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Dana Reed Bailey.

History of Minnehaha county, South Dakota. Containing an account of its settlements, growth, development and resources ... Synopsis of public records, biographical sketches .. online

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Online LibraryDana Reed BaileyHistory of Minnehaha county, South Dakota. Containing an account of its settlements, growth, development and resources ... Synopsis of public records, biographical sketches .. → online text (page 84 of 99)
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Stephenson, Stephen, was born in Norway, December 16,
1853. He came to this country and lived in Minnesota for some time,
but removed to Dakota and settled in this county in 1873. He then
hied a homestead on the northwest quarter of section 9, where he
still resides. He also owns the east half of the northeast quarter of
section 8, making- in all a g-ood farm of 240 acres.

Stokke, John J,, was born in Norway in 1826. He emig-rated
to the United States and lived in Minnesota until 1872, when he re-
moved to this county. He took up considerable land, but disposed of
a larg-e portion, and now owns 400 acres in sections 30, 31 and 33 in
Edisoh, wdiere he resides and has a good farm. He is a good neigh-
bor and an esteemed citizen.

Vadheim, L. a., is a native of Norway and was born Januarv 10,
1850. He emigrated to the United States and lived in Iowa until in
July, 1873, when he removed to this county. He secured 240 acres of
land in section 12 in Edison by homestead and tree claim filings, and
resides on the northeast quarter of that section. He has been town
supervisor and school district clerk, is a good farmer and a g'ood
citizen.

Wangsness, Christopher H., was born in Norway, Julv
15, 1857. He came to this country with his father, Herman H.
Wangsness, lived with him in Minnesota and Iowa, and came with
him to Edison June 19, 1873. His father took up as a homestead the
east half of the northwest quarter and the west half of the northeast
quarter of section 17, and as a tree claim the west half of the south-
east quarter of the same section. This land is now owned bv Chris,
and is a good farm. His father was born January 14, 1814, and is
still living. Chris is an active participant in public affairs, and for
the past few years a republican county convention without his pres-
ence has been of rare occurrence. He was the first town clerk of
Edison, has held nearly all the township offices and has been chair-
man of the town board. He was elected reg-ister of deeds of this
county in November, 1892, was re-elected in 1894, and performed the
duties of this office to the entire satisfaction of his constituency.
Since the expiration of his term of office as register of deeds he has
been in the employ of the McCormick Harvester Co., and resides in
the city of Sioux Palls. He is one of Minnehaha county's foremost
citizens, has a wide circle of acquaintances and a host of friends.




ly ^.



C. H. Wan(;sness.



SVKRDRUP TOW NS HIP.

(103-49)

The town lines of Sverdrup were surveyed by Wm. J. Neelev in
Julv, 1859, and the subdivisions made by Carl C. P. Meyer in Sep-
tember, 1864. It has an acreag-e of 23,031.58, and is one of the be;- 1
townships in the countv. The Big- Sioux river enters on section 2,
and running in a southeasterly course, leaves the township on sec-
tion 32. On the map of the first survey there appear two quite ex-
tensive slouofhs, but they have g-radually yielded to cultivation, and
onlv during- very wet seasons are noticeable. There are some tril);i-
taries of the Big- Sioux in the eastern part of the township, but the
volume of water is greatly increased or diminished by drv' or wet sea-
sons. The first settlement was made on section 29, by John Thomp-
son, on the 2d day of July, 18()(), and through his influence others
came to this county and settled during- the year following-. On the
12th day of Ang-ust, 1868, the first church in the countv was org-an-
ized in this township. The first school house in Sverdrup w^as built
of log-s, and located a little southwest of John Thompson's g-rove,
where the Early Settlers Association has held its annual meeting-s
and picnics for the last five years. The first school meeting- of which
there is any record, was held at this house on the 30th day of Au-
g-ust, 1871. William Melvin was elected director, John Thompson
clerk, and A. W. Johnson treasurer. The first school teacher was
Ole J. Aasen, w^ho commenced school on the 28th day of December,
1871, and taug-ht three months for the sum of S37. The school was
held in John J. Aasen's log- dwelling- house, which was situated on
the northwest quarter of section 29. The Chicagfo, Milwaukee & St.
Paul railroad runs throug-h the entire leng-th of Sverdrup, but its
nearest station is at Baltic, formerly known as St. Olaf and Keyes,
located on the southeast quarter of section 32, in Dell Rapids town-
ship. It has more resident farmers than any other township in the
county, and its valuation of personal property is the largest, except
Sioux Falls and Dell Rapids with the cities included. The popula-
tion is principally of Scandinavian descent; and the well cultivated
farms, fine building-s and other evidence of thrift that can be seen in
Sverdrup is a high testimonial of the industry and g-ood citizenship
of this race of people.

NiDAKOs Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church. — This
church was named after the city of Nidaros (now called Trondhjem),
in Norway. It was org-anized August 12, 1868, and was the first
church oro-anization in this county. Its members were mostly resi-



920



HISTORY OF MINNEHAHA COUNTY.



dents of the western half of Sverdrup. Its first pastor was the Rev.
E. Christensen, who then resided in Yankton county. He preached
to the cong-reg-ation occasionally until the fall of 1873. On the 23d
day of October of that year the Rev. O. O. Sando was installed as
pastor of this church, and has since then remained as such. In 1878
a church building- was erected on the northwest quarter of section
17, in Sverdrup, at a cost of S3, 500, which sum was raised among- the




NiDARos Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church.



members of the church. There were in 18% two hundred and eig-htv
communicants, and the cong-reg-ation numbered six hundred. Ser-
vices are held in the church once in two weeks. There is a parochial
school connected with the church which is maintained from four to
seven months each year.

St, Olaf's Norwegian Lutheran Church. — This church was
org-anized at Baltic, March 16, 1890, with a membership of thirty-
four, which has remained about the same since then. There is a
Woman's sewing- circle connected with, and in aid of the church.
The Rev. C. C. Moe holds services about every third Sunday. Ow-
ing- to the hard times for the past few years, the societv has not vet
erected a church building.

SVERDRUP TOWNSHIP BOARD.

The first meeting- of the board was held at the residence of
John Vollan on Saturday the 15th day of January, 1881. At this
meeting- there were present T. S. Roberts chairman, O. P. Moe
and Ole J. Aasen supervisors, A. J. Berdahl clerk, and Erik J.
Berdahl justice of the peace. John Thompson had been elected as-
sessor and J. Hogstad one of the constables, but havino- failed to



HISTORY OF MINNEHAHA COUNTY. 921



(|u.'ilif\-, Sever J. Aasen was njipointed assessor and Maj^-mis Tide-
niann constable. John H. Roberts was treasurer, and Thomas Mc-
Kean one of the constables during- this year. On July IcS, there as
a meetino- of the board, and John O. Lan^-ness was ])resent as one of
the supervisors in the place of Ole J. Aasen. On the l*)th dav of
July the first warrant was issued to Sever J. Aasen in the sum of S2S
for services as assessor. The treasurer reported at the end of the
year that he had received no money.

1S82. Supervisors, Dr. T. S. Roberts chairman, John O. Lang-
ness, O. P. Moe; A. J. Berdahl clerk. Sever J. Aasen assessor, John
H. Roberts treasurer, A. P. Risvold road overseer, James Plamoe
constable. On the 21st day of July the board levied taxes as follows:
Town 2, bridg-es 2 and road 4 mills. During" the year the treasurer
received $233, and paid out on warrants S221.97.

1883. Supervisors, John Thompson chairman, Ole P. Moe,
Peter P. Risvold; Andrew J. Berdahl clerk, Sever J. Aasen assessor,
John O. Lang-ness treasurer, Ole J. Aasen and Erik J. Berdahl jus-
tices, James Plamoe, Jr., constable, A. P. Risvold road overseer.
At the first meeting- of the board it was ordered that all bridg-es
built in the township should be of the wndth of 16 feet.

1884. The annual town meeting- was held on March 4, at the
Ivring-en school house. At this meeting- three g-uide posts were or-
dered erected and three places desig-nated for posting- legfal notices.
At this meeting- John Thompson was elected chairman, Peder P.
Risvold and Ole P. Moe supervisors, A. J. Berdahl clerk, John O.
Lang-ness treasurer, Severt J. Aasen assessor. Thirty-seven votes
were cast. On the 27th day of September the resig-nation of A. J.
Berdahl as clerk was accepted and John R. Bjorg-an was appointed
to fill the vacancv.

1885. The annual town meeting- was held in the John Thom])son
school house on the 3d day of March. It was voted to raise SlOO for
general purposes, S75 for road and bridg-es and S25 for incidental ex-
penses. John Thompson was elected chairman, Peter P. Risvold
and Ole J. Aas^en supervisors, John R. Bjorg-an clerk, John O. Lang -
ness treasurer, Severt J. Aasen assesssr, Ole J. Aasen and K. J.
Berdahl justices, J. Plamoe and John O. Hammer constables.

1886. The annual town meeting- was held at the Kring-en school
house on the 2d dav of March. It was voted to pav the assessor
S2.00 per day for " his services instead of $3.00. A. P. Risvold
was elected overseer of hig-hways for the whole township. A tax was
ordered levied sufficient to raise for g-eneral purposes S125, and for
bridg-es $200. John Thompson was elected chairman, Ole J. Aasen
and Peter P. Risvold supervisors, John O. Lang-ness treasurer, Se\'er
J. Aasen assessor. Eig-hteen votes were cast at this election.

1887. The annual towm meeting- was held March 1, when John
Thompson was elected chairman and Ole Aasen and Erik Berdahl
supervisors and justices, John R. Bjorg-an clerk, John O. Lang-ness
treasurer, Severt J. Aasen assessor, Jens Plamoe and G. A. Gard-
ner constables. Eighteen votes were cast. At this meeting the as-
sessor's pay was raised to $2.50 per day.

1888. The annual town meetino- was held March 6. The vote



922 HISTORY OF MINNEHAHA COUNTY.



on dividing- the town into road districts was 21 for, and 12 ai,nthfs/.
John Thompson was elected chairman, Ole J. Aasen and E. J. Ber-
dahl supervisors, J. R. Bjorg-an clerk, John O. Lanjj-ness treasurer,
Severt J. Aasen assessor, P, A. Moen constable, A. P. Risvold road
overseer. June 4, road matters were considered, and the town oflli-
cers upon petition of twelve freeholders decided to submit the ques-
tion of a resurvev of the township "according- to the U. S. survey
and field notes." At the town meeting- held June 18, 62 votes were
cast on the resurvey question, 44 \n favor ?ind 18 ag-ahist. October
30 and 31, the board divided the township into four road districts,
and on the last mentioned day the town board of Dell Rapids met
with the board and divided the west one mile and a half for the
maintenance of a hig-hway on the town line between the two towns.

1881). The following- officers were elected: John Thompson
chairman, E. J. Berdahl and Ole J. Aasen supervisors and justices,
John R. Bjorg-an clerk, John O. Lang-ness treasurer, S. J. Aasen as-
sessor, John Finneg-an and J. Plamoe constables. July 8, the board
directed Ole J. Aasen to procure the resurvey of certain roads. Oc-
tober 5, board settled with Mrs. A. B. McKean for damag-es which
she had received by the new survey.

1890. Supervisors, John Thompson chairman, E. J. Berdahl,
Andrew J. Aasen; John R. Bjorg-an clerk, John O. Eang-ness treas-
urer, S. J. Aasen assessor and S. T. Kirkeby constable.

1891. Supervisors, John Thompson chairman, E. J. Berdahl,
H. J. Solem; John R. Bjorg-an clerk, John O. Lang-ness treasurer,
Ole J. Aasen assessor, E. J. Berdahl and T. J. Ouestad justices,
S. J. Kirkeby and John Finneg-an constables. Forty-four votes were
cast. March 31, board met and T. T. Vrenne w^as appointed justice,
T. J. Questad not having- qualified.

1892. Supervisors, E. J. Berdahl chairman, H.(t. Solem, Oliver
Olson; John R. Bjorg-an clerk, A. J. Berdahl treasurer, Ole J. Aasen
assessor, T. T. Vrenne justice of the peace, Ole J Fundaun con-
stable.

1893. Supervisors, E. J. Berdahl chairman, T. T. Vrenne,
John P. Risvold; John R. Bjorg-an clerk, Ole J. Questad treasurer,
Ole J. Aasen assessor, E. J. Berdahl and Georg-e W. Sisson justices,
Ole J. Fundaun and T. O. Nyhus constables. Mr. Vrenne refused
to qualify and H. G. Solem w^as appointed to fill his place. Mr. Sis-
son also refused to qualify and John G. C. Schleg-el was appointed,
and upon his death E. J. Lang-ness was appointed.

1894. Supervisors, A. J. Berdahl chairman, Ole P. Moen, John
P. Risvold; clerk, John R. Bjorg-an; treasurer, Ole J. Questad; asses-
sor, Ole J. Aasen.

1895. Supervisors, F. J. Berdahl chairman, Ole P. Moen, John
P. Vollen; clerk, John R. Bjorg-an; treasurer, Ole J. Questad; asses-
sor, Ole J. Aasen.

1896. E. J. Berdahl chairman, Peter A. Moen, N. B. Peterson;
clerk, John R. Bjorg-an; treasurer, Ole J. Ouestad; assessor, John P.
Vollen.

1897. Supervisors, John Thompson chairman, N. B. Peterson,
Paul A. Risvold; clerk, John R. Bjorg-an; treasurer, Ole J. Questad;
assessor, H. S. Sandvio-. "^



HISTORY OP MINNEHAHA COUNTY. 923



1898. Supervisors, E. J. Berdahl chairman, N. B. Peterson,
l^rik Nelson; clerk, John R. Bjoro-an; treasurer, Ole J. Ouestad; as-
sessor, Hans S. Sandvi<j\

1899. Supervisors, E. J. Berdahl chairman, N. B. Peterson,
l{^rik Nelson; clerk, H. R. Bjorofan; treasurer, Ole Ouestad; assessor,
H. S. Sandxiu-; justices, E. J. Berdahl, ()le Ouestad.

BIOCxRAPHICAL SKETCHES.

Aasen, Jr., John J., one of the first farmers who settled in this
county, is a native of Norway and was born February 15, 1843. He
emigrated to the United States and lived in Goodhue county, Minne-
sota, until the fall of 1866, when in the company of Ole O. (iilseth he
started for Dakota; the hardships and privations endured by them
during- this journey being- more fully described in the chapter of
reminiscences. After having- arrived in this county, Mr. Aasen took
up a homestead in sections 20 and 29 in Sverdrup, where he has been
eng-ag-ed in farming-. He resides at the present time on his farm in
section 30 in the same township, is well-to-do and has a g-ood farm.
In 1865, he served in the arm\' for six months. He is a good farmer
and a respected citizen.

Aasen, Ole J., was born in Norway in 1846, and is one of the
early settlers of this county. He came here from Minnesota July 23,
1867, there being- no railroads in this section of the country at that
time, the slow convevance of an ox-team was employed to bring- the
sturdy settler to Dakota. He located in this county and secured as
a homestead the northeast quarter of section 18 in Sverdrup, where
he has since resided, and has a good farm with substantial buildings.
He was appointed constable in 1871, in district number three, and
since that time has almost continuously held some prominent town-
ship office either as supervisor of the town board, justice of the peace
or assessor, and in the winter of 1871-2 taug-ht the first school in that
localitv. He takes an active interest in the welfare of his town, and
is a highly respected citizen.

Berdahl, Erick J., was born in Norway August 8, 1850, and
came to Minnehaha county with his father in June, 1872, having
prior to that time lived with him in Iowa and Minnesota. He filed on
the northeast quarter of the southwest quarter and the north half of
the southeast quarter of section 24 in Sverdrup, and the northwest
quarter of the southwest quarter of section 19 in Ediso*n as a home-
stead. He took up a timber claim, which he afterwards sold. He
also sold the west 40 acres of his homestead, and bought 120 acres
north of the remainder of his homestead, making him a farm of 240
acres, on which he now resides. He also owns 80 acres of section 25
in Sverdrup. He has been justice of the peace, member and chair-
man of the town board, postmaster of Pennington post office fifteen
vears, and at the election in November, 1892, was elected to the
House of Representatives of the state legislature on the Populist
ticket, and was the only candidate of his party elected to the legisla-
ture from this county that year.



924 HISTORY OF MINNEHAHA COUNTY.



Bjorgan, John R., was born in Norway, January 8, 1851. In
1872 he emigrated to the United States, and located in this coiintv.
He lived in Sverdrup two years, and then w^ent to Decorah, I(nv.'i,
where he for three years attended the I>uther colleg-e, from which
he was g^raduated in 1877. He then went to Goodhue county, Minn.,
and tauo-ht school until he returned to Sverdrup, where he follow^ed
the same vocation until the summer of 1892. He resides on his farm
in section 30, in Sverdrup. He has held the office of clerk of the
town board of supervisors since 1884, and is also secretary of the
Farmers' Mutual Insurance Company, of Minnehaha county. He is
an enterprising- and respected citizen.

Brende, Gudmund O., is a native of Norway, and was born July
18, 1839. He emig-rated and came to Minnesota in 1867, resided
there three years, and removed to Dakota and located in this county
in July, 1870. He took up as a homestead the southeast quarter of
section 21, in Sverdrup, and has since then purchased about six
hundred acres of land in the same township. He lives on his home-
stead and has a verv^ g^ood farm. The Sverdrup post office is located
on his farm, and Mr. Brende has been the postmaster ever since it
was established. He is one of the prominent farmers of Sverdrup,
highly esteemed as a neig-hbor and citizen, and well known all over
the county.

Brende, Erick G., was born on the North Sea, May 5, 1867,
while his parents were emig-rating- to the United States. His father,
Gudmund O. Brende, settled in Minnesota for three years, and then
removed to Dakota and located in'this county. The subject of this
sketch is an enterprising- young- man, and at the present w^riting- is
residing- upon the old homestead in section 21, in Sverdrup.

Brende, Ole G., was born in Norway, November 13, 1864. He
came with his parents to Minnesota in 1867, and three years later to
Sverdrup. He now^ owns a g-ood farm in sections 16 and 22 in that
township. He is a g-ood citizen.

Brende, Ole Thompson, is a native of Norway, and was born
December 6, 1852. He emig-rated to Minnesota in 1869, and resided
there until he removed to this county in 1872. He settled in Sver-
drup township, taking- up as a homestead the northw^est quarter of
section 14, to which he has added by purchase and at the present
writing has a farm of about three hundred and sixty acres. He is
one of the suj^stantial farmers of Sverdrup, and has held the office of
treasurer of his school district for more than ten years. He is a
g-ood neig-hbor and a respected citizen.

Fersdal, Thomas H., w^as born in Trondhjem, Norway, Feb-
ruary 13, 1858. He emig-rated to Minnesota where he resided until
1881, when he came to Dakota, and has lived in this county ever since.
He bought and now owms about 220 acres of land, consisting- of a
part of the southwest quarter of section 33, and the whole of the
southwest quarter of section 32, in Sverdrup, where he now resides.

Filberg, Andrew Fredrickson, a native of Norway, was born
December 13, 1843. He emig-rated to the United States in 1869, lived



HISTORY OF MINNEHAHA COUNTY 925



in Wisconsin four \ears and came to this countx' in 1873. He then
entered a homestead and a tree claim upon the northeast quarter of
section 2, in Sverdrup, where he still resides and has a j^-ood farm.
He has been a member of the school board, and is a j^-ood citizen.

FuNDAUN, Olp: J., is a native of Norway and was liorn in 1S51.
He emio-rated to Dakota in 1875, and located in this county. He filed
a pre-emption upon the west half of the northwest quarter of section
11, and the east half of the northeast quarter of section 10. in S\er-
drup, where he is still living-, eno-ao-ed in farmin<i-.

(tARDNER, George H., was born in Michi,o-an March 22, 1853, on
his father's farm in the town of Dearl)orn, Wavne countv. While
quite 3'ouno- he removed to Minnesota, and from there to Iowa, and
eng-ag-ed in farming-. In April, 1877, he came to Sioux Palls, where he
remained about one month and then located a homestead in Moodv
county. April 1, 1878, he returned to this count}' and boug'ht the
southwest quarter of section 23 in Sverdrup, where he has since re-
sided. He is also the owner of the northwest quarter of section 23
and 200 acres in section 22 in the same township. He is a gfood
farmer and has a splendid farm. Was one of the g-rand jurors at
the April term of the circuit court in 18*)3.

GUNDERSON, Thorsten, came to the United States from Nor-
way, where he was born March 24, 1840. He lived in Minnesota one
\ear, but left there for Dakota in 1873, and settled in this countv.
He secured a fine location by the Sioux river in sections 17 and 18 in
Sverdrup, where he has since resided eng^agfed in farming". He is a
g-ood farmer and a respected citizen.

Hammer, Johx O., was born in Norway in 1854. He emig-rated
to the United States in 1873, and settled in this county. He took up
a homestead and a tree claim in section 1 in Sverdrup, where he has
since resided and has a g-ood farm with substantial building-s.

The Huntemer Family. The Huntemers of Minnehaha county
are sufficiently prominent and numerous to receive special mention.
The father was born in 1822 at Achren near Baden in (jermany. He
married in 1846, and emig-rated to the United States the same year
and settled in St. Louis, Missouri. After having- lived there one
year he removed to Potosi, Grant county, Wisconsin, where he re-
sided until his death. He was a farmer, and had fourteen children,
eleven of whom are now living". There were eit^ht sons, and all of
them, except Henry, have resided in this county, and he resides in
Lake county, this state. Pour of the dcug-hters have also lixed in
Minnehaha "county, and one of them, the wife of P. P. Bowen, is now
a resident of Taopi. A biog-raphical sketch of William will be found
below, of John in Mapleton,of Aug'ustus in Dell Rapids, and of Charles
B., Georg-e V., Prank J., and Josej)!! in Taopi, where they first re-
sided in this county.

Huntemer, William, was born in Potosi, (irant county, Wis-
cansin, October 28, 1848; was reared on a farm, and received a com-
mon school education. His father g-ave the boys their time when
twenty years old, and the subject of this sketch went to work on



926 HISTORY OF MINNEHAHA COUNTY.



a farm in Iowa the following- year and saved about two hundred dol-
lars. In April, 1871, in company with his brother John he started
for Sioux Falls, arriving there April 16. Among- the first jobs they
secured was that of excavating- the cellar for the Cataract hotel.
William took up land in section 33 in Sverdrup, and there is a story
frequently told that after he had been farming- for two or three
years he became so discourag-ed that he was about to leave the
country where the g-rasshoppers harvested his crops; that he came
down to Sioux Falls, where C. K. Howard happened to hear of his
intentions, and in order to induce him to remain said he would take
the place of Providence for one year, and g-ive him a written g-uar-
anty that he would raise a g-ood crop. When asked about it, Mr.
Huntemer said: "Yes, that's about as it was. I had got discour-
ag-ed — the g-rasshoppers had taken my crops and I thoug-ht it was of
no use to remain here any long-er. Mr. Howard overheard me saying-
I was about to sell my personal property and leave, and he protested
strongly, saying I had a good farm, w^as a good farmer, that Provi-
dence had not forgotten us and that the grasshoppers would not ap-
pear ag'ain. I asked him how many bushels of wheat he thoug-ht I
would get an acre that year, and he replied he was sure that I would
g-et a good crop. I then said to him, 'If you w^ill guarantee thirteen
bushels per acre I will give you all I raise over that.' He replied,
'I will do it.' I then said, 'I w^ant this put down in black and white.'
He assented to this and wrote out the agreement which we signed,
and then he handed me tw^enty-five cents and told me to go dow n to
the register of deeds' office and file the ag-reement, which I did. I
raised twenty-five to thirty bushels an acre that year, and the sur-
plus over thirteen bushels I drew for Mr, Howard to Beaver Creek,
Minnesota. I have always been glad that I made that contract and
remained in this county."

Mr. Huntemer resides on his farm in Sverdrup, which now com-



Online LibraryDana Reed BaileyHistory of Minnehaha county, South Dakota. Containing an account of its settlements, growth, development and resources ... Synopsis of public records, biographical sketches .. → online text (page 84 of 99)