"History of Lincoln, Oneida, and Vilas Counties Wisconsin"

Compiled by George O.Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others. Printed in 1924 by H.C.Cooper. Jr. & Co., Minneapoli-Winona MN. ill. 787 pages. The first two hundred pages are history of the three counties, the remainder of the book is biographies.


Torkelson, Carl Gustav a well-known citizen of Merrill, Lincoln County, where he is successfully engaged in business as a contractor and building, was born in Amherst, Wis., May 11, 1878, son of Gunder and Kirsten (KNUTSON) TORKELSON. The parents were natives of Norway, where the father following the trade of carpenter, and he also continued at it for some time in Chicago after he came to this country in 1872. His wife joined him there in 1873 and they went to North Dakota, where they homesteaded a piece of land on which they lived while he worked at his trade. This land is now the site of Valley City, a place of about 5,000 inhabitants. After a while he returned with his family to Chicago, where they resided two years, at the end of that time removing to Amherst, Wis. There he followed the occupation of carpenter and contractor until his death in September, 1921. His wife is now living in Chicago with her son Knut. There were eight children in all, four of whom died in infancy. Those living are: Olga E., wife of Tom TORGERSON of Amherst, Wis.; Inga Marie, who married Adolph VIRUM and is now a widow residing in Wisconsin Rapids; Knut and Carl G. The last mentioned, who is the subject of this sketch, was reared in Amherst, Wis., where he attended the common and high schools. At the age of 13 years he began to learn the carpenter's trade under his father and in course of time became a skilled journeyman. To advance himself still further he then took a course in architecture with the Scranton Correspondence School and for nine years thereafter was associated with his father in carpentry and contracting. In 1901 he came to Merrill, where he worked three years as a journeyman carpenter, and since then he has been engaged in general contracting and building, for a time being in partnership with A. O. JUVE. Later, having bought out the interest of Mr. JUVE, he conducted business alone for two and a half years, and for six years subsequently was in partnership with Fred HESTERMAN. Since he severed his connections with the latter gentleman he has had no partner. He has achieved considerable success in his own line of effort and has put up a number of substantial buildings in Merrill and the vicinity. His work has brought him reasonable financial returns and he is a stockholder in the Citizens National Bank of Merrill and owns a half interest in the Lincoln Hotel, being president of the hotel company. His popularity is evinced by the fact that he has served five years as alderman from the Third Ward. He is a Knight Templar Mason, belonging to the Commandery at Wausau and is also a member of the Equitable Fraternal Union. His religious convictions are indicated by his membership in Our Saviour Lutheran Congregation. Mr. TORKELSON was married in Merrill, Wis., July 22, 1903, to Johanna Marie ODEGARD, daughter of Ole and Helle ODEGARD, her parents being natives of Norway who came to the United Stated in 1883, settling at Port Edwards, Wood County, Wis.; where the father worked in the sawmill of John EDWARDS. They later moved to Merrill, where Mr. ODEGARD died in 1921. His wife, who survived him, is still living. Mr. and Mrs. TORKELSON have been the parents of ten children, of whom death has deprived them of only one. They were born as follows: Helena C., March 31, 1905; O. M. Janette, May 22, 1906; George, 1908 (died in infancy); Margaret C., April 6, 1913; Edida G. and Eloise (twins), Sept. 25, 1915; Gerald M., Feb. 28, 1917; Harold N., Jan. 5, 1919; Carl Eric, Jan. 1, 1921; and Robert P., Sept. 21, 1922. Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 724-725, History of Lincoln, Oneida and Vilas Counties Wisconsin; Compiled by George O. Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others 1924, H. C. Cooper, Jr. & Co

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