Biographies - B

BIOGRAPHIES, QUERIES and OBITUARIES - B


SOURCE: Compendium of History and Biography of Polk County, Minnesota, Major R.I.
Holcombe, Historical Editor; William H. Bingham, General Editor; W.H. Bingham
And Company, Minneapolis, Minn.; 1916; reprinted by Higginson Book Company;
Salem Massachusetts; (book no longer copyrighted)
Library of Congress control number 16009966
This book can be ordered from Borders Book Store or from Higginson.
Both companies have web sites.  The cost is about $70
and well worth the price.



BAATZ, FREDERICK
pages 363-364

The interesting subject of this brief review has been one of Polk county’s most progressive and esteemed citizens.  His industry and thrift, which are characteristic of the German people, and his persistent and devoted attention to his own affairs, have been potent factors in his success and have also won him the respect and good will of his whole township, which is largely populated by persons of a totally distinct nationality.
Mr Baatz was born in the grand duchy of Luxemburg, Germany, December 7, 1854, and came to the United States in 1871, joining an uncle who lived in Wabasha county, Minnesota, with whom he remained until the spring of 1878.  He then came to Polk county and took up the first homestead in what is now Russia township, which later he helped to organize.  He came to this country to get a home, and he has not only had a good one for himself, every since but has helped very largely to make the region habitable for other persons.
The land on which Mr. Baatz lives, and which he has made over into an excellent farm, is the Northwest  quarter of Section, 4, in Russian township, and is ten miles southeast of Crookston.  When he settled on it there was no other resident for many miles south or east of him and there were but few north of him in the direction of Crookston.  He now owns three quarter sections, 480 acres in all, one quarter in Section 5, Russia township, and on in Section 34, Fairfax township, but all contiguous so that they make one farm.  For one quarter he paid $800 and the rest of his land he paid $26 an acre.  When he located in Polk county he had only $200 with which to buy teams and get a start, but he has now a competence for life, all due to his efforts.
Live stock and grain are the staples of Mr. Baatz’ productions.  He keeps 30 to 60 head of cattle every year, mostly Holsteins, and milks 10 to 12 cows the year round, selling cream to the creameries.  In 1915 he raised 4,000 bushels of wheat and 2,000 bushels of oats and barley, and he has in the neighborhood of 40 acres in corn on his land every year.  His farming operations are conducted on a large scale and with decided enterprise and energy, and they are very pofitable on that account.
It is easy to see that Mr. Baatz’ own affairs are very comprehensive and exacting, but they have never kept him from taking and earnest and active part in the affairs of his township.  He has been treasurer of the township board nine years and its chairman fifteen years, being a member of it almost from the organization of the township, and has served for thirty years on the local school board.  In fact, he has scarcely been out of office a day since Russia township’s corporate existence began, and his services in every official position have been highly satisfactory to the residents of the township.
Mr. Baatz was married in Wabasha county, Minnesota, in 1882, to Miss Emma Schwirtz, a German by birth.  They have had five children, all but one of whom are still living and at home with their parents.  Their son Frank died when he was twenty years old.  The living children are Rosa, Mary, Annie and John.  The last named attended the State Agricultural School of Crookston for a special course of instruction.  All the members of the family are Catholics and belong to the Cathedral parish in Crookston.


submitted Jan 20, 2003 Jon Raymond


SOURCE: Compendium of History and Biography of Polk County, Minnesota, Major R.I.
Holcombe, Historical Editor; William H. Bingham, General Editor; W.H. Bingham
And Company, Minneapolis, Minn.; 1916; reprinted by Higginson Book Company;
Salem Massachusetts; (book no longer copyrighted)
Library of Congress control number 16009966
This book can be ordered from Borders Book Store or from Higginson.
Both companies have web sites.  The cost is about $70
and well worth the price.

BANG, Ole H., pages 350-351

 

This enterprising, progressive and very successful farmer is probably the best known man in northwestern Polk County, and his fine home on the bank of the Red River of the North, section 17 and adjoining sections, Higdem Township, is one of the most attractive and valuable in the county, and one of the most hospitable and popular rural resorts in this part of the country.  It is one mile south of the county line, three miles north of Oslo, and about twenty miles north of Grand Forks.  Mr. Bang was born in Valges, Norway, October 17, 1847, and came to the United States in the spring of 1869, locating at Madison, Wisconsin.  He had lived in Christiania, the capital of his native land, and had there worked at his trade as a tailor until he saved enough money to bring him to this country and give him a start here.  He had relatives at Madison, and worked at his trade in and about that city three years, saving his earnings and getting ready for future undertakings of greater magnitude.  In 1872, Mr. Bang moved to Taylors Falls, Minnesota, and there during the next five years he carried on a prosperous merchant tailoring business.  At the end of the period named he moved up the St. Croix Valley to Grantsburg, Burnett County, Wisconsin, where he opened a general store on the $3,000 capital he had saved in his eight years’ work in this country.  While conducting his store, he also bought tax titles in timber lands about thirty miles up the St. Croix River until he had acquired title to about two sections.  The sale of such titles then being over, he began to cut the timber on his holdings, which he continued to do for three years.  The land had been cut over but there was still timber standing on it amounting to about one million and a half feet, and Mr. Bang found cutting this very profitable.  At the end of six years of storekeeping and timber cutting he found he had accumulated a capital of $15,000, and he determined to change his base of operations.  In 1883 Mr. Bang came to Crookston and bought the Scandinavian Hotel and Saloon, then owned by Evan Overland, and in these he conducted a profitable business for six years.  He then invested in 160 acres of his present farm on Red River, and located on it and began the improvements which have made his place so productive and valuable.  He kept on buying land at low rates until he owned 2,000 acres, purchasing a whole section of school land at $6.50 an acre, railroad land at $9 to $18 and other land at $10 an acre.  He has since sold all but 900 acres.  He improved the whole body and made it productive, however, while he owned it, giving his whole time and attention to it and seeking no other occupation except for four years, during which he was associated in the hardware trade with John Brant at East Grand Forks, and of late years being a stockholder in the Arneson Mercantile Company of East Grand Forks.  Half of Mr. Bang’s 900 acre farm is in timber, making a fine pasturage.  Still, he raised in 1915 some 10,000 bushels of wheat, barley, oats, and flax.  He keeps forty head of Shorthorn cattle and thirty of horses, and milks fifteen cows to make butter for private customers in Grand Forks.  He has shown fruit can be raised to advantage here, having 300 bearing apple trees whose products have taken premiums in exhibits at Crookston.  In politics he is a Republican and in religion, a Lutheran, being a active member and foreman of the governing board in the Mesopotamia Untied Church.  Mr. Bang was married at Blue Earth, Minnesota, in 1876, to Miss Jennie Olson, who was born on the ocean.  they have six children living:  Emma, who is the wife of Victor Peterson of Grand Forks; Annie, Henry, Rose, and Elida, who are living at home; and Clara, who is the wife of Ole Quern, as indicated in a sketch of C.C. Quern, to be found in this work.  Mr. Bang is a fisherman of some devotion to the sport and frequently visits the trout streams of Wisconsin to gratify his taste in this direction.

 submitted Oct 8, 2007 Jon Raymond


Anna Belsheim/Belsem/Belshem

Anna Belsheim (also spelled Belsem, but Belsheim is the way it was written in all the early records). Born in Norway in 1880. Died of TB on June 28th 1892. She was the daughter of Osten and Martha Belsheim, who farmed in Popple Township, Clearwater (at that time Beltrami) County. She had a sister, Betsy who was born in RenvilleCounty MN on Dec 17th 1883. She also died and was buried at St Petriin the 1890's but we don't know when exactly (probably prior to1895). The graves are not marked, but we do know the location of the Belsheim lot.

Source - Sexton of St. Petri Cemetery, Tim and Laura Johnson Sept 2008


SOURCE: Compendium of History and Biography of Polk County, Minnesota, Major R.I.
Holcombe, Historical Editor; William H. Bingham, General Editor; W.H. Bingham
And Company, Minneapolis, Minn.; 1916; reprinted by Higginson Book Company;
Salem Massachusetts; (book no longer copyrighted)
Library of Congress control number 16009966
This book can be ordered from Borders Book Store or from Higginson.
Both companies have web sites.  The cost is about $70
and well worth the price.


BERG, C. M.
pages 342-343

C.M. Berg, president of the First National bank at McIntosh, has been a resident of the county since early childhood.  He was born in Norway, at Grue Prestegjeld Solor, april 10, 1873.  In 1888 his parents came, with their son and two daughters, from Norway to Minnesota, where the father, Martin T. Berg, settled on land in King township, Polk county, and became a well-known pioneer of that section.  He is now a retired farmer and resides in McIntosh.  C.M. Berg was reared on the Polk county homestead and attended the public schools.  When he was seventeen years of age he entered upon his business career and for some years was employed as a clerk in a general store at McIntosh and later sold agricultural implements on the road.  His association with the banking interests of the county began in 1901, when he secured the position of bookkeeper and later was made assistant cashier of the State bank at McIntosh, and since that time has been identified with the successful operati!
ons of that institution.  In 1901 W.S. Short was the president of the corporation and S.H. Drew was the cashier.  Two years later the bank was converted into a national bank and continued to be conducted by the same officials until 1911, when Mr. Berg became president, having served as cashier from 1905 until 1911, and in that position and as active manager has displayed able executive ability and financial genius in directing its activities to a steadily increasing prosperity.  In 1913 the present bank building was erected at the cost of $11,300 and was adequately equipped with interior furnishings and safety deposit vaults.  Aside from his financial enterprises, Mr. Berg has interested himself in quite extensive investments in farm lands.  As a public-spirited and progressive citizen, he has freely contributed his services and influence in behalf of the development and general welfare of the town and county and enjoys the respect and confidence of his associates in every f!
ield of activity.  He is a member of the Minnesota and American Bankers associations and of the Independent Scandinavian Workingmen’s association.  Mr. Berg was married November 18, 1896, to Bertha Bjorgo.  Mrs. Berg’s parents were among the early settlers of the Thirteen Towns.  Mr. Berg has served on the school board for nine years, one year of which he was president (in 1914), and was appointed mayor of McIntosh in 1906, serving as such until April, 1907.  In church affiliations he is a member of St. John’s church of the Norwegian Lutheran church, serving as treasurer for the past twenty-three years.  He is a stockholder and treasurer of the North Star Dairy association, of McIntosh, and is now president of the McIntosh Commercial club.

submitted Jan 20, 2003 Jon Raymond


“The First 100 Years, 1883-1983, Fosston, Minnesota”
Fosston’s Centennial Book Committee

BERGDAHL, Ole H

BERGDAHL-OSTENAA FAMILIES
page 26

Mr. and Mrs. Ole H. Bergdahl were early settlers of this area.  He was born in Vinje, Telemark, Norway June 2, 1848.  He attended teachers’ seminary and taught school there before he immigrated to America in 1870.  He taught school in Waseca, Minnesota and married Terrand Johnson there in 1878.  She was born in the United States.  They came to occupy a homestead in section 29 Brandsvold Township in 1883.  [See transcriber’s note]
He was on of the first county commissioners to represent this district in Polk County and one of the first members of Poplar River Church.  They built a frame house on the farm about 1890, which is still being used.
Eight children were born, four of whom died in childhood.  Hilda (Mrs. Hans Melbo), Louise (Mrs. Albert Ostenaa), Oscar and Agnes (Mrs. Emil Esperson) grew up on the farm and attended local schools.  Hilda and Louise became teachers.
Louise, who was born in 1885, married Albert Astenaa, who was born in 1886 near McIntosh.  They purchased the farm from her parents in 1921.  Five children were born-Palmer, Theresa, Alta, Clarice and Toraance.  In 1954 they moved to Fosston and Torrance purchased the farm.  In 1982 both are living in a nursing home.
Torrance and his wife, Beverlee, have remodeled the house and live on this farm.  In 1983 the farm will have been owned by the same family for 100 years.

 submitted Jan 20, 2003 Jon Raymond


SOURCE: Compendium of History and Biography of Polk County, Minnesota, Major R.I.
Holcombe, Historical Editor; William H. Bingham, General Editor; W.H. Bingham
And Company, Minneapolis, Minn.; 1916; reprinted by Higginson Book Company;
Salem Massachusetts; (book no longer copyrighted)
Library of Congress control number 16009966
This book can be ordered from Borders Book Store or from Higginson.
Both companies have web sites.  The cost is about $70
and well worth the price.

BJONTEGARD, Jacob
pp 292-293

Jacob Bjontegard, a successful farmer and dredge contractor, of Queen township [township 148 north, range 39 west, 5th prime meridian], has been a resident of the county since 1886.  He was born in Norway, March 5, 1860, and was educated in the under officers school at Christiania.  When twenty years of age he enlisted in the regular army as corporal and within a year was promoted to the office of sergeant and detailed to service as a drill master for recruits and made an excellent record in military training.  He received his honorable discharge after five years service and in 1886 came to the United States and to Minnesota.  For a time he rented a farm near Fisher, Polk county, and then bought two hundred and forty acres, of which eighty acres were wild land.  This was prairie land and after six years of successful operations in that region, he decided to move to a timber country with a milder climate and sold the farm with the intention of investing in Oregon property but on visiting the eastern timber section of Polk county, concluded to locate there.  He bought the homestead claim of Halkinrud in section twenty-eight of Queen township, seven miles northeast of Fosston, paying $2,500 for the property with a small frame house and sixty acres of cleared land.  The greater part of the land was covered with large timber, for the most part, oak, spruce and ash and Mr. Bjontegard has sold a great deal of first class lumber cut from his place and has now all the land in use in his various agricultural activities.  This region, being a fine grass country and naturally adapted to the raising of clover, has proven peculiarly advantageous to dairy farming and Mr. Bjontegard has given some attention to this enterprise.  During the fifteen years which he has spent on this place, he has built up a fine, modern farm, erecting good buildings and has advanced the efficiency of his operations with the improvements and conveniences of progressive farm equipm!
ent and has a good watering system with a drilled well.  Aside from his farming activities he has engaged in the ditch contracting business and has constructed some eighteen miles of the county drainage in three different ditches and has at times employed a force of twelve men in this work.  Previously he was selected as the viewer and assessor for a number of the county ditches.  On his own farm, which is named “Meadow Brook Farm,” he has reclaimed thirty acres of valuable meadow land.  Mr. Bjontegard is a member of the Republican party and has always taken an active interest in public affairs and has been honored with numerous local offices, his able services beginning as a member of the school board to which he was elected a few days after locating Queen township and he has filled the offices of chairman of the board of supervisors, treasurer and justice of peace and has served continuously on the school board.  He is a member of the Norwegian Free church,!
 one mile east of his home, and is associated with the business interests of the community as a stockholder in the cooperative creamery and Farmers elevator of Fosston.  He has also for a number of years been director and agent for the Local Farmers Fire Insurance company, a most successful organization.  Mr. Bjontegard has been twice married.  His first union was solemnized at Grand Forks [North Dakota] in 1887, with Minnie Moe, who was a native of Norway and died in 1893, leaving two children, Thorwald and Mary.  In 1896, Mr. Bjontegard was married to Carrie Berg of Red River, Polk county, and they have four children, Ingmar, Mamie, Clara and Arthur.

submitted Jan 20, 2003 Jon Raymond
 


“The First 100 Years, 1883-1983, Fosston, Minnesota”
Fosston’s Centennial Book Committee

BJORNERUD, EVEN C.
page 15

Even C. Bjornerud was born in Sigdal, Norway in 1870.  He came to America with his parents, Christian and Jaran Bjornerud, in 1872.  They first farmed near Rochester, Minn.  They later moved to a farm near Elizabeth, Minn. Near Fergus Falls.  In 1884, they moved to a farm west of Fosston, in King Township.  Their family consisted of three sons and four daughters, Even being the oldest.  Even’s folks moved into Fosston in 917.
On a visit to Newfolden, Minn., just west of Thief River Falls, where his Uncle Ole Bjornerud lived, Even found his future bride, Karoline Greene, a sister to his Uncle Ole’s wife.
Even and Karoline rented their first farm west of Fosston, Minn. (King Township) where their first seven children were born: Clara, George, Joseph, Albert, Ole, Inga and Melvin.  After moving to the Bromstad farm N.W. of Fosston, Elmer and Edwin were born.
In 1913, Even Bjornerud’s bought a farm eight miles north of Fosston (Brandsvold Township).  The family lived there until 1921, when the farm was sold, and the members of the family still at home, moved into Fosston.

[submitted by Elmer Bjornerud]


Albert Conrad Bjornerud, who died in March 1982, was born to Evan and Karoline Bjornerud in May 1899, and was married to Gena Haltli in 1923.  They lived in rural Fosston unti 1934 and then moved into Fosston.  He was employed in road construction for a number of years and later worked for Sig Walstrom in the Dry Cleaning business before he purchased it in 1941 and operated it until he retired.  He was a member of the Fosston Fire Department for 20 years.  The Bjornerud’s had four sons: James, Albert Jr., Russell and Roy.

submitted Jan 20, 2003 Jon Raymond


SOURCE:  “The First 100 Years, 1883-1983, Fosston, Minnesota”
Fosston’s Centennial Book Committee

BJORE, Andrew
page 41

Andrew and Guro Bjore and their family came from Norway to settle on a farm at the north edge of Columbia Township about 1883, clearing the land for fields and an orchard.
To earn extra cash, some years Andrew went to North Dakota to work on a farm there, as did many of the settlers.  Some even walked all the way, while those who had horses, drove.  On one of the years while he was away, diptheria struck, and the family lost two of its children, and several years later, another child of four.
Guro Bjore passed away in about 1904.  Two years later Andrew sold the farm and moved to Canada with his sons, Adolph and Leonard, daughters, Josephine and Petrina, and also a daughter, Anna, with her family.  Only Petrina is still living.
[submitted by Mrs. Dorgan.]

Family post script:   Petrina Bjore married John Dorgan in 1913 in Weyburn SK CANADA, after both families left MN in 1906.   They lived in Pangman SK CANADA, and raised their family there.   She died 1995, Calgary, AB CANADA

BJORE, Ole

page 41

Ole Bjore came from Norway to homestead on 160 acres in northeast Columbia Township about 1890.  He married Mari Stenstuen, also of Norway, several years later – about 1893.  To them were born two children, Louis and Minda.  Ole sold his homestead and went to get land in Canada at the same time as his brother, Andrew, where Ole’s son, Louis joined them later on a farm next to his father.  He served in the Canadian army during the first World War and after his discharge, worked in many places, finally going to Enderby, B.C. where he worked in construction until his retirement.

 

Please contact Shirley Dorgan,  for further information about the Bjore family, Petrina Bjore was her grandmother.
 


SOURCE: Compendium of History and Biography of Polk County, Minnesota, Major R.I.
Holcombe, Historical Editor; William H. Bingham, General Editor; W.H. Bingham
And Company, Minneapolis, Minn.; 1916; reprinted by Higginson Book Company;
Salem Massachusetts; (book no longer copyrighted)
Library of Congress control number 16009966
This book can be ordered from Borders Book Store or from Higginson.
Both companies have web sites.  The cost is about $70
and well worth the price.

BJUSTAD, BERNT L.

page 363

            Reared to manhood and strength in his native land of Norway and inheriting the hardiness and resolute spirit of his Norwegian ancestry, Bernt L. Bjugstad, one of the progressive and wide-awake farmers of King township, this county, has succeeded in winning his way to a comfortable prosperity in the New World, as all who knew him in youth and observed his industry, determination and perseverance, expected him to do, wherever he might be.  He was born December 14, 1860, and emigrated to the United States in 1880, landing at Boston and from there coming at once to Minnesota and locating in Ottertail county, where he remained about two years.

            The next year was passed by Mr. Bjugstad near Fargo, North Dakota, on the Buffalo river, and in 1883 he came to Polk county and took up 160 acres of land in section 11, King township.  On this tract he has since lived, and by his industry and good management he has converted its wild expanse into a good farm and enriched it with good buildings, making it an attractive and valuable country home.  He has also taken an earnest and helpful interest in the public affairs of his township and has given his district valuable and appreciated service as school director.

            On February 4, 1891, Mr. Bjugstad was married to Miss Ana G. Moy, who was born in Norway May 9, 1872, and came to the United States with her parents in 1881.  Her father was Gunder Moy, who lived in Polk county until 1894, then sold his farm and moved to Bemidji, where he passed the rest of his life.  Mr. and Mrs. Bjugstad are members of St. John’s Lutheran Church.  They have two children, Nettie and Gunda.  The genuine worth of the parents has won them lasting esteem of all who know them.

submitted Feb 17, 2003 Jon Raymond


BOLSTAD, Mrs. John

Funeral Monday for Mrs. Bolstad, Pioneer Resident 

(EGF Weekly Record, 10/23/1925, p1) 
 

Funeral services for Mrs. John Bolstad, 75, pioneer of the East Grand Forks district who died Monday evening at her home in Sullivan township, were held Monday afternoon at 1:30 from the home and at 2:30 from the Grand Marais church, Rev. O.T. Ness officiating.  Burial was made in the Grand Marais cemetery. 
 

Mrs. Bolstad was born in Norway, April 18, 1850, and came to this country in 1879, settling near Willmar.  Shortly after she moved to this city and has been a resident here for the past 45 years. 
 

She had been ill for about three weeks, and her death was not entirely unexpected.  Her husband, John Bolstad, a son, Norval, both of whom are at the family home, and Mrs. Martin Haugen of this city, a sister, survive her. 

Submitted by Joy Paulson, October 2006


BOLSTAD, Tillie

Bolstad Funeral  (EGF Valley View, 3/15/1907, p5) 
 

Wednesday afternoon the funeral of Miss Tillie Bolstad was held from the family residence to the Grand Marais Church, Rev. Hulteng conducting the funeral service.

Submitted by Joy Paulson, October 2006
 


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