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Knudt E. Runnestrand, among the prosperous merchants of the Village of Ettrick, where he is engaged in the furniture business, is the subject of this sketch, who was born in Bergen, Norway, Aug. 3, 1855. His parents were Elling and Barbara (Torgerson) Runnestrand, both natives of the same city, a noted seaport of Norway. The father was a sailor, but neither he nor his wife ever came to this country, both dying in their native land. Knudt Runnestrand resided with his parents until he was 17 years of age, when he began to learn the carpenter's trade, becoming a journeyman carpenter at the age of 21. After continuing work at his trade for one year in Norway, he decided to emigrate to the United States and soon after, June 5, 1877, arrived in Ettrick, Trempealeau County, Wis., where at that time there were but two or three houses. Here Sylvester Johnson gave him work in the harvest field, and after that he became acquainted with Almond Hollinger, a carpenter and contractor of Blair, who was known as the "church builder," and was then engaged in building the church at French Creek. Mr. Hollinger employed him to assist on that job and he remained with him 18 months, during which time he also helped to built Gilberson's store at Blair. He then began contracting on his own account, among other jobs building Swen Johnson's residence at Bear Creek. In 1880 Mr. Runnestrand returned to Norway, where, April 18, 1881, he was married in the city of Bergen to Anna Larson, who was born in Hardanger, Norway, where her father was engaged in farming. Her parents remained in their native land, but in June, 1881, about two months after their marriage, Mrs. Runnestrand accompanied her husband on his return to this country. Here he resumed his work as contractor and builder and has since continued in that line of industry, adding to it in 1907 his present furniture and undertaking business. His store is well stocked with a good line of furniture and his trade has gradually increased until it is now on a profitable basis. Mr. Runnestrand has been industrious and enterprising and is reaping the reward of his labors, having financial interests aside from those already mentioned. He owns valuable property in Ettrick and is a stockholder in the Bank of Ettrick and the Ettrick & Northern Railroad, now in process of construction. He and his wife are the parents of six children: Bertha, wife of Maurice Casey, who is engaged in the implement business in Ettrick; Emma, wife of Arthur Knudtson, a merchant of New England, N. D.; Clara, wife of William Truax, a farmer of Gale Township; Alfred T., who is engaged in assisting his father; Helen, a telephone operator in Ettrick, and Archie. Mr. Runnestrand and his family are members of the Norwegian Synod Lutheran church. In Politics he is an independent Republican. He has served one term as township treasurer and is a man who occupies an honorable place in the community, which he has won by his own efforts.
-Transcribed from the "History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917," pages 566 - 567