A.(Amund) O. Ringsrud was born in Norway on November 13, 1854. In 1867 at the age of 13, he immigrated to the United States with his family, settling in South Dakota. He attended a local public school and worked on his father's farm until the age of 16. He then received his initial merchantile training in a clerkship in a general store at Elk Point. He spent over eight years in this position, gaining broad practical experience. After completing his training, he developed an interest in local politics. He was elected to the office of the registrar of deeds of Union County in 1878. He was then elected Secretary of State of South Dakota in 1889, the first man elected to the position in the newly-organized commonwealth. He ran for governor in 1896 but was defeated.
In 1885, Ringsrud established a mercantile exchange in Elk Point, SD. He incorporated it under the name Ringsrud Merchantile Company in 1896, and it remained in business for over 75 years.
The A. O. Ringsrud collection includes receipts and bills of sales and advertising from companies that Ringsrud did business with. These materials are from businesses located in Minneapolis. Some of the businesses included are: Munsingwear, Victrolas, General Northwestern Agents, A.E. Johnson Co., Cunard and Scandinavian-American Lines, Common and Co. Grain Commission, C.G. Franklin Company (manufacturers of furniture), and Plant Rubber Co. The collection spans from circa 1900 to 1914.
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