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Renville County, Minnesota 
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Halver Christiansen Aarnes
Source:  The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II, H. C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916), transcribed by Mary Saggio.
 

HALVER CHRISTIANSEN AARNES, a well-known farmer of Sacred Heart township, was born in Norway, Jan. 26, 1839, son of Christian and Johannah (Halverson) Aarnes.  There were eight children in the family:  Halver, Christian, Martin, Andrene, Gunne, Karen, Eli and Gulbrand.  Halver Aarnes was the first of the children to come to the United States, coming in 1869.  He landed at New York and traveled on to Racine, Wisconsin, where he remained for seventeen months, working as a blacksmith in the Mitchell Wagon Factory.  In 1871 he moved to Renville county, where he secured a homestead of 80 acres in section 8, in Sacred Heart township, now a suburb of Sacred Heart village.  He filed on his land and began work on it.  There were then no improvements on the place.  He made a dugout, where he and his wife lived for a time.  He also worked on the St. Peter & Winona Railroad for a time to earn some money, as he had not a thing to start with.  The second spring he bought a team of oxen and two cows.  By dint of hard work Mr. Aarnes has improved his farm and now has fine groves of trees, a modern house and buildings.  He raises a good grade of stock and has added 40 acres of railroad land to his farm. 

Mr. Aarnes has held several township offices and has been a member of the school board.  He has been a member and director of the Sacred Heart Creamery.  He is also a faithful member of the Norwegian Lutheran church and has been an active worker there since its first days.  At first there was no church building and the meetings were held in the various homes.  Mr. Aarnes was a member of the building committee and helped build the church.  He has been a trustee and also has been the secretary of this church for many years. 

Mr. Aarnes was united in marriage at Racine, Wisconsin, to Kari Semmingsen Andraae. of Norway, who came to America on the same boat as Mr. Aarnes did.  She was born May 3, 1843.  Seven children have been born to these parents:  Carl (deceased); Samuel, a graduate of Luther College of Decorah, Iowa, who is now living with his parents on the home farm; Henry, an electrician, now of Minneapolis; Karen, now Mrs. Albert Slattum, of Viking, Minnesota, who has two children, Harold Clifford and Helen Maria, also a stepson, Arthur Morris; Rikka. a student of Sacred Heart high school and teacher of eight years' experience, now in the photographic work in Minneapolis; Ida, a student of Sacred Heart high school and a teacher of twelve years' experience; and Christian, who died in infancy.  In addition to the public school teaching of Rikka and Ida, Rikka, Ida and Karen have all taught parochial school.


Haagen O. Agre
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II; by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge (1916) Transcribed by sd

Haagen O. Agre, whose work in Renville County since the earliest days has had an important influence in the growth and development of the community, was born in Rendalen, Osterdalen, Norway, Jan. 31, 1843, son of Ole Nelson and Martha Peterson, natives of that locality, where they devoted their lives to agricultural pursuits. The father died about 1868, and the mother about 1876. Haagen O. Agre received a good education in the schools of his native parish, and worked in the timber and lumber business until 1866, when he set out with high hopes and a courageous heart to try his fortunes in the new world. He embarked on a steamboat, which encountered a bad storm just after leaving Christiania, and was tossed about on the North Sea a week before reaching Hull, England. After a ten days' trip out of Liverpool, he landed at Quebec, and there took the railroad for Chicago and from there to La Crosse, where he took a boat up the Mississippi to Winona, going thence by team to Fillmore county, where he worked among the farmers for two years.. In 1868 he started with four others for Renville County. From Fillmore County they went to Chatfield, and thence to Waseca by railroad, from there going to St. Peter on foot. Then they came by team to Renville County.  Thus arrived in this vicinity Haagen O., K. O. and M. O. Agre, and Tollef and Simon Johnson. They had been told to follow the trail, to Yellow Medicine, but by keeping to the government road they found themselves in a different direction from that in which they intended to go. Night was coming on, so they wrapped themselves in their blankets, which had been cut with a hole for their heads, thus giving the men much the appearance of Indians. It was in this garb that they approached the shack of Joseph Myer, an early pioneer. He was a German and could not understand Norwegian. They could not understand German. He mistook them for Indians and was badly frightened, the more so because all he could understand of what they said was "Yellow Medicine," and Yellow Medicine was, in those days, the headquarters of the Indians. He pointed out the direction and slammed the door in their faces. The next morning Myer started for the shack of his neighbor, Joseph Schaffer, and told him Indians were in the community, declaring that he had himself seen five individuals whom he was sure were Indians because they wore blankets and spoke an unknown language. The young men, after leaving Myers, found that they were practically lost, but as a prairie fire was raging, they decided to stay in the vicinity all night. Nearby they saw a black object, dimly visible through the dusk. Making their way to the place they discovered that the black object was a log barn in which were a pair of oxen. Making the oxen move over to the side of the barn, the men brought in hay, and made themselves a comfortable bed for the night. The next morning they were on their way early. A light snow had fallen through the night. With nothing to eat, they made their way up the prairie, approached a cabin, and noted a young woman in the yard, attending to the farm chores. They still had on their blankets, and when they approached the young woman and asked her the way to Yellow Medicine, she, like the German the previous night, mistook them for Indians. She ran into the house and, hugging her little boy to her breast, determined to meet death bravely. But the men soon made themselves known to her as fellow countrymen. Her joy at meeting some one from home who could talk the dear old tongue of her fathers was equaled only by the fright that she had previously felt. She explained to them that she was Mrs. Maria Rude, and that her husband was working on the railroad near St. Peter. Soon she had a meal set out for them on a wash tub turned upside down. Her stories of the locality were so attractive that all five young men determined to take claims in the vicinity. Haagen 0. Agre took a claim of 80 acres in section 10. He built himself a crude shack of logs and rails, with a sod roof, just sufficient to hold the claim. He did not live therein, but returned with the other young men to Fillmore County to get their oxen. There the weather turned cold, and as it did not seem advisable to make another trip to Renville County amid such conditions, the young men spent that winter in Fillmore County. The next summer they drove to Renville County, and, until they could make suitable quarters for themselves, lived in a log cabin in the timbers on 160 acres, which, in addition to their claims on the prairie, the young men had acquired nearer the Minnesota bottoms. During that fall and winter they continued to live in this cabin, and in the meantime drew logs to their claims on the prairie and erected cabins. During these trips to the prairie claims, the young men often stopped at the home of Nels Bakke, father of John Bakke, for meals, and sometimes they spent the night there. In the spring of 1870, the young men moved onto the prairie claims. Haagen O. Agre took up his home in the neat cabin which he had built in section 10. In this cabin his family lived for several years, after which they erected a frame house, 16 by 24 feet, which is a part of the present sightly dwelling. As time passed he made many other improvements. He broke the land, erected necessary buildings, constructed fences, and planted groves and a good orchard of some 130 apple trees, and brought the place to a high stage of development. Mr. Agre passed through all the hardships of pioneer life, suffering intensely during the grasshopper raids and the hail which soon followed. The nearest trading point was Willmar, and provisions were scarce and high priced. But with undaunted courage, Mr. Agre pushed ahead, determined to succeed. He worked early and late, managed his affairs with frugality and shrewdness, and in time acquired 600 acres, the larger part of which has been divided among his children, leaving him the eighty acres on which the cabin originally stood. In 1897 he erected what was then one of the largest barns in the community, its dimensions being 44 by 64 with 16-foot studdings. This building was destroyed by fire on Oct. 26, 1901. They were shredding corn with a cyclone's and had the blower going into the barn, when suddenly they saw the barn on fire. Another was erected on the same basement, but this one had 12 instead of 16-foot studdings. Then came a wind storm, which turned the building on its foundations and bent it almost bow-shaped. A wrecking crew straightened it up, but a year later came a great cyclone, which swept the barn to destruction and killed a horse and four head of cattle. On the afternoon of the cyclone the family had been visiting. Upon their return, although it was chore and milking time, they decided to have supper before doing their evening work. While eating supper the storm came up. Had they been doing their chores at the usual time, instead of eating supper as they were, several members of the family would doubtless have been killed. Since that time, however, Mr. Agre has erected a fine complement of barns and outbuildings, which form a picturesque background to the pleasant home.

Mr. Agre has been prominent in the affairs of his township for many years. For fifteen years he was a member of the Hawk Creek Mutual Fire Insurance Co. and, during this period of membership, he served both as secretary and president. He is a stockholder and director in the Farmers' State Bank of Sacred Heart, and for a considerable period was a stockholder and director in the Farmers' Elevator at Sacred Heart. As town treasurer for many years, he did good service, and was on the town board as supervisor and as chairman. In the church he has been active, being chairman of the building committee when the Hawk Creek Norwegian Lutheran church was erected, and he was also the man designated to purchase the lumber, the reasonable price at which it was obtained being a tribute to his shrewdness and business ability.

Mr. Agre was united in the holy bonds of wedlock in July, 1871, to Inge Marie Johnson, born in Norway, Feb. 24, 1846, daughter of John Thoroson and Marit Peterson, who came to America in 1871, located in Hawk Creek Township, on the homestead of their son, Tollef Johnson, and spent the remainder of their lives in that neighborhood, the father dying in 1875 and the mother in 1888. Mr. and Mrs. Agre have had eight children: Martha, Ole, John, Martin, Hannah Maria, Theoline Bertha, Hannah Olava, and Harold. Martha was born April 26, 1872, married Oluf Kvistero, of Yellow Medicine County, and has five children, Esther, Julia, Harold, Melvin and Peter. Ole was born Oct. 26, 1873, and is one of the leading farmers of Hawk Creek Township. He married Mary Lindquist. John was born April 8, 1875, and is also a leading farmer in Hawk Creek Township. He married Amelia Hanson, and they have three children, Oral, Hazel and Arbie. Martin was born Nov. 22, 1876, and successfully conducts the home farm, of which he is now the owner. Hannah Maria was born Dec. 20, 1878, and died in May, 1886. Theoline Bertha was born Sept. 29, 1882, and died Sept. 18, 1914. By her husband, Ole K. Imes, she left one child, Myrtle Henrietta. Hannah Olava was born July 27, 1887, and resides at home, looking after the welfare of her parents. Harold was born Feb. 10, 1889, and died March 2, of the same year.


Karenus O. Agre
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II; by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge (1916) Transcribed by sd

Karenus O. Agre, one of the honored and respected early pioneers, was born in Norway, Oct. 11, 1840, the son of Ole N. and Metta Agre, seventh in the family of eleven children, the others being Peter, Nels, Helga, Ole, Berener, Martinus, Karenus. Haaken, Ole Gusenus, Kari and Bertha. Haaken, the first of the family to come to America, left the old country in 1866 and settled in Fillmore County, this state. The next to come were Martinus and Karenus. They left Norway April 2, 1867, landed in Quebec, and on May 10, of the same year, reached Fillmore County, in this state. Karenus secured work, grubbing wild land for various pioneers, securing for this arduous labor only $1 a day, sometimes less. He managed to save some of this, however, and in the fall of 1868 he and his two brothers, Martinus and Haaken, and their two cousins, Simon and Tollef Johnson, went into partnership with the intention of locating in Renville County as pioneers. They purchased three yoke of oxen, and after a long journey overland reached Hawk Creek Township. There they each took claims on the prairie, and purchased a place of 160 acres, nearer the Minnesota bottoms. On this farm the young men moved into a little cabin already erected, and there they lived for a while. All the men being single, they kept house themselves and the duties of cook fell to Karenus. The winter of 1868-1869 was spent in Fillmore County. In the spring of 1869 they came back to Hawk Creek, and broke a few acres of land on each of their claims. During the summer of 1869, Martinus, Haaken and Simon went back to Fillmore County and worked for farmers, while Karenus and Tollef stayed in Hawk Creek. In the fall they came back to make their permanent home here. Four of the party continued to reside in the county. Tollef died and his parents came over and took his claim. While living in the cabin on the 160 acres, Karenus had been busy making improvements on his claim on the prairie, and when everything was ready he took up his home in a sod house which he had constructed. It was to this place that he brought his bride. There they began their married life together, undergoing all the hardships and privations of pioneer life. Times were hard and provisions were few, the mosquitoes, the grasshoppers and the crows were a nuisance, trips to market were long and sometimes dangerous. But they worked hard and prosperity crowned their efforts. As time passed, their farm became one of the best in the neighborhood, and before many years a comfortable home, suitable barns, appropriate outbuildings, and well-tilled, well-developed and well-fenced fields took the place of what had originally been an almost unbroken waste, ornamented only by a crude sod house.

Aside from successfully working his farm, Mr. Agre found time to serve his community in various capacities, and he ever had the best interests of his township at heart. He has served both as supervisor and as chairman of his township, and has done admirable service as treasurer of the school board. He was, one of the first stockholders in the Farmers' Elevator at Sacred Heart and is likewise a stockholder in the Hawk Creek Telephone Company. For many years he has been active in the Hawk Creek church. For some ten or fifteen years the services of this church were held in a log cabin located on his farm, as well as in a cabin on the Brevig farm.

Mr. Agre was married in 1870 to Mary Hanson, born in Norway, Nov. 4, 1848, daughter of Hans and Anna (Christopherson) Hanson. Her parents came to the United States in 1862 and located in Fillmore County, where they remained until 1867, when they came to Renville County and located near the Chippewa County line. Mr. and Mrs. Agre have had seven children: Ole, Hans (deceased), Marthea, Halbert, Casper, Martin (deceased), and Julius. Ole Casper and Julius have purchased the home farm and are successfully operating it. Marthea married Henry K. Rude and they live in Bagley, Minn., owning a farm in Clearwater County. They have two sons, Carl Melvin and Archie Oliver. Halbert married Minnie Jacobson, and they live in Clearwater County. They have three children, Millie Adeline, Phoebe Irene and Harvey Albert Odean.

Mr. Agre has many interesting stories to tell of the early days. One particularly interesting story relates to a freshet in the early seventies which swelled Hawk creek way beyond its natural boundaries. Mr. Agre and other members of the colony had been to Willmar, some forty miles away, and had purchased three stoves, other hardware, 800 feet of lumber, and general provisions, making a very heavy load. About a mile this side of Willmar, however, they were stuck in the mud, and found that they could not make the journey through the wet earth with so much material. Consequently they returned to Willmar and unloaded the heavy material, after which they again undertook the journey with some 300 feet of lumber and some light provisions. Though the wagon wheels sank deep into the earth, they reached the east branch of the Hawk Creek in safety. There they found that the creek had swollen and covered the prairie a wide distance in all directions. One of the men, Ole Kringsberg, took a rope and swam across the creek to the solid ground on the other side. A raft was made out of the lumber, and the rope held by the man on the further shore was tied to the front of the raft, while another rope, held by the men standing on the other shore, was tied to the back of the raft. Thus, by pulling the raft back and forth from shore to shore, the young men managed to carry all their provisions and their wagon in safety to the further bank. Then the oxen were compelled to swim, and, in due time, the party proceeded on its journey.


Lubbert Ahrenholz
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II, by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge, H. C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916) transcribed by Nina Kramer

Lubbert Ahrenholz, a well known citizen of Renville, was born in Germany, December 1, 1851, son of Arnt and Elska (Simmerman) Ahrenholz. His parents were farmers, who lived and died in Germany. There were eight children in the family: Henry, Bye, George (deceased), Haren, Lubbert, George, Foke and Herman (deceased). Lubbert and Henry were the only ones to come to United States, leaving in 1868, and coming to New York. They had received their early education in Germany and left with the purpose of establishing new homes for themselves. They had intended to come to Stevenson county, Illinois, where they had an uncle, who had sent them money for the trip. They worked out on the farms of the neighbors and after five years Lubbert left for Iowa, where he located on a farm in Butler county. He rented this farm for about twelve years and then moved to Minnesota, going to Renville county and locating in Crooks township, section 5, on a tract of 160 acres of wild prairie land. They built a frame house, 14 by 22 feet, and a small barn, the posts being set into the ground and boards nailed around them. He owned a team of horses. Here he lived until 1910, when he moved to Renville. During this time he increased his farm until he had 760 acres and built a modern house and barn. He kept good stock and raised some fruit. Mr. Ahrenholz was road overseer for three or four years and also supervisor for six years. He helped organize the new school district known as No. 105, and helped build the schoolhouse. He is a member of the Farmers’ Elevator Company of Renville, holding the office of director. He is a shareholder of the Renville State Bank and is its vice president. He is also a member of the Christian Reformed church and was one of its organizers and officers. Mr. Ahrenholz was married in 1874 to Elska Ahrenholz, born in Germany and died at the age of sixty-two years. Seven children were born to this union: George, the oldest boy, who is now farming on the old home place, married Gertrude Hoogerman, and they have a daughter, Ella. Arnt married Anna Sejyer. They have two children: Lubbert and Fred. Fritz married Reka Schultz. They have a daughter, Anna. Elzena married Michael Groote and has two children: Freda and Ella. Enalena, now deceased, married John Korthuse. They have had five children: George, Ella, Mary, Dena and Lubbert. Ella married Edward Devries and has two children, Etta and Ella.


Henry Ahrens
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II; by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge, H. C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916) Transcribed by sd

Henry Ahrens, one of the few settlers who lived in the county before the Massacre and returned afterwards, was born in Hanover, Germany, August 2, 1833, and came to this country in 1853. In 1854 he located in New York and the following year moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, going to Illinois in 1859. He was married in 1861 to Minnie Bobson, and that year they came to Minnesota and located in Nicollet County. The following spring they came to Beaver Falls, but were driven out that summer by the Massacre. The story of their thrilling escape, the destruction of their home, the loss of all their worldly possessions, their sojourn in Illinois, and their return to their former home is told at length elsewhere in this history in connection with the Wichman narratives. In addition it is interesting to note that when the family first came here they drove all the way from Will County with an ox team, at the Indian Outbreak drove all the way back to Will County, and afterward came to this country again in the same manner. Judge Ahrens and his good wife took an active part in forming the destinies of the new county. For almost fifty years Judge Ahrens earnestly and devotedly served his town, county, state and country in various official capacities, being the county's first treasurer, one of the earliest commissioners, and later being honored by being sent to the state senate, in which capacity he showed that same solid worth and good judgment which had previously been his distinguishing characteristics. In 1903 the family moved to Morton, and here died on July 29. 1910. at the age of sixty-eight, she who through so many trying years had been his faithful wife and helpmate. Judge Ahrens continued to live in Morton, until, rich in honor, years, and the respect of his fellow men, he died Jan. 30, 1914, at the age of eighty-one years. In the family there were nine children. Of these there are living six, Fritz, Reikie, Eliza, Henry, Frank and Charles.


Abner Allen
Source: Little Sketches of Big Folks in Minnesota. (Publ. 1907) Transcribed by Marilyn Clore
 

ALLEN Abner B, Bemidji. Editor. Born July 10, 1842 in St Lawrence county N Y, son of Edwin B and Matilda (Tinkham) Allen. Twice married: First in 1862 to Rachel Bliss; second in 1885 to Martha Van Orman. Educated in common schools. Has been previously engaged in newspaper business from 1882 to date; published papers in Jackson 1886-1900. Battle Lake 1900-1901, Pelican Rapids 1901-1902, Morton Minn 1902-1904; engaged in job printing business in St Paul 1904-1906; editor and publisher of the Bemidji Sentinel 1906 to date. Served in 12th Wis Inf in Civil War and was wounded at battle of Kenesaw Mountain. Member Minn Editorial Assn; G A R; B P O E; I O O F and M B A.


Daniel Ames
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II; by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge, H. C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916) Transcribed by sd

Daniel Ames was born Jan. 27, 1833, near Sebattusville, Maine. He died October 9, 1915, at the age of 82 years. He came to Wisconsin at the age of 21 and remained in Waupaca County until April 19, 1863, when he was married to Ida E. Witt of Plymouth, Wisconsin, and they came to Mower County, Minnesota, in 1863. In 1866 they removed to Renville County, Minnesota, and settled in the southwest corner of Sacred Heart Township, Section 24, township 114, range 37, where their daughter, Sophina Ethel was born. They were among the first settlers who came into that part of the county after the Indian outbreak.


Andrew H. Anderson
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II, by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge, H. C. Cooper Jr. & Co. Chicago (1916) transcribed by Larry Lakey

Andrew H. Anderson is one of Renville county's most representative citizens. In school office, in township office, as county commissioner, and as a member of the legislature, he has done good service, has stood for the best interests of his fellow man, and has won for himself an enviable position in Minnesota public life. He was born in Vermland, Sweden, Dec. 28, 1855, son of Hendrick and Kari (Larson) Anderson, the pioneers. He came to America with his parents, reaching Carver county, this state, May 10, 1869. A year or more later, in the fall of 1870, he came with them to section 2, Hawk Creek township, in this county. Here for a short time he attended district school and here he was reared to farm pursuits. In 1874 he and Ole Clausen took a contract to construct two miles of the Pembina-Winnipeg branch of the Manitoba (Canada) Railroad. When this was completed they took the contract for an additional mile. After this work was done, Mr. Anderson went to Minneapolis and became foreman for the William King Stock Farm near Lake Calhoun, now within the city limits. Then he returned to his father's farm and successfully carried on general diversified farming until 1890 when he purchased his present farm of 200 acres in section 6, Sacred Heart township. With characteristic energy he set to work to make this farm one of the best in the western part of Renville county. How well he has succeeded in this endeavor is shown by the fact that he now has an ideal country estate. He has enlarged the house and erected a commodious barn, as well as repairing the other buildings; and the house and barns with the spreading lawn and stately shade trees are a sight well worth seeing. He has planted several acres of timber and has a plentiful supply of small fruit and berries for home consumption. Aside from carrying on general farming he makes a specialty of breeding Poland China swine. Being a believer in farm improvements he has become a stockholder in the Ericson Rural Telephone Co. His public life has been most interesting. While in Hawk Creek township he was supervisor two years and constable twelve years. He was school treasurer of school district 128 for ten years and when that district was consolidated with the Sacred Heart village schools as district 40, he was elected one of the trustees. When Peter P. Dustrud resigned as county commissioner in 1886 to go to the Dakotas, Mr. Anderson was appointed to fill the unexpired term. He was elected to succeed himself in 1888 and again in 1892, and thus served the county as commissioner to ten years. In 1902 he was elected to a seat in the lower house of the Minnesota legislature, a position he filled with satisfaction to his people and with credit to himself. Mr. Anderson was married, Nov. 25, 1881, to Bertha Dina Sagnes, daughter of Hans Sagnes, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this work. This union has been blessed with ten children: Clara, Henry, Bennie, Mary, Louise, Joseph, Hannah, Theodora and two boys named Hans who died in infancy. Henry is a liveryman at Renville. He was born March 15, 1886, married Minnie Jacobson, and has one child, Madeline. Clara was born Aug. 3, 1882, and is the mother of four children, Sandy, Dora, Mae, Bernice. Her husband, Mathew Jordet, is the partner of her brother Henry Anderson. Mary was born Nov. 3, 1890. She married W. L. John Van Fleet, a merchant of Montevideo, this state, and they have one child, Marcella. Bennie was born Nov. 9, 1887, and farms in North Dakota. He married Rosa Fletcher and they have four children: Arline, Deline, Wentworth, Fay. Louise was born March 14, 1893, is the wife of Elvin Synnes, of Sacred Heart, and has one child, Edgar Lewellyn. Joseph was born Nov. 4, 1894. Hannah was born Jan. 4, 1900. Theodora was born Dec. 31, 1901. These three youngest children are at home.


Bryngel Anderson
Source: History of Rice and Steele Counties, Minnesota, Illustrated, Vol. II; compiled by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge (1916) Transcribed by sd

Bryngel Anderson was born in Sweden, the son of Anders Nero Bryngelson, a Swedish farmer who had the distinction of having served in the Swedish army. Aside from Bryngel there were two sisters in the family, Catherine and Mary. Bryngel Anderson grew to manhood in Sweden, became a tenant farmer and was married in 1864 to Lisa Olson, born July 13, 1838, daughter of Ole O. and Stena (Johnson) Olson. In the Olson family there were five children: Johan; Anna M., now Mrs. Gustave Chilstrom, of Ogden, Utah; Erick; Anders, and Lisa. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson were blessed with seven children, all born in Sweden: Olof, John, Elizabeth (deceased), Carl (deceased); Anna, at home; Gustave who married Laura Hergren, has one child and lives in Mora, Kanabec County; and Tillie, who married Anton Holmar, has two children, and lives in Minneapolis. Bryngel Anderson and other members of the family came to the United States in 1893. He died in Crooks Township, Jan. 16, 1904, at the age of seventy-nine years. His widow makes her home with her sons Olof and John.


Carl Anderson
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II; by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge (1916) Transcribed by sd

Carl Anderson, one of the well-known men of Renville County, now residing in Sacred Heart village, was born March 25, 1855, in Sweden, son of Andres and Bertha (Olson) Johnson, the pioneers. He was reared on the home farm, and in 1888 purchased it from the other heirs. For several years he engaged extensively in grain raising and stock raising, making a specialty of Poland China swine and a good grade of mixed cattle and horses. Mr. Anderson still owns this farm of 280 acres, but since 1904 has lived in Sacred Heart village. He is a useful, progressive citizen, has filled several offices with credit to himself and to the advantage of the community and his public work will long be remembered. From 1882 to 1887 he was assessor in Hawk Creek Township. From 1887 to 1902 he was justice of the peace and town clerk in that township. From 1885 to 1904 he was clerk of the school board of his district. From 1902 to 1914 he was a member of the board of county commissioners and was on the committee which had charge of the erection of the courthouse at Olivia. At present he is the assessor of Sacred Heart village. Outside of his real estate, his holdings include stock in the Sacred Heart Hotel, the Farmers' Milling Co., of Sacred Heart, and the Farmers' State Bank of Sacred Heart. He is a director in the first two mentioned. The family faith is that of the Swedish Lutheran church. Carl Anderson and his sister, Augusta, have a pleasant home in the village, and delight in keeping open house to their friends.


Carl O. Anderson
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II; by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge, H. C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916) Transcribed by sd

Carl O. Anderson, an active young farmer of Hawk Creek Township, was born on the farm where he still resides, May 8, 1884, son of Oscar Anderson, the pioneer. He passed through the public schools and has spent his life on the home farm. He is progressive in his ideas, is energetic and hard working, makes a close study of the latest methods of farming and is regarded as one of the coming men of the community. He is doing good work as clerk of School District 41.


Elias H. Anderson
The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II, by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge, H. C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916), transcribed by Sheila Gruver.

A Progressive farmer of Wang township, was born Aug. 13, 1838, in Norway, son of Andres Evenson.  He received his early education and training in Norway.  At the age of twenty he became a teacher, and after four years of this work he took a two-year course at a seminary, after which he resumed his work as teacher at the place where he had been before.  After four years he moved to another district and here, in addition to his work, he was also the choir leader of the church for several years.  He was always a very strong politician and held a position similar to that of judge of probate in America.  On two occasions he was a candidate for the Storthing or Parliament, but was defeated by a very close margin, and at one time this caused a rejection of the election, and as it was too late for a new election no representative was sent from that district that year.

Being a progressive man and not finding conditions as congenial as he wished, he decided to locate in America in 1889 with his two boys, his wife having died.  His oldest son was sent to college and his youngest remained with his father.  In 1890 he bought 40 acres of land in section 35, in Wang township, for $600.  There were no buildings on this place.  Adjoining his forty acres of land there lived a young widow who had 80 acres of land.  An agreement was made between the two to work the 120 acres together, the result of this agreement being that she became his wife.

Mr. Anderson has been president of the Hawk Creek Farmers’ Mutual Insurance Company, of Sacred Heart, which includes six townships.  He has been the secretary of the Farmers’ Elevator Company, of Sacred Heart, and treasurer for the school district for the past fifteen years.  While connected with the elevator company, he also had charge of the ordering of the supplies needed by the farmers.  He is a member of the Norwegian Lutheran church and has been the deacon ever since he came to this township.  He is also a member of the school committee of that church and of the revision committee.

His first wife was born May 7, 1844, and died Sept. 28, 1887.  She was one of the pupils attending his first school.  She left the district and engaged in the study of dressmaking and housekeeping and, after perfecting herself in those branches, she went to Bergen, where she entered the state school for nurses.  Here she completed the course for nurses and returned to her home a professional nurse and expected to work as such.  However, when she returned she found her former teacher still there, and after a short time they were married.  To this union were born several children, only two of whom grew to manhood.  They are Ingvald Legnus and Berner Legnus.  Ingvald is cashier in the bank in Bricelyn, Faribault county, Minnesota, and Berner is cashier in Russell, Lyon county, Minnesota.

His second wife was Mrs. Olaus Rude, formerly Margont Arons.  She was born in Norway and had one child by her first marriage.  By Mr. Anderson’s second marriage there are five children:  Olaf, born May 21, 1891; Anna Pauline, born June 18, 1893; Edwin Helberg, born April 22, 1895; Emma Margret, born Dec. 3, 1897; and Alma Bolette, born July 24, 1900.


Gustav Adolph Anderson
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II, H. C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916), transcribed by Mary Saggio.

GUSTAV ADOLPH ANDERSON, a well-known farmer of Sacred Heart township, was born April 8, 1878, on his father's farm in Sacred Heart township. Mr. Anderson has always remained on the home farm, except two years spent in clerking. He now owns 40 acres of the old homestead, where he specializes in fruit-raising. He has erected a fine, all modern cottage home across the road from the old home and there he now resides. He makes a specialty of apples, plums and strawberries, and this season (1915) put on the market over 1,200 bushels of apples. At this writing he owns the largest apple orchard in Renville county. He received his early education at the district schools and completed his studies at the Renville high school. He learned the art of horticulture from his father. Mr. Anderson has been a member of the school board for fifteen years and is a stockholder in the Farmers' Elevator at Renville. He is a life member of the State Horticultural Society, where much information is gathered pertaining to fruit growing.

Mr. Anderson was married May 22, 1912, to Louis Stensrud, daughter of Ole Stensrud, of Sacred Heart township. She was born Feb. 27, 1886.


Hendrick Anderson
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II, by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge, H. C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916) transcribed by Larry Lakey

Hendrick Anderson, a pioneer, was born in Vermland, Sweden, and there married Kari Larson. They came to America in 1869, located in Carver county, this state, and there lived for a little over a year. In the fall of 1869, Hendrick Anderson came to Renville county, and located a homestead of eighty acres in section 2, Hawk Creek township. He built a shack and made preparation for the future. Then he returned to his family in Carver county. In the fall of 1870 the family moved here. They at once began improving and developing the farm, undergoing many hardships and privations. The grasshoppers ruined the crops for several seasons, the trips to Wilmar after provisions were long and tiresome, money was scarce and the food was of the simplest. But by hard work and frugality, together with good judgment and untiring energy, Hendrick Anderson became a properious citizen and won for himself a place as one of the leading men in the community. To his original tract he added 120 acres of railroad land in section 11, and on this tract of 200 acres he carried on general farming for many years. After a dozen or so years the original shack was replaced with a log house. A few years later this gave place to a splendid frame house. Good barns and substantial outbuildings were also erected. This he continued until his death, Feb. 27, 1908. His good wife died a week earlier. In the family there were ten children. Five boys and one girl are dead. Henry lives in Sacred Heart village. Kari is Mrs. John Farnhof, of Santa Rosa, California. Andrew H. lives in Sacred Heart. Mary is now the wife of Andrew H. lives in Sacred Heart. Mary is now the wife of Andrew Dahigren and they live on the old homestead in Hawk Creek township.


John William Anderson
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II, H. C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916), transcribed by Mary Saggio.

JOHN WILLIAM ANDERSON, a prosperous business man, was born Dec. 25, 1886. His father was born in Sweden, Dec. 9, 1856, and came to America April 28, 1881, working in the quarries for time and later becoming prominent in the making of monuments. His wife was Annie Johnson, of Sweden. At the age of twenty, Mr. Anderson started a restaurant in Morton, calling it the "O. K." Here he remained until the spring of 1907. Then he started selling monuments for his father and brothers of the "Anderson Granite Company," with whom he is still employed. He also operates a music store in company with his brother, Fred, under the name of Anderson Brothers. They started this music store in March, 1914, and have sold to date, $15,000 in goods. They sell the P. S. Wick pianos, sewing machines, musical merchandise and Alter automobiles. Mr. Anderson married Cina Mathillie Peterson, born May 28, 1886. Her father, Andrew Peterson, was a well-known pioneer of Lac Qui Parle county, who died May 23, 1898, at the age of sixty-two years. Her mother, Randi Peterson, died September, 1908, at the age of sixty-two years. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson have one child, Clifford Colonel, born May 23, 1908. They are members of the Norwegian Lutheran church at Morton.


Joseph Anderson
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II, H. C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916), transcribed by Mary Saggio.

JOSEPH ANDERSON, deceased, was born in Sweden, near Wenersborg, Dec. 13, 1842. In 1866 he came to the United States on a sailing vessel, the trip taking eighteen days, and landed at New York. He traveled on to Indiana, where lie remained for one year, then he went to St. Peter, Minnesota, where there was a Swedish settlement. He worked on the railroad between Mankato and Janesville for two years, being foreman of a crew of men. However, he had always desired to have a farm of his own, and, in 1870, he moved to Beaver Falls, where he secured a homestead. He and his wife drove from St. Peter with an ox team and a covered wagon, and lived in the wagon until he could build a log cabin. After a year they decided to move to Sacred Heart township and located on section 24, where they obtained 80 acres. No improvements had been made on this land and they moved the log cabin up from Beaver Falls. The land was broken with the ox team and all supplies and material had to be hauled from Willmar, which was the nearest market. At first he had only one cow, but as time passed he improved his farm, bought 80 acres more, built good buildings and erected one of the most modern houses in the county. Mr. Anderson never aspired to any township offices. He was a great lover of trees and flowers and became the pioneer horticulturist of the county and of this part of the state. He not only beautified his own home with shrubs, trees and flowers, but inspired others to do likewise. He believed that fruits of many varieties would thrive in Minnesota and propagated a seedling apple called the ''Victoria." During the last years of his life he made a specialty of top-working on hardy trees, thereby growing many choice varieties that could not be grown otherwise. During the time of his early plantings of apple trees, neighbors and others told him he never could grow apples in Minnesota, but he lived to see the day when his orchards fruited by the hundreds of bushels, and also to see his neighbors following his example by planting trees. He grew during his time more apples and strawberries for market than any man in Renville county.

Mr. Anderson was a member of the Swedish Lutheran church of Sacred Heart and was its first trustee.

In 1870 he was married at St. Peter to Anna Louise Holmberg, born in Smoland, Sweden, Jan. 20, 1841, and died June 11, 1914. Mrs. Anderson was a kind and loving wife and mother, and, as other pioneers, had to work very hard during early days of the county. Mr. Anderson died Sept. 12, 1914. There were seven children, three deceased: Victoria, a graduate of the Renville high school and also of the University of Washington, at Seattle, Wash., and now a teacher in high school at Stanwood, Wash.; Bertha, a graduate of the Central high school in Minneapolis, and now a student at the Bellingham State Normal school at Washington; Eva, who is married, and lives at Seattle, Wash., and Gustaf A., who lives on part of the old homestead.


Julius O. Anderson
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II, by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge, H. C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916).Transcribed by Cheryl Graverau Quinn

JULIUS O. ANDERSON, a successful farmer and stock raiser of Melville Township, was born in Bandon Township, this county. 1 January 1881. He was the son of Ole and Sophia Johanna (Bogema) Anderson. He attended the district schools of Bandon and on 22 March 1903 he graduated from the agricultural department of the University of Minnesota. He remained at home until twenty-three years of age, and then rented a farm in section 5, Melville Township. In 1910 he purchased from his father 160 acres in the northwest quarter of the same section. In 1912 he rebuilt the house and erected a 16 by 36 stave silo. In 1915 he rebuilt the barn, making it 32 by 76 feet with a 14-foot lean-to. He carries on general farming, keeps some fifty head of cattle including six head of registered Jerseys, and ships some 100 Duroc-Jersey swine each year. Although busy with his own duties, Mr. Anderson has not neglected public affairs, and for twelve years he has done good service as clerk of the school board of his district. He is one of the directors of the Bird Island Farmers’ Elevator Co.

He was married 12 June 1912, to Emma Pore, who was born in Osceola Township, this county, 24 August 1884, daughter of Hamlin V. and Caroline (Hibbard) Pore. Hamlin V. Pore was born in Trumbull County, Ohio, was married 20 February 1873, to Caroline Hibbard, a native of Desoto, Missouri, came to Osceola Township in 1876, took up a homestead of 160 acres in the southeast quarter of section 19, became one of the most extensive bee-raisers in the state and still makes his home there.


Ole Anderson
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II, by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge, H. C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916).Transcribed by Cheryl Graverau Quinn

OLE ANDERSON was born 17 December 1853, in Norway, came to America in 1860, lived in Iowa for about a year, located in spring Grove, Houston County, this state, about three years, came to Renville County, and located in Camp Township, bought a quarter section of railroad land in section 23, Bandon, added 160 more acres in section 35 in 1897 and there lived until 9 June 1899, when he traded his land and came into possession of the north half and the southwest quarter of Section 5, Melville Township. In 1907 he retired to Bird Island. His wife was born in Norway 9 December 1854, and came to America at the age of twelve years, and died in Bird Island 9 August 1913.


Oscar Anderson
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II; by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge, H. C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916) Transcribed by sd

Oscar Anderson, a well-to-do farmer of Hawk Creek Township, was born in Sweden, April 24, 1851, son of Andres and Bertha (Olson) Johnson, who brought him to America in 1868 and to Hawk Creek Township in 1869: For a year Oscar Anderson worked with his father. Then he went to St. Peter and worked as a stone mason for some seven years. In 1878 he rented the home farm, and ten years later purchased it. In the years that have passed he has made extensive improvements. In 1910 he erected a unique home which is one of the sights of the county. The house is made of cement bricks manufactured on the place. The cement brick of which the body of the house is made are tinged with red, giving the appearance of ordinary brick. The cornices and trimmings are also made of cement bricks, gray in color, and finished to a high degree of smoothness and hardness. The bricks about the windows and doors neatly and artistically beveled. The interior of the house is finished in oak, and the appointments are modern in every parular. The picturesque house with its many gables and large front porch resembles a small castle such as one sees in the Old Country. The place is indeed a monument to the owner, not only from the fact of its beauty and oddness, but also from the fact that he planned its construction himself, and carried out his own plans, all the material except the lumber and the cement originating on the place. Among the other comforts and conveniences may be mentioned the gas lights. Mr. Anderson is a prominent man in the community, has served on the town board as chairman and on the school board as clerk and director, and has done public service in many other ways. He engages in general farming and has been very successful. Mr. Anderson had three children: Carl O., born May 8, 1884: Emma, born Nov. 13, 1891, now the wife of Albert Olson, of section 12, Hawk Creek township; and Florence, born Aug. 23, 1904.


Swante W. Anderson
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II, by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge, H. C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916) transcribed by Nina Kramer

Swante W. Anderson, cashier of the Farmers’ and Merchants’ State Bank, of Hector, was born October 24, 1879, at Red Wing, Minn., son of Swante and Charlotte (Johnson) Anderson. After graduating from the Red Wing High school he spent a year at the commercial college at St. Peter. In 1898 he became bookkeeper for the Johnson Hardware Co., of Hector, and in 1900 was made assistant cashier of the bank, of which he is now cashier, having held that position of trust since 1905, when he succeeded C.H. Freeman. He is a Republican and a member of Hector Lodge No. 158, A.F. & A.M. He was president of the village council in 1913 and prior to that time served several terms as a village councilman. He is also president of the local telephone company. June 14, 1912, Mr. Anderson was married to Lora Hoffman, born at Rochester September 28, 1884, daughter of Louis and Christina (Stephens) Hoffman. Swante Anderson, born June 10, 1841, in Sweden, came to America in the early seventies and settled in Red Wing, where he was in the grocery business for several years. He then entered the mail service and died July 12, 1908m at Randolph, Minn. He was married November 30, 1876, to Charlotte Johnson, born May 26, 1861, in Pepin county, Wisconsin. She is now living in Hector. There were two children: Swante W., born October 24, 1879, and Esther, born October 13, 1877, now Mrs. S.D. Morrill, of Hector. Louis Hoffman has devoted his life to farming and now lives in retirement in Rochester, in this state. He and his wife had three children: Edward, of Bird Island; Bertha, the widow of Theodore Adler; Lora, the wife of Swante W. Anderson.


Arnt Arntzen
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II, H. C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916), transcribed by Mary Saggio.

ARNT ARNTZEN, one of the earliest pioneers of Renville county, was born in Nordland, Norway, Sept. 21, 1836, there received his education, grew to manhood and was married. In 1868 he and his wife and one child, Anna, crossed the ocean, reached America in due time, and located near Red Wing, Goodhue county, this state, for a year. It was in 1869 that he came to Renville county and secured a homestead of eighty acres in section 12, Hawk Creek township. At first the family habitation was a rude dug-out. With this as their home they started life on the treeless prairie, gradually breaking the land and getting in crops. After living in the dug-out for ten years they erected a log house in which the family lived until 1899. The Arntzens experienced all the hardships of pioneer life. Gradually, however, prosperity came to them. Year by year they developed the place, set out trees, built fences, purchased equipment, erected barns and outbuildings, added eighty acres to their land, and in time became prosperous and substantial members of the community. It was in 1899 that the present two-story frame dwelling was erected. Mr. Arntzen did not seek public office but for a time consented to serve on the town hoard. He died March 2, 1908, and since his death his widow has conducted the home farm.

Mr. Arntzen was married in Norway, in October, 1864, to Hedwig Hanson, born in Hemnes, Norway, Jan. 21, 1844. Throughout their married life she proved a most loyal wife, companion and helpmeet, and she has been a loving and faithful mother. Their union was blessed with twelve children: Anna, Johannah, Randolph, Mary, Halvor, Veva, George, and Inga, living, and Amelia, Hans. Martin and an unnamed infant, deceased. Anna was born in Norway, June 30, 1866, married Edward Kaposen, now of Medicine Lake, Montana, and has two children, Alma and Veva. Johannah was born in Red Wing, Minnesota, Nov. 12, 1868, married John Thorstad, now of Medicine Lake, Montana, and has four children: Harriet, Reuben and Merrill (twins) and Helen. Randolph was born on the old homestead in Hawk Creek, Nov. 9, 1870. He is a leading dentist at Montevideo, Minnesota, married Grete Lowe, and has five children: Loyal, Lillian, Lincoln, Randolph and Millicent. Mary was born Aug. 10, 1873, is the widow of Frank DeLine, lives at Medicine Lake, Montana, and has one son, Franklin. Halvor was born Oct. 17, 1875, and lives in Medicine Lake, Montana. Veva was born Sept. 6, 1878, married Olaf H. Eliason, and has four children: Alfred, Ray, Roy (deceased) and Stella. George, a twin of Veva, resides at Medicine Lake, Montana. Inga was born April 16, 1883, is now Mrs. Inga Gibson, has one son, Delmar, and lives with her mother on the farm. The family faith is that of the Conference church of Hawk Creek.


William J. Ashley
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II; by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge, H. C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916) transcribed by Susan Geist

William J. Ashley, mayor of Renville, and consequently the only city mayor in Renville county, is one of the leading citizens of the community. He has devoted the greater part of his life to the milling industry. Both in Lodi, Columbia county, Wisconsin, October 4, 1861, son of James W. and Laura (Narracong) Ashley, he was reared in Markesan, Wisconsin. At the age of seventeen, he went to Trout Run, near Black River Falls, Wisconsin, to learn the milling business from his uncle, Jonas Narracong. Some three years later he joined his father at Fox Lake, Wisconsin, and then returned to Markesan, the home of his boyhood, and took charge of the mill for three years. He was then successively employed as miller at Ettrick, Taylor Station, and North Bend, all in Wisconsin. In the summer of 1888, he went to the pine region in the northern part of that state. It was in the fall of 1888 that he came to Renville county and took charge of the Farmers Milling Co. mill at Sacred Heart for some two years. Then he took a trip of a few months to the Pacific coast. Upon his return he again took charge of the mill at Sacred Heart for a short period. Subsequently he went to Rockford, Iowa, where he leased a mill with the option of buying it, but finding that the wheat raising industry was on a decline in that state he decided not to buy. Returning to Minnesota he leased the North Star mill at Granite Falls, Minnesota, and conducted it for about a year. Then, in partnership with C. R. Beal, he went to Warner, South Dakota, leased a mill and elevator, and dealt in wheat and operated the mill for about a year. For some nine months he was in Minneapolis where he received treatment for his eye-sight, and at the end of that period went to Iowa and leased the Okoboji mills at Milford. It was in 1896 that he came to Renville, and in company with Ed O’Connor, purchased the flour mill, which they conducted for three years. Then, Mr. Ashley bought out his partner and became sole owner and proprietor until 1914, when he took August Moline as a partner, an arrangement which still continues. The mill manufactures the “Ideal” and “Harmony” brands, and their flour is sold extensively to local dealers, the largest shipping point, however, being Chicago, to which place the flour is sent in carload lots. Mr. Ashley is also interested in agriculture, and has good farm property in Ericson township. He is a prominent man in the community, was the first alderman at large of the city, has served the city in various other capacities, and has been mayor for the past five years. He is socially inclined and belongs to the Masonic body and to the Woodmen. William J. Ashley was married February 7, 1898, to Anna O’Connor, daughter of James O’Connor, Sr., and Elizabeth Erickson O’Connor. Mr. and Mrs. Ashley have had five children: June, Myrth, Ardua (deceased), Ruth and James. James W. Ashley was born in New York state, the son of Stephen and Nancy (Waterbury) Ashley, the former of whom, a miller, brought his family to Wisconsin at an early day, and there spent the remainder of his life. James W., like his father, was a miller, and after coming to Wisconsin, spent the remainder of his days in that place. He died in 1894. By his wife, Laura Narracong, who died in 1873, he had two children, Eva, now Mrs. Charles Bolen, of Black River Falls, Wis., and William J., of Renville, this county. By his second wife, Mrs. Martha (Nelson) Lord, he had one son, Harry N., now cashier of the First National Bank of Raymond, Minnesota.


Frederick A. Bade
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II, by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge, C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916) transcribed by Vicki Bryan

Frederick A. Bade, the efficient secretary and manager of the Danube Mercantile Co., was born in Germany, October 24, 1858, son of August and Ernestine (Montei) Bade. The father was born in Germany, June 4, 1829, brought his family to America in 1858, lived in Green Lake County, Wisconsin, a few years and in 1867 came to Freedom, Minnesota, where he bought eighty acres of land, to which he added from time to time until he owned 200 acres, and became a very successful farmer. He died on his birthday, June 4, 1888. His wife was born October 4, 1834, and died on her birthday, October 4, 1898. Aside from Frederick A. there was in the family a daughter, Amelia, born August 4, 1864, in Green Lake, Wisconsin, now the wife of C. F. Karth, of Duluth. Frederick A. Bade received a good education and remained with his parents until twenty years of age, when he left home to carve his fortune in the world. He was employed in mercantile establishments in Duluth and other places until the death of his father in 1888, when he returned home to look after his mother's interests. In 1890 he came to Renville, in this county, and opened a general store. Three years later he sold out and engaged in the dry goods and show business in Duluth, where he remained until 1905, when he came to Danube and established the Danube Cash store. Two years later he purchased a building and moved to the new location. Five years later he lost everything in a fire. However, he at once erected a new building and opened for business once more. In 1912 he consolidated with Beck & Mackledt, under the firm name of the Danube Mercantile Co. Inc., with Mr. Bade in his present position. The store has made good progress and has a large trade from both village and country. Mr. Bade is well known throughout the community, and has been mayor of Danube. He is especially prominent in the work of the German Lutheran Church. He has held various offices in this church, has been active in its progress, and is now the Bible class teacher in the Sunday school. Mr. Bade was married March 3, 1882, to Josephine Weskworth, who was born in Waseca County, Minnesota, December 7, 1861, and this union has been blessed with three children: Elizabeth, August, and William. Elizabeth was born April 7, 1883, married Lilliam Loock, lives in Crooks Township, this county, and has four children. August was born April 7, 1887. He married Anna Heach, and has one child, Ruby. William was born August 2, 1904, and is attending school in Duluth. Mr. Bade's father was born in Germany, married there, brought his family to America in 1856. His wife died in January 1898. There were five children in the family. Josephine, the fourth child, now Mrs. Frederick A. Bade is the only one living. Minnied died in 1897, Fred in 1914, Martin in 1907 and August 1878.


John Bakke
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II; by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge, H. C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916) transcribed by Sandra Stutzman

John Bakke, a progressive farmer of Hawk Creek township, was born in Veglid, Numedal, Norway, October 17, 1861, son of Nels Johnson and Christie (Danielsrud) Bakke, the pioneers. He was brought to America in 1867, lived with his parents in Clayton county, Iowa, for two years, and in 1869 was by them brought to Hawk Creek township. Here he grew to manhood, attending the district schools, and helping his parents with the farm work. In 1881 he made his first venture in life by going to the Wisconsin pine forests where he worked in the pinery and on the river drive. In the summer of 1882 he went to Hillsboro, North Dakota, then Dakota territory and worked on the Grandin farm near that place. In the winter of 1882-83 he again worked in the Wisconsin forests. In the summer of 1883 he joined the W. W. Cole circus and with that aggregation toured the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and portions of Canada. He left the circus in Kansas City, Missouri, where he spent two winters, being in Omaha, Nebraska, the intervening summer. During this period he was engaged in railroad work. In 1885 he again went to the Grandin farm in North Dakota, and became foreman of one of the sections of that vast farm. There he remained for some years, spending some of his winters, however, in the Wisconsin woods. In the fall of 1897 he started for the Pacific coast. After spending a short time in Montana he went on to Washington, where he helped cut the three-mile tunnel of the Great Northern railroad through the Cascade mountains. At Tacoma, Washington, July 2, 1898, he enrolled with the intention of joining a Tacoma company for service in the Spanish-American war. He passed the examinations and went with the company to Seattle. It was found, however, that there were too many men to make a full company and he was one of those left out when the company went into service. The company with Mr. Bakke as a member, was in Seattle, when on July 4, 1898, the news came of Sampson's great naval victory, and Mr. Bakke will never forget the enthusiasm that prevailed there. After this, Mr. Bakke engaged in threshing in Washington and Idaho. The next winter he spent in Portland, Oregon, and the next summer took up threshing again. In the fall of 1899 he was called home by the death of his brother Erik. Since then he has successfully farmed in Hawk Creek township. He owns the old homestead and in addition to this farms an [sic] eighty owned by his mother, who makes her home with him. He is one of the progressive men of the township, ready to take his part in everything that has for its object the upbuilding and betterment of the community. As member and chairman of the town board and as director of the school board he has done efficient work for progress and education. He is also deeply interested in the Old Settlers' Association, of which he is one of the vice-presidents. John Bakke was married October 17, 1901, to Laura Sophia Lindquist, who was born in Dalsland, Sweden, February 18, 1869, daughter of Elias M. and Sarah Jonasdaughter Lindquist. This union has been blessed with seven children: Christine Evelyn, born August 4, 1902; Norman Lindquist, born December 5, 1903; Eric Daniel, born May 3, 1905; Alice Sophie, born October 27, 1906, died November 26, 1906; Sarah Alice, born February 5, 1908; Grace Marie, born June 16, 1909; and John Laurence, born June 23, 1911.


Nels Johnson Bakke
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II; by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge, H. C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916) transcribed by Sandra Stutzman

Nels Johnson Bakke, one of the honored and sturdy pioneers of Renville county, was born in Vermland, Sweden, March 1, 1826, the son of John and Maria Birkebakken. He spent his boyhood in his native place and as a young man moved to Veglid, Numedal, Norway. There he worked on the government roads, in the pine woods and on various farms. He also did considerable horse trading. It was in Norway that he met and in 1860 wed Christie Danielsrud, who was born in Veglid, Numedal, Norway, May 23, 1834, daughter of Sevre and Caro Danielsrud. In Norway they had two children: John and Maria. With these two children, they set out in the spring of 1867 for the boundless opportunities of the new world. With them were many of their friends and neighbors. In their immediate party were Ole P. Sheggeby and Ole Holtan and families, who afterward settled in Renville county. The trip was made aboard the wooden sailing vessel, the "Amalia" in charge of Captain Peterson.

After a long voyage of seven weeks the boat reached Quebec, and the pioneers made the trip by way of the Great Lakes to Wisconsin. The Sheggeby and Holtan families located first in Edgerton, Wisconsin, and then in Stoughton, in the same state, and in 1868 came to Renville county. But the Bakke family kept on to. Clayton county, Iowa, and there lived for two years. There the daughter, Maria, died. There also a son, Erik, was born. In the spring of 1869 the family set out for Renville county. The wife and the two sons were left at St. Peter while the father came to this county and took a claim in section 10. Then he went back to St. Peter after the family. From St. Peter, which point they had reached by an overland journey, they took a steamboat on the Minnesota River to a point between Redwood Falls and Beaver Falls. After a few days spent at, Beaver Falls they were met by Ole P. Sheggeby, and by him taken with his oxen to Hawk Creek. For a time they lived in a cabin on the claim of Ole Evanson Limbo. In the fall they moved into a dugout on their own claim. With this beginning they became prosperous farmers. Gradually buildings were erected, the farm was developed, 80 acres of railroad land were added to the original tract, and the comforts of a thickly settled community took the place of the privations; and crudities of pioneer days. Mr. Bakke was a devout member of the Norwegian Lutheran church and was ever active in it cause. He helped to erect the first church of that denomination built in this locality, and remained a devoted Christian until his death, March 18, 1914. Mrs. Bakke is still living and makes her home with her son, John Bakke, a prominent farmer of Hawk Creek township, who now lives on the old homestead. Mr. and Mrs. Bakke had six children. John is appropriately mentioned elsewhere. Maria, as already noted, died in Iowa. Erick farmed with his father all his life and died April 3, 1899. Frederick farms in Chippewa county, not far from Granite Falls. Christina married Olaus Lende, who operates a machine shop and garage in Granite Falls. Anna married Jens L. Romo, a successful farmer of Wang township.


John W. Bakker
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II, by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge, C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916) transcribed by Vicki Bryan

John W. Bakker, deceased, was born in Emden, Germany, March 25, 1834, and came to America with his family in 1869. He located at Forreston, Illinois, where he followed farming for seven years. Then he removed to Grundy Center, Grundy County, Iowa, and farmed there for about eleven years. In the fall of 1886 he came to Renville County and purchased 200 acres of land in section 5, Crooks Township. In the spring of 1867 he and his family moved to this county and he then purchased 240 acres of improved land in Ericson Township on which he located. He engaged in farming and became land agent for Prince & Co., and was very influential in getting the Germans and Hollanders from Illinois and Iowa to in Ericson and Crooks townships. During five years he sold over 13,000 acres for this company. He was also agent for the O'Connor Land Co. He added to his holdings until he owned nearly a thousand acres. He was the founder of the Emden German Christian Reform Church in Ericson Township and worked hard for its support, and was an elder for very many years. He remained on his farm until 1902 when he retired to Renville where he died January 4, 1913. His widow still survives. He was married in Germany to Henderika Spanhout and the following children were born: W. J., of Crooks Township; George, of Crooks Township; John of Renville; M. J., of Crooks Township; and Harm of Renville. Five children are deceased: Mena, Harm, Maggie, Gerret, and one unnamed. At the time of Mr. Bakker's retirement he divided his land among his then six living children, giving each 160 acres of land.


Michael Banger
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II; by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge, H. C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916) transcribed by Sandra Stutzman

Michael Banger was born Dec. 28, 1872, and came to Renville county with the family as a small boy. He received his early edu­cation in Bird Island and then took up farming on the home place, he and his brother, Stephen, buying the homestead and the 160-acre tract, the old Captain King place. Mr. Sanger is the present treasurer of Bird Island township and has been on the school board for six years. He is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and also a member of the Catholic church. Mr. Sanger was united in marriage to Margaret Thomas, who was born in Holland, daughter of Simon Thomas, who brought his family from Green Bay, Wisconsin, to Bird Island township, Renville county. The following children were born to these parents: Clarence, Sylvester, Viola, Gregory, Sophiana, Geraldine and Dorothy.


Frank Becker
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II, by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge, C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916) transcribed by sd

Frank Becker, born in 1845 in Germany, came to America with his parents in 1852 and went to Chicago, leaving there in a short time for Montgomery, Minn., where he opened a general store which he conducted for thirty-five years, retiring in 1912. He is still living in the town where the best years of his life were spent. He was married at Montgomery, in 1866, to Josephine Richter who was born in Germany in 1844, and came to America at an early age with her parents who settled on a farm in LeSueur County, this state. She died in 1903. Mr. and Mrs. Becker had four children, all living; William, druggist, of Montgomery; Herman, druggist, of Olivia; Frank, druggist of Parker, South Dakota: Lena, now Mrs. Henry Perron, of Timber Lake South Dakota.


Herman C. Becker
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II, by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge, C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916) transcribed by sd

Herman C. Becker, popular and successful Olivia druggist, was born in Montgomery, Minn., Aug. 27, 1874, son of Frank and Josephine (Richter) Becker. He became thoroughly familiar in the dispensing of drugs while employed by his brother in his native town, and at the age of twenty-three came to Olivia, and engaged in his present business. He carries a good stock of goods and is widely known for his honorable dealing. A Republican in politics, he did good service as a member of the village council of Olivia in 1905-06. His fraternal affiliations are with A. 0. U. W. All in all, Mr. Becker is a useful citizen, and has had an important part in the up building of the village. On July 3, 1901, Mr. Becker married Blanche Rocek, of Olivia, born Feb. 20, 1875, in New Prague, Minn., the daughter of Anton and Katherine (Petrichka) Rocek. They have one child, Katherine, born in July, 1905, now attending school at Olivia.


Henry Beckman
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II, by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge, H. C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916) transcribed by Nina Kramer

Henry Beckman, a progressive citizen of Morton, was born August 12, 1871, in Jordan, Minnesota. His father, Frank Beckman, a farmer, came to Minnesota in 1856. He was a member of Company I, of the Fifth Regiment, Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, and fought in the battles of Corinth and Vicksburg. He died March, 1911, at the age of eighty years. His mother, Mary (Loenne) Beckman, aged seventy, is still living at Jordan. Mr. Beckman attended the country schools and later the Lakeview Academy at Sauk Centre. At the age of 18 he began as an apprentice in the Scott County Bank at Jordan. This was in May, 1889. Here he remained for two years. Next he worked in the general store of R.H. Kempton at Morton for six months, and later worked for three months in the harvest fields. When the State Bank of Morton was started on November 30, 1891, he was given the position of assistant cashier, and on March 2, 1908, became the cashier, which position he still holds. Mr. Beckman is the secretary of the Morton Telephone Company, recording secretary of the C.O.F., and holds the fourth degree of membership in the Knights of Columbus. He is also a member of the Catholic church. May 27, 1896, Mr. Beckman was married to Nellie Brown, daughter of James and Mary Ann (Goggin) Brown. Her father, a farmer who came from Quebec, Canada, to Renville county in 1864, where he took up a homestead in Norfolk township on section 25, died in 1884 at the age of fifty. Her mother is still living, at the age of seventy-two, in the village of Franklin. Mr. and Mrs. Beckman have six children, Sophie, 18; Edith, 16; Margaret, 13; Helen, 9; Francis, 4; Charlotte, 1.


A. A. Bennett
Source: THE HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY, MINNESOTA, Illustrated, Volume II, by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge; H.C. Cooper Jr. & Col, Chicago (1916) Transcribed by Patricia Roma Stout

A. A. Bennett, cashier of the First National Bank of Renville, was born January 31, 1870, in Glencoe, this state, son of C.A. and Margaret (Lee) Bennett. The father, for many years a prominent man of this vicinity and a leading newspaper editor at Granite Falls, this state, is still a resident of that village. A. A. Bennett was educated in Granite Falls and for many years engaged in newspaper work with his father at that place. For two years he was assistant secretary of the Republican National League, and for three years he was a clerk in the post office of the House of Representatives at Washington, D.C. In 1900 he came to Renville as a bookkeeper in the Old Security Bank. He assumed the duties of his present position in 1902.


Benjamin F. Benson
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II; by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge, H. C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916) transcribed by Susan Geist 

Benjamin F. Benson, of the Benson-Newhouse-Stabeck Grain Commission Co., Room 809, Chamber of Commerce Building Minneapolis, is one of the Renville county boys, born of Renville county pioneers, who have gone out in the world, far from their native county, and won for themselves a place in the world’s activities. He was born on the homestead in Emmet township, son of the Hon. David Benson, and his good wife, Carrie Benson. He attended the old log schoolhouse with whose interesting history his father was so intimately connected, and later studied in the public schools of Renville. It was in 1895 that he left home and started out for himself as collection man in the law firm of Lockerby & Cady, at Forman, North Dakota. Subsequently he returned to Renville, and was employed in the collection department of the first National Bank as well as in the store of J. H. Dale & Co. In 1898, when patriotic fervor was stirring so many of the youths of the land, he elisted as a private in Co. H, 14th Minn. Vol. Inf. He was sent with his regiment first to Chickamauga, then to Knoxville, Tennessee, and then back to St. Paul, being promoted successively to corporal and sergeant. For a time he continued his former employment at Renville. In 1899 he was appointed by Gov. John Lind as deputy grain inspector, and thereupon moved to Minneapolis. Some two years later he went on the road traveling for various grain commission firms. For a time he was associated with the Way, Johnson, Lee Co., grain commission merchants of Minneapolis; later the Loomis-Benson Co. was formed with Mr. Benson as vice-president, and later the Gold-Stabeck Loan and Credit Co. bought out the Loomis interests and the firm became the Benson-Newhouse-Stabeck Grain Commission Co. Of this concern, which is one of the leading grain commission concerns of the Northwest, Mr. Benson is still the vice-president. The company has branch offices in Duluth, Winnipeg and Chicago, and does a tremendous business. When the Grain Commission Merchants Association was organized, in the year 1911, Mr. Benson became its first president, a position in which he served with much credit and dignity. His standing in the business world is shown by the fact that he is one of the board of directors of the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the membership committee of that board. Likewise he is a member of the Minneapolis Athletic Club. True to the staunch religious training of his early years, he has interested himself in church and uplift work. In the Minneapolis Y. M. C. A. he is a member of the board of directors. In the Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church he is a member of the official board, a member of the finance committee and the teacher of the Young Men’s Bible class of some ninety pupils. Fraternally he is associated with the Renville Lodge of A. F. & A. M. and Renville Camp, No. 145, Modern Woodmen of America. Mr. Benson was married January 27, 1906, to Elsie Irene Turner, and they have two children: Bruce Hoyt, born May 28, 1908; and Robert Wesley, born April 25, 1914. The family residence is at 2008 Emerson avenue, south.


Hans Berg
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II, by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge, H. C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916), transcribed by Sheila Gruver.

A well-known farmer of Wang township, was born March 11, 1837, in Norway.  He left Norway in 1867 and came to America in a sailing vessel, landing at Quebec, and from there went on to Rochester, Olmsted county, where he had friends.  He began working on farms, and after about two or three years he also worked on the railroad for a time, but finally came to Renville county, making the journey with an ox team.  Here he secured a homestead, locating across the road from where he is now living, in section 4, Hawk Creek Township.  On this tract of 80 acres he built a log house, 14 by 16 feet.  Meetings were often held in this log house.  He also built a barn of sod and logs.  He had two steers, and when one of them died it was a long time before he could get another.  Times were not very prosperous and two years passed by before he felt that he could afford to have a cow.  After four or five years the log house was replaced by a small frame building, 12 by 14 feet, which is now a part of the present house, additions having been made.  He also bought 80 acres more across the road in Wang township, section 34. 

Mr. Berg carries on general farming and raises good stock.  He is a stockholder in the Farmers’ Elevator Company at Sacred Heart.  He has served on the school board and is a member of the Norwegian Hawk Creek Lutheran church, which he helped build.

In 1873 Mr. Berg was married to Marit Stavne, born Jan. 28, 1836, in Norway, the daughter of Ole and Marit (Baukal) Stavne, who both died in that country.  She came to America with her brother and sister in 1867.  Mr. and Mrs. Berg have had two children.  George  O., born Feb. 13, 1875, is now professor in Greek at St. Olof’s College, Northfield, Minnesota; Annie, born Sept. 15, 1876, has been a teacher, but is now at home.


Hendrick Berg
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II; by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge (1916) Transcribed by sd

Hendrick Berg, deceased, was born in Vermland, Sweden, on Feb. 21, 1826, and was there married. In the spring of 1869 he set sail for America with his good wife, Lisa (Thompson) Berg, and their children. They remained in Carver County during the summer of 1869 and then journeyed on to Renville County and settled on a homestead in Sacred Heart township. He secured eighty acres in section 28. At first they lived in a log cabin and endured all the trials of pioneer life, but as time passed a good home was built, barns and outbuildings erected and general farming was carried on by these worthy and hard-working people. In 1895 they retired to the village of Sacred Heart and lived there until 1901, when they took up their home with their daughter, Mrs. A. H. Erickson, in Hawk Creek Township. The mother died that same fall. Mr. Berg, while walking west from Sacred Heart towards Hawk Creek on the railroad, was run down by a train and instantly killed in 1904.


Paul G. Berg
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II, by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge, C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916) transcribed by Vicki Bryan

Paul G. Berg, one of the early settlers of Hawk Creek, was born in Norway, November 23, 1832, son of Gulbrand and Anna Berg, farmers for many years in Norway, the former of whom died at the age of forty four, but the latter of whom lived to the good old age of nearly ninety-three years. Of the four sons and one daughter in the family, three sons and the daughter came to America. Paul Berg attended school in Norway, grew up to farm work, and there married. In 1869 he and his wife and three children made the great venture into the new county. Few people can realize the terrors of that trip. Everything was new and strange, sea voyages aboard sailing vessels in those days were fraught with dangers, the food was poor and scarce, illness broke out, and the poor mother saw two of her children died and sadly watched them silently lowered over the side of the vessel to their last resting place. But the voyage was finally concluded and the family landed and found their way to St. Peter, where they remained for about a year, Mr. Berg in the meantime working about on farms to pay the $40, which he had borrowed to make the trip. Then he began to save a little, and in 1870, he had enough to hire a man with an ox team to bring him and his family to Hawk Creek Township, where he secured a homestead of eighty acres. This was in the wilderness, and the land was all prairie. All the livestock he owned was a cow, which he brought with him. In order to build a cabin, he was compelled to hire a man with a pair of oxen to haul timber from the bottoms. Later he bought a pair of four-year-old oxen, but even then he owned no wagon, and had to do his work under a great handicap. But as times changed he prospered and became one of the substantial men of the community. To his original farm he added fifty acres; he brought all his farm under a high stage of cultivation, and erected a good house and suitable barns. For many years he has carried on general farming in a successful manner. He has served as treasurer of the school board and has been chairman of the town board. In the affairs of the Hawk Creek Norwegian Lutheran Church he has taken an especial interest, the first services being held in his log cabin and the first baptism being performed there. Mr. and Mrs. Berg have had eleven children: Christina, Ole, Anna, Odina, Olaf, Petra, Olaf, Petra, Paul, Hans and Hannah. Christina was first married to Christian Olson, now deceased, by whom she had six children, of whom there are living: Carrie, Lizzie, Emily and Christian. By her present husband, E. A. Hendrickson, of Roy, Washington, she has had four children: Ruth, Esther, and Edgar, living, and Henry (deceased). Ole lives in Granite Falls, this state. He married Anna Hanson and their children are: Ruth, Huldah, Arthur, and Elvin, living, and Harold and an unnamed infant (deceased). Anna married Henry Stenson, of Starbuck, Minnesota. Their children are: Paul, Melville, Arnold, Herbert, Ruth, Ernest, Ralph, Gladstone, Mildred and Henry, alive; and Herbert and Ruth (deceased). Odena, Anna's twin, died in Norway. Ruth, Paul, George, Ralph, and Helen, living and Roy (deceased). Petra is the wife of Herman Skalbeck, of Sacred Heart. Their children are: Ruth, Arthur, Hilma, Mabel, Roy, and Edna. Paul and Hans are dead. Hannah is now the wife of Louis Nelson. They own and conduct the Paul Berg farm in Hawk Creek Township. They have three children, Ruth, Florence, and Hazel. In addition to these children, there are five great-grandchildren, Coral Swenson, Norma Swenson, Paul Edward Swenson, Robert Anderson, Geraldine Anderson. There are five great-great grandchildren, Harold Helgeson (deceased), Arnold Helgeson, Vera Helgeson, Merill Sneezby and Nora Sneezby. Mrs. Paul Berg died in 1913 at the age of seventy-nine years.


Gunerius Olaf Bergan
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II; by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge, H. C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916) Transcribed by SD

Gunerius Olaf Bergan, postmaster at Sacred Heart, was born in Sacred Heart township, son of Ole Kittleson Bergan and Petra Gunderson. Ole Kittelson Bergan was born in Norway, was brought to Stoughton, Wis., when seven years of age, and two years later, in the spring of 1868, to Renville County. Gunerius Olaf Bergan received his early education in the public schools of Sacred Heart. As a young man he attended the Agricultural College, University of Minnesota, and a year later attended the Minnesota School of Business. July 1, 1902, he became the first rural carrier from the Sacred Heart post office and retained this position until May 1, 1905. In 1905 and 1906 he homesteaded land in Divide County, North Dakota. From Oct. 1, 1906, to Nov 1, 1910, he was in the general mercantile business at Ambrose, North Dakota. In 1912 and 1.918 he was assessor at Sacred Heart. Aug. 3, 1913, he became postmaster.


Nels O. Berge
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II; by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge (1916) Transcribed by sd

Nels O. Berge, one of the pioneers of Renville County, was born in Norway, June 15, 1851, son of Ole E. and Cecelia (Hanson) Berge. Nels O. Berge came to Renville County in the spring of 1868 and took up land but returned to Trempealeau County, Wis., in the fall and returned to Renville County in the spring of 1869 when he squatted on the northeast quarter Section of 23, Camp Township, which he secured by pre-emption in 1873. The land which he took in 1868 was deeded to his father and consisted of 120 acres in Sections 23, and 40 acres in Section 22. Nels O. Berge had many and varied experiences in those early days. When he first located on the claim, he had a yoke of oxen, a wagon and a breaking plow. His first habitation thereon was a log house, 12 by 14 feet. He cut hay with a scythe and cradled his wheat by hand. He was out in the storm of Jan. 7, 1873, and suffered severely. As time passed, prosperity came to him and he owns 334 acres of good land, and the whole farm bespeaks the thrift, energy and intelligence of the owner. He carries on general farming and raises Duroc Jersey swine. Two acres of his land are set out in fruit trees. Mr. Berge makes a specialty of breeding Percheron horses and Shorthorn cattle. He owns two lots and two buildings in the city of Fairfax. For fourteen years he was postmaster of Camp, the office being in his own house. He has been justice of the peace for over thirty years, school clerk eighteen years, and township assessor four years. He also served in other positions of public trust and private honor.

Mr. Berge was married May 29, 1869, to Caroline Hagestad, who was born May 24, 1843, daughter of Ole O. and Martina Hagestad. Mr. and Mrs. Berge have had six children: Minnie, born Feb. 23, 1870, was the wife of E. J. Berg, a ranchman of Washington, and died Sept. 25, 1895; Clara, born Nov. 20, 1871, now lives at home; Otelia, born Jan. 31, 1874, married N. H. Samuelson, of Minneapolis; Edward, born March 13, 1877, died June 26, 1905; Fred, born July 4, 1879, and Ole, born March 8, 1884, are at home.


Ole E. Berge
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II; by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge (1916) Transcribed by sd

Ole E. Berge was born in Hardanger, in the bishopric of South Bergen, Feb. 9, 1826, where he secured a fair common school education, and grew to manhood. He learned the blacksmith trade and became a master in the manufacture of edge tools. At the age of twenty-six he married Cecelia Hanson in Granvin of Hardanger parish. In 1854 he immigrated with his family to the United States, coming on the "Condor" and landed at Quebec. From thence he came by steamboat and rail to Chicago and then moved to Stoughton, Wis. After he had found a home for his family he engaged in farm work among the farmers of Dane County. During the latter part of 1855 he secured work with the Mandt Wagon Manufacturing Company of Stoughton. In the spring of 1856 he and a few relatives concluded to move with their families to New Centerville, St. Croix County, Wis., where he purchased 60 acres of land and also started a blacksmith shop. He remained there two years. During that time his crops were killed by frost and times were hard. In the spring of 1859 he sold his little farm and immigrated to Trempeleau County, Wis., locating in Beaver Creek valley, or the township of Ettrick, where he took up a pre-emption claim of forty acres of government land, later securing eighty acres adjoining. In connection with his farming he also carried on the blacksmith work and times began to look brighter. In 1869 he sold his farm in Ettrick, Wis., and moved west to Ft. Ridgely, purchasing 160 acres in Camp township, Renville County, Minn., where he engaged in farming and stockraising. He died June 7, 1891. Mrs. Berge is still living and enjoying good health despite her old age of eighty-eight years and now makes her home with her youngest daughter, Mrs. P. J. Berg, of Madison, Minn. Mr. and Mrs. Berge had six children: Nels O., who is engaged in general farming and stockraising near Fairfax, Minn.; Elling O., who is in the milling business at Madison, Lac qui Parle county, Minn., and also conducts a farm of over 1,900 acres; Hans O., who is engaged in hardware, harness, wood and coal business at Madison and also at Marietta, Lac qui Parle County, Minn.; Louis Cornelius, who died when two and a half years old; Mrs. M. O. Hagestad, of Fairfax, and Mrs. P. J. Berg of Madison, Minn.


Berger S. Berger
Source:  The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II, H. C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916), transcribed by Mary Saggio.
 

BERGER S. BERGER was born in Norway and there married Martha Ingebretson.  In the early fifties they started for America, and after a long and tiresome voyage of fourteen weeks reached Quebec.  They were then childless, two of their children having died in Norway and one on the ocean.  From Quebec, Mr. and Mrs. Berger started by way of the lakes and canals and came to Muskegon, Michigan.  Here they became sick with the cholera.  When they were well they left for Iowa and then went to Nebraska.  There they found the Indians very hostile and they were soon back in Iowa, having driven 300 miles in six weeks, in many places over corduroy roads, in an uncovered wagon, whose wheels were round disks of wood cut from trees.  They left Iowa in 1872 and came to Sacred Heart township, Renville county, where they homesteaded in section 14 and also obtained a tree claim.  A log house was built, 14 by 14 feet, with board floor and sod roof.  Once it caught fire and water had to be carried to put it out and even all the milk on hand was used.  The nearest market was at Willmar, which was reached by ox team.  Oftentimes the corn was ground in the coffee mill.  Mr. Berger was the first thresher in the county and began with a horse power machine.  He developed and improved his farm, erecting modern buildings and increasing the farm to 320 acres.  There were six children in the family:  Edward, Benjamin, Ingeborg, Sever, Matilda and Hans.  The family were members of the Lutheran church and the early services of the church were held in his log cabin.  He helped organize this church.  He died in 1902 at the age of seventy-eight years and his wife died in 1901 at the age of seventy-four years.


Rev. Johannes Ellefson Bergh
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II; by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge, H. C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916) Transcribed by sd

Rev. Johannes Ellefson Bergh, a pioneer preacher of western Renville County, was born near the Village of Vossevanger, Norway, May 5, 1842, and at the age of fifteen came to Dane County, Wisconsin. In 1861 he entered Lutheran College, then located at Half Way Creek, Wisconsin, and was one of the first graduates of that school in 1866. In that year he entered the Divinity school of the German Missouri Lutheran Synod, of St. Louis, Mo., and was ordained to the ministry Sept. 3, 1869. His first call at Muskegon, Mich., he served for two years. Nov. 12, 1871, he became pioneer pastor of all of the Norwegian Lutheran churches of Renville, Redwood and Yellow Medicine Counties. For nine successive years all public services were held in dugouts, log cabins, school houses or during the summer in the open air. Up to 1874 he served five congregations located within a radius of 120 miles. To reach the various meeting places across the wild and pathless plains in those old dreaded winters there was no available means of conveyance other than that of walking. Exposed to many hazards and dangers, but always cheerfully sharing the trials and privations incident to pioneer life, Rev. Bergh, by his gentle and unassuming manner soon won for himself the good will and confidence of all, and before long this early pastor presided over one of the largest parishes in the Northwest. Mr. Bergh was not a talented speaker but much thought of as an educator. People delighted especially in hearing him catechise the children at Sunday services. In fact as catechetical instructor, Rev. Bergh was exceptionally gifted, and some claim that they have never heard his equal. Through his pastorate here of thirty-three years, he dwelt twenty-five years south of, and eight years in, the village of Sacred Heart. For reason of failing health he resigned in 1904 and died Aug. 21, 1905. He is survived by his wife, nee Marie Stub, and six children.


Solomon Bergman
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II, by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge, H. C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916), Transcribed by SueAnn McKnight.

Solomon Bergman, born in Sweden, April 24, 1836, son of Swan and Anna Munson, who were parents of four children, Peter, Andrew, Solomon and Christine. Solomon's father died when he was fifteen years of age and Peter and Solomon were the only ones of the family to come to America. Solomon was married to Johanna Christina Pearson of Sweden, April 23, 1860. She was the daughter of Peter and Ingre Anderson. Solomon left his wife and children in Sweden and came to America in 1870 to New York where he began working in a stone quarry. The first winter was spent in the woods of Michigan and in the spring he came to Judson, Blue Earth county, Minnesota. Here the family joined him in 1871 and the following spring they moved to Renville county where he located 80 acres in section 22, Palmyra township, and built a dugout. The family came in a covered wagon drawn by a team of oxen. It was all wild land and Mr. Bergman began breaking up the land with the help of the oxen. He bought 80 acres adjoining in section 15. He endured many hardships during the first years. For four years in succession his crops were destroyed by the grasshopers. Beaver Falls was the nearest milling place. In 1880 he built a frame house and barns. In 1881 a cyclone destroyed every building on the place and new buildings had to be erected. Mr. Bergman improved his farm and had a large fine farm and kept a good grade of stock. He was interested in farmers' organizations and was a member of the Farmers' Elevator Company at Hector and a member of the board of directors. He was also one of the organizers of the Farmers' Insurance Company, known as the Palmyra Mutual Fire Insurance Company. He later became a director of the company and served as vice president. He was also a stockholder of the Hector Telephone Company and Exchange. Mr. Bergman was a leader in the affairs of his community and township and held the office of township treasurer for seventeen years. He was also a member of the school board and helped organize district No. 86. He was a member of the Swedish Lutheran church and was one of the organizers of this church, being its secretary for many years.

Mr. and Mrs. Bergman have had the following children: August (deceased), Anna Matilda, Emelie Sophia, Julia Marie, Jennie Augusta, August P., John W. (deceased), Albert F., Carl E., and Nathalia C. Anna Matilda is now Mrs. C. G. Johnson of Minneapolis, and has the following children: Mabel (deceased), Elmer, Clarence, Reuben, Agnes and Myrtle. Emelie Sophia is now Mrs. Claus W. Peterson of Minneapolis. They have two children: Albert and Harry. Julia Marie married C. M. John son and died Oct. 13, 1912, leaving the following children: Herbert, Rudolph, Sidney and Violet. Jennie Augusta is now Mrs. Emil R. Johnson of Minneapolis. Their children are Wallace, Emery and Lillian. Albert F. has for the past fifteen years rented the old homestead and of late years August P. has been his partner. August P. is now a stockholder and director of the Hector Elevator Company and Albert F. has served as chairman and supervisor on the town board. Carl E. is a painter at Hector. Nathalie C. is now Mrs. Albert Anderson of Palmyra and has three children: Viola, Gladys and Burgess.

Mr. Bergman died Sept. 19, 1908, at the age of seventy-two years, four months and twenty-six days. His wife is still living with her sons, on the old home farm in section 15, Palmyra township.


August Beyer
Source: The History of Renville County Minnesota, by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge, Illustrated, Vol. II H. C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago; Transcribed by: Richard Ramos

August Beyer was born in Germany, Aug. 8, 1837, and came to Minnesota when he was eighteen years of age. He worked on the farms in the neighborhood of Minneapolis and Rochester and mowed hay near White Bear Lake with a scythe. St. Paul was then but a very small town. He located as a pioneer of Greenwood Prairie, Olmsted county, where he worked for the other farmers and finally located a place of his own in blue Earth county, where he married. Later they moved to Renville county and located a farm in section 19, Flora township. They are both living in Renville. There were eleven children in the family: Emma, Dorothy, Amanda (deceased), Lizzie, Ida, Arthur, Walter, Ella, Mary (deceased), Charles (deceased), and William (deceased).


Philip Bingenheimer
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II, by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge, H. C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916) transcribed by Cheryl Gravereau Quinn

PHILLIP BINGENHEIMER, one of the prosperous and progressive farmers of Renville County, was born in Hanover, Wright County, this state, 27 February 1856, son of Jacob and Margaret (Schneider) Bingenheimer, who were born in Germany, came to the United States in 1842 and1851, respectively, were married in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, settled in the early fifties in Wright County, this state. Mr. Bingenheimer was engaged in farming a while, later he moved to Minneapolis, where his father engaged in the milling business and there ended their days, the father in 1873 and the mother in 1910. In the family there were nine children: Phillip; Mary, now Mrs. James Kisler, of Minneapolis, Ferdinand, of Mandan, North Dakota; Louisa, now Mrs. Charles Schnacke, of St. Paul; George of Mandan, North Dakota; Edward, of Timmers, North Dakota; Catherine, now of Minneapolis; and Gustave A. and Ida of Minneapolis.

Phillip Bingenheimer was afflicted with poor eyes during the first twelve years of his life and this was a great handicap to him in obtaining an education. He remained at home until he was twenty-two years of age, and then started to work out as a farm hand. In 1878 he took a homestead in Crooks Township, this county, but disposed of it, and in 1882 purchased 40 acres in section 19, Troy Township. He erected a shanty, worked his land summers and teamed winters in Minneapolis. In 1884 he was married and settled permanently on his farm. By hard work, intelligent effort, and frugal habits he has increased his holdings until he now owns 400 acres located in sections 17, 18 and 19, Troy Township. He has made many improvements, erected a splendid dwelling, a fine set of barns and outbuildings, and the necessary sheds and the like. He has a well tilled, well fenced farm, and his machinery, tools, implements and equipment are the best. Aside from carrying on general farming on an extensive scale, he makes a specialty of breeding Black Poll Angus cattle. Aside from his farming interest, Mr. Bingenheimer is a stockholder in the Farmers’ Elevator at Danube and in the Danube State Bank. Mr. Bingenheimer was married 7 June 1884, to Pauline Hussock, who was born in Germany 1 June 1865, and was brought to this county in 1871 by her parents, August and Christina (Fussan) Hussock. Mr. and Mrs. Bingenheimer have had six children: Walter E., Florence, Eleanor, Harry, Richard and Margaret. Walter E. is a farmer of Flora Township. He was married 3 June 1915 to Bertha Black, who was born 1 June 1896. Florence lives in Brookings, South Dakota. She was born 4 May 1890, and was married 5 September 1912 to Edward Black. Eleanor, born 29 July 1895, and Harry, born 23 April 1897, are both at home. Richard and Margaret both died in infancy. August Hussock was born in Germany, married Christina Fussan, came to this country in June,1871, lived two months in New Ulm, took a homestead in Emmet Township in October 1871 and there engaged in farming. Mrs. Hussock died in 1911, and Mr. Hussock now makes his home with his daughter, Mrs. Phillip Bigenheimer. They were the parents of three children: Paulina, now Mrs. Phillip Bigenheimer, Paul, of Portland, Oregon, and Matilda, now Mrs. Ernest Hoffman, of Emmet Township.


Peter Binger
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II, by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge, H. C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916), transcribed by Sheila Gruver

A thrifty and industrious farmer of Flora township, was born in Germany, Nov. 6, 1840, son of Valentine and Lorethea (Laubel) Binger. There were three children in the family: Adam, Andrew and Peter. Andrew and Peter left Germany in 1866 and reached New York after a nine days’ voyage. They remained in New York until 1868, when they went to Minnesota. Peter had learned the trade of a cabinetmaker in Germany and had followed that trade in New York. He located a homestead of 80 acres in section 20, Flora township, in 1868, where his home now stands. The land had been broken and there had been an old shanty on it, but it was burned at the time of the Indian uprising in 1862. He made a rude barn by driving stakes into the ground and covering the roof with straw. He had one ox team and at first borrowed a government wagon at St. Peter, but finally made one with wooden wheels. Beaver Falls was the nearest market and the grain was taken there to be ground. He now has three 80-acre tracts and has erected new buildings and raises good stock. He is a member of the school board and of the German Lutheran church. He helped build the church and was one of its trustees for several years.

Mr. Binger was married to Sophia Masemann in New York, and they have had ten children, eight of whom are living: Louis (deceased); Edward (deceased); William, a farmer of Emmet township; August, a farmer of Flora township; Dora, now Mrs. Gustave Mack, of Flora township; Bernhard, a farmer of Flora township; Henry, of Spokane, Wash.; Pauline, now Mrs. Thos. Zapf, of Spokane, Wash.; Herman, at home, farming with his father; and Marie, at home.


Berge T. Birk
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II; by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge (1916) Transcribed by sd

Berge T. Birk, jeweler, of Sacred Heart Village, was born in Norway, June 1, 1856, son of Targus and Elizabeth M. (Sudno) Birk, both of whom died in the old country. He came to America in 1884, lived in Illinois; from there went to Day County, South Dakota, there farmed for a while and later learned the jewelry trade, then engaged in the jewelry business in Hanley Falls, this state, until 1901, when he came to Sacred Heart and opened his present store. He has been successful, is a skilled workman, and has built up a large trade. He has been justice of the peace for the past twenty years, serving both in Hanley Falls and Sacred Heart. He is secretary of the Sacred Heart school board, and for three years has been president of the Sacred Heart Telephone Exchange.

Mr. Birk was married April 20, 1893, to Selma Dale, born in Murdock, Swift County, Minn., Oct. 2, 1875, daughter of Iver and Inga Dale, natives of Norway. The father died in 1913 at the age of sixty-seven. The mother still resides in Murdock. Mr. and Mrs. Birk are the parents of seven children: Blanche, born Sept. 4, 1894; Irene, born Nov. 2, 1896; Francis, born Jan. 23, 1901; Zeberg, born March 1, 1905; Theodore, born Nov. 11, 1907; Carl, born March 15, 1910; Ingvald, born Oct. 11, 1912.


Peter Bjorn
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II, by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge, C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916) transcribed by Vicki Bryan

Peter Bjorn was born in Sweden, April 19, 1854, son of John Johnson and Mary Peterson. His parents were farmers and charcoal burners. There were seven children in the family: John, Peter, Johan, Stena, Anna, Erick, and Henry. Peter was the only one of the children who came to the United States, coming in 1880 and landing at New York. He had been an iron worker in Sweden and went to Maine to work in the iron works there. He worked there for about a year and a half and then he went to Minnesota. At St. Paul he worked on the railroad in the summer and in the winter worked in the pineries. After four years of this work he went back to Sweden to visit his parents, remaining there for six months. On his return to the United States he came to Sacred Heart Township and, in 1886, he purchased a tract of land of 160 acres. There were some old buildings on the place when he bought it. He had a team, one cow, and a couple of chickens. He has now increased his farm to 200 acres and raises a good grade of stock, and has improved the farm in every way. Mr. Bjorn has held many township offices having been the assessor for two years, chairman of the board of supervisors for eight years and a member of the school board. He is also a member of the Swedish Church at Sacred Heart, and has been a deacon for many years. In the fall of 1885 Mr. Bjorn was united in marriage to Eliza Edlund, who was born in Sweden September 27, 1865. Her parents, John Bechman and Christina (Peterson) brought their family to the United States in 1868, locating in Sacred Heart Township, section 2. The father died after they had been here two years, leaving his wife with the two children, John and Elizabeth. Mrs. Bechman later married Peter Edlund. Mr. and Mrs. Bjorn have had three children, John and Melvin, both at home, and Anna, who died at the age of six. They have also had an adopted child, Christina, who died at the age of twenty-one.


Gustav A. Boemmels
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II, by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge, C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916) transcribed by sd

Gustav A. Boemmels, a well-to-do farmer in Cairo Township, was born July 27, 1879, in the Township where he still resides. His father Gotthard Boemmels, died in 1904 at the age of 64, and his mother, Emma (Sell), died in 1914, at the age of 63. His parents owned a farm in section 36, Cairo Township, which they bought in 1871. They were married in 1871 and had seven children, William, Edward (killed in a train wreck in 1909), Ernest, Gustav, Adolph, Lydia and Rhudy.

In 1907 Gustav A. Boemmels purchased the home place. He carries on general farming, and makes a specialty of Duroc Jersey hogs and Hereford and Holstein cattle. He has a barn 50 by 50, with room for fourteen horses and thirty-five cattle, and forty tons of hay. He has also a large hog barn 36 by 50, with concrete foundation with room for 150 hogs. The granary is 28 by 30 and has an elevator holding 4,000 bushels of grain. The chicken house is 16 by 43. The house is a large two story building, 18 by 34, with an ell, 18 by 26, with a basement under the main part ready to equip with steam heat. The farm is thoroughly tiled, four and a half cars of tile having been used at an expenditure of over $1,000. There are 340 acres of land of which 160 are in section 25. The land is all level, slightly rolling prairie land, the buildings being on the west side of the farm in a nice grove. Both Mr. and Mrs. Boemmels have attended the St. Paul Park College for two years, and Mrs. Boemmels graduated from the Music department in the spring of 1907. Mr. Boemmels has been the Township treasurer for four years. Mr. Boemmels was married June 14, 1911, to Verna Bothe, daughter of Henry Bothe, aged 58, a farmer living near St. Paul Park, and Louisa (Bang) aged 49. They have one son, Cyrus, born December 5, 1912, and one daughter, Murlies, born March 26, 1915.


Andrew Borstad
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II, H. C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916), transcribed by Mary Saggio.

ANDREW BORSTAD, successful farmer and thresher, was born on his father's farm in the southeast quarter of section 16, Camp township, July 31, 1875, son of Guilder and Annie (Kvaal) Borstad. He was reared on the home farm, educated in the public schools, and has devoted his life to agricultural pursuits. In September, 1915, he and his mother left the home farm and moved to Franklin, where they purchased a pleasant home in which they now reside. For several years he has devoted his attention every fall to threshing. He has a complete outfit and has been very successful in this line. He is a well-known man and is widely respected. While on the farm, Andrew Borstad and his mother made a home for the mother's sister, whose maiden name was Nickolina Kvaal. She was born Feb. 27, 1848, and was married May 15, 1881, to Hans Peterson, who settled in section 10, Camp township, in 1860, and died there in 1910 at the age of eighty. The family faith is that of the Norwegian Lutheran church.


Gunder Borstad
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II, H. C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916), transcribed by Mary Saggio.

GUNDER BORSTAD was born in Norway, Nov. 18, 1840, came to America in 1866, located in Goodhue county, remained there for three years, and. in 1869, came to Renville county and located on a homestead in Camp township, where he died Jan. 2, 1894. He was married Feb. 6, 1864, to Annie Kvaal, who was born in Norway, Dec. 27, 1842, and who lived on the home place until September, 1915. In the family there were seven children: Andrew, who was drowned at the age of nine years; Nels, who died at the age of two years; Inga, who married Olaus Dahl, a farmer of Camp township; Sarah, who married Louis Dahl, a blacksmith of Dawson, Minn.; Andrew, who operated the home farm until September, 1915; Gurina, who married A. H. Peterson; and Louisa, who married A. C. Wells.


Joseph Brannick
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II, by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge, C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916)- transcribed by Vicki Bryan

Joseph Brannick, a pioneer, was the son of Michael and Catherine (Martin) Brannick, of Kilkenney, Ireland, who came to Canada in 1812, and located at Osgood, near Ottawa. He brought his family to Renville County, June 7, 1872, and located in section 36, in Emmet Township, on a quarter section of land and built a log house, 16 by 20 feet, his son, Michael, helping his father cut the logs. Joseph Brannick lived on this place until his death in 1886, at the age of fifty-six years. His wife died in 1908, at the age of seventy-five years. During the time he lived in Renville County he served several years as a member of the school board. He was a member of the Catholic Church and the first meetings were held in his log cabin, until the members could build a church. The following children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Brannick: Michael, Canice, John, Mary, Bridget, Joseph, Anna, Johanna, James and Elizabeth. One died at the age of three weeks.


Michael J. Brannick
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II, by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge, C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916)- transcribed by Vicki Bryan

Michael J. Brannick, a prosperous Renville County farmer, was born in Ontario, Canada, July 12, 1856, son of Joseph and Anastasia Brannick, natives of Canada who, when he was in his teens, brought him to Renville County. He received all his early education in Canada and remained on the home farm in Renville County until he was twenty-five years old, when he located in section 28, obtaining 160 acres in Emmet Township. Few improvements had been made on this land. Mr. Brannick has erected good buildings, made many improvements and developments, and put the farm into a good condition. He raises thoroughbred Shorthorn cattle and Chester White hogs and keeps a good grade of horses. Mr. Brannick is a member of the Farmers' Elevator Company at Renville. He was married to Bridget Gavin, of Minneapolis, November 16, 1891, daughter of John and Catherine Hawley, who were early settlers of Minnesota, of Irish ancestry. Mr. and Mrs. M. J. Brannick have had ten children: Anna M., a teacher; Florence Marguerite, a teacher; Johanna (deceased); Bridget Theresa; Catherine Veronica (deceased); Frances Rose; Elinar Clara; Canice Joseph; Agnes Irene, and one who died in infancy.


Ferdinand H. Breitkreutz
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II, by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge, H. C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916), transcribed by Sheila Gruver.

A prosperous farmer of Flora township, was born Nov. 22, 1865, in Germany, son of Ferdinand and Anna (Strauch) Breitkreutz, who came to the United States by a sailing vessel with their two children, Ferdinand and Matilda, in 1867, being sixteen weeks on the ocean.  They landed at New York and went to Wisconsin, where they stopped a few weeks and then moved to Le Sueur county, Minnesota, where they settled on a farm of 40 acres.  In 1870 the family came to Renville county, coming in a covered wagon drawn by oxen.  The father had been to Renville county the year before and had located a homestead of 80 acres and a preemption claim of 80 acres in section 28, Flora township.  They lived in the wagon until the cabin was built, 14 by 20 feet, made of logs, and began breaking up the land with the oxen.  The early meetings of the German Lutheran church were held in this cabin, and Mr. Breitkreutz was an active worker in the church and Sunday school.  When in Le Sueur county, he had taught in the German parochial school during the winter.  He helped organize, and was a trustee of the Middle Creek Lutheran church of Flora township.  He improved his farm and built a good substantial frame house, the frame house and log cabin still standing across the road from the fine modern house erected by his son on the farm.  He prospered and added to this farm until he had 600 acres of land and kept a good grade of stock, having brought his hogs, cows and sheep with him from Le Sueur county.  In those early days his wife spun the wool into yarn and wove cloth.  He died in 1891 at the age of fifty-four years, and his wife is still living at the age of seventy-five years.  They had six children:  Matilda, Ferdinand, Emma, Hulda, Paul and Anna.  Ferdinand H. Breitkreutz grew to manhood on his father’s farm.  He took charge of 240 acres of the home farm and has gradually enlarged it, until now he has 870 acres.  He has built a modern house and barn and raises excellent stock.  Mr. Breitkreutz has been supervisor of the township for the past twenty years and has also held the office of treasurer.  He is a member of the German Lutheran church.  Mr. Breitkreutz was married in 1905 to Augusta Schmidt, daughter of Christian Frederick and Johanna Wilhelmina (Heimke) Schmidt, pioneers of Renville county, who left Germany in 1862, first coming to Wisconsin, then in 1868, located in Flora township, Renville county.  They came to the county by team and brought three children with them.  Mr. Schmidt secured a homestead of 80 acres in section 24, where he built a log cabin and improved the place, at his death having 480 acres of land.  He was born Nov. 17, 1836, and died March 11, 1908, at the age of seventy-one, and his wife was born Nov. 15, 1839, and died May 25, 1911, at the age of seventy-one years.  Their children were:  Herman, Richard, Ida, Reinhold, Martha, Anne, Bertha, Arnold, Frederick (deceased), and Augusta.  Mr. and Mrs. Breitkreutz have five children:  Herman, Alfred, Rhenhart, Herbert and Gerhart.


Paul C. Brevig
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II, by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge, C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916) transcribed by Vicki Bryan

Paul C. Brevig who, for many years, has taken an active part in the development and progress of Hawk Creek and vicinity, was born in Kalverdis, Prestigjeld, North Trondhjims Amt, his boyhood name being Paul Christian Petersen Brevig. His father was Peter Jacob Loeretsen Brevig and his mother Olava Nelsdatter Brevig. P. C. Brevig was born June 24, 1840, baptized July 26, 1840, and on July 15, 1855, was confirmed by the Rev. John Ludwig Lampe. He attended school and grew to manhood, and on June 17, 1866, was married to Folderieds Kirke, by the Rev. Knute Torkelson, to Anna Sophia Benjaminsdatter, daughter of Benjamin Nielsen Bjoraa and Sophia Berthilsdatter. Anna Sophia Benjaminsdatter was born in the same neighborhood as her husband, September 27, 1847, was baptized October 30, 1847, and was confirmed August 16, 1863, by the same minister who married her. She died May 31, 1909. On May 8, 1867, Mr. and Mrs. Brevig left Norway, determined to seek their fortunes and establish their new home in America. They reached Olmsted County, in this state, July 29, 1867, and there stayed some two years. There their oldest child was born. In May 1869, they set out with a party of home seekers from Olmsted County, and in due time reached Hawk Creek Township. Mr. Brevig homesteaded a claim in Section 4, and started life as a Minnesota pioneer. There were many privations to endure and hardships to overcome, but with true courage, he and his good wife worked together, and, as the years passed, developed one the best farms in the community. They raised a large family and gave them a good education, giving them a sound Christian upbringing. It was in 1904 that Mr. Brevig retired from the farm and moved to the village of Sacred Heart, where he engaged for a time in the banking business. He is not now actively engaged in business. He has erected a number of houses in Sacred Heart, and now lives in a sightly home, which he erected some years ago, facing the high school building. For many years, Mr. Brevig occupied a prominent position in the township, having served both as chairman of the town board and as township treasurer. For many years he was director in School District No. 42. He was on the board of the first Farmers Club organized in Hawk Creek. He has also been on the boards of the farmers' creamery, mill and warehouse at Sacred Heart. Mr. and Mrs. Brevig have been blessed with ten children, of whom four are dead. Neils Jorgen was born February 10, 1869, and is now cashier of the American Scandinavian Bank at Fargo, North Dakota. He married Mina Melsness. Oluf Leonard was born May 19, 1872, and is pastor of the Norwegian Synod Church at Plaza, North Dakota. He married Lena Ellison and has two children. Samuel Bernhof was born October 6, 1874, and is cashier of the State Bank of Baker, North Dakota. He married Thora Larson and has five children. Petra Julia was born April 19, 1876, and is now the wife of rev. I. B. Kilness, pastor of the Norwegian Lutheran Synod Church of Westby, Montana. They have seven children. Anna Christina was born August 13, 1877, and died August 16, 1886. Selma Louise was born July 6, 1879, and died August 12, 1886. Otto was born February 1, 1882, and died November 13, 1882. Emma Ovida was born August 25, 1883, and died August 6, 1886. Hanna Maria was born October 26, 1885, and died February 16, 1903. Anna Christina was born January 5, 1888, and is now Mrs. Victor Peterson, of Hawk Creek Township. They have three children.


Albert G. Briese
Source: The History of Renville, Minnesota, Illustrated Volume II by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge, H. C. Cooper Jr. & Co. Chicago (1916) transcribed by Grace Greenwald

Albert G. Briese, vice president of the First National Bank, of Fairfax, was born in Princeton, Wis., June 27, 1880, son of Gust and Mary (Fenske) Briese. Gust Briese was born on the ocean on a ship bound from Germany to America. He lived near Princeton, Wis., until 1892, and then came to Sibley county, this state. He now lives at Gibbon, in this state. Albert G. Briese remained with his parents until fifteen years of age. Then for three years he worked in Wellington and Cairo townships as a farm hand. In 1898 he began work for the Dickmeyer Implement Co., of Fairfax, and in 1907 became its manager. January 1, 1913, he was elected vice-president of the First National Bank, and January 20, 1915, upon the death of E. F. Sell, the president, he went into the bank as active manager. Mr. Briese was married June 6, 1906 to Sophia Dickmeyer, who was born August 18, 1887, daughter of Fred C. and Mary (Stark) Dickmeyer, retired farmers now living in Fairfax.

Mr. & Mrs. Briese have a son Walter. Another child died in infancy. The family faith is that of the German Lutheran church.


Martin D. Brown
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II, by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge, C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916) transcribed by sd

Martin D. Brown, postmaster of Fairfax, was born in Bullitt County, Kentucky, Jan. 7, 1857, second of the eight children of Michael and Katherine (Welsh) Brown. His parents were farmers, the father died in 1907 at the age of eighty years, and the mother in 1884 at the age of fifty years. Martin D. Brown attended the Taylorsville High School and St. Joseph's College at Bardstown, Kentucky, coming to Minnesota in 1879 and teaching country schools in Renville County for three years. In 1882 he engaged in the real estate and insurance business at Fairfax and has continued in that business ever since. His wife's father, John Welsh, owned the farm on which Fairfax is now located and Mr. Brown bought 120 acres in section 5, Cairo Township, which he platted into lots and called Brown's Addition to Fairfax. A part of these lots were sold and are now a part of the village. Mr. Brown has held several important positions in Fairfax, having been the justice of peace since 1890, village assessor for ten years and clerk of the school board for sixteen years. He was postmaster from 1894 to 1898 and on March 13, 1915, was again appointed to the position by President Woodrow Wilson.

Sept. 2, 1891, Mr. Brown was married to Bridget Welsh, daughter of John Welsh and Mary (Burke) Welsh. They have no children, but have raised the daughter of Mr. Brown's dead brother, Kathry L. Brown. She is now married to Ben. S. Kaufer, living in Sherman, near Los Angeles, California. Mr. Brown's wife was born Feb. 2, 1852. Her father, John Welsh, died in 1896 at the age of 84 years and her mother died in 1910 at the age of 70 years.


Olof and John Bryngelson
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II, by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge, C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916) transcribed by sd

Olof and John Bryngelson, successful farmers of Crooks Township, were born in Sweden, Olof, Aug. 17, 1865. and John, Jan. 14, 1868, sons of Bryngel and Lisa (Olson) Anderson. Of the family, Olof was the first to start for the United States, coming in 1886, and locating in Sibley County, this state, where he began working on farms. He earned enough to pay back the money loaned for his fare to America and then sent money to his brother John so that he could come. John came in 1888 and in 1893 all the rest of the family came except Elizabeth, who came in 1903. Olof and John formed a partnership and rented land. In 1893 they moved onto 160 acres of wild land in section 15, Crooks Township, which had been purchased in 1889. At once they set about improving and developing the farm and it soon became one of the best in the neighborhood. In 1896 they built a barn and in the spring of 1897 a house, 16 by 16 feet and 12 feet high. The entire family moved into this house. It has since been remodeled and is now a modern eight-room home. The brothers also began planting fruit trees and set out a windbreak. They now carry on general farming and raise a good grade of stock, and have enlarged their farm, until now it contains 320 acres. Olof owns 240 acres and John eighty acres.

John Bryngelson has been road overseer a few years and is the treasurer of School District No. 119. He has been a member of the board of directors of the Clover Line Farmers' Telephone Company. Olof Bryngelson is a member of the Renville Farmers' Elevator Company. The brothers are members of the Swedish Lutheran Church and helped to establish the church built in 1897, known as the Freedsburg Church. They both hold office in the church Olof being a trustee and John a deacon. Their sister Anna and their mother make their home with them.


William Buethe
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II, by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge, H. C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Chicago (1916), Transcribed by SueAnn McKnight.

William Buethe, an extensive land owner now living in Olivia, was born in Hesse, Germany, March 10, 1848, son of Henry and Wilhelmina (Meier) Buethe, who came to America in 1861, located in Will county, Illinois, engaged in farming for many years, and afterward retired to Monee Station, where they both died. William Buethe attended the schools of his native land, came to America with his parents in 1861, and located with them on a farm in Will county, Illinois, where he likewise attended school and where he grew to manhood, and learned farming from his father. He remained home until 1873 and then came to Renville county where he purchased a farm of 160 acres in the town of Birch Cooley and farmed about four years, after which he re moved to Winfield township and took a tree claim of 160 acres. He improved this claim, built up a fine farm, and added to the place from time to time until he owned 480 acres of the best land. In 1897 he rented his farm and moved to Olivia where he erected a splendid residence and where he is now, after a long and strenuous life filled with hard work and strenuous endeavor, spending the afternoon of life in the comfort which he so richly deserves. He still owns the 480 acre farm in Winfield township, and in addition to this has his five-acre tract in the village of Olivia, fourteen acres in Oregon, eighty acres in Wisconsin, and 220 acres in North Dakota. While in the township he was one of the most popular men in the community, and served on the township board for many years, was assessor thirteen years, and was treasurer or clerk of his school board at different times for many years. Since coming to the village he has served two years as assessor and eleven years as a member of the village council. He is a stock holder in the Olivia Canning Co. William Buethe was married in Will county, Illinois, Feb. 13, 1872, to Sophia Homeier, who was born in Hanover, Germany, June 23, 1853, daughter of Henry and Mary (Bergman) Homeier, natives of Germany who came to America in 1854, located in the town of Green Garden, Will county, Ill., and there engaged in farming until 1875, when they came to Renville county and located at Beaver Falls, in their latter days making their home with Mr. and Mrs. Buethe in Winfield township, where they died. Mr. and Mrs. Buethe have had eight children: William J., Henry, Minnie, August, Matilda, Rika, Ida, and George. William J. lives in Elesa, Minn., where he conducts a restaurant. He married Cora Smith and they have five children. Henry lives in Ruso, North Dakota, where he farms. He married Annie Doering, and they have eight children. Minnie lives in Clara City, Minn. She married Emil Yock and they con duct a general store. They have three children. August is a merchant at Paynesville, Minn. He married Edna Feeder and they have three children. Matilda lives in Clara City, Minn. She married George Schulte, a hardware merchant, and they have three children. Rika lives in Sheboygan, Wis. She married Julius Bruhm, a druggist, and they have one child, Ida lives in Bird Island, this county. She married Albert Baarch, a real estate dealer, and they have one child. George is proprietor of the Olivia Bottling & Ice Cream Co., of Olivia, and lives at home. The family faith is that of the German Lutheran church.


William H. Burghart
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II; by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge (1916) Transcribed by sd

William H. Burghart, a progressive farmer of Norfolk Township, was born in Brown County, Minnesota, Jan. 26, 1880, son of Daniel and Elenora (Adney) Burghart. The father was born Nov. 24, 1844, in Milwaukee, Wis., and came to Minnesota in 1868, spending most of his life in Brown County. The mother was born Oct. 24, 1855. In 1902 William H. Burghart began renting a farm in Birch Cooley Township and lived there for eight years. In 1910 he purchased 197 acres in sections 18 and 7 in Norfolk Township. He built a silo in 1910 with a capacity of 100 tons and feeds fifty cattle. He raises Percheron horses and Durham cattle and Chester White hogs, having forty brood sows and feeds one carload of hogs per year. He has built a large eight room house and a barn 34 by 40 by 12 feet. He has also built a fine granary and shed 30 by 38 feet which was completed in 1912. Mr. Burghart was married April 25, 1906, to Amelia M. Kern, born Sept. 7, 1886, daughter of John and Christina (Prehn) Kern. Mr. and Mrs. Burghart have three children: Clinton, born Feb. 2, 1907; Mayme lone, born Dec. 17, 1909, and Helen Merle, born May 10, 1915.


Charles C. Buscho
Source: The History of Renville County, Minnesota, Illustrated, Volume II; by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge (1916) Transcribed by sd

Charles C. Buscho, cattle dealer, was born July 26, 1890, in Beaver Falls Township, Renville County, Minnesota, son of William and Minnie Buscho, who came to Renville County in 1869, and now live in Morton. In 1910 Charles bought the home farm of 549 acres in sections 25, 26, 35 and 36 in Beaver Falls Township. In 1911 he built a new barn, 36 by 40 feet. He raises Shorthorn, Hereford and Galloway cattle, good swine and Percheron horses, making a specialty of feeding cattle and shipping about three carloads of cattle and eighty hogs each year. He also sells about seventy cords of wood in Redwood Falls and Morton each year, having 200 acres of standing timber. Mr. Busch is the treasurer of the Farmers' Co-operative Grain Company, at Morton, and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Morton. He was married June 19, 1912, to Ida Tretbar, born Nov. 13, 1891, daughter of Clemens Tretbar, aged seventy-nine years, a farmer and pioneer of Brown County and a veteran soldier, having served four years in the army, and 'Pauline (Flamme) Tretbar.

Mr. Tretbar had a notable Civil War record. He enlisted May 20, 1861, in Company K, Second New York Volunteer Infantry, and was discharged at New York City, June 20, 1863, by reason of the expiration of his service. Jan. 2, 1864, he enlisted in Company C, New Jersey Volunteer Cavalry, and served until Aug. 1, 1865. He served under Generals George B. McClellan, Ambrose E. Burnside, Joseph Hooker, U. S. Grant and Philip Henry Sheridan, and was in the battle of Bull Run, Shenandoah Valley, Winchester, Cross Keyes, Cedar Mountain, Manassas, Rappahannock, Chancellorsville, Battle of the Wilderness, Gello Tavern, two miles from Richmond, and Petersburg. He was wounded at Winchester while on the skirmish line. The history of the charges of his heroic companies is a part of the history of the nation.



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