IAGenWeb Project - Allamakee co.

J. S. Quandahl


J. S. Quandahl, owner of the Quandahl Mercantile Store, the largest enterprise of its kind in Allamakee county outside of Waukon, is one of the best known business men in Waterloo township and his record in the control of his extensive interests is a credit to a name that has here been honored and respected since pioneer times. He is one of Allamakee county’s native sons, his birth having occurred in Waterloo township in 1876, his parents being Nels and Julia Quandahl. The parents came to America in 1854 and after settling in Winneshiek county came from there to Waterloo township, Allamakee county, in the early '70s. In the community which is now known as Quandahl the father bought a mercantile store which since that time has been one of the strong and reliable commercial institutions in this vicinity. The father remained active in its conduct until his death in 1910, having survived his wife one year. To their union were born nine children: Lena, the wife of Henry Opheim, of Waterloo township; J. S., of this review; Clara, deceased; Ella, the wife of Charles Johnson, of Canada; Martha, who married Val Lopshire, of Minnesota; Nettie, who lives at home; Arthur, who has passed away; Edward, a resident of Canada; and Arthur, who lives at home.

J. S. Quandahl was reared in his parent's home and acquired his education in the public schools of Allamakee county, supplementing this by a business course at Decorah, Iowa. After laying aside his books he entered into partnership with his father in the conduct of the Quandahl Mercantile Store and their association continued until 1906, during which time Mr. Quandahl of this review became known as a resourceful, far-sighted and progressive business man, thoroughly familiar with every detail connected with general merchandising. Upon the death of his father he purchased the entire stock and the store, and he is now carrying on the business alone, a large and constantly increasing patronage being accorded to him in recognition of his upright and honorable business methods, his known reliability and his earnest desire to please his patrons. Mr. Quandahl owns also the old homestead of sixty acres in Waterloo township and a fine modern residence. He is treasurer and a large stockholder in the Arctic Springs Creamery Association and his ability is widely known and respected.

In 1904 Mr. Quandahl was united in marriage to Miss Petra Selnes, a native of Winneshiek county and a daughter of Edward and Anna Selnes. The parents were born in Norway and came to America in 1860, just before the outbreak of the Civil war. The father served for four years in that conflict and after receiving his honorable discharge returned to Iowa, settling in Highland township, Winneshiek county, where he purchased land. He became a prominent and successful agriculturist, operating his extensive holdings until his death, which occurred in 1913. His wife survives him and resides upon the homestead. To their union were born nine children, seven of whom survive, the wife of the subject of this review being the third in order of birth. She acquired her education in the public schools of Iowa, and was also for a time a student at an agricultural school in Minnesota. She and her husband have two daughters: Alma J., who was born in 1905; and Norma E., born February 1, 1913. The family are members of the Lutheran church.

Mr. Quandahl is a republican and always a stanch upholder of the principles and policies of that party. The cause of education finds in him an intelligent champion and he has done much toward its promotion through his able service as president of the Bear creek school district. He has made an excellent record as a merchant and farmer and conducts his interests in such a way that each year adds to his prosperity. Energetic and efficient, always mindful of his duty to others and known as a progressive and useful citizen, he is a native son for whom Allamakee county has every reason to be proud.

-source: Past & Present of Allamakee County; by Ellery M. Hancock; S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.; 1913
-transcribed by Jan Miller

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