Tory Thorson was a busy man! He came to America at the age of 9 in 1855. He attended school in Wisconsin, served in the Civil War and came to Glenwood in 1866. He held the offices of deputy treasurer, postmaster, justice of the peace, clerk of court, and judge of probate. In 1886 he opened a lumber business. He was vice president of the Bank of Glenwood. His home was a favorite place for community gatherings, county commission meetings, city council meetings, and more. Many things that had to do with the development of Pope County had their origin at some meeting held in the Tory Thorson home. Among them: the building of the Northern Pacific and the Soo Line Railroads through here, the election of Frank Eddy to congress, the building of the first court house on Court House Square in 1879, the election of Knut Nelson as governor of Minnesota… The Thorson house is, to the best of our knowledge, the oldest home in Glenwood and is still a private home.
Mr. Thorson also contributed to this beautiful resting place:
‘On motion of the Village Council, the proposition of Tory Thorson to donate to the Village of Glenwood five acres of land south of town for burial ground purposes, on condition that the Village take steps toward improving and enclosing the same suitable for such purposes, was accepted on the 17th day of October 1884.’
Tory Thorson and his wife, Olina, had five children; Alice, Edwin, Guy, Lillian and Mable. Lillian’s may be the oldest grave in this cemetery. She died an infant on April 10, 1875. This land was not yet a cemetery and her body was likely moved here after the grounds were improved and laid out. The life dates for Oline, Mable and Lillian are carved on the same stone. Daughter Alice received a fine education here and in Europe. She wrote a novel, The Tribe of Pezhekee, from which our Minnewaska legend is derived.
The Glenwood Cemetery Association maintains the grounds with funds from the sale of burial plots, interest from investments and from memorial gifts. As you research your family ancestry and visit their graves, consider a gift to the cemetery. The “Contact Us” page has details.