Prior to the founding of Walum, Aslak Gunderson deeded land to the Northern Pacific Railroad Co., for the right of way through 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 back over which a small bridge extends to this day.  In 1883, the railroad was built through the present sight of Walum, parallel to the road leading to and from Sanborn.

Walum in Greenfield Township, Griggs County 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 his name, Johnson conceded to spelling the name with one `L'.  Thus Walum was named.

The first building erected in Walum was the Great Western 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 Co.  They purchased the Great Western 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 Co., sold out to the Farmers Elevator Co., there was a gentleman's agreement" not to build another elevator in Walum.  However, they did build one a few rods south of the other.  It was completed in 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 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 Co.  set up a lumberyard with a hardware line.  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, Pete Peterson a livery barn, Charles Kins set up a butcher shop.  C. Berger was a later butcher.

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 draylines 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 Street block.  Four homes sat along this street.

Andrew Wogsland opened a store in 1910, and purchased Peter Gunderson's new home for several purebred Percheron horses.  In 1913, the store and pool hall burned down.  Gunderson moved to Canada.  The date of the first depot is uncertain as is the first depot agent.  The first depots burned down and were replaced by a box car depot.  Some early agents were: C. A. Evenson, Opdahl, Oscar Gilbertson, Gallepo, McClure, Melvin Scrambler and Geo.  Standahl.

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, and also a modern home.  Another bank was built which was 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, followed by Carl Werner and 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.  Later Heyerdahl sold out to Wm.  Bothwell.

The branch line of the Northern Pacific Railroad sent its little one car train called the "Goose" on its last run through Walum on June 16, 1961.  The mail has been carried by truck since.  The mail route now serves Walum.

Histories of the school and Lutheran Church must be included and are interwoven.  The first record is for 1897, with A. P. Jones as teacher for the months of July and August.  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 Aslak Gunderson in 1885.  They first called themselves the Bald Hill Congregation, but later changed it to St. Olaf Norwegian Lutheran Church.  In 1899, the church was built on land given by Aslak Gunderson.  The original church blew down in 1916, but a new church was built on the same location in 1917.

The Gunderson School was situated one mile south of Walum on the east side of the road.  The school was moved into town in the early 1900s, and set on a lot north of the church.  The enrollment outgrew the old school so a new two-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 through 10.

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.  The school was sold to the Eslinger Brothers, and moved west of Hannaford.

The population of Walum has been predominantly Scandinavian and Lutheran throughout the years.  At one time Walum had a population of 175.  At present the population of Walum is 28.  Business places are Miller Elevator, Corner Cafe and Corner Service Station.  Miller Elevator bought the Farmers Elevator in Hannaford in 1980.  Lloyd Smith manages both.

Source:  Hannaford Area History North Dakota Centennial 1889 - 1989 Page 40

BOTHWELL, MR. and MRS. WILLIAM

Mr. and Mrs. Bothwell had two children, Joyce and Wayne.  Mr. and Mrs. Bothwell operated the grocery store.  Mr. and Mrs. Bothwell and daughter, Joyce, are deceased.  Son, Wayne, lives in Pennsylvania.  When Bothwells left the store, Thelma and Virginia Everson operated the store until William Chamley came.  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.

Source:  Hannaford Area History North Dakota Centennial 1889 - 1989 Page 44

 

BROTEN, JOHN and MARTHA

John Broten was born in Kraagro, Norway in 1872.  He came to the Walum area in 1898, and bought land west of Walum.  In 1901, he married Alice Gunderson.  They had two sons, Kenneth who died in infancy, and Glen who owns a home and land in Walum.  In 1907, his wife Alice, passed away.  In 1907, he bought Gundersons interest in the store business.  In December 1911, the store burned.  In January 1913, he purchased a general store at Glenfield, North Dakota.  In 1914, he married Martha Quist, who was a nurse.  In 1920, he sold his store at Glenfield and purchased a farm on the north end of Walum and spent much time during his retirement years improving the farm.  He died in 1932.  His widow Martha, operated a convalescent home in Valley City.  Later she moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she died.

Source:  Hannaford Area History North Dakota Centennial 1889 - 1989 Page 44

 

BROTEN, GLEN and BERNICE

Glen Broten attended school in Walum, Glenfield, New Rockford and Concordia Academy.  He farmed land west of Walum.  In 1944, he married Bernice Alfson Anderson, a widow with two girls, Rhoda Marie and Sylvia.  Bernice taught school in Walum.  They had two more girls, Brenda and Shelley.  In 1960, Glen became Walum postmaster until his retirement in 1973.  The post office was taken out of Walum and Walum was put on the Hannaford route.

Glen sold land to James Broten in 1974.  Glen and his wife retired in Valley City in 1974.  Daughters Rhoda Marie Schmaltz, with husband Roy and three children, Rebecca, Timothy and Mary Elizabeth, live in Redmond, Washington  Sylvia and husband Jerry Lyngby, live in Brandon, South Dakota.  Their daughters Angela, presently in West Germany; and Erica, who resides in Phoenix, Arizona.   Brenda and her husband Dan Utter, live in Redmond, Washington, with daughter Kirsten.  Shelley resides in Seattle.  Rhoda Marie passed away in May 1988.  Glen Broten passed away in September 1987.

Postmasters included: Martin J. Mossing, November 7, 1904; John Broten, 1908; Andrew Wogsland, 1912; Carl T. Werner, 1913; Andrew D. Anderson, 1913; Carl T. Werner, 1916; Franklin Zingg (acting), 1925; Franklin Zingg, 1927; William Bothwell, 1940; Ruth Nelson, 1941; Carl Nelson (acting), 1943; Clarence Evenson, 1945; June Lende, 1959; and Glen Broten, 1960-1973.

Source:  Hannaford Area History North Dakota Centennial 1889 - 1989 Page 44

 

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