Biography of Henry Schroeder of Clay County Minnesota

Henry Schroeder, born on August 31, 1855, in Rendsburg, Holstein, Germany, immigrated to the United States in 1871, settling first in Alexandria, Minnesota, and then moving to Clay County in 1878. He established a successful potato farming operation on a 160-acre tree claim near Sabin. Schroeder became renowned for his expertise in potato cultivation, significantly expanding his acreage and gaining a reputation as the “Potato King.” By 1908, he and his sons, Edward and Theodore, cultivated 700 acres, producing 109,000 bushels of seed potatoes. Active in his community, Schroeder served as vice-president of the State Bank in Sabin and a director of the First National Bank of Moorhead.

Henry Schroeder
Henry Schroeder

Henry Schroeder, a native of Rendsburg, Holstein, Germany, was born on August 31, 1855. He is the son of Henry and Wilhelmine (May) Schroeder. He received his education in his homeland and at the age of about sixteen, in 1871, he immigrated to the United States and settled in Alexandria, Minnesota. He later moved to Clay County in 1878 and settled on a 160-acre tree claim near the town of Sabin.

Recognizing the productivity of the soil in the area and its suitability for potato cultivation, Mr. Schroeder started on a modest scale and gradually expanded his acreage of seed potatoes each year. As his expertise in potato farming became well-known, the demand for his products increased. Despite making potatoes his main crop on his continuously expanding acres, he struggled to keep up with the significant and ever-growing demand.

Mr. Schroeder, who possesses extensive farmland and city real estate, cultivates 2,000 acres of land, dedicating one-third of it to growing seed potatoes. It is worth noting that his influence and guidance have led his two sons, Edward C. Schroeder and Theodore Schroeder, both influential and esteemed individuals, to become successful potato growers and shippers. The combined acreage of the father and sons, totaling 700 acres in 1908, yielded 109,000 bushels of the renowned early Ohios and Triumphs. These potatoes were shipped to distant markets in the southern states, Alaska, and other northern locations. Over the years, Mr. Schroeder’s commitment to his specialty has driven him to conduct constant studies and experiments, establishing himself as an authority on potato cultivation not only in the Red River Valley but also in regions far beyond. He has rightfully earned the title of “Potato King,” a nickname commonly associated with him, as well as with his enterprising and prosperous sons.

Mr. Schroeder is a civic-minded citizen who consistently supports and advocates for initiatives and causes that contribute to the welfare and progress of his community. He backs his words with actions and financial support. Through his hard work, he has achieved considerable success, deserving the recognition that has come his way as a result of his intelligent, focused, and honorable endeavors.

While he has amassed a substantial fortune through his frugality, enterprise, and thrift, Mr. Schroeder is motivated by unselfish motives. He is rightly regarded as one of the men whose unwavering faith in the future of Clay County and relentless efforts in developing its resources have contributed to the Red River Valley’s renowned reputation for fertile and productive soil, as well as the industriousness and enterprise of its citizens.

Mr. Schroeder holds the position of vice-president at the State Bank in Sabin and serves as a director of the First National Bank of Moorhead. He is rightfully considered one of the influential figures in Clay County’s financial sector.


C.F. Cooper & Company, History of the Red River Valley, Past And Present: Including an Account of the Counties, Cities, Towns And Villages of the Valley From the Time of Their First Settlement And Formation, volumes 1-2; Grand Forks: Herald printing company, 1909.

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