Biography of Peder Freng

Peder Freng was born in Norway on April 26, 1846, to John and Bertha Freng. In 1869, at the age of 23, he emigrated to the United States, settling in Yankton County, South Dakota. Freng developed a successful 160-acre farm, raising cattle and Poland-China hogs. He married Anna Freng on January 6, 1874, and they had six children. A dedicated Republican, Freng served as a school officer and county commissioner. He was a member of the Lutheran church and contributed significantly to the local community’s development and education. Freng built his home in 1890 and continuously improved his farm property.

Peder Freng.—Norway has sent many of her sons to the new world, and the northwest especially owes much of its substantial improvement and growth to this valuable class of our American citizenship, for they who come from the land of the midnight sun are industrious, energetic, frugal, and honest people, whose value in the building up of this portion of the country is widely acknowledged. Mr. Freng was born in Norway on the 26th of April, 1846, and is a son of John and Bertha Freng, who spent their entire lives in their native land where his father always followed the occupation of farming. The subject was there reared and educated, and then when twenty-three years of age, he sought a home in the United States, crossing the Atlantic in 1869. He settled in Yankton County, South Dakota, and he has a brother who is now living near him.

Locating upon his present farm, he now has one hundred and sixty acres of good land, on which he raises crops that he feeds annually to his stock. He is raising both cattle and Poland-China hogs, and his sales bring to him a very creditable and gratifying income. He has planted all of the trees upon his farm and has made valuable improvements which constitute it one of the very desirable farm properties of the locality. Although he found that America afforded good advantages to its citizens, he also found that difficulties and trials were to be borne at times. He lived here when the grasshoppers destroyed all of the crops and was also bothered to a considerable extent with the crickets, which were so numerous that they in some localities stopped trains. His brother’s property suffered because of the flood, though he saved most of his cattle by putting them on top of a shed. Mr. Freng has gained very desirable property since coming to America and now has a nice home, in the rear of which stand substantial barns and outbuildings, and these in turn are surrounded by good fields or by pasture lands, wherein are fed many head of stock. He has planted an excellent orchard, including both cherry and apple trees, having two acres planted to fruit. He erected his home in 1890 and also built large barns.

On the 6th of January, 1874, occurred the marriage of Mr. Freng and Miss Anna Freng. Her mother came to Yankton County and is still living in this locality, having attained the age of eighty-one years in April 1903. The subject and his wife have six children: Mary, who is the wife of Matt Hanson; Bertha, the wife of Ole Bruget; Ida, who was educated in Yankton and is now a successful school teacher at Jamesville; Emil, at home; and Karl and Clara, who are also with their parents.

In his political views, Mr. Freng is a Republican who has served as a school officer and as county commissioner. The cause of education finds in him a very warm friend, for he realizes its importance as a preparation for life’s practical duties. He belongs to the Lutheran church and in citizenship is very progressive, doing everything in his power to promote the material development of his community. Intelligent and enterprising, his labors have been effective and far-reaching for the benefit of the county, and at the same time he has so directed his business efforts that he has become a leading representative of agricultural life in his adopted state.


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

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