Biography of Robert Thogersen

Robert Thogersen, born in Denmark on July 28, 1841, emigrated to the United States at age 28. He settled in Turner County, South Dakota, where he secured a homestead and married fellow Dane Marie Madsen in Yankton. They had six children: Arthur, Henry, Charlie, Mary, Grant, and William. Thogersen farmed 160 acres near Yankton until his death on February 24, 1903, making significant improvements and utilizing modern machinery. A respected Lutheran, his successful and principled life exemplified the opportunities available in America. Marie Thogersen continues to manage the family farm with notable business acumen.

Robert Thogersen, now deceased, was born in Denmark on the 28th of July, 1841, and to the schools of his native country he was indebted for the educational privileges he enjoyed. The favorable reports which he heard concerning the new world and its advantages attracted him and when twenty-eight years of age he made arrangements to leave his native country and seek a home in the United States. On reaching the Atlantic coast he made his way into the interior of the country and secured a homestead claim in Turner County, South Dakota. He soon took another step toward having a home of his own, this being his marriage to Miss Marie Madsen, who was also born in Denmark. The wedding was celebrated in Yankton and the marriage was blessed with six children: Arthur, who is now twenty-eight years of age; Henry, aged twenty-six; Charlie, twenty-five years of age; Mary, twenty-one years of age; Grant, a youth of seventeen; and William, a lad of fourteen years. The two eldest sons are attending Brookings College, where Arthur is pursuing a course in mechanical engineering and Henry is taking a commercial course. Both are manifesting good ability in their chosen lines. The daughter is in business in Iowa and the younger sons are attending the home schools through the winter months, while in the summer seasons they assist in the operation of the home farm.

For a number of years, Mr. Thogersen engaged in the operation of a farm of one hundred and sixty acres near Yankton, in fact, continued its cultivation and development up to the time of his death, which occurred on the 24th of February, 1903. He was a prosperous agriculturist who thoroughly understood his work and conducted it along progressive lines. He made excellent improvements there, erected good buildings, and used modern machinery in the development of his fields. He possessed a resolute nature that enabled him to carry forward to successful completion whatever he undertook and he was highly respected by all who knew him because of his fidelity to upright principles. He belonged to the Lutheran church, of which his wife and children are also members, and his honorable career gained for him the respect and goodwill of his fellow men. The hope that led him to leave his native land and seek a home in America was more than realized. He found the opportunities he sought—which, by the way, are always open to the ambitious, energetic man—and, making the best of these, he steadily worked his way upward. He possessed the resolution, perseverance, and reliability so characteristic of people of his nation and his name was enrolled among the best citizens of Yankton County. Mrs. Thogersen is still managing the home farm left her by her husband. She is an intelligent lady of culture and refinement and in the control of her property displays excellent business ability and executive force. She has every reason to be proud of her interesting family and she is preparing them for the practical and responsible duties of life by giving them excellent educational privileges.


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

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