Your Stories – Claresholm & District Museum
The Story of John M. Soby. (excerpt from Where The Wheatlands Meet The Range Vol. I)
John Soby, an early settler of Claresholm was born in Norway in 1856, came to Minnesota in 1883, later, in 1886, moved to Crary, North Dakota. Mr. Soby was married to Miss Anna Emanuelson in 1886. Together they had 8 children. In 1904, Mr. Soby came to Claresholm and lived on a homestead, and in 1905 moved his family up from North Dakota. About this time a store had burned down in Claresholm and the new building had been built on the same foundation. The owners wished to sell, so Mr. Soby bought the store and right away put in a stock of groceries and dry goods. In 1910 he built an addition on the west side using it as a hardware department. He also enlarged the North side for the grocery department, meanwhile keeping up his farming interests. Mr. and Mrs. Soby continued to run the store until 1937, at which time Mr. Soby passed away. Mrs. Soby passed away a few years earlier in 1935. In 1938 Roby Soby (their son) having store experience formed a partnership with Bert Smith, his brother-in-law from Saskatchewan, and purchased the store from the Soby estate.