Ember Embretson is a representative of the fine Scandinavian element of citizenship that has contributed effectively to the material and civic development and progress of Clayton county and though he is able to claim Norway as the place of his nativity he has passed virtually his entire life thus far in Clayton county, where he is a scion of an honored pioneer family and where he is a prominent exponent of the fundamental industry of agriculture, his finely improved homestead being eligibly situated in Wagner township, a short distance south of the village of St. Olaf, though his greater prestige as an agriculturist lies in his ownership of valuable landed estates in both Minnesota and South Dakota. He has been for many years one of the well known and influential citizens of Clayton county and for a period of twenty years he was successfully engaged in the general merchandise business at St. Olaf, where also he served as postmaster. As a sterling and honored citizen and influential man of affairs he well merits recognition in this publication. Mr. Embertson was born in Norway, on the 27th of July, 1849, and in the following year his parents, Ole and Goso (Larson) Embertson came to America. They were numbered along the pioneer settlers in Wagner township, Clayton county, Iowa, where the father passed the remainder of his life as an energetic and substantial farmer, his wife likewise having died on the old homestead place, and both having been earnest communicants of the Lutheran church. Of their children the subject of this sketch is the eldest; Lars is now a resident of the State of Montana; Annie is deceased; Johanna is the wife of W. Louis Larson and they reside in Minnesota; Knute maintains his home at St. Olaf; Gunnell became the wife of Jacob Larson and is now deceased; Henry is a prosperous farmer in Wagner township; Oscar is a resident of Riceville, Mitchell county; and Ludwich is a representative farmer of Wagner township, Clayton county. Reared under the conditions and influences which marked the pioneer epoch in the history of Clayton county, Ember Embertson attended the local schools when opportunity afforded and in the meanwhile he gained invaluable experience in connection with the work of the home farm, with the operation of which he continued to be associated until he had attained to the age of twenty-two years. He then opened a modest general store at St. Olaf, and from a small inception he built up a large and prosperous business, to which he continued to devote his attention for a period of about twenty years, when he retired from this line of enterprise, after having served during the greater part of this interval as postmaster of the village. While thus engaged in business at St. Olaf Mr. Embretson purchased his present fine little farmstead of sixty-six acres, a short distance to the south of the village, and here he erected his commodious and attractive modern residence, which continues as the family home and which is a center of unostentatious hospitality and good cheer. In South Dakota Mr. Embretson is the owner of a valuable estate of seven hundred acres, and in the State of Minnesota he has four hundred and eighty acres, both of these properties receiving on his part a general supervision. He is a stalwart in the camp of the Republican party and has been influential in its local councils and campaign activities. He served four terms as trustee of Wagner township and has been notably liberal and progressive as a citizen. Mr. Embretson is one of the substantial men of Clayton county and is a stockholder and director of the St. Olaf Savings Bank. Both he and his wife are communicants of the Lutheran church at St. Olaf. As a young man Mr. Embretson wedded Miss Betsy Larson, of Reid township, and she is survived by four children- Geneva, Farina, Adelia, and Ella. For his second wife Mr. Embretson wedded Miss Nellie Hulgerson, who was born and reared in this county, and they have two children- Phelman and Edwin, who remain members of the home circle.
source: History of Clayton
County, Iowa; From The Earliest Historical Times Down to
the Present; by Realto E. Price, Vol. II; pg 108-109
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