While he has been a resident of Fertile but five years Joseph Melaas, manager of the Monarch Elevator company,
has made his mark on the business activities of the village and established a reputation for good judgment, enterprise
and determined persistency in whatever he undertakes and has risen to a high rank in the estimation and regard
of the people as a bnsiness man and a wide awake and progressive citizen, keenly alive to the general welfare of
the community along all wholesome lines of development.
Mr. Melaas was born and reared on a farm in Winneshiek county, Iowa, one of the younger of the fifteen children
of A. John and Grunhild (Blegebcrg) Melaas, natives of Norway. He obtained a good common school education in his
native county, and after attaining the age of twenty-one years clerked in a store at Ridgeway, in that county,
for a period of five years. In 1902 he went to North Dakota and took up a homestead on which he lived until the
spring of 1906. He then sold his claim and moved to Clearwater county, Minnesota, where he was occupied in the
livery business for two years, and also served as census enumerator of four townships in Clearwater county, and
in addition he was a member of the Shevlin school board and the village council.
In November, 1910, he located at Fertile and again entered the livery business, which he followed here for one
year. During the next year he was employed by the Thorpe Elevator company at Milnor, North Dakota, and at the end
of that period was appointed manager of the Monarch Elevator company at Fertile, which position he has held continuously
since, and since he came to Fertile he has held the office of village assessor here. His farm of 160 acres in Godfrey
township, this county, is well improved and nearly all under cultivation. It is very productive and steadily increasing
in value, for he gives it intelligent attention and conducts its operations according to the most approved methods
of present day farming.
Mr. Melaas was married June 6, 1903, in Wild Rice church at Twin Valley. Norman county, Minnesota, to Miss Louise
Ask, a native of that county. They have two children living, Beatrice J. and Vera E. The parents are members of
Synod Lutheran church and take an active part in all its good works for the improvement of the community, throughout
which they are well esteemed as they richly deserve to be.
Compendium of History and Biography
of Polk County, Minnesota
Maj. R. I. Holcombe, Historical Editor
William H. Bingham, Feneral Editor
W. H. Bingham & Co.
Also see [ Railway Officials in America 1906