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Mrs. Knut E. Grunhuvd


Posted By: Peter Gausmann (email)
Date: 1/25/2010 at 05:31:40


Mrs. Knut E. Grunhuvd is living on section 23, Norway township, Winnebago county, and is one of the well known pioneer women of this section of the state. She has witnessed almost the entire growth and progress of the locality and can relate many interesting incidents of the early days when the homes were widely scattered and the work of improvement seemed scarcely begun. She was born in Norway, July 15, 1852, and is a daughter of Narve Ingebritson and Carrie (Halgrimson) Grunhuvd. Her father was a farmer in Norway and in 1855 he brought his family to the United States, making his way first to Rock county, Wisconsin, where he remained for a year. In 1856 he came to Winnebago County, settling in Norway township, where he homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 23. It was entirely wild and undeveloped, not a furrow having been turned nor an improvement made upon the place. It was covered with timber which he had to clear away before he could prepare his land for the plow. He added much to its productiveness by practical drainage systems, whereby the sloughs were drained and the land rendered productive. Upon the place he put up log buildings and in the early days the family shared in all of the hardships, trials and privations of pioneer life; but as time went on the labors of the father wrought a marked transformation in his land and its increasing productiveness brought to him substantial harvests. He passed away, however, April 9, 1863, and his was the first interment made in the cemetery at Emmons, Minnesota. His wife survived him for a little more than a year, dying on the 22d of August, 1864, when she was laid by his side. He had ranked with the leading farmers of the county and with the prominent citizens of the community. In politics he was a republican and in religious faith a Lutheran, becoming one of the organizers of the United Lutheran church. He thus left the impress of his individuality upon the moral as well as the material development of his district.

Mrs. Grunhuvd pursued her education in one of the pioneer schools of Winnebago county. In fact, she was one of the first pupils in the first school of Norway township, with Ellen Hinman as the teacher. She spent her girlhood days upon her father's farm and was trained to the work of the household, so that she was well qualified to manage a home of her own at the time of her marriage. After the death of her parents she went to live with relatives in Clayton county, Iowa, and there she was married on the llth of November, 1875, to Knut E. Knutson, whose parents had homesteaded in Clayton county, where they farmed until called to their final rest. It was after his marriage that Mr. Knutson changed his name to Grunhuvd. The young couple began their domestic life in Clayton county, where they lived for two years, and in 1877 they removed to the old Grunhuvd homestead, which he cultivated for the estate for five years. In 1882 he purchased the land and continued its further development and improvement until his death, which occurred more than thirty-one years later. He put fine improvements upon the farm, making it one of the valuable properties of Norway township. In addition to substantial buildings he secured the latest improved farm machinery in order to facilitate the work of the fields, and his labors brought golden harvests.

In his political views Mr. Grunhuvd was a republican and from time to time was called to serve in township offices. He was a devout member of the United Lutheran church and in that faith passed away on the 9th of August, 1913, at the age of seventy years.

In the family of Mr. and Mrs. Grunhuvd were eight children but three have passed away, namely: Clara, who died in infancy; Henry, who passed away at the age of eight years and nine months; and Gerhard, who also died in infancy. Like the father, they are buried in the family lot in Lime Creek cemetery. The five children who survive are: Edward, who is employed in Mason City, but maintains his residence on the home farm; Carl and Norris, who operate the home farm; Clara, who is the wife of Edward Dakken, of Eau Claire county, Wisconsin; and Alma, at home. Several of the children are still living with the mother on the old homestead, which has now been occupied by the family for four decades. Mrs. Grunhuvd is widely known in this part of Winnebago county, her place being one of the landmarks of the district, and she has lived to witness many interesting changes which have occurred, bringing the county up to its present standard of development and prosperity.

Source: History of Winnebago County and Hancock County, Iowa: A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievement, Vol. II. Pioneer Publishing Company (Chicago), 1917. pp. 134-137.


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