Biography of Hon. Martin Victor Linwell of Northwood North Dakota

Hon. Martin Victor Linwell, born April 2, 1857, in Rush City, Minnesota, was a prominent figure in North Dakota’s early development. Son of Swedish immigrants John and Anna Linwell, he started his independent life at thirteen. Linwell established a loan and land office in Mayville in 1881 and later expanded his business ventures, including banking and retail lumber. Admitted to the North Dakota bar in 1887, he practiced law and served as Northwood’s mayor for six years. Linwell also promoted local agricultural and commercial enterprises. Married to Anna Paulson, he had three children: Wendell, Emmons, and Delia.

Hon. Martin Victor Linwell, one of the members of the North Dakota Constitutional Convention and mayor of Northwood for six years, was born in Rush City, Minnesota, on April 2, 1857. He is the son of John and Anna Linwell and was raised on a farm. His parents emigrated from Sweden to the United States in 1848. Mr. Linwell received an academic education at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota, and at St. Croix Valley Academy in Aston, Minnesota. He started his independent life at the age of thirteen without any resources and arrived in Fargo in 1880 with $10.00. In 1881, he established a loan and land office in Mayville, and in 1883, he opened a similar business in Larimore. He was admitted to the North Dakota bar in 1887 and practiced law in Northwood until 1891. During the same year, he entered the banking business in Northwood and later expanded to Aneta and Ray, North Dakota. He played a role in establishing the Northwood Trust and Safety Bank, the Aneta State Bank, and Linwell’s State Bank in Ray, N.D.

After 1893, Mr. Linwell ventured into the retail lumber business in Northwood and subsequently opened yards west of Minot. He also promoted the Farmers’ Elevator Company in Northwood and became involved with other elevators in the state. He owned and operated extensive farms near Northwood, including a stock farm with fifty registered Hereford cattle. Mr. Linwell is the president of the Linwell Hardware and Lumber Company in Ray, North Dakota, and the M. V. Linwell Lumber Company in Palermo, N.D. He organized a company with a paid-up capital of $75,000.00, in which he was the principal stockholder, for the purpose of operating a wholesale and retail department store in Ray, N.D. This company commenced business on November 2, 1908. In 1886, Mr. Linwell married Anna Paulson, the daughter of the late Henry Paulson of Hillsboro, N.D. They have three children: Wendell H., a graduate of the University of North Dakota in 1908; Emmons V., and Delia H.

Mr. Linwell has always been deeply invested in the well-being of his adopted town. He served as one of the first aldermen of the city and was mayor for six years. He has consistently shown interest in current public issues, provided support to the Northwood City Schools on several occasions, and served multiple terms as chairman of the school board.


C.F. Cooper & Company, History of the Red River Valley, Past and Present: Including an Account of the Counties, Cities, Towns and Villages of the Valley from the Time of Their First Settlement and Formation, volumes 1-2; Grand Forks: Herald printing company, 1909.

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