ITS HISTORY AND TRADITION
H. N. OSHER
On the roster of those who have been prominently identified with the
development and up building of the town of Graettinger, Palo Alto county, the name of the late H. N. Osher merit's a place of honor. For many years he was a resident of this place and in the early epoch of her development as well as in later years his energies were effectively directed along normal lines of industry and business enterprise through which he made distinct contribution to the progress of this favored locality. His life was one of signal integrity and
usefulness and such was his relation to the business and civic affairs of the community that a record of his useful and honorable career should be preserved in the permanent annals of his section of the state.
H. N. Osher was a native of Wisconsin his birth occurring near Madison in
August 1862, while his death occurred on the 3d of May, 1921 in the fifty-ninth
year of his age. He attended the district schools of Wisconsin to his tenth
year, when the family moved to Iowa, settling on a farm in Emmet county. There
he spent the summers working on the farm and during the winter months
attended the neighborhood school, and while still in his teens he taught school for
two years. He then became a helper in the railroad station at Livermore,
where he learned telegraphy and eventually was appointed night operator. About
1885 he was appointed station agent at Graettinger, in which capacity he
served for three years. During this time he persuaded the railroad company to
permit him to put in a small stock of groceries at the station, a venture which
proved so successful that in 1888 he found it advisable to give his entire
attention to the store. To this end he resigned as station agent and established
the store which has carried his name continuously since and which he
personally directed most successfully for thirty-three years. Simultaneously with
the founding of the mercantile business, he also engaged in the grain and coal
business, which he conducted until 1905, when his mercantile business had
grown to such proportions as to demand his full time and attention, so he sold
the elevator to the Farmers Cooperative Company. Mr. Osher was a man of
remarkably sound judgment in business matters, was progressive in his ideas, while his methods were such as to gain for him the universal confidence and esteem of all who had business dealings with him. In all that constitutes true manhood and good citizenship he was a notable example and he honored the community in which he lived.
About 1886 Mr. Osher was united in marriage to Miss Sophia Jensen, of
Ringsted, Iowa, and to this union were born eight children, six daughters and two
sons, of whom the following survive: Lydia, who is the wife of Dr. F. W. Englund of Muscatine, Iowa; Mabel, the wife of A. H. Henningsen, present manager of the Osher department store; Esther, the wife of Ernest Jensen, a banker at Long Rock, Iowa; Ruth, the wife of R. W. Schooley, of St. Louis, Missouri; and Norman W., who graduated, with the degree of Bachelor of Science, from Northwestern University in 1924 and is now a student in the medical school of that institution.
A. H. Henningsen was born in Emmetsburg, Iowa, on August 12, 1895, and is
the son of Chris and Sena (Beck) Henningsen, who are now retired and are living
in Graettinger. He was educated in the public schools of Emmesburg, following
which he had one year at the University of Nebraska In 1914 he came into the
store of Mr. Osher as a general utility boy and clerk, remaining there two
years, and in the fall of 1916 established a clothing and men's furnishing
store at Titouke, Iowa. In the summer of 1917 he sold that business and enlisted
in the United States army, joining Company G, Thirteenth Infantry Regiment.
His regiment was sent to the Mexican border and was kept there until March
1919. He became a sergeant of his company and was honorably discharged on March 17, 1919. He then returned to Graettinger and again entered the employ of Mr. Osher, remaining with the business continuously since. On the death of Mr. Osher, in 1921 Mr. Henningsen was made manager, which position he still fills and is conducting the store along the same lines and on the same high
standard of commercial ethics followed so many years by the founder of the business.
On May 8, 1920, Mr. Henningsen was united in marriage to Miss Mabel Osher,
and they are the parents of a daughter, Doris Faye. Mr. Henningsen is a member
of Earnest Lodge, No. 399 A. F. & A. M., of Emmetsburg, and John Nelson
Post, No. 142, American Legion, at Graettinger. He and his wife are members of
the Methodist Episcopal church. He is a man of sterling character, is genial and
friendly in his social relations and has attained well deserved popularity
throughout the community.