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Great-grandson returns to Spring Grove to visit brewery

Spring Grove is unique in that it once had a brewery. Usually the art of brewing is credited to people of other nationalities, but in Spring Grove we had a Norwegian, who, as far as we know, built a brewery and a beer cellar for the purpose of making beer.

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Carl and Lois Myhre of Rolette, N.D., visit the site of the brewery built by Carl’s great-grandfather

The name of this man was Johan "John" Pedersen Myhre, who was born Jan. 2, 1839, in Eiker, Norway. This, I believe, is what we would call a county, northwest of Drammen, Norway.

Thursday, May 10, Carl Myhre, great-grandson of Johan, returned to Spring Grove with his wife, Lois, from Rolette, N. D., to visit the site of his grandfather’s brewery. They were very happy to see how well the site has been taken care of and that the city mows the grass, making it very accessible to reach on foot.

About Johan Myhre

He came to Spring Grove in 1859 when he was 20 years old. He married Ingeborg, daughter of Ole and Kari Stensrud, who came to Spring Grove in 1852 from Krodsherred, Norway.

Myhre was one of the first blacksmiths in Spring Grove and lived in a log house across Highway 44, where Mrs. Amos Swenson now lives.

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The beer cellar built by Johan ‘John’ P. Myhre back in the 1860s

Myhre must have purchased land from his father-in-law for building the brewery and cellar. In the 1870 census, his occupation is listed as ’brewer.’ This brewery was able to produce 15,000 gallons of beer in one year.

In 1871, Rev. Styrk S. Reque was called as pastor to serve the Norwegian Lutheran Church at Spring Grove. It was largely because of his efforts in 1876 that the saloons in Spring Grove were voted out.

Teman Gilbertson purchased the land and the brewery from Myhre, with the condition that the manufacture of beer be discontinued.

Life after the brewery

Myhre’s wife died April 10, 1868. They had one son, Peder Olavus, born June 6, 1866, who became Register of Deeds in Wells County, N.D.

Myhre married again, this time to Jorgine Glasrud, daughter of Christian and Bertie Marie Glasrud of Spring Grove.

When the couple left Spring Grove in 1879 to settle on a farm west of Kindred, N.D., they had two sons, Christian and Albert, and a daughter, Mathilde. A daughter, Inga, was born in North Dakota.

Myhre worked on a railroad, after which he farmed until he died Aug. 28, 1895.

More family history

Peder Olavus Myhre, son of John P. Myhre and his first wife, Ingeborg, married Anna Christine Ellingson (Snedkerpladsen), daughter of Elling E. Ellingson and Else Amundsdtr Liudahl, Spring Grove residents.

Peder and Anna had six children, one of whom was C. Oscar Myhre. C. Oscar Myhre and his wife, Ruth, were the parents of Carl O. Myhre, great-grandson of Spring Grove’s most famous brewer.

Georgia Rosendahl

Bluff Country Newspaper - 27 May 2007
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