Louis M. Larsen was a prominent farmer in the early days of St. Louis Park, and served on the Village Council.
Larsen was born in 1873 or ’74 in Denmark and came to the US in 1880. In 1900 he was a dairyman in Minneapolis.
In 1901 Louis began dairy farming in the Park, although Louis, Jr. says that technically, his father “owned a farm” and hired others to work it. The workers were hired through a government agency located in Minneapolis. The farm was 180 acres, stretching from about Louisiana Ave. to present-day Highway 169, all north of the Great Northern Railroad. He had about 50-60 head of cattle. Due to the poor soil in the Village, the property didn’t yield any crops. Louis, Jr. remembers herding the cattle down Cedar Lake Road to pasture them just north of Eliot School.
All but 10 acres were sold in the 1940s, and became the basis of the Minneapolis Golf Course. He retained the buildings, which were located at about Texas and Cedar Lake Road. Louis, Jr. bought the cattle from his mother and bought another farm further west down Cedar Lake Road in Minnetonka.
Louis and his wife Julia’s children were:
- Everette, born 1900 (died young)
- Russell, born 1902
- Leslie I., born 1904
- Evelyn M., born 1906
Julia died in 1915.
In 1920 Louis was married to Christine and they had three additional children:
- Laverne A.M., born 1917
- Lucille C., born 1919
- Louis Martin, born on October 24, 1924
The Larsens were prominent in the society pages of Hennepin County newspapers of the 1920s and ’30s.
Louis’s primary endeavor was as an insurance man; the ad below is from the 1938 directory.
According to the research of Norman Thomas in his thesis “St. Louis Park, Story of a Village” (years are years of the elections, which were held in November):
1905-1910: Trustee on Village Council
1911: President of the Village Council
1912: Lost Presidency to Charles Hanke
1914: Lost Presidency to Charles Hanke
1916: Lost Presidency to Charles Hanke by 3 votes
1921: Lost bid as Trustee
1934: Lost bid as Trustee. In a campaign ad he listed his qualifications:
Mr. Larsen has been a taxpayer for 33 years, and has had eight years of experience as a member of the Council. He was president of the Patrons’ Cooperative Fire Insurance Company for a period of 12 years. Last winter he was elected president of the Production Credit Association of Hennepin, Carver and Wright Counties. He has pledged himself to fight for a lowering of the tax burden and stands for a more economical village administration.