Biography of Iver Bagstad

Iver Bagstad, a representative business figure in Yankton County, exemplifies the potential of determined youth. Born in Norway in 1843, he immigrated to the United States at a young age and grew up in Wisconsin. In 1869, he ventured to South Dakota, then a frontier region, and settled near Volin. After years of farming, Bagstad established himself as a successful merchant in Gayville, facing and overcoming numerous challenges. His business grew under his capable leadership, eventually expanding into the livestock industry. A respected Republican, Bagstad held public positions and earned the trust of his community. He married Elena Aaseth, and together they raised six children.

IVER BAGSTAD.— The subject of this sketch is one of the representative business men of Yankton County, retaining his residence in the village of Volin, and his career illustrates in no uncertain way what is possible of accomplishment on the part of a young man who will bend his energies to the accomplishment of a definite object. Mr. Bagstad is a native of Norway, where he was born on the 28th of January, 1843, being a son of Peter and Mary Bagstad, who were likewise natives of that portion of the far northland, where they were reared. When the subject of this sketch was in his seventh year, his parents immigrated to America and located in the eastern part of Wisconsin, where his father took up a tract of wild land, which he reclaimed to cultivation, and there our subject was reared under the conditions of pioneer life, his educational privileges therefore being very limited. In August 1869, in company with his parents, he came to South Dakota, which was then on the very frontier of civilization, and the family located about four miles south of the present thriving village of Volin, Yankton County, where our subject continued to be engaged in farming about four years. In 1873, he took up his residence in Gayville, where he engaged in the mercantile business, starting in a most modest way and having to encounter many difficulties and put forth the most strenuous efforts, but the enterprise grew to be one of magnitude under his effective direction. His capital was very limited at the start, but such had been his course that he held the confidence of all who knew him and his credit was practically unlimited as the business grew in scope and importance. Finally, he admitted as a silent partner his brother-in-law, John O. Aaseth, having in the meanwhile become extensively engaged in the livestock business, which required his attention to such a degree that he needed a competent and reliable man to look after the details of the mercantile business. In 1893, he effected the organization of the J. T. Daugherty Company and engaged extensively in the livestock business, and finally the demands placed upon him by this enterprise became so great that, in 1901, he disposed of his extensive interests in Gayville and has since devoted his entire attention to his other business affairs, having his residence and headquarters in Volin. In politics, Mr. Bagstad is a stalwart Republican, taking an active interest in the cause, and he has been called upon to fill positions of public trust and responsibility. He was the postmaster at Gayville for sixteen years, and he served two terms as county commissioner. He and his wife are members of the Lutheran church and have the esteem of all who know them.

On the 22nd of February, 1872, Mr. Bagstad was united in marriage to Miss Elena Aaseth, who was likewise born in Norway, and of their six children, four survive, namely: Paulina, Clara, Ida, and Chester. All of the children remain at the parental home except Ida, who is attending college in Yankton at the time of this writing.


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

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