SEPTEMBER 19, 1829  TO  DECEMBER 19, 1915

Judge Samuel A. Falconer

Born: Lancaster County of Glengary, Canada

Died: Wilton, N.D.

Parents: James Falconer and Mary Hay Falconer

Sister: Mrs. Mary McLean (Bismarck)

Samuel A. Falconer
Josephine Beckman and Samuel A Falconer

Married: Josephine Beckman (Her husband was killed in a duel.)

Her children: Lilly and William Beckman “Brother Will”

Josephine and Samuel A. Falconer’s Children:

Howard (Butte, Montana)

Ida “Daisy” (Wilton, N.D.)

Manley (Wilton, N.D.)

Frank (Athabasca, Alberta)

Alexander (Vancouver, B.C.)

Career: Federal Government in Alaska under President Grant and President Hayes

Collector for the Port of Sitka

Seal Fisheries – Federal Government Representative (8 years in Alaska)

Met President Hayes and James G. Blaine in Washington, D.C.

Special Deputy Collector of Customs 12/14/1868
February 8, 1869 Invitation to Ball

During the Grant administration Mr. Falconer was Collector of the Port, at Sitka, “Alaska, and later was the representative of the federal government in looking after the seal fisheries in the various islands adjacent to Alaska.  For eight years he served the government in that territory.  An investigation of alleged irregularities in the seal fisheries during the administration of President Hays, required the presence of Mr. Falconer in Washington City as an expert witness, and while in the Capitol City he met many prominent men, including President Hayes and James G. Blaine.

Document relating to Seizure of "Sygnet"
February 27, 1869 Protest against seizure
May 24, 1869 Custom House Letter to Samuel Falconer

This Letter was important

March 15, 1872 Instructions from the Secretary of the Treasury in reference to certificate of appointment
Declaration of made an oath to emigrate to the US April 1882
February 7, 1889 became a citizen of the U.S.
April 7, 1892 Invitation to Wash,D.C.
Property Samuel Falconer Homesteaded in 1882

1882 North Dakota – ranched along the Missouri. (8 miles from Wilton, N.D.)

Was a Judge and Justice of the Peace

1905-1915 Lived with Ida Falconer Swanson and Albert Swanson

Memories: Well loved, endeared himself to the entire community.

Kind disposition, Christian Character

Remarkable mental and physical activity

Samuel and Jean Bolton
Wilton, North Dakota
Samuel and Josephine
Sam,Howard,Frank Kathryn, Jean (Falconer Bolton)
Samuel A. Falconer deeds his homestead to his daughter Daisy Falconer Swanson February 24, 1915
December 15, 1915 Letter to Daisy Swanson in Wilton from her father

Wilton Newspaper Article

December 24, 1915

Judge Samuel A. Falconer, one of Wilton’s oldest and most respected citizens, died suddenly in the vestibule of the Presbyterian Church of Bismarck Sunday morning, December 19, evidently of heart failure. His death was a great shock to the people of Wilton, for though in his 86th year, he was a man of remarkable mental and physical activity.  Born in Canada in 1830, he serve the federal government in several capacities in Alaska before coming to North Dakota in 1882.  He ranched along the Missouri eight miles from Wilton.  He leaves five children, including Mrs. Albert Swanson of Bismarck and Manly of Wilton.  Services were held in the local Presbyterian Church, with burial in Riverview Cemetery.

The Wilton News December 24, 1915

Judge Samuel A. Falconer one of Wilton’s most respected citizens died suddenly in the vestibule of the Presbyterian Church of Bismarck Sunday morning, December 19.  He had started up the steps of the church and was about to enter for the morning service, when he was stricken, evidently with heart failure.  He passed away before a physician arrived.

Mr. Falconer had been in Bismarck attending the funeral of his brother-in-law, Robert Macnider of Salem, Oregon, whose body was brought to Bismarck for internment.  While in Bismarck he was the guest of his sister, Mrs. Mary McLean, and was in his usual health.  He intended to return to Wilton the first of the week after a visit with his relatives and numerous friends in the Capital City.

The death of Mr. Falconer was a great shock to the people of Wilton, as he was known to be in excellent health, and although in his 86th year, was a man of remarkable mental and physical activity.  the the past ten years he has made his home with his daughter, Mrs. Albert L. Swanson and until recently held the position of Justice of the Peace, being eminently qualified for the position on account of his ….nature.

Mr. Falconer was born in Lancaster, county of Glengary, Canada, September 19, 1830, and was a son of James and Mary Hay Falconer. 

During the Grant administration Mr. Falconer was Collector of the Port, at Sitka, “Alaska, and later was the representative of the federal government in looking after the seal fisheries in the various islands adjacent to Alaska.  For eight years he served the government in that territory.  An investigation of alleged irregularities in the seal fisheries during the administration of President Hays, required the presence of Mr. Falconer in Washington City as an expert witness, and while in the Capitol City he met many prominent men, including President Hayes and James G. Blaine.

In 1882 Mr. Falconer settled in North Dakota engaging in the ranching and stock raising business, along the Missouri river, eight miles from Wilton.

At the time of his death Mr. Falconer was an elder in the local Presbyterian church and one of the most loyal supporters of religion in this territory.  He frequently attended the sessions of the Bismarck presbytery and was one of the stalwart advocates of righteousness in North Dakota.

He was a general favorite with young and old alike and his kindly disposition and christian character endeared him to the entire community.  He rarely missed a church service when at home and his life was an example which will long be remembered by the people of this community.

He is survived by one daughter, Mrs. Albert L. Swanson, and four sons.

Alexander, of Vancouver, B.C.; 

Frank of Athabasca Landing, Canada;

Manly of Wilton and Howard of Butte, Montana.  The following brothers and sisters also survive, Mrs. Mary McLean, Bismarck; Mrs. Jean Cameron, Vancouver, B.C.; Mrs. Rober Macnider, Salem, Oregon; Daniel and Norman of Bismarck and Henry of California.

The remains of Judge Falconer were brought to Wilton Wednesday morning and the funeral services were held the same afternoon from the Presbyterian church with Rev. Alexander Douglas spoke most fittingly of the faithfulness of the deceased and was followed by Rev. R.H. Myers, who spoke as a representative of Bismarck presbytery.  G.W. Stewart also made a few remarks.  Internment was in Riverview cemetery west of Wilton.

 

The Wilton, North Dakota Article on Samuel Falconer, one of Wilton's most respected citizens

Liz and Don Healy went on a cross country geneology discovery trip in 2006.  Here are some of our discoveries regarding Samuel A. Falconer and his daughter Daisy Swanson.

9/05/06:  Geneology search.

First we looked in the Bismarck State Archives for information on Samuel A. Falconer, Ida & Albert Swanson.  The staff was particularly helpful giving us a map with Samuel A. Falconer’s homestead location, Riverview Cemetery information and Falconer Family information.  We copied a brief biography of Samuel A. Falconer.

In Bismarck, North Dakota the Falconer name is prominent.  Samuel’s sister Mary and brother W.A. (William) were important citizens in the community.  In fact, there is a Falconer Estates evidently named for William who was in state or county politics.  We found out that Samuel and William changed the spelling of Falkner to Falconer when they came to North Dakota. 

Armed with information we headed for Wilton, North Dakota about 20 miles north of Bismarck.

We drove around the town which didn’t take long.  Wilton has one main street with a population of about 753.  We took some pictures and visited the Senior Citizen Hall.  We met a very friendly couple who advised us to go to the City Hall.  A block away, we met Norma Hochhalter who was particularly helpful.  City Hall was supposed to be closing, but Norma stayed to answer questions.  She found an old city document from 1900;s and found a listing for the Swanson Café.  Evidently Albert Swanson and Daisy Swanson had a café with a boarding house attached in the back.    We brought along a deed with property description.  Norma tried to locate the house and invited to return the next day.

We drove around and found the “supposed location” of the Swanson home .  It didn’t look anything like the old photo we had brought along from the 1920’s.  We decided to check out the Riverview Cemetery west of Wilton where we located the graves of Samuel A. Falconer and Herbert Swanson side by side.  Samuel A. Falconer must have been quite a prominent figure in the community as a  Justice of the Peace he had a larger marble gravestone with his grandson Herbert Swanson’s square marble marker near his grave.  Herbert died at the age of 2.

Next we drove thru the countryside about 8 miles west of Wilton thru fields of grass, wheat, and sunflowers. The road 1804 was named for the dates Lewis and Clark came out and back through the area.   We took pictures of the rolling farmland and the homestead site where Samuel A. Falconer had a ranch in 1882. 

The legal description of the homestead: 

Issue Date  6/4/1890

Aliquot Parts:  N 1/2  S ½

Section: 28

Township: 143-N

Range 81W

Fraction Section: No

Meridian 5th PM   

County: McLean

The  current owners seemed to be doing quite well from the size of their newer home.  We didn’t see any older home, just ranch land. Don and I drove north thru Washburn where there is a historical museum and camped at the Downstream Campground near Riverdale.  It’s a great place with birding and hiking places.

9/06/06:

We drove back to Wilton early.  Double checked the Swanson house.  Took  pictures.  Knocked on the door and met the owner Larry Jose who said that as far as he knew no Swansons lived there.  He was on the Wilton City Council and said he could check it out.  He looked at our old photo and said that he thought the house we were looking for was a couple of blocks away.  So Don and I drove up and down all the streets looking for it.  Finally on Dakota St. we found it!  The house was even  painted the same light gray color  with one large shrub missing from the front.  We knocked on the door and met a friendly new owner of the house with her baby.  We visited, took pictures and headed back to City Hall to talk with Norma. When we arrived Larry was there checking out all the previous owners of his house and determined it was not the Swanson original home.  Norma rechecked the maps and deed and found out that the original Swanson home was 218 Dakota Ave.!!!  The house we had found by driving around!!!!

Larry Jose located a Marian (Falconer) Pearson in Bismarck

Related to W.A. Falconer

We can contact Marian for more information.  Marian us 80 years +.

Next Norma brought out all the books and records of Wilton for us to look through.

Of particular interest was the “Doctor’s Register”  from 1915 on.  Looking through all the house calls we located the birth of Norm Swanson registered!!! In a volume recording births and deaths.

 Dr. R. C. Thompson deliver Norman Falconer Swanson on March 27, 1916.

 Parents:  Albert Lewis Swanson Age 38  Iowa Farmer

Daisy Ida Falconer Age 34 California Housewife.

Number of children: 4    Number now living : 3

 We looked through  the criminal records and  fortunately didn’t find anything.

 In the Wilton Auditor’s book  of dispersements

we found three payments made to AL Swanson

A L Swanson  $45  April 22, 1913  for Assessing

A L Swanson $45  July 26, 1913

A L Swanson $50 July 13, 1914

 Next Norma took us over to the Train Depot/Historical Site for Wilton to look through newpapers.  We found some references to Samuel A. Falconer who evidently set up a Post Office near his ranch , but no other evidence on the Swanson Family.

Norma will keep looking for more information.  Interestingly she lived in the house on 218 Dakota Ave.

Norma Hochhalter  Box 66, Wilton, North Dakota  58579   hochhalterj@bektel.com

Onward we drove to Washburn to meet with Vivian Merkel from the McLean County Historical Society Museum.  Wilton is in two counties…Burleigh and McLean which makes it more difficult to fine information on.    Vivian wanted copies of our old Wilton Newspaper, evidently in her book Dan. A. Falconer was buried at Riverview Cemetery.  She changed her records.  Vivian had more information on Samuel and a book with references to him which was helpful and we purchased.  Nothing on Albert and Daisy Swanson, but Vivian will still keep looking.

She suggested looking on the WEB:  North Dakota GENWEBS.

Vivian Merkel 701-462-3744

Some thoughts regarding Samuel A. Falconer.

What happened to his first wife and children?

Did they go with Samuel to Alaska? 

What happened to his second wife?  Why isn’t she in the family gravesite?

What happened to those children?

Some thoughts regarding Daisy and Albert Swanson.

We were disappointed when we didn’t find more information…

Why did Daisy wind up in Wilton, North Dakota?

Samuel married Josephine Beckman after his employment in Alaska

in San Francisco.  Daisy was born in 1880 around the time of the “great fire” in which Samuel lost everything.  He moved the family back to North Dakota.  He established a ranch and homesteaded in 1890.  He bought a home whom he deeded to Daisy in 1915 when he died. 

Why did Albert Swanson wind up in Wilton, North Dakota?

During the early 1900’s Wilton and Washburn were booming. 

They were mining coal.  In Iowa farming was hard work and unpredictable.

They didn’t know about rotating crops.  Why not go to a place where there was

economic opportunity.

Daisy and Albert got married in 1905 and had 4 children.

Josephine, Herbert, Elizabeth and Norman. 

In 1921 they moved to Seattle, Washington .

What happened to Herbert?

The Wilton Medical Records started in 1915 unfortunately.

Herbert was born in 1911 and died in 1913.

When did Lily Von Steiger (1870-1945) AND William (Willy) live with Daisy and Albert in Wilton? 

Why is there no information regarding the other children of Samuel A. Falconer?

Alexander , Frank, Manley, & Howard

Especially Manley who lived in Wilton.

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