Trails to the Past

Ransom County North Dakota Biographies



HENRY HANSON, an ex-soldier and prominent early settler of Liberty township, Ransom county, has a fine estate in township 136, range 55, and resides on section 24. He possesses four hundred and eighty acres of land, most of which is under cultivation, and has prospered in his chosen calling.

Our subject was born near Bergen, Norway, in January, 1842, and was the second child in a family of four sons born to Hans and .Matilda (Henderson) Hanson. The family emigrated to .America in 1859, and located in Winneshiek county, Iowa, and there our subject worked at day labor and farm work until 1861, when he obeyed the call for volunteers and enlisted in Company G, Twelfth Iowa Volunteer Infantry. The first battle was the capture of Fort Donelson, then followed the battle of Shiloh, where he was taken prisoner and it was three months before he was paroled, the time being passed mostly in Macon, Georgia. After the expiration of his first enlistment he re-enlisted as a veteran in the same company, and participated in the siege of Vicksburg, Nashville, Tupela and Spanish Fort, and a number of other engagements. He was discharged in 1866 after four years of brave service, when he returned to Iowa, and purchased land and engaged in farming there until the spring of 1880, when he went to North Dakota. He entered a homestead claim to land in what is now Liberty township, and became one of the earliest settlers of the locality. His family joined him in the fall of 1880, and a permanent residence was established. He has placed valuable improvements on his farm, and now has a fine estate.

Our subject was married, in 1866, to Miss Julia Hanson. Eight children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Hanson, as follows: Lena , deceased; Albert,. Hannah, deceased; Edward, deceased; Edward, Charles, Louisa and Fremont. Mrs. Hanson died April 21, 1899. Mr. Hanson is a member of the Lutheran church. He is prominent in local affairs, and takes an active interest in educational work. Politically he is a Republican, and has attended numerous county conventions of his party, and is an earnest worker for the principles advocated. He is a man who is well known and enjoys the highest esteem of his fellows.

ALBERT HAUGE, a prosperous grain buyer and stock raiser, residing in Sandown. Ransom county, is one of the well known young men of his locality. He is an early settler of North Dakota, and his career there has been for the advancement of the agricultural interests of that region. He is the owner of one half section of land, on which he conducts stock raising.

Our subject was born in Norway, September 16, 1864, and was the only son, and the older of the two children constituting the family of Andrew and Christe (Anderson) Hauge, both of whom are living in their native land. He started to learn the blacksmith's trade, and later preferred the life of a sailor, and intended following the sea or emigrating to America. His parents preferred the latter and at the age of sixteen years he came to America, arriving in Richland county, Dakota, in 1881. He worked there at farm labor for eight years, and then settled at Scoville and farmed five years, and in 1894 went to Sandown in the employ of Osborn & McMillan Elevator Company, in charge of their flat-house. He purchased a few head of stock, since which time he has bought and sold stock more or less. He leased land and fenced two thousand one hundred acres, keeping thereon about eighty head of his own stock, and pasturing about five hundred head for others.

Our subject was married, in 1889, to Miss Brita Erickson. Five sons have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Hauge, as follows: Albert, Alexander, Ernest, John and Helmer. Mr. Hauge is a member of the Norwegian Lutheran church. In political faith he is a Republican and advocates prohibition. He has been the leader in his party in that locality for the past ten years, and has attended as a delegate every county convention since 1890. He is strong in his convictions for right, and is an influential citizen.

HELGE HELGESON, a progressive member of the farming community of Ransom county, has .devoted the greater part of his life to agriculture, in the pursuit of which he has been very fortunate, and is proprietor of a valuable estate in Moore township, his homestead being located there in section 28. He has acquired his property by persistent effort and careful management, and is one of the substantial and highly respected men of his community.

Our subject was born in Fillmore county, .Minnesota, July 30, 1859, and was the third in a family of eight children, born to Helge and Carrie (Olson) Helgeson, both of whom are now residents of Fillmore county, Minnesota. Our subject was reared to farm work and received a common school education in English and Scandinavian. He went to Ransom county. North Dakota, in 1883, and entered claim to the land which he now owns, and began very limited improvements on the farm. He returned to his home for about one year, and secured four horses, and some farm machinery, and then went to Dakota for a permanent residence in 1885. He had no means, and erected his dwelling as it now stands, and a sod stable for his horses. He has added improvements to the place and is now in possession of a well improved farm of one hundred and sixty acres, on which he conducts general farming. He winters about twenty-five head of stock, and is grading the short-horn Durham cattle his stock raising forming one of the features of his farm.

Our subject was married, in 1889, to Miss Bertha Johnson. Seven children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Helgeson, as follows: Henry, deceased: Carl, Ricke M., Ole, John, deceased; Martin, and Henry. The last named two are twins. Mr. Helgeson is a member of the Lutheran church. He is a man of good education and has always taken an active part in local affairs. He assisted in the organization of the township, and has continuously served as township clerk. Politically he is a Republican. He is well known in Ransom county as an early settler and leading citizen, and is deservedly held in high esteem by his associates.

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 Buxton, 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 Ala-sonic fraternity, and is also a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and Independent Order of Odd Fellows. In political faith he is a Republican, and advocates prohibition. He is well known in his community and has a host of friends.

GUSTAF C. HOFOS, a leading farmer of Bear Creek township, Ransom county, is the owner of three hundred and seventy-five acres of prairie land, on which he conducts general farming. He has made a comfortable home, by earnest and persistent effort, and is well known in his community for his industrious habits and practical ideas. His home is located on section 33, his original homestead farm, and he is enabled to enjoy the comforts which he well merits.

Our subject was born in Solor, near Kongs Vinger, Norway, September 27, 1848, and was the tenth in a family of twelve children born to Ole and Inger (Noer) Hofos. When about seventeen years of age he was apprenticed to learn the cabinetmakers' trade. After attaining his majority he came to America and worked at his trade in Decorah, Iowa, nine years. He went to Fargo, Dakota, in the fall of 1880, and after working at his trade there three years took a homestead farm, and the following year went with his family to reside thereon. He has added to his possessions by purchase, and his estate is one of the well-improved farms of Bear Creek township.

Our subject was married, in 1881, to Miss Christie Myhre. Mr. and Mrs. Hofos are the parents of the following children : Inga ; Oscar; Carl, deceased : Charlotte ; Gertie ; Ovidie, deceased ; Ida ; Gilbert; Grace and Otto. Mr. and Mrs. Hofos have adopted one son, Carl Myhre. Mr. Hofos is a member of the Lutheran church. He has been called upon to serve his township as school director, and has been township clerk since the organization of the township. Politically he is a Populist, and stands stanchly for the principles of his party. He is a man of enlightened views, and keeps pace with current events and advocates reform movements. He is now a member of the Populist county central committee, and has attended as a delegate numerous county and state conventions. He is deservedly held in high esteem by his associates, and labors earnestly for the better interests of his community.

CHARLES J. O. JACOBSON, an intelligent and enterprising general merchant of Preston, Ransom county, enjoys prosperity, mainly through the exercise of good management and honest dealings. He is the present postmaster of Preston, and is efficient in the service.

Our subject was born in Lillihammer. Norway, February 5, 1856, and was the oldest son and second in order of birth in a family of eight children born to Carl J. and Anna (Olson) Jacobson. His father was a goldsmith by trade and passed his days in his native land. Our subject was educated in the high schools of Norway, and learned both German and English in connection with his own language. He was employed in clerking in his native country, and in 1880 came to America on a visit, intending to return after a short stay. He went to Minnesota and there accepted a position in a store at Alexandria, and about 1887 went to Valley City, where he was employed in a store. He formed a partnership with Mr. Lovelace in 1891, at Fort Ransom, and in 1894 disposed of his share of the business, and located his present store. He carries a complete stock of general merchandise, which, when invoiced last winter, amounted to $4,000. He enjoys his share of the patronage, and has extended his possessions by earnest labors.

Our subject was married, in 1883, to Miss Eva Olsen, a native of Rushford, Fillmore county, Minnesota, who was born January 1, 1864. Mr. and Mrs. Jacobson are the parents of five children, as follows: Annie, Mary, Edwin, Rush, and Chester. Mr. Jacobson has served as school treasurer, and taken an active part in educational matters, continually urging more competent instruction and longer terms of school. He is progressive, and public-spirited, and is deservedly held in the highest esteem by his fellows. Politically he is a Republican.

JAMES H. JOHNSON, M. D. The profession to which this gentleman belongs is well represented in Ransom County and a prominent position among the members is accorded Mr. Johnson. He has been a practitioner in North Dakota for the past fifteen years and is widely known as a skilled physician and surgeon. He is established in Lisbon and is also surgeon of the Soldiers Home.

Our subject was born in Niagara County, New York, December 20, 1839, and was the eldest in a family of five sons born to Richard and Laura (Cole) Johnson. His father was a blacksmith by trade and prospered in his business and afforded our subject an excellent education.

James H. Johnson was reared in Wilson, on the banks of Lake Ontario, and sailed several seasons on the Great Lakes. He enlisted in Company G, Seventh New York Cavalry, September 9, 1861, and the following spring the regiment was mustered out without active service. He entered the Buffalo Medical University in 1862 and left his studies in October, 1864, when he was appointed surgeon steward and took service on the sloop of war, San Jacinto, where the service consisted mostly in chasing blockade runners. On New Year's morning, 1865, while engaged in that service off Bahama Isles, they ran on a reef, and were in peril for two days, a landing being effected on Noname Cay, where they remained sixteen days, when the government sent ships for their release. Returning to his home after the expiration of his service, our subject resumed his studies and graduated with the class of 1866.  He located in Kalamo, Michigan, in 1868, and went from thence to Whitehall, Michigan. He went to North Dakota in 1885 and soon afterward established his practice in Libson.

Our subject was married, in 1869, to Miss Cynthia Herring, a native of Michigan. Two sons have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Johnson: R. Roy and Burt. The elder son is a dentist of Lisbon and a graduate of the dental department of the Northwestern University. Our subject is president of the board of pension examiners and has served on the County and city boards of health. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias, G. A. R., Sons of the Revolution and Masonic fraternity, having passed the degrees of the Knights Templar and Mystic Shrine in the last named order. Politically he is a Democrat.

WILLIAM M. JONES, County auditor of Ransom County, is one of the early settlers of North Dakota. He has passed through the experiences of pioneer life, and has surmounted the difficulties which beset the early settler, and is among the prosperous men of that region. He has engaged in various business enterprises, and is a gentleman of much ability and practical labor. 

Our subject was born in Caswell County. North Carolina. March 4. 1850, and was the third in a family of seven children born to James W. and Martha J. (Mims) Jones. The mother died in 1892, and the father in 1899, leaving our subject the only survivor of the family. The father owned a tobacco plantation of about two hundred acres, and on that farm our subject was reared and remained until he was about eighteen years of age, when he entered a general store at Yanceyville, clerking there three years. He was next employed in the same position at Marion, Alabama, and then went to Louisville, Kentucky, where he engaged four years in the commission business. He closed his business in 1879, and went to Fargo, North Dakota. The town then numbered about one thousand inhabitants. Our subject was established in the confectionery and fruit business for two years, during which time he located a homestead tree claim, and pre-emption in the vicinity of Lisbon, then un-platted. He improved his farm, and sustained a residence there, but his business kept him in Fargo most of the time until 1883, when he engaged in farming. He gave up farming in 1888, and set up in the mercantile business at Buttzville, Ransom County, and in 1896 began dealing in real estate in Lisbon. Soon afterward he returned to his native state, and after remaining there about four months returned to North Dakota, since which time he has met with success. 

Our subject was married in 1876 to Miss Mary John, of Alabama. Mr. and Mrs. Jones are the parents of five children, as follows; Mary St. J., William M., John P. Ernest J. and L. Inez.  Mr. Jones is a member of the Baptist church, and politically is a Democrat. He assisted in the erection of the first store building in Lisbon, and is one of the gentleman whose life and labors in North Dakota have been devoted to the better interests of his country. He was elected to his present position in November, 1898, and is conducting the affairs entrusted to him with fidelity and increasing popularity.

GILPERT LA DU, register of deeds of Ransom comity, is one of the early settlers of North Dakota. He has been interested in various business enterprises and is a gentleman of marked business ability and well qualified for the important commission which he is at present filling. He is well known as a worthy citizen and faithful officer.  Mr. LaDu was born in New York. June 26, 1847, and was the fifth in a family of eight children born to Brinckerhoff and Susan (Lamerson) LaDu. the former of French-German extraction and the latter of French-English. Our subject engaged in farming until 1871, during which time he completed his education by a .year's work at Fairfield Seminary, and also taught school two years. He took land in Lac-qui Parle County, Minnesota, in 1871, and soon afterwards established in the drug business with a partner. After one year he became sole proprietor and conducted the business for about three years.  He began railroad work in 1876 and is an expert accountant. He went to Fargo, North Dakota, in 1881, as ticket agent for the St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba Railroad Company, and in 1883 went to Lisbon, Ransom County, in the capacity of book-keeper for a real estate firm, with whom he was associated until 1886, when he formed a partnership with Edward S. Ellis and dealt in real estate and loan business. He withdrew from the partnership in 1888 and the following year was elected clerk of district courts and served three years, since which time he has been deputy register of deeds of Ransom County.

Our subject was married, in 1885, to Miss Flora A. Squier. Mr. and Mrs. LaDu are the parents of three children, named as follows: Edith G., Elva A.  and Viola S. Mr. LaDu, aside from the offices above mentioned, has served as treasurer and County auditor, having been associated with County affairs for the past ten years, and has served the public longer than any man in the court house at present. He has also been city treasurer and a member of the local school board. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and has passed the degrees of the Knights Templar and thirty-second degree Scottish Rite.  Politically he is a Republican.

WARREN H. LAMB, sheriff of Ransom County, residing in Lisbon, is a man who has attained a comfortable competence and an enviable position among his fellowmen by the exercise of those traits of character which came to him from thrifty and enterprising ancestors. He began his career with no financial aid and is now one of the substantial men of his community. He has been a resident of Ransom County for many years and is the owner of a fine estate of three hundred and twenty acres.

Our subject was born in Winneshiek County, Iowa, September 18, 1857, and was the eldest in a family of three children born to LaFayette and Zylpha (Ellison) Lamb. His father was a soldier of the Civil war and died in camp. The Lamb family is of Scotch descent, and dates in America prior to the Revolutionary war, by the coming to this country of three brothers from Scotland. The grandfather of our subject. Judge Lamb, resided in Cattaraugus County, New York.

After the death of our subject's father the family was wholly dependent on the support of the mother, and our subject at the early age of eight years began aiding in their support by herding cattle, at which work he was engaged until about twelve years of age, when the mother remarried and our subject was given some educational advantages. From his boyhood he made his way in the world and finally adopted farm work. He went to Cass County, North Dakota, and worked one year, meanwhile locating land near Fort Ransom, in Ransom County. He had no stock and little means and built a sod shanty and cared for stock during the winter of 1883-1884, and the following spring secured an ox-team and began the improvement of his farm. He now has a well-improved estate of three hundred and twenty acres and raises horses, sheep and hogs. His residence is a comfortable and commodious one and every convenience of farming is supplied. Mr. Lamb Was elected sheriff of Ransom County in 1896. and re-elected in 1898, when he removed his family to Lisbon and invested in a comfortable home in the city.

Our subject was married, in 1878, to Miss Mary E. Keckle, a native of Iowa. Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Lamb, as follows: Grace, Anna and Delnor. Mr. Lamb is a member of the Masonic fraternity. Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Modern Woodmen of America. Politically, he is a Republican, and is a delegate to the numerous County and state conventions. He is an efficient officer, loyal to his duty and honored throughout the County regardless of party affiliations.

HON. ANDREW H. LAUGHLIN. As an all around prominent man of Ransom county, there is probably no one of its citizens who more justly deserves the title than Mr. Laughlin. Being a man possessed of executive ability, success has invariably followed his labors and he enjoys a comfortable income and a high reputation. He is enterprising and progressive and works for the better interests of his community. He has resided in Ransom county since its early settlement and is proprietor of one of the finest stock farms in the Northwest, and is president of the Ransom County Farmers' Institute. His residence is in section 24, township 134, range 56.

Our subject was born in Green Lake county, Wisconsin, November 11, 1848. His ancestry is of Scotch-Irish on the father's side and German-French on the mother's, and the Laughlins are connected with the settlement and development of the state of Vermont. Our subject's father, John Laughlin, was a graduate of the college at Peacham, Vermont, and his active life was devoted to teaching. The mother of our subject bore the maiden name of Permelia Bovee. The family became residents of Wisconsin in 1846, and there our subject was born and raised, devoting himself to agricultural pursuits until twenty-seven years of age. He then taught school for a time and January 28, 1882, arrived on the Sheyenne river, Dakota territory, where he secured about eight hundred acres of land and began farming. He erected his residence on the farm in 1883 and added other equally good improvements. He invested in the farming implement business, in the firm known as Laughlin, Palmer & Company, which for four years was considered the leading implement firm throughout Ransom and adjoining counties. At the first general election in the fall of 1882 he was elected register of deeds, which position he filled for four years, and about the same time opened a real estate and loan office, and during those pioneer times won the reputation of being the most extensive business man of Ransom county. He became sole owner of the implement business in 1886, and was directly responsible for the erection of the Lisbon Cheese Factory in 1889, which is the oldest factory of North Dakota now in operation. The stock interests of North Dakota next engaged his attention and in 1893 he invested in some thoroughbred Galaways, for which he paid thirteen thousand and six hundred dollars, and he now has a herd of about fifty. This has been his most profitable source of income of late years and in 1897 he sold forty cattle for the sum of four thousand dollars.

Our subject was married, in 1883, to Miss Marion J. Dunbar, who died in 1886, leaving two children. Lulu and Leigh. The son was a page in the house during the last session of the legislature. Mr. Laughlin married Miss Eliza Sargeant. in 1889. One child was born to this union, named Dell. Mr. Laughlin was elected commissioner of agriculture and labor of North Dakota, in 1894, and is present appointed as supervisor of the census. He was appointed as supervisor of the census. He was elected as state representative in 1898, and served as chairman of the committee on military affairs. He introduced house bill No. 36, pertaining to state banking affairs, and he originated house bill No. 29, which has received national attention, "a bill providing that county treasurers furnish fidelity bonds at the expense of the county." He also introduced house bill No. 117. creating tlie office of dairy and food commissioner. He is a strict prohibitionist. and politically stands with the Republican party and has served in the central committees of both state and county. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias. Ancient Order of United Workmen and Ancient Order of Foresters and of the Yeomen.

LOUIS LINDSTRUM. In the south central part of Ransom county the foreign-born citizens have formed an extensive settlement and a leading place among them for thrift and honest endeavors is accorded the subject of this review. He is a representative citizen and has labored for the interests of his community, meanwhile laying a foundation for his own prosperity and good name. His farm is one of the pleasant estates of that region and is in section three of township 133, range 55.

Our subject was born in Sweden, July 18, 1867, and was the elder of two sons born to Nels and Hannah (Jacobson) Lindstrum. When sixteen years of age he came to the United States and worked at ditching in Illinois. He went to Dakota in 1883 and worked near Milbank. in what is now South Dakota, and in 1893 purchased land and began farming for himself. His land has produced abundantly and he has met with marked success in the pursuit of farming. He owns a comfortable home and is provided with the usual comforts of rural life.

Our subject was married, November 19, 1893, to Miss Emma Sivertson, a native of Minnesota of Norwegian descent. Mr. and Mrs. Lindstrum are the parents of one son, upon whom they have bestowed the name of Neal. In political faith, Mr. Lindstrum is a Repubhcan and stands firm for his convictions. He has attended as a delegate numerous county conventions and is an earnest worker for his party. He is public-spirited and progressive and is a young man whose future in Dakota is already assured.

HON. EMIT S. LOVELACE, who enjoys an extensive business as a general merchant of Fort Ransom, Ransom county, is one of the pioneer business men of that locality. He started with but limited means, and is now the proprietor of a well-equipped establishment, and also owns two hundred and forty acres of land on which his store building stands.

Mr. Lovelace was born in Clark county. Illinois, June 30, 1849, and was the third in a family of eleven children born to Captain Reason L. and Anna M. (Hadden) Lovelace. The father was of English descent and the mother of Scotch-Irish extraction, both descendants of Colonial families.

Our subject was reared to farm labor, and when about eighteen years of age removed to Stearns county, Minnesota, where he engaged in farming. He remained with his father until he was twenty-six years of age, the last two of the time being spent at cabinet work. He then went to Black Hills and prospected for gold there, and spent four years in Montana and Idaho, and then engaged in business in Minnesota, and in the spring of 1881 went to Valley City, Dakota, from where he walked down the Sheyenne river valley to his present location. He had three hundred dollars in money, and formed a partnership with H. Parsons, and they located a small general store in a 14x16 building on our subject's pre-emption claim, about one-half mile east of the present location of his store. In 1875 he had driven cattle across the plains and had then camped at Fort Ransom, where he found pleasant camping grounds and excellent spring water, and on his return to the spot a mill was in course of erection, which decided him in choosing the place for permanent settlement and investment. The store was started with a capital of five hundred dollars, and after a few months our subject became sole proprietor. The store was small, but it was at first thirty-five miles from a railroad station, three years later was reduced to seventeen miles, and was the trading point for the whole country round, and has steadily increased in patronage to the present time. He is extensively interested in valuable mining property in Oregon and Washington.

Our subject was married, in 1894, to Miss Betsy Peterson. Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Lovelace, as follows: Florence E.; Philip J., deceased: and Nora. Mr. Lovelace is a member of the Masonic fraternity, Modern Woodmen of America and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. Politically he is a Republican, and was elected by his party as a state representative in 1896. This was one of the hardest fought political battles of Ransom county, but our subject was favored to the extent of carrying his own township, a strong Populist locality. He is an efficient worker for the advancement of his community, and is highly esteemed by those among whom he has resided for so many years.



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