University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The State of Wisconsin Collection

Page View

Curtiss-Wedge, F.; Jones, Geo. O. (ed.) / History of Dunn County, Wisconsin

Chapter XXII: biographical,   pp. 247-958

Page 648

California and Australia, and when in this country men with their families were
pouring over the mountains from the Eastern States to seek new homes in the
middle or far west, where they were laying the foundations of new commonwealths.
Ole Thorud was a unit in this busy movement, making his way first to Dodge
County, Wisconsin, where he found work and remained until 1857. Only three
years before that date Dunn County, which then included Pepin also, had been
created from Chippewa and the lumbermen were busy here, cutting down the for-
ests and opening up the country for the settlement of farms. There were homes for
all on every hand, to be obtained at small cost, save that of labor. It was in the
brawny muscles and sinews of the hardy pioneers from Europe and the East that
the power lay to wrest from the soil the wealth it contained and make it visible
in the shape of fruitful fields, well stored barns and herds of cattle, with other stock.
Mr. Thorud had all the foreigner's ambition to become a land proprietor and build
up a home that he might pass on to his descendants. He also wished to provide
for his parents, so in 1857, he sent for them to join him, he, himself, coming to Dunn
County and securing 160 acres of government land on Little Elk Creek, Section 18,
(government township 27), town of Red Cedar. There he was joined by his parents,
who made the last stage of their journey with an ox team. His land being all wild,
he began operations by building a log house and barn. It was the first step in
pioneer progress, and from that he advanced through many years of hard work to a
position where he could survey the result with satisfaction. During all but three
years of that period he was aided by his faithful wife and helpmate, in maidenhood
Karie Olson,.who was born in Norway, Nov. 28, 1829, and whom he married in 1860.
They became people of note and influence in the communitv, helping in various
ways to advance its interests. Many a night they extended the hospitality of their
little dwelling to some newly arrived settler, and many hours Mr. Thorud spent in
helping to build roads and get school and church established; for all of which their
lives are worthy of record. But time brought its inevitable changes and M1\r. and
Mrs. Thorud felt the approach of age. The labor of operating the farm they left
more and more to their children, and at last on Dec. 21, 1899, Mr. Thorud passed
away at the age of 75 years and six months, lacking only three days. His wife
survived him a little over three years and three months, dying April 3, 1903. Their
children were Thore 0., Carl, Ida and Henry, of whom the first mentioned is now
living on the home farm. Carl, who remained at home until 1904, then went to
Alberta, Canada, where he homesteaded land, which he sold several years later,
returning to Dunn County. In 1918 he went back to Canada and is now operating
the pumping station at Claresholm, Alberta. Ida is now M\rs. Ole G. Berg of
Claresholm, Alberta. Henry, who resided on the home farn until his death,
served as a volunteer from Wisconsin in the Civil War.
Thore 0. Thorud, a prominent citizen and successful farmer of Section 18,
(Township 27), town of Red Cedar, was born on the farm he now owns, on Oct. 24,
1863, son of Ole and Kaie (Olson) Thorud. His education was acquired in Dis-
trict School No. 4, and as he grew older he became his father's assistant in the task
of developing the home farm. Thus his life went on for 27 years, until in 1900,
the year after his father's death he received one half the home farm as his share
in the property, but has since operated the entire 160 acres, the 80 not owned by
himself belonging to his brother, Carl. He has improved the buildings and carried
the cultivation of the land to a higher point. He is carrying on general farming and
dairying, keeping grade Holstein cattle, and is a stockholder in the Downsville
Cooperative Creamery. A man of public spirit, he has not hesitated, when called
upon, to take a helpful part in the affairs of local government. Thus, he served
two terms as assessor of the town of Red Cedar and was for three years on the board
of supervisors. Mr. Thorud was married at Elk Creek, April 4, 1902, to Olivia
Olson, who was born July 19, 1874, daughter of Ole Olson Grimstad and his wife
Anna Torgerson Grimstad, who settled near Elk Creek about 1870. Mrs. Anna
Grimstad is now dead, but Mr. Grimstad is still living and makes his home with his
daughter, Mrs. Christ Lee of Red Cedar. Mr. and Mrs. Thore 0. Thorud are the
parents of five children: Clara, born May 5, 1904, who was graduated from the

Go up to Top of Page