William L. Dudley


 One of Herald’s Pioneer Employees Died at His Home Last Night.

 Has Been Suffering With Bright’s Disease for Over a Year – Connected With Herald Editorial Department for Past 24 Years – Wife and Five Children Survive Him – Funeral Arrangements Not Yet Made.

W. L. Dudley, one of The Herald’s oldest employees, and one of the best known newspaper men in the state, died last night (March 29, 1911) at his home on North Eighth street after an illness due to Bright’s disease which has incapacitated him for nearly a year, and which has kept him confined to his room all winter.  Though he has not suffered acute pain, the character of the disease caused him great discomfort, and the past few weeks have been weeks of great suffering for him.  Through his long illness he bore up with characteristic cheerfulness, and he passed away quietly about 10 o’clock last night.  All the members of his family were at home when the end came.  Funeral arrangements will be announced later.

Was an Earnest Worker.

To those who knew W. L. Dudley no eulogy is necessary, but in order that others may have some idea of the loss that has been sustained by The Herald and by the editorial force of this paper a tribute to the deceased from one who worked with him and knew him may not be out of place.  Mere words, however, seem inadequate to express in the fullest meaning the depth of those human virtues which were exemplified in the life of W. L. Dudley.  He was not a great man as the world counts great men nor was he a brilliant ma as the world regards brilliancy, but withal he was a man who stands out as a type of citizenship of honest and willing manhood, or patient perserving toil – a type of citizen worthy of exemplification and esteem.

With Herald 24 Years.

In the passing of W. L. Dudley, The Herald lost its oldest and one of its ablest members of the editorial force.  The deceased was identified with the paper some 24 years ago and he has seen the growth of the paper from its babyhood to the strength of years, prestige and power.  The Herald was Mr. Dudley’s one great obsession in life.  Its triumphs were his triumphs and its defeats his sorrows.  He labored hard and earnestly for its success, and it is not saying too much, to declare in passing that he was probably as much responsible for the continued growth and development of the paper from an editorial viewpoint.

If there was any one of the fine human qualities that stood out in bolder relief than any other in the life of Mr. Dudley, it was his supreme self-sacrifice.  His own health, and pleasure he set at nought for the work of The Herald.  His fellow-workers will always remember him as the embodiment of good cheer and willingness to help out.  Whenever things went a little bit wrong, it was “Dud” – as he was familiarly known – who stepped into the breach and with his never-failing smile and ready hand set things right.  If the society editor was away on a vacation or could not attend to her work, it was “Dud” who stepped into the breach and carried on the work in addition to his usual grind.  If the managing editor was compelled to be away from the office, “Dud” it was who took charge of his work.  If the telegraph editor desired to get off for the evening “Dud” was always ready and willing to help him out.  With the city editor away, “Dud” fell readily into his place and his cheery “what’s doing today,” would be heard in the offices of the city.  The city council always found him on deck with his never-failing humor.  East Grand Forks, sports, churches, each and every department of the paper was familiar to him and with a moment’s notice he was able to step in and do the work both with credit to himself and the paper.  If the city editor was “stuck for a lead,” a suggestion to him was all that was necessary.  At the state legislature he was The Herald’s correspondent and was a favorite with the legislators.  Many inquiries were heard from the old-timers at the legislature this winter and when they were informed that the veteran newspaper man was at death’s door, expressions of regret and sorrow came from men seldom moved by like happenings.  Yes, “Dud” is gone.  There is a vacant desk in The Herald office, a desk around which hangs the memory of a man loved by all who worked with him, a willing, whole-souled, big-hearted man, whom fate decreed should live a life of steady toil and what may seem to many to be unrequited toil.  But the latter cannot be the case.  Not unrequited, for no man can go through life and do his best, no man can stand firmly, fairly and honestly for the right because it is the right, and not in his very innermost being feel that he has been amply repaid.

Story of Life.

William Lindsley Dudley was born July 30, 1856, at Salien (Galien?), Berrien county, Mich.  His father was Oscar A. Dudley, descended from an English family who were early settlers in New England in the Seventeenth century.  His mother, Eunice Carpenter Dudley, was a descendant of a New England family that settled in Ohio in 1800.  Mr. Dudley spent his early life at Berrien Springs, Mich., where he received a common school education, and at St. Joseph, Mich., where at the age of 15 years he learned the rudiments of the newspaper business which he made his life work.  He also devoted himself for some time to the study of art, in which he attained considerable skill as an illustrator and painter of portraits and nature scenes.

Mr. Dudley came to Grand Forks in 1882, and with the exception of a few months spent on a homestead, he was resident of this city until his death.  For some time after coming here he devoted himself to art work and painted portraits of many of the early residents of the city.  In 1884 he took up newspaper work, and from that time on was connected with The Herald in various capacities.  There was not a single department of the paper which Mr. Dudley was not familiar and there was not a position on the paper that he could not fill with credit at a moment’s notice.  His acquaintance throughout the state made him invaluable and in covering conventions and special assignment work, he was recognized as one of the most capable newspaper men in the state.

The deceased leaves a wife and five children to mourn his loss.  He was married Sept. 7, 1876, at St. Joseph, Mich., to Julia M. Enos, and to the union eight children were born, three of whom died in infancy.  The surviving children are Mrs. S. F. Wilson, of Sarles, N. D.; Belle L. Dudley, a teacher in the local public schools; Mrs. F. I. Belton, of Spearmville, N. D.; Oscar J. Dudley, of Fargo, and Grace L. Dudley, the youngest member of the family, who is a student in the city schools.  Besides these, three brothers and one sister also survive.  They are Charles D. Dudley, of Alba, Mich.; G. M. Dudley, of White Pigeon, Mich.; Frank A. Dudley, of Birmingham, N. Y., and Mrs. Ada L. Morris, wife of Rev. J. Nelson Morris, of Piermont on Hudson, N. Y.

Grand Forks Daily Herald
Thursday Morning, March 30, 1911
Volume XXX, Number 129, Page 10



Born:  July 30, 1856, in Galien, Michigan

Died:  March 29, 1911 in Grand Forks, North Dakota

Spouse:  Julia Enos

Children:  May J., Belle L., Ruth J., Oscar J., Grace L., Charles, Loretta, and Eunice.  Three children died in infancy.


  • Author of:  Grand Forks and North Dakota Manual for 1885, City of Grand Forks Illustrated (1897), City of Grafton Illustrated (1900), The City of East Grand Forks Illustrated (1901)
  • Painted a 36×60 Dakota scene for the 1884 World’s Fair at New Orleans.  This painting included a farm scene, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks courthouse, White elevator, Syndicate Block, City Hall, sawmill smokestack, and the Red River (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Friday, November 14, 1884, Page 1)
  • Painted a scene of Grand Forks from the east.  A smaller version of this painting was used on the front page of the Grand Forks Daily Herald starting on November 12, 1886 (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Thursday, September 23, 1886, Page 1)



Dudley Ad
Grand Forks and North Dakota Manual for 1885


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