Reared in a remote Upper Peninsula lumbering settlement, August Klagstad toiled in the mill piling pine slabs. But the high-pitched whine of the big saws could not drown out his dreams for a brighter future. When he exchanged his leather work gloves for brushes and a palette of oils—an artist emerged. A faithful Lutheran, Klagstad specialized in religious paintings. Today, Klagstad’s altar paintings can be found in churches throughout the United States. His “sermons on canvas” have inspired generations of worshipers in Michigan and across the nation.
Julius Larson was born in Vastergotland, Sweden on June 20, 1868. He immigrated to the United States in 1888 and arrived in Manistique on April 3, 1888 at age 19. He was employed with Frank N. Cookson’s crew, working in the woods. In 1893 he traveled back to his native Sweden for a visit. Returning to Manistique in 1894, he continued his employment with Frank Cookson in the woods.
Larson left Cookson’s employment in 1899 and opened the City Meat Market in partnership with Albert Gustafson. The first customers at the store were Margaret Curley, Mrs. A. S. Putnam and Mrs. Virgil Hixson. Paddy Hunt was hired as the first delivery boy.
John A. Falk was born on a farm in Dalsand, Sweden, on February 6, 1864; the son of Andrew Johnson Falk and Maja Lisa Eriksdotter. John grew up in a family of ten children and attended school in his home village of Grinstad. A family crisis occurred when John was 15 years old which changed his life forever. His father encountered severe financial reverses including the loss of the family farm. John and his siblings, who were old enough to work, were forced to fend for themselves.