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SHSND Home > Archives > Archives Holdings > Archives & Manuscripts > Family/Local History > 10069
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Manuscripts by Subject - Family / Local History - #10069

Title: Nina Farley Wishek Papers

Dates: 1923-1939

Collection Number: 10069

Quantity: 0.25 cubic feet

Abstract: Papers consist of a manuscript entitled "The Marquis de Mores and the North Dakota Bad Lands," letters and notes relating to the Sully Expedition and stage lines in southern North Dakota, and poetry.

Provenance: The Nina Farley Wishek collection was donated to the State Historical Society of North Dakota by Mrs. Wishek in June 1954.

Property Rights: The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to this collection.

Copyrights: Copyrights to this collection remain with the donor, publisher, author, or author's heirs. Researchers should consult the 1976 Copyright Act, Public Law 94-553, Title 17, U.S. Code or an archivist at this repository if clarification of copyright requirements are needed.

Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Citation: Researchers are requested to cite the collection title, collection number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.



Nina Mary Farley was born at Almont, MI, January 3, 1869, to Albert William Farley and Anne E. (Mellen) Farley. In 1887, she arrived with her family in McIntosh County, Dakota Territory, where her father filed upon a homestead. She would become an educator, painter, historian, and poet. In 1888, with the establishment of the town of Ashley, she was the first teacher in the first school in the town. She taught at several country schools before her marriage. Nina Farley married John H. Wishek in Aberdeen, SD, December 26, 1891. The couple had eight children: Ester Barbara; Anna Farley; Carl Allison; John Henry; Jean Marion; Homer Cedric; and Paul Joseph. Nina wrote the books Along the Trails of Yesterday: A Story of McIntosh County (1941), and Rose Berries in Autumn (1938). She joined the Methodist church as a young girl, and retained her membership throughout her fifty year residence in Ashley. She was a charter member of the Thimble Bee of the Methodist Church, a member of the Ashley Woman’s Club, chairman for eight years of the history department in the Federated Womans’ Clubs of the State of ND, and was director of the State Historical Society of ND.

John H. Wishek was born April 17, 1855, at Warren, PA, to Charles and Barbara Wishek. With earnings from labor as a stone mason, he entered the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, law school and graduated with a L.L.B. degree in 1878. He entered the law office of A. B. Johnston at Kenton, OH, and worked there for one year. In 1879, he moved to Prospect, OH, and formed a partnership with a Mr. Johnston, which lasted until 1884. During this time, he served as mayor of Prospect for five years.

John was a founder of the towns Ashley and Wishek, ND, and was also an attorney, banker, business leader, and legislator. Wishek came to Dakota Territory in the winter of 1883-1884, and in 1884, with George W. Lilly and Charles C. Morrell, he founded the town of Hoskins, which became the county seat. Lilly and Wishek started a land office to aid the migration of immigrants to the United States. In Hoskins, Wishek served as county secretary and land registrar. In 1887, after a railroad survey determined that the new tracks would run three miles to the east, Wishek and Lilly planned a new town called Ashley, which would become the new county seat. Wishek served as a state Representative in 1892, and was elected to the Senate in 1894. Instrumental in bringing the Soo Railroad into McIntosh County, a new town was formed in 1898 northwest of Ashley called Wishek, in his honor. In 1912, Wishek ran for Governor, but was defeated by Louis B. Hanna in the primary. In 1918, Wishek was tried for violating the Espionage Act, having encouraged German settlement in ND and having shown pride in his German ancestry. Wishek was acquitted, but his life was changed. He returned to McIntosh County, passing on his businesses to his four sons, lawyers or bankers, and began donating to churches. John H. Wishek died in his home in Ashley on January 13, 1932.


“Albert W. Farley.” Ashley’s Golden Jubilee: 50 Years of Progress. Ashley, ND: J. Meidinger,
1938. p. 207.

Eriksmoen, Curt. “He Helped Settle Ashley, Wishek.” Jan Eriksmoen Ed. City of Wishek, ND.
http://www.wishek-nd.com/cityinfo/historical_info.html (Accessed 26 January 2010). Reprinted from The Bismarck Tribune, 12 June 2005.

Gage, Jay. Along the Trails of Yesterday: A Story of McIntosh County (review). Germans from
Russia Heritage Collection, North Dakota State University Libraries. 15 December 2009. http://library.ndsu.edu/grhc/order/nd_sd/wishek.html (Accessed 26 January 2010).

“John Henry Wishek.” Ashley’s Golden Jubilee: 50 Years of Progress. Ashley, ND: J. Meidinger,
1938. pgs. 69-70.

“Mrs. J. H. Wishek.” Ashley’s Golden Jubilee: 50 Years of Progress. Ashley, ND: J. Meidinger,
1938. p. 71.



Box 1:
1 Manuscript - “The Marquis de Mores and the North Dakota Badlands”
2 General correspondence; writings, correspondence, and research on the (old) Fort Yates Trail, military roads, old stage lines, and the General Sully expedition, 1923-1939
3 Correspondence about research topics, typed clippings (news and poetry), 1923-1931

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