Wedum: The Founder
The J. A. Wedum Foundation was incorporated in
1959 by the Wedum Family of Alexandria, Minnesota.
The initial assets were the remains of the J.A.
Wedum estate. This is where the journey begins.
Mr. J.A. Wedum emigrated here from Lillehammer,
Norway in the late 1880's and continued to have
strong ties to the family in Norway throughout
his lifetime. As he became successful, he went
back to Norway many times bringing his family
cars and all kinds of appliances from America.
A. Wedum owned, and operated a number of hardware
and lumber businesses throughout west central
Minnesota. He was an entrepreneurial banker and
business man who worked with rural farmers in
Douglas, Grant, & Pope Counties. J. A. Wedum not
only provided loans to farmers, but went to their
homes and taught them how to keep books, finance
projects, and achieve their goals in the farming
J. A. Wedum was always active in the communities
where he resided. His philanthropy included:
Helping found a church in Kensington, Minnesota
research on the Kensington Runestone
found a bank in Alexandria, Minnesota
an instrumental role in building the
Congregational Church in Alexandria Minnesota
It wasn't until after J. A. Wedum passed away, that his assets were truly known. Throughout his life, he provided dozens of loans to rural farmers on a simple hand shake. These appreciative farmers diligently made payments on their loans long after J. A. Wedum's death. It was these payments that were used to start the J.A. Wedum Foundation.
The Next Generation
Wedum, J. A. Wedum's grandson, soon became the
driving force behind the Foundation. John followed
in his grandfather's footsteps and became a very
successful business man and long time supporter
of charitable causes. John married Mary Beth,
and as a team they continued to drive the Foundation
forward with hard work and the fire in their hearts
to make a difference. It is from their hard work
and dedication that the Foundation has continued
to grow into what it is today.
The Foundation is currently based in Minneapolis,
Minnesota and has a long history of dedicating
substantial portions of its resources and energy
to charitable causes allowable under its broad
charter. Support for the education of youth has
always been a high priority. The Foundation also
promotes quality housing for seniors and students
and currently has properties throughout Minnesota,
Iowa and Texas.
Other examples of
charitable purposes include: making education more
accessible to young people everywhere, sponsoring
housing, caring for the aged and infirm, assisting
in areas of natural disaster, helping those with
limited financial means, protecting natural resources,
faith-based initiatives and programs working with
The J.A. Wedum Foundation published a book detailing
the history of the Foundation and commemorating
the life of John Wedum. If you are interested in
obtaining a copy, please contact the J.A. Wedum Foundation office.