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Todnem, Peter


Posted By: Janelle Martin (email)
Date: 4/9/2011 at 17:53:13

History of Hamilton County, Iowa, Vol. II, 1912, J.W. Lee, pp.235-236.

Farming interests in Hamilton county, Iowa, owe much to the life and activities of Peter Todnem, who, during the course of his life in this section, was one of the foremost factors in its agricultural development. His death, which occurred upon his farm in Liberty township, Hamilton county, in 1892, was the occasion of deep and widespread regret, and brought a distinct loss to the community in which he lived. He was born in Norway in 1851. His father, Olson Todnem, was also a native of that country and came to America at an early date. He followed farming in Liberty township and died in this section. His wife was in her maidenhood Miss Carrie Skilbred, also a native of Norway. She is still residing in Liberty township at the age of eighty years. Seven children were born to their union, only one of whom still survives, namely, Mrs. Olena Holt, of Liberty township.

Peter Todnem came to America in 1873 and first located in Illinois where he was prosperous as a general farmer for seven years. His residence in Hamilton county dates from 1880, in which year he settled in this section and rented a tract of land which he improved and developed. He soon had his acres under cultivation, and increasing harvests every year rewarded his energy and enterprise. He saved his money, and by thrift and industry secured a sufficient sum to purchase a tract of eighty acres in Liberty township upon which he moved. Until the time of his death he never abandoned personal activity in the development and expansion of this enterprise. He planted his soil in the most suitable grains, fenced his fields and constantly improved and developed his land along modern agricultural lines. After Mr. Todnem's death the family acquired by purchase eighty additional acres, making one hundred and sixty now devoted to general agriculture.

In 1875 Mr. Todnem was united in marriage to Miss Inger M. Hofland, who was born in Norway and is at present residing on the old home farm in Liberty township. Her parents were born in Norway and died in that country. Of the ten children born to their union three are still living: Mrs. Hannah Knutson, who resides in Norway; Mrs. Mary Todnem, of Canada; and Mrs. Todnem, the widow of our subject. To Mr. and Mrs. Todnem were born nine children, four of whom died in infancy. Those living are: Ole, a resident of Minnesota; Benjamin, who is living at home; Carl C, who also resides upon the home farm; Albert, of Minnesota; and Mrs. Martha Olson, a resident of Williams, Iowa.

In his political views Mr. Todnem was a consistent republican, and although he never sought public office was always intelligently interested in local affairs and active in promoting the welfare and progress of his section. His widow holds membership in the Norwegian Lutheran church of Rose Grove township. The usefulness and value of the life of Peter Todnem is readily discernible. He was a man of intelligent public spirit and comprehensive grasp of the modern trend of agricultural conditions, and his activities as a farmer, centralized and directed by business discrimination, were a controlling factor in the growth of his section.


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