George D. Slingsby was born in Waukau, Wisconsin, October 23, 1859. In 1882, he came to Tower City by train (in a box car), but returned to Wisconsin for the winter. In the spring of 1883, lie came with teams and homesteaded in Riverside Township, Section 34. The winter of 1884-1985 George Slingsby, Lewis Stone, Charles Conner, and Henry Palfrey had chosen homesteads close together and they all worked together building their claim shacks, and broke five acres, which was required by law.

In January 1885, George Slingsby married Mary E. Lowe of Waukau, Wisconsin. They were the parents of two daughters:

1.     Mabel (Mrs. Harry H. Van Ornum) and

2.     Emma (Mrs. Charles Richard Palfrey).

Mrs. Slingsby taught several terms of school in Riverside Township.

During the many years Mr. Slingsby was a resident of Riverside Township he took an active part in civic and social affairs. He was elected Justice of Peace when the township was organized. He held this position for several years. He served as township supervisor, clerk of the school board, and as a member of the Legislature from Steele County.

In the spring of 1888, the school board was in session at the Slingsby home when a storm struck. The storm lasted three days with the school board snowbound in their home. There was a great loss of livestock during this storm. Mr. Slingsby lost his best cow. She went with the storm and when found, she was standing in marshy ground frozen to death. A neighbor lost several head that had become entangled in a barbwire fence and frozen to death.

Mail came to Hope, which was ten miles from his farm. In winter, neighbors always took turns going to town for the mail once a week, which took a full day with team and wagon. At least two would go together and would equip themselves with plenty of warm blankets and shovels, in case the horses got down in the snow - which they often did - and had to be shoveled out.

The Morgans and Kimballs lived to the north of them and the Saunders and Atchinsons lived near the Sheyenne River. They had all come to the territory about the same time, and formed a convivial family. All holidays and birthdays were celebrated and would often end in dancing and card playing until early morning. Wonderful friendships were formed which continued all through the years. Mr. Slingsby marveled how they ever managed to carry on these affairs under such circumstances, as most claim shanties were on an average of 14 X 16 feet - a few had a lean-to.

Mr. and Mrs. Slingsby retired to Hope in 1918 and moved to Hope. Mrs. Slingsby died in 1925, and in 1940, Mr. Slingsby moved to Finley to make his home with his daughter, Mrs. Emma Palfrey, whose husband had died in 1926. Mrs. Palfrey had one daughter, Lois Mary.

Mr. Slingsby died June 24, 1945. He and Mrs. Slingsby are buried in the Hope cemetery. Mr. Slingsby was a staunch champion of North Dakota and often said that although he had many reverses, as most farmers did, he never regretted that he came to the state - and if possible he would have liked to live his pioneer days over again.

Submitted by Edward Johnson

Source: Hope Through the Century - Hope, North Dakota 1882-1982 Page 594


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