Wilmer Williamson was born February 21, 1912 at his home just east of the Trap Rock School, section nine, Eureka Township. Wilmer’s father, William came to this country from Norway when he was two years old.


     Olivia Rostad (?)was a teacher at the Trap Rock School and soon William and Olivia married. Nine children followed.


William died young and Olivia married a neighbor, Olof Knutson. Olof’s farm was in section eight.

The whole family worked hard on the farm, the girls helped as well as the boys. They had a large herd of milk cows, usually around 52 milking.  Wilmer said he never could milk as fast as his father, his dad could milk twelve an hour, Wilmer could milk more that eight cows an hour. Wilmer did not get into too much trouble as a boy but does remember one Halloween. He was not old enough to go with the older boys to tip over out-houses but he and a few friends thought up another prank. A neighbor had an outhouse with a window in the back and a pile of cordwood close by. The boys threw as much wood into the outhouse as they could. The door happened to open toward the inside, you can imagine that the first one to the outhouse in the morning was not to happy.


Wilmer graduated from eighth grade at the Trap Rock School and then went on to graduate from Milltown High School in 1929 with thirty-nine other students. Next came the depression so Wilmer’s plans of college were set aside. For two and a half years, his parents and four of the boys worked on a farm in Winona, Minnesota to make ends meet. Afterward they returned to Eureka Township. 


In 1941, Wilmer’s dad got blood poisoning and the doctor suggested that he go to California, which he and Olivia did for a year. The four boys were left to take care of the farm. They had never raised many pigs, being mainly dairy farmers, but just after their parents left for California they heard about a big fire up in the grain bins in Duluth. This brought an idea to the boys and they went to the bank at Centuria to see if they could borrow money. The rules at that time were that the limit that a person could borrow without collateral was $250, so each boy borrower the limit and they invested $1,000 in 250 pigs. The salvaged grain was hauled by train to Milltown and the boys used an old pick-up to haul it home. A year later they paid off $8,000 off on the mortgage. That was the first year that more than the interest was paid.


A person had to make money where you could; Wilmer and Olivia kept books for several businesses in Centuria, Wilmer and three friends worked one summer in Dakota for a dollar, twenty-five a day, sixty dollars  for the summer. He also worked at a large farm in Dakota for one year where he made fifteen dollars a month. He would have stayed but his father called him home.


William and his brother, Fred, purchased bare land about a mile north of Centuria. The log home that Wilmer was born in was taken down, the logs numbered and it was erected on the new piece of property.




Friday night was the evening that everyone went to town. Gladys ?

had gone to school with Wilmer but she was six years younger than him, but one Friday night he realized that she had grown up and he asked he on a date. Gladys had returned from Business College in the cities. Their first date was dancing at Half Moon Lake. From then on Wilmer was not home as much so his mother suggested he marry her and settle down, which is what they did.

The family went to North Valley Church as they were growing up but later Wilmer joined and sometimes sang in the choir of the First Lutheran in Milltown, where he married Gladys in 1943.


Gladys and Wilmer spent a year working in the cities and then cam back and bought land about one mile north of Centuria on the west side of highway 35 (Eureka Township, section 36). A



Wilmer did not think much of the first automatic milk machines. They were made in Winona, Minnesota, and operated with a wooden rod, it gave no massage, just suction and the cows would get very sore after a few milkings. Wilmer did say that they would use them once in a while when they were in a great hurry.