Traill County ND Biographies

Page 1



THE PORTLAND STATE BANK was established in 1886 by George A. White, a sketch of whose life appears in this article. The following officers are now in charge: C. S. Edwards, president; C. L. Grandin, vice-president; George A. White, cashier; and P. M. Paulson, assistant cashier. Mr. White established the bank as a private institution and it was operated thus until 1890, under the name of the Citizens’ Bank and was then incorporated as a state bank, and G. A. White was cashier, K. H. Brunsdale was president, and N. G. Nyhus was vice-president. The capital stock was ten thousand dollars, and the surplus six thousand dollars, and the bank conducts a general banking, real estate and insurance business, and is one of the solid financial institutions of the state. [Source: Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota, Publ. 1900. Transcribed by Maggie Saggio]

THE GOOSE RIVER BANK, at Mayville, Traill county, was established in 1881 and enjoys the distinction of being the oldest institution of its kind in the county. It was incorporated as a state bank in 1891 and under the presidency of Chandler S. Edwards has become one of the sound financial enterprises of that section. The capital and surplus is sixty thousand dollars. N. K. Hubbard, L. B. Gibbs and J. A. Loomis founded it as a private bank. [Source: Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota, Publ. 1900. Transcribed by Maggie Saggio]



THOMAS OLIVER CHANTLAND

Thomas Oliver Chantland is a successful self-made man who as cashier of the Scandinavian-American Bank is closely associated with the business development of Grafton and throughout his life has displayed the spirit of enterprise which has been the dominant factor in the upbuilding of this state. He is a native son of North Dakota, his birth having occurred at Mayville, Traill county, October 30. 1883, a son of Iver W. and Lena (Berg) Chantland. The father, a native of Norway, was brought to America by his parents in 1852, when but four years of age. His father, Thomas T. Chantland, became a pioneer of Iowa after living for some time in Wisconsin, and throughout his life he engaged in farming. Iver W. Chantland was reared and educated in Iowa and in 1879 came to the territory of Dakota, settling at Mayville, where he engaged in general merchandising, becoming one of the pioneers of that section of the state. In 1901 he removed to Northwood, where he embarked in the lumber business, continuing his residence there until 1910, when he went to Meagher county, Montana. There he took up a homestead upon which he continued to live until his life's labors were ended in death on the 5th of May, 1913. He passed away at the age of sixty-six years. His wife, who was born near Albert Lea, Minnesota, was a daughter of Ole 0. Berg, a native of Norway, who died when Mrs. Chantland was quite young. She was then adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Jeremiah Arneson, who removed with their family to Traill county, settling on Goose river, near Mayville, where they have continuously resided since 1874. There Mrs. Chantland was reared and educated and she is now a resident of Larimore. By her marriage she became the mother of four children: Ellen J., the wife of Charles C. Eastgate, living in Larimore; Thomas Oliver, of this review; Gunhild J., the wife of H. A. Cherry, of Montana; and Peter W., a resident of Cando, North Dakota.

At the usual age Thomas O. Chantland became a pupil in the public schools of Mayville, passing through consecutive grades until he reached the high school, but ere his course was completed he put aside his textbooks at the age of fifteen in order to earn his own livelihood. He was first employed as a clerk in a general merchandise store at Mayville and followed that business for four years. He next secured a position in the Finley State Bank, serving first as bookkeeper but working his way upward to the position of assistant cashier. In 1907 he was chosen cashier of the Citizens State Bank at Sharon and there remained until 1913. He afterward became cashier of the Scandinavian-American Bank at Grafton and still acts in that capacity, which he has filled most creditably since 1914. His activity in banking circles has brought him a wide acquaintance and today as cashier he is active in the management and control of the Scandinavian-American Bank, which has a paid-up capital stock of fifty thousand dollars, check deposits of over sixty thousand dollars, time certificates of deposit amounting to more than one hundred thousand dollars and savings deposits of more than ninety thousand dollars. Its loans and discounts amount to two hundred and twenty-four thousand dollars. The bank's statement shows the institution to be in an excellent financial condition.

Mr. Chantland was married at Finley, July 6, 1910, to Miss Florence M. Taisey, a native of Mayville and a daughter of Elmer E. and Bessie (Wilson) Taisey. Her father was a pioneer of Finley and an early settler of Mayville and belonged to one of the prominent and influential families of the state, occupying a leading position in banking circles. Mr. and Mrs. Chantland have become parents of two children: Donald T., born in Sharon, October 25, 1912, and Philip R., born in Fargo, July 16, 1914.

Mr. Chantland is a Master Mason, belonging to the lodge at Grafton. He is also identified with the Lutheran church and he has membership in the Commercial Club. He exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the republican party and has made a creditable record as a citizen by reason of his stalwart support of the best interests of the community in which he resides. North   {Source: Dakota History And People; Outlines of American History Volume 3; S. J. Clarke Publishing Company; Chicago, 1917.  Submitted by Jim Dezotell.]


CHANDLER S. EDWARDS, the present president of the above named institution (Goose River Bank), was born in West Lebanon, New Hampshire, November 13, 1863, and was the elder of two sons born to Rev. Dr. J. H. and Caroline (Starr) Edwards. His father now resides in the city of New York.
Mr. Edwards while engaged in academic work was forced to give up his studies on account of failing health and at the age of seventeen years, in 1881, went to Traill county, North Dakota, where he accepted a position as bookkeeper on the Mayville farm and held the place until 1886. He then purchased a partnership in the bank with which he is now associated and became cashier and in 1893 became president. In company with Mr. Grandin, under the firm name of Grandin & Edwards, he also operates a general real estate and insurance business.
Mr. Edwards was married, in 1899, to Alice Crandall. Mr. Edwards is a young man of exceptional business tact and executive ability and he enjoys the confidence of the business men among whom he resides. He is energetic, intelligent and progressive and is one of the rising young men of North Dakota. Politically, he is a Republican and is a man of broad ideas and one who keeps pace with public events. He is also interested in large tracts of the best farming land in the Red river valley of North Dakota, which he rents and sells on the crop payment plan to farmers in small tracts, which is of great benefit to the state by settling up lands with actual bona fide settlers. In fact, he has made a specialty of splitting up large tracts of land into small farms and selling to actual settlers. He is also president of the Portland State Bank, of Portland, North Dakota, and president of the Cummings State Bank, of Cummings, North Dakota, and a director in the Clifford State Bank, of Clifford, North Dakota. [Source: Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota, Publ. 1900. Transcribed by Maggie Saggio]


OLE EIELSON. As an all around prominent man of Hatton, there is probably no one of its citizens who more justly deserves the title than Mr. Eielson. He is yet in the prime of vigorous manhood, intelligent and well educated, and as such is highly esteemed and respected. He is one of the leading merchants of that thriving town, and handles furnishing goods and groceries.
Our subject was born in Vernon county, Wisconsin, March 27, 1863, and was the fifth in a family of eight children, born to Even and Gunild (Olson) Eielson. His parents were natives of Norway, and the father now resides in Wisconsin.
When thirteen years of age our subject entered a store at Chaseburg, Wisconsin, and spent eight years clerking in the store and selling machinery. He went to Hatton, North Dakota, in the spring of 1884, and entered the employ of Hegge & Nelson and clerked for them about six years, and then formed a partnership with C. Gunderson in the general merchandise business in Hatton, and after one year the business was conducted by E. Eielson, our subject’s brother, and for whom he clerked about two years. In 1894 the firm of Thompson & Eielson was established and in 1896 our subject became sole owner of the business and now conducts the same with success.
Mr. Eielson was married, in 1892, to Miss Olive Baalson, a native of Minnesota. Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Eielson, as follows: Elma, Edwin, Benjamin and Adaline. Mr. Eielson is a member of the Lutheran church, and is an exemplary citizen. He takes an active part in local affairs of a public nature, and is now president of the village board of directors, and is also a member of the school board. All enterprises or improvements tending toward the upbuilding of the town meet with his hearty approval and support, and he is one of the well-known young men of Traill county. Politically he is a Republican, and has attended numerous county conventions of his party. [Source: Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota, Publ. 1900. Transcribed by Maggie Saggio]


BENEDICT B. GRINLEY, of the firm of Hangom & Grinley, the sole hardware merchants of Portland, is a gentleman of excellent characteristics and has won his way to a goodly competence and prominence as a citizen by persistent and faithful efforts. He is a young man of good education and business ability and his success in North Dakota is assured.
Our subject was born in Bergen Stift, Norway, December 11, 1867, and was the younger of two sons born to Bottolf and Olena (Bredlie) Gronlee. Six children were born of his mother’s second marriage. The family came to America when our subject was two years of age, and settled in Dane county, Wisconsin, and when he was six years of age the father died, and the mother afterward remarried and a home was made in Vernon county, Wisconsin. Our subject left home at the age of fourteen years, and worked at farm labor during the summer months, and attended school winters, and thus earned his own living. He worked three years as assistant engineer in a sash and door factory in Merrill, and then attended school about one year in Freeborn county. He went to Dakota in 1886 and worked on a farm and also operated a transfer line in Portland, and then returned East for a time, and in 1892 took up his residence in Dakota. He entered the Buflat Academy in 1893, and took a business course, and was then employed in the hardware store of M. J. Akins for two years. The firm of Hangom & Grinley was formed in 1895, and purchased the business of Mr. Akins, and is now the only firm of the kind in Portland. They have a liberal patronage and are prosperous merchants.
Our subject was married, in 1896, to Miss Olene Skarprud. One daughter has been born to bless the home of Mr. and Mrs. Grinley, upon whom they have bestowed the name of Lillian O. Mr. Grinley is actively interested in local affairs and has served on the city council. He is a Republican in political sentiment and a leader in local movements of his party. [Source: Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota, Publ. 1900. Transcribed by Maggie Saggio]

PEDER J. HOFF, one of the most successful and efficient druggists of Dakota, is proprietor of a fine establishment in Sheldon, where he makes his home, and is also interested in the same business in Enderlin. He is a gentleman of excellent education, and speaks the English, German and Scandinavian languages fluently, which adds to his success in the locality in which he has chosen his work.
Mr. Hoff was born in Skein, Norway, December 26, 1855. His parents, Peder and Carry Hoff, retired from a lucrative mercantile business and came to America when our subject was sixteen years of age. Mr. Hoff completed a high-school education in his native land, and at the age of fourteen years took up the study of medicine, and upon his arrival in Chicago, Illinois, he obtained work in a drug store and attended the lectures of the Chicago School of Pharmacy. He entered the Lutheran College of Decorah, Iowa, in 1874, and remained there a year and a half, following which he worked in a drug store in Baldwin, Wisconsin, one year, and in Zumbrota, Minnesota, about eight years. He went to Baxton, Dakota, in 1883, and practiced medicine one year, and then purchased a drug business in Portland. He established his present business in 1885, since which time he has purchased the business of two competing firms, and is now the sole druggist of Sheldon, and also owns a part interest in the drug store at Enderlin. He is considered one of the best pharmacists in the state, and enjoys an extensive patronage.
Our subject was married, in the spring of 1881, to Miss Sarah Shirley. Mr. and Mrs. Hoff are the parents of five children, as follows: Carl, deceased; Stella, deceased; Etta, Lillian and Norman. Mr. Hoff has taken the thirty-third degree in the Masonic fraternity, and is also a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and Independent Order of Odd Fellows. In political faith he his a Republican, and advocates prohibition. He is well known in his community and has a host of friends. [Source: Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota, Publ. 1900. Transcribed by Maggie Saggio]

MATT JOHNSON
Throughout his business career Matt Johnson has been identified with newspaper work and is now editor and proprietor of the Omemee Herald, published at Omemee, Bottineau county. He has also taken a very prominent part in local politics and has been called upon to fill public positions of honor and trust.

Mr. Johnson was born in Northwood, Worth county, Iowa, February 1, 1872, and is a son of Knute W. and Mathia (Amundson) Johnson, natives of Norway. The mother was only three years of age on her arrival in this country. The father came to the new world during the administration of President Pierce and at the time of the Civil war enlisted in Company B, Seventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and remained in the service until hostilities ceased.

Matt Johnson was about seven years of age when the family came to North Dakota, and he was educated in the public schools of Traill county. At the age of thirteen he began learning the printer's trade, at which he served a five years' apprenticeship, and has since devoted the greater part of his time and attention to newspaper work. At the age of eighteen he began the publication of a paper at Caledonia and was later similarly employed at Shelly and Halstad, Minnesota. In 1901 he came to Bottineau county, North Dakota, and took up a homestead, which he sold three years later. He has been connected with two different papers in Bottineau and in 1905 purchased the Omemee Herald, which he has since conducted with most gratifying success.

Mr. Johnson is a member of the Masonic fraternity and politically is identified with the republican party. His fellow citizens, recognizing his worth and ability, elected him to the state legislature in 1909, and he has also served as village clerk of Omemee and clerk of the district court from 1911 to 1915. He is public-spirited and progressive and never withholds his support from any worthy enterprise.   {Source: Dakota History And People; Outlines of American History Volume 3; S. J. Clarke Publishing Company; Chicago, 1917.  Submitted by Jim Dezotell.]  

THOMAS McCOY, residing on section 24, in Kelso Township, is one of the first settlers of Traill County and has become one of the most prominent and influential citizens. He conducts an extensive farm, which he has acquired by dint of energetic efforts, and his high standing as a farmer and his pleasant surroundings are the result of his well spent career.
Our subject was born in Lanark County. Upper Canada, November 20, 1847, and was the eighth in a family of eleven children born to Neil and Rose (McNaughton) McCoy. His parents were born in Ireland and his father, who is now over ninety years of age, resides on the old homestead in Canada.
Mr. McCoy was reared to farming and as a woodsman and was thus occupied in Canada until 1873, when he went to Ottertail County, Minnesota, and in the spring of 1877; after losing his crops in Minnesota, he went to North Dakota and accepted a position as foreman of Division No. 2 on the Grandin farm, and was thus employed eight years. He filed on land in 1877, on which his wife lived, and there Mrs. McCoy contributed her share to pioneering. In 1885 Mr. McCoy began farming about four hundred acres of land for himself and he is now the owner of one thousand acres. His farm is well drained by the Elm river, which passes through it, and the entire estate bears evidence of the best of management and careful tillage. Mr. McCoy has been remarkably successful in his farming deals, on one occasion, in 1891, purchasing a half-section of land and the same fall gathering sufficient crop from the tract to pay for the land and have a good balance. This land has since doubled in value and is one of the best yielding tracts of the entire farm.
Our subject was married, in 1875, to Miss Catherine Tierney. Nine children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. McCoy, as follows: William, now at home; Minnie; Vincent, a student of Morehead Normal School; Annie, a student of the academy at Fargo; Annastacia, a student of the academy at Grand Forks: Ambrose; Celia; Tessie and Alfred. Mr. McCoy has served as chairman of the township board and in various local offices, and was elected County commissioner in 1889, serving two terms. Mr. McCoy is one of the few men of Democratic faith who has been elected to county offices and he is popular with all, regardless of party interests. He is a member of the Catholic church and is an exemplary citizen and one who enjoys well-merited success.
[Source: Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota, Publ. 1900. Transcribed by Laurel Durham]



HON. OLE G. NELSON
Among the better class of agriculturists of Traill county, whose active public spirit and intelligent worth are recognized by the people, the gentleman above named is deserving of a foremost rank.  He is one of the most extensive farmers of that locality, and his home in section 8, of Morgan township, is one of comfort, while aside from gaining a competence he has also acquired an enviable reputation as a citizen.  A portrait of Mr. Nelson appears on another page.
Our subject was born in Rock county, Wisconsin, December 9, 1858, and was the oldest in a family of six children born to Thore and Kjirstine (Tandberg) Nelson.  His parents were natives of Norway, and are now residents of Stewartsville, Minnesota.  The father settled in Olmsted county, Minnesota, during the early days of that region s settlement, and followed farming on his father s estate.
Mr. Nelson completed his education by a business course at Rochester, Minnesota, and in the spring of 1881 went to Traill county, North Dakota, where his father, in 1879, had taken land.  The buildings of our subject s home now stand on that tract, which was relinquished to him.  He took three cows, a team of horses, wagon, and two head of young stock to the pioneer home and had about one hundred dollars in cash, but this rapidly disappeared in the erection of a 12x14-foot shanty, which was six feet high.  This building has since been converted into a chicken house, and Mr. Nelson remarks that he sided it up and plastered it, and made it fit for the chickens.   He resided in the house as it built for five years, and then added more room and resided therein until 1889, when his present comfortable residence was constructed.  He now owns one of the largest farms of the township, and six hundred and forty acres of land is under cultivation and three and a half acres are devoted to a fine grove of trees.  Surface water is abundant, and the farm is admirably adapted to general farming.
Our subject was married, in 1879, to Miss Gulbjor Hanson, a native of Norway.  Eleven children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Nelson, as follows:  Theodore, born January 26, 1880, now a student at Mayville Normal; Clarence, born August 18, 1881, also a student at Mayville Normal; Mina, born May 18, 1883; Alfred, born November 14, 1884; Elmer, born May 20, 1886; Clara, born December 30, 1887; Ida, born September 20, 1889; Emma, born December 12, 1891; Olevia, born December 20, 1893; Georgiana, born July 24, 1895; and Stella, born February 28, 1898.  Mr. Nelson is a member of the Lutheran church.  He was elected a member of the board of supervisors soon after taking up his residence in what was then Garfield township, now Morgan township, and in 1885, upon organization of Morgan township, he became first assessor.  He was rapidly pushed to the front in all public affairs of county and state, and in 1898 was elected a representative in the state legislature.  While a member of that body he served on the following committees:  Appropriations, ways and means, municipal corporations, forestry and education.  He has taken an active interest in school affairs, and enjoys popularity for his earnest work in his community.
[History Biography of North Dakota. Transcribed by Mary Saggio] 


OLUF NELSON

  Oluf Nelson is conducting a blacksmith and repair shop at Clifford and has been very successful in that connection, building up a large and profitable patronage. His birth occurred near Bergen, Norway, April 26, 1864, and he is a son of Nels and Helga (Oleson) Nelson, the former of whom is still living in Norway, while the latter passed away in that country.
Oluf Nelson, who is one of seven living children of a family of fifteen, was reared and educated in Norway, where he remained until he was about twenty-three years of age. He emigrated to America in 1887 and, making his way at once to the northwest, located in Traill county, North Dakota. He learned the blacksmith's trade while in Norway and after arriving here established a shop in Clifford. He does all kinds of blacksmithing and his shop is well equipped for general repair work. He is a very skillful artisan and is well patronized by the people of Clifford and the surrounding country. He not only does general machine repairing but has specialized to some extent in automobile repairing. He owns stock in the Farmers Elevator Company and in the Traill County Telephone Company and is in very comfortable circumstances.
In 1902 Mr. Nelson was united in marriage to Miss Mary Erickson, also a native of Norway, by whom he had five children, Hilda, Norman, Otto, Mabel and Olga. The wife and mother passed away in 1911 and was laid to rest in the Norman cemetery.
Mr. Nelson endorses the principles of the republican party and is now serving as one of the supervisors of Norman township. His religious faith is that of the Lutheran church and its teachings guide his life. His success is doubly creditable in that it is due entirely to his own efforts and although he has given the greater part of his time and attention to the building up of his business interests he has found opportunity to cooperate with movements seeking the general welfare and is recognized as a man of public spirit.
North Dakota History and People: Outlines of American History, Volume 2; By: Clement Augustus Lounsberry; The S. J. Clarke publishing company, 1917 Submitted by Jennifer Zimmerman


HON. THOMAS E. NELSON, a member of the general merchandise firm of Hegge & Nelson, of Hatton, is a man of good business qualifications, and has been closely connected with the financial and social growth of that thriving town, and is one of the pioneer merchants.
Our subject was born in Land, Norway, November 6, 1853, and was the fourth of eight children born to Erick and Karen (Thorston) Nelson, both of whom are living in Wisconsin. He came to America in 1862 and began at farm work in Vernon county. Wisconsin. He attended business college at La Crosse, and also worked in a hardware store and in the office of the city treasurer. In the spring of 1882 the present firm was formed, and our subject went to Dakota in quest of a location to establish a general merchandise business. He went directly to Portland and soon located in Hatton, and there established the first general store which located there permanently. They placed their stock in a i6x24-foot building and began what has resulted in a very profitable and prosperous business. They moved to their present location in 1884, and are now among the prominent business men of the town.
Our subject was married, in 1887, to Aliss Matilda Nelson. Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Nelson, as follows : Alice C, Edgar, Evelyn and Franklin A. Mr. Nelson was elected as a state representative in 1894, and while a member of the house served on the ways and means and appropriation committees, and was identified with railroad legislation. He is a Republican in political sentiment, and is a supporter of prohibition movements, and has attended numerous county and state conventions of his party. He is well known for his active public spirit, and every enterprise for the upbuilding of the town has met with his hearty approval and support. A portrait of Mr. Nelson is presented with this sketch.
Source: Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota, Publ. 1900. Transcribed by Dena Whitesell


REV. GUSTAV OFTEDAL, pastor of the United Lutheran church, of Buxton, and three outlying churches, has accomplished creditable work since taking charge in Dakota, and has endeared himself to his people. He is a gentleman of excellent education, refined, and earnest in his work, and his success is well merited. Our subject was born in Stavanger, Norway, February 22, 1856, and was the fifth in a family of seven children born to Sven and Gunhild (Stokke) Oftedal. His father was a teacher and cashier of a bank, and his sons were given the best educational advantages. Our subject entered the university in Christiania and completed a law course, graduating with the class of '72, and afterward practiced law a few months, and then became president of the telegraph station at Arendal. He began the study of theology in 1875, intending to devote himself to church work in Norway; but before completing his studies he was called to Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1877, and soon took charge of one of the leading congregations of that city and St. Paul, and after four years went to Alexandria, Minnesota, and there assumed charge of seven congregations in three different counties. He went to Richland county, North Dakota, in 1884, and in 1889 to Buxton. The Buxton United Lutheran congregation, of which he now has charge, was organized in 1887 by Saugstad, and consisted upon the arrival of our subject of fourteen families. Mr. Oftedal reorganized the congregation with the same number of families, and it has steadily increased to twenty families. A handsome church building was erected in 1893, and is acknowledged as the finest edifice of the kind in that part of the county, and is valued at five thousand, five hundred dollars. Grue congregation, which is also under the charge of our subject, consists of about thirty families, and the church building is located on section 24, in East Buxton township, and is valued at three thousand, five hundred dollars. St. Olaf congregation consists of about thirty-three families, with a church building valued at five thousand, five hundred dollars, located in Americus township, in Grand Forks county. North Prairie congregation consists of seventeen famines with a church building on section 16, in Logan township, valued at two thousand, five hundred dollars. These congregations represent about one hundred families, and property, including churches and parsonages, valued at about twenty thousand dollars, all without debt and erected since 1892, under the supervision of our subject. The growth of the denomination has been remarkable, and their pastor commands the respect and love of those among whom he labors. Our subject was married, in 1873, to, Miss Octavia Berg. Ten children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Oftedal. as follows: Hans P., a medical student ; Gunhild, a well-known teacher of Traill county, and a musical student of the Minneapolis Conservatory ; Trygve, deceased ; Arne, also studying medicine in Hamline University ; Gustav, who is devoting himself to farming ; Sverre, at home ; Axel ; Trygve; Laura and Olga. Mr. Oftedal is a stanch Prohibitionist, and is an earnest worker for that cause.
[Source: Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota, Publ. 1900. Transcribed by Susan Ripley]


ALBERT M. PRATT.
The maturer years of this gentleman have been devoted to the pursuit of agriculture and he has met with success and is proprietor of a fine farm in Amenia township. He was among the early settlers of that region and his labors have been extended toward its development and advancement and his name is closely connected with the history of his community. He is thoroughly practical and prudent and by these characteristics has acquired a comfortable home.
Our subject was born in Sagadahoc county, Maine, April 24, 1857, and was a son of Charles and Lottie (Woodworth) Pratt, both of whom were natives of Maine. The father was a ship carpenter by trade and still resides in his native state. The grandfather of our subject, Jonathan Pratt, was also a native of Maine, and was a carpenter and lived and died in his native state. Four sons and two daughters comprised the family of which our subject was a member and he is the only one residing in North Dakota.
Mr. Pratt was reared in Maine. He went to Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1878, and there learned the carpenter's trade and remained there until 1880, when he went to Cass county, North Dakota, and took land as a homestead in Traill county, but soon afterward disposed of the claim. He settled in Amenia township and worked some years for the Amenia & Sharon Lumber Company as foreman of carpenter work and in 1889 purchased land and has followed farming thereon continuously since. He is now the fortunate possessor of one half-section of land, which he has fully improved, and has prospered in his vocation.
Our subject was married, in 1883, to Lizzie Plumber, a native of Massachusetts. Five children have been born to bless the home of Mr. and Mrs. Pratt, named as follows: Florence C., Edith E., Theron R., Marion L. and Verna B. Mr. and Mrs. Pratt are members of the Congregational Church and are highly respected throughout that locality. Mr. Pratt is a director of the Congregational Church. He is active in public affairs and assisted in organizing Amenia township and has served in various local offices and is at present a member of the town board. He holds membership in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
[Source: Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota, Publ. 1900. Transcribed by Janice Louie]


OLAUS A. PRESTRUD
who, since his boyhood days, has been a resident of Dakota, has developed a fine farm in Preston Township and makes his home on section 6. His residence, in course of construction, is a substantial and commodious structure, 24 x 32 feet, with fourteen-foot posts, and a stone cellar, 12 x 14 feet, and together with the other improvements on the place, evidences the thrift and prosperity enjoyed by our subject.
Mr. Prestrud was born in Norway, February 25, 1860. When eight years of age, he came with the family, consisting of five children and the parents, Anders and Martha (Hariestad) Prestrud, to America, locating in Fillmore County, Minnesota. He went to Valley City, Dakota, in the fall of 1879 and worked at farm labor, and in 1881 entered claim to land on which he built a sod shanty, 8 x 10 feet, which was his bachelor home for two years. He had no implements or stock, and hired eight acres of his land broke, and his father broke an additional two acres for him, and by using his father s team in exchange for work he soon had a good start, and in 1883 purchased a yoke of cattle. He and his brother built a frame house in 1882 on the dividing line between their farms, and they lived together until 1894. Mr. Prestrud follows general farming, and intends developing the cattle industry. His farm is well adapted to that line of agriculture, and plenty of good water is pumped by a windmill to facilitate the work.
Our subject was married in 1894 to Miss Anna Nelson. Mr. and Mrs. Prestrud are the parents of three children, as follows: Mabel J., Palmer A. and Carl W. Mr. Prestrud is a prominent in local affairs, and is at present township clerk, school clerk and justice of the peace. He has been a delegate to numerous County conventions, and takes an active part in the affairs of the Populist party. He is a member of the Lutheran church, and is a man upon whom the people look with favor, and well merits his success.
[Source: Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota, Publ. 1900. Transcribed by Laurel Durham]



COLONEL WILLIAM H. ROBINSON, treasurer and general manager of Beidler & Robinson Lumber Company, with headquarters in Mayville, is a gentleman of much executive ability and is widely known as an intelligent and public-spirited citizen.  He is identified with various financial enterprises in that part of the state, and has made a success of life, winning his way upward by energetic efforts and faithful service.
Our subject was born in Chicago, Illinois, October 21, 1843, and was the eldest of a family of five children born to Henry and Jane (Hutchings) Robinson.  His parents were natives of England, and the mother still lives at Albert Lea, Minnesota.  After entering upon his business career Mr. Robinson was called to defend his country, and enlisted, in 1861, in Company F, Thirty-ninth Illinois Volunteer Infantry.  Returning from the war, he began clerking for J. Biedler Lumber Company in Chicago, and was with that firm about twelve years, and in 1876 began for himself in Allerton, Iowa, and in 1882 disposed of his Iowa interests and arrived at Portland, Dakota, in May, and under the firm name of Beidler & Robinson established the lumber business at Portland, and in 1885 the firm of Beidler & Robinson Lumber Company was incorporated.  They now have twenty-six lumber yards in North Dakota and Minnesota.  Soon after the incorporation of the company the headquarters were taken up in Mayville, and the business of the company has been more than successful.  Mr. Robinson is also a junior member of the firm Dibley & Robinson, dealers in steel combination and wood bridges, the firm having headquarters at Fargo.  Mr. Robinson is also an Indian trader at Standing Rock agency at Fort Yates, North Dakota.
Our subject was married in 1870 to Miss Lillian Abbott, of Chicago.  One daughter was born to this union, who is now Mrs. R. H. Bush, of Grand Forks.  Mr. Robinson was married in 1896 to Miss Edith Anderson.  Mr. Robinson was a member of the senate in the first state legislature, and did very efficient work toward passing the prohibition bill through the senate.  He also assisted in securing the location of the State Normal at Mayville.  He is prominent in public affairs, and has been prominently identified with the Republican party of the state; was a delegate to the Minneapolis national convention, and attended the St. Louis convention and was there elected national committeeman for North Dakota.  He was chairman of the state central committee during three campaigns, and at present is chairman of the state central committee and a member of the national committee.  Mr. Robinson is a Knight Templar and thirty-second-degree Mason, and also holds membership in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
[Source: Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota, Publ. 1900. Transcribed by Brenda Shaffer]


LUDVIG M. ROCKNE
Ludvig M. Rockne, filling the office of superintendent of schools in Renville county, his home being in Mohall, was born near Mayville, North Dakota, March 22, 1861, a son of Iver L. and Martha C. (Larson) Rockne, who are both natives of Norway. The father was two years of age when brought by his parents to the United States in 1852. He was reared in Iowa and in Minnesota and he visited Dakota even before it was created a territory. It was in the home of his uncle near Vermilion, South Dakota, that Dr. William Jayne, the first governor of Dakota territory, was inaugurated. In 1877 Iver L. Rockne became a resident of Traill county, North Dakota, where he took up a homestead. Two years later he was elected county treasurer of that county and faithfully and acceptably filled the office until 1883. For many years thereafter he successfully engaged in farming in this state and he and his wife are now living upon a farm in Minnesota.

Ludvig M. Rockne was reared in Traill county and was graduated from the high school of Hillsboro with the class of 1899. After teaching for a year he entered the State University and was graduated with the class of 1904, receiving the Bachelor of Arts degree. He then went to Lidgerwood and was assistant principal of schools at that place for a year. He afterward spent a year as principal of the schools of Petersburg, at the end of which time he accepted the position of principal of the schools in Mohall, which position he occupied for two years. He then turned his attention to newspaper work, publishing the Mohall News for more than five years. In 1914 he was elected county superintendent of schools and in 1916 was reelected to that office. He has done much to promote the standard of education, has closely studied the conditions of the schools and the possibilities for improvement and while working toward high ideals has used most practical methods.

On the 23d of July, 1913, Mr. Rockne was united in marriage to Miss Alma M. Jordahl, of Lake Park, Minnesota, a daughter of Peter and Elizabeth Jordahl, who were natives of Norway and in early life came to the new world. The father served for three years with a Minnesota regiment in defense of the Union during the Civil war and the grandfather was also for three years numbered among those who defended the country's interests at the front. The father purchased land near Lake Park, Minnesota, and there carried on farming throughout his remaining days, his death occurring in 1895. His widow still survives.

Ludvig M. Rockne served as clerk of the school board for five years and as justice of the peace for two years and in 1911 was first assistant secretary of the senate. His public duties have ever been discharged in a most prompt and efficient manner, his labors being productive of good results. His political allegiance has always been given to the republican party. Fraternally he is connected with the Masons, was secretary of the local lodge for three years, and is now master of the lodge. His religious faith is that of the Lutheran church. He is treasurer of the Northwestern Educational Association, which meets at Minot once a year and has a membership of over five hundred. He was president of the elementary section of the state association for one year and was secretary for a similar period. His entire life has been spent in the northwest and the spirit of modern enterprise and progress which has dominated this section of the country has found expression in his entire career. He has contributed much to the progress of the community along various lines and he has never made wealth the standard of successful attainment, realizing the essential value of intellectual and moral as well as material development.   {Source: Dakota History And People; Outlines of American History Volume 3; S. J. Clarke Publishing Company; Chicago, 1917.  Submitted by Jim Dezotell.]


REV. JOHAN R. RORVIK, pastor of Immanuel Norwegian Lutheran Synod, Hillsboro, is a gentleman of culture and intelligence and since taking up his labors in North Dakota has endeared himself to the people of Traill county. The church over which he presides has prospered since he assumed charge and much credit is accorded him for his earnest and unceasing labors for its growth.
Mr. Rorvik was born in Bergen stift, Norway, April 17, 1863, and was the second in a family of six children born to Johan and Petrine (Johnsen) Rorvik, both of whom live in Norway. His father is a wealthy farmer and resides near the coast and devotes his winters to fishing.
Our subject passed his early youth at his native place and when seventeen years of age left home for academic work, preparatory to entering Hauges Minde College in Christiania, with the idea of preparing himself for ministry. He began college life at Christiania when nineteen years of age and completed a three-years course, receiving a degree corresponding to that of B.A. He emigrated to America in 1885 and began working in a furniture store in Minneapolis and in 1886, as soon as finances would permit, began his studies in Luther Seminary at Madison, Wisconsin, and completed a three-years course in theology. He was ordained a minister in the summer of 1889 and given charge at Brainerd, Minnesota, which he held until 1892 and then took his present charge at Hillsboro. The Synod Lutheran church was organized in 1892 by Rev. J. Inglestad, and at the time of our subject taking charge of the pastorate numbered about fifteen families. The membership has increased steadily since that time and now numbers about forty families. The church edifice was built in 1893, and is a wooden structure, but has the largest seating capacity of any church in the city. It is handsomely finished and is one of the leading churches of the county.
Mr. Rorvik was married, in 1890, to Miss Anna Lysne, a native of Northfield, Minnesota. Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Rorvik, as follows: Ragnar (died within a year), Agnes, Rolf and Hilda. Mr. Rorvik is a Prohibitionist and takes an active interest in temperance work.
[Source: Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota, Publ. 1900. Transcribed by Kim Mohler]



MARTIN L. RUDE, one of the prominent citizens of Hillsboro, Traill county, deals in city real estate there and has become well-to-do by industrious habits and careful management. He has passed through various experiences and is now spending his declining years amid the most pleasant surroundings and esteemed by his fellow men.
Our subject was born in Sulerud, in Eidsberg, Norway, September 18, 1851, and was the sixth in a family of eight children born to Lars and Maria (Olsen) Evensen, both of whom are deceased.
At seven years of age our subject was adopted by a wealthy land owner and remained on his farm until fourteen years of age and then went to Christiania and attended billiard tables in Masonic Temple. He soon obtained work on board a steamer as steward and when fifteen years of age engaged on a large passenger steamer on trips between Tronjehm, Christiania and Hamburg. He then decided to devote himself to navigation, and began the study of the same and March 4, 1866, passed the examination and soon afterward shipped as seaman on the Madammen and made four trips to France and a trip to Antwerp and Belgium. Shipping on another vessel, he made Newcastle, Constantinople, Odessa and back to Malta, Gibraltar, and thence to England. From there he went to his native country and thence to Cardiff, Wales, and from there came to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He remained sixteen days viewing the wonders of the New World and then shipped for Hongkong. The ship was wrecked near Montevideo, on a coral reef, the crew took to boats and only thirteen of twenty-one on board were saved. Our subject arrived at Montevideo arrayed simply in his underclothes. He next joined the United States navy and remained twelve months, the last three of which he served on the gunboat Wasp, under command of the now famous Sampson. After this he made two voyages, the first in a Norwegian vessel to the East Indies and back to Rosaria, and the final trip was on the Harold around the Horn to the Maccabee Isles, thence to Londonderry, from which place he soon took passage for America. He arrived on our shores in 1873 and after a visit at his father s in Douglas county, Minnesota, devoted himself to whatever he could find as employment, railroading, lumbering, contracting, etc., and for about two years worked for McMullen & Company of Minneapolis. He accompanied the government surveyors in 1877 on an expedition to Fort Custer, going by team and boat on the Missouri, Big Horn and Little Big Horn rivers and he was a great aid in navigating these streams. The work was completed in October of that year and fifty of the men started afoot over the plains, three hundred and eighty-eight miles to Medicine Bow. Mr. Rude then devoted himself to farming in Douglas county, Minnesota, and in 1879 with an ox-team drove to Fargo, North Dakota, and took land in Cass county, where he lived a short time, and in 1880 assumed charge of the laundry at Fargo, which he operated one year. He sold his Cass county farm for four thousand dollars and invested in five hundred and twenty acres of land on the Wild Rice river in Minnesota. This venture proved a complete success and in 1894 he disposed of his Minnesota interests for ten thousand dollars and went to Hillsboro, Traill county, and invested in city property and also opened a meat market. He now rents his market and has retired from active business pursuits, devoting his attention to the selling of real estate in the city and he management of the opera house in that city.
Our subject was married, November 27, 1877, to Miss Ella Ramstad. Mr. Rude is a member of the Masonic fraternity and is a Scottish rite and Mystic Shrine member. Politically, he is a Republican and is strong in his convictions. He has served two years on the city board and is well known and popular with the people.
[Source: Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota, Publ. 1900. Transcribed by Kim Mohler


OLE P. SATROM, one of Traill county's most prosperous and painstaking farmers, conducts a well cultivated tract of eight hundred acres in Galesburg township. His farm is not as extensive as other estates of the county, but the buildings and land evidence careful management and strict attention to the details. The buildings are substantial, and he has provided house room for all machinery, stock and grain, and thrift is everywhere apparent. In connection with this sketch a portrait of Mr. Satrom will be found.
Our subject was born in Gudbrandsdalen, Hammar Stift, Norway, November 12, 1859, and was the third in a family of twelve children, born to Paul P. and Engeborg (Korshus) Satrom, both of whom now reside with our subject. In his native land Mr. Satrom worked at farm labor and at railroading, and after attaining his majority came to America in company with two of his brothers to join two other brothers who had preceded them. In the spring of 1881 he arrived at Fargo, North Dakota, with twenty-five dollars, and in June homesteaded the farm his buildings now occupy. He erected a small 8x 12-foot shanty and then went to Cass county to find work, and during two winters worked for his board at Hunter, and attended school in Cass county, gaining a good understanding of English. He purchased a yoke of oxen in the fall of 1882 and the following spring a third ox and began breaking land on his own farm and also for others. His land has raised excellent crops and he has met with success in his calling. His house is commodious and his main barn is a structure 55x88 feet with storage room for one hundred tons of hay. This building he erected in 1892. Surface water is abundant, and a five acre grove of thrifty trees adds value and coziness to his home.
Mr. Satrom's first wife, who bore the maiden name of Annie Branthaugen, died March 29, 1892. Four children were born to that union, as follows: Paul U., who died March 16, 1894; Gena Olea, who died August 2, 1883; Gena Olea, who died July 22, 1890, and John O. Mr. Satrom was married, January 29, 1896, to Christine Kraabel. Mr. Satrom is one of the leading men of his locality and is chairman of the township board. He is a member of the Synod church and is a man of enlightened views, and enjoys the confidence of the people among whom he lives. He has served on the Republican county central committee.
[Source: Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota, Publ. 1900. Transcribed by Janice Louie]

GEORGE F. SCHLOSSER. of whom a portrait is shown in connection with this sketch, is one of the best known and most highly esteemed citizens of Traill county. He was an early settler of North Dakota, and has resided near Mayville for the past ten years, during which time he has gained his commendable position as a man of excellent character and active public spirit. His farm is one of the most extensive in the state and is fully improved, and on account of its location, affording the quiet of country life and the educational and social advantages of the city, is one of the finest pieces of property to be found. Our subject is a native of Brownsdale, Minnesota. and was born December 19, 1858, and was the youngest of a family of four children born to Albert and Katherina (Nies) Schlosser, both of whom were of German descent. The mother died when our subject was a child and the father is residing with his daughter in Iowa. The father married a second and a third time, and two children were born to these later unions, the family numbering in all six children. The family settled in Columbia county, Wisconsin, where our subject resided amid pleasant surroundings until he attained his majority. With twenty dollars cash, he started, in company with his brother and Mr. P. Kegler, in a prairie schooner, in 1880, for Dakota and arrived in Grand Forks county. He at once sought work, and June 9 began on the Grandin farm, in Traill county, and there did his first wage earning. He soon saw the possibilities in Dakota, and took land as a pre-emption in Grand Forks county, and there built a shanty and purchased on time a yoke of oxen and began to turn the sod. Ninety acres was the result of his first season's work for himself and others, and he soon began the cultivation of his land. He secured an additional one hundred and sixty acres and pushed forward the improvements of his farm, and in 1889 sold advantageously and at once invested in three hundred and twenty acres on the Goose river, adjoining the city of Mayville, where he has since resided. This proved a good investment, as it has since more than doubled in value. His farm comprises timber land, some of which has been sold to the city and has been converted into a beautiful island park, which in summer presents a lively scene of picnics, boating and swimming. Mr. Schlosser has recently donated to the city a location for the electric light plant. For the comfort and convenience of the family, he erected a handsome residence in 1898, which is ' fitted with modern heating and sewage systems, and is a model in every particular, while the furnishings evidence the good taste of its occupants. He has added to his original purchase of land, and now owns three thousand one hundred and sixty acres of land in Traill and Steele counties, all of which he personally supervises. Our subject was married, in 1888, to Miss Lizzie McMillin. Six children have been born to bless the home of Mr. and Mrs. Schlosser, as follows: George,  Pearl, Anna, May, Glenn, Gladys and Francis W. Mr. Schlosser was elected mayor of the city of Mayville in 1898, re-elected in 1890, and under his guidance many improvements have been established. A relentless war has been waged on gambling games and games of chance and liquor dealers, an electric-light plant has been established and a waterworks system has been begun. A public library building will soon be opened, owing to the generous donation of J. L. and E. B. Grandin and the support of the citizens of Mayville.  
[Source: Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota, Publ. 1900. Transcribed by Susan Ripley]


HON. ASA SERGEANT, one of the first settlers of Traill county, is a gentleman who commands respect wherever he is known.  He has spent a useful career in North Dakota, and is one of the wealthy and influential citizens of Caledonia, and operates several hundred acres of rich land. 
Our subject was born in Peacham, Caledonia county, Vermont, August 5, 1844, and was the fourth in a family of six children born to Elijah and Sylvia (Warts) Sergeant, both of whom are deceased.  He enlisted in the fall of 1862 in Company F, Fifteenth Vermont Infantry, and after a short service returned to his native state.  In 1868, during the first boom of Red river country, he and some relatives invested in land on the Minnesota side of the Red river, and in 1870 our subject went to look at the land purchased.  He worked during the season in Minnesota and passed the winter in Pembina.  In the spring of 1872 and he entered the employ of the Hudson s Bay Company, working in the store at Georgetown, and soon afterward was established in a store at Caledonia, and later for three years at Walla Walla.  In association with C. M. Clark, he rented the Caledonia flouring mills in 1876 and later they purchased the plant.  The mill was erected in 1872, and was the second mill built in what is now North Dakota.  The frame of the structure is of oak, hewn from the native timber, and the whole building is as sound as when erected thirty years ago.  The mill was sold some years afterward, but was re-purchased by Mr. Sergeant and Edward Braseth.  They are running the mill at the present time.  It is a one hundred-barrel capacity mill, and is run by steam and water power combined.  Our subject now owns seven hundred acres of land, bounded on two sides by the Goose and the Red rivers.  He is now planning a departure to the Pacific coast to join his family and remain there for some time, and perhaps make his home there.
Our subject was married in 1879 to Miss Amanda Houghton, who went to Dakota in 1876.  Six children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Sergeant, as follows:  Vie, a student of music and also a teacher of music; Charles, a student of Pacific University, of Oregon; Helen, deceased; Martha; Ray, deceased, and Neal.  Mr. Sergeant was elected to the territorial legislature in 1876, which met at Yankton, and he was appointed by the governor among the first county officers, as both probate judge and county treasurer.  In the fall of 1886 he was elected county register of deeds and served three terms.  He is one of the solid men of Traill county and is well and favorably known throughout the state of North Dakota.
[Source: Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota, Publ. 1900. Transcribed by Brenda Shaffer]


O. J. SORLIE, of the eighth district, was born at Hartland, Minn., November 4, 1865. He was educated in the public schools, a business college and the Mankato normal. He came to North Dakota in 1886 and is a resident of Buxton, where he is engaged in fArming and mercantile business. He is married and has five children. 2 sons and 3 daughters. He was a member of the Tenth. Eleventh, Twelfth and Thirteenth Legislative Assemblies. He was elected as a republican.
[Source: North Dakota Blue Book, 1913 Legislative Manual, Published under the direction of Thomas Hall, Secretary of State, 1913. Submitted by Linda R.]


JACOB A. SORUM, county sheriff of Traill county, is extensively interested in farming in that county, and is one of the substantial and public-spirited citizens of the state.  He has acquired his property and high reputation by his earnest efforts, and is a man of much energy and a capacity for well-directed labor.  He has resided in Hillsboro but a short time, but has become well known and is highly respected by all.  His farm consists of four hundred and sixty acres of choice land, upon which he has placed modern buildings, and it is a home of luxury and the farm yields abundantly and furnishes a comfortable competence.
Our subject was born in Allamakee county, Iowa, April 13, 1858, and was the eldest in a family, of twelve children, born to Andrew and Bertha (Torgerson) Sorum, both of whom are living and make their home in Eldorado township, Trail county, North Dakota.
Our subject, with his father and sister, went to Dakota from the home farm in Iowa in the fall of 1879, and both father and son entered claim to land in Traill county, each in section 30.  A log house was erected on each farm, and the following spring the remaining members of the family joined them in the new home.  They broke the land and engaged in wheat raising during the first season, and hauled their grain to Fargo, forty miles distant, the nearest railroad point.  Mr. Sorum had but forty dollars on his arrival in Dakota, and the strictest economy and hard work were necessary to get a start on the pioneer farm.  He put a small addition to the small log house and this was his home until 1896, when it was supplanted by a fine frame residence, and a 40x60-foot barn was erected in 1890, giving the place an appearance of thrift and care in its development.  Our subject has added to his real estate as circumstances permitted, and now owns four hundred and sixty acres of land, which forms one of the best farms in the county.  An artesian well furnishes an abundance of water, and also gives a supply of natural gas, which as yet can not be utilized.
Our subject was married, in 1881, to Miss Rindena Ekdahl, a native of Norway.  Six children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Sorum, as follows:  Bertha, now Mrs. A. Dahl; John, now attending Agricultural College at Fargo; Turine; Julius; Carl and Albert.  The family reside in the county jail building, which is one of the most substantial and imposing structures of the county, built of stone to a height of about twelve feet and the upper part of pressed brick.  Mr. Sorum was elected county sheriff in 1898, and during the summer of 1899 removed to Hillsboro.  He served on the township board in his township three years, and during two of the time was chairman of that body.  He is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and also the United Lutheran church.  Politically he is a Republican, and is a firm supporter of party principles, but does not seek public preferment.
[History Biography of North Dakota. Transcribed by Rhonda Hill] 



ANULF STEENSON, one of the prominent and wide-awake early settlers of Eldorado township, Traill county, is now engaged in diversified farming on his pioneer farm and has accumulated a fine property. He is held in the highest esteem by his associates and enjoys the confidence of those among whom he has resided since the early days of the settlement of that region.
Our subject was born in Nummedal, Norway, May 19, 1856, and was the youngest in a family of four children born to Steen and Isabella (Anulfdatter) Knudson. The family came to America in 1860 and settled in Mitchell county, Iowa, where a new farm was opened up, and there our subject received a common-school education and later attended the Cedar Valley Seminary at Osage, Iowa, and fitted himself for a teacher. He taught school for about three years, and in the spring of 1878 went to North Dakota and traveled through that state and Minnesota by team with a companion. During the summer of that year he filed a claim to the southwest quarter of section 6 in Eldorado township, where his buildings now stand. He became a permanent settler in the spring of 1879 and lived alone in a 10x12 board shanty till 1881. He borrowed money with which to get to Dakota, and is now the owner of five hundred and sixty acres of land, on which he has erected a fine residence 28x30 feet, and in 1888 built a fine barn 40x52 feet. He has an artesian well, and from this gets a good supply of water, making his farm one admirably adapted to diversified farming. He taught the first school opened in Eldorado township, which was in October, 1879, and about twelve pupils completed the enrollment. He received twenty dollars per month and board for his recompense, and the pupils occupied a 14x16-foot tar-papered shanty.

Our subject was married, in January, 1882, to Miss Gunel Pederson. Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Steenson, as follows: Stephen, Tilda, Thomas and Carl. Mr. Steenson was township clerk from the organization of the township in 1881 to 1894, and was also elected county commissioner for the second district in 1890 and served three years. He was elected county treasurer in 1894 and proved an efficient and popular officer, being returned for a second term. He is a Republican in political faith and has attended county and state conventions of his party. In religious belief he is a Lutheran and a member of that denomination. [Compendium of History and Biography, Transcribed by Christi Boyer]


HON HERBJORN H. STROM.
This gentleman, of whom a portrait is presented on another page, is probably one of the best-known men in public affairs in North Dakota, and is one of the leading farmers of Traill county. He is an early settler, and in every instance he has proven himself an efficient officer, looking to the better interests of those whom he represented, and for the advancement and upbuilding of his county and state. His home is located in section 10 of Eldorado township, and he has prospered in his chosen calling, and a fine property is the result of his perseverance and good judgment.
Our subject was born in Nore, Prestegjeld Nummedal, Norway, January 27, 1846, and was the eldest in a family of four children, born to Herbjorn and Kjersti (Larsdatter of the farm Lian) Strommen. He worked at farm labor in his native land until twenty-two years of age and then sought his fortune in the new world, joining a cousin in Clayton county, Iowa. He worked there about four years, and then established a general store, and after two years established in the farm machinery business in Elgin, Fayette county, Iowa. Hearing of the Red river valley, with a party of about twenty he drove overland to North Dakota, Caledonia being their objective point. They prospected through the country from Caledonia to Northwood, through Grand Forks county, and down to the Red river, thence up that river to the point from which they started, and as most of the land along the streams had been taken, they concluded the central part of Traill county furnished as good prairie land as was to be procured, and accordingly located in that locality, and the present thriving condition of the farms in that vicinity testify to the decision being wise. Our subject filed claim to the southwest quarter of section 10 in Eldorado township, where he has since resided, and erected a small frame house, the lumber being hauled from Fargo. His wife and two children soon joined him in the new home, and in 1890 a more commodious residence was erected for the comfort of the family, and in 1897 a substantial barn 62x64 feet was erected. He sunk an artesian well one hundred and forty feet in 1886, and this furnishes excellent water. He owns five hundred acres of rich land, and has a fine grove of trees which enhances the beauty and the value of the place.
Our subject was married, in 1875, to Miss Guri Halvorsatter, who was born on the farm Brevig, in Norway. Six children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Strom, as follows: Henry, foreman of the Howard and Halvorson farm; Lewis, a teacher of Traill county and a student in the university at Grand Forks; Otto, John, Clara and Martin. Mr. Strom is a member of the Lutheran church. He assisted in the organization of his township, and his first public service consisted in organizing the road district, and soon afterward he organized an independent school district, and was clerk of the first school board, and has taken an active part in school matters, and also was a member of the first township board. He was elected coroner of Traill county in 1882, and served two terms, and in 1888 was elected county commissioner for the second district, and served one year, resigning to accept a seat in the lower house at the first session of the state legislature, and served in that capacity three terms. He took an active part in opposition to the Louisiana lottery, and following his service as a representative he was elected a member of the state senate, and while a member of that body introduced important measures which have become laws. He is a member of the Republican party, and is a well-known figure in county and state conventions, and is highly esteemed by those among whom he resides regardless of party lines.
[History Biography of North Dakota. Transcribed by Sally Masteller]


GEORGE O. STROMNER, cashier of the Clifford State Bank, of Clifford, Traill county, North Dakota, is a gentleman of excellent business qualifications and ably conducts the affairs of the institution with which he is connected.  He is one of the foreign born citizens who have been won to this country by the wonderful stories of advantages and freedom, and has beccome thoroughly identified with American progress and advancement.  He has acquired a comfortable competence by dint of his own efforts, and well merits his high standing as a citizen and business man.
Our subject was born in Norway, October 25, 1859, and has been a resident of the United States since 1866.  He received his education in Wisconsin, and in 1881 settled at Mayville, North Dakota, where he engaged in the real estate, loan and collection business.  He has considerable valuable property in the town of Mayville, including a comfortable home, and resided there until the spring of 1899, when he removed to Clifford to accept the cashiership of the State Bank of Clifford.
Our subject was married, in 1888, to Mary Julson, of Big Springs, Wisconsin.  Mr. Stromner has always taken an active interest in local affairs wherever he has resided, and while a resident of Mayville he served as alderman from 1885-88 and again in 1894.  He was city treasurer from 1888-94, and in the fall of 1894 was elected county auditor and served in that capacity four years, and was an especially efficient officer and gained the confidence of the people of Traill county.
[History Biography of North Dakota. Transcribed by Rhonda Hill] 


HON. SWENUNG C. SWENSON, one of the most prominent farmers of North Roseville township, has followed his calling in Traill county for the past twenty-two years, and now enjoys a comfortable home and the highest esteem of his fellow men.  His farm adjoins the city of Portland and has four hundred acres of choice land.  A portrait of Mr. Swenson appears on another page.
Our subject was born in Jefferson county, Wisconsin, January 29, 1853, and was the third in a family of four children born to Christian and Karre (Nordskog) Swenson, both of whom are now deceased.  When about four years of age he went with his parents to Fillmore county, Minnesota, and there grew to manhood, assisting with the work on the farm.  He received a good common school education, and in May, 1877, went to Traill county, North Dakota, arriving at Fargo.  He then started to locate a claim, and traveled afoot to the Goose river, at the point where Hillsboro now stands, and followed the stream to his farm which he now occupies.  He purchased eighty acres of land of the railroad company, and also located a homestead claim, and built a small log house, and with a yoke of oxen purchased began the improvement of his farm.  He has added to his possessions from time to time, and now owns and cultivates four hundred acres, all of which is in Traill county, and is well located, and has yielded from thirteen to twenty-two bushels of grain per acre annually. He has erected good buildings and enjoys prosperity.
Our subject was married, in 1878, to Miss Maria Nelby.  Mr. Swenson is a member of the Lutheran church.  He has always taken an active part in public affairs, and was a member of the first board of supervisors of his township, and in and fall of 1898 was elected to the lower house, and served in the sixth session of the state legislature.  He served on the following committees:  Engrossing and enrolling, agricultural, warehouses and grains.  Politically he is a Republican, and is firm in his convictions, and attends the county and state conventions of his party.  He is a man of broad ideas and earnest effort for the upbuilding of the community in which he makes his home and has attained prominence as a farmer and citizen.
[Source: Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota, Publ. 1900. Transcribed by Maggie Saggio]


HON. HAYDEN M. WILLIAMS, one of the most prominent men of southwestern Traill county, resides in a comfortable home on a farm adjoining the village of Blanchard, on section 30, in Bloomfield township, and successfully operates nine hundred and sixty acres of land. He is widely known as a man of active public spirit and energetic character, and as such is highly esteemed and respected.
Our subject was born in Dodge county, Wisconsin, February 18, 1858, and was the fourth of six sons born to John H. and Catherine (Webb) Williams. The family is of Welsh-Irish extraction, and the ancestors were New Englanders in colonial times. Our subject s father died in 1896, aged seventy-three years, and the mother survives at the advanced age of seventy-eight years.
Leaving home at nineteen years of age our subject passed some time in Iowa, and went to Fargo, North Dakota, in the spring of 1878, but returned east, and in 1881 went to Dakota again, and two years late became foreman on the Preston farm. He used his land rights, in 1885, by taking government land near Devil s Lake, but remained on the Preston farm until 1893, when he began operations on his farm, and in 1895 was the possessor of a section and a half of land, which he now operates.
Our subject was married, in 1882, to Miss M. Teresa Cruden, who died June 29, 1899. Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Williams, as follows: Hayden B., deceased; Joseph Walton; Grant C.  and Webb M. Mr. Williams is a member of the Catholic church and also the Modern Woodmen of America. He was elected state representative in 1896 and introduced the bill relating to freight rates and also successfully introduced two other bills of lesser importance. He served as chairman of the agricultural committee and served on the labor and school lands committees and did very efficient work while a member of that body. Politically, he is a Republican and attends county and state conventions of his party. He is a leading spirit in all moves calculated to benefit the locality in which he resides and his popularity is well merited.
[History Biography of North Dakota. Transcribed by Sally Masteller]


TOLLEF H. WOLDY, a prosperous farmer of section 1, in Logan township, Traill county, is a gentleman of exceptional business ability and has been identified with many financial enterprises in that locality, meeting with success in all.  He is well known and held in the highest esteem by those among whom he resides.
Our subject was born in LaCrosse county, Wisconsin, May 23, 1856, and was the younger of two sons born to Henry and Margaret (Wolde) Woldy.  His parents were of Norwegian birth and the father died April 12, 1900, in Milnor, North Dakota.  Until fourteen years of age our subject lived on the Wisconsin farm, and when his father removed to Goodhue county, Minnesota, he began for himself, entering a dry-goods store at Faribault, Minnesota, where he remained in the capacity of clerk until about twenty years of age.  With his savings he was enabled to attend St. Olnf College one year, and he finished his education with a business course at Wilmot Business College, at Madison Wisconsin.  He then returned to Faribault and entered into partnership in the clothing business with I. Brockman, and in the spring of 1880 went to North Dakota.  He spent one year clerking in Forgo, and then , in partnership, established the pioneer general store near what is now Kindred.  He went to Buxton in the spring of 1884 to take charge of a bankrupt stock, and this he purchased and became one of the early business men of Buxton.  He served as postmaster there from 1884-88, and in 1895 traded his business and stock, securing farming lands adjoining the village, and then took up his residence there on and has followed agricultural pursuits since that time.  He now conducts a farm of one section and has good improvements on the same, including an artesian well and substantial buildings.  Aside from his farming interests he is secretary of the Buxton, Farmers' Elevator Company.
Our subject was married, in 1886, to Miss Ella Nelson, a native of Minnesota.  Five children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Woldy, as follows: Melvin N., Helen M., Ruth L., June I. And Esther.  Mr. Woldy is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and also the United Lutheran church.  He is county commissioner for the third district, having been elected in 1898.  Politically he is a stanch Democrat and thoroughly identified with the movements of his party in Traill county.
[Source: Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota, Publ. 1900. Transcribed by Janice Louie]





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