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.

S. M. T. Nykreim, a prominent and prosperous citizen of Clay County, was born in Norway on March 11, 1842. He was the son of Thorga and J. Nykreim, who had three sons and two daughters. Thorga and Anna are currently residing in Norway, Martha is deceased, Rev. P. Nykreim is serving as the pastor of the Lutheran church in Park River, North Dakota, and our subject passed away in Ulen on October 11, 1905. Mrs. Nykreim, his widow, is still alive and resides on the old homestead. Together, they had seven children: Clara, who is married to Knud L. Nedburge (whose sketch is included in this publication); Ragnelle Petrine, who is married to Christ Paulson, the county treasurer (whose sketch can also be found elsewhere in this publication); Theodore; Annie, who is married to Andrew Aubolee; Laura Christina; Thora Mathilda, who is married to Henry Sannan of Ulen; and Sofus Martinus.

In 1868, Mr. Nykreim immigrated to the United States and initially settled in Illinois for a brief period before moving to Goodhue County, Minnesota. He worked as a clerk and also taught at a Norwegian school for several years. Well-educated in his native country, he married Miss Martha Kopperdal around 1871 in Goodhue County. Martha Kopperdal was also a native of Norway. Her father, born in 1800, passed away in Goodhue County, Minnesota, in 1884. Unfortunately, Mrs. Kopperdal died at a young age, leaving behind six children. Four of these children crossed the country with their parents in 1866. Miss Annie Kopperdal currently resides with her sister, Mrs. Nykreim, and is a remarkable lady in her seventy-fourth year.

In 1879, Mr. and Mrs. Nykreim, accompanied by three children, traveled by rail to Lake Park and then continued by horse team to Clay County. Mr. Nykreim had made a prior trip to his claim in Goose Prairie Township to prepare for the arrival of his family. The first house they lived in was a sturdy fourteen by twenty-two cabin, which they constructed. Later, they added an additional room measuring twelve by sixteen. Four of their youngest children were born in this house. Mr. Nykreim also built a good barn and other outbuildings on their homestead. In 1897, he relocated to Ulen village and ventured into the hotel business. He erected a comfortable and appealing house in Ulen. His hotel, known as the City Hotel, was situated opposite the bank but was unfortunately destroyed by fire in the fall of 1907.

Mr. Nykreim served on the village council for a period of time and held the position of trustee at the United Lutheran Church. He was also involved in real estate dealings. Moreover, he taught the first Sunday school at the United Lutheran Church in Ulen.


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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