SAMUEL HARRISON ELROD was born in Coatesville, Indiana. He attended public school in Coatesville and graduated from DePauw University (Indiana) in 1882, becoming an attorney and land broker. After moving west, he served as a member of the Sioux Falls Constitutional Convention in 1883, as Clark County (Dakota Territory) Attorney in 1884, as Clark Postmaster from 1885 to 1887, as State Attorney from 1887 to 1897, and as U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs Disbursing Agent from 1892 until 1900. Elected governor four years later, he continued the policies of his predecessor-Charles Herreid-controlling political party machinery in South Dakota. Elrod did not seek reelection.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 4. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 13. New York: James T. White & Company.
South Dakota State Historical Society