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Iver Tharaldsen
Stenkjar, Trondhjem stift, Norway

From History of the Scandinavians and Successful Scandinavians in the United States, comp. by O.N. Nelson, 1897. p. 477-478

Tharaldsen, Iver, clergyman - Chippewa Falls (Wis.) - born 10 Nov. 1847, near Stenkjar, Trondhjem stift, Norway. He received a common school education; attended an agricultural college for a couple of terms; and went to the Lofoten Islands, where two clergymen gave him private instruction for a period of two years. In 1870 he emigrated to America, and the next few years were devoted to studies as follows: At Marshall, Wis., for one year; at the University of Wisconsin for one year; at the University of Minnesota and Augsburg Seminary for two years, and he completed a theological course at the latter institution in 1874.  During the next seven years he served a number of congregations in Otter Tail county, Minn., besides organizing several new churches in the northwestern part of Minnesota. While laboring in this part of the country he at one time had charge of sixteen congregations, covering a district more than one hundred and fifty miles in length, which had to be covered either driving or on horseback.  

In 1881 he removed to Grand Forks, N.D., where he remained three years.  Also he worked as a missionary among the new settlers on the prairies in the surrounding country in Minnesota and Dakota, and organized a number of new congregations.  His health being impaired by overwork, he sought a less laborious field of action, and since 1884 has resided at his present home.  From 1886 to 1890 Tharaldsen was secretary of the conference, and for some time served as secretary of the board of missions of said association.  Since 1890 he and his congregations have belonged to the United Church, which he at present serves as chairman of an important committee.  In the first part of 1896 he traveled extensively in the Rocky Mountain districts, Colorado, and Utah, to recuperate after a long and severe siege of sickness of the preceding year.  

He was married in 1876 to Caroline A. Engerud, of Racine, Wis., a sister of the wife of Prof. Peter Hendrickson; they have five children, and their oldest daughter and oldest son are graduates of the Chippewa Falls high school.

Source: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 680-81.

Rev. Iver Tharaldsen, pastor of the United Norwegian Lutheran church of Madison, Minnesota, is one of the best known ministers of this part of the state. He has traveled over most of the state in an official capacity and has gained a host of friends, and is highly esteemed by all. Under his guidance the local church at Madison has prospered to a marked degree and his labors here are appreciated by his people, and he is beloved by them.

Rev. Mr. Tharaldsen was born on a farm near Throndhjem, Norway, in 1847. His father was a carpenter and cabinet maker and furniture manufacturer. He spent his life in Norway. Our subject was the fourth and youngest child of the family and he was reared in his native land and there received his education and after emigrating to America he attended the Academy at Marshall, Wisconsin, the State University at Madison, Wisconsin, and the State University at Minneapolis. He studied theology at Oxberg Seminary at Minneapolis, and was ordained at Ft. Howard, Wisconsin. The first call he acepted [sic] was in Ottertail county, Minnesota, and he worked as a missionary and attended several churches. He spent ten years in this county and in labors in the Red River Valley and he has ministered to a score of churches which he assisted in organizing. He went to Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, in 1884, where he spent thirteen years. In 1897 he came to Madison and accepted the pastorate of the United Norwegian Lutheran church. This church was organized by the union of the Norwegian and Danish conference and the congregation belonging to the Anti-Missourian Brotherhood about 1890. The present church edifice was then erected and is the largest church building in Madison. The congregation numbers 600 souls and during the past five years has doubled in numbers. The church owns half of a square block and one of the valuable additions to the property is a convenient and comfortable parsonage which the congregation has recently erected for their pastor and family.

Rev. Mr. Tharaldsen attended the conference of the Danish and Norwegian Lutheran churches of America and was the first secretary of missions and general secretary of the conference for five years. After the union of these churches he was chairman of the committee on publications. He is at present visitor for this district and has fifty to sixty churches within the district, which is the Montevideo district, consisting of Chippewa, Swift, Kandiyohi, Renville, Yellow Medicine, Lac-qui-parle and Big Stone counties. After serving ten years as a missionary Rev. Mr. Tharaldsen's health failed and he then traveled through Colorado, Utah and New Mexico to recuperate. In 1902 he and his daughter traveled over England, Scotland, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Belgium.

Our subject was married in 1876 to Miss Caroline Amelia Engrud. Mrs. Tharaldsen was born in Racine, Wisconsin, and her father was a skilled mechanic. Five children have been born of this marriage, namely: Gudrun M., who married H. L. Sarknes, died in 1901; Thorfinn, a physician of Cottonwood, Minnesota; Aagot, Conrad E. and Hjalmar. The three last named reside at home with their parents.


29 Dec 2004 04:37 PM

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