Biography of John D. McPhee of Crookston Minnesota

John D. McPhee, born May 14, 1856, in Bruce County, Ontario, Canada, was of Scottish descent. His parents, John and Esther McPhee, emigrated from Scotland in 1847 and farmed in Ontario. In 1879, McPhee relocated to Crookston, Minnesota, briefly lived in Winnipeg, and later homesteaded in Walsh County, North Dakota. He managed Keystone and Lockhart Farms before moving to Crookston in 1902 to enter real estate. McPhee co-founded the Red River Valley Land Company and served as Crookston’s mayor from 1906 to 1909. A Republican, he was active in the Commercial Club, Masonic Order, and Elks. He married Susan Cheeney in 1888.

John D. McPhee, the mayor of Crookston, Minnesota, originated from Bruce County, Ontario, Canada, where he was born on May 14, 1856. He came from Scottish ancestry. His parents, John and Esther McPhee, migrated to Ontario from Scotland in 1847 and devoted their active lives to farming, enduring the typical challenges of pioneer life. They raised their children on the farm and provided them with education in public schools.

In the spring of 1879, John D. relocated to Crookston, Minnesota, briefly resided in Winnipeg, and then returned to the Red River Valley and Polk County, Minnesota. In November of the same year, he obtained a homestead in Walsh County, North Dakota, while continuing to farm in Polk County. He also served as a foreman on the Keystone Farm for a number of years. Subsequently, he was promoted to manager for the Lockhart Farms in Norman County, Minnesota, under the same company. He held this position for fifteen years until the farm was subdivided into smaller plots. In 1902, he moved to Crookston and embarked on a career in real estate. He became a partner in the Red River Valley Land Company and has remained actively involved with the company ever since.

Despite humble beginnings, Mr. McPhee’s diligence, sound judgment, and focused ambition have consistently rewarded him throughout his life. He thrives under pressure that would overwhelm weaker minds and finds fulfillment in productive occupation. He aligns himself with the Republican Party in his political views. In 1906, he was elected as the mayor of Crookston, and in 1907, he was re-elected for a two-year term. Throughout his tenure, he has demonstrated unwavering dedication to serving the community.

Mr. McPhee is affiliated with the Commercial Club of Crookston, the Masonic Order, and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. In 1888, he married Miss Susan Cheeney of Bellevue, Iowa.


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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