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Welcome to Norman County Minnesota

Norman County Townships

Norman County 1895

norman1895.gif (101107 bytes)

 

Early settlers in Home Lake Township

Early settlers in Flom Township   

Early settlers in Fossum Township

Early settlers in Wild Rice Township

        1896 Norman County Township Maps

  

 

Anthony Township

T145,R47

Atlas of Norman County, 1907 Plat Map
Atlas of Norman County, 1910 Plat Map

Information taken from Turner and Smeling's "History of Clay and Norman Counties Minnesota" published 1918

Anthony Township was organized January 1878 before Norman county was taken from Polk county, with first officers named in 1883. The township was named for Anthony Scheie, the first settler. Mr. Scheie, a Civil War veteran, received a soldier's homestead in Section 18, Anthony Twp. and came to the area in 1872. He was the first white man to come to this territory with the view to becoming a permanent settler. Other early settlers were Elias and Nels Salverson, Augustine Austinson, R. Bersagel, Alexander Running, Lewis Johnson, and Halvor Helgeson.  The "settlement" of Anthony was a small hamlet and trading point in Anthony township, known as the Anthony store where a good stock of general merchandise was carried by Peter P. Olson who commenced there in 1901. Before the time of rural mail delivery, Mr. Olson kept a postoffice there. A Norwegian Lutheran church also was located there.

Check out the 1885 & 1890 Anthony Township Census

Bear Park Township
#T146N,R43W

Atlas of Norman County, 1907 Plat Map
Atlas of Norman County, 1910 Plat Map

The Bear Park Township was organized in 1881 while still part of Polk County. It was heavily timbered, and had bears, therefore the name Bear Park. There were once post offices at Rindahl in the northeast quarter of section 4 and Ranum, located near the center of the township. John Ledning (Ledding) who came in 1878 filed the first claim, and Ole L. Garden who also came in 1878 was the first to settle. Ole settled in the southeast quarter of section 32 in June 1898. He came from Nicollte county and had an old homestead there. His son was the mayor of the village of Gary in 1918 and owned the Gary Graphic, the local newspaper of the village. Other early settlers were Sverre J. Lee, Gulbrand Saxun, Ole Holoien, O. Stromberg, and Peter Hassel.  S.J. Lee, who being a man of education, was used in the early days of the settlement as a sort of general secratary. He served two terms as representative in the Legislature and was chairman of the board of county commissioners. Other early township officers were:Gilbert J. Saxum, Gustaf Kyllander, Andrew Melhus, Ole Rindal, Ole Flescher, C. T. Petterson. This part of Norman County was taken largely by homesteaders. There were three churches in Bear Park Twp.,namely, Norman, Zion, and Faaberg.


Check the 1885 & 1890 Bear Park Township Census

Flom Township
T143,R43

Atlas of Norman County, 1907 Plat Map
Atlas of Norman County, 1910 Plat Map

Information taken from Turner and Smeling's "History of Clay and Norman Counties Minnesota" published 1918

Flom township was formed from the territory embraced in Congress, Township 143, range 43. Flom township is bordered on the north by Fossum township, on the east by Mahnomen County, on the south by Becker County and on the west by Home Lake township. The exact date of the township's organization is not known. The date of organization was probably about 1878, a few months before Norman county was set off from Polk. (Some records say 1881.) First records were from 1882. Flom township was named for one of its prominent citizens, Hans E. Flom. At first the county commissioners named it Spring Field township, but they later changed the name to Flom.  Town board members were: Hans E. Flom, John Nysetvold, Nels Nelson, Nels Mithun, A. L. Tomtengen. Flom Township was settled in the early 1870's. The first settler was said to be Ole Lein, followed by Erik Flom, Soren Bergerson, Erick Erickson, John G. Gjertson, Ole Rogen, Nils Nelson, and Simon H. Flom, all before 1875.

The village of Flom was settled at a very early date, a small grocery store having been kept by N.E. Nelson, the first Flom postmaster, as early as 1880. Other postmasters were Melvin Kleven, Ed. Gunderson and Andrew Rogen, the latter of whom served from 1899 until at least 1918. He also conducted a general store at Flom. A business directory of the place in the summer of 1917 showed the following concerns: General dealers, Andrew Rogen and Norman & Son; hardware, John Dorseth; bank, Farmers State, Oscar M. Westlin, cashier; restaurant, Fred Hanson; meats, Grefsrud & Urdahl, who also have a restaurant. Andrew Rogen also operated a small feed-mill run by a gasoline engine.

Early settler Edward E. Engen gave a sketch of eastern Norman county in the Turner and Smeling book. He recalls that shortly after he came to this country from Norway he had the good fortune to hear Abe Lincoln give a street speech in Chicago during one of his political campaigns. He scarcely understood a word Lincoln said in his speech but enjoyed it anyway; and laughs now as he tells of his dodging from one of Mr. Licnoln's gestures. He was close to him and thought  surely he was going to be hit when Lincoln became especially earnest.

Later Mr Engen came to Minnesota and drove a team on the construction work for the first railway in the state. This was the Rolingstone Valley Railroad, from Winona to Rollingstone Valley in 1862. In 1871 he came with his wife and household goods to this locality and settled in the valley east of town near where Hans Nelson now has his farm. He was the first settler. Several parties were squatting on land here when he came but their families and good were not here and they had not actually taken up their residence. They soon returned, some of them being his neighbors, the following fall and winter, among them being Martin Johnson, Soren Bergeson, Gilbert Haakenson and Andrew Johnson.

There was a small French settlement near his homestead when he came or at least there were three huts. One of them contained a number of tools and quite a tract of potatoes were planted. Later some Frenchmen visited and tried to sell him the property. These Frenchmen probably came from the Hudson Bay Trading Camp that was then located at Fisher's Landing, now Fisher. That fall Per Waller, John Homelvig and Peter Helle arrived and were his neighbors in what is now Flom township. Joe Swenson, John Nyestvold and Einar Larson moved in shortly afterward and the country began to settle up.

Check out the 1885, 1890, and 1910 Flom Township Census

Fossum Township

Atlas of Norman County, 1907 Plat Map
Atlas of Norman County, 1910 Plat Map

Fossum Township was organized in June 1881 while the area was still part of Polk County. Reportedly, Fossum Township included a larger area. Supposedly the township was named for an early settler named Fossum. The 1918 Turner and Semling history gives records of some early homestead claims. The early settlers include: P.S. Olson, Aamoth Brothers, A. J. Hanson, John Jensven, Christian Quall, Louis Quall, A. B. Peterson, Erik Eiken. The first five located in the territory as early as 1872. A letter from Chester Runck, Twin Valley, tells of a burial of three unmarked graves. This is 1/2 mile north and 1/2 mile west of old Faith Store. There was formerly a log house there on the Fjeld family land. He gave no names or dates. Possibly they were members of the Fjeld family. The Lutheran Orphans Home was located across the road from the Fossum store, the Home being in Flom township.

Check out the 1885 & 1890 Fossum Township Census

Good Hope Township

T146,R47

Atlas of Norman County, 1907 Plat Map
Atlas of Norman County, 1910 Plat Map

Good Hope Township was organized June 1892 and was the last civil township organized in the county. The meeting for the election of township officers was held at the house of G.D. Weier in section 13. This was the last area to be settled in Norman County due to the fact there was much swamp land within its borders. These lands were largely purchased by speculators. They were bought for a mere song and were sold in a few years at as high a prices as sixty dollars an acre.. It is a prairie district, has no towns or villages and is without railroad line. As the land has been drained it has been cultivated with great profit to its owners and renters.

Green Meadow Township

T145,R45

Atlas of Norman County, 1907 Plat Map
Atlas of Norman County, 1910 Plat Map

Green Meadow Township was organized as part of Polk County on January 7, 1880. First settlements were as early as 1877 to 1880. Lands were taken up by homesteaders, tree claims and purchases from railroad land. The latter were sold at from five to six dollars an acre in the 1880s.There was once a small hamlet called Betcher, nine miles northeast of Ada, MN. The earliest settlers have burials in the Luchau Cemetery and St. John's Cemetery.

Homestead Claims and Land Purchased from U.S. Government
Green Meadow Township, Norman County, MN
T 145 N, R 45 W, 5th P.M.

Even numbered sections of land were available for either homesteading or purchase directly from the US. Government.  Odd numbered sections were granted to the railroad, which in turn, sold the land to private individuals.  The following information was retrieved from the Bureau of Land Management's web site, www.glorecords.blm.gov  by Donald A. Andersen of Fargo, North Dakota.

Check out the 1885 & 1890 Green Meadow Census

Name

Homestead or Purchase

 Description

 Date

Pieper, William

P

L3, L4, S 1/2 NW 1/4 S 2

01/28/1891

Rasmuson, Frederick

H

L1, L2, S 1/2 NE 1/4 S 2

07/27/1885

Redman, Henry

H

SW 1/4 S 2

01/15/1883

Gigler, Franz

H

SE 1/4 S 2

07/27/1885

Parks, James H.

P

L3, L4, S 1/2 NW 1/4 S 4

11/20/1883

Luchau, Margaratha

H

L1, L2, S 1/2, NE 1/4 S 4

03/01/1886

Schroeder, John

P

SW 1/4 S 4

01/22/1890

Nichols, William F.

H

SE 1/4 S4

12/19/1885

Engen, Anne T.

P

SE 1/4 SE 1/4 S 6

01/22/1890

Hamilton, Thomas C.

P

L1, L2, S 1/2 NE 1/4 S 6

11/01/1882

Hamilton, Thomas

P

L6, E 1/2 SW 1/4 S 6

11/10/1882

Hamilton, Charles J.

H

SE 1/4 S 6

08/15/1884

Trobridge, Tryphena

P

NW 1/4 S 8

12/19/1885

Smart, Charles S.

P

NE 1/4 S 8

06/20/1883

Habedank, William

H

SW 1/4 S 8

05/20/1885

Schroeder, Henrich

P

SE 1/4 S 8

01/20/1883

Baarsch, Charles

H

NW 1/4 S 10

02/05/1891

Pieper, William

H

NE 1/4 S 10

05/09/1885

Gigler, Frank

P

SW 1/4 S 10

06/05/1891

Luchau, Friedrick

H

SE 1/4 S 10

03/10/1886

Eichler, August

H

NW 1/4 S 12

01/20/1886

Blankholm, John P.

P

NE 1/4 S 12

06/30/1885

Sanderland, Aslak K.

P

SW 1/4 S 12

08/12/1891

Skjetne, Ole J.

H

SE 1/4 S 12

04/12/1888

Zimmerman, George

P

NW 1/4 S 14

08/20/1884

Tillman, Henry

P

NE 1/4 S 14

06/03/1885

Luchau, William F.

H

SW 1/4 S 14

10/13/1893

Newkom, William

P

SE 1/4 S 14

11/10/1882

Schroder, John

H

NW 1/4 S 18

06/01/1886

Habedank, Frederike & August

H

NE 1/4 S 18

06/20/1885

Randall, Spencer

P

SW 1/4 S 18

09/10/1885

Conger, Charles

H

SE 1/4 S 18

07/05/1883

Kellogg, Stephen R.

P

NW 1/4 S 20

12/20/1883

Stevens, Albert

P

NE 1/4 S 20

01/23/1885

Brash, John

P

SW 1/4 S 20

12/30/1879

Luchau, George C.

H

NW 1/4 S 22

04/17/1899

Luchau, Henry J.

H

NE 1/4 S 22

01/10/1890

Zahn, August

H

SW 1/4 S 22

12/19/1885

Baarsch, Charles

P

SE 1/4 S 22

11/20/1883

Schubert, Charles E.

P

NW 1/4 S 24

04/30/1883

Vold, John O.

H

NE 1/4 S 24

06/01/1886

Schubert, Charles E.

P

SW 1/4 S 24

02/11/1888

Mo, Knudt S.

P

SE 1/4 S 24

01/23/1885

Schurt, Joseph

P

NW 1/4 S 26

12/20/1883

Lee, Andrew T.

H

NE 1/4 S 26

01/20/1899

Schwert, Joseph

P

SE 1/4 S 26

08/08/1889

Anderson, Thomas

P

SW 1/4 S 26

01/20/1880

Giese, Johann

P

NW 1/4 S 28, N 1/2 SW 1/4 S 28

11/10/1882

Henry, Charles / Munstadt, Fred

H

NE 1/4 S 28

09/15/1883

Neukom, Carline

P

S 1/2 SW 1/4 S 28

02/11/1888

Kepler, Frederick

H

SE 1/4 S 28

08/15/1884

Dumke, Carl

H

NW 1/4 S 30

03/10/1885

Pagel, John

H

NE 1/4 S 30

12/15/1883

Pagel, William

H

SW 1/4 S 30

08/12/1896

Oeck, Charles

H

SE 1/4 S 30

12/15/1883

Betcher, John

P

NW 1/4 S 32

10/20/1888

Bauer, Benjamin

H

NE 1/4 S 32

08/15/1884

Betcher, Emil

H

SW 1/4 S 32

12/15/1883

Pagal, Fritz

H

SE 1/4 S 32

03/10/1885

Collins, Cornelius

P

NW 1/4 S 34

01/23/1885

Allrich, Gottlieb

H

NE 1/4 S 34

08/15/1884

Wolpers, Joseph F.

H

SW 1/4 S 34

08/15/1884

Jackson, Silas D.

P

SE 1/4 S 34

11/10/1982

Halstad Township

T145,R48

Atlas of Norman County, 1907 Plat Map
Atlas of Norman County, 1907 Plat Map, page 2
Atlas of Norman County, 1910 Plat Map
Check out the 1885 & 1890  Halstad Township Census

Halstad Township was organized September 1879 while still part of Polk County. It was named for Ole Halstad, an early pioneer. The first two settlers, "squatters," Charles Holmberg and August Oberg, came in 1870 to cut wood for steam boats that plied the Red River. First settlers who entered lands came in 1871 and 1872. The first actual settlers who entered lands, "squatted" or homesteaded here in 1871 were Rasmus Hage, L.B. Larson, L.L. Houske, L.H. Gordon, Paul Paulson and father, John Grothe and sons, Ole Halstad, Engel Lovsnes and Nils R, Hage. The first child born in Halstad township and the first white child in Norman county was Elsie, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. L.L. Houske in the fall of 1871. The first death was that of a child of Engel Lovsness, in 1871.

Hegne Township
T144,R47

Atlas of Norman County, 1907 Plat Map
Atlas of Norman County, 1910 Plat Map

Hegne townships comprises all of congressional township 144, range 47. It is situated to the south of Anthony township, to the west McDonaldsville township, to the north Mary township and to the east of Hendrum township. This township, like all of those situated within range 47 in this county is without railroads or villages.

Hegne township was organized March 18, 1881, when the areas was still part of Polk County. At that time, the township was taken from a portion belonging to McDonaldsville township. The township was named for Andrew Hegne, an early settler. The first born in Hegne township was his daughter, Andora Sofie, November 1, 1880. Organizers of the township included: Hans Hellerud, Andrew E. Hegne, Christian Olson, E. C. Helland, Reinhard P. Idtse, A. C. Tvedt, August Austinson, P.W. Nelson, Nels Hansen, Iver B. Homeland, Tollak Belestson, Carl Anderson, Jacob Ness, and Svend Johnson. E.C.

Check out the 1885 Hegne Township Census

Among the early homesteaders and settlers in Hegne township were: T.S. Bjorem, Mike McLaughlin, John Wright, H.W. Dow, Ole T. Nelson, ? Schmidtknecht and Jacob Thomas. E.C. Helland, the first township clerk, prepared a list of the early settlers of Hegnes township:

1877

1878

1879

1880

Andrew E. Hegne E.C. Helland Lars Oness E.A. Helland
Hans Hellerud Tore Bjorem Lars Sand Ivar Thompson
Christian Olson
August Austinson
A.C. Tvedt
P.W. Nelson
Reinhard P. Idtse

Hegne Homestead and Other Land Records

Name Description
O. Jacobson SW quarter of section 24,
received his patent on June 11, 1889
Johnson Berg SW quarter of section 6, October 20, 1891
Ole H. Klemestrud SW quarter of section 28, March 1, 1892
S. Sorenson SE quarter of section 22, March 28, 1890
Jacob Olson NW quarter of section 24, March 28, 1891
Hans L. Jacobson in section 32, July 31, 1893
Andrew E. Holm SE quarter of section 6, June 11, 1889
Erick O. Lundberg in section 32, February 28, 1893
Carl Anderson NW quarter of section 20, March 19, 1895
Peter J. Lillevig NE quarter of section 30, march 3, 1892
Elizabeth Torgerson in section 22, October 20, 1897
Hans P. Myrah NE quarter of section 8, April 27, 1891
Anthony Syverson NW quarter of section 20, October 20, 1891
Christian O. Gjovig in section 32, June 22, 1899
Bernt T. Vigen NE quarter of section 20, January 10, 1890
Syver O. Hoff in section 34, October 10, 1894
Lewis L. Nelson NE quarter of section 26, May 11, 1891
L. Spenningsby NW quarter of section 8, July 3, 1897
Andrew J. Haaland SE quarter of section 20, October 3, 1892
Severin T. Nilson SE quarter of section 24, October 3, 1892
S.S. Lura NE quarter of section 20, March 8, 1898
Thomas Thompson south half of the SE quarter of section 8, March 10, 1885
Gustav Ellefson SE quarter of section 28, March 8 1898

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Hendrum Township

Atlas of Norman County, 1907 Plat Map
Atlas of Norman County, 1907 Plat Map, page 2
Atlas of Norman County, 1910 Plat Map

Hendrum township, which is situated on the west line of the county, is the second from the southern boundary of Norman County . It was organized in 1880 while still part of Polk County. The first white people were a group of French trappers. The first to settle the land were Ole Nygaard and Ole Ingebrigtsen who came in 1874, followed by Nygaard's wife and her parents, John and Martha Berg, and John Satre in 1875. The French trappers who were here were located in Section 30 the NE 1/4 and here their families were buried. There are no markers. Several early families, the John Erickson's, John Wangberg's, Ole Wang's, Jacob Storsvedt's, H. O. Rask's, and the Carl J. Wold's all lost children to the diphtheria epidemics. In the 1881 epidemic 27 children were lost to these families. The most tragic case was the John Erickson family who lost 5 children in the first epidemic in 1881, with only one child Annie surviving the disease. They were hit again after they had 6 more children and lost them all to a second epidemic of diphtheria.

Check out the 1885 & 1890 Hendrum Township Census

Home Lake Township

Atlas of Norman County, 1907 Plat Map
Atlas of Norman County, 1910 Plat Map

Home Lake Township was organized April 1881 while still part of Polk County. From information held by the Norman County Historical Society, some of the early settlers were: P.O. Waller, Jonas Homelving, Peter Helle, John C. Narum, C.H. Tvedtstulen, Carl Solien, Jens Husseby, Osten Hanson, John L. Vangsnes, and Anton Lerud. First arrivals to the township were in 1871. Sven K. Syre homesteaded in 1886. There is a small village of Syre, which once had a post office, two general stores, and a church. The 1910 atlas shows a creamery as well. At present there is only a fertilizer business. The church  no longer exists as it is being now used as a grainery.

To view information on early Home Lake settlers check out this page.

Check out the 1885 & 1890 Home Lake Township Census

Lake Ida Township

Atlas of Norman County, 1907 Plat Map
Atlas of Norman County, 1910 Plat Map

Lake Ida Township was organized March 19, 1879 when still a part of Polk County. The township was named by German Bennett for a girl named Ida to whom he was engaged. There is a so-called Lake Ida in Sections 8 and 17. Bennett was the first settler in the township north of the river. Other early settlers were John Matson Linbeck, Derrick West, A.K. Strand, Wesley and Elmore Jenkins, Andrew Starkson, John Danielson, Peter Hassel, Olaus Halvorson, and Christian Matti. Earliest land entries in county records show Alexander Holden in 1875 and German Bennett in 1878.

Check out the 1885 & 1890 Lake Ida Township Census

Lee Township

Atlas of Norman County, 1907 Plat Map
Atlas of Norman County, 1907 Plat Map, page 2
Atlas of Norman County, 1910 Plat Map

Lee Township was organized by the county board on January 3, 1882, being the first civil township formed after Norman County was detached from Polk County. It was first named Norman, but later changed to Lee Township, in honor of Ole J. Lee, an early settler. Earliest settlers were: Peter Lien in 1872, J. J. Crosby, Ole J. Lee, T. Odegaard, and Ole Hoven, who were all here by 1879. Sophia Krogstad seems to have been one of the earliest to claim land, but the date is not known. Other early land claims were made by Jens O. Lee, Hans Reitan, Olivia Johnson, Oscar Berg, Martin Olson, Jack Eastwood, and John Jacobson. There have been four churches in the township, namely, Bethania, Kirkebo, Bethlehem, and Landstad. Presently two remain with Bethlehem joining Kirkebo and Bethania disbanding.

Check out the 1885 & 1890 Lee Township Census

Lockhart Township

Atlas of Norman County, 1907 Plat Map
Atlas of Norman County, 1910 Plat Map

Lockhart Township was organized in May 1882. It was named for Charles Lockhart, owner of a large farm of several sections in the township. Early settlers came about 1879 and the early 80's. A post office was established in 1883 at Rolette, 1 1/2 miles north of present Lockhart. In 1902 it was moved to Lockhart. In 1883 the school was built at Lockhart and early church services were held there. Since many of the early settlers were from Germany, the German Methodists were the first to build a church in the township.

Check out the 1885  Lockhart Township Census

Mary Township

Atlas of Norman County, 1907 Plat Map
Atlas of Norman County, 1910 Plat Map

The Township of Mary was organized about 1877, while still a part of Polk County. The township was named for Mary, wife of Jacob Thomas. Jacob Thomas and Peter Thomas were first settlers who came in 1877. John Ambuehl filed a claim in 1878 and it was proven in 1883. Other early land records give Andrew Turbin, Michael Hennen, Nicholas Solve, Rosalin Diemert, and John Fahnlander in 1881. A Simonet and Rudolph Fetting are listed in homestead and land records for 1882. There was once a post office called "Goldner." This was located in the SE 1/4 of Section 16 of Mary Township. This was 1/2 mile east of the St. Mary's Church. This post office was closed and moved to Borup in 1903. There was a Catholic church and Cemetery in this township. The cemetery is still maintained.

Check out the 1885 & 1890 Mary Township Census

McDonaldsville Township

Atlas of Norman County, 1907 Plat Map
Atlas of Norman County, 1910 Plat Map

McDonaldsville Township was organized in 1874, before Norman County was separated from Polk County. Originally McDonald Township was named for the McDonald family. The "ville" was added when Norman became a separate county in 1881. From the 1918 history by Turner and Semling, the earliest settler was Paschal La Chapelle in 1870. Followed by H.K. Woodward and John Wright in 1876, Alexander Holden in 1877, John Hamilton, James Walker, Henry Hunting, Ole Haugen, Frances Beck, and Robert Barton all in 1879.

JAMES V. CAMPBELL
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 168-69

This name will be readily recognized as that of one of the leading business men and citizens of Ada, Norman county. Mr. Campbell is a pioneer of that region, and has various financial interests in Ada and vicinity. He is the present efficient postmaster of that thriving town, and is a man of excellent character and is popular with the people among whom he makes his home.

Our subject was born in Luzerne county, Pennsylvania, May 6, 1829. His father, James Campbell, was of Scotch descent and was born in America. He was a farmer and merchant and died when our subject was but eight years of age. Mr. Campbell attended the village school, and in 1849 left his home place and went to Portage county, Wisconsin, where he settled on a farm and soon afterward engaged in the wagon-making business at Plover. He later engaged in the mercantile business in Wood county, Wisconsin, and in 1859 went to southern Illinois. In the fall of 1861 he enlisted in the Tenth Illinois Cavalry and was sent west of the Mississippi river, first to St. Louis, Missouri, and later to Helena, Arkansas. He was in many engagements and skirmishes, and in the fall of 1862, after an active and loyal service, he was mustered out at Helena, Arkansas. He returned to Wisconsin and there followed farming and other business enterprises until he went to Minnesota, in 1878. Norman county was then sparsely settled and but four shanties comprised the town site of the present thriving town of Ada. In 1886 Mr. Campbell entered into partnership with Mat. Olson, and they established a farm machinery business and erected the first building devoted to this line in the town. They continued in the business eight or ten years, when our subject sold his interests to Mr. Olson, Mr. Campbell being appointed postmaster of Ada under Harrison. He served four years as such, and about 1892 established a general store, carrying a line of groceries, etc., and which business he transferred to his brother, W. W. Campbell, in June, 1901. He was appointed postmaster again in 1897, and is now discharging the duties of that office. He has been interested in farm lands at different times, conducting farming to considerable extent. He was one of the pioneers of Minnesota and also Wisconsin, and has witnessed the growth of Norman county and aided materially in its advancement.

Our subject was married, in 1852, to Miss Lydia Harroun, a native of New York state. Seven children, one son and six daughters, have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Campbell, all of whom were born in Wisconsin. Mr. Campbell took an active part in the organization of Norman county, and assisted in pushing the bill through the legislature for the organization of the same. He is a stanch Republican politically, and voted for the first Republican candidate for president, John C. Fremont. He takes an active part in local affairs of his party, and is a man of good ideas and enjoys the esteem of his fellows.

PETER RAMSTAD (DECEASED)
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 164-67

    For many years prior to the death of Mr. Ramstad he was a leading citizen and agriculturist of Norman county. He went there in the early days of its settlement and became the owner of a fine estate in McDonaldville township, the home being in section 34. The property is now managed by Mrs. Ramstad, widow of our subject, who makes her home on the original farm, and has met with good success in the operation of the same, the farm being marked as one of the finest in the township. A portrait of Mr. Ramstad is shown upon another page in this volume.

Peter Ramstad was born in Lom, in the northern part of Norway, in 1851, and was a son of Lars and Carrie (Wange) Ramstad, both of whom were natives of Norway and came to America when our subject was a boy. They settled in Vernon county, Wisconsin, and there our subject grew to manhood. He went to Norman county in 1880, and in 1883 he engaged in the mercantile business at Ada, under the firm name of G. S. Barnes & Company, and he resided there until 1887. During his stay there he was county register of deeds four years, and was postmaster of Ada several years. He disposed of his mercantile interests about 1886 or '87 and purchased a farm, removing to the same, where he continued his residence until his death. He accumulated five hundred and twenty acres of land, all of which was improved and an excellent set of buildings was erected. His wife has sold all of the tract but two hundred and forty acres, which she still manages. On this are the farm buildings and two flowing wells furnish an abundance of water for stock and domestic uses.

Mr. Ramstad was married in Wisconsin in 1884 to Christena Scriver. Mrs. Ramstad was born in Christiania, Norway, and was a daughter of Christian Scriver, a native of Norway and a tanner by trade. He resides in his native land and owns a large tannery there. Mrs. Ramstad's grandparents, Hans and Carrie Rentz, were of German descent, the great-grandfather of Mrs. Ramstad being of German birth and a native of a small province east of Denmark. On the paternal side the ancestors were also of German descent. Mrs. Ramstad was reared by an uncle, Bernt Anderson, and an aunt, Ann Anderson, and she grew to womanhood in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, and also spent much of her girlhood in Chicago. Seven children, all of whom are now at home, were born to Mr. and Mrs. Ramstad, and are as follows: Ibsen, born April 11, 1885; Carrie, born April 27, 1887; Nicholay, born March 8, 1889; Orrin, born January 19, 1891; Ella, born November 29, 1892; Sigurd, born November 18, 1894; and Petra, born December 13, 1896. Mr. Ramstad suffered ill health for some time, and went to Norway in hopes of getting relief, but he was suddenly stricken with his last illness and after only about five days he passed away, June 4, 1896, at the home of his wife's people. Mr. Ramstad was a man of excellent character, and enjoyed the confidence of the people of this community and is mourned by all. He was an active worker for the principles of Republicanism, and was prominently identified with the early development of Norman county, both in public and farm life.

Check out the 1885 McDonaldsville Township and Village of Ada Census

Pleasant View Township

Atlas of Norman County, 1907 Plat Map
Atlas of Norman County 1910 Plat Map

Pleasant View Township was at first a part of Polk County and had its first township meeting in 1880. It is believed that the first settlers came to this township about 1879. There is a site known as Hadler, (first called Wicklow) named for Jacob Hadler who came in 1879 and about 1901 helped obtain railway siding to Hadler, so the farmers might have a market price for their grain.

Check out the 1885 Pleasant View Township Census

Rockwell Township

Atlas of Norman County, 1907 Plat Map
Atlas of Norman County, 1910 Plat Map

Rockwell Township was organized September 1882, first named Wheatland, but soon changed to Rockwell. First officers were; P. Johnson, K.T. Hove, P. Kirkhoff, and M. Monson. First to become settlers were: C. I. Dahl, Salve S. Thorpe, Lars Thorson, Lars Haugen, Gilbert Bilden, and Dahl Brothers.

Check out the 1885 Rockwell Township Census

Shelly Township

Atlas of Norman County, 1907 Plat Map
Atlas of Norman County, 1907 Plat Map, page 2
Atlas of Norman County, 1910 Plat Map

Information taken from "History of the People of Norman County" and "This is Our Story Shelly, Minnesota 1897-1997"
"This is Our Story Shelly, Minnesota 1897-1997" may be purchased for $35.00 by sending a check or money order payable to Shelly Centennial Book,
%Nancy Nelson, P.O.  Box 123
Shelly, MN 56581

Shely Township was first organized January 15, 1874 and included what is now Halstad Township. Polk County was also organized in 1874. Polk County at the time included what is now Norman County. The first officers were: Supervisors: Ole Oien, Andrew Paulson, and L. B. Larson; Assessor: J. T. Redland; Justices of the Peace: Andrew Hawkins and Ole Halstad; Clerk: John Shely; Treasurer: Peter Paulson; Constables: Enock Johnson and L. L. Houske.

The first official meeting of Shely Township was held in March 1874. The voters confirmed the same officers. Two additional men were elected as road supervisors. Engel Swenson was elected supervisor of road district #! and J. J. Grothe was elected for road district #2.

In August of 1879, a meeting was called. This meeting may be said to be the first meeting of what is now Shelly Township. Halstad Township had now been organized and split away from Shely Township. It was determined at that time to divide jointly the assets and determine who should be responsible for the road between the two townships. After all was said and done, it was determined that Shely owed Halstad $2.53 in cash.

Shely Township took its name from John Shely, who was the first permanent settler in Norman County. John Shely was elected as the first township clerk. John Shely died at Crookston in 1898.

In August of 1897, the Great Northern Railroad constructed a depot. They put the name "Shelly" on the new depot, spelling it with two L's. This is the date of the beginning of the village of Shelly.

Earliest settlements in the county were made in this township. John Shelly came in 1870 and was followed by L.H. Gordon, John Redland, and O. P. Ojen. According to the 1976 "History of the People of Norman County", there was once a trading post near the Tronnes farm called "Polk City." There was a ferry across the Red River there. There were several businesses including a post office, but all were destroyed by fire and never rebuilt. The post office was moved to the Holte farm and called "Colenso." A few years later it was moved to the Ueland farm and called "Kalmer." There it remained until the post office was established at Shelly.

EDWARD A. TRONNES
From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 275-76.

Edward A. Tronnes, numbered among the pioneers of Norman county, Minnesota (formerly included in Polk county), has built up a fine farm in Shelly township, and there resides, surrounded by the comforts of life and esteemed by his associates.

Mr. Tronnes was born in Nordland, Norway, March 21, 1850. He spent his childhood in his native land, and in June, 1869, came to America, going direct to Goodhue county, Minnesota, where he worked near Zumbrota during the summer, and in the falls went to the pineries of Wisconsin, where he remained a year and a half. He then returned to Goodhue county, Minnesota, but the same year removed to Wilkin county, intending to settle there. He was not satisfied with the prospect, however, and the next spring, in company with his brothers, Ole and Theodore, he went with ox teams to the Red river. He first squatted on the south half of the southeast quarter of section 12, in Shelley township, and after the government survey filed a pre-emption claim. He also filed a homestead claim to the south half of the southwest quarter of the same section. He first built a small log shanty, and in this lived alone for a number of years. He has added to his possessions from time to time as circumstances justified, and he is now the owner of five hundred acres of good land, upon which he has placed valuable improvements. He is engaged in wheat-raising, and has met with good results in this line. He pays strict attention to his farm interests, and is a systematic and painstaking agriculturist. During his first year's residence in that part of Minnesota he teamed for the Hudson's Bay Company, and later for the Northern Pacific Railroad west from Moorhead, and also made one trip west for the government to Fort Totten. He sold wood to the steamboat company to aid him in furthering his farming operations.

Mr. Tronnes was married, in 1874, to Miss Lena Jacobson. Mrs. Tronnes was a native of Norway, and died April 28, 1887. Four children born to this union survive her, namely: Anne, Ada, Peter and Bertha. Mr. Tronnes was married to Miss Pauline Olson in 1892. Mrs. Tronnes died January 19, 1895. One son was born of this marriage, Arthur, who still survives. Mr. Tronnes is a member of the Peoples party politically, but gives little attention to public affairs. He is a man of good character, and well merits his high standing.

Check out the 1885 Shelly Township Census

Spring Creek Township

Atlas of Norman County, 1907 Plat Map
Atlas of Norman County, 1910 Plat Map

The township was organized August 26, 1880. This township had a large immigration in 1898. These people came from Iowa, Illinois, southern Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. The Great Northern Land Company sold land in this township to a group of farmers from the neighborhood of Emmetsburg, Iowa.

Check out the 1885 Spring Creek Township Census

Strand Township

Atlas of Norman County, 1907 Plat Map
Atlas of Norman County, 1910 Plat Map

Strand Township was organized March 1880 by commissioners of Polk County (then including Norman). It was first named Herman, for Herman Gunderson, first settler. Later the township was named Strand, short for Stranden, a Norwegian word meaning shore. To the early Norwegian settlers, the sandy area was reminiscent of Norway's sandy beaches. There was once a village post office at Strand at the central eastern edge of the township. First settlers were Herman Gunderson, Charles Benson, and Tron Rishof. Mr. Rishof who located in the township in 1880, established a good country store near the Strand and Waukon township line in the northeastern corner of section 24. He was also  the postmaster at Strand for more than twenty years. The only existing village is Gary. Mr. Rishof and his sons established a general retail store at Gary when the rural free delivery came into use and it was open until 1911. At one time Mr. Rishof's son-in-law, Lewis Garden, was associated with him in the store in Gary. Mr. Rishof's sons, who were associated with him in the Gary store, were first Olaf and Theodore, and later Theodore and Edward. Olaf Rishof entered the field of journalism, and at one time conducted the local paper at Gary.

Check out the 1885 Strand Township Census

Sundahl Township

Atlas of Norman County, 1907 Plat Map
Atlas of Norman County, 1910 Plat Map

The township was organized September 29, 1880, as Sundahl Township, then part of Polk County. The 1918 history states the the township was named after the birthplace of John Holten, in Norway. The 1976 history states that it was named by Jacob Erstad from Sundal, Norway. The three earliest settlers were reportedly German families. The 1918 history states that the following were active in the development of Sundahl township: Jans Juelson, Ole Wennevold, Halvor Degernes, Jacob Anton Nelson, and Peter H. Hanson. There was once a flag-stop post office called Flaming in Sundahl Township. Sundahl Post Office was established in 1884 and was discontinued by 1918.

JACOB E. EID

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 245.

Jacob E. Eid, the efficient and popular postmaster of Sundahl, Minnesota, is a prosperous agriculturist of Sundahl township, his residence being located on section 24. He is one of the progressive and consequently esteemed men of his community, and he has built up a home of more than usual comforts. He is a native of Norway, and was born July 22, 1851.

Our subject's father, Erick J. Eid, was a native of Norway, and the mother, whose maiden name was Berte Aarthus, was a native of the same place. Jacob E. Eid left his native land at the age of ten years, and spent three years in Wisconsin, attending the common schools of Dane county, where he located. He then went to Freeborn county, Minnesota, in 1864, and remained there seventeen years, working on a farm. He drove overland to Norman county, Minnesota, with mules, taking three weeks for the trip and after landing there he entered claim to three hundred and twenty acres of land in Sundahl township. He had added to his possessions and is now the owner of seven hundred and twenty acres of land. He cultivates about one hundred and fifty acres, and the balance is devoted to pasture and timber. He has a large barn which accommodates eight horses and about fifty head of cattle and has ample loft room for hay, and the farm is also supplied with machinery of the most approved pattern and make and every arrangement is completed for economically conducting the place. His residence is situated in a fine grove of trees, and a fine orchard of apple trees is a feature of the place.

Our subject was married, in 1874, to Susana O. Hagen, who was born in Norway, June 1, 1855, and is a daughter of Ole Hagen. The following children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Eid: Ole, Erick, Bent, Siri, Albert, Antwin and Marie. All reside at home with the parents. Mr. Eid is one of the broad-minded men of his locality and he has served his community as township treasurer and chairman of the township board, and for the past sixteen years he has been postmaster of Sundahl, and faithfully performs the duties of that office. He is a Republican politically and is firm in his convictions. He and family are members of the Lutheran church, and in the community in which they reside have a host of friends who hold them in high esteem. Mr. Eid made a trip to his native land in 1900, starting from his Minnesota home May 10th of that year. He went to New York by rail and then took passage on the steamer Oceanic for Liverpool. He next went to Stavanger, Norway, by steamer, and to Sunmar by the same source, where he visited friends a short time and proceeded on his way to Trondjen, making the trip from New York the entire distance by steamer. From Trondjen to Christiania he took the rail route and then proceeded to the home of his boyhood, Hadeland, where he visited friends and relatives about three months. He arrived at his starting place in Minnesota in the early part of September, having passed the pleasantest weeks and months of his life.

 


Check out the 1885 Sundahl Township Census 

Waukon Township

Atlas of Norman County, 1907 Plat Map
Atlas of Norman County, 1910 Plat Map

Waukon Township was organized February 1880. It was named for Waukon, Iowa, from where many of the early settlers came. Waukon is evidently an Indian name meaning "devil." There was once a Waukon Village located in Section 15, with a creamery, general store, and post office. The community is now served by rural route from Gary, MN.

Check out the 1885 Waukon Township Census

Wild Rice Township

Atlas of Norman County, 1907 Plat Map
Atlas of Norman County, 1910 Plat Map

Wild Rice Township was named for the Wild Rice River which flows through the area. The township was officially organized March 1881, as part of Polk County. However, this area was settled as early as 1870. A settlement called Twin Valley was begun about 1874 at the location of later Heiberg hamlet. When the Northern Pacific Railroad was built, the village was moved two miles south, this in 1887.

Check out the 1885 Wild Rice Township Census

Winchester Township

T143, R 46

Atlas of Norman County, 1907 Plat Map
Atlas of Norman County, 1910 Plat Map

Winchester Township was organized March 1884 at the home of Samuel Fulton. At this time it was named Merton, but changed to Winchester in June 1884. The earliest settlers of Winchester Township included August Sherf and J. F. Pregge in 1878. There was once a station called Wheatville 3 miles north of Borup. It had a few business places and a post office in the 1900's. A post office was established at Borup in 1896 and the town was platted in 1899 on land owned by Ole Mattison and August Stilger. There have been three churches in the township, namely Union, German Methodist, and Winchester Lutheran. Cemeteries were at the German Methodist and Winchester Churches. Union Church was in existence probably only a few years, by 1918 it was only a Sunday School known as Union School. It is not known when it was discontinued.

The earliest settlers were: Section 2-Hardy H. Shelburn, April, 1881; Jacob A. Snyder, February, 1882; Peter E. Marion, November, 1881; and Mattis Olsen, December, 1888.

Section 4-Gustaf E. Bowman, June 1887; Bernard Peppel, June, 1889; Olde P. Hovland, November, 1890; and Gabriel O. Haugen, August, 1895.

Section 6- Herman Sprung, December 1886; August Scherf, December, 1885; Nickolas Borner, June, 1886, and Julius Prigge, December, 1885.

Check out the 1885 Winchester Township Census

Information for this document was gathered from the following sources:

  • "Cemeteries of Norman County, Volumes 4, 5, 6" Compiled by the Red River Genealogy Society.
  • "History of Clay and Norman Counties," 1918 in two volumes by Turner and Semling.
  • "A History of the People of Norman County," 1976 by Norman County Historical Society.
  • "Under Prairie Skies," a Centennial History of Ada, MN, by Lenora I. Johnson.
  • "History of Polk County," 1916
  • "Centennial History of Halstad, MN"
  • "Perley, MN Centennial"
  • "Hendrum--100 Years."
  • "This Is Our Story, Shelly, MN 1897-1997"

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