Clay County

Red River Valley title page vol 2

Biography of S. Bernhard Widlund of Hawley Minnesota

S. Bernhard Widlund, born in 1878 in Ramsjö, Sweden, is a prominent businessman in Hawley, Clay County, Minnesota. Emigrating to the United States in 1897 with his family, he continued his education in Cooperstown, North Dakota, and later graduated from the North Dakota Business College. Widlund began his career with the Acme Harvester Company and Avery Manufacturing Company before moving into banking. In 1906, he became the cashier and manager of the First National Bank in Hawley. Widlund is active in his community, involved with the Union Church, the American Society of Equity, and the Masonic Order.

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Biography of S. M. T. Nykreim of Ulen Minnesota

S. M. T. Nykreim, born on March 11, 1842, in Norway, was a significant figure in Clay County, Minnesota. Immigrating to the United States in 1868, he initially settled in Illinois and later in Goodhue County, Minnesota. Nykreim married Martha Kopperdal in 1871 and moved to Clay County in 1879, where he established a homestead in Goose Prairie Township. They had seven children. Nykreim was active in his community, serving on the village council, as a trustee of the United Lutheran Church, and engaging in real estate. He passed away on October 11, 1905, in Ulen, Minnesota.

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Biography of Severt O. Tang of Moorehead Minnesota

Severt O. Tang, born on August 26, 1866, in Wauzeka, Wisconsin, became the county superintendent of schools in Moorhead, Minnesota. The son of Ole and Sophia Tang, he moved to Clay County, Minnesota, in 1879. After graduating from the State Normal School in Moorhead in 1896, Tang taught in various Minnesota schools and served as principal in Audubon and New York Mills. Elected county superintendent in 1908, Tang was also active in local government and community organizations. He was a Republican and a member of the Norwegian Synod of the Lutheran Church.

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Biography of Thomas McGrath of Barnesville Minnesota

Thomas McGrath, a pioneer settler of Barnesville, Minnesota, was instrumental in the community’s early development. Born in Appleton, Wisconsin, he and his brother John were among the first settlers in the Red River Valley, establishing the first claim shack and meat market in Barnesville. McGrath prospered, owning significant property including a 360-acre farm and other tracts of land. Married to Julia Brislain, they had five children. McGrath passed away in 1897. His son, Leo McGrath, continued the family business, running a grocery store, meat market, and grain elevator, becoming a respected community member.

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Biography of William G. Hammet of Hawley Minnesota

William G. Hammet, born in Tolpuddle, Dorsetshire, England, in 1874, immigrated to the United States in 1880. He settled in Hawley, Minnesota, with his family and later moved to a homestead in Cromwell Township. Hammet transformed the farm into one of the county’s best, held local public offices, and retired to Hawley in 1905. He married Florence Morton in 1903, who assisted him in his legal and insurance work. Hammet studied at Moorhead State Normal School and the University of Minnesota, becoming a lawyer in 1902.

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Biography of William H. Merritt of Moorehead Minnesota

William H. Merritt, a highly regarded contractor and builder in Moorhead, Minnesota, was born on September 20, 1854, in Hastings, Michigan. He was the son of Alexander and Betsey Merritt, early settlers of Minnesota. William grew up in Northfield, where he received his education in common schools. A self-made man, he began his carpentry career in Northfield before moving to Helena, Montana, in 1883, where he spent eleven years constructing buildings across the region. He settled permanently in Moorhead about fifteen years ago. Merritt was active in various organizations, including the Masonic Order and the Shriners. He married Harriet E. Syron in 1882, and they had three children: Frances, Lillian, and Edna.

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Biography of Knud Helgeson of Ulen Minnesota

Knud Helgeson, a prosperous farmer in Ulen Township, Clay County, Minnesota, began his life in humble circumstances, living in a small log cabin with sod-covered sides. Born in Norway, Helgeson immigrated to the U.S. in 1871. After marrying Aasie Helgeson in 1874 and living on a rented farm in Dodge County, he moved to Clay County in 1882. Helgeson developed his own 160-acre farm, creating one of the county’s most beautiful homes with extensive cultivated land and well-built outbuildings. An active community member, he served as a road commissioner and school board member, and was a trustee of the United Lutheran Church. The couple had nine children, eight of whom survived.

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Biography of Knud Nedburge of Goose Prairie Township Minnesota

Knud Nedburge, born in Norway in 1865, is a prominent agriculturalist in Goose Prairie Township, Clay County, Minnesota. The son of Lars and Ingabor Nedburge, he immigrated to the United States in 1885, initially settling in Twin Valley, Minnesota, before moving to Clay County. After working as a farm laborer for five years, he married Clara Nykreim in 1890. They purchased a 160-acre farm near Ulen, Minnesota, transforming it into a well-developed property with a fifteen-room residence and extensive farm buildings. The couple had eight children, seven of whom survived. Nedburge was active in the United Lutheran Church and local politics, serving as a Republican school treasurer and board supervisor.

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Red River Valley title page vol 2

Biography of Louis T. Stodder of Moorhead Minnesota

Louis T. Stodder, born January 12, 1864, in Boston, Massachusetts, was the son of Louis and Watie (Aldrich) Stodder. His father served as executive officer on the “Monitor” during its historic battle. Louis received a public school education in the East and started his career as an errand boy, later becoming a traveling salesman. In 1889, he began working for the Northern Pacific Railroad Company as a brakeman and subsequently served as an agent in various Minnesota towns. In 1900, he became the Moorhead agent. Married in 1890 to Charlotte R. Hale, he had three children: Louis T., Margaret W., and May L. Stodder was active in community organizations in Moorhead.

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Red River Valley title page vol 2

Biography of Mrs. Lars O. Hitterdal of Goose Prairie Township Minnesota

Mrs. Lars O. Hitterdal, born in Lunner, Ringerike, Norway, in 1865, resided in a modern ten-room brick home in Goose Prairie Township, Clay County, Minnesota. She emigrated to the U.S. in 1875 with her mother, Christa Helgeson, and married Lars O. Hitterdal in 1883. Lars, born on April 26, 1858, in Norway, homesteaded in Clay County, overcoming early hardships to become a prosperous farmer with 500 acres of fertile land. After Lars’s death in 1900, Mrs. Hitterdal continued to manage their estate. She was known for her hospitality and rich stories of the early pioneer days in Clay County.

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