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- Abraham Abrahamson Papers
Abraham Abrahamson Papers, 1883-1917
Abraham Abrahamson was the founder and President of the Grand Forks Grocery Company, Incorporated. From 1892 to 1899, he was the Grand Forks County Treasurer. Abrahamson was also among the businessmen who organized the Scandinavian-American Bank, serving on the board of directors and as Vice President. He operated a farming business in Merrifield, Grand Forks County, owned property in the Iddings Addition of Grand Forks, and also was in the timber business in Minnesota and Oregon. In 1905, he was an alderman on the city council.
Abraham Abrahamson was born in 1853 in the village of Laerdalsoyri, Sogn og Fjordane, Norway. In 1861, his father Nels, brought Abraham and his other children, Samuel John, Barbara, Lena and Torine, to Wisconsin. A. Abrahamson started working in the Spaulding Grocery Store in Black River Falls, Wisconsin, as a teenager.
Nels relocated with Abraham, Samuel John and Lena to the Dakota Territory in 1877. The four family members each established a homestead in Trail County near Buxton in 1878. In April of 1878, A. Abrahamson purchased stock of general merchandise and established a store with a fruit and produce stand. Nels and Samuel John assisted in the store which was at 200 South Street at Kittson. By 1880, the store became a wholesale grocery, the Grand Forks Fruit Company and was incorporated in 1903. The company was later renamed The Grand Forks Grocery Company, Inc.
A. Abrahamson married Bendika Pederson Myhren in 1882 at Black River Falls, Wisconsin. They had three children, Bertha Nelly, Lida Alice and Abraham Benidict. The family lived above the store then at 202 South Third Street. In 1905, A. Abrahamson purchased the residence property of William Gordon at 111 Reeves later renumbered 411 Reeves. It was the family residence until 1963. The family attended Zion Lutheran Church.
The Grand Forks Fruit company was a family venture. John Samuel worked at the company through its early years. He was in partnership with Peter Odegard in a hardware business in Buxton, Trail County. Then he returned with his family to Grand Forks. J.S. Abrahamson's son, Bud N. was the general manager of the company. Later he owned a well-known cigar store in the city. Another son, William R. was the Assistant Postmaster of Grand Forks.
Lena Abrahamson married Louis Thompson, the Buxton representative to the North Dakota Legislature in 1891. Mr. and Mrs. Thompson died of cholera in June of 1891. A. Abrahamson became the guardian of their children, Theodore, Burke, Abraham Z., and John. The children helped at the company. Theodore and Burke Thompson were in the land and timber business in Grand Forks. Theodore played football at the University of North Dakota. He married Edith Freeman who was the women's editor of the Grand Forks Herald for 36 years. Abraham Z. Thompson became President of The Crookston Mercantile Company, an affiliate.
William Emmit DeLay, the husband of Barbara Abrahamson, was stockholder and an officer of the company. Oliver A. Olson, son of Bendika Abrahamson's sister, was an accountant at the company.
Bertha Abrahamson, daughter of A. Abrahamson married Abraham Z. Thompson. The daughter, Lida married Ole Halvor Bridston, who was secretary-treasurer of the company. Abraham B. became the President of the Grand Forks Grocery Company, Inc. from his father’s death in 1917 to his death in 1962.
Bendika Abrahamson was one of the charter members of the United Lutheran Church and one of the founding members of Ladies Aid. She died in 1936. Abraham and Bendika Abrahamson are buried in Memorial Park in Grand Forks.
Source: Abraham Abrahamson and Family, Box 1, Folder 3