Brodersens have been a part of Forest Grove since 1906. Forest Grove was then a village of muddy streets, wooden sidewalks and horses and buggies still vying with the new-fangled automobile as the way to get around. Family Patriarch, Carl Brodersen had traveled from his homeland of Germany in 1888, arriving in New York, then going to Chicago where he met and married Dorothy Moeller, a native of Denmark and where they had six sons. Carl worked with the railroad, and as his family grew they moved to Forest Grove for a better environment and climate. They chose Forest Grove because of the description on the label of a Carnation Milk can. Soon after arriving, the family established a 25-acre farm, 1 ½ miles south of town in Dilley. Sometime around World War I, Carl opened a paint store in Forest Grove, marking the emergence of the Brodersen name in Forest Grove’s business sector.
Arthur Emil Brodersen was born May 19, 1896 in Chicago and was the oldest of four surviving sons. He was 10 when they moved to the Dilly area in 1906, and that is where he met his future wife Ethel Nelson. But that would have to wait until he got back from the war.
Arthur E. Broderson served as a private 1st class in the U.S. Army during WW1. His unit: Company D, 162nd Infantry, 41st Division, set sail for the European Theatre aboard the USS Susquehanna (ID-3016) on the 12th of December, 1917.
Returning home in late 1919 he quickly married Ethel and they moved to Forest Grove. Arthur worked as a painting contractor which made good business sense as his father’s paint store was thriving. The building industry was booming, and everyone was moving on with their lives. One year later their only daughter Virginia was born.
The Forest Grove City surveys state: “In 1924 this modest home was built for Mrs. Arthur Brodersen. The Brodersens had purchased a mail order design for this “builder bungalow”, which was then constructed by James S. Loynes.” Loynes is credited with building many surviving homes and buildings in Forest Grove. Loynes along with his partner Enoch Moore, also operated a planing mill behind what is the Star Theatre (Theatre in the Grove}.
Arthur continued his work with his father as a painting contractor. During World War II he headed the Air Warning Raid service and helped organize volunteers. He was a founding partner with his brother, Frank of Brodersen’s Furniture in 1943. It was located at 2030 Main Street and was a big part of the downtown business district for many years.
Ethel had worked as a file clerk for Sears Roebuck prior to their marriage and then she worked at the Brodersen Store from 1945 to 1951 in addition to being a mother and homemaker. Several months each year she also worked in local canneries. In later years she was a caretaker for her husband Arthur.
In August of 1952 while working on a roof, Arthur fell and suffered a broken back. Although losing the use of most of his lower body, Arthur remained active in business and in the community. Some of those activities included:
Arthur passed away in 1981 at the age of 84 after living in the Brodersen House for 57 years.
Ethel sold the house three years later in 1984 and passed away 13 years after that, at the age of 99.