Halvor P. Hammer, born December 7, 1857 in Solar, Norway, came to America in 1879 and died in Cooperstown December 2, 1932.  His crossing of the Atlantic, in a sailing ship, took six weeks.  He arrived in Northfield, Minnesota, on the day the James gang held up the bank, and, so the story goes, witnessed some of the commotion.  Asked later what his impression was, he replied, "Well, they told me America was wild.  His manner was in the best tradition of dry, understated Norwegian humor.

He married Carrie Anderson of Lakeville, Minnesota, while he was living in Northfield.  They came to Griggs County in 1882 and homesteaded near Lee post office~, some 20 miles north of Cooperstown.  In 1886 he purchased the livery stable from the Green Mountain Stock Ranch Company and a meat market from Julius Retzlaff, and went into business in Cooperstown.  His ventures here ultimately included general merchandise business, banking, real estate, farming and stock raising.  In 1888 he entered into partnership with George N. Condy, a brother-in-law, in general merchandising.

Mr. Hammer left here for a few years at the turn of the century.  He left here in 1898 for St. Paul, but returned to Cooperstown five years later.  In time, Mr. Hammer had business interests in Cooperstown, Binford, Sutton, Glenfield, McHenry and Grace City.

Early in his residence here Mr. Hammer began developing and breeding high-grade stock on his farm, including Belgian and Percheron horses and Shorthorn cattle.  In 1929 he was honored by having his portrait hung in the Saddle and Sirloin Hall of Fame at NDAC (now North Dakota State University).

For 20 years he was president of the First National Bank of Cooperstown, and served as mayor of the city from 1921 to 1927.

His nine children: 

1.     Mrs. O '.  J. Melgard, Mrs. R. Cowan, Mrs. T. G. Thompson, Mrs. M. T. Houghton, Mrs. E. O. Erickson, Mrs. H. O. Grangaard, William, Ralph and Henry.

Source: Griggs County History 1879 - 1976 Page 66


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