Family Stories

Halsten S. Groth, Biography

from History of Clayton County, Iowa, Volume 2

Halsten S. Groth, Biography

Halsten S. Groth is the fortunate owner of one of the finely improved farm properties of his native county, the same comprising two hundred acres of fertile land in Section 7, Marion township, and including the old homestead place on which he was born, the date of his nativity having been May 19, 1861.  Mr. Groth has here been actively concerned with progressive operations as an agriculturist and stock-grower during the entire course of his adult career, and he is distinctively to be designated one of the enterprising, successful and representative farmers of the county, with secure place in popular confidence and good will, thus nullifying any application of the scriptural aphorism that “a prophet is not without honor save in his own country”.  Mr. Groth is a son of Sven and Birget (Oin) Groth, both natives of Norway.  The father was a young man at the time of his emigration to America and after remaining two years in Wisconsin he came to Clayton County and became one of the pioneer settlers of Marion township.  Here, by energy and good business policies, he achieved large and worthy success as a farmer, and at the time of his death he was the owner of the substantial estate of two hundred acres that is now in the possession of his son Halsten S., of this review.  Sven Groth, a man of unqualified integrity and honor, passed to eternal rest on the third of September, 1881, a zealous communicant of the Norwegian Lutheran Church, as is also his venerable widow, who remains on the old homestead with their eldest child, subject of this sketch, and who celebrated in 1916 her eighty-fifth birthday anniversary.  The second child, Helgrim, is a resident of Hebron, North Dakota; Rachel resides at Broadview, Montana; Barbo is deceased, Kittil and Bertin maintain their home at Maple, Cass County, North Dakota; Olena is the wife of Kittel Esk, of Finely, Steele County, that state; and the other five children died young.  In the public schools of Clayton County Halsten S. Groth continued his studies until he had availed himself of the advantages of the high school at Elgin, and upon attaining to his legal majority he assumed, in the interest of his widowed mother, the active supervision of the home farm.  About two years later he rented the place, and after the lapse of another year he purchased the interests of the other heirs and came into sole possession of the valuable property, upon which he has since made the best of modern improvements, including the erection of an attractive and commodious frame house of two stories and substantial and well equipped barns.  He has also installed on the farm a silo that has a capacity of one hundred tons, and he brings to bear in his operations as an agriculturist and stock-grower the most approved of modern policies and facilities, with the result that his success has been of substantial and unequivocal order.  He is a director of the Farmers’ Dairy Company at Elgin, this county; is president of the Gunder and Clermont Telephone Company, is serving with marked loyalty and efficiency as township trustee, and is essentially one of the popular and influential citizens of his native county.  His political allegiance is given to the Republican party and he and his wife are earnest communicants and liberal supporters of the Norwegian Lutheran Church.  Their attractive home receives mail service on rural route No. 4 from the village of Elgin.  On the 24th of May, 1888, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Groth to Miss Helen Skarshang, who was born and reared in this county, and of the five children of this union the eldest is Jessie Benora, who is the wife of Jens Halverson, their residence being in the state of Minnesota; Selmer likewise resides in that state; and Harry, Alma Sophia and Arthur remain at the parental home.

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