Early Court House Officials

David Bartlett was a graduate of the law department at the University of Michigan in 1876.  He practiced law in Boulder, Colorado in the early 1880's.  In 1887 he located at Cooperstown.  He was a member of the state constitutional convention in 1889.  He was elected states attorney for Griggs County in 1892 and was elected Lieutenant Governor in 1900-1902-1904.  Frank Gladstone was associated with Mr. Bartlett in law practice in the early 1900's.  Mr. Barlett died October 16, 1913.

Will H. Carleton came to the present site of Cooperstown in 1882, took a pre-emption and later a homestead in Cooperstown Township.  In 1888 he established his residence in Cooperstown, was employed by the Gull River Lumber Company.  He also practiced law and in 1889 was elected county Judge of Griggs County, a position he held for 41 years.  Judge Carleton died in 1940 at the age of 87.

P. A. Melgard came to Griggs County in 1883 and entered the employ of the county as deputy under his old friend, Anton Enger.  He served as deputy treasurer, deputy auditor, deputy clerk of court and justice of the peace.  In 1889 he was elected county auditor, with only two interruptions in his terms until his retirement in 1935.  He passed away in 1938 at the age of 84.

Benjamin Tufte came to Cooperstown in 1897.  In 1898 was elected states attorney, re-elected in 1900 and in 1902.  He made a trip to Norway in 1904 and reelected states attorney in 1906.  Mr. Tufte died in 1936 at the age of 75 having served as states attorney for 24 years.

Gunder Frigaard came to Cooperstown in 1903 and a few years after arrival he was elected Clerk of the District Court, a position he held for 16 years.  Mr. Frigaard died in 1929 at the age of 65.

Dr. Theo.  F. Kerr was a graduate of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New York City in 1874.  He taught school and was principal of schools before he practiced as a doctor in Michigan from 1874-1881, when he came to Griggs County.  Dr. Kerr was superintendent of Schools in Griggs County from 1882-1894.  He left Cooperstown in 1905.

Oscar D. Purinton was elected Clerk of the District Court at the first state election in 1889.  Mr. Purinton was born in New York State in 1843, and came to Dakota Territory in 1882 in search of health.  An ordained minister in the Baptist church he was not an aspirant for political favor but served as Clerk of the District Court for a number of years.

Source: Griggs County History 1879 - 1976 page 8

News & Events