Biography of Iver Holman of Ulen Minnesota

Iver Holman, born in Hudlund, Norway, in 1851, was a resilient Norwegian farmer in Ulen Township, Clay County. Son of miller Hans Peterson, Holman learned the milling trade in Norway before emigrating to the U.S. in 1883. Settling initially in North Dakota, he faced numerous hardships but persevered, eventually moving to Clay County in 1892. There, he purchased 240 acres and built a prosperous farm. Married to Eonda Peterson, Holman had five children and was an active member of the United Lutheran Church, serving as a trustee. He is remembered as a respected and esteemed community member.

Iver Holman, one of the resilient Norwegian farmers residing in Section 28, Ulen Township, Clay County, was born in Hudlund, Norway, in 1851. His father, Hans Peterson, operated a flour mill in Norway known as “Val’s Mills.” Iver and his brothers learned the trade under their father’s guidance and became accomplished millers and successful businessmen. Hans Peterson, born around 1817, emigrated to Dakota in 1885. He married Miss Annie Iverson, who passed away in Norway in 1879. Mr. Iver Holman died in February 1892 at the age of seventy-five and was buried near Wolcott village.

While Iver Holman’s educational opportunities were somewhat limited, he was a diligent student in the local schools and seized every chance he had to learn. At a young age, he apprenticed as a miller and worked for various millers for about ten years. He eventually purchased his own mill in the villages of Tottem and Bjaenick, where he operated it for approximately eight years. During his time there, he married Miss Eonda Peterson in 1877. She, too, was born in Hudlund, Norway, on January 1, 1848. Mr. and Mrs. Holman have five living children: Hans, who was born in Norway and married Miss Ella Sliper, and they have a child named Iver; Peter, the second child, was also born in Norway; Annie and Ingral were born on the Dakota homestead, and Inga Eonda, the youngest, was born in Richland County, North Dakota.

In 1883, Mr. Holman embarked on a journey to America aboard one of the Allen Line steamships, bound for Mayville, North Dakota. He arrived there with Mrs. Holman and their two children on June 6, 1883. They stayed in Mayville for about two weeks, during which Mr. Holman obtained his naturalization papers. They then moved to the town of Lakota, where Mr. Holman claimed a preemption and became one of the earliest settlers in the region. He traveled alongside his friend, Mr. Andrew Anderson, who also intended to make the journey. However, settling accounts with Anderson depleted his surplus funds, leaving a gloomy outlook. Nonetheless, Mr. Holman built a sod shanty measuring twelve by fourteen feet, which served as their home for about seven years. They faced numerous hardships, including poor crop yields. Eventually, Mr. Holman decided to relocate, moving from Walsh County, North Dakota, to Richland County. There, he acquired some land on shares near Wolcott while being $150.00 in debt. The first cow he owned cost him $53.00. They resided on this land for two years and in 1892, they moved to Clay County, Ulen Township, where Mr. Holman purchased 240 acres of land at $10.00 per acre. He constructed a beautiful residence, outbuildings, and planted approximately five acres of trees. Today, their country home is one of the most picturesque in the county.

The Holman family, including Mr. and Mrs. Holman and their children, are all members of the United Lutheran Church, where Mr. Holman serves as a trustee. He served one year on the board of supervisors and is highly regarded as one of the most esteemed citizens in his community.


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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