William Henry Rounds

1865 - 1933

“For a period of over twenty years William Henry Rounds has been regarded as the leading clothier and merchant tailor in Sioux Falls and he still occupies this enviable position, his success coming as a natural result of his knowledge of merchandising, his aggressive business spirit, and the style, quality and workmanship of his goods. He was born in St. Johns, Canada, November 26, 1865, and is a son a of Albert and Betsy (Chamberlain) Rounds, natives of Vermont. His parents moved to Malone, New York, in 1866, and there the father died in 1888, at the age of sixty-two years. The mother survives him and still makes her home in Malone at the age of eighty-eight years.

William Henry Rounds acquired his early education in the public schools of Malone, New York, and later attended Malone Academy. At the age of seventeen he laid aside his textbooks and turned his attention to the clothing business as salesman in the retail house in his native city. In 1883 he came to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and here, after clerking in various clothing stores until 1894, established himself in business as a clothier and merchant tailor. He occupies today a conspicuous place among the merchants of the northwest. For over twenty years his advertisements have been in the Sioux Falls papers and during that time his patronage has increased rapidly to its present proportions. Mr. Rounds has always prided himself upon the style, quality and workmanship of his clothes and his name has come to be regarded as a synonym for quality, a fact which has had much to do with his continued success. Like other Sioux Falls merchants, he has recognized the certainty of a great future for the city and in 1910 secured one of its most beautiful storerooms, on the corner of Eleventh street and Phillips avenue, in the Boyce-Greely building. Scarcely anywhere in the northwest can be found a store which will surpass his establishment, it being completely equipped in every detail. There are two entrances, one on Phillips avenue and the other on the Eleventh street side. Great electric signs direct the way of the people to both entrances. He employs a large number of tailors, the manufacturing department being under the direction of August Reichard, who for more than thirteen years has been Mr. Rounds” cutter. Mr. Reichard attends the tailors’ conventions in order that he may keep fully posted as to the very latest fashions in men’s clothing and he has no superior in this particular line of work in the state. Mr. Rounds is himself a frequent visitor to New York, where he studies styles and general values. Upon entering the Eleventh street entrance to his store the visitor is confronted with a great showing of beautiful imported fabrics of such a variety of weave that it is an easy matter for even the most fastidious to find something to his liking. To accommodate the merchant tailoring department where the workers are engaged in the manufacturing of clothes another store is maintained where there is today a group of twenty tailors busily turning out men’s attire to order.

On the 31st of January, 1891, at Janesville, Wisconsin, Mr.Rounds was united in marriage to Miss Jenny June Collier, and they have become the parents of four children: Harriet, Elizabeth, Ruth and Janet.

Mr. Rounds is a member of the Episcopal church and gives his political allegiance to the republican party. He was a charter member of Company B, Second Regiment Dakota National Guards, serving as a private and as a member of the regiment band. He holds membership in the Elks, the Country, the Dacotah and Commercial Clubs and belongs to the Masonic Shrine and the Knights of Pythias. He is, however, preeminently a business man, energetic, alert and enterprising, and has founded success upon a thorough knowledge of his business, upon intelligent management of his interests and upon thorough efficiency in every department.”

George W. Kingsbury, History of Dakota Territory, Vol. 5 (Chicago: S. J. Clarke, 1915) pp. 81 – 82.

William Henry Rounds died at the age of 67 years and was buried on October 14, 1933, in Lot I14 of the Cemetery. His wife, Jenny, lived on until 1952, dying at the age of 82 years. Also buried in the Lot are William’s brother, Simon, and a daughter, Harriet.