One of the able and successful lawyers of Watonwan county is Jens L. Lobben, of St. James, who has been a leader
of the local bar for a number of years and a conspicuous figure in the courts of this locality. He was born at
Eker, Norway. August 1, 1862. He is a son of Andres L. and Sophia (Stangeby) Lobben. The father was born at Eker,
October 18, 1830, and the mother's birth occurred March 15, 1834. They grew to maturity in Norway and were married
there, June 7, 1861, and in the spring of 1875 they set sail for the United States, locating in Jackson, Wisconsin.
The father received a good education and became a minister in the Norwegian Lutheran Synod. For some time he preached
in Jackson and Trempealeau county. He came to St. James, Minnesota, in i 879, and became pastor of the church of
his denomination in Albion township, also of the church in Longlake township and Rosendale township, Watonwan county.
He also preached in St. James and at a church in Odin township, and he owned a farm one mile from St. James, which
claimed most of his attention. He finally retired from active life and died in St. James, July 26, 1904. His widow
survived until January 23, 1908. To these parents the following children were born: Jens L., of this sketch; Lars
is living; Olaf, deceased; Dorothy, deceased; Marie is living; Andres, deceased; Peter is living; Carl, deceased.
Jens L. Lobben attended the public schools and a private school in Norway. He was twelve years old when he accompanied
the family to Jackson, Wisconsin, where he attended the public schools for some time; later he was a student in
the Lutheran College at Decorah, Iowa, for about three years. He came to St. James in 1879, and worked as a clerk
and at other jobs, attending school during the winter months, including one winter at Mankato. He began the study
of law in the office of J. W. Seager, and was admitted to the bar on January 30, 1896, and soon thereafter began
the practice of his profession in St. James. After about six months he formed a partnership with his preceptor,
Mr. Seager, under the firm name of Seager & Lobben. This partnership lasted until 1902, when it was dissolved,
and Mr. Lobben returned to the office he occupied during the first months of his practice and has remained here
to the present time. He has built up a large and satisfactory clientage and has kept fully abreast of the times
in all that pertains to his profession. He was city attorney of St. James for a period of nine years, and he was
elected mayor in 1914. He has been a member of the board of education for four years. As a public servant he has
discharged his duties in a manner that has reflected much credit upon himself and to the satisfaction of all concerned.
He belongs to the Lutheran church. He is prominent in fraternal circles, and is a member of the Ancient Free and
Accepted Masons, Concordia Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, the Cornmandery, Knights Templar and Order of Eastern Star;
also the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and the Modern Woodmen of America.
Mr. Lobben was married in 1884, to Julia Andersen, of Linden, Brown county, Minnesota. She is a daughter of Hans
Andersen, a farmer, who first came to Fillmore county, and later to Brown county, where his death occurred. His
wife also died there. The village of Hanska was built on a part of the Andersen farm, Mr. Andersen having sold
thirty acres for a townsite. To Mr. and Mrs. Andersen the following children were born: Anton lives in New Ulm;
Dorothy married Frank J. Gove, of Boise, Idaho, and she died about thirty years ago, leaving two children, William
and Dorothy; Mads lives in New Ulm; Ellen is unmarried; Julia, wife of Mr. Lobben, is the youngest.
Mr. Lobben is a stockholder and director in the St. James Telephone Company. He owns land in Polk county, Minnesota.
He is descended from an old and highly esteemed Norwegian family, which lived on the same farm in Norway for generations
consecutively. His paternal grandfather was Lars Lobben, a son of Christian Lobben, who was a son of John Lobben.
History of Cottonwood and Watonwan Counties
Their People, Industries and Institutions
John A. Brown, Editor in Chief
B. F. Bowen and Company, Inc.
Cottonwood and Watonwan Counties, MN Biographies
Also see Railway Officials in America 1906