Clay County

Red River Valley title page vol 2

Biography of Nels Hanson of Clay County Minnesota

Nels Hanson, born in Norway around 1845, was a prominent farmer in Clay County, Minnesota. Immigrating to the U.S. in the 1860s, he initially lived in Pierce County, Wisconsin, before settling in Clay County. Hanson homesteaded there, living in a sod shanty before expanding his property and constructing a substantial home. He tragically died in a railway crossing accident on November 17, 1897. His wife, Annie Herum Hanson, continues to manage the farm. Hanson was active in community affairs, serving as a school director and trustee of the Synod Lutheran Church. The couple had ten children, nine of whom survived him.

Biography of Nels Hanson of Clay County Minnesota Read More »

Red River Valley title page vol 2

Biography of Nels J. Thysell of Hawley Minnesota

Nels J. Thysell, born in Sweden, became a prominent citizen of Hawley, Clay County, Minnesota. Arriving in the U.S. in 1873, he initially settled on an 80-acre homestead near Hawley, expanding his holdings to 1,100 acres over time. A pioneer Scandinavian settler, Thysell experienced and contributed to the region’s development. After decades of farming, he moved to Hawley and acquired his brother’s business, forming Thysell & Sons. He was active in public service, including roles on the board of supervisors and school board. Thysell married Inga Thorkeelson in 1874, and they had seven children.

Biography of Nels J. Thysell of Hawley Minnesota Read More »

Red River Valley title page vol 2

Biography of Norman H. Stadum of Glyndon Minnesota

Norman H. Stadum, born February 22, 1878, in Farmington, Minnesota, was a prominent businessman in Glyndon, Minnesota. Educated in Barnesville, he began teaching and working in various jobs, including at the First National Bank and the Great Northern Railroad. In 1902, he helped establish the Glyndon National Bank, later reorganized as the First State Bank, where he served as cashier. Stadum was also involved in land and insurance businesses and held civic roles including councilman and treasurer of the Glyndon Telephone Company. He married Edna Morris in 1903, and they had one son, Edward. Stadum was active in Republican politics and several fraternal organizations.

Biography of Norman H. Stadum of Glyndon Minnesota Read More »

Red River Valley title page vol 2

Biography of O. C. Melbye of Ulen Minnesota

O. C. Melbye, born in 1852 in Christiania, Norway, immigrated to America in 1877, settling in Lake Park, Minnesota. He later moved to Ulen, where he built the first house and established a successful grocery and farm machinery business. Appointed postmaster in 1887, he served for fourteen years under multiple presidents. Active in the community, Melbye was involved in local governance, education, and the insurance industry. Married to Annie Burgerson, they had nine children. A committed Republican and member of the Lutheran Synod, Melbye’s contributions significantly advanced Ulen and Clay County’s development.

Biography of O. C. Melbye of Ulen Minnesota Read More »

Red River Valley title page vol 2

Biography of Olaf J. Hagen of Moorhead Minnesota

Dr. Olaf J. Hagen, B. So., M. D., is a distinguished physician and surgeon practicing in Moorhead since 1907. Born on September 16, 1872, in Menominee, Wisconsin, he is the seventh of nine children born to Norwegian immigrants Jens H. and Gunhild (Stendahl) Hagen. The family settled in Fort Abercrombie, North Dakota, in 1873. Dr. Hagen’s education includes degrees from Valparaiso University and the University of Minnesota, with post-graduate studies at Berlin University and Jefferson Medical College. He previously taught at Concordia College and served as county superintendent of schools in Richland County. Currently, he is the city physician of Moorhead and a member of several fraternal organizations, including the Masonic Order and the Knights of Pythias.

Biography of Olaf J. Hagen of Moorhead Minnesota Read More »

Red River Valley title page vol 2

Biography of Ole E. Reiersgord of Ulen Minnesota

Ole E. Reiersgord, born July 23, 1875, in Norway, is the editor of the “Ulen Union” and owner of the “Becker County Journal” in Lake Park, Minnesota. Immigrating to the U.S. as an infant, his family settled in Hagen Township, Clay County, Minnesota. Educated locally and in Moorhead, Reiersgord pursued a business education before excelling as a teacher and later as a publisher. Acquiring the “Ulen Union” in 1898, he has expanded its circulation significantly. Active in community affairs, Reiersgord has served as justice of the peace, village trustee, and recorder. Married to Clara Bjerke in 1897, they have five children: Alice G., Erwin N., Cora A., Lila M., and Ruben I.

Biography of Ole E. Reiersgord of Ulen Minnesota Read More »

Red River Valley title page vol 2

Biography of Ole Skalet of Ulen Minnesota

Ole Skalet, born October 14, 1861, in Houston County, Minnesota, is a self-made and influential figure in Clay County. Son of pioneer settlers Knut and Helga Skalet, Ole grew up on his father’s farm and, after reaching adulthood in 1883, claimed a homestead and tree claim in Keene Township. He developed a productive farm, later expanding his endeavors to include a restaurant and general merchandise business. In Ulen, he managed the Monarch Elevator Company, significantly impacting the local grain trade. Active in public service, Skalet was Ulen’s village president, improving infrastructure, and now leads the Ulen Farm Telephone Company. Married to Martina Martinson in 1885, they had fifteen children, nine of whom survived.

Biography of Ole Skalet of Ulen Minnesota Read More »

Red River Valley title page vol 2

Biography of Ole Ulen of Ulen Minnesota

Ole Ulen, the founder of Ulen Township, was born in Norway on April 18, 1818, and passed away on January 19, 1891, in the village of Ulen, Minnesota. Emigrating to America in 1851, Ulen initially settled in Rock Prairie, Wisconsin, before moving to Houston County, Minnesota, where he farmed for 14 years. In 1871, seeking better opportunities, he relocated his family to Clay County, Minnesota, eventually settling in Ulen Township in 1872. A dedicated pioneer, he broke ground on his claim and endured the hardships of frontier life. Ulen and his wife were instrumental in establishing the Lutheran Church in Ulen. They raised their family in a log house and later a more comfortable home. Ulen’s contributions to the community and his pioneering spirit are well-remembered in the region.

Biography of Ole Ulen of Ulen Minnesota Read More »

Red River Valley title page vol 2

Biography of Peder Sliper of Ulen Minnesota

Peder Sliper, the oldest continuous settler in Ulen Township, was born in Norway on May 3, 1842, and emigrated to the United States in 1866. Initially settling in Houston County, Minnesota, he later moved to Iowa and then to Goose Prairie, Clay County, Minnesota, in 1871. In 1874, he took up a preemption claim in Ulen Township. Despite early hardships, including losing crops to grasshoppers and a house fire, Sliper successfully developed his farm. Married to Ellen Tatley in 1867, they had nine children, with their daughter Caroline being the first white child born in Ulen Township. The Sliper farm now spans 440 acres, with 140 under cultivation. Active in the United Lutheran Church, Peder Sliper is a respected and prosperous community member.

Biography of Peder Sliper of Ulen Minnesota Read More »

Red River Valley title page vol 2

Biography of Peter E. Thompson of Barnesville Minnesota

Peter E. Thompson, born November 16, 1852, in Dane County, Wisconsin, was a prominent figure in Barnesville, Minnesota. Son of Norwegian immigrants Ingebert and Maritt Thompson, he moved to Pelican Rapids, Minnesota, with his family, enduring pioneer hardships. Starting his career in retail, Thompson moved to Barnesville in 1878, establishing a successful grocery and hardware business. He named the town Barnesville, honoring his employer, G. S. Barnes. Thompson contributed significantly to the town’s development, serving as its first mayor, postmaster, county commissioner, and state legislator. He was a community leader, active in various organizations, including the Knights of Pythias and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Married to Hannah C. Ohlson in 1877, they had five children. Thompson’s sudden death on January 20, 1905, was deeply mourned. His legacy continues through his contributions to Barnesville’s growth and his family’s ongoing presence in the community.

Biography of Peter E. Thompson of Barnesville Minnesota Read More »

Pin It on Pinterest

Scroll to Top