William S. Laidlaw: (1797/98 - 18510
     He was the son of Robert Laidlaw & Elizabeth Williamson born in Kingledores, Scotland. William married Mary Ann "Big Heart" (Taw-a-du-tah) [daughter of Sisseton Chief  "Big Heart"] about 1812 on the Upper Mississippi. Their children were: Katherine D. (m.1st.to Mr.Lurty & m.2nd.to Leigh Hadley Irvine in 1848), Elzabeta (b.bef.1822), Barbara (1824-1849) (m.Morre K Lurty in 1843), William J. (1831-1859), Mary (b.bef.1833), Nancy (b.1836), Margaret (b.1838) (m.William Hodges in 1855), Julia Anne (1840-1893) (m.1st.to E.Walter Holbert & 2nd.to J.A.Walker in 1878) & Jane (b.1842).
     William was managing a experimental farm, called Hayfield (Mayfield), for the Selkirk Colony on the Red River in 1818-21. He had bought oxen & cows from the fur post at Lac La Pluie and he purchased horses from the Mandans on the Missouri, through Archibald McDonell, for the Hayfield farm. He arrived in Prairie du Chien from the Selkirk Colony with Robert Dickson & Duncan Graham in March of 1820. He was in charge of boat loads of grain, seed and other supplies on the Minnesota River returning to the colony in May of that year. The grain was to replaced the loss of crops at the colony due to grasshopper the prior year. In April of 1821 William left the fur post at Lac Traverse to meet up with a cattle drive (150 head) heading for the colony from Prairie du Chien. Joseph Rolette of Prairie du Chien had contracted with the colony for the cattle drive and he employed Alexis Bailly, Francois Labathe & Duncan Graham to the deliver the cattle to the settlement. The following is from John P.Bourke's journal (he was the HBCo. trader at Lac Travers) of March 14 of 1821: "Mr.Laidlaw arrived he intends going towards Prairie du Chien to meet the cattle expected from thence. It is the opinion of many that the Officer (Col.Josiah Snelling) commanding at the (Ft.Snelling) entrance of the Riviere St.Peter (Minnesota River) will not let him pass"
     In 1821 the fur companies of the Hudson Bay Company & the North West Company combine and George Simpson begins his long term as head of the HBCo. The next year, William turns his attention to the fur trade and in 1822 forms a partnership with a group (Robert Dickson, Kenneth Mackenzie, Daniel Lamont, W.P.Tilton, Honore Picotte & Joseph Renville) of fur traders which formed the Columbia Fur Company, with its headquarters near the headwaters of the Red River of the North. In the fall of 1822 he and McKenzie furnish Charles Hesse with goods, in order to ransom back his daughter from the Sioux who was the only other surviving member of his family which were massacred by the Sioux as they were on their way south from the Selkirk colony. In 1825 William is hired by Indian Agent at Ft.Snelling, Lawrence Taliaferro, to accompany Dakota Chiefs back to their homes returning from the treaty held at Prairie du Chien that year (12 die on the return journey). In 1827 the CFCo. is bought out by the AFCo. and by 1830 William was in charge of Ft.Tecumseh on the Missouri (mouth of the Teton R.), for the American Fur Company. In 1833-34 he was chief trader for AFCo. at Ft.Pierre on the Missouri.
     William returned to farming in 1836, when he obtain property in Missouri (9 miles NW of Liberty, Mo.) building a plantation & mansion for his home. He died at Liberty on 9 October 1851.