Anton Karpen Biography


This biography appears on pages 1097-1098 in "History of Dakota Territory" by George W. Kingsbury, Vol. IV (1915) and was scanned, OCRed and edited by Maurice Krueger,


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ANTON KARPEN. Anton Karpen is secretary and manager of the Farmers Lumber Company of Webster and his progressive spirit and devotion to the general good is further indicated in the fact that he is president of the Commercial Club of the town. Minnesota claims him as a native son, his birth having occurred in Nicollet county, that state, on the 9th of October, 1877, his parents being Valentine and Magdalena (Dorn) Karpen, both of whom were natives of Germany. The former was born April 30, 1846, and was a son of Peter Karpen, who passed away in Nicollet county at the age of eighty-six years. The mother of Anton Karpen was also born in 1846 and was a daughter of Mathias Dorn, who also passed away in Nicollet County when he had reached the venerable age of eighty-six. Both Valentine Karpen and Magdalena Dorn had come to the United States in childhood with their respective parents, who settled in Wisconsin. They were both educated in that state and there remained until after their marriage, removing to Minnesota in the early '70s. Mr. Karpen purchased a farm in Nicollet county and there engaged in general agricultural pursuits until his death.


He was active in community affairs, was a stalwart supporter of the Democratic Party and held various township and school offices. His religious faith was that of the Catholic Church. He was a self-made and self-educated man, became widely known throughout his county and was highly respected by all. He died in 1908, while his wife passed away in 1879. They were the parents of six children: Mathias, a well-to-do citizen now living at New Ulm, Minnesota; Mary, the wife of William Miller, a retired farmer, now proprietor of a restaurant and pool hall at Webster, South Dakota; Hubert, living on the old homestead in Minnesota; Anna Lucy, the wife of L. Giefer, a Minnesota farmer; Anton; and Peter, who is a general merchant and postmaster at Medina, North Dakota. Anton Karpen was educated in the common schools of his county and the high school of Glencoe, Minnesota, and was graduated with the- class of 1898. He followed teaching for three years after which he entered the lumber business, accepting a position with the Lampert Lumber Company as manager of their Cleveland, Minnesota, yard.


On the 8th of January, 1906, he arrived in South Dakota, where he assumed the management of the business of the Lampert Lumber Company, in which connection he continued for three years, when he resigned and entered into partnership with Mr. Mohs in the conduct of a furniture business. Some time later, however, he sold his interest in that connection and bought out the lumber company in October 1911, now conducting his interests under the name of the Farmers Lumber Company, of which he is the secretary and treasurer. He also owns another yard at Eden, South Dakota, and is enjoying a liberal patronage, his business having now reached extensive and gratifying proportions. He is always reliable in his dealings and progressive in his methods and his unfailing enterprise has brought him growing success.


In 1898 Mr. Karpen was united in marriage to Miss Mary A. Albers, who was born at Shakopee, Minnesota, and was educated in the schools of Glencoe, that state, to which place her parents removed when she was but a year old. Mr. and Mrs. Karpen have a family of five children: Esther, attending the high school; Genevieve Anna, Antonio and Helen Marie, all in school; and Alice. Mr. and Mrs. Karpen are members of the Catholic Church and he holds membership in the Knights of Columbus and the Catholic Order of Foresters. He belongs also to the German Society of Minnesota. In politics he is a democrat and when a candidate for the office of county clerk in Nicollet county, Minnesota, he received every vote in his township save two but was defeated by a majority of forty-eight although the republicans usually polled a majority of about eight hundred. The vote, which he received, was certainly very flattering and indicated his personal popularity and the confidence reposed in him. Mr. Karpen is greatly interested in the good roads movement and is the executive member for the state of the Yellowstone Trail, giving generously of his time and money to the project of building this road, which is a connecting highway between the Falls of St. Anthony and the Falls of the Yellowstone and which is now being extended from coast to coast. His interest in the welfare of his home city is indicated in the fact that he is president of the Commercial Club. He is a capable businessman and above all a public-spirited citizen and is making his work and his influence count for good.