When Hans M. Aune’s funeral was held business stopped for a two-hour period of time based on a mayoral proclamation.

That gesture was a reflection of a community  about one of its own – a man who had a significant impact politically, as well as economically and in terms of entertainment in Redwood Falls....

 

When Hans M. Aune’s funeral was held business stopped for a two-hour period of time based on a mayoral proclamation. That gesture was a reflection of a community  about one of its own – a man who had a significant impact politically, as well as economically and in terms of entertainment in Redwood Falls. H.M. Aune was born in Norway May 9, 1861. He was the son of Jon and Mattie (Batsager) Aune.  After his father died in 1875, Aune’s mother left Norway and traveled across the ocean ultimately calling Red Wing  her home. Aune, at the age of 19, after securing his education in Norway, made the trip to the United States also arriving in Red Wing.  In Red Wing, Aune furthered his education and began working as a clerk at C.C. Clausen’s dry good store. He and his mother then moved to Zumbrota where Aune worked at Clausen’s dry good store in that community. When the owner of that business died, Aune began working for Fred George also in Zumbrota. It was in 1887 when Aune headed west to Redwood Falls where he went into partnership with P.M. Ringdahl in a clothing business then known as Aune and Ringdahl. In 1888, Aune got a new partner when Gunder Thune bought Ringdahl’s share of the business. This change in ownership led to what in the City of Redwood Falls was a mainstay for years – Aune and Thune. While Aune saw great business success in Redwood Falls during his lifetime, he also became an active member of the community serving in a variety of capacities. Aune served on the Redwood Falls city council and also served as the mayor for four terms, and according to accounts written about Aune those years were “Marked by great progress.” Aune also served as a county commissioner and spent time on the school board as well as serving on the commercial club. Aune, it seems, found enjoyment in being involved in the Redwood County fair and was active in assisting with that event each year. He served as president of the Redwood County Agricultural Society and was active in helping people from throughout the county find access to the fair through the running of special trains each day the fair was held in Redwood Falls. Of course, there were challenges for Aune, too, as his business survived two fires. In 1903 a fire swept through the area where Aune and Thune was housed, and that fire wiped out the entire stock of the store. In 1926 a second fire devastated the business, but by 1927 Aune and Thune was up and running once again. Aune’s active life also involved time spent in the organization of the Redwood Falls Electric Telephone Com-pany. He served on the board for that entity for a decade. Aune was elected to serve in the state legislature by the people the Redwood area, and in a resolution adopted by the state legislature following his death, Aune was called “one of its most beloved members.” Aune married Corrine Swain in 1893, and to this marriage four children, Hazel, Harold, Irene and Eleanor were born. By the end of his life, Aune had served his community for more than five decades, and his imprint on the community is still being seen today.