The Seirup family story actually starts with Nels and Dagmar Nelson, who moved to St. Louis Park in 1920. Nels worked for Monitor Drill, and Mrs. Nelson ran a boarding house, perhaps at 3456 Wooddale Ave.
Nels’ and Dagmar’s daughter Dorothea was born in 1888 in St. Louis Park. She graduated in 1906. .
J.K Seirup was born in Denmark on April 3, 1886 . He came to Minneapolis at age 17 and became a cement contractor in 1908.
Dorothea married John K. Seirup on June 1, 1909. They moved to St. Louis Park in about 1920 and in 1930 they moved to 6121 Excelsior Blvd. in a house built in 1908. They lived there until 1941 when they moved to a house J.K. built at 4117 Brunswick. (In 1955 the Brunswick house was condemned in order to pave Excelsior Blvd. and it was moved to 4059 Vernon Ave., where it stands today.)
J.K. died in March 1944. Although never a Village officeholder, he was a respected businessman and a Mason and had a distinguished group of men as pallbearers.
Dorothea and J.K.’s children were:
Eleanor M. Seirup
George N. Seirup was born on December 14, 1909 and graduated in 1928. For awhile he and wife Marie lived in the Nelson home at 3456 Wooddale. He ran a Ford dealership for the Dahlbergs at Highway 7 and Wooddale. In 1939 he took over two school buses from the Bradleys and formed the Park Bus Company. He and Marie moved to Brunswick. He died on September 15, 2004 in San Bernadino, California.
Margaret A. Seirup graduated in 1928. She worked for the family business as a secretary. She married John Leslie in 1937. John had come to St. Louis Park to visit his aunt and uncle Shursens. In 1939 they constructed a building next to the Seirup garage and opened an appliance store. They had a son George who lived in California..
James K. “Jack” or “Jim” Seirup was born on December 25, 1919 and graduated in 1937. He did not work in the family business, although in 1945 he and wife Geraldine lived in a house his father had built at 4123 Brunswick. They had a son David. Jim died on September 18, 1987. While he lived in Silverado, California at the time, the story of his death is tragic: Jim was a member of a quartet that performed around the Twin Cities while they were in High School. The other members were David Jenkins, Danny Justad, and Ray Carlson. The group got together to perform at a class reunion, but just as they were ready to perform, Jim had a heart attack and died.
Neil R. Seirup lives in California.
For a memoir by Margaret Seirup Leslie, see Something in the Water.
J.K. Seirup was originally a cement contractor, and at first built his concrete blocks by hand. He and his crew built basements and houses, and did a great deal of work for the village building sidewalks and curbs.
J.K. was also a builder, building houses as early as the ’30s. He owned property on Brunswick Ave. south of Excelsior Blvd., and in 1940/41 he built the houses at 4123 Brunswick for son James K., Jr. and his wife Geraldine, and 4117 Brunswick for himself and wife Dorothea.
To carry him over in the winter J.K. opened a coal business at Wooddale north of the railroad tracks. He had a fuel and oil business there for many years.
When Highway 7 was built in front of his property in 1934 he built a Pure Oil gas station.
George Seirup operated a Ford dealership next to the gas station.
In 1939 Margaret’s husband John Leslie opened an appliance store west of the car dealership.
In 1943 J.K. bought the one-story section of the Walker Building and leased it to the Post Office for ten years.
See Highway 7 at Wooddale for more about the businesses of the Seirup family.