Thorsten O. Groe
Posted By: Karon Velau (email)
Date: 3/3/2023 at 00:07:44
Thorsten O. Groe
HISTORY OF MITCHELL AND WORTH COUNTIES, IOWA, VOL. II, 1918, page 478
Public opinion places Thorsten O. Groe among the alert, energetic and enterprising businessmen of Northwood, where he is filling the position of assistant cashier of the First National Bank. Worth County is proud to number him among her native sons. He was born in Silver Lake Township in 1881, his parents being Ole and Anna (Simmons) Groe. He is a representative of one of the oldest pioneer families of this section of the state. His paternal grandfather was one of the first settlers in this part of the country. He was born in Norway but arrived in Iowa in the early '50s and built a log cabin, in which the family took up their abode. They experienced many of the hardships and privations of pioneer life at a period when McGregor was the nearest market, when few roads had been laid out and when there were long distances between the homes of the settlers. The pioneer had to depend largely upon what he could raise or what he could make for the comforts of life that came to him and much arduous toil was required in subduing the wild prairie and converting it to purposes of civilization.
Ole Groe was born on the old family homestead in Silver Lake township in 1858 and there acquired his education in the district schools. He worked upon the farm with his father until he reached the age of twenty years and then began farming on his own account, purchasing a quarter section of land from his father, the tract being located on section 33, Silver Lake township. Upon that place he built a granary, in which he lived for a time until a dwelling could be completed. Year after year he carefully and systematically tilled his fields 'and remained upon that farm until 1890, when he removed to Lake Mills township, Winnebago county, Iowa, where he bought land, to which he added from time to time as his financial resources increased until he was the owner of four hundred and eighty-eight acres, constituting one of the valuable farm properties of that district. He is now living retired at the age of sixty years, his well earned rest enabling him to enjoy life without further recourse to its strenuous duties in order to provide for his support. His wife has reached the age of fifty-six years. They were married in Silver Lake township, Worth county, and Mrs. Groe is a native of Norway, having been brought to the United States when seven years of age by her parents, who took passage on a, sailing vessel that was fourteen weeks in completing the voyage to the United States. They then traveled westward to Chicago and on to Silver Lake Township, Worth county, Iowa, where her father took up government land, becoming owner of a tract of wild land of eighty acres. His original home was also a log cabin and in true pioneer style he began life on what was then the Iowa frontier. He improved his farm and has since remained, thereon, being long recognized as one of the progressive and valued agriculturists of the community. Mr. and Mrs. Groe were married in Silver Lake Township and have long enjoyed the respect and goodwill of those with whom they have come in contact. They are members of the Norwegian Lutheran church and Mr. Groe is a republican in his political views.
Thorsten O. Groe spent his boyhood and youth at Lake Mills, Iowa, where he pursued his education and after attending the public schools he became a student in a commercial college at Des Moines, Iowa. When his course there was completed he returned to his father's farm and continued to engage in agricultural pursuits there on his own account for a year. He afterward spent one year as a clerk in the store of T. A. Sorborn, a dealer in men's furnishing goods. On the 1st of January, 1904, Mr. Groe removed to Northwood, where he accepted the position of assistant county treasurer and for three years he remained in the treasurer's office, proving a most able official there. On the i6th of April, I907, he accepted his present position as assistant cashier in the First National Bank of Northwood and thus for a decade has been closely identified with banking interests.
On the 4th of January, 1911, Mr.. Groe was united in marriage to Miss Lillian Ringham, a daughter of T. L. and Inger (Hart) Ringham. Mrs. Groe was born in Chicago, Illinois, while her parents are natives of Voss, Norway. Her father came to the United States when a young man and settled in Chicago, where he followed the tailor's trade. He was afterward married there and in 1882 removed to Northwood, Iowa, where he is now living retired at the age of sixty-five years, while his wife has reached the age of sixty-three years. To Mr. and Mrs. Groe have been born two children, Orin Talford and Irl Allen.
In community affairs Mr. Groe has taken an active and helpful interest. He is serving as school treasurer and he cooperates in all movements that have to do with the benefit of the public school system of the county.. He has held various minor offices and was also chairman of the county board of supervisors for two years. He and his family are members of the Norwegian Lutheran church and he has membership with the Sons of Norway. Worth county is largely indebted to the Norwegian element in its citizenship for its upbuilding and development. Mr. Groe, while a native American, has many of the sterling characteristics of his Norwegian ancestry and his intelligently directed activity in business affairs has brought him to a creditable position in financial circles.
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