Guide to the Kim Rosholt Papers,​ 1885-​1909

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Summary Information

Title: Kim Rosholt Papers

Inclusive Dates: 1885-1909

Creator: Rosholt, Kim, 1864-1920

Call Number: Eau Claire Mss AT

Quantity: 2.0 c.f. (5 archives boxes)

Repository: Housed at the Area Research Center, William D. McIntyre Library, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire; owned by the Wisconsin Historical Society, Library-Archives Division

Archival Locations: UW-Eau Claire McIntyre Library / Eau Claire Area Research Ctr. 

Abstract: Papers of Rosholt concerning his involvement in land and timber sales and the colonization by immigrants of northern Wisconsin's cut-over regions. Rosholt acquired options from Knapp, Stout, and Company and other lumber and railroad interests for large tracts of northern Wisconsin land and sold the land primarily for farm purposes. The collection contains correspondence with individual land purchasers and with land dealers and lumbering firms including George B. Burrows of Madison, Gale and Company and O. H. Osmundsen of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Knapp, Stout, and Company of Menomonie, the North Western Lumber Company and the Stirling Lumber Company of Eau Claire, and Prokop Plecity of Haugen in Barron County. Also included in the collection are land contracts and miscellaneous legal papers documenting Rosholt's Wisconsin land business and correspondence concerning land acquisitions in Houston County, Tennessee.

Language: English

Search Terms/Subject Terms

  • Burrows, George B.
  • Osmundsen, O. H.
  • Plecity, Prokop
  • Gale and Company (Minneapolis, Minn.)
  • Knapp, Stout, & Co., Company (Menomonie, Wis.)
  • North Western Lumber Company (Eau Claire, Wis.)
  • Stirling Lumber Company (Eau Claire, Wis.)
  • Land Use—Wisconsin
  • Lumber trade—Wisconsin
  • Real estate investment—Wisconsin
  • Houston County (Tenn.)


As a colonizer of the cut-over region, banker, and manufacturer, Kim Rosholt made a mark on the economic life of northern Wisconsin. He was born of Norwegian immigrant parents on December 27, 1864, in the town of Scandinavia, Waupaca County. After studying law in the office of a Waupaca attorney he entered the land business, first in St. Paul, Minnesota and by 1889 in Thorp, Clark County. Sometime late in 1890 or early in 1891 he moved to Eau Claire and in May 1891 he greatly expanded his colonization activities by securing an option on a large tract of Barron County land owned by Knapp, Stout, and Company of Menomonie. Subsequently he entered similar agreements with the North Western Lumber Company and the Stirling Lumber Company both of Eau Claire, and others. Most of Rosholt's holdings were in the counties of Barron, Chippewa, Clark, Eau Claire, and Dunn, although he also had some dealings in other northern Wisconsin counties as well.

In addition to selling the lands himself, Rosholt subcontracted with agents including O.H. Osmundsen of the Northern Pacific Land Agency and the North Wisconsin Land Company of Minneapolis, Minnesota and Prokop Plecity of Haugen in Barron County to sell lands optioned to him. Substantial efforts were directed toward attracting recent immigrants to settle the cut-over lands. Rosholt advertised in many foreign language newspapers including some in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Chicago and Moline, Illinois, Minneapolis, and Omaha, Nebraska. The letterhead on his business stationery proclaimed that letters could be answered and maps and literature provided in eight different languages (English, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, German, Polish, Bohemian, and Finnish). In addition, he had agreements with the Wisconsin Central Railroad and the Omaha Road whereby land seekers could purchase tickets at half price on Rosholt's authorization. About 1900 Rosholt acquired large land holdings in Houston County, Tennessee which he promoted for fruit growing.

Closely related to his land sales activities were his interests in various banks and lumber companies. He helped organize banks at Chetek, Fall Creek, and Waupaca, and was involved in the formation of the Union National Bank, the Union Savings Bank, and the Union Mortgage Loan Company in Eau Claire. The Northwestern Iron and Steel Works of Eau Claire and the National Products Company of Pensacola, Florida, a manufacturer of barber and beauty shop supplies were also Rosholt enterprises. Kim  Rosholt died in Eau Claire on January 4, 1920.

Scope and Content Note

The records and papers in this collection pertain almost exclusively to Kim Rosholt's colonization and land sales activities. The collection includes correspondence, a record book of land sales, copies of land contracts, and a few miscellaneous legal and land related documents.

The correspondence forms the largest component of the collection and is almost exclusively incoming. Included are general correspondence, separate files of letters of Knapp, Stout, and Company, O. H. Osmundsen, and Prokop Plecity, and a file concerning Rosholt's Tennessee investments. The general correspondence primarily concerns land dealings and includes letters of individual purchasers as well as large land and lumbering concerns. Among the frequent correspondents are George B. Burrows of Madison; Gale and Company, a real estate and mortgage loan firm from Minneapolis; the Lusk, Nye, and Hudson Lumber Company of Thorp, the North Western Lumber Company of Eau Claire, the Ramsay Land Company of Madison; Henry Reuter of Rice Lake and later of Dexter, Missouri; Henry Sherry of Neenah; and the Stirling Lumber Company of Eau Claire. Principal correspondents in the Knapp, Stout, and Company file are E. J. Newson and W. H. Allen, but there are also a few letters by L. S. Tainter. The Tennessee investments correspondence is primarily with John M. Harris.

The land sales record is arranged by county and shows legal description of the land, from whom it was purchased by Kim Rosholt, to whom it was sold, record of payments, and other information. The land contracts are printed on a standard form. They show name of purchaser, legal description of the property, and terms of the contract. The majority relate to northern Wisconsin, but a few pertain to Cass County, North Dakota.

Related Material

Some information on Kim Rosholt's later career can be found in the records of the Union Mortgage Loan Company (Eau Claire Mss AR).

Administrative/Restriction Information

Acquisition Information 

Presented by Lois Barland along with the records of the Union Mortgage Loan Company, 1977. Accession Number: M77-374

Processing Information 

Processed by Harry L. Miller, April 1981.

Contents List

General Box/Folder 1/1-111889-1900Box/Folder 2/1-21901-1908Box/Folder 2/3-8Knapp, Stout, and Company, 1891-1902 Box/Folder 2/9O. H. Osmundsen, 1899-1901Box/Folder 3/1Prokop Plecity, 1899-1905 Box/Folder 3/2Tennessee Investments, 1900-1902 Box/Folder 3/3Land Sales Record, 1890-1900Box/Folder 3/4Miscellaneous Papers, 1885, 1891-1905, 1909 
Land Contracts, 1890-1903 Box/Folder 4/1-4Barron County Box/Folder 5/1-2Chippewa CountyBox/Folder 5/3Clark County Box/Folder 5/4Dunn CountyBox/Folder 5/5Eau Claire County Box/Folder 5/6Pepin CountyBox/Folder 5/7Cass County, North Dakota