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SHSND Home > Archives > Archives Holdings > Archives & Manuscripts > Family/Local History > 10685
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Manuscripts by Subject - Family / Local History - #10685

Title: Nelson and LaMoure family

Dates: 1870-1989

Collection Number: 10685

Quantity: 1.25 ft.

Abstract: Consists of correspondence of Nelson E. Nelson, Judson LaMoure, Judson LaMoure Jr., Judson LaMoure Ihrig, as well as financial and legal documents, marriage records, certificates, and photographs. The collection of primary documents is quite diverse, and includes several early read state contracts, LaMoure's 1874 wedding certificate and witness list, business receipts, 1892 Republican National Convention donation receipts, correspondence regarding Nelson's government appointment commission and Nelson's claim for a Civil War pension, personal estate documents, political "letters of introduction," and business receipts.

Provenance: The collection was donated to the SHSND by Jessie Hunter Lorenz in 1995. Fred Weisberger donated additional material to the collection in 2018. Weisberger was a friend of Judson Ihrig, great-grandson of Judson and Minnie (Nelson) LaMoure.

Property Rights:  The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to this collection.

Copyrights: Copyrights to this collection remain with the donor, publisher, author, or author's heirs.  Researchers should consult the 1976 Copyright Act, Public Law 94-553, Title 17, U.S. Code or an archivist at this repository if clarification of copyright requirements is needed.    

Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Citation: Researchers are requested to cite the collection title, collection number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.


Hon. Nelson E. Nelson, deputy collector of United States Customs, was born about 13 miles from Christiania, Norway on December 25, 1831, to John and Anna Knudson. Nelson's father died before he was born, and his mother passed away when he was about seven years old. He then lived with his maternal grandparents, Ole and Martha Knuteson. He attended common schools until age 10, and was admitted to Lier's Seminary, from which he graduated at age 14. After teaching school at his parish for about a year, he came to the United States. He stopped for a short time in New York City, then went to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He remained there for a time doing chores while attending school to learn the English language. He then spent a short time in Prairie du Chien, and in the fall of 1849, went to Black River Falls and was engaged at lumbering during the ensuing winter. The following spring, he went down the river on a raft to St. Louis, then returned to La Crosse, Wisconsin. He traveled for a year before clerking in stores. In 1853, he began clerking in the United States Land Office at Red Wing (Minn.). He enlisted in Company A of the First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, and was discharged for disability in November 1863. He returned to his home in Henderson (Minn.) and took a part in public affairs there. He served as deputy county auditor of Sibley County, judge of probate two years, and register of deeds for four years. In 1869 he was appointed special deputy collector of customs for the district of Minnesota, and was stationed at Pembina, Dakota, then the chief port of the district. He represented his district in the Territorial legislature at Yankton, 1882-1883, held the position of United States Commissioner for about 12 years, and was one of the two delegates from Dakota to the national republican convention in Chicago in 1884. At Pembina, he filed the first homestead patent in the land district, which then included all of North Dakota. Nelson was an honored member of the Grand Army of the Republic and the masonry. He established the Masonic lodge at Pembina. He married Martha Hansen at La Crosse (Wisc.). They had the following children: Minnie E. (Married Judson La More), Charles B., Annie, Martha, Mary, George W., Cora L. and Lulu M.

Judson LaMoure was born in Frelighsburg, Quebec, Canada on March 27, 1839. He came to Dakota Territory in 1860, was elected to the legislature in 1866. In 1870, he came to what is now North Dakota. LaMoure's legislative career included a term in the Territorial Assembly in 1872-1873, terms on the Dakota Council in 1877 and 1885, a term in the Territorial House for the 1881 session at Yankton. He served as Republican senator from Pembina (later Pembina County) from 1889-1912. There are varied accounts written about LaMoure's years as a public official. He has been referred to as "The Nestor of the public men of Dakota." Another version is that Judson LaMoure and Alexander McKenzie were the lords of the era, protecting the interests of the railroads, insurance companies, banks, lumber companies and line elevators.
Judson LaMoure married Minnie Nelson on December 3, 1874. They were the parents of six children.
On October 21, 1882, E. P. Wells, who owned the land on which the City of LaMoure now stands, filed the original plat of the town. He sold three lots to Minnie LaMoure for $800. It is not known whether the LaMoures ever came to the town of LaMoure. The three lots were later taken by the county for taxes.
Judson LaMoure had farming interests in Pembina County and was in the mercantile business in Pembina and Neche for many years. He died in 1918.

: A History of LaMoure (p. 1)
Illustrated Album of biography (p. 789-790)


Box 1:
1  Nelson E. Nelson correspondence, 1870-1907
2  Judson LaMoure correspondence, 1875-1892
3  Correspondence about Judson LaMoure, 1881
4  Miscellaneous correspondence, 1892-1989
5  Marriage records, 1874-1890
6  Legal documents, 1875-1919
7  Financial documents, 1876-1912
8  Certificate of appointment, Nelson E. Nelson Deputy Collector of Customs at Neche, 1897
9  Miscellaneous, 1892-1959

Box 2: Photographs 00001-00020              

Box 3: Photographs 00021-00029


00001   Elevator, managed by William Hunter, Pembina (D.T.), ca.  1880
00002   Portrait of young girl named Jessie, ca.  1895
00003   Portrait of Judson LaMoure Jr., ca.  1880
00004   Portrait of woman, possibly Minnie LaMoure, ca.  1880
00005   Portrait of Judson LaMoure Jr., ca.  1880
00006   Girl seated on roof of log house with dog, ca.  1890
00007   Portrait of a man, ca.  1880
00008   Portrait of Judson LaMoure Jr., ca.  1890
00009   Portrait of Judson LaMoure Sr., ca.  1890
00010   Portrait of J. H. Worst, Williamsport (N.D.), ca.  1890
00011   Portrait of a woman, ca.  1890
00012   Portrait of a man, ca.  1890
00013   Portrait of a woman, ca.  1890
00014   Portrait of Judson LaMoure Sr. with dog Fritz, ca.  1890
00015   Portrait of a woman, ca.  1885
00016   Print of  painting of a woman, ca.  1885
00017   Portrait of a woman, ca.  1890
00018   Portrait of four women, including Pearl Daniel LaMoure in the lower center, ca.  1895
00019   Portrait of Esther LaMoure, ca.  1900
00020   Portrait of Judson LaMoure Sr., ca.  1870
00021   Group beside and on flooded home with rowboat, paddles and dogs, possibly in Pembina (N.D.), ca.  1890
00022   Portrait of Judson LaMoure Sr., ca.  1875
00023   Portrait of a young woman, possibly Luella LaMoure (Ihrig), ca.  1920
00024   Portrait of a young woman, possibly Luella LaMoure (Ihrig), ca.  1920
00025   Portrait of a young woman, possibly Luella LaMoure (Ihrig), ca.  1920
00026   Portrait of Judson LaMoure Sr., ca.  1890
00027   Portrait of Judson LaMoure Jr., ca.  1920
00028   Judson LaMoure Jr. with daughter Luella and a new automobile, his wedding gift to her and H. K. Ihrig, ca.  1925
00029   Group outside First National Bank, Pembina (N.D.), April 28, 1893
00030   Andrew Nelson, unidentified girl, unidentified girl, Esther LaMoure, and Luella LaMoure (Ihrig) at the old N.E. Nelson home, Pembina (N.D.), ca.  1911

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