K. T. Gronna is one of Allamakee county's most progressive and successful native sons and is operating the farm in Paint Creek township upon which he was born on the 23d of March 1857. He is a son of Thomas and Emeline (Thoen) Anderson, natives of Norway. The father as a young man crossed the Atlantic to America and settled in Rock county, Wisconsin, in 1846, residing there until 1850, when he came to Allamakee county among the pioneers in this part of Iowa. On section 12, Paint Creek township, he bought one hundred and sixty acres of wild land and built upon it a log shanty, in which he resided for some years, later replacing this by a more modern home. Through the years success steadily attended his well directed labors and he became a prosperous and substantial farmer, owning four hundred and forty acres of excellent land, upon which he died when he was ninety-one years of age. He was a stanch republican in his political beliefs and a member of the Lutheran church, to which his wife also adhered. In their family were seven children: Andrew, of Paint Creek township; Betsy, who died at the age of twenty; Christian, who passed away in Minnesota leaving a large family; Sarah, who died at the age of twenty; Caroline, the wife of P. S. Narum, postmaster of Waukon, Iowa; Maria, who married John Anderson, of Canada; and K. T., of this review. Since the death of their father all the sons have changed their family name, assuming that of Gronna, under which they are now known.
K. T. Gronna acquired his education in the district schools of his native township and in Luther College at Decorah, Iowa. Upon the death of the father he inherited two hundred and thirty-three acres of the estate, including the homestead, and upon this he has since engaged in farming and dairying, his business ability and his knowledge of the best agricultural methods making both branches of his business important and profitable. Upon the farm he has erected a fine set of buildings and made other substantial improvements and the property is today worthy of comparison with the best in this section of the estate. Mr. Gronna gives a great deal of this time to his stock-raising interests and for many years raised full blood Holstein cattle but now confines his attention to the breeding of a fine grade of shorthorns. His business interests are capably and carefully conducted and have brought him a gratifying measure of success, placing him among the township's most substantial and representative agriculturists.
Mr. Gronna married Miss Ellen Anderson, a native of Winneshiek county and a daughter of Anon and Caroline Anderson. Mr. and Mrs. Gronna have two children. The eldest, Thomas A. Ferdinand, spent five years in Luther College in Decorah, and afterward enrolled in the Iowa State Agricultural College at Ames. He now assists his father upon the farm. Amy spent three years in a ladies' seminary at Red Wing, Minnesota, and is now at home.
Mr. Gronna is a member of the Lutheran church. He gives his political allegiance to the republican party and is prominent and active in public affairs, believing that official service is one of the duties of a good citizen. For thirty years he acted as treasurer of his school district, has been road supervisor and is now serving his third term as township trustee. In the community where he was born and where his entire life has been spent he is held in high regard, his genuine personal worth, his loyalty in citizenship and his many excellent qualities of character having gained for him the respect and esteem of all who know him.
-source: Past & Present of Allamakee County; by
Ellery M. Hancock; S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.; 1913
-transcribed by Jan Miller
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