Biography of Gustaf A. Uline

Gustaf A. Uline, born on October 12, 1849, in Wermland, Sweden, emigrated to America at nearly eighteen. After stints in Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota, he settled in Dell Rapids, South Dakota, in 1874. Uline opened one of the first general stores in the town, eventually establishing the Dell Rapids State Bank in 1892, where he served as president. A Republican, Uline was Dell Rapids’ mayor and a member of the state board of charities and corrections. Married to Minnie Friborg since 1877, they have five children. Uline is active in the Baptist church and the Masonic order.

Gustaf A. Uline is one of the representative citizens of Dell Rapids, Minnehaha county, with whose business and civic advancement and material progress he has been prominently identified, while he has gained a competence through his well-directed efforts since coming to the state and is held in the highest popular confidence and esteem in his community. Mr. Uline is a native of Wermland, Sweden, where he was born on the 12th of October, 1849, being a son of Andrew and Charlotte (Biraths) Uline, who passed their entire lives in Sweden. The subject secured his educational training in the excellent schools of his native land, having taken a course of study in the Technical College. As a young man of nearly eighteen years, he severed the ties which bound him to home and fatherland and set forth to seek his fortunes in America. He located in Michigan, where he remained a few months, thence going to Wisconsin, where he was employed in different vocations for a short interval, after which he moved to Minnesota and was employed in railroad work. Later he moved to Lansing and Cherokee, Iowa, in the meanwhile gaining valuable knowledge in regard to the country and its language and business methods. From Iowa, he went to Jackson, Minnesota, where he was employed in a clerical capacity in a mercantile establishment for three years, at the expiration of which, in 1874, he came as a pioneer to what is now the state of South Dakota, locating in Dell Rapids, where he opened a general store, being one of the first merchants in the town. He continued this enterprise for eighteen years, having initiated operations on a modest scale and having eventually built up a large and profitable business, through the conduct of which he had accumulated a competency. He disposed of his interests in this line in 1892, in which year he organized the Dell Rapids State Bank, of which he was elected president, an incumbency which he has ever since retained, while the institution has become one of the solid and popular financial concerns of the state and controls a large business. He is also a stockholder in the First National Bank of Dell Rapids and has been a member of its directorate for a number of years past. Mr. Uline is a man of distinctive business and executive ability and impregnable integrity of character, and is known as a loyal and public-spirited citizen. He is a stalwart advocate of the principles of the Republican party and has been an active worker in the party cause and prominent in its councils, having been a delegate to various state and county conventions, while Governor Mellette appointed him a member of the first state board of charities and corrections in which capacity he served six years, being a valued member of this important body. In 1880 he was elected mayor of Dell Rapids, serving two years and giving a most able and satisfactory administration of municipal affairs, while for the past decade he has been a member of the local board of education. He is an active and influential member of the Baptist church, of which Mrs. Uline is also a zealous member, and fraternally is identified with the Masonic order, in which he has passed the Knight Templar degrees, and is also identified with the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.

On the 13th of November, 1877, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Uline to Miss Minnie Friborg, who was likewise born in Sweden, and they have five children: Alma C., Mary D., Grace B., Minnie, and Augusta D.


Robinson, Doane, History of South Dakota: together with mention of Citizens of South Dakota, [Logansport? IN] : B. F. Bowen, 1904.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top