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MAIL SERVICE

The following information was received from National Archives and Records Service, Washington, D.C. 20408:

Hampden, Ramsey County, N.D. ; Established as Northfield on March 4, 1902.  Name changed to Hampden on July 15, 1903.

The following is a list of Postmasters who have served in Hampden followed by their appointment date:

Ole Iverson, March 4, 1902; Joseph Elliott, June 26, 1902; Ole Knudson, September 16, 1905; Kenneth B. Williams, August 6, 1918; J. Rodney Williams, July 16, 1921; Erick Myhre, August 4, 1924; James McMillan, July 17, 1933; Marily B. Peters, December 28, 1963…

Mail carriers have been Gilbert Garnas, Ed Seward, Albert Ogland, and Carl Mortenson from 1920 until his retirement in 1965.  Norman Christian, 1965-…

Alfred W. Dahl was also substitute carrier occasionally.

Hampden Lodge No. 143, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was organized in May of 1911.  They can boast of winning several trophies in competitive drill contests.  They have recently purchased the former John Waade Harness Shop Hardware and will renovate it for their lodge room. (The Harness shop was razed in the summer of 1999, and is no longer standing).  North Star Rebekah Lodge No. 81, of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was organized in March of 1912.

The first Homemakers Club in this community was organized March 20, 1935, with 18 members.  The officers were Mrs. Clarence Hedlund, president;  Mrs. O.W. Neidlinger, vice president;  Mrs. Glenn (Helen) Neidlinger, secretary, and Mrs. Carl Mortenson, treasurer.  Other members were Mrs. L.O. Flott, Mrs. Henry Reimer, Mrs. Palmer Freed, Mrs. Ted Taylor, Mrs. M.A. Knutson, Miss Selma Hosterman, Mrs. Pete Rudser, Mrs. Norman Hoiland, Mrs. Dale Roberts, Mrs. Theodore Olson, Mrs. Jerry Bragg, Mrs. W.L. Howe, Mrs. E.A. Neidlinger, and Miss Emma Waade.

They chose for their Motto, “Joy is not in things.”  The club colors were pink and green, and the flower was the wild rose.

The club has remained active throughout the years with almost a complete turnover in membership.  In later years other clubs were organized, the “Town and Country”, the “C and R” and the “Banner” Homemakers.

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2002 status: There is no longer a senior citizen club.  There are few members left in Hampden, having either passed away or moved to nursing homes or larger towns.

from Ramsey County History: vol 2, p 599; published 1983
(submitted by Mrs. Herbert Martin, Secretary)

A group of seniors met November 1, 1974, in the Zoar Lutheran Church with Roger Wetzel, Trudy Ertman and Jan Christie to organize a senior club.  Election of officers resulted as follows:  President Pearl Aanstad; vice-president, Henry Timm; secretary, Mrs. Herbert Martin; treasurer, Mrs. Carl Mortenson.  dues decided on were $2.00 per member.  Meetings were held alternately in the three churches; Faith A.L.C., Methodist and Zoar Free Lutheran, twice each month.  The first Friday a business meeting and the third Saturday evening a social meeting.

The first years there was a great deal of business, but it has tapered off.  The social meetings have been varied.  Birthdays and anniversaries are special.  Each person reaching 80 years of age is given special recognition with a decorated cake.  Glora Logie, Trygve Pollestad, Carl Mortenson (deceased), Nellie Wolf, Oscar Borg (deceased) and Emma Dahl have received theirs.

These social meetings have provided much in the way of entertainment.  There have been slides shown by people who have traveled, as Geo. Tokheim, Fritjoph Lunde, Mr. Tonnes Pollestad; talks by visitors, educational programs and much else.

In 1975, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas O’Brien reigned as King and Queen of the Devils Lake Mardi Gras, and a year later Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Hoiland were runner ups.  Also in 1975 the club had a float in the Sons of Norway Parade May 17.  A living room scene was depicted on a flatbed, appropriately decorated.  A grandma and grandpa were in rocking chairs.

Bylaws were adopted and the club became incoporated.  In order to receive any government funds our treasurer was bonded.  The first Board of Directors elected at theis time were: Carl Mortenson, Ted Hoiland and Leon Ohma.

There has been monthly county nurse’s service since February 21, 1975.  Marion Moen was the first, now Mary Lou Kowalski.

Monthly bus service to Devils Lake began in October 1976.  This enabled members to make doctor appointments, shop , etc.  Now Edmore and Hampden will be together and have two trips each month.  Gustina Solberg is our present coordinator.

In 1976 Storlie School No. 4 was moved into Hampden.  It was a gift to the club, and a bill of sale from the school district was signed by Richard Hoiland, clerk, and Ordale Morstad, member of the school board.  The town board and the Senior board agreed to have it placed in the northeast corner of the city park.  Carl Mortneson contacted a house-mover and attended to the cement work.  He, with George Tokheim, built the chimney and Leroy Wolf painted the interior.  The school has several of the original student desks, with the teacher’s des and most of the books, pictures, etc.  A pretty young teacher stands at the front of the room, a mannequin purchased from a Devils Lake store and given by Mrs. Carl Mortenson.

March 4, 1977, the club met for the first time in the Mini Mall, of which it has a large room with a sign in front “Senior Center.”  There has been paneling, carpeting, cupboards, air-conditioner, electric appliances and all such appliances added.  A well was dug at the cost of $3,000.00 which furnishes water for all the business places.

The club has donated to all the county programs as Meals, Bus, Nurse.  We are grateful for all Federal grants, the State Matching fund, Ceta fund and the County Mill Levy.  Our first monies were, however, truly earned.  Supper and lunches were served before the Mall Cafe opened.  A potato dumpling (kuml, klub) was served, amounting to $150.00.  There were rummage sales and raffles.  The first gift was an afghan from Margaret Severeid.  It was won by Ordale Morstad.

Many gifts have been received, including a pool table from Mr. and Mrs. Trygve Pollestad; a combination television-stereo-radio from Mr. Burnell Myhre, a former Hampdenite in memory of his wife, Doris; a piano from the Methodist Church.  A thermometer in the Center designates the monetary gifts received.

We were introduced to the Seniors United by Hazel Skaar, county chairwoman, who explained the benefits, stressing discounts in drugs.  Thomas O’Brien and R.G. Reimer represent our district on the State Board of Directors.

In 1981 Thomas O’Brien was elected to the Silver Haired Legislature with Harry Anderson from Ramsey County.  There were re-elected in 1982.

Hampden Club has had members attend every County Coucil meeting.  Pearl Aanstad has served as secretary, Theodore Hoiland as treasurer and Henry Timm as president and vice-president.

Noon meals are served three days each week, with four to six Meals on Wheels.  The meals are catered; first by Betty Boatman Kummer 1978-1981 and by Mrs. Bob Haprestad, Sr. 1981. 

Many members belong to the RSVP program; to serve the meals, to visit nursing homes, telephone calling etc.

We also have a Green Thumb, Mrs. Henry Timm, from 1980-.

Trees have been planted each and each summer members plant and tend to flowers planted in front of the Mini Mall, purchased by the Mall Association.  This adds to the appearance of the entire street.

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Hampden Oil Company today 

In 1929 a group of farmers got together and organized the Hampden Oil Co.  The first officers were A.E. Berkland, president; E.A. Furbur, vice president; Iver Iverson, secretary and treasurer; Directors Nels Overbo, G.N. Campbell, O.W. Neidlinger, and Frithjof Skaar.

They hired Henry H. Reimer as manager and in June 1929 started business.

In 1930 Henry Reimer had built and operated the first service station in Hampden.  Before this there were two street pumps in operation which were discontinued when the service station was in operation.

In 1930 gasoline was purchased for 12 to 14 cents a gallon, and kerosene at 11 cents a gallon.  Gasoline could be purchased at the service station pump for 19 cents a gallon.

In 1946 Henry Reimer died, and Ray G. Reimer was hired as manager.  After 25 years, he retired from the oil business on January 1, 1972.

The venture of starting the Hampden Oil Co. proved very profitable for shareholders of the company.  By 1965 over a quarter million dollars was paid back in dividends to the shareholders.

In 1972 Don Schonauer was hired as manager and served until June 1976.  John Hlvorson was then hired.

Some of the board members serving the oil company and length of time were A.E. Berkland (17); E.A. Furbur, Nels Overbo, J.B. McMillin, George Martinson, O.W. Neidlinger, G.N. Campbell, Frithjof Skaar (30), Clifford Thorson (22), Thomas Schonauer (22), Edwin Werner (20), past president Peter Rudser (10), past president Theo. Hoiland (22), past president Obert Skjervheim (11), Arthur Johnson (20), Wm. Woldmoe (10), Howard Skaar (7), Larry Werner (9), Lyle Woldmoe (8), and Wayne Simon (8).

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taken from the Edmore newspaper: Dec 7, 1995
(from a column called “Seventy Years Ago”, typed as written, with mistakes and misspellings from original copy)

Delores Litscher, of Hampden, has taken enough interest in her “home town” to inquire into its early history and as a result the independent carried the results of her efforts in its last issue.  As it contains many names and incidents familiar to Edmore folks, it should be of interest here as well.  Miss Litscher says:In 1898 the first settlers came here and filed on land, those who spent the first winter here were John McDougall, James White, Amsey Woodcock, Sonnteman, Ole Iverson, Walter Sadlemyer, Pearle Vanderhof, Fred Barteau and Grandma Neidlinger.Lew Barnes owned the quarter that Northfield was built on.  Mrs. Carroll’s building was the first building in Northfield.  Ole Kosmoe came next and started a small grocery store; Art Elliott built the first town hall where they had church and Rev. Egge was the minister.  Later on he changed it into an implement store, and W. D. Van Bergen owned the stock and Art Elliot ran the business for him.  This store at the present time is the Berg store.Between 1898 and 1903 grew to be a quite a village.  The people doing the business then were John Carroll who had a hotel; James Dolan ran a billiard parlor; Blonede had the printing office and newspaper; Burdick and Robertson had a bank which opened in 1903; Dahven and Asplen had a general store; Leo Bolster had a hardware store; P. Norum had a general store; J. A. Elliot had a drug store; Dr. Morrison was physician; Swarthont and Rosholt opened the Northfield State Bank; W. S. Bergen, farm implements; John Foley, restaurant; Carl Storele, meat market; W. M. Boe, general store; Charles E. Code owned the livery stable; Ole Johnson had a hardware and furniture store; David Mennis, blacksmith shop and D. A. Taylor had a blacksmith shop.

The mail at this time was got at Martin Mortinson’s in Storlie township.

They had a celebration in Northfield on July 4, 1903, the main character being Carl Dickenson riding broncos.

All the supplies they needed in Northfield they hauled from Edmore, Gus Schinor doing the hauling.

The present village of Hampden is located on the north one-half of section 4, township 158, range 62.  The northeast quarter was homesteaded by George Haugen, who gave up the U. S. patenet to the Great Northern railroad on January 9, 1901.

The G. N. railroad then deeded the present site to F. H. Stoltze on January 21, 1901, and the village of Northfield moved up in 1903.  The first house was E. R. Swarthout’s.  Oct. 10. 1903, the first building was moved up to Hampden, it being the Crawford and More general store which is now the Farmers bank building.  18 buildings were moved up form Northfield.

The first passenger train came in December 1904.

Between 1903 and 1904 more business places started up.  Some of them were F. H. Stoltz lumber yard, Robertson lumber yard, Adams and Swarthout livery stable, McGuer built part of the Waade building where a hotel was run for a short time.  The Lutheran church was built in 1904.  Dr. Blair also came in the fall of 1903.  F. A. Woodard, barber and the Farmer’s Bank stood on the lot where Paulson’s now live.  Adam Hanna and B. Landmark owned the bank.  Wilson’s and Arneson Drug store, J. J. Litscher, manager.  This was the first new business building in Hampden.

Most of the residents of Northfield moved up but others sold out and went away.  The children at this time went to a little school on the Magenus place which is now the W. P. Wolf farm; later on they went to a little school near the J. McDougall’s place.  In the spring of 1905 the Presbyterian church was built and was used for a school.  The present school was built in 1908.

McCabe brothers elevator was the first one built; W. M. Brown was its manager.  Up to this time the grain was weighed on the street and put into cars and shipped away.  The following elevators were built later: Winter Truesdal Ames Company.  It burned and they bought the Monarch Paul and Rusly.

Hampden was lucky because it had just two fires; they were both elevators.

We have always had good crops up to 1925, the present time, and Hampden has always been a prosperous town.  We now have cement sidewalks everywhere, also electric lights, and our school has an enrollment of over a hundred pupils.

 

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Hampden, near the north edge of Ramsey County, was first known as Northfield.  The first settlers entered this section in the late 1890’s, most of them in 1898, coming from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, and one W.P. Faulk from Virginia.  Even though it was about twenty miles from the nearest railroad at Edmore, a good sized village sprang up.  Lew Barnes owned the land on which that town was located.  Mrs. John Carroll built a hotel in 1898 and Ole Korsmoe added a small grocery store.  Joseph Elliot put a drug counter in the store.

Supplies for Northfield were hauled from Edmore by dray operated by Herman Simon and Gus Schonauer.  The dray also transported passengers and the mail as well as lumber and whatever was needed.  Other business establishments were soon added- a machine shop, Arthur Elliott; blacksmith shop, D.A. Taylor; machinery, Chas Nickols; general store, Boe Co.; hardware, Ole Johnson; livery, Chas. Code; hardware and furniture, Dave Minnis; billiard parlor, James Dolan; general store, Dahlen and Asplen; and another general store, Peter Norum.

Northfield was a thriving village even without a railroad.  There were two banks.  Roberston opened one in 1903.  At the same time Swarthout and Burdick established another, the Northfield State Bank.  A physician, Dr. Morrison, opened an office.  Northfield had more business places than many railroad towns have today.

While the town was getting started, the people knew the railroad would be extended from Edmore.  It so happened that when land was surveyed for the track, it by-passed Northfield, which at that time was just south of the present site of Hampden.  George Haugen had homesteaded the NE 1/4 of Section 4, township 158, range 62, where Hampden now stands.  He sold to the Great Northern Railroad Company January 9, 1901.  The railroad company then deeded the site to Northfield Village, which included the Haugen quarter to F.H. Stoltz, of the Werner and Stoltz Company, January 21, 1901.  It was not until 1904 that the village was moved to the new location.

The Fourth of July was celebrated in grand style that year.  A special feature was bronco riding by Carl Dickenson.

Northfield had been named by settlers from Northfield, Minnesota.  The story is told that mail was often confused with mail meant for Northfield, Minnesota, so it was feasible to change the name- to Hampden.  Another story was told of a man who came into a restaurant and asked for a sandwich, either beef or pork.  Since they had neither, he said, “gimme ham den.” (authentic?)  It must have been a “moving” experience for those who had begun business and yet the advent of the railroad was an advancement.  Mr. Herman Simon, Mr. Gus Schonauer, and a Mr. Penner were the ones who did the actual moving.  Allie McDougal tells of how his father helped in this work.  Mr. John McDougal came with his family from Park River.

Hampden, though fast growing, was not incorporated until 1917. 

The Crawford and Moore store were moved, together with eighteen other businesses.  Others added were Werner and Stoltz, Robertson, the Redlake and Nels Hawkinson lumber yards; Adams and Swarthout livery; Wilson and Litscher drug store; Shipley and Son Real Estate; M.A. Knudson, Hardware; F.A. Woodward barber shop; The Farmers State Bank established by Adams Hanna (owned by B. Landmark).  The first residence was built by A.E. Swarthout, now owned by Pearl Aanstad.  Dr. A.K. Blair opened an office.

The first passenger train reached Hampden in December 1904. McCabe Brothers (with W.N. Brown as manager) built the first elevator.  Before that, grain was weighed on the street and then loaded into cars  The Ames elevator burned soon after being built, but soon others were added so the town had an adequate number.

It was not always an easy life.  Though the early settlers did not encounter Indians as in many parts of the state, there were hardships.  Long, hard winters were not always pleasant; roads were trails, there were crop failures, grasshoppers, droughts, fluctuation of prices to mention a few of the experiences.  There was no complaining on the part of the settlers.  They were pioneers and an enthusiastic group.  The worked hard and things flourished.  However, not all was work.  There was a good social life.  In winter, parties were held in the homes- those which had 3 or 4 rooms (not all had that many).  The whole family went.  Children fell asleep on beds or in the corner on coats.  All awakened for the midnight repast of sandwiches, cake and cookies.  In summer, families gathered for picnics.  A picnic meant good fried chicken and potato salad- yes, even without refrigeration.  There was no mayonnaise; dressing for salads was home-cooked.  No one got sick from the food unless perhaps they ate too much.  Also, gatherings were in town, which usually meant a ball game and what was a ball game without a couple of Howes brothers?

Fourth of July celebrations were always exciting, especially for the children.  Home made ice cream was made in the hand-turned freezer.  Ice was procured for the ice house.  This had been cut in late winter and packed in flax straw and would keep until out in the summer.  There would be lemonade- no pop in those days.  Children enjoyed all of this.  They usually had a dime or quarter to spend.  Sometimes it was money they had earned by picking potato bugs, doing chores for the parents or even picking mustard in the fields.  They could not earn money baby-sitting – that was unheard of.  Children went with the parents or they all stayed home, that is until children were old enough to stay alone.  Families did things together.

Home talent plays became popular.  These were held in the Morton Hall (later the Fisher Hall).  This was also the place for all entertainments: school programs, church programs, basket socials, dances and other parties.

Many things must seem strange to our young folks.  For instance, Dr. R.A. Ogilvie came from Edmore once a week, having an office in the Carroll Hotel.  He pulled many aching teeth, filled cavities, etc.  When he discontinued this service, his patients went to Edmore to have dental work done – between trains.  The fare was 31 of 32 cents.  Many of the portraits in this book were taken in the Camfield studio.  Many confirmation classes and other groups had pictures taken in this studio, going to Edmore by train.  Dr. A.M. Wold came once or twice a month to test eyes and fit glasses.

Dr. Craig, a veterinarian, was a permanent resident, working for many years.  He and his wife built the house which was purchased by the Iver Iverson family when they retired from farming.  It is now the home of Mrs. Nellie Wolf.  Dr. Craig was succeeded by Dr. G.N. Campbell.  He married Lillian McDougal, daughter of John McDougal.  He had moved here with his family from Park River.  The McDougal family consisted of several children: Edward, Allie, Willie, Emma, Lillian, Harriet, and Harriet’s twin sister (deceased).

Dr. A.K. Blair was a typical country doctor.  He had his office over the Litscher drug store and later in his residence which is now owned by F. Lunde.  Dr. Blair was accredited with saving many lives during the influenza epidemic of 1918.  He was ably assisted by his wife who was a nurse.  She was on the scene when people needed food and other supplies.  Herman Simon used to “drive” the doctor in winter and no doubt in summer, too, before the automobiles.

It was perhaps Otto Shipley who had the first car (a Reo?) in town.  He could go at least 25 miles an hour, when roads were good.  Good roads meant it had not rained for a day or two.  Mr. Shipley ordered and erected a pre-cut house from Sears Roebuck.  It is now the home of LaVonne and Dean Boatman.  Many people have lived there through the years, but the Boatman’s bought it from Mrs. Thressa Stone.

So we have tried to give you a little insight into the lives of early settlers.  People coming back do not recongize the community as the one they knew.  In Northfield very few are living on the original “home place.”  There are four:  Howard Skaar, Larry Knoke, Mrs. Raymond Mackey and sons, and Thomas O’Brien.  There are several descendents of “Grandma” Neidlinger who came from Indiana with her family which included Lou, Oscar, Ira, Edward, Harry, and Catherine Strong.

North of Hampden are a few more:  Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Larson, Soren Iverson, Robert Iverson, Myrtle Flott Johnson (Aurthur Johnsons), Mrs Edith Dahl and Arvid Bergren.  Mr. and Mrs Carl Mortenson are the ones living in town of those who resided here when they moved in.

The greates change in the town took place in 1976.  At that time many buildings on Main Street were razed and a Mini-Mall was built on the north side of the street.  Grand Opening ceremonies were observed April 30, 1977.  The slogan was “Watch Hampden Grow.”

Those who return or are here at the 100th Anniversary may see even more changes.

Hampden will go on –  even after 75 years.

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