Jas. Elton. Came here in 1873 from England. He worked for the Hudson Bay company until they closed out on this side of the line, when he went steamboating which vocation he followed until most of the boats were taken off the river. He is now register of the United States land office. (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Friday Morning, December 11, 1891, Volume XXI, Number 35, Page 2)
James Elton. Jas. Elton, county treasurer and one of the pioneers of the county, was born in England in 1846 an in 1871 came to the United States in the employ of the Hudson Bay company, being located at Georgetown, Minn. In 1872 he came to Grand Forks and filed upon land just south of the city, upon which he has raised crops ever since. After the Hudson Bay company retired from business on this side of the line in 1875 he engaged in the steamboat business, being employed by N. W. Kittson and Jas. J. Hill, and later with the Red River Transportation company, which at that time did an immense business carrying merchandise and people to Fort Garry, Manitoba. In 1880 he was employed as clerk in the local land office at this place by B. C. Taffney and W. J. Anderson, and in 1885 was transferred to the Devils Lake land office where he remained a year. Returning to Grand Forks to take the position of deputy county treasurer under A. Abrahamsen. In October 1889 he was appointed register of the Grand Forks land office by President Harrison and served for the full term of four years. Jas. Elton built the first house erected in the second ward of this city, where he has lived continually since 1878, and during his entire residence here he has always been alive to the interests of the county, the city and their people, and has been one of the foremost in developing the resources of the state. He has been at many times a member of the city board of education and of the city council, being the first alderman from the second ward. (Grand Forks Herald, Tuesday Morning, June 27, 1899, Volume 18, Number 205, Page 38)
Page 442. JAMES ELTON, treasurer of Grand Forks county, is one of the prominent and influential men of North Dakota. He is a wide-awake and energetic citizen of true public spirit and is worthy the confidence reposed in him by the people among whom he resides. His portrait will be found on another page. Our subject was born in Kent, England, September 30, 1846, and is a son of Robert and Eliza (Turner) Elton, both of whom were natives of England and the family was one of the old families of that country. Mr. Elton was reared and educated in England and attended college at Cheltemham and after completing his studies spent four years there in farming. He came to America in 1870 and entered the employ of the Hudson’s Bay Company as clerk and spent one year at Winnipeg. He went to Georgetown, Minnesota, in 1871, and the following year came to Grand Forks and remained in their employ five years. He then engaged in boating for Kittson & Hill, running on the Red river between Grand Forks and Winnipeg as boat clerk and followed that calling until 1880, when he engaged as clerk in the Unites States land office and filled that position at Grand Forks and at Devil’s Lake until 1886 and was then appointed deputy treasurer of Grand Forks county and acted as such three years and received the practical training which fitted him for his present official position. He was then appointed register of the land office by President Harrison in 1889 and served four years in that capacity, and then engaged in the real estate business. He followed the same until 1898, when he was elected county treasurer and is now ably discharging the duties of that office. He has served as alderman of the city for some years and was also a member of the school board for many years. He was appointed register of deeds on the
Page 445. organization of the county and served a short time. He was one of the original stockholders of the First National Bank and later was interested in the Merchants’ National Bank. Our subject was married, in 1877, to Miss Hannah E. Bird, a native of Canada. Five sons have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Elton, as follows: Harold, Theodore, James, George and Wilmar, all of whom are living. Mr. Elton assisted in the organization of the Republican party in North Dakota and is prominent in party affairs and interests of that political body. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity and one of the oldest created Masons of the territory and state; member of Grand Forks Commandery, No. 3, and a noble of El Zagel Temple, of Fargo. (Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., Chicago, 1900)
FUNERAL FOR JAMES ELTON THIS AFTERNOON. Prominent Pioneer of Grand Forks Died Early Tuesday A. M. Funeral services for James Elton, aged 76, early settler in North Dakota and a prominent pioneer resident of this city, who died shortly after midnight Tuesday morning, will be held this afternoon at two o’clock from St. Paul’s Episcopal church. Rev. F. W. Goodeve will officiate. The body will lie in state at the Ashley Undertaking parlors from 10 o’clock until noon today. There will be private commitment ceremony at Memorial park and the body will be placed in the vault for the winter. Only the pallbearers and immediate family will be present at the ceremony at the chapel. Death, which was not unexpected, occurred at the family home, 604 Belmont avenue. Mr. Elton had a apoplectic stroke two years ago, but recovered sufficiently to be up and around again, but two months ago he was forced to return to his bed and from then on gradually failed.
Born in England. James Elton was born in Kent, England, September 30, 1846, a son of Robert and Eliza (Turner) Elton, both of whom were natives of England, the family being one of the old families of that country. He was reared and educated in England and attended college at Cheltenham, and after completing his studies, spent four years there in farming. Coming to America in 1870, Mr. Elton entered the employ of the Hudson’s Bay company as clerk, and he spent one year at Winnipeg. He went from there to Georgetown, Minn., and in 1872 came to Grand Forks, remaining in the employ of the Hudson’s Bay company for five years. He then engaged in boating for Kittson and James J. Hill, running on the Red river between Grand Forks and Winnipeg as purser. Mr. Elton followed that calling until 1880, when he became clerk in the United States land office, filling that position at Grand Forks and Devils Lake until 1886. He was then appointed deputy treasurer of Grand Forks county, remaining in that office for three years.
Held Offices Here. In 1889 Mr. Elton was appointed register of the United States land office at Grand Forks by President Harrison. He served four years in that capacity. For a number of years afterward Mr. Elton was engaged in the real estate business. Upon the organization of Grand Forks county in 1875, Mr. Elton was named as register of deeds and county clerk, and he served as such for a short time. In 1898 he was elected treasurer of Grand Forks county, holding that office for four years. He served as alderman of Grand Forks city in the early days, and also was a member of the city school board for many years.
Prominent in Politics. Mr. Elton assisted in the organization of the Republican party in North Dakota and was prominent in party affairs for a great many years. He served as a member of the eighth legislative assembly from 1903 to 1905 as a representative from the Seventh district, Grand Forks county. In 1877 Mr. Elton was married to Miss Hannah E. Bird, a native of Canada, who survives him. He also is survived by five sons, Harold Elton of Terre Haute, Ind., who arrived here Sunday; Theodore B. Elton; state’s attorney of Grand Forks county, and Wilmer Elton, also of this city; James Elton of Portland, Ore., and George Elton of Cincinnati, Ohio. Mrs. Elton and Theodore, Wilmer and Harold Elton were at his bedside when death occurred. (Grand Forks Herald, Wednesday, December 20, 1922, Volume XLII, Number 43, Page 16)