George B. Clifford


George B. Clifford, a young but hustling lawyer and real estate dealer in Grand Forks, was at the Merchants yesterday. He said business was quiet in Grand Forks just at present, but the citizens look for and expected better times soon. (The Saint Paul Daily Globe, Saturday Morning, October 15, 1887, Page 2)

George B. Clifford, H. L. Whithed and several others contemplate erecting fine residences. (The Saint Paul Daily Globe, Saturday Morning, May 26, 1888, Page 9)

Wedding Bells at Grand Forks. Special to the Globe. Grand Forks, Dak., May 23. – George B. Clifford, secretary of the Dakota Investment company and one of our leading business and society men, was married at 2 o’clock to-day, to Miss Minnie Cooly, one of Grand Forks’ favorite social belles and a most estimable young lady. They left on the 4 o’clock for the East, but will stop a week or more at the West hotel, Minneapolis. (The Saint Paul Daily Globe, Thursday Morning, May 24, 1888, Page 5)

Mr. and Mrs. George B. Clifford will be at home to their friends after June 15. George B. Clifford and Miss Minnie Cooley were married Wednesday. (The Saint Paul Daily Globe, Saturday Morning, May 26, 1888, Page 11)

Reception. Select Company Enjoy the Hospitality of the Clifford Home. The grand mansion of Mr. and Mrs. George B. Clifford was opened last evening to a brilliant company of invited guests, who enjoyed the gracious hospitality of Mr. and Mrs. G. B. Clifford and Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Cooley, assisted by Messrs. Ed. and June Cooley. The occasion was one of rare social pleasure such as are always enjoyed at the Clifford mansion. Halls’ orchestra discoursed their sweetest music and elegant refreshments were served from ten to eleven o’clock. Among those present were: Mr. and Mrs. L. F. Dow, W. J. Anderson, J. H. Bosard, W. H. Higham, L. B. Richardson, Sr., L. B. Richardson, Jr., W. E. Parsons, Geo. A. Batchelder, J. M. Cochrane, H. P. Rucker, Rev. W. H. Spence and wife, Rev. J. A. Chamberlain and wife, Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Hale, Judge Templeton and wife, Mr. and Mrs. Ben Pringle, J. Walker Smith, Profs. Macnie and Merrifield, Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Currie, Dr. and Mrs. Wheeler, Mr. and Mrs. C. E. Rand, W. M. Rand, J. E. Dow, W. J. Murphy, M. Rueth, Jas. Rae, Tracy Bangs, Mrs. A. I. Hunter, Mr. and Mrs. John Birkholz, O. W. Barnes, Geo. D. Lay, S. S. Titus, Mrs. J. W. B. Hunter, Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Bull, W. J. Burr, D. W. Luke, Geo. A. Eastman, J. I. Stokes, M. S. Titus, E. Mix, H. L. Whithed, L. Freeman. (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Wednesday Evening, January 29, 1890, Volume XVII, Number 75, Page 4)

George B. Clifford commences at once the erection of a 3-story and basement solid brick store, 50×100 feet, on Third street, Grand Forks, adjoining the Hotel Dacotah, to be occupied by Nash Bros.’ wholesale fruit store. (The Princeton Union, Thursday, July 23, 1891, Page 6)

George B. Clifford, president of the Grand Forks board of trade, is a guest at the Ryan. (The Saint Paul Daily Globe, Tuesday Morning, June 27, 1893, Page 8).

Hon. George B. Clifford, Grand Forks, was in the city yesterday. He lunched at the Commercial club with President Footner and Secretary McGinnis. He says that the waterworks system at Grand Forks will be a success. He states that the woolen mill started there a year ago has surpassed all expectations. Mr. Clifford is president of the chamber of commerce and also of the Security Trust company of that city. (The Saint Paul Daily Globe, Saturday Morning, November 10, 1894, Page 2)

J. M. Nolan, E. W. Randall, John Knuppe, Stephen Conday, A. W. Ewing, W. C. Swift, Reuben Warner and George B. Clifford, of Grand Forks, have been elected to membership in the St. Paul Commercial club. (The Saint Paul Daily Globe, Thursday Morning, August 1, 1895, Page 2)

Business Union Officers. Grand Forks, N. D., Nov. 4. – President Frank Lycan, of the Business Men’s union, named the following committees of the organization and the chairman of each: Executive committee, George B. Clifford; transportation, W. J. Anderson; membership and advertising, George B. Winship, wholesale business and manufacturers, E. C. Bates; retail business, Charles E. Rand; finance, D. P. McLaurin; reception, John J. Dow. (The Saint Paul Daily Globe, Tuesday Morning, November 5, 1895, Page 6)

The 1900 United States census showed George B. Clifford (age 42, born in New Hampshire, clerk) married to Minnie (age 35, born in New York). Children Ralph E. (age 11, born in North Dakota) and George B., Jr. (age 4, born in North Dakota) lived with their parents in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

Four Narrowly Escaped. Special to the Globe. Grand Forks, N. D., March 11. – At 1 p. m. today the floor over the office of the Diamond Mill company collapsed and wrecked the office furniture and windows. The floor was loaded with thirty tons of bran and flour, and fell without a moment’s warning. Chief Engineer Satterlee escaped by jumping into an adjoining office. Ten minutes before, Hon. George B. Clifford and his two brothers were sitting in the office, and hardly left the building when it collapsed. (The Saint Paul Daily Globe, Thursday Morning, March 12, 1896, Page 5)

Manager Clifford of the Grand Forks Woolen mills is in the city on his way east. The Grand Forks mills are the only institution of that kind in the state, and have grown to such a size that all flickertaildom regards them as the leading manufacturing concern of the north state. Mr. Clifford said that he was confident that the mills under his control would see a big increase in business this year and he is preparing to increase the output. The Grand Forks mills obtain their raw material from North and South Dakota and some from Montana. (The Minneapolis Journal, Thursday Evening, January 3, 1901, Page 6)

Walker Smith, president, and S. S. Titus, cashier, of the First National Bank of Grand Forks, N. D., and George B. Clifford of the same place, are in the city attending a meeting of the board of directors of the Cream of Wheat company. Mr. Clifford is one of the people whose early faith in Grand Forks and North Dakota was of a substantial nature, and he believes that the next ten years will see wonders accomplished in the development of his state. (The Minneapolis Journal, Thursday Evening, January 10, 1901, Page 7)

George B. Clifford of Grand Forks, one of the men who boomed Dakota immigration in earlier days, is in the city. Mr. Clifford thinks that indications point to a big year in land sales in North Dakota. (The Minneapolis Journal, Friday Evening, March 8, 1901, Page 10)

They Sawed The Wood. But Birkholz Was Satisfied. Two Grand Forks Business Men Win $2 From a Comrade After Much Physical Exertion. John Birkholz, S. S. Titus, George B. Clifford, and E. J. Lander, a quartet of prominent Grand Forks business men, are in Minneapolis, having just returned from a fishing and outing at Isle Royale. The party managed to hook something over 200 pounds of lake trout at Isle Royale in a day’s fishing, and declare the place to be one of the greatest summer resorts of the country. During their sojourn in northern Minnesota, Messrs. Clifford and Lander made a reputation as wood sawyers. Seeing a large pile of logs one day, the two men bet Mr. Birkholz that they could saw the sticks into two foot lengths. “I bet them $2,” said Mr. Birkholz, “because I didn’t suppose they would back up the bluff. But just out of meanness, they went ahead and sawed through the pile. At that I don’t know but what I had the best of it, for while I lost my money, I don’t think I ever had more sport out of so small an amount than I did watching those two fellows sweat and grunt.” (The Minneapolis Journal, Wednesday Evening, August 20, 1902, Page 14)

Mr. and Mrs. George B. Clifford and family and Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Clifford of Grand Forks are occupying quarters at the [Lake Minnetonka] hotel for the season. They had as over-Sunday guests Mr. and Mrs. F. W. Clifford of Minneapolis. (The Minneapolis Journal, Monday Evening, July 13, 1903, Page 8).

Successful business men are behind the Grand Forks (baseball) team in the Northern league this year. At a meeting of the stockholders James A. Dinnie was re-elected president; W. B. Wood, vice-president; E. C. Cooper, manager and secretary-treasurer. Directors, James A. Dinnie, W. B. Wood, George B. Clifford, W. A. Gordon, W. L. Wilder, J. Walker Smith, M. Stanchfield; executive committee, W. L. Wilder, George B. Clifford, W. B. Wood. (The Minneapolis Journal, Tuesday Evening, March 8, 1904, Page 5)

The Commercial club has been organized and is ready to begin an active campaign of publicity, setting forth the desirability of North Dakota in general and Grand Forks in particular as a place of residence. The officers: President, E. J. Lander; first vice president, Willis K. Nash; second, Alvin Robertson; treasurer, F. S. Sargent; secretary, A. Cooley. Directors – William Spriggs, Alvin Robertson, M. F. Murphy, N. G. Benner, John Dinnie, Willis K. Nash, George B. Winthrop, H. Bendeke, E. J. Lander, George B. Clifford, H. N. Wells, Sig Wolff, C. N. Barnes, R. B. Griffith and Mayor George E. Duis. (The Minneapolis Journal, Monday Evening, June 20, 1904, Page 9)

Mrs. Geo. Clifford Dies in Automobile Wreck. Machine Is Stalled on Side Hill and in Changing Gear, Becomes Unmanageable. Mrs. Clifford Falls Under Machine and Dies Within an Hour. Mrs. Geo. B. Clifford of Grand Forks was fatally injured Monday afternoon, between 4 and 5 o’clock in an automobile accident, west of Ashby, Minn., about 15 miles east of Fergus Falls. She died in less than an hour after being injured, her skull being fractured when the heavy touring car ran backwards down the hill and was overturned. Mr. and Mrs. Clifford and their sons, Ralph and Barnard, were on their way to Minneapolis for a visit with a brother, Fred Clifford. When only a short distance up the hill west of Ashby the car stopped, the gear being too high. It was decided to change to a lower gear, and while this was being done, the car started backwards. The brakes were applied but failed to hold and the automobile dashed quickly down the hill. Near the bottom of the hill the car tipped on its side and Mrs. Clifford was caught under it. Her skull was fractured and she lived only a few minutes. The other passengers escaped by jumping. The body was taken to Ashby and from there sent to Grand Forks. The funeral will be held at Grand Forks today. The news of the death of Mrs. Clifford created wide spread sorrow in Grand Forks and other places where she was known. Mrs. Clifford is well known in Bemidji, having spent a great deal of time during the summer as a visitor in this city. (The Bemidji Daily Pioneer, Wednesday Evening, September 4, 1907, Page 1)

Page 991. George B. Clifford was born at Concord, N. H., March 10, 1858. His parents were Benjamin B. Clifford and Ruth N.

Page 992. (George) Clifford. He was educated in the public schools of Concord, N. H.; Newton and Chelsea, Mass., and at Wilbraham Academy, Wilbraham, Mass.

After leaving school he taught school in Vermont for one winter, and during the following summer he commenced studying law with Governor Roswell Farnham, of Bradford, Vt. He finished his law course at Montpelier, Vt., and was admitted to the bar of Washington county, Vermont, in March, 1881.

In April, 1881, Mr. Clifford located at Grand Forks, Dakota Territory, where he formed a law partnership with the late James H. Bosard, under the firm name of Bosard & Clifford, which continued for several years. Later Mr. Clifford gave up the practice of law to devote his entire attention to the mortgage and investment business. This business was conducted in Grand Forks under the firm name of “Geo. B. Clifford & Co.” In January, 1909, the head office of the company was moved to Minneapolis, but Grand Forks remains the headquarters for the business of the company in that section.

From the time of his arrival in Grand Forks Mr. Clifford took an active interest in all movements for the proper development of the city. He aided in the erection of several of the finest business blocks, and was himself a heavy investor in enterprises of this class. For several years he was a member of the city council, of which body he also served as president, and he aided in the development of the plans for the first paving of the city’s streets. He was one of the organizers of the Commercial Club, and he has been an active member of some of its most important committees.

Mr. Clifford’s passion for beautiful surroundings found expression in untiring effort for the development of a park system for Grand Forks. The Town and Country Club, which was organized about 1900, owed its existence to this enthusiasm and initiative. That club obtained possession of and beautified a tract of over one hundred acres of land adjoining the city, laid out golf links and tennis courts and erected tasteful club buildings, and the grounds were marveled at and admired by all who saw them. It was the hope of Mr. Clifford that these grounds would ultimately become part of a city park system, and later he was able

Page 993. to see, largely through his own efforts, the fulfillment of his wish. Until a few years ago there was no method whereby North Dakota cities could acquire park property except through the action of their city councils, and these bodies were usually busy with other matters. In 1905 Mr. Clifford and a small group of other Grand Forks men caused to be framed and passed a law which was the basis of the present park district law of North Dakota. Under that law a Park Commission was organized in Grand Forks, with Mr. Clifford as its first president, and in 1909 this commission completed the purchase for the city of nearly two hundred acres of park property, including the Town and Country Club grounds and several smaller tracts.

Mr. Clifford has been active in the work of several social organizations, and he has been a member of the Masonic fraternity for many years.

In 1888 he married Minnie E. Cooley, daughter of John E. Cooley, of Grand Forks. There were born to them two children, Ralph E. Clifford and George Barnard Clifford. (History of the Red River Valley Past and Present, Volume II, C. F. Cooper & Company, Chicago, 1909)

The 1920 United States census showed George B. Clifford (age 61, born in New Hampshire, investments banker) married to Ethel (age 40, born in Minnesota) and living in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Cereal Company Re-Elects Officers. At the annual meeting of the Cream of Wheat Cereal Company, of Grand Forks, N. D., George B. Clifford was re-elected president, Dan Bull was re-elected secretary and general manager and A. Thompson was re-elected assistant general manager. All three are Minneapolis men. Mr. Clifford and Mr. Bull are former residents of Grand Forks, where the formula for the breakfast cereal was discovered. (The National Grain Journal, Minneapolis, MN, July 1922, Page 51)

The 1930 United States census showed George B. Clifford (age 71, born in New Hampshire, president Cream of Wheat cereal factory) married to Ethel (age 50, born in Minnesota) and living in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Clifford, Cream of Wheat Founder, Dies. George B. Clifford Sr., formerly of Grand Forks, died Thursday night (June 17, 1943) at his home in Minneapolis. Mr. Clifford, who was 85 years old, was a founder and former president of the Cream of Wheat Corporation. He was born at Concord, N. H. and came to Grand Forks in 1882, opening a law office here. Thirteen years later, after he had expanded his interests to include the farm mortgage business and grain marketing and milling, he joined with other Grand Forks business men in organizing the Cream of Wheat Corporation. The corporation moved its headquarters to Minneapolis in 1900 but Clifford remained here until 1909, when he moved to Minneapolis. He was a director of the company from its beginning and served as its president for 15 years until he retired in 1941. At that time he was elected honorary chairman of the board. His widow, two sons, George Barnard Clifford Jr. and Ralph Clifford, Shipman, Va., survive. Funeral services have been set tentatively for Monday at Lakewood chapel. (Grand Forks Herald, Saturday Morning, June 19, 1943, Volume 62, Number 198, Page 8.)

George B. Clifford, A Builder of Grand Forks. Only a few persons are now living who knew George B. Clifford, who died at his home in Minneapolis last week, during the years of his activity as a resident of Grand Forks. Those who did know him remember him as a man of superabundant energy, of vision and imagination, and of intense interest in the city which was for so many years his home. He was primarily a builder, and both the city and the state bear evidences of his constructive spirit and his organizing ability.

He came to Grand Forks from New England in 1882, a young man of 24, bringing with him the enthusiasm of youth and the elements of strong character that were to mark his entire life. He saw in North Dakota possibilities of immense agricultural development, and he was instrumental in having brought into the state millions of dollars of eastern capital for farm development. And in the embryo city of Grand Forks he saw the future market place of a great and growing territory, with possibilities of industrial development which needed to be studied, tested and promoted.

He became at once one of the leaders of the community. He was instrumental in having built some of the best buildings in the city. He was for years a member of the city council, and whenever there came before that body a project for community betterment he was an earnest student of its possibilities, and, if study indicated its feasibility, he became an irrepressible advocate of its adoption. He spent months in the study of street paving, and it was largely as a result of his study that Grand Forks became the well paved city that it is. He urged unceasingly improvements in the city’s waterworks system, and there, also, he was [a] real pioneer.

Mr. Clifford was one of the organizers of the Grand Forks public park system, and until his removal from the city he was president of the city park commission. To the development of the city’s parks he devoted the same energy and enthusiasm that he had given to every other type of public betterment.

The founding and progress of the Cream of Wheat Co. is one of the epics of national industry, and in that enterprise Mr. Clifford was active from the beginning. Until advancing years made necessary his retirement he served as president of that company, and it was under his guidance that the company reached national proportions. Grand Forks owes to George B. Clifford a debt of gratitude and a tribute of affection for the splendid work which he performed as its leading citizen in a residence of many years. (Grand Forks Herald, Tuesday Morning, June 22, 1943, Volume 62, Number 200, Page 4.)

George B. Clifford, a young but hustling lawyer and real estate dealer in Grand Forks, was at the Merchants yesterday.  He said business was quiet in Grand Forksjust at present, but the citizens look for and expected better times soon.  (The Saint Paul Daily Globe, Saturday Morning, October 15, 1887, Page 2)

George B. Clifford, H. L. Whithed and several others contemplate erecting fine residences.  (The Saint Paul Daily Globe, Saturday Morning, May 26, 1888, Page 9)


Share Button