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The city of Spring Grove, Minnesota is surrounded by Spring Township, in Houston County. The Iowa state line is four or five miles to the south, and the Wisconsin line is about twenty-five miles to the east.

The unincorporated communities of Bee, Newhouse, and Wilmington are nearby.

Spring Grove was the first Norwegian settlement in Minnesota. Prior to white settlement of the area, it was inhabited by the Winnebago people. However, in 1848 the federal government forcibly removed the Winnebago from the area, opening it for white settlement.

In 1852, white settlers began to arrive. One of these was James Smith, who builds a cabin along the Territorial Road, opening a post office there. He named the place Spring Grove. That same year, a Norwegian by the name of Torger Tendeland came to Spring Grove from Iowa and stakes a claim near Smith's place, then goes back for his family. Within the next few weeks, three other Norwegians (Fingal Flatin, Knut Kieland, and Haaken Narveson) began farming Spring Grove. Word spreads, and several other Norwegians made their way to Spring Grove.

Invald Muller was the first doctor and dentist in Spring Grove. He emigrated from Norway in 1864 in order to complete his training in Chicago, but left the college after only a few months, moving to Spring Grove to become a farmer. He also set up a medical practice.

Other early residents of Spring Grove include Paul H. Rosendahl, who served in Sibley's expedition against the Sioux from 1862 to 1863, and then in the Civil War, coming back to be elected as a representative to the Minnesota State Legislature, and then as the Registrar of Deeds for Houston County.

Embrick Melbraatan emigrated from Norway with his parents in 1852. During the winter of 1856-1857, he built snowshoes for his horse, allowing the horse to pass over the deep snow and drifts.

Ragnild Mollerstuen came from Norway in 1861 with her husband, Engebret, who bought land formerly owned by Han Rosendahl. In keeping with a Norwegian practice of using their farm name as a surname, he dropped Mollerstuen and took on the name of Rosendahl, a practice that made for genealogical confusion.

Nels and Guri Selland came to America in 1957, initially settling in nearby Wilmington, which was then part of Spring Grove Township. He married Guri Rue in Spring Grove, then enlisted to serve in the Civil War. He died at home at the age of eighty-four.

Ole and Kari Stensrud came to America in 1852 with their two daughters. After stopping in Wisconsin for a year, they moved to Spring Grove, where Ole bought the former Embrik Opheim farm. Besides farming, he was also a blacksmith who specialized in horseshoes.

Anders Foss came to America in 1848, where he spent some time seeking gold in California. Unsuccessful, he settled in Spring Grove, where he raised nine children with his wife, Anna.

Christopher Vaaler came from Norway in 1853 and settled in Spring Grove.

Levor Quarve was one of the earliest settlers in Spring Grove. He came to America with his parents in 1846. His father died soon after their arrival, and his mother moved the family to Wisconsin. As a young man, Levor settled in Spring Grove, where he married Kristi Berg in 1856. They raised eleven children.

John and Anna Haugland immigrated to America in 1885 after working on a Norwegian ship for three years. In 1901, he brought his fiance, Anna, to America. After the wedding, they walked to Black Hammer, where John had bought a farm.

Berit Ovestrud taught school in Northfield, Minnesota for several terms. In 1880, he married Berit Sagdalen, and later purchased his father-in-law's farm in Spring Grove, where they raised eight children.

Knut Opsahl came to the United States in 1850, when he was eighteen years old. In 1872, he married Rachel Erickson, and they moved just north of Spring Grove and had fourteen children.

Stengrim Bergrud was also eighteen when he came to America. After working to save enough money, he bought a farm in Spring Grove and later married Marthe Ruen. They had seven children.

Lars Ostedal immigrated to America in 1859. Before coming to Spring Grove, he spent some time as a lumberjack, rafting on the Mississippi River. In 1867, he married Anne Quinnell and took her surname.

Ole Hasledalen, another early Spring Grove settler, was married to a woman named Berthe. Unable to resolve their differences, and because divorce was not acceptable to the church, they arrived at a solution that involved designating a dividing line through their home so that each had half. Ole died in 1902, a few years after Berthe.

These were some of the people who were part of the Spring Grove community in the early days.

Topics related to the city or township of Spring Lake are appropriate for this category.

 

 

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