George Egbert

George Egbert.

Mayor from 1875-1876 and 1877-1880

Fargo's first mayor, Captain George Egbert was born in Northumberland, Pennsylvania on November 15, 1820. As a child he moved with his family to Portage County, Ohio.

At the age of 18 he left home for Shelby County, Illinois where he worked in the tailoring trade. In 1841 he returned to Ohio, and in 1849 he moved to Platteville, Wisconsin. In 1849 he moved to St. Paul, Minnesota, where he worked as a brick maker. He started a mercantile business in Big Lake, Minnesota in 1850. He held office as Justice of the Peace and Judge Probate while there.

In August 1853 he moved to Hastings, Minnesota where he settled on a claim which he amassed to 700 acres. In the winter of 1856-57 he was chosen as the chairman of the St. Paul & Pacific Railroad Land Company. He operated steamboats on the Mississippi River and nearly lost his life in an accident in 1866. He was elected Marshall for the city of Hastings and served two terms.

On July 5, 1871 he came to Fargo bringing the first load of sawed lumber to Cass County. In 1871 he married Sarah Savery in Fargo. They had two children John N. and an adopted daughter, Cora. He was the city's first sheriff and first mayor, serving four terms. While at Fargo he amassed a large amount of property. He built the first frame business block which was also used as the Masonic Temple. He was the first Master Mason in Dakota Territory. He also built the city's first brick block with George Benz, in 1878. In January of 1884 he began publication of the Democratic Broadaxe.

In 1890, Captian Egbert left Fargo for Portland, Oregon where he served as deputy U.S. Marshall. In 1895 he retired the marshal position and worked as a bailiff in the federal court at Portland. He retired in 1907 and died in Portland, Oregon on August 22, 1908.