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Harry Blair

Harry Blair
Harry Blair

Eminent Farmer

County: Meade

Harry Blair, Sturgis, South Dakota, was born in northwestern Missouri and moved to Meade County in 1907. There the four Blair brothers founded the Pleasant Valley Ranch. The partnership continued for 40 years. The operation became one of them largest in the state, both in terms of acreage and in cattle numbers.

Having turned the management of his share of that enterprise over to his son, he now manages four other ranches in northwestern South Dakota and western Montana.

In conjunction with his successful ranching career Blair has been active in community affairs. As early as 1909 he and a half dozen other men built the Pleasant Valley Telephone Company.

He served in the South Dakota legislature from 1937-1939 after four years as a County Commissioner.

Very active in stockmen’s organizations, Harry Blair served as president of the Meade County Stockgrowers and was named president of the South Dakota Stockgrowers from 1944-46. At the same time he served as a member of the National Board of Directors. He still is active on the research committee. He is one of three trustees from South Dakota for the National Cowboy Hall of Fame which was built at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

In 1961 Blair helped found the Stockmen’s National Life Insurance Company at Rapid City, South Dakota, and has served as a director since. He has been a member of the South Dakota State University Advisory Council, and in 1966 was the Honored Farmer for SDSU’s Little International Livestock Show.

He has been active in the Presbyterian Church of Sturgis, South Dakota.  He is a Shriner, Rotarian, a Farm Bureau member and a member of the Sturgis Chamber of Commerce.

The Blairs have three children: Evelyn, the oldest daughter is now Mrs. William Brown of Prescott, Arizona; Mary is Mrs. Don Tech of Sturgis; and George ranches the home place south of Sturgis.