Swen S. Olgaard

Swen S. Olgaard, oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Swen Olgaard was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on March 7, 1885 and came to Cooperstown with his parents in May 1886.  He grew up on the home farm east of Cooperstown.  He worked with his father and ran the steam threshing machine for many seasons.

In 1906 he moved to Cooperstown and lived in Cooperstown the rest of his life.  That year he worked for C. J. Lucken selling washing machines and farm machinery besides threshing in the fall.  During the winter of 1908-9 he attended Concordia College.  In the summer of 1909 he worked for the Peter E. Nelson hardware store as a plumber and tinsmith and the following winter he attended Dakota Business College in Fargo.

He worked on the R. C. Cooper ranch in the summer of 1910 and in the fall went to work for Hammer Condy Company as a mechanic until the fall of 1915.  Every fall in that time he went out threshing.

In the fall of 1915 he went into the automobile business with Charles Hall, forming the Hall-Olgaard Auto Company.  Mr. Hall sold out of the business in 1924 and in 1926 Olgaard also sold out.  From 1926 to 1935 Mr. Olgaard worked as a plumber with Thor Hetager and Selmer Jacobson, as a mechanic for Palace Motor Company and King Bruns Auto Company and also as a machinist remaking connecting rods for motors, etc.

From 1935 to 1939 he served as sheriff of Griggs County, and in 1942 he became the first sheriff to be re-elected after leaving the office.  He served then until 1946.

He then returned to the plumbing and heating business, later taking his son Kenneth as a partner.  Mr. Olgaard died June 2, 1971.

He married Hilma Erickson, daughter of Daniel and Edrika Erickson November 26, 1914, and they were the parents of five sons.  All attended the Cooperstown schools.

Daniel, born October 15, 1915, worked in various stores in Cooperstown before serving in World War II.  married Ardys Peerson in 1951, (one son and one daughter), lives in Fargo.

Oswald, born July 8, 1917, married Thelma Edland, (two sons), lived and worked in Cooperstown except for service in World War II, until his death December 2, 1965.

Ralph, born April 12, 1919, attended Valley City State College, taught school, served as Griggs County Superintendent of Schools, married Senora Lura, (three sons, one daughter), now lives in Rapid City, South Dakota

Kermit, born September 23, 1925, attended North Dakota Agricultural College, served in Army World War II, married Gloria Anderson, (two sons, one daughter), resides in Frankenmuth, Michigan.

Kenneth, born September 23, 1925, attended North Dakota Agricultural College, served in the Army World War II, went into business with his dad and still resides in Cooperstown.  He married Paula Bovaird, (one son, one daughter).

For over sixty years "old Swen" as he was known, was a member of the Cooperstown fire department.  He was a member of the Knights of Pythias lodge for nearly as long.  He joined Sons of Norway in 1913 and served as president in 1933.  When the lodge was reorganized in the 1960's he again took an active part.

His philosophy may have been summed up in a favorite statement, "I may not have a lot of money but I am a rich man for having so many friends."

Source: Griggs County History 1879 - 1976 Page 74

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