Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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WHEELER, J.H. Vol. II. Pp. 788-89. Lewis Pub. Co. Chicago. 1910


For more than three decades a resident of Mason City, Hans P. Forberg, chief carpenter for the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad Company, has been actively identified with the advancement of the industrial prosperity of this part of northern Iowa and has gained a position of note among its more worthy and respected citizens. A native of Norway, he was born May 19, 1842, in Trondjhem, a son of Ole and Martha Forberg. When far advanced in years his parents were by him induced to come to America, and having made the dreaded ocean voyage. they located in 1873. in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where both spent their remaining days, the father dying in 1877, at the age of four score and four years, and the mother, in 1876, aged eighty-one years. Of their four cliildren two are living, as follows: Mrs. Moe of Wisconsin, and Hans P.

Inheriting the natural mechanical tastes of his father, who was a cabinet maker by trade, Hans P. Forberg as a mere child would get up at six o'clock in the morning and work at the bench until time to go to school, and at night hurry home from school to finish the work begun in the morning. Leaving home in 1866, he emigrated to the United States, and for eleven and a half years worked as a cabinet maker and house finisher in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, after which he followed his trade in Milwaukee for two years. In 1869 Mr. Forberg entered the employ of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad Company, at Watertown, Wisconsin, working as a carpenter both in the shops and on the road. Transferred to St. Paul, Minnesota, in August, 1871, he took charge of all building operations between St. Paul and LaCrosse, Wisconsin. In May, 1878, he was transferred to Mason City, and in 1882 settled his family here.

Continuing with the same company, Mr. Forberg now has full control of all the bridges and buildings on his line of railway between McGregor, Iowa, and Chamberlain, South Dakota. Unable to speak a word of English when he came to this country and with the small sum of two hundred dollars to his name, Mr. Forberg has steadily climbed the ladder of success, his present prosperous condition being due to his own industry, energy and able business management. Politically he is a Republican, and fraternally he is a member of the Knights of Pythias. Religiously he was reared in the Lutheran faith.

Mr. Forberg married. May 15, 1875, Mary Taleson, who was born in Norway, June 2, 1853, and came with her parents, Ole and Synewa Taleson, to Wisconsin in 1855. Her mother died April 18, 1908, aged seventy-nine years, but her father, now eighty years old, is still living in Wisconsin. They reared eight children of whom three are living. Mr. and Mrs. Forberg have two children, Anna, wife of Charles Berger, of Joliet, Illinois, and Clara, wife of Harry Dwyer, of Nashville, Tennessee.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, February of 2014



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