Peter S. Narum
Peter S. Narum, who for the past nine years has been postmaster of Waukon, proving reliable, efficient and conscientious in the discharge of his duties, is a native son of Allamakee county, born in Paint Creek township, April 15, 1867. His father, Sven Narum, was a native of Norway, born in 1832, and he remained in that country until he was nineteen years of age. Crossing the Atlantic, he made his way to Iowa and within the same year permanently located in Paint Creek township, Allamakee county. He entered land there, which he cleared, fenced and improved, opening up a farm of one hundred and sixty acres. To this he later added more land and finally owned two hundred acres, highly improved and developed, one of the finest agricultural properties in this section of the state. He married Miss Karen Gaarder, a native of Norway, who came to the United States when she was five years of age and who grew to womanhood in Wisconsin. After his marriage Mr. Narum erected a comfortable residence upon his farm and steadily carried forward the work of improvement, erecting a barn and the necessary outbuildings. He reared his children upon the homestead and there died in 1889. His wife survived him for some time, passing away in 1896. In their family were nine children, five sons and four daughters, all of whom with one exception still survive.
Peter S. Narum was reared upon his father's farm, which in his childhood he helped to improve and cultivate. He acquired his primary education in the public schools of Paint Creek township and supplemented this by a two years' course in the Decorah high school. After laying aside his books he went to Eldora, where he clerked in the employ of his uncle for two years, at the end of that time purchasing his uncle's interest in the store. He carried on the business alone for two years and then disposed of his interests, returning to Allamakee county. He later came to Waukon and for eight years engaged in the hardware business here, his well selected line of goods, his straight-forward dealings and his honorable business methods securing him a liberal and representative patronage. In 1904 he was appointed postmaster of Waukon by President Roosevelt and after four years reappointed. In 1912 President Taft again named him for the position, which he has now held for nine years. Since taking office he has accomplished a great deal of constructive work, improving the management of the department and putting its affairs upon a businesslike basis. In 1904 there were three rural routes out of Waukon and there are now five, with the probability of two more in the near future. Its expansion is due to a great extent to Mr. Narum's energy and well directed labors and is in itself a sufficient proof of his efficiency in office. He was one of the promoters of the Peoples National Bank, in which he is now a stockholder and director, and he is otherwise identified with important business interests here.
On the 9th of September, 1897, Mr. Narum married, in Waukon, Miss Lena Anderson, who was born in Paint Creek township, Allamakee county. She was educated in her native section and for some years previous to her marriage engaged in teaching music. Her father, Thomas Anderson, was born in Norway and crossed the Atlantic to America in early times, making his first location in Wisconsin. About the year 1848 he came to Allamakee county and was one of the first settlers in Paint Creek township. He turned his attention to farming, acquiring in the course of his life four hundred acres of valuable land, which he developed and improved for many years, dying upon his homestead in 1912, at the advanced age of ninety-one years. He was one of the best known and most highly respected citizens of Paint Creek township and one of Allamakee county's honored pioneers. Mr. and Mrs. Narum reside in a comfortable, modern residence in Waukon and have made their home the center of a charming social circle. They are members of the Norwegian Lutheran church of Waukon.
Politically Mr. Narum gives his allegiance to the republican party and served for one term as a member of the Waukon town council. He is a public-spirited and progressive citizen, giving his cooperation to every movement which tends to promote the intellectual, moral or material welfare of the city and county, and by reason of his many sterling qualities of character has won the regard and esteem of all with whom he has been brought in contact.
-source: Past & Present of Allamakee County; by
Ellery M. Hancock; S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.; 1913
-transcribed by Jan Miller
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