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Knute B. KNUTSON

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Knute B. KNUTSON

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Posted: 25 Oct 2000 6:00AM GMT
Classification: Biography
Edited: 23 Jun 2001 9:50AM GMT
Surnames: Brown, Druetzer, Jacobsen, Johnson, Knutson, Lee, Paulson, Thorson, Tobias
From "Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Wisconsin Counties: Waupaca, Portage, Wood, Marathon, Oneida, Vilas, Langlade and Shawano" by Chicago: J.H. Beers & Co. 1895.

KNUTE B. KNUTSON, a citizen of Waupaca county, and a representative farmer of St. Lawrence town , ship, was born in Norway, December 23, 1845, and when a child of eight years crossed the water with his parents, Bent and Kisten (Johnson) Knutson.

During the latter part of his residence in Norway the father was a lumberman. Hoping to better his financial condition, for he was by no means a wealthy man, he sailed for America with his wife and four children. They left Tvedestrand for Quebec, May 1, 1853, on the sailing vessel " Condor," which reached its destination after a voyage of nine weeks and five days. This vessel had been built in Norway, and a part of the timbers was supplied by the father. The destination of the family was Scandinavia township, Waupaca county, where a number of their countrymen had previously located, and they made their way by lake to Milwaukee and across the country by teach, reaching their new home July 30, 1853. The father had a brother, Peter, living in that locality, and with hire they made a temporary home. There were probably not more than twelve settlers in the township. Mr. Knutson purchased eighty acres of land of his brother Peter in Section 26, Scandinavia township, a wild tract upon which not a furrow had been turned, and there erected the first building on the place, a log cabin 16 x 26 feet. He afterward purchased land elsewhere and converted the tract into good farms. At one time he owned one hundred and twenty acres of land in Section 26, Scandinavia township, but in 1866 he removed to St. Lawrence township, purchasing a farm in Section 30, which adjoined the land of Section 25, Scandinavia township. During his residence there the dam on the south branch of Little Wolf river was built, and the mill utilizing the waterpower erected. Mr. Knutson received for this improvement a third interest in the mill, and an undivided third of the southwest quarter of Section 30, St. Lawrence township, whither he removed. Only four acres of the land was. broken. He retained his interest in the mill, in connection with E. L. Brown, O. E. Druetzer and Herman H. Tobias for a time, and subsequently purchased his partners' interests, carrying on the milling business until about 1869, when he sold out. He then engaged exclusively in farming until about 1871, when his son, Knute, assumed the management of the home place.

Bert Knutson was a stanch supporter of the Republican party, one of the first six Republican voters. in Scandinavia township, but never sought or desired political preferment. He was born in November, 1811, and died in February, 1872, his remains being interred in the Lutheran Cemetery at Scandinavia. -He had long been a faithful member of the Lutheran Church. His family number the following children: Tora, wife of Stephen Jacobson, of Scandinavia township, Waupaca county; Inger, who became the wife of H. O. Lee, and died on the Knutson homestead, in Scandinavia township; Hannah M., wife of Thor Thorson, a merchant of the city of Scandinavia; and Knute B. At the time of the father's death the two younger children were still at home, and our subject at once assumed the care and responsibility of the farm, supplying a home for his aged mother in her later years. She was born February 19, 1812, and has now passed the eightieth milestone on life's journey, yet is still well-preserved, displaying remarkable vitality. For many years she has been a faithful member of the Lutheran Church.

Knute B. Knutson began his education in the schools of his native land, and attended the first school in Scandinavia township, it being situated on the north bank of the little lake, in Section t o. The building was a rude structure of tamarack poles, twelve feet square, and the teacher was an aged Yankee, and a very kind old gentleman, whom Mr. Knutson remembers distinctly on account of the pains which he took to make the little boy distinguish the difference between the two letters F and T. He has seen great improvement in the schools, and is a warm friend of education. During his youth he worked upon the farm, and also sailed upon the lakes in the hope of benefiting his health, making trips to Buffalo, Cleveland, Toledo, Oswego, Kingston, Detroit and Chicago.

On the 3d of November, 1875, in the Scandinavian Lutheran Church, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Knutson and Miss. Inger M. Paulson, who was born in Rock River, Jefferson Co., Wis., January 4, 1851 , a daughter of John Paulson, a native of Norway, who became a resident of Scandinavia township, Waupaca county, in the latter part of the "fifties." The young couple began their domestic life upon the farm, which has since been their home, and to them have been born the following children: Ida A., Josephine B., Cora A., Carl T., James A., Hannah C., Clara E. and Edna O., all yet living.

Mr. Knutson now owns 182 acres of land; a finely-improved farm, supplied with all modern conveniences and good buildings. He has transformed it from an uncultivated tract into one of rich fertility, and it is now one of the best properties in the locality. In politics he is a Republican, and is recognized as one of the party leaders in St. Lawrence township. He has been honored with several local offices, has served for two years as chairman of his township, and in 1895 was elected to a third term as town Treasurer He has also been treasurer of the joint district for a number of years, and has filled other positions, discharging all duties with a promptness and fidelity that have won him high c commendation He and his wife are members of the Lutheran Church of Scandinavia, and Mr. Knutson is one of the highly-respected citizens of the community where he makes his home, enjoying the confidence and goodwill of all who know him.

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