John Wallin was a pioneer of the Mouse River loop. Arriving in 1881, he established his homestead, which became one of areas most prosperous farm.
Wallin was born in Vivexo, Sweden, July 20, 1860. He migrated to the United States at the age of nineteen. He first settled in Millersville, Minnesota; but in September 1881, he moved to the Burlington area of Ward County, Dakota Territory. He filed for Section 16, Harrison Township, Ward County in 1883.
Wallin farmed 460 acres lying along the Mouse River and focused on grain and cattle. He was a founding member of the Harrison school board and was involved in the sale of Harrison school to the Minot Normal School. He served two terms on the board of county commissions. From 1909 to 1911 he was a member of the North Dakota State Senate. Wallin’s service in Bismarck is remembered for his efforts in keeping the construction of the normal school at Minot alive against stiff regional and state government resistance.
When legislators from Velva wrote a scathing letter against the morality of Minot and its inadequacies for a normal school, Senator Wallin responded to the allegations in the editorial of the Ward County Independent. He noted that ” … the good people of Minot should protest against the slanderous argument.” However, Senator Wallin understood that Minot had its undesirables, and noted “so does Velva, and all other towns.” During the 1911 session, he proposed the initial appropriation’s bill for the construction of the normal school. The $252,000 funded the Main building, the West Dormitory, and the plant building, as well as the necessary furniture for the facilities. However, the governor later reduced the funding to $200,000, which resulted in only the east and part of the north wing of the Main building being completed.
In 1884 Senator Wallin married Christine Anderson, who was born in Sweden. Christine died in 1894, leaving three children, Carl; Mary; and Emma. He married a second time to Augusta Anderson, also of Sweden. She died in 1928, leaving one son, Edward Robert. Senator Wallin died on December 9, 1931 at the age of 71.
Biographical information sources:
Crawford, Lewis. History of North Dakota, Volume III. The American Historical Society, Inc., 1931.
Ward County Independent, Minot, North Dakota.