Skip to main content

Grant W. Morsman

Grant W. Morsman
Grant W. Morsman

Eminent Farmer

County: Butte

Grant W. Morsman was born June 24, 1865, in New York state. When he was 15, his parents moved to Fort Collins, Colorado. Two years later, his mother died and the boy took over most of the work of cooking the meals and keeping the house for his father and sister.

Mr. Morsman’s primary interest has been irrigation. When about 18, he went to work as superintendent of an irrigation ditch company. On the side, he purchased a 20-acre tract near Fort Collins and stocked it with fruit trees, continuing his work with the irrigation organization. Aside from one year spent as foreman of a cattle ranch, “The Big Red,” at Ucross, Wyoming, Mr. Morsman has been connected with irrigation either as a farmer of with the Reclamation service all of his life.

He sold his fruit farm in 1906 and went to Butte County, South Dakota, in 1908 to become irrigation superintendent for the new project in the Belle Fourche River valley, being employed by the United States Reclamation Service.

He held this position until 1915 when he moved to his present farm. The 360 acre farm southeast of Nisland, South Dakota, has 300 acres under irrigation.

The Morsman farm with its fine modern house, lambing sheds and feed lots, well-kept fields, purebred sheep flock, fine horses and above-average production record of crops is an example of what hard work and intelligent management will do in Black Hills agriculture.

He was the first to suggest that fat lambs be finished for market in the Belle Fourche district, and made it one of the largest feeder and fat lamb shipping points in the United States.

Mrs. Morsman was Amelia Harris. They were married in Fort Collins June 5, 1890. Two children were born to them.

For many years he has been a member of the Belle Fourche Irrigation District Board and was its president for a quarter of a century.

Mr. Morsman has been a director of the Butte County fair board and its president. He was one of the leaders in the movement to bring the sugar factory to Belle Fourche to supply a market for the beets grown in the valley. He was active in the Farm Bureau Federation and is a constant worker to forward Extension work in better farming. He has taken a great interest in youth work.