Clement A. (Clement Augustus) Lounsberry.

North Dakota history and people; outlines of American history (Volume 3) online

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farm, in the development of which he continued to assist until he reached the age of
twenty-five years, when he was married and came to North Dakota. It was on the 1.3th of
August, 1879, that he arrived in this state, tlien a part of Dakota territory, the removal
being made on account of ill health. Establishing his home at Grand Forks, he became im-
)>resscd with the future ])Ossibilities of the state and immediately made extensive invest-
ments in town property and in farm lands in Grand Forks county. Since that time he has
been continuously connected with the agric\iltural development of the district, employing
competent men to supervise and cultivate his lands. He maintains his residence at his city
home at No. 611 South Third street. Grand Forks, which stands on land that constituted his
first purchase on coming to the state. The tract at that time was twelve acres in extent and
was bounded on the west by Third street and on the north by Reeves avenue and extended
to the river. Soon after making the purchase he sold eight acres of the tract to two
intimate friends, who remained his life neighbors, and one of them. Major John G. Hamilton,


erected a very beautiful home directly opposite the home of jVfr. C'ooley. There both have
since resided and this friendship of a lifetime still continues. In the selection of his land
Mr. Cooley displayed rare judgment, for it remains today one of the beauty spots of Grand
Forks and constitutes one of the most exclusive and attractive residential districts of the
city. The river forms the eastern boundary and there are no streets intersecting to the
west until one readies Third street, one of the principal thoroughfares of Grand Forks. To
the south of his property and adjoining it is Central park, one of the city's most beautiful
recreation places, embracing twenty acres of splendidly wooded land, the entire tract being
adorned with stately forest trees. In making his purchases of farm lands Mr. Cooley was
advised to some extent by the late James J. Hill, the president of the Great Northern Rail-
road Company, who was thoroughly familiar with the entire country and accompanied jNIr.
Cooley on his tours of inspection, for thej' remained throughout the life of Mr. Hill intimate
and close friends. The properties which he thus purchased have constantly increased in
value and are still in his possession, bringing to him a most gi'atifying annual revenue. One
of his farms embraces an entire section.

Mr. Cooley was married to Miss Rachel Caroline Elting, a daughter of the late David
and Rachel Elting and also a representative of one of the earliest New York families of
English descent. They became parents of two sons and two daughters: ilrs. George B.
CliflFord, deceased, whose husband is now a resident and capitalist of St. Paul and also has
extensive realty and land holdings in Grand Forks and North Dakota. The other daughter
is also deceased. The sons, Edwin and Alfred, are residents of Grand Forks and are married,
making their home with their father. The former is general manager for the George B.
Clifford Company of Grand Forks. Mrs. Cooley passed away in this city.

For thirty-seven years John E. Cooley has been one of the most prominent, respected
and honored residents of Grand Forks. The west with its freedom and its limitless possibilities
made strong appeal to him when in j'oung manhood he sought health upon the broad
prairies of North Dakota. His sound judgment and keen insight recognized the advantages
here to be enjoyed and wise investment, followed by later careful management in business
affairs, made him one of the most prosperous citizens of the locality. His life, active, honor-
able and resultant, well entitles him to the high respect in which he is uniformly held and
no history of Grand Forks would be complete without extended reference to him and the
part which he has played in its upbuilding and progress, for at all times he has stood for
public improvement, giving active aid, support and cooperation to movements for the gen-
eral good. Mr. Cooley gives his political allegiance to the republican party and fraternally
is identified with the Masons, belonging to the blue lodge, the eommandery and the Shrine.
He joined the order in Modena, New York, and organized the first lodge of Knights Templar
in Grand Forks.


William H. Ross, an architect practicing his profession in Grand Forks, was born in
La Ciosse, Wisconsin, December 17, 1889. His father, John W. Ross, born in Germany, April
9, 1848, was brought to America by his parents when a lad of but four summers. The
family home was established at La Crosse, where they were among the earliest settlers,
and there .John W. Ross was reared and educated. In early manhood he took up the study
of architecture with the late Charles Ross, then one of the leading architects of La Crosse.
In 1879 he removed to Grand Forks, North Dakota, and in the spring of 1880 was joined
by his family. He immediately entered upon the practice of his profession, but owing to a
scarcity of work in architectural lines, he also began contracting and built one of the first
elevators erected in his section of the state. He also built some of the first homes and
public buildings of Grand Forks. During his later years he confined his attention and
activity exclusively to architectural lines and planned and designed many of the most
prominent buildings of the state, including schoolhouses, courthouses, city halls and other
public structures, remaining up to the time of his death the leading architect of the north-
west. Throughout North Dakota and other sections of the country are seen buildings which


stand as momimeiits to liis skill and luuidiwoik. His. political allegiance was given to the
democratic party and for many years he held the olHce of city building inspector. His
religious faith was that of the Roman Catholic church and he was a member of the Knights
of Columbus and the Royal Arcanum. Jn early manhood he wedded Caroline Schoeidieinz, a
native of La Crosse, Wisconsin, whose father was a pioneer settler of that state. Mr. and
Mrs. Ross became the parents of three children: William H., of this review; Caroline, the
wife of Abe Jlcllahon, who is with the Great Northern Railway Company at Grand Folks;
and Sophia, the wife of O. F. Rustad, living at Bismarck, North Dakota. The father passed
away in Grand Forks, December 13, 1914, while the mother is yet living.

William H. Ross was educated in the public schools of Grand Forks and in 190C entered
the office of his father in order to study architecture. In 1908 he was admitted to a partner-
ship in the business under the firm name of J. W. Ross & Son and since the father's death
William II. Ross has successfully conducted the business alone, maintaining, as his father
had before him, a most creditable position in professional circles. He is today accorded
a liberal patronage and his success is assured.

On the 14tli of December, 1915, Mr. Ross was married in Aidoch, North Dakota, to Miss
Charlotte Ferris, a native of Ardoch and a daughter of Henry and Jane Ferris, who were
early settlers of the state. Mr. Ross was reared in the Roman Catholic faith and is a com-
municant of that church. In politics he is a democrat and his interest in community affairs
is indicated by his membership in the Commercial Club, for he is in hearty sympathy with
its plans and purposes to develop and upbuild the city, extend its trade relations and uphold
its civic standards.


Peter D. Podhola, of Max, McLean county, has a multiplicity of business interests
and is meeting with success in signal measure in all that he has undertaken. His labors
have not only brought him financial independence but have also been largely instrumental
in promoting the material and civic progress of his town and county- He owns and super-
vises the operation of about sixteen hundred acres of land and is engaged in the macliinery
business, giving especial attention to the introduction of the Campbell subsurface packer,
which has done so much to make farming profitable in this section. He is likewise secre-
tary and treasurer of the Podhola-Langbell Land & Loan Company, one of the leading
organizations of the kind in this section of the state.

Mr. Podhola was born in Highland, Iowa county, Wisconsin, February 19, 187G, a son
of Frank and Martha Podhola. The father was born in Prague, Bohemia, but when about
ten years of age accompanied his parents to the United States, settlement being made in
Grant county, Wisconsin. He remained in that state until JOOO. when he removed to
Lidgerwood, North Dakota, and purchased a relinquishment in that locality. He now owns
six hundred acres of land and concentrates his energies upon agricultural pursuits. He
was married in Wisconsin. His wife was born twenty-eight miles from Berlin, Germany,
and when eight years of age was brought by her parents to the United States, the family
home being established near Highland, in Iowa county, Wisconsin. She is also living
upon the home farm near Lidgerwood. There are five children in their family, namely:
Peter D.; Charlie, who is living in Lidgerwood; Mamie, the wife of C. T. Fronta, a resident of
Max; Katherine, of Lidgenvood; and Frank, Jr., also of that town.

Peter D. Podhola completed his high school course at Highland and subsequently
attended the Marinette Bu.-finess College at Marinette, Wisconsin, after which, in 1S94, he
removed to Wahpeton, North Dakota. For about a half year he was in the employ of Dr.
Moody a veterinarian of that place, and then went to work for a Mr. Maksche, the proprietor
of a store in Wahpeton. After remaining in that connection for six months he secured a
position in the postoflice and general store at Lidgerwood, his employer being JIathew
Lynch. For six years he continued in Lidgerwood, after which he removed to Sawyer, Ward
county, where he engaged in the lumber business on his own account. Ho not only supplied


the early settlors of the district with their lumber but also did considerable building for
them. In addition to conducting his lumberyard he dealt in lands, being quick to recognize
the opportunities which that new and rapidly developing country offered. He still owns
his homestead of forty-five acres there. After residing in Sawyer for about four years
he sold his interests there and took up his residence in Max, where he has since remained. At
that time this section of the country was considered of little value, but he thought otherwise
and promoted its development in various ways, with the result that others also recognized
the possibilities of the district and at tl)e present time this is a productive and prosperous
section. It was he who secured the introduction of Uax and he has also rendered great service
to the farmers by bringing to their attention the merits of the Campbell subsurface packer.
This implement is of great value, making possible the production of much larger crops than
could otherwise be obtained in this section. JVIr. Podhola has been engaged in the machinery
business since 1914, handling in addition to the Campbell packer, corn cultivators and
planters, manure spreaders and practically all other kinds of farm implements. He is a
practical agriculturist himself, cultivating about sixteen hundred acres of land, and in addi-
tion to growing grain he raises about one hundred head of cattle. He is grading up his herd
into blooded shorthorns. In addition to his other interests Mr. Podhola is secretary-treasurer
of the Podhola-Langbell Land & Loan Company, a twenty-five thousand dollar corporation,
which was organized in Max in 1913. Previous to that he had engaged in the real estate busi-
ness here independently and his thorough knowledge of the business and of farm values,
together with his fine judgment and enterprise, have been important factors in the success
of the concern. The other officers are: P. N. Langbell, president; and M. H. Podhola, vice
president. He not only has extensive property interests in North Dakota both individually
and as a member of the company, but he also owns raw land in Nebraska.

In 1903 Mr. Podhola was married at Lidgerwood to Miss Mary Haveline, who was born
near Prague, Bohemia, December 8, 1882, and was brouglit to the United States in her
infancy, the greater part of her life before her marriage being spent at Lidgerwood. To
this union four children have been born, namely: Ernie R., Irene, Martha and Mary.

Mr. Podhola is a republican and is unswerving in his loyalty to that party. He holds
membership in the Immaculate Conception Catholic church, belongs to the Knights of
Columbus at Minot, in which he has taken the Forester's degree, to the Woodmen, the
Royal Neighbors and the Brotherhood of American Yeomen. He has been among the first in
the county to secure the various implements for facilitating farm work which from time to
time are placed on the market and in fact was the first man in the territory to buy a gas trac-
tor. The engine has given thorough satisfaction and is still in use. He believes that
twentieth century conveniences should be used in the home as well as in the work of the farm
and is installing in his residence in Max an electric light plant and a steam heating plant.
Although he has always given the closest attention to his private business interests he has not
allowed his own affairs to monoplize his time but has given most generously of his energy
and thought to the advancement of the community welfare. He has served as clerk of
the school board for many years and his constructive effort has been felt along many
lines of progress.


Peter Scott, clerk of the countj' court in Bottineau county, was born at Lesje,
Gudbrandsdalen, Norway, June 16, 1874, a son of Paul P. and Gertrude (Nyhus)
Scott, who were also natives of that country. The father was an officer of the Norwegian
army, in which capacity he served for forty-four years, and he is now living retired at the
age of seventy-two. His wife passed away in 1880. LTpon the father's retirement from
the arm}' he was awarded a gold medal by King Oscar, only four other men of his grade
Iiaving ever received this recognition, for during forty-four years' service he had never asked
for leave of absence and his record was a splendid example of loyal military duty.

Peter Scott spent the period of his minority in his native country and in 1893 landed
in New York city. He had been connected with mercantile interests in Norway and during


the first year after his arrival in the new world was employed at different jobs, spending
some time as a farm hand at six dollars per month. He made his way into the pineries
of Wisconsin, where he was employed for two winter seasons at twelve dollars per month.
In the spring of 1S95 he removed to Bottineau county, North Dakota, and during the
following summer was employed as a farm hand. He then secured a position with W. H.
Mcintosh & Company, general merchants, with whom he remained until the fall of 1899,
at which time he was appointed register of deeds by the board of county commissioners,
filling out an unexpired term. He was tlicn reelected to the office and acted in tliat
capacity until 1905. Upon his retirement he turned his attention to the real estate and
insurance business, in which he was engaged until 1908, when he entered the First
National Bank of Overly, North Dakota, as cashier. A year later, however, he returned
to Bottineau and in the summer of 1910 was appointed clerk of the county court under
Judge John H. Kirk, since which time he has occupied that position. Judge I. R. Barkway
being now on the bench.

In the fall of 1890 Mr. Scott was united in marriage to Miss L. King and they have
become the parents of five children, Gertrude M., Helen M., Geraldine T., Paul J., and
Margaret L. The Presbyterian church finds in Mr. and Mrs. Scott consistent and faithful
members and he is equally loyal to his vows as a representative of the Masonic and
Odd Fellow lodges. Politically he is a republican and for the past two years has filled the
office of city auditor as well as that of clerk of the county court. His official record is
free from the slightest taint of dishonor or inefficiency. On the contrary he has been most
loyal to his duties and all who know aught of him speak of his public work in terms of
high praise.


Ole M. Knudson, who during almost seventeen j'ears' connection with the Minot water-
works in the capacity of engineer has never lost a single day, was born in Gudbransdal,
Norway, January 6, 1860, a son of Knudt and Ragnluld (Olson) Knudson, who were also
natives of that country, where the father conducted business as a contractor and builder,
both passing away in Norway.

Ole M. Knudson was one of twins, the youngest children in a family of ten. He at-
tended school in Norway and at the age of twelve years began earning his own living by
working in a livery stable, where he was employed for four years. His mother being a
widow, he contributed to her support and at the end of that time he returned home and
assisted his mother on the farm, his father having died when Ole M. Knudson was but six
years of age. He continued at home until he reached the age of eighteen, after which he
was employed by a farmer of Norway for two years. Attracted by the opportunities of
the new world, he then came to America, making his way to La Crosse, Wisconsin, at which
time he was totally unacquainted with the English language. He was first em])loyed in
piling lumber, working in that way through the summer, after which he secured a job on a
tug deck, spending two summers in that way. He was next employed on a carriage in a
sawmill for seven seasons, at the end of which time he went to St. Paul, Minnesota, where
he secured a position as stationary engineer. He had learned the trade when a young lad
and he followed that business in .St. Paul for seventeen years, continually promoting his
energy and eliieicncy through his wide experience. In 1899 he took up his abode on a
claim near ^linot and for one year he was employed as engineer at the Leiand Hotel, after ,
which he took charge of the Jlinot waterworks, continuing as engineer in that city for
almost seventeen years. During the entire time he has never been off duty for a single
day and frequently he has worked both day and night. He assisted in the installation of
all the machinery of the plant and he keeps everything in excellent condition He is still
a Inrge landowner in North Dakota, renting his land, from which he derives a good annual
income, and in 1906 he completed his present home at the corner of Second street. South-
west, and Third avenue He likewise owns other valuable city property near the State
Normal School and his realtv holdings are the visible evidmie of a life of well directed


energy and thrift His entire attention, liowever, is devoted to the waterworks plant and
it is the consensns of public opinion that it would be impossible for Minot to secure a more
competent and faithful official.

In 1894 Mr. Knudson was married to Miss Emma Bloom, who was born at White Bear,
Minnesota, a daughter of Casper and Margaret (Elmer) Bloom, the former a native of
Germany. The mother, who was born in this country, died during the early girlhood of
Mrs. Knudson. Her father was brought to the United States during his infancy and was
reared to manhood at Blooming Grove, Wisconsin. He devoted his life to farming but at
the time of the Civil war enlisted in defense of the Union cause as a member of the First
Wisconsin Regiment. He was never wounded but on account of illness was confined in a
hospital for nine months. When the war was over he returned to the farm and after
several years' connection with agi-icultural interests in Wisconsin removed to Minnesota,
where he still resides, although he has now retired from active business life. Wherever
known he is held in high respect, for he possesses many sterling traits of character and in
matters of citizenship has ever been as true and loyal to his country in times of peace as
when he followed the nation's starry banner on the battlefields of the south. His daughter,
Mrs. Knudson, was the fourth in order of birth in a family of six children and was educated
in the schools of Minnesota. To Mr. and Mrs. Knudson have been born four children : Edith,
the wife of C. T. Enger, an engineer residing in Minot, by whom she has one child, Evelyn
Irene; Stanley and Ruth, who are attending school; and Esther, four years of age.

Mr. Knudson is a member of the Association of Commerce at Minot and belongs to the
Lutheran church. In politics he is independent but has never been an office seeker, preferring
to concentrate his energies upon his duties as superintendent of the waterworks, in which
connection his record has ever been most creditable.


Dr. Thor Jloellcr, a physician and surgeon of Perth, Towner county, was born in
Cliristiania, Norway, on the 20th of June, 1863, a son of Jens and Olena (Arnesen) Moeller.
The mother died in Norway and about ten years prior to his death the father came to the
United States, spending his remaining days among his children. He passed away about 1900.

Dr. Moeller became a high school pupil in Cliristiania, Norway, and was graduated there-
from before reaching the age of fourteen years. His intention was to enter the Government
Military Academy but his youth prevented his acceptance in the school at that time and
he therefore made his initial step m the business world by securing a position in a wholesale
millinery establishment in Christiania. The reports which reached him concerning the
opportunities of the new world led him to try his fortune on this side the Atlantic and in
1885 he arrived in New York city, having in his pocket only a few dollars, which constituted
his entire capital, and this sum was taken from him by a pickpocket. His first year's
experiences in New York city were hard but after a year there S|)ent he was joined by his
brother, Dr. J. 0. L. Moeller, who had been serving as a physician on one of the Danish trans-
atlantic steamers. In company the two brothers started for the middle west and the
Doctor opened an office in Chicago, where his younger brother, Thor Moeller, secured a
position as clerk in a dry goods store. A year ' later the Doctor removed to Manistee,
Michigan, and Thor Moeller went with him. It was while there that he took up the study
of medicine, reading under the direction of his brother, and in 1S89 he entered Rush Medical
College, from which he was graduated with the class of 1892. He had to pay his own
way through college and while pursuing his studies he acted as instrument cutodian in the
Cook County Hospital, and while thus engaged saw many of the noted surgical operations
performed in that institution. He was also fortunate in winning the warm friendship of
Dr. Ludvig Hektoen, the noted pathologist, who was then a member of the faculty of Rush
Medical College and was the first coroner's physician appointed in the city of Chicago.
Dr. Moeller accompanied him in all of his post-mortem work and following his graduation he
opened an office in the Masonic Temple in Cliicago, in which city he practiced for two years.
He then came to North Dakota to visit a brother who lived in Hillsboro and while there he


decided to locate in Far^o. For eigliteen iiioiitlis lie piacticed in tlie latter city and then
removed to Fertile, Jliiinesota, after which he became a resident of Thief Kiver trails. His
object in making' this move was to look for a homestead on which he might later establish
a sanitarium. Xot finding what he wanted, he again removed, this time going to llillsboru.
North Dakota, to take over the practice of his brother, J. 0. L. Jloeller. In 1900 he made
his way to the Turtle Mountains in Rolette county and filed on a homestead on one of the
Fish lakes, which he named Lake Ipselon. He proved up on that property and for two
years thereafter practiced in Rolla but through the iniluence of his brother. Dr. Henry
Moeller, he went to Devils Lake to join him in practice there. The partnership was continued
for two years, after which Dr. Thor Moeller went to Minot. In 1915 he removed to Perth
but is living there only temporarily, expecting to locate in Devils Lake in the near future.
Dr. Moeller is a skilled surgeon, possessing notable ability in that direction. Broad study

Online LibraryClement A. (Clement Augustus) LounsberryNorth Dakota history and people; outlines of American history (Volume 3) → online text (page 106 of 121)