George C. Dunton Biography


 This biography appears on pages 1126-1127 in "History of Dakota Territory" by George W. Kingsbury, Vol. IV (1915) and was scanned, OCRed and edited by Maurice Krueger,


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George C. Dunton, cashier of the First National Bank at Webster, was born in Naples, New York, February 8, 1865, and is a representative of one of the old families of the Empire state, his ancestors having come from England to the new world. His grandfather, John Dunton, born in New York, was a successful farmer of that state for many years and there occurred the birth of his son, Lemuel M., in the year 1834. He was reared and educated at the place of his nativity and after attaining his majority wedded Harriett E. Culver, who was born in New York in 1834, a daughter of George Culver, also a native of that state, who traced his ancestry back to the early Puritans who settled New England. Mr. and Mrs. Lemuel M. Dunton continued their residence in the east until 1870, when they removed to Missouri and afterward to Kansas, Mr. Dunton devoting his attention to sheep raising in both states. While in New York he had handled both sheep and cattle. He won a very gratifying measure of success and was well-to-do at the time of his demise. He was well-educated and well read and in his community exercised considerable influence over public thought and action. He died in the year 1910, having for a decade survived his wife, who passed away in 1900. She was a consistent member of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Dunton held membership with the Masons and belonged to both the blue lodge and chapter. His political allegiance was given to the Republican Party. To him and his wife were born two children, George C. and Harry I., the latter a resident of Canandaigua, New York. George C. Dunton completed his education by graduation from the Canandaigua Academy of New York with the class of 1884 and for two years thereafter devoted his attention to merchandising in the Empire State.


In 1886 he arrived in South Dakota, where he engaged in clerking for a time, and later established a store of his own at Langford. On disposing of that he lived retired for a short period and afterward purchased a hardware store. During his residence in Marshall County he served as treasurer for four years and was a prominent and influential resident of that community. In 1902 he removed to Webster and organized the First National Bank, which from the beginning has been a substantial and paying institution. It is capitalized to twenty-five thousand dollars, has a surplus of fifteen thousand dollars and its average deposits amount to one hundred and sixty-five thousand dollars. A general banking business is conducted and as its cashier Mr. Dunton has practically managed its affairs and contributed in a very large measure to its success. He also has farming interests in this state and is a representative businessman, alert and enterprising.


In December, 1898, occurred the marriage of Mr. Dunton and Miss Clara M. Deerson a native of Illinois and a daughter of John Deerson, who was born in Germany but in early life came to the new world, settling in Illinois, where he followed the cabinetmaking trade. His daughter, Mrs. Dunton, is a member of the Episcopal church and occupies an enviable position in social circles of the city Mr. Dunton is a prominent Mason, having taken the degrees of the Scottish Rite and of the Mystic Shrine. A republican in his political views, he has been active in the work of the party yet never sought office as a reward for party fealty. He has a strong attachment for the west, which has given him his opportunity, and he possesses the enterprising spirit, which has ever characterized the development of this section of the country.