The Death of a Pioneer - Halvor K. Volstad

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Publication Date: 
Friday, February 9, 1912
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In last week's issue we made mention of the death of Halvor K. Volstad, of Nevada township, the news reaching us at press time. The passing away of Mr. Volstad removes possibly one or two exceptions, the last of the pioneers of the Six Mile Grove settlement and the entire surrounding country.

The subject of this sketch was born in Torrisdal, Norway, September 26, 1826. At the age of 27 he left his father's home to try his fortune in America. He came as far west as Winnebago County, Illinois, where he hired out as a farm laborer. Three years later, in 1845 he married Miss Isabelle Stahek and came to Minnesota, locating on the farm in Nevada township, Mower County, where the family home was established and where the deceased resided until his death, which occurred Thursday, February 1. He leaves behind him his widow and 4 children, Knute H. Charles H. and Julia, residing near Lyle, and Henry J., of Minneapolis. Two other children born to the family are dead.

Although the deceased started out in active life with many handicaps he forgot his way to better conditions by ceaseless toil and untiring devotion to his calling. As a pioneer he experienced all the ups and downs which made up the life of that honored class, all the time improving every opportunity which he had of getting familiar with the laws, costumes and language of the country of his adoption. His neighbors showed their appreciation of his efforts by electing him to various public offices. He has served as a member of the town board of supervisors, and in 1878 represented his district in the State legislature. While he never was a politician in the sense of following politics for office or gain, he always took an active interest in his duties as a citizen and for the past twenty-five years he warmly championed the cause of temperance and prohibition. He was one of the founders of Six Mile Grove Norwegian Lutheran church and assisted in the building of the church edifice.

For a man of his age Mr. Volstad was exceptionally rugged and strong in his declining years. During the last year of his life he began to suffer from a complication of diseases, which gradually sapped his strength and resulted in his death. As the activities of this life faded from his view his interest in the spiritual things was deepened, and he lived and died a firm believer in Jesus Christ and his redemption.

The funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon, February 6, at the Gospel Mission church in Lyle, where an English service was conducted by Rev. Hoare, of Minneapolis and later at the Six Mile Grove church, where Mr. Peter Knutson of Clear Lake, Iowa, a brother of the deceased, spoke in the Norwegian language and conducted the closing services. A large number of relatives and friends gathered to show their last expression of respect and appreciation.

Those from abroad who attended the funeral were: Mrs. Helen Knutson, of Minneapolis, Henry Volstad, of Minneapolis, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Knutson and Fred Christenson, of Clear Lake, Iowa. and Messrs. Louis and John Knutson of Sioux City, Iowa.