Norman County, Minnesota
from “History of Norman County, MN
Borup is located in Winchester Township on Section 16.
Borup was named in honor of Charles William Wolff Borup, a native of Denmark,
who came to St. Paul in 1848, and established a banking house there in 1854, the
first such in Minnesota. His sons,
Gustav J. and Theodore Borup, were also prominent businessmen in St. Paul.
Borup was originally two miles south of its present
location. It had only a siding, a
grain warehouse, and a post office at first.
The grain buyer was Louis Bowman, who drove with horse and buggy from
Ada. The farmers would unload their
grain from wagons or sleighs by carrying it into the warehouse with large size
baskets. They could haul grain only
in the winter, as the roads were impassable in the summer.
Finally, one day in 1892, the settlers got together and moved the siding
to where Borup is now.
The first building erected here was the south grain
elevator. Hans Olson, who came in
1891 with his wife, was one of the men who worked at the top of the elevator
when it was built.
Borup was platted by Ole Mattison and wife, January 13,
1899, in the northeast quarter of Section 16.
Another early settler was August Stilger who settled on a homestead in
1882. The north side of Main Street
in Borup is called Mattison’s Additions, and the south side is called
In quick succession the business places and homes were
built. Peter Melberg started a
general store, John Anderson, a second store, and Ben Peppel was erecting
another when fire broke out in the Melberg Store and completely burned down the
four buildings, their contents, and the post office which was located in the
Melberg Store. The settlers now had
to walk or drive again to Ada, Glyndon, or Moorhead for their supplies.
But in a short time business places were built.
John and Hans Torske built a large general store which later changed
hands several times. In 1905 Mr.
Bieton built a general store. The depot was built in the early 1900’s with J. J. Bowen as
first depot agent.
The Bank of Borup was started by E. L. Berg about 1898.
It was reorganized on April 6, 1908, with $10,000 capital, the name was
changed to the Security State Bank of Borup with L. L. Larson from Iowa as
cashier. L. D. Foskett, and J. S.
Northrup, both of Crookston were president and vice-president respectively.
In 1914, a brick building was erected on the site of the old hotel in the
middle of Block 1. In 1915 Larson
resigned and Gilbert Kittilson became cashier.
He was followed by Mr. Richard, William Ericson, and then Andrew Midthune
who was cashier for 23 years until 1952 when the bank was liquidated.
After the fire, Ole Mattison and son Oscar bought a new
building from Mr. Schelnz at Wheatville, and placed it west of the bank.
Here Mattison and Martin Ballangrud set up a hardware business.
Mattison moved to Canada in 1913, and after several changes of ownership
the buildings were torn down.
The building which was once Hennen’s Café was once a
drug store and photograph studio. Miller
Melberg was the photographer. Later
it was the Borup Hall where community affairs were held; then it was remodeled
into a restaurant and pool hall, also a barber shop for some years.
Next to this was a building put up by Hans Ballangrud about 1899 which
was a meat market, then a post office, and later a movie house run by Alden
Bulleyment. Stenerson Brothers Lumber Company established a lumber yard
abut 1900 which was managed at first by Ole Grina, later by Conrad Grina, Gordon
Stenerson, and then Everett Bjerke.
Jo Rolle had a pool room and soft drink parlor east of
the hardware store. Ole Larson
owned a blacksmith shop where Randy’s Body Shop is now. There was a small hotel building on the site of the new bank
building. A much larger hotel
called the Palace was built a block north of Torske Bros. Store in the early
1900’s. Proprietors were Mr.
& Mrs. Martin Mattison, later Mr. and Mrs. Schranz, and then Mr. and Mrs.
In the 1890’s the children of the pioneers went to a
small school about two and one half miles west of Borup.
As they had to walk, it was a real hardship in winter or when it rained.
Then it was moved to a mile west of Borup, and in 1900 a two-story
schoolhouse was built near the east corner of town.
This had two rooms and a hall on the first floor and two cloakrooms.
The second floor was never finished, but was used as a playroom in bad
weather. Some years later the old
one room school was brought in and used as a town hall.
In 1917, the school districts around Borup consolidated and a good-sized
grade and high school was built, being finished in 1919.
The old building was used as a creamery for a while, but it burned down
The first postmaster was Swen Lindquist, who had the post
office in a small building. Later
it was in different stores, until Edwin Benthagen built a new post office.
Some of the postmasters since Lindquist are, Peter Melberg, E.P. Leirness,
John Torske, Mrs. Elnora Keilling, F. A. Lee, J. J. Bowen, Edwin Benthagen, Orvind
Nichols, and Marjorie Roy.
In 1939 Ed Arnberg of Averill, MN, built a grocery store
and locker plant but this was destroyed by fire in 1947.
Following this fire, a fire department was organized and in 1949, Carlott
Mattison was made fire chief and a fire truck was bought for $300.
Borup was incorporated in 1950.