Prior to the founding of Walum, Aslak Gunderson deeded land to the Northern Pacific Railroad Company for the right of way thru his land.
In 1882 the railroad was built to a point at the south line of Griggs County. When winter set in the building crew dug into the creek bank over which a small bridge extends to this day. In 1883 the railroad was built through the present site of Walum, parallel to the road leading to and from Sansburn.
Walum, in Greenfield Township, Griggs Company, was founded in 1900 on land owned by Peter Gunderson, purchased from his father, Aslak Gunderson who was one of the first white settlers to bring his family to this area, in 1880. The townsite was platted by Peter Gunderson. On May 17, 1905 the plat was filed at the County Court House.
As Walum was built on the land of Gunderson the name Gunderson was considered as a possible name for the village. Trainmaster J. Johnson named it after Marten O. Wallum as a more suitable name. Wallum's land adjoined Gunderson's on the north and the railway ran through Wallum's land also. Due to controversy Over this name, Johnson conceded to spelling the name with one 'l'. Thus Walum was named.
The first building erected in Walum was the Great Northern Elevator in 1900. The elevator manager M. Olson built a house, the second structure in Walum. Mrs. Olson taught the Dobbedahl School two miles west of Walum. In 1904 Olson sold his home to T. T. Mossing and moved to Atwater, Minnesota
Area farmers organized a Farmers Elevator Company They purchased the Great Northern Elevator and built an elevator beside it making a dual elevator operation. Carl Nelson became the manager in 1904. He built a home, the second in Walum.
When the Great Western Elevator Company sold out to the Farmers Elevator Company there was a "gentlemen's agreement" that they would not build another elevator in Walum. However, they did build one a few rods south of the other. It was completed in December 1904 and was named The Acme to honor the agreement.
By 1904 Tom and Martin Mossing had built homes. In 1900 they started a feed mill and wood yard. By fall they had formed a partnership with John Nelson. He sold his share to M. H. Hagen. This firm also sold fuel (wood and coal) and machinery. A post office was established November 7, 1904 M. Mossing was appointed the first postmaster.
By 1905 Walum had 50 inhabitants and the following businesses were begun. Crane Johnson Company set up a lumberyard with a hardware line. The manager, Mr. Quisling had an elaborate array of plants and greenery in the front office room. In 1916 the lumberyard blew away and in 1921 the hardware store burned. Peter and Gunder Gunderson with John Broten built a store, which opened for business in August 1905.
Nelson and Coon opened a restaurant by harvest time and the Hanson Brothers had a first class hotel complete with dining room. Matt Hanson set up a blacksmith shop, which he sold to Gust Leitzke. The next owner was A. Wippert who sold it to Mr. Carr. John Anderson started a pool hall, Mr. Pete Peterson, a livery barn. Charles Kins set up a butcher shop. C. Berger, a later butcher was killed in a fall. He left a wife and several children.
A photo gallery was opened but the photographer's name was forgotten. A telephone office was set up in 1905. Some of the telephone operators were:
Anna Jerstad, Ellen Larson, Mabel Everson and Signe Wallum. There were two dray-lines and one livery barn. In 1906 an addition to Walum was platted east of the road and railroad. This is the Parr plat. In 1907 another addition was platted west of Main St. block. Four homes sat along this street. Two remain. One of these houses was built by Peter Gunderson in 1907.
Andrew Wogsland opened a store in 1910 and purchased Peter Gunderson's new home for several pure bred Percheron horses. The store and pool hall burned in 1913. Gunderson moved to Canada. The date of putting in a depot is uncertain, as is the first depot agent. The first depot burned down. The next one was a nice spacious station but it also burned. It was replaced by a boxcar depot. Some early depot agents were C. A. Evenson, Opdahl, Oscar Gilbertson, Gallepo, McClure Melvin Scamber, and George Standahl.
C. A. Evenson left the depot agency to set up a machine business with Carl Nelson. Later he began farming and operated a gas station. He was postmaster for a number of years. He handled a line of groceries until his death in 1962. He was married to Olga Wallum. They had no family.
Oscar A. Gilbertson, was born in 1891 in Moorhead, Minnesota, came to Walum to be the depot agent in 1913. In 1912 he married Clara Everson of Walum, who was born in River Falls, Wisconsin in 1885. Gilbertson was in partnership in a general store from 1923-1928 then moved to Binford, North Dakota to continue as depot agent there. Gilbertsons had five children. Olive, a Lutheran pastor's wife in Seattle, Washington
Everett, Bishop of the Eastern South Dakota District of the ALC
Donald, pastor in California
Violet resides in Minneapolis and Roy is Bishop of the Western North Dakota of the ALC. Mr. Gilbertson died in 1939. His widow resides in Seattle, Washington
Nels Nielson and family lived in Walum. He served as village Cop for a number of years and has a son living in Valley City at the present time.
George Jacobson built a frame bank building with upstairs living quarters, this burned so as president of the bank, a concrete building was built on the same location, also a modern home. Another bank was built of which were managed by Mr. Hartwick Sonjue, Mr. Brunsvold and Mr. Parker. There was a third bank for a while. Edwin Everson set up the Motor Inn Garage, which he operated until 1921. The building was sold to Wright of Cooperstown and moved to the Cooperstown Air Way.
In 1915 a Farmers Cooperative Store was opened. A. D. Anderson was the first manager, then Carl Werner assisted by Henry Lewis until it dissolved in 1922. Werner started anew in the Motor Inn office for a few months. then moved to the empty pool hall building to continue business. Carl Heyerdahl entered partnership for a time. Werner sold out to Heyerdahl and moved to Eckelson. Heyerdahl later sold out to William Bothwell and went farming then served as mail-carrier at Hannaford till his retirement.
Carl Heyerdahl and wife Anna (Sad) are both deceased. Children surviving are:
1. Elenore Jordan, Fargo, Earl and Charles farming the home farm, Dorothy Lommen Valley City, Margaret Agnew, Bismarck and Barbara Melke, Wimbledon. Wm Bothwell is deceased. His wife resides in Washington, Daughter Joyce in California and Wayne in Penn. Thelma and Virginia Everson operated the store until William Chamley came. The Everson sisters continued to operate in the old hotel building until it burned in 1943. Chamley continued the store business until 1945 when they retired and moved to Cooperstown where they passed away. They had two sons, Boyd and Emmett.
Claude Freer and wife Myrtle bought the store in 1945. They had one daughter Carole. Claudia was born in 1945. They sold the business to Conrad Michalson in 1947. They continued to live in Walum and he was employed by Crane Johnson Company, in Hannaford, (until he retired). Carole McKinney lives in California and Claudia Jacobson at Laverne, North Dakota
Conrad Michaelson and wife Arlien with children, Judy and Jerry continued to live in Walum until they sold out to Wallace Halverson in 1948. The Michealsons now live in Turner, Oregon. One more daughter, Mary Lou was born to the family. Wallace Halverson and wife, Max with two sons Larry and Ronald lived here one year while they operated the store. They sold out to Hans Haugen and moved to Binford.
Hans Haugen and wife Maxine operated the store until Hans became manager of the Miller elevator. Maxine continued with the store until in 1950 when skunks got under the floor of the building and forced the closure of the store with loss to some of the stock. Mrs. Haugen taught the Walum School for several years until Mr. Haugen took over an elevator at Wimbledon in 1960. The Haugens now reside in Columbia Falls, Montana. Three children are married:
1. James lives in Idaho, Darrel in Minneapolis, Janet in California and Vicki at home.
In 1947 Donald Lende and wife June started a garage and gas station. They expanded to include a cafe. Lende also sold a line of machinery. June was postmistress for nine months. They left for Fargo with their children Donald, Jr., Donna, Dean, Dale, Roger, Clinton, Julie and John.
One elevator, J. C. Miller, serves the Walum area at present. Lloyd Smith is the manager and Michiel Hook, assistant. Lloyd Smith and wife Doris moved from Pillsbury in 1961 to Walum with their daughters, Melody, Renae and Lori.
Noralf Tweit and wife Bessie moved to Walum from Washington in 1947. Tweit, a former native resident of Dover and Bently Township, has engaged in various construction work. Bessie Tweit operated a store for several years in her home. They continue to live in Walum. One son, Mark, is married and lives in Valley City. There are three children. The eldest son, Lawrence, served in United States Aviation field. He died in 1971. His wife and two sons survive in Eng.
Merlin Lende with wife, Evelyn had car salvage business here from 1967-1974 when they moved to Cooperstown. They have two children, Sonia and Kim.
A recent cafe business has been opened by Murray and Barbara Haugen of Hannaford.
The Walum post office was closed in 1973 when postmaster Glen Broten retired. The Hannaford mail route now serves Walum.
The branch line of the Northern Pacific Railroad sent its little one car train called the "Goose" on its last run thru Walum on June 16, 1961. A number of people took a last ride on "the goose" that day. The mail has been carried by truck since.
Walum reached a population of 175 at one time.
Histories of the school and the Lutheran Church must be included and are interwoven. A school was built but there is no record of the beginning. The first record is for 1897 with A. P. Jones as teacher for the months of July and August at $35.00 per month. However, the records of the church prove that the school was in use earlier. The Norwegian Lutheran Church organized a congregation at the home of Aslack Gunderson in 1885. They first called themselves the Bald Hill Congregation but later changed it to St. Olaf Norwegian Lutheran Church. The church records state that following their organizational meeting church services were held in the Gunderson School, until a church building was built in 1899. This church was built on land given by Aslack Gunderson. The church is still in the same location. The original church blew down in 1916 but a new church was built on the same spot in 1917. This is now a member of the American Lutheran Church. The population of Walum has been predominantly Scandinavian and predominantly Lutheran throughout the years.
The Gunderson School was situated 1/2 mile south of Walum on the east side of the road. The school was moved into town in the early 1900's and set on a lot north of the church. The enrollment outgrew the old school so a new 2-room school was built with large, airy, well-lighted rooms. The first teacher in the new school was Christine Olson. Soon two teachers held classes for grades one thru ten. The old schoolhouse was sold to Ben Stromme and moved out to his farm.
The depression brought changes causing an enrollment decline and the school went back to a one room rural. The school district was annexed to the Hannaford school district in 1959. In 1960 it was closed. Mrs. Helen Parker was the last teacher. The schoolhouse was sold to the Eslinger Brothers and moved west of Hannaford for a farm shed.
Persons residing in Walum not included in businesses are:
Mrs. Clarence Evenson, nee Olga Wallum, daughter of Martin Wallum. She has lived in the area all her life. She married Clarence Evenson in 1912. She resides in their home since Evenson's death.
Carl Goplen and Martha Norgard Goplen moved to Walum in 1971. They put a Mobile home on the site of the old schoolhouse. Carl farms near Walum.
Dorthy Rahlf Everson from Binford, widow of the late Robert Everson, who was killed in a car accident in 1971, lives in their home with her children, Vicky, Ronald, Beckey and Daniel at home. Edwin is married to Cindy Bonhoffer and lives at home. Cindy married Dale Kunze of Dazey. Robert Jr. and wife Nancy Jewett
Everson and son Dan live in the home yard in a mobile home. Dorthy and Robert Sr. engaged in the hotel business, in service station business and farming in several places before settling in Walum. He was the son of Edwin and Sylvia Everson, rural Walum and was employed by Melroe Company of Cooperstown at the time of his death. Robert Jr. is presently employed by Melroe Company
Residents presently living in Walum who are offsprings of pioneers will be included in the histories of their pioneer parents and grandparents. These include Percy Nelson, Glen Broten, Richard and Vernon Wogsland.
More could be written of those we have included. Some have been omitted due to inaccurate conflicting information. No family has been omitted purposely and no slight intended to any deleted histories.
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