Biography of Martin Eriksen
Humboldt County, CA Biographies





MARTIN ERIKSEN. - As the newly appointed postmaster of Ferndale, under the Wilson administration, Martin Eriksen is destined to occupy a more or less prominent place in the affairs of this thriving little city for the next few years. He has been a resident of Ferndale since 1903 and is well and favorably known, having been in business during that entire time, and by his honesty and general application, as well as by a pleasing personality, he has won a host of warm friends. Needless to say, he is a stanch Democrat and a strong party man. He is well informed on all questions of local import and stands squarely for progress and municipal improvement along the best and most substantial lines.

Mr. Eriksen is a native of Denmark, having been born at Aarhuus, Jutland, November 5, 1867. He attended the common schools of the kingdom, and later entered the Dairy College, graduating in 1890 as a butter maker. He was reared and confirmed in the Lutheran church and is still identified with that denomination. Shortly after his graduation from the Dairy College Mr. Eriksen came to America, locating at first at Des Moines, Iowa, but soon going on to Council Bluffs, that state, where he worked for a year and a half as railroad laborer. It was in the fall of 1893 that he finally came to California, arriving in Humboldt county in November of that year. He at once took charge of the creamery at Loleta, and later that same season went to Arcata and took charge of the Arcata creamery No. 1, remaining for a year. He then went to Alton and for four years managed the Alton creamery, meeting with splendid success in this undertaking. The year following he was in charge of the creamery at Hydesville, and later was transferred to the Riverside creamery near Ferndale, where he remained for four years. He then came into Ferndale and purchased the cigar and candy store of John Bonniksen, and engaged in business for himself. Since then he has greatly enlarged his stock, extending the scope of his operations to include a line of shirts and men's furnishings, overalls, men's working clothes, Edison phonographs, and stationery.

Upon securing his appointment as postmaster (his commission bears the date of July 17, 1914) Mr. Eriksen sold his store to his son, Viggo Eriksen, who is carrying on the business along the same general lines that his father had established.

The marriage of Mr. Eriksen occurred at Des Moines, Iowa, in 1892, uniting him with Miss Dora Bonnilcsen, who, like her husband, is a native of Denmark, coming to America at about the time that he did. Of their union have been born four children, all natives of Humboldt county, where they are growing to manhood and womanhood and receiving their education. They are Margaret, Viggo, Botihilda and Johanna. Since establishing himself permanently in business in Ferndale Mr. Eriksen has purchased a comfortable home, which he keeps up in an attractive manner.

In addition to his business and political prominence in Ferndale, Mr. Eriksen is also well known in fraternal circles, where he is an influential member of several orders and well known and well liked. He is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and both he and Mrs. Eriksen are members of the Rebelcahs and take an active part in all the affairs of that organization. The order that claims the warmest support from the new postmaster, however, is the Danish society known as Dania, a beneficial society which now has twenty three lodges and more than two thousand members. During the thirty five years of its existence it has been very popular with the Danes in America. Mr. Eriksen has done splendid work in its behalf and is the present grand president of the Dania Society of California, an honor which he fully appreciates.

Personally Mr. Eriksen is a man of many attainments, and is a linguist of ability, speaking and writing the Danish, German and English languages. He is of a bright and sociable disposition, making friends easily and readily, and keeping them always. His wife and family are also genial and pleasant in disposition, creating an air of helpfulness and good will wherever they are to be found. The appointment of Mr. Eriksen for the position of postmaster is a direct indorsement of his personality, rather than of his political
faith.

From:
History of Humboldt County, California
With a Biographical Sketches
History by Leigh H. Irving
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1915


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