Hendrum, Norman County, Minnesota


Excerpts Taken from the book, “Hendrum 100 Years 1882-1982"

            The history of Hendrum dates back to the establishment of the first post office on May 14, 1878. The original location of Hendrum was two miles north of the present site of Hendrum near the railroad bridge.  Complications with the railroad company set in, and the village was moved to its present location. The name was taken from the name of the town in Norway where Johannes Hagen came from, namely Hindrumgaard. It was platted in 1883.

                The Great Northern Railroad Company built a line along the Red River in 1883 through Hendrum, promoting land travel. In the spring of 1897, Hendrum was inundated with floodwaters as water reached from the Wild Rice River west to the Red River.  The hotel was being built that year, and some of the lumber floated away and had to be gathered by boat. The Hendrum House Hotel was a busy place, housing guests arriving on the trains, who had come to visit relatives or to tend to business.  There was a large dining room and many meals were served there.  

The business district was mostly west of the railroad tracks and included the post office, confectionery and ice cream parlor and an opera house.  Many popular programs were presented in this opera house, and folks for miles around would attend. 

            There were several merchandise stores, which sold hardware and furniture together with groceries and clothing.  A millinery store was a necessity also, which was housed in a small building.  There was a full time doctor, and a dentist would come for appointments several times each month.  There was also a harness shop, a blacksmith shop and several garages.

            A newspaper entitled “Red River Review” was printed once a week, a shoemaker, a feed mill and a veterinarian were also busy places.  Soon a new bank building and a brick structure were built east of the railroad tracks and it seemed other businesses were started near them.  Some of the businesses on the west side of the tracks were converted into dwelling units.  There were no cement sidewalks until 1910.

                        The first school in Hendrum was erected about one-half mile south of the city in 1880.  In 1894 a two room school was built in town and an addition added in 1902.  This was used until 1915, when a brick building replaced the wood structure. Today the Norman County West School District serves Hendrum.  Hendrum is the home of Norman County West Elementary, which recently completed a million-dollar addition.

            At one time, Hendrum boasted of a first class creamery, four elevators and a funeral parlor. 

The Village of Hendrum operated and prospered for several years and was incorporated August 17, 1901.  The first president of the Common Council was Dr. Marius Hansen.  Village Recorder was B.J. Ostby and Henry Marsden was the first treasurer.

            The Village maintained a Community Hall built in 1916 until it was sold to the School District in 1947.  The hall burned on Thanksgiving Day in 1950. 

Currently within the City of Hendrum are the Community Club, the Hendrum Development Corporation, American Legion and its Auxiliary, homemaker groups and several others. The community is neat and well kept with many beautiful homes.  The Hendrum Professional Center houses several businesses and the Hendrum City Office.  As you pass by you can’t help but notice the sign which says, “Welcome to Hendrum, If you lived here you’d be home now.”

Commercial Interests in Hendrum Village 1896

  • Anderson Brothers – Farmers and dealers in General Merchandise

  • Bangs, W. D. – Grain Buyer and Furniture

  • Brohaugh, O.O. – Dry Goods, Groceries, Boots and Shoes and General Merchandise

  • Douglas, J.M. – Veterinary Surgeon, Graduate of Ontario Vet. College

  • Eckman, A. M. – Lumber Dealer

  • Eckman, C. J. – Dealer in Furniture and Coffins

  • Hanson & Anderson – Dealers in General Merchandise & Machinery

  • Hancock, C. H. – Grain Buyer & Hendrum Elevator

  • Ingberg & Rostvold – Dealers in General Hardware, Oats, Barley, and Young Stock taken in exchange.

  • Johnson, John P. – Manufacturer and Dealer in Harness, Saddlery , etc.

  • Ligget, Wm. T. – Livery, Boarding and Sale Stable

  • Rask & Larson – Dealers in Heavy and Shelf Hardware, Stoves, Tinware, Tools, Cutlery & Implements

Historical Items of Interest

  • 1897- The year of the big flood
  • 1910- Building of the first concrete sidewalks in Hendrum
  • 1915- First electric lights
  • 1920- A special election in which a bond issue passed to build an electric light plant
  • 1923- The Village proposed to construct a well in the park
  • 1925- Village paid $100 to dig a well in the park
  • 1927- Provided for buying site for new creamery
  • 1930- The Village received a request by Fire Dept. for a used auto to mount firefighting equipment and to make alterations to the fire hall to house equipment
  • 1936- By vote the Village was authorized to issue bonds for the erection of a water tower
  • 1951- Sold electric service to Red River Valley Coop Power in Halstad
  • 1956- fire Department was reorganized
  • 1963- a new water tower was built
  • 1967- Planning Commission was appointed by Village of Hendrum
  • 1971- Public hearing to provide a sewage lagoon on land purchased from Mildred Rask
  • 1976- Hendrum Development Corporation organized
  • 1978- Park project which included a new shelter
  • 1998- Fire hall remodeling project
  • 1999- Permanent levee constructed for flood protection and renovation of an enlargement of the sanitary sewer system

Community Churches

Hendrum is served by the Immanuel Lutheran Church, and it along with a number of other churches of various denominations in the area.  Immanuel Lutheran Church was started a few years after the arrival of the first Norwegian Lutherans to the area.  Immanuel was organized under the Norwegian Synod.  A meeting was held at the home of Andrew Hawkins on December 8, 1874 to organize a congregation.  

            The first pastor to serve this congregation was Rev. Bjug Harstad. (1875-1879)  The first trustees were: Ole Nygaard, John Herberg, and John Ostbye.  The first families to join the church were: John Johnson Sathre Sr. and John Johnson Sathre Jr.  In 1876 the constitution was drafted.  

            In 1887 a new and larger church was built, but in the winter of 1891-1892 it mysteriously burned to the ground. In July 1895 a new church was built in the City of Hendrum, and the present church was built in 1958.




Go to USGen Web
This site is maintained by Colleen Goltz with
the dedication and assistance of the
Norman County Historical and Genealogy Society.
Last modified February 5, 2016

Copyright © Norman County Historical & Genealogy Society 2017