Trails to the Past
Traill County North Dakota
HENRY E. ALLEN, one of the leading and well-to-do merchants of Galesburg. Traill county, has been a resident of North Dakota for nearly twenty years, and is identified with her growth and progress. He is now engaged in the hardware business, and also handles lumber, wood and coal, and also follows contracting. He owns considerable farm real estate in that vicinity, and is well and favorably known.
Our subject was born in Lockport, New York, March 28, 1859, and was the fourth in a family of nine children, five sons and four daughters, born to William H. and Ruth (Brown) Allen. He received a common school education, and at the age of nineteen years commenced to earn his own livelihood. He engaged in business about two years and then went to Michigan in 1880 where he followed teaching one year. He went to Casselton, North Dakota, in the summer of 1881, and one year later moved to Jamestown, where he engaged in contracting and building, which occupation he has followed for fifteen years, and also farming. He moved to Fargo in the spring of 1893, and in the fall of 1895 took up his residence in Galesburg, where he now resides, and is prospering in his business. He purchased one hundred and twenty acres of land near there, and also owns considerable property in the town of Galesburg.
Our subject was married, January 14, 1896, to Miss Lillie Wansbrough. One son has been born to Mr. and Mrs. Allen, a bright little boy now aged two years. Mr. Allen is a Unitarian in belief, and is highly esteemed in the community in which lie resides. He is independent in politics, and is a man of good education, and keeps pace with the times in all matters of importance.
HON. FRANCIS W. AMES, attorney-at-law of Mayville, is one of the leading men of his profession in North Dakota, and is known throughout that section as a man of broad mind and untiring perseverance.
Our subject was born in Wiscasset, Maine, December 16, 1851, and was the youngest of six children, born to Charles H. and Zobida (Tucker) Ames. His father was a carriage maker. Our subject entered Trinity College at Hartford, Connecticut, and completed a course of four years in 1876, graduating with the degree of B. A. He taught in the meantime and of necessity was one extra year in completing the course in college, and soon after his graduation entered the law office of Hon. H. C. Robinson, of Hartford, and was admitted to the bar in 1879. He was clerk in the office of the treasurer of Trinity College, two years, and in October, 1880, went to Caledonia, Dakota, and established in his profession, the business chiefly pertaining to real estate and the land office business. He is now the oldest resident lawyer of Traill county. He was appointed clerk of the district court in 1881 and held office until 1885, and in the fall of that year removed to Mayville, where he formed a partnership with George O. Stomner, conducting a general law, real estate and loan business. Mr. Ames assumed sole ownership of the business in 1891, and now devotes his attention to his profession alone. He was a charter stockholder of the First National Bank of Mayville, and is vice-president of the institution. He has a handsome and commodious residence in Mayville, and enjoys his ever-increasing practice.
Our subject was married, in 1883, to Miss Lucia A. Phelps. Four children born to Mr. and Mrs. Ames complete the family circle, and are as follows: Corrie, aged fifteen years; Genie, aged thirteen years; Chauncey C, aged nine years, and Harold, aged six years. Mr. Ames was elected state's attorney as a third party Prohibitionist in 1888, and was returned to the same office on the Republican ticket. He was elected to the state senate in the fall of 1898, and was a member of the judiciary committee, and introduced and was instrumental in carrying many of the important bills, some relating to the altering and changing of court procedure. He took a prominent part in the senatorial fight for Congressman Johnson and made the nominating speech. He has served as county attorney and has prosecuted many well-known characters. He is one of the wide-awake men of the state and his name is indissolubly connected with the growth and development of Traill county and its surrounding country.
OLE ARNEGARD, a member of the firm of Arnegard & Lofthus, hardware dealers of Hillsboro. North Dakota, is one of the rising young men of his community. He went to North Dakota in his early youth and has become a thorough citizen of that state and earnestly works for its social interests. He is an able business man, and is interested extensively in farming in Norway township, being one of the early settlers of that locality.
Our subject was born in Rice county, Minnesota, September 22, 1869, and was the eldest of nine children born to Ole C. and Marit (Knutson) Arnegard, both of whom were natives of Norway. The father emigrated to America in 1860 and served in the Civil war in Company G, Eighth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, for one and a half years. He was married to Marit Knutson in 1868. The family moved to Norway township, Traill county, North Dakota, in 1878, where Mr. Arnegard died in 1896. The mother passed away in 1886.
Our subject went to North Dakota with his parents and followed the breaking plow drawn by oxen for several seasons. During the winter of 1888-89 he attended Willmar Seminary and completed a three-years course in a business and academic course, and in the spring of 1892 taught one term of school. In the fall of that year he entered the University of North Dakota at Grand Forks, and graduated with the class of 1896. He then spent two years conducting his father s farm, as he was administrator, and He is now in possession of the homestead farm, which is fully improved. It is located in the Goose River valley and from eighty acres of abundant timber he sells elm, ash, oak and box elder. He owns four hundred and seventy acres of choice land in Norway township and his farm is under cultivation and furnishes a good income. The present firm of Arnegard & Lofthus was established in January, 1899, succeeding to the old established business of P. L. Prichard. Mr. Arnegard worked two seasons as expert machinist for Harvester, King & Company, and a salesman for the Deering Harvester Company.
Mr. Arnegard is a member of the Lutheran church, and of the Knights of Pythias, and in political sentiment is a Republican. He is a gentleman of rare ability and intelligence and was elected trustee of Grand Forks College in 1899.
CHARLES F. BAHNSEN, editor and publisher of the "Statstidende" (State Journal), is a gentleman of wide experience in newspaper work and is meeting with success in that line in Hillsboro, Traill County. He is well educated, intelligent and possessed of excellent characteristics and occupies a prominent place as a true citizen.
Our subject was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, October 8, 1859, and was the second of nine children, born to Nic. F. and Louiso (Schroader) Bahnsen. He went to live with his maternal grandparents when he was two years of age and was given liberal educational advantages until his fourteenth year, when he was apprenticed to the printer's trade and served five years. He went to Chicago in the spring of 1882 and worked there about three years in the office of the Scandinavian paper, although he was well educated in English. He later went to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and in a short time established a small job printing shop, which he conducted one year and then worked in Minneapolis four years. He went to Hatton, Traill County, in the fall of 1892 and worked on the sheet established by A. S. Froslid, known as the "Banneret," a Norwegian sheet. Mr. Bahnsen leased this plant in 1894 and edited the paper until 1895. when he disposed of his interests and entered the employ of the purchaser and the plant was removed to Mayville. He went to Hillsboro in October, 1898. and in April, 1899, leased the plant which he now operates. He publishes a weekly paper, Tuesdays, containing four seven-column pages, and the paper has a liberal patronage. The "Statstidende" was established in May, 1897, by the Banner Publishing Company and operated by them until our subject assumed charge in April, 1899.
Mr. Bahnsen was married, in 1889, to Miss Ida Carlson. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Bahnsen, named as follows: Frederick W. and Eda. Mr. Bahnsen is a Republican in political faith and is a strong adherent to party principles.
HENRY BIERMANN is one of the leading and influential farmers of Traill county, where in he is a large land owner. His farm is in section 22 of Eldorado township, and his residence is located on the northeast quarter. He has been successful as an agriculturist, but many years were spent in a seemingly fruitless struggle for the accumulation of a comfortable home. He lived in his first log house for many years and labored with untiring energy, his efforts being rewarded by the acquisition of a fine property and a high station as a citizen.
Our subject was born in Nemberg. Germany, July 10, 1847, and was the younger of two children born to Henry and Mary ( Patroson) Biermann. His mother died in 1853 and in 1859 the father with his two children crossed the ocean and arrived in New Orleans shortly before Christmas and there took a steamer up the Mississippi river to St. Louis and there visited an uncle of our subject. The father began farming in St. Louis county, Missouri, and after a few years remarried.
Although but fourteen years of age our subject enlisted, August 14, 1861. in Company G. Twelfth Missouri Volunteer Infantry. Pea Ridge was the first engagement and then followed Vicksburg, Chattanooga, Lookout Mountain and the bat-burg. Chattanooga, Lookout Mountain and the battle of Atlanta and the capture of Atlanta, and then he marched with Sherman to the sea and then northward and participated in the grand review at Washington. He took part in some of the hardest-fought engagements and though but a boy proved himself loyal to the cause of his adopted land. He was home but eight days during his long and hard .service and most of the time was actively engaged at the front. He was mustered out September 3, 1864, and afterward worked in Missouri at farm labor. He went to Cook county, Illinois, in 1867 and followed farm work and about 1870 returned to Missouri and from there, in the fall of 1878. went to Dakota, arriving at Fargo with thirty dollars and a few household goods. His father-in-law had preceded him to the Goose river country and he took land as near him as could be found and erected a 16x24-foot shanty. He incurred debts in getting farm machinery and teams and his second crop was destroyed by prairie fire. He now owns four hundred acres of plow land and ten acres of timber and on his home farm has erected a large barn and comfortable residence and enjoys country life.
Our subject was married, December 17, 1870, to Miss Augusta Housemann. Eleven children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Biermann, as follows : William ; Louisa : John; Katie, deceased ; Henry; Amelia: Emile; Hammon, deceased; Henrietta ; Carl, deceased, and Alfred. Mr. Biermann is a member of the German Lutheran church and in political sentiment is a Republican and is also a member of the G.A. R. He is a member of the township board and is influential in public affairs.
ESTEN A. BORSHEIM. This gentleman is one of the educational workers of North Dakota and is the present County superintendent of schools of Traill County. He has devoted his career to the profession of teaching and has met with un-bounded success. He is a gentleman of excellent education and broad mind, and every need of the community in which he labors is anticipated by him and the standard of education advanced as far as lies in his power.
Our subject was born in Kingservik. Hardanger, Norway, April 11, 1869, and was the younger of two sons born to Anders and Sigrid (Huus) Borsheim, both of whom now reside in Winneshiek County, Iowa. His parents located in Iowa in 1883 and settled on a farm.
Mr. Borsheim attended the common schools and in 1886-87 attended Decorah Institute, and in July. 1888, went to Dakota and visited his brother in Nelson County. In the winter of 1889-90 he taught for the first time in Winneshiek County, Iowa, and the following spring went to Traill County, North Dakota, and began teaching in Garfield township, near the village of Hatton, and then became thoroughly identified with educational work in Traill County, being in the school room almost continuously until the fall of 1896, when he was elected to the office he now holds, and his efficient work and popularity is best evidenced by the fact that he was returned to the same office in 1898. He has worked for a uniform series of text books and has met with success in that line, and he now has under his supervision one hundred school buildings, with one hundred and twenty-six departments and an enrollment of scholars of thirty-six hundred and forty-six and one hundred and thirty teachers. There are four thousand scholars of school age in the County. The average salary of the teachers in the County for the year 1898-99 was forty-three dollars and fifty-two cents. The abolition of the institute and the establishment of four weeks of summer school has tended to raise the standard of instructors throughout the County.
Mr. Borsheim was married, in 1895, to Miss Bertha Wambheim. Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Borsheim, as follows: Allie Lawrence, Sylvia C. and Arthur M. Mr. Borsheim is a member of the Knights of Pythias and Modern Woodmen of America, and politically is a Republican.
KNUT O. BROKKE is successfully pursuing farming on the fertile soil of Belmont township, Traill county, and his home is in section 10 of township 147, range 49. He is yet in the prime of vigorous manhood, progressive and enterprising, and is highly respected as a citizen and farmer.
Our subject was born in Winneshiek county, Iowa, May 28, 1863, and was the fourth child and oldest son in a family of seven children born to Ole K. and Berget (Knutson) Brokke. His parents were natives of Norway and came to America in 1861 and now reside in Belmont township, Traill county. Our subject was reared to a quiet farm life, and in 1878. when fifteen years of age, went with his parents to Dakota and the family became one of the earliest settlers any distance from the river. Our subject was deprived of school advantages at the age of fifteen years and has acquired his knowledge by contact with the world and by his own efforts. He remained at home for some years and then assumed charge of the farm of Knud Nomland four years, after which he purchased the land on which he now resides. He has three hundred and twenty acres of land and has made a success of his vocation.
Our subject was married in 1883 to Miss Gertie Nomland. Seven children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Brokke as follows: Betsie, Tilda, Emma, Ole, Gergen, Clarence and Leona. Mr. Brokke has served as a member of the township board for seven years and is now chairman of the board. He has also served as assessor and is prominent in public affairs. He was identified with the movements of the Alliance and supported the Populist party and was one of the organizers of the party in Belmont township. He holds membership in the Modern Woodmen of America.
EBEN W. L. CARKIN. In Hillsboro township, Traill county, there is quite a settlement of New Englanders, whose thrifty habits have brought them success in a country where extravagant outlay has accomplished little or nothing more. Comfortable homes, good schools and culture and refinement are evidenced in their every-day life and surroundings and as one of this class the gentleman above named is entitled to prominent mention. Mr. Carkin has a fine farm of seven hundred acres and his home in section 28 is a model in every particular, although less ostentatious in appearance than many of those of the so-called "bonanza farmers" of the country. He has pushed steadily forward and by perseverance and economical habits and good judgment has acquired a home of comfort and easy circumstances.
Our subject was born in Appleton, Knox county, Maine. July 10, 1850. and was the fourth in a family of six children born to Isaac and Sabra (Bump) Carkin, both of whom are deceased. He left his home when nineteen years of age and obtained employment in a shoe factory at Marblehead, Massachusetts, and after about sever! years of that work, during which time he had obtained a modest bank account, he returned to his native state and in Appleton he embarked in the general merchandise business and conducted this extensively until 1882. In the spring of that year the "westward ho" fever seized him and he went to North Dakota and was soon established on a farm in the Red river valley, boarding himself and following his ox-team and plow, an employment wholly foreign to that followed by him for the preceding thirteen years. His family joined him in 1884 and have resided in North Dakota continuously since. He has purchased additional land and improved his farm and has an excellent property, which yields an abundant crop of grain annually.
Our subject was married to Miss Ada L. York, in 1882. Mrs. Carkin was for several years engaged in the school rooms of New England and is always interested in all pertaining to educational advancement. For the purpose of giving their children the best school advantages they reside in Hillsboro during the winter months. Their children are as follows: John H., Theone, Howard E. and Everett O. Mr. Carkin is a member of the Masonic fraternity, Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Independent Order of Foresters. He is identified with the Democratic party in politics and has mixed freely in public affairs, and considering the fact that his party is in the minority, he has proven himself a decidedly popular man. He was elected county commissioner in 1897 and is now serving as chairman of the county board. For many years he has served as township treasurer and has assisted in the up building of schools in Hillsboro township and city. He is a gentleman of broad views and well merits his high standing.
WILLIAM T. H. CUMMINS, is one of the prominent young man of Kelso, Traill county, where he is identified with the business and farming interests of the locality. He is the Kelso agent for the Minneapolis & Northern Elevator Company, also agent for the lumber firm of O. C. Sarles & Company, and has recently purchased land near the village of Kelso.
Our subject was born in Newburgh, New York, February 22, 1863, and was the youngest of three children born to Samuel and Jane (Henderson) Cummins. His father now resides in Alexandria, Minnesota. The parents of our subject were born in Ireland, and the mother was of Scotch descent.
Mr. Cummins lived in his native state until the spring of 1870, when he removed with his parents to Pope county, Minnesota, where the father settled on a farm, and our subject was reared on the farm. He received a high-school education, and at an early age began teaching, and was thus engaged about three years, during which time he also engaged in wheat buying. He purchased, wheat for Porter, Pratt, Wheeter & Whalen, at Elliott, Minnesota, in 1889, and in the fall of 1890 bought for the North Dakota Elevator Company at Voss and Niagara, and in the spring of 1892 went to Kelso, where he has resided since. He has become thoroughly identified with the interests of the community in which he makes his home and has prospered.
Our subject was married, in 1892, to Miss Sarah J. Cox, a native of Minnesota. Her parents were Edwin and Alice (Andrew) Cox, both natives of Canada, and came to Minnesota in 1866. Mr. Cox served one term in the legislature, and was a prominent man in his adopted state. One daughter has been born to Mr. and Mrs. Cummins, now four years of age, upon whom they have bestowed the name of Dorothy G. Mr. Cummins is a thirty-second-degree Mason, and in political faith is a Republican. He has attended numerous conventions, and takes an active part in the affairs of his party. He has served as justice of the peace since taking up his residence in Kelso, and is well known as a young man who is rapidly gaining a high position as a citizen and business man.
THOR G. DAHL, one of the well known and .influential business men of Hillsboro, is engaged in the abstract business there and is also part owner of the Hillsboro Roller Mills. He was born in Bratsberg, Christian Sands Stift, Norway, September I, 1857, and was the youngest in a family of eight children.
Mr. Dahl's parents, Gunleik and Liv (Bleka) Dahl, were natives of Norway, and the mother still lives and makes her home there. Our subject was given a liberal education and prepared himself for teaching, and when nineteen years of age went to Christiania and completed a commercial course and then applied himself for about one year to office work. He then came to America in 1879 to try his fortunes in the New World and at once went to Freeborn county, Minnesota, and taught a Norwegian school in Albert Lea. He attended a high school in the city one year and with the education gained in his native land had a good start. He then went to Portland, Traill county. North Dakota, in the spring of 1882, and spent four years clerking in a general merchandise store, during which time he secured a homestead in Steele county, that state. He went to Portland in 1885, after proving up on his land, and then began work for the Breed & Lennen Lumber Company, and was in their employ about three years, when he purchased the yard and conducted the business for about five years. He was elected register of deeds of Traill county, and with his family removed to the county seat, and served four years. He purchased a set of abstract books in the fall of 1894 and has since conducted abstracting. He purchased a half interest in the Hillsboro Roller Mills in February, 1897, a mill of seventy-five barrels capacity.
Our subject was married, in 1885, to Ingeborg E. Lee. Eight children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Dahl, named as follows: Gerhard: Nora; Elmer, deceased; Inga; Lottie; Elmer and Roy, twins; and Herman. Mr. Dahl is a member of the Lutheran church and in political sentiment is a Republican. He is prominent in affairs of his party and attends county and state conventions as a delegate.
CLARK C. DALRYMPLE. residing on section 35, in Hillsboro township, Traill county, conducts one of the most extensive and best-known estates in North Dakota. He is a young man of superior business qualifications and his judicious management of his farming interests has placed him among the solid men of the state. He now owns and operates two thousand acres of land, which furnishes a handsome annual income.
Our subject was born in Sugar Grove, Warren county. Pennsylvania, June 19, 1863, and was the youngest of three sons constituting the family of children born to Reuben and Isadore (Jackson) Dalrymple. The Dalrymple family in the United States came originally from Scotland, being descended from Sir David Dalrymple, by a son, Andrew Dalrymple, born 1684, who left Scotland for Ireland and from thence came to America in 1713. He settled permanently in Worcester county, Massachusetts, and was the father of seven children. One son, Andrew, was a captain in the British army and served in the French and Indian war of 1756. Another son, David, was a farmer, and the ancestor of the present Dalrymple family of North Dakota. Of his eleven children, four served in the Revolutionary war, enlisting from Northbridge, Massachusetts. One of these sons settled in Pennsylvania, and his son, Clark, resided in Sugar Grove, Pennsylvania, and was the grandfather of the subject of this review.
Mr. Dalrymple at the age of twenty years went to Dakota, in 1883. and entered the employ of his brother and uncle, as assistant superintendent of the Grandin farm near Hillsboro. He held that position seven years and became thoroughly acquainted with the management of a Dakota farm, and in 1890 purchased section 35, in Hillsboro township, and placed stock upon it and raised his first crop of grain in 1891. He has since increased his holdings and is now in possession of two thousand acres of some of the choicest land in the Northwest. His farm is fully equipped with modern appliances and machinery and an artesian well furnishes an abundant supply of excellent water. He has fifteen men employed during the working months and three through the winter. The Great Northern Railroad Company has built a spur of their road to tlie farm, so that wheat may be hauled from the machine.
Our subject was married, in 1891, to Miss Murna Lord, a native of Pennsylvania. Mrs. Dalrymple is a lady of rare attainments and was an educator in Pennsylvania for seven years. Her parents were Samuel and Fidelia (Phillips) Lord, the former a native of Yorkshire, England, the latter of Chautauqua county, New York. Mrs. Lord was a daughter of Dr. Joseph Phillips, who came from the Massachusetts Phillips family, also a connection of the Webber family, an old Holland family of early New York. Two children have been born to bless the home of Mr. and Mrs. Dalrymple. as follows: Dorothy I. and Alton R. Mr. Dalrymple is a member of the Masonic fraternity and has passed the degrees of the Mystic Shrine and also holds membership in the Knights of Pythias. In political sentiment he is a Republican, but does not hold strictly to party lines and devotes his entire attention to his farming interests, taking little part in public affairs.
CHARLES A. DIGNESS. Among the better class of agriculturists of Traill County, the gentleman above named is entitled to a foremost rank. He has a pleasant home in section 26 of Garfield township, and has gained a high standing with his associates for his push and energy and active public spirit.
Our subject was born in Solor, Norway, in 1855, and was the second in a family of eleven children, born to Svenung and Maren (Bredesen) Digness. He remained in Norway until 1864 and then emigrated to America and settled at Decorah, Winneshiek County, Iowa, and there attended business college and gained a good knowledge of the English language and the principles of commercial life. In 1878 he went to Traill County, North Dakota, and entered claim to three hundred and twenty acres of government land. He now has one of the best improved farms of the locality and is thoroughly versed in the most approved methods of its operation. He has a comfortable residence erected in 1897. and a fine barn with sheds and shelter for over thirty head of stock and seventy tons of hay. The farm is well arranged in the way of improvements and he has made a success of general farming.
Our subject was married in 1883 to Mina Carolina Jensen. Three daughters and one son have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Digness. as follows: Selma, Anna, Cornelia and Agnar. Mr. Digness has served as a township officer since the organization of Garfield township, with the exception of three years, when he served as County commissioner, being chosen for the latter office in 1891 and served one term. He was a delegate to the state convention in 1890 on the Republican ticket, and was nominated presidential elector on the Fusion ticket in 1896. He is a leader in township and County affairs, and well merits his enviable reputation.
ARTHUR EDMONDS is one of the representative general farmers of Traill county and has been a conspicuous figure in the development and extension of the great agricultural and business interests of the eastern part of North Dakota. He lives on the banks of the Red river of the North and owns nineteen hundred and forty acres of land located in Minnesota and North Dakota, and his home, in Caledonia township. Traill county, is one of the most complete and modern residences in his locality.
Our subject was born in Bedford, Canada, August 26, 1856, and was the tenth in order of birth in a family of eleven children born to Joseph and Arvilla (Rouse) Edmonds, natives respectively of Vermont and Canada. The family was of German and Scotch descent.
When our subject was one year of age a home was made in St. Lawrence county, New York, and when he was but three years of age the mother died, and during war times the father, with his second wife and family of children, moved to Houston county, Minnesota, and the father followed farming there. Our subject had eight half brothers and sisters. He left home in 1876 for western Minnesota, and in the spring of 1877, in company with Messrs. Houghton and Steele, went to the Red river valley from New Albion, Iowa. He had no effects and but few dollars in cash and after reaching Caledonia, Traill county, he secured a half-section of government land, but had not the means with which to develop the farm and worked for others at farm work and also in the hotel at Caledonia until 1880. His faith in the future of the country prompted him to purchase two hundred and forty-six acres of land, on which he made a payment of fifty dollars in 1882, and he then went to live on his estate. He has added to his possessions from time to time and his farm has attained generous proportions. The buildings on his home farm are of good construction and his residence is furnished with an artesian well and other conveniences of modern farming, while he has storehouses and an elevator fitted with improvements of the latest pattern. His farm includes one hundred and twenty acres of timber land, and with his own saw mill he has framed most of his buildings. A private ferry connects his land lying on the Dakota side with that in Minnesota. His average wheat crop is about eighteen to twenty bushels per acre, but his crop of 1891 from five hundred acres was sixteen thousand bushels of wheat. No. 1, hard, which sold for eighty-five cents per bushel, and again in 1895 he had a similar yield. Mr. Edmonds has met with severe losses in his struggle to reach comfortable circumstances, and in 1892 lost five thousand dollars worth of property by fire. Mr. Edmonds is now turning his attention to stock and has a small herd of thoroughbred Hereford cattle and proposes increasing his stock in this direction. His farming operations necessitate the use of forty-five head of horses and employment of ten men regularly. He has reached a station of wealth and influence and enjoys his winter months with his family in California or elsewhere in quest of milder climate.
Our subject was married. March 8, 1881, to Miss Sophia Olson, a native of Sweden. Six children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Edmonds, as follows: Edith, who is completing a musical education at St. Mary's Hall, Minnesota: Elmer, Charles G.. Jessie M., Oscar W. and Tracey D. Mr. Edmonds, since taking up his residence in North Dakota, has been actively interested in public affairs and is an attendant of county and state conventions. Politically he is a Republican, and is a member of the 1. O. O. F. and I. O. F. He was one of the organizers and is one of the directors and stockholders of the H. D. C. & S. Telephone Company, and is one of the solid men of North Dakota and highly esteemed by a large circle of friends.
CHANDLER S. EDWARDS, the present president of the Goose River Bank, at Mayville, Traill County, 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.
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 1804 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 up building 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.
SWEN ELLINGSON. A prominent position as a citizen and a pioneer business man of Reynolds, Traill county, is accorded this gentleman. He is conducting the furniture and crockery business in that town, and is a successful merchant, having been identified with the financial and social growth of Reynolds for nearly twenty years. The town site of Reynolds was taken by Doctor Reynolds, the "Red Ribbon" temperance worker.
Mr. Ellingson was born in Halingdal, Buskerud Amt, Christiania Stift, Norway, December 15, 1851. He was the eldest in a family of eight born to Elling and Gunild (Bernsdatter) Swenson, both of whom are deceased. Our subject was induced by relatives to come to America in 1873 and first worked at farm work at St. Peter, Minnesota, and was also employed at teaching during the winter months in the Norwegian schools. He went to Belmont township, Traill county, in the spring of 1878 and entered a homestead claim, and became one of the earliest "prairie settlers" between Fargo and Grand Forks. He soon completed a small shanty which served as a home for himself and family and began farming, but had no teams or implements and the work was necessarily slow in its progress. He established a general merchandise store in Reynolds in 1881 and conducted the same until he met with reverses in 1893. He recovered his rating in 1895 and established the furniture and crockery business which he now conducts, and he is also in the undertaking business. He has one of the handsomest residences of the village, and has placed himself in comfortable circumstances by his own efforts.
Our subject was married, in 1877. to Miss Liv Thompson, who died in 1879. Mr. Ellingson married Miss Olevia Gaustad in 1881. Seven children were born to this union, as follows: Julia, Elling. Selmer, Carl, Oscar, Lilly and Esther. Mr. Ellingson is a stanch Republican and a strong temperance worker, and is recognized as a leader of party movements. He has filled various offices of trust, has been justice of the peace since an early day, and in 1878 was appointed to fill a vacancy on the board of county commissioners, and has served as assessor. When the town of Reynolds was incorporated Mr. Ellingson was elected a member of the board of education, which position he still holds.
ASLE ENGEBRETSON, residing in section 18, in Eldorado township, operates a farm of seven hundred and twenty acres and is one of the substantial and highly esteemed early settlers of that region. He follows diversified farming and is well versed in his calling and has met with unbounded success.
Our subject was born in Nore, Prestegjeld Nummedal. Norway, June 25, 1857, and was the youngest of a family of nine children, only three of whom are now living. His parents, Ingebret and Ligeri Asleson, became early settlers of Dakota, and passed away at the home of our subject, the father February 26, 1889, and the mother May 14, 1896.
When about sixteen years of age our subject crossed the ocean with his parents and sister to join his brother who had previously settled in this country, and they made their home in Clayton county. Iowa. Our subject worked there a few months at farm labor and then went to Palo Alto county, Iowa, and there remained until the spring of 1879 when he borrowed some money and with his parents went to Dakota, arriving at Caledonia with but two and a half dollars. Father and son both secured land, our subject taking his as a pre-emption, and after about two years turned it into a homestead. He broke two and a half acres of land and built a sod stable and in January, 1881, fearing others would take the claim, he erected a board shanty on top of four feet of snow. The snow was so deep that he could not haul the lumber to the site of his building and he was obliged to dump the load and then carry it piece by piece to his building through the snow. He now has a good farm with excellent improvements, including. an artesian well, which was completed after seven years in attempting to secure water and is sunk to a depth of two hundred and sixty-two feet. He engages in general farming and has a property well adapted to that line of agriculture. He has a comfortable and convenient residence, erected in 1892.
Our subject was married, in 1888, to Miss Annie Bergstrum, a native of Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Mrs. Engebretson spent most of her career in Iowa and when seventeen years of age began teaching and for seven years was identified with educational work in Palo Alto county. Mr. and Mrs. Engebretson are the parents of three children. named as follows: Signora Alvina, Irvin LeGrande and Alice Stephena. The family are members of the Lutheran church and are held in high esteem throughout the community in which they make their home. Our subject has served many years on the township board and is active in public affairs of local importance. He is a Republican in political sentiment and has attended numerous state conventions.
MARTIN ERICKSON. Galesburg, the southwestern township of Traill county. North Dakota, was not settled as early as were many of the other townships of that locality, but those who first took up their residence there endured the hardships of pioneer life, and may as truly be called pioneers as any in the state of North Dakota. Among these families who were the first settlers may be named the Erickson family, and a sketch of Martin Erickson is here presented.
Mr. Erickson was the fifth in a family of ten children born to John and Ellen (Pearson) Erickson. His father, who has passed away, was one of the first men to homestead in Galesburg township, and the mother now resides with our subject and owns the old homestead. The family came to America from Norway when our subject was thirteen years of age, and located in Goodhue county, Minnesota, where they lived until 1879 and then went to North Dakota.
Our subject filed claim to land in the spring of 1880 and built a 12x14 board shanty, where he lived much of the time alone until 1883, and then erected a more commodious building, the kitchen of his present comfortable residence. In choosing his homestead he has a fine location, and from his door may be seen a great stretch of country, and villages are discernable in almost every direction. He has secured an abundant flow of surface water of superior quality at a depth of twenty-five feet, and his farm is well adapted to general farming.
Our subject was married, in 1883, to Miss Sigrid Werness. Six children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Erickson, as follows: John, deceased; Joseph, deceased : Elvine ; Signe ; Halidan ; and Eliot, deceased. Mr. Erickson is recognized as one of the leading men of his township, and from an early day has faithfully performed the duties entrusted to him. He is a Republican in political faith, and strong in his convictions.
TOM ERICKSON, residing on section 20, in township 145, range 52 Blanchard township, is a striking example of a self-made man. He has gained a fine property by his push and energy and now owns and operates six hundred and forty acres of land.
Our subject was born on the farm Storedal in Aals Prestyold, Halingdal Stift, Norway, February 18, 1857, and was the fifth of six children born to Erick and Martte (Torkleson) Swenson, both of whom are deceased. He came to America at the age of nineteen years and visited his sister who resided in Wisconsin, and in the spring of 1877 went to Fargo, and from there to Caledonia, and from there took a general survey of Traill county and selected the land which is his present home farm and filed claim thereon. He arrived at Caledonia with two and a half dollars, which he used for filing his papers on the pre-emption and then worked for others and as soon as he secured sixteen dollars filed his claim on the tree claim. He built a small sod house on the pre-emption and worked at farm labor near Fargo and passed two winters in the Minnesota woods. After about two years he purchased a yoke of oxen and began farming. He soon afterward established a saloon in Blanchard and operated the same four years and then purchased more land and moved to his farm and began the cultivation of four hundred and eighty acres. His wheat was damaged by frost in 1888 and he lost most of his crop by hail in 1889. He erected a fine barn in 1891 and has a good set of farm buildings, also a store building in town and four building lots. Mr. Erickson is a Republican in politics and has attended the state and county conventions in the interest of his party.
Our subject was married, in 1883, to Miss Annie Anderson. Mrs. Erickson died in 1895. Three children were born to this union, as follows: Edward. Lottie and Nellie, deceased. Mr. Erickson was married to Miss Minnie Olson, a native of Trempealeau county, Wisconsin, in January, 1899. Mr. Erickson is well known for his active public spirit and is deservedly held in high esteem by his many friends.
EVEN I. EVANSON (sometimes spelled "Avenson") is one of the most prominent and successful farmers of Traill county, and his home is on section 6, South Roseville township, on the south fork of the south branch of Goose river.
Mr. Evanson was born in Norway, June 3, 1846, and was the eldest child of ten children born to John and Johanna (Lea) Evanson. The father now makes his home with our subject, while seven of the brothers and sisters are located near him in Traill, Steele and Grand Forks counties. Mr. Evanson was reared on a farm in his native land, and in 1869 came to America, accompanied by an uncle about his own age. They worked in Iowa county, Wisconsin, and together purchased a farm.
In 1877 Mr. Evanson came to Dakota, having about two hundred dollars. In 1878 he took up government land and erected a log house 16x24 feet, and which, with additions, is his present residence. He boarded with a family in the neighborhood and worked upon his land, making valuable improvements and putting it under cultivation. He soon sent for his parents, and also assisted his brothers and sisters in getting to America. He has made a success of farming, and has an abundance of fine stock, including shorthorn Durham cattle and Englishshire and Hambletonian horses.
Mr. Evanson was married, in 1880, to Miss Anna C. Jordet, and to this union seven children have been born, as follows: Clara, Carl C. (deceased), Carl J., Melvin J., Ella C, Olga G. and Jacob A. They have also taken into their family a child named Raghild Olson, which receives the same care as their own children. Mr. Evanson is a Republican and is a member of the Lutheran church. In 1898 he was elected county commissioner from the Fifth district, and in 1879-80 he served as assessor. He assisted in the organization of the township and has always taken a deep interest in educational matters. He took the lead in the matter of establishing public schools, and later in founding the academy at Portland. He is a model citizen and held in high esteem throughout the county.
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