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The History of Renville County, Volume 2
Compiled by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge
Peter Gunderson, deceased, was born in Norway, Oct. 14, 1830, son of Gunder Gunderson. He was the only one of his family to come to America. With his wife and children he left in 1866 in a sailing vessel, the voyage taking ten weeks and landed at Quebec. When he was in Norway he was a member of a reformers league, following the teachings of Voltaire, their wish being to uplift the poor people from the Danish rule. On account of his activities in this organization he was obliged to leave the country. He went to Dakota, Minnesota. Here he worked as a carpenter and blacksmith. After two years he moved to Renville county, where he secured a homestead in Sacred Heart township, section 4, a tract of 80 acres. There were no buildings on the place. He built a log dugout and broke the land with his ox team. He built a blacksmith shop and the people for miles around came to have repair work done. In 1882 he moved to Flora township, locating on section 6, on a tract of 75 acres. He made improvements and later bought 80 acres in Sacred Heart township. A blacksmith shop was erected here also. Mr. Gunderson has improved his farm and keeps a good trade of stock. Mr. Gunderson has held the position of township assessor, has been on the township board for several years, and on the school board for many years. He is a member of the Norwegian Lutheran church, the early meetings being held in his house at the time when there was no church building. Mr. Gunderson was united in marriage to Anna Marie Olson, who was born Nov. 26, 1828. Nine children were born to these parents, Ole, Martha, Lena, Otto, Paulina, Anna, Arne, Martin and Julius. Mr. Gunderson died May 14, 1908, and is buried in the Updahl cemetery. His wife is still living with her son, Julius. Julius helped his father take care of the farm and is a member of the Farmers' Elevator Company at Renville. He also is a member of the Norwegian Lutheran church.
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