John Eggen, who for over forty years has been one of the representative citizens of the city of Rushford and who has been actively engaged in business for nearly that period of time, was born in Skogn, Norway, September 29, 1848, son of Anders and Beret (BÝrstad) Anderson. He received his education in the land of his birth, and there grew to manhood. In 1868 he left the shore of his native land and sailed across the Atlantic to establish for himself a home in a new and strange country, the trip consuming nine weeks and three days. Upon his arrival in the United States, Mr. Eggen proceeded west to Chicago, and thence to Grand Haven, Mich., where he was employed on railroad work for a period of two months. From Grand Haven he went to Muskegon, and there secured work in a sawmill for a period of three months, after which he moved to La Crosse, Wis., remaining for a short time. He then moved to Spring Grove, Houston County, Minn., remaining there for a year and a half. In the spring of 1870 he came to the city of Rushford, where for three years he worked at his trade as carpenter. He was employed as foreman with the O. Foss and Co. contractors of churches, schools, houses and grain elevators in the city.
On June 27, 1871, Mr. Eggen was united in the bonds of matrimony to Oline Emelie Kolberg, a native of Norway, and their home has been blessed with eleven children; Avilde Berentine, born April 18, 1872, died March, 1900; Alfred Julius, born September 29, 1873, died August 19, 1874; Alfred Julius, born August 6, 1875; Conrad Angell, born March 1, 1878; Ambrose Ingvald, born December 17, 1879; Edwarda Amalia, born June 22, 1881, died July 27, 1881; John William, born June 7, 1882, died September 18, 1882; Daniel Ludvig, born June 4, 1883; Alice Christine, born April 19 1885, died September 7, 1885; Henry Edgar, born November 20, 1888, and Florence Leone, born October 20, 1890.
About 1874 Mr. Eggen, together with his brother, Andrew, engaged in the business of blacksmithing, repairs, and in the manufacture of plows and wagons. This undertaking proved a great success and their wagons and plows became known far and wide for durability and service. In 1892 Andrew Eggen retired from the firm, and was succeeded by John's son, Conrad Eggen, the firm being known as John Eggen & Son. Later, other sons became associated with their father, first Alfred J. now of Chicago, and then Edgar, the title becoming John Eggen & Sons. Some years ago, Alfred was succeeded by Daniel L. In the meantime the manufacturing business was discontinued and the firm became extensive dealers in farm machinery and automobiles. In recent years they have also engaged in the wholesale and retail oil business.
Anders Eggen, father of John Eggen, was born in 1807 and died at seventy-eight years of age. Beret (BÝrstad) Eggen, the mother, was born in 1807, and died at sixty-six years of age. They were the parents of six children; Anders, a merchant at Throndjem, Norway, now deceased; Daniel, deceased; Andrew, of Rushford; Karen, now Mrs. Gjertinus Rangul, who, with her husband, has made several trips to America; John, of Rushford, and Albenus, deceased.
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