Albert C. Biernatzki Biography


This biography appears on pages 1096-1097 in "History of South Dakota" by Doane Robinson, Vol. II (1904) and was scanned, OCRed and edited by Maurice Krueger,


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ALBERT C. BIERNATZKI, a prominent and successful member of the bar of McCook County being actively engaged in the practice of his profession in Salem, was born in Webster City, Iowa, on the 3d of December, 1860, being a son of Charles and Margaret (Noland) Biernatzki, the former of whom was born in Poland and the latter in Ireland. The father of our subject was reared to maturity in his native land, and secured his educational training in the military academy in St. Petersburg. He was thereafter commissioned a colonel in the Russian army, but as his mother was strenuously opposed to his continuing in the military service he resigned his office and was appointed a member of the government engineering corps, with the rank of colonel. He became involved in the revolution of 1847, manifesting that distinctive loyalty which was one of his dominating characteristics, and his patriotism placed his life in jeopardy, so that in that year he left his native land and came to America, locating in Oswego, New York, where he became identified with the shipping trade, owning and operating two or more vessels.


In 1857 he removed to Webster City, Iowa, where he engaged in farming and live-stock enterprises, becoming one of the prominent and influential citizens of that section and being signally prospered in his business operations. He died in 1899, at the venerable age of eighty-two years, honored by all who knew him and recognized as a man of fine intellectuality and sterling character. He was a stanch Republican, and while never ambitious for office he was an influential factor in the councils of his party. His wife is still living. Albert C. Biernatzki secured his early educational discipline in the public schools of his native place and then entered the University of Des Moines, Iowa, where he continued his studies for two years, while in 1881, he was matriculated in the Iowa State University, at Iowa City, where he had simultaneously prosecuted a technical course in the law department of the university, in which he was graduated in 1884, with the degree of Bachelor of Laws. In March of the following year he took up his residence in Salem, South Dakota, being one of the early members of the bar of the county, and here he has ever since been established in the active practice of his profession, having built up an excellent business and retaining a representative clientage, while he has high standing at the bar of the state. He continued to be a close and appreciative student, and is considered one of the best read lawyers in this section. He is a stalwart advocate of the principles and policies of the Republican party, in whose cause he has been an effective worker, and he served as county judge from 1889 until 1903, with the exception of one term, his rulings being signally impartial, indicating not only the possession of an intrinsically judicial mind but also a wide and intimate knowledge of the science of jurisprudence. The Judge is a member of Fortitude Lodge, No. 72, Free and Accepted Masons; Salem Chapter, No. 34, Royal Arch Masons; Constantine Commandery, No. 17, Knights Templar, and El Riad Temple of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, at Sioux Falls. On the 7th of June, 1887, was solemnized the marriage of Judge Biernatzki to Miss Emma Sibley, of State Center, Iowa, and they are the parents of one son and two daughters, Charles, Margaret and Helen.