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A. A. Elthon


Posted By: Karon Velau (email)
Date: 3/2/2023 at 23:34:49


A. A. Elthon has been identified with general merchandising at Fertile since 1895 and through the intervening years has conducted a growing business. In fact, he ranks today with the leading business men of his section of the county. He was born in Norway, May 13, 1862, and is a son of Andrew and Marguerite (Thompson) Elthon. The father died in the land of the midnight sun and the mother afterward left that country and came with her son to the United States, the voyage across the Atlantic being made in 1872, in which year they located in Goodyear county, Minnesota. In 1875 A. A. Elthon removed to Granville county, Minnesota, where the mother joined him in 1876. There he became familiar with every phase of pioneer life, living in a dugout and cooking for a farmer for four dollars per month. The grasshopper scourge was desolating the country and there was but little money to be had. In 1885 Mr. Elthon drove his own team across the country to Park River, North Dakota, and spent the first summer there upon a farm. The following winter he worked in a store and then for two years he engaged in the sale of farm implements throughout the countryside, visiting the farmers and making his sales to them at their homes. In the fall of 1889 he removed to Stephen, Minnesota, where he was employed on a large farm for a year.
On the 20th of July, 1890, Mr. Elthon was united in marriage to Miss Lena Ouverson, of Fertile, Iowa, and through the succeeding two years he worked at the carpenter's trade. In 1893 he removed to Fertile and for the first year thereafter was employed in a creamery. During the following year his father-in-law was appointed postmaster and Mr. Elthon was made acting postmaster. In connection with his duties in the care of and distribution of the mail he began the sale of stationery. In 1895 he purchased a small bill of merchandise and his career as a merchant was thus begun. His first bill of goods amounted to only thirty-six dollars, and he occupied a little store room twenty by thirteen feet. This was the modest beginning of what has developed into one of the principal general merchandise establishments of Fertile. He has carefully directed the growth of his business and by straightforward dealing and earnest effort to please his customers has built up a business of very substantial and gratifying proportions.
To Mr. and Mrs. Elthon have been born six children. Mabel M., who attended the Iowa State Teachers' College of Cedar Falls, has for the past two years taught in the Bible School at Boone. Ada H. is a student in the Bible School at Boone, Iowa. Esther M.., who pursued her education in the high schools of Fertile and Lake Mills and following her graduation in 1915 attended the Iowa State Teachers' College at Cedar Falls, is now assisting her father in the store. Leo H., who was graduated from the Fertile high school with the class of 1917, is now a teacher in that institution. Ruth was graduated from the Fertile high school with the class of 1918. Thelan A., eight years of age, is still in the grades.
In his political views Mr. Elthon is a prohibitionist and for a number of years past has been a most active worker in the party ranks, doing everything in his power to advance the cause of temperance, for he believes that the use of intoxicants is one of the greatest evils in the country today. He and his wife are members of the Lutheran Free church and they do everything in their power to promote moral progress and advancement. Their influence has been of wide-reaching effect and in this connection as well as in business lines Mr. Elthon is contributing in marked measure to the advancement of the county's interests and upbuilding. SOURCE: HISTORY OF MITCHELL AND WORTH COUNTIES, IOWA, 1918, VOL. II; PAGES 197-198


Worth Biographies maintained by Karon S. Velau.
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