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The History of Renville County, Volume 2
Compiled by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge
Hans Gunderson, now deceased, was one of the earliest settlers of Wang township, and his name will be remembered as long as the early story of the county is related. He was born in Christiania, Norway, July 6, 1832, and was there reared to manhood. It was in 1866 that he came to America and located in Rochester, Olmsted county, in this state. A year later he found his way to Renville county and secured a homestead of 160 acres in section 28, Wang township. On this homestead he erected a log cabin and started to cultivate the land. He planted groves, developed the farm, went through the privations of the grasshopper time and experienced all the rigors of pioneer life. For five years he lived alone, but in 1873 he married and brought his wife to his primitive abode. Together they labored and, though there were many discouragements and many difficulties to be overcome, they faced life with courage and, in time, were numbered among the most prosperous people in the community. The old log cabin gave place to a sightly frame residence and the straw shack which sheltered their first stock made room for a commodious barn and suitable outbuildings. After a long, successful career as a hardworking farmer, Mr. Gunderson retired in 1907, and moved his family to Sacred Heart village. Inaction, however, did not please him and, in 1910, he returned to the farm and operated it for two years more. Then he moved to Granite Falls, erected a home, and there lived until his lamented death, Dec. 19, 1913. His wife still lives in that village. Her memory of the early days is very vivid and she has many interesting stories to tell of pioneer times when she lived in a log cabin and kept house and raised a family amid the most unfavorable conditions. Mrs. Gunderson was born in 1849 in Norway, her maiden name being Bergit Myrhougen.
Mr. and Mrs. Gunderson have had six children: Marie, Richard, Clara, Hilda, Emma and Carl. Marie married Edward Paulson, of Sacred Heart township, and their children are: Hilma, Elvin, Arthur, Esther, Viola, Leona, Florence and Helen. Richard now lives in Montevideo, this state. He married Laura Bradshaw. Clara married M. J. Larson, of Granite Falls, and they have one child, Berdie. Hilda married S. O. Odegaard, of Hawk Creek township, and their children are: Otis and Berdie Idella. Emma conducts a restaurant in Montana. Carl died at the age of eighteen years.
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