Biography of James H. Sharp of Moorehead Minnesota

James H. Sharp, born in western Pennsylvania, was one of six brothers who served in the Civil War. Following Horace Greeley’s advice, he moved to Minnesota in 1870 and settled in Moorhead in 1871. Sharp established the first dry goods store in Fargo-Moorhead in 1872 and later faced financial hardships in 1891. A dedicated advocate for education, he served on the board of education for 33 years and was president of the State School Board Association in 1904. Sharp, currently in his fifth term as probate judge in Clay County, is a respected figure with nine children, contributing significantly to his community.

James H Sharp
James H Sharp

James H. Sharp, a judge in Clay County and one of the editors of the “History of the Red River Valley,” was born and raised on a farm in western Pennsylvania. He is one of six brothers who served in the Civil War. In 1870, following Horace Greeley’s advice to young men to venture west, he came to Minnesota. In October 1871, he settled in Moorhead, where he has lived ever since.

In 1872, Mr. Sharp established the first dry goods store in either Fargo or Moorhead. He achieved success in his business endeavors until 1891 when he faced unfortunate circumstances resulting in the loss of everything, except for the courage with which he started anew. Mr. Sharp has consistently advocated for the best interests and has actively and intelligently engaged in educational matters. He served on the board of education for thirty-three consecutive years. In 1904, he was elected president of the State School Board Association, earning a reputation for excelling in every position he has held. He is currently serving his fifth term as the judge of probate in Clay County and has consistently been involved in the development and progress of his town and county.

Judge Sharp has a remarkable family of nine children, and he is highly regarded as one of the county’s finest citizens.


C.F. Cooper & Company, History of the Red River Valley, Past And Present: Including an Account of the Counties, Cities, Towns And Villages of the Valley From the Time of Their First Settlement And Formation, volumes 1-2; Grand Forks: Herald printing company, 1909.

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