Born in Canada, John Sutherland taught school in Wisconsin and received his law degree from Brown University. He came to Dakota Territory in 1884. The young Scottish attorney led Pierre's campaign committee to resounding victories in the "capital wars" of 1889, 1890, and 1904. In those raucous statewide elections, voters chose Pierre over Huron, Mitchell, Sioux Falls, Watertown, Chamberlain, and other challengers. Sutherland was a Progressive Republican. His 1904 capital campaign slogan, Stand Pat for Pierre, reflected his support for Theodore Roosevelt, whose 1904 re-election campaign theme was Stand Pat. In 1905, State Representative Sutherland introduced the legislation that started the construction of the State Capitol, which workers completed in 1910. Sutherland was president of the Pierre Board of Education and Pierre Board of Trade, as well as active in the South Dakota State Historical Society and Baptist Church. He died in 1941 and is buried in Pierre's Riverside Cemetery. This house on the corner of North Huron and West Capital Avenues was the Sutherland family home. The building across the street to the east was dedicated the John Sutherland Building in 2010 in honor of his contributions.