Herriman Mansion Restoration Project - Brush Creek News Article

David B. Herriman Obituary

Brush Creek News, Original: December 1875, Reprinted Item: December 1925

DECEMBER 16, 1875

David B. HERRIMAN died on December 16, 1875, at his former residence near Wadena, after a protracted illness. He was born in the state of New Jersey, in 1808 of poor parents: his father and himself working in the iron smelting works. When quite a lad he formed an idea of leaving what appeared to him a slave's life of drudgery, with no chance to lift himself above the lot he then occupied. After saving some money, with a pack upon his back, he bid adieu to his parents and his home and started west. After a long and weary travel, he overtook a family with an ox team who offered to take him through to Indiana on condition that he would furnish another yoke of oxen, which he accepted. After many weary marches through the wilderness, often having to cut their road through the woods for miles, they reached the land of promise. He made him a claim and commenced work upon it, when a stranger offered him $400.00 for his claim and he sold it. He told the writer that he felt richer then than at any other time since; he could scarcely believe his senses, to think that in so short a time he could be worth so much money! With the proceeds he bought more land.

He became a moulder in a foundry, was very industrious, got married to an amiable young lady, moved into the woods and made himself a farm.

They had five sons and one daughter. He was a man of good judgment and had a great memory, was strong and robust, full of vitality and could endure wonderfully, extremely sociable, loving a joke as well as any man I ever knew. He made hosts of friends and having political aspirations, was for sixteen years elected to the state legislature of Indiana by the democratic party and became a prominent member of that body. A Democrat by nature, he found congenial society in that, then strongly Democratic state.

His education was very defective, but nature had endowed him with more than a common share of intellect, and had his early education been what it should have been: he could have made a record second to few in America.

During PIERCE'S administration he was appointed as Indian Agent. This gave him the title of MAJOR.

Having buried his first wife he sold his farm for $10,000.00, married the present Mrs. HERRIMAN and moved to Minnesota in the height of the emigration excitement to that state.

He soon, by shrewd investments, began to grow rich. His first adventure was to hire some men and teams to cut and put a lot of hay on the reservation. He saw it would be wanted by emigrants. and cleared $800.00 on it. He has cleared $5,000.00 on a body of land and never saw it.

He knew that during winter, pork would be high, and being in Indiana, found pork cheap, invested in it largely, and sent it to St. Paul and more than doubled his money.

His ruling passion was for making money and he succeeded. He traded land in Minnesota for land he lately owned, with Mr. CULVER, an Indian trader, and after his appointment expired, he moved with his family into the old log trading post of CULVER on the banks of the Volga.

He built a large brick dwelling, making the brick on his own land and finishing it with pine, cut and sawed on his own place.

He was a supervisor on the old board for several years. During the war he was nominated for State Senator and was defeated.

Sometime since, he received a shock of palsy, losing the use of one side and also that buoyancy of spirit and hilarity, which made him a favorite with many. He accomplished the object of his life; he died rich and on Sunday, December 19, 1875, was buried near the granite monument made in Scotland and standing near the stone schoolhouse at Wadena.