort and Fort Blakely, and at Nashville was shot through both shoulders, injuring the spine. He was mustered out of the service as first sergeant and returned to Minnesota and remained there until 1871, when he went to Grand Forks, North Dakota, and in company with Captain Griggs, established a sawmill and general store and operated them four years and then disposed of the business to the Hudson's Bay Company. He purchased land in the valley during the early days and still retains his real estate interests.

Our subject was married, in Canada, in 1844, to Ellenor L. Ranson, a native of Canada, of English descent. Three sons and one daughter have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Walsh, named as follows: George H., Caroline, deceased, Charles, deceased, and Edmund. Mrs. Walsh died in November. 1896. Mr. Walsh is a member of the Masonic fraternity and G. A. R. He assisted in the organization of the county and was a member of the first board of county commissioners and was appointed county treasurer and also probate judge, and at the same meeting was chosen as one of two to act as justice of the peace for the county. He was later elected register of deeds and filled the office six years, and has also served as county clerk. Politically, he is a Democrat and has served his party many years.

Source:  Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota 1900 Page 1030

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