Nelse C. Rukke

Nelse C. Rukke belongs to that class of enterprising and intelligent farmers whose homes are places of social and mental comfort, and whose work as developers of the country is a credit alike to themselves and the community. His estate is in Pilot Mound township, and his pleasant residence is situated in a picturesque spot on the banks of the Sheyenne river, in section 1. He was the first settler of that township, and is widely known and highly esteemed.

Our subject was born in Norway, December 4, 1840, and was the seventh in a family of twelve children, six sons and six daughters, born to Christian and Ture (Syverson) Rukke, both of whom died in Minnesota. A brother of our subject, Sever, was a member of the Sixth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry during the Civil war, and died in camp at Helena, Arkansas.

Mr. Rukke came to America with his parents when three years of age, and the family located on a farm in Rock county, Wisconsin, where he received his first educational training, and in 1857 removed with his parents to Brown county, Minnesota, and there grew to manhood and assisted his father on the farm until the breaking out of the Civil war. He enlisted in Company E, Second Minnesota VoIunteer Infantry, at St. Peter, Minnesota, in April, 1861, and the regiment was consigned to the Fourteenth Army Corps, under command of General George Thomas. Mr. Rukke served four years, and was wounded at the storming of Missionary Ridge, November 24, 1803, and in consequence was confined in the hospital at Evansville, Indiana, six months. He participated in the battles of Mill Spring, Kentucky; Corinth, Mississippi; Shiloh ; Perryville, Kentucky ; Chickamauga, Chattanooga and others, and marched three months with Sherman from Dalton to Atlanta.

After his return from the war Mr. Rukke purchased a half-section of railroad land near his father's farm in Minnesota, and there engaged in

farming for some years. He was elected county treasurer of Brown countv, Minnesota, in 1870, and was elected in the same capacity three times, and after leaving that office he removed to St. Paul, where he became traveling representative for the "Walter A. Woods Harvesting Machine Company, under Fuller & Johnson, general agents for the

Northwest. He remained with them about six years, and then went to North Dakota and secured a position with Bayam & Hoiland, at Mayville. He was in their employ one year, and in 1884, in company

with Mr. Hoiland, engaged in the machine business at Cooperstown, and were the pioneers in that line. The following year our subject disposed of his interests to Knute Thompson & Finley, and he removed

to his farm, where his family had resided since locating in the state. He has continued farming since, and is now the owner of five quarter sections of well-improved land, all of which is located in Griggs county.

Our subject was married, in 1868, to Miss Guro Odegard, a native of Norway, who was born May 9, 1850, and was a daughter of Thore and Guro Odegard. Mrs. Rukke's father now resides in Cooperstown, North Dakota, and the mother died in that city in i8y6, aged seventy-six years. Eight children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Rukke, as follows:

1.    Christian W. died at the age of five years
2.    Agnes T.
3.    Christian W.
4.    Elma died at the age of twelve years
5.    Guy V.
6.    Seward died at the age of three years
7.    Nellie G.
8.    Elma S.

Mr. Rukke is prominent in public affairs in his township and county, and served on the first board of county commissioners after the county was organized, and has been chairman of the board of supervisors of his township for the past six years. He is a member of Rockwell Post, G. A. R., at Cooperstown, North Dakota. Politically he is a Republican, and stands firmly for the principles of his party.

Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota 1900 Page 221

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