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Manuscripts by Subject - Agriculture - #11130

Title: Horace A. Holtan

Dates: ca. 1910-1920

Collection Number: 11130

Quantity: 3.25 feet

Abstract: Papers consist of materials relating to Holtan’s invention and patenting of a grain cleaner, a diploma, a pictorial history of trains, several unidentified photographs. Horace A. Holtan was a resident of Falkirk, ND since 1910.  His interest was in steam engines and railway systems.  He was a farmer and in the fall he used his own threshing machine to do threshing for himself and others.  Mr. Holtan died on November 14, 1967.

Provenance: Helen Rivinius donated MSS 21021 a Pictorial History of Trains to the State Historical Society of North Dakota on October 9, 2006.  She donated additional material in July 2012 which became the Horace A. Holtan Papers. MSS 21021 was added to MSS 11130 at that time. Emily Schultz prepared the inventory to the collection in July 2012.

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.

Related Collections:
10999 Pearl Harbor Survivors Association North Dakota Chapter. Records
11129 Harold and Helen (Holtan) Rivinius Papers
Glass negatives of the threshing crew were donated in 1968-1970 to the Society by Larry Knudtson, a grandson.  

Transfers: Several books were transferred to the State Archives’ Publications. See case file for titles.


From Holtan’s obituary in The Washburn Leader November 16, 1967 p. 1

Horace Holtan, 78, Washburn, died at a Bismarck Hospital Tuesday… after being hospitalized for one month…

Mr. Holtan was born August 10, 1889, at Forest City, IA, where he attended school and Waldorf College. He attended the College of Engineering at Mankato, MN. In 1910 he moved to the Washburn area to work for his uncle, Ole Holtan. He married Kristine Nilson at Washburn April 9, 1913. In 1915 he began farming six miles northwest of Washburn. He did custom threshing for many years, served on the Farmers Elevator board at Falkirk and the Buffalo Lake school board for many years, and was a public administrator. In 1958 Mr. Holtan and his wife moved into Washburn. On April 7, 1963, the Holtans celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at Washburn.

Mr. Holtan leaves his wife, two sons, Hurley and Elliott, both of Washburn; six daughters, Mrs. John (Gladys) Goetz, Mrs. Marion (Doris) Knudtson, both of Washburn; Mrs. Russ (Esther) Cyrus, Milwaukee, WI; Mrs. Harold (Helen) Rivinius, Mrs. Theodore (Donna) Kleingartner, both of Bismarck; Mrs. O. Larry (Joy) Larison, Dubuque, IA; five brothers, Arthur, George, both of Lake Mills, IA; Elmer, Forest City IA; Rev. Walter, Oakland, CA; Gilman, Thor, IA; three sisters, Mrs. Marie Calson, Forest City, IA; Mrs. Henry (Nora) Johnson, Spearfish, SD; Mrs. Walter (Stella) Anderson, Thompson, IA; 20 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by one sister, one brother, one daughter and one grandchild.

Box / Folder Inventory

Box 1:
1 Patent for Holtan’s grain cleaner, with illustration and description, patented October 5, 1920
Pocket cyclopaedia of Patent and Trade-mark Law, and information for Manufacturers and Inventors   
American Injector Company, Detroit, MI, product catalog, 1910
Issue of The Washburn Leader with articles about enlisted men, September 14, 1917
“Evidence” booklet by H. L. Woodward about patents, ca. 1910
News clipping about Grant Goodfellow and his working model steam threshing engine, November 1953
News clipping “to the editor” by Horace A. Holtan regarding the Lemke fund, n.d.
Four unidentified photographs of: a group of unidentified men, an unidentified event with people riding on horseback and in covered wagons, and men working on a farm (possibly going hunting)
2 Pictorial history of trains (belonged to Horace Holtan)

Oversize              (map case folder)
Blueprint of the Grain Cleaner that Holtan invented
Diploma, Southern Minnesota Normal College, completion of Steam and Gas Engineering course of study, June 2, 1910

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