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Nils H. Lovin

By | Last Modified: May 5, 2017
Nils Lovin (Center)

Nils Lovin (Center) stands in front of a Standard Oil he constructed. Son Carl is seen on his right.

Nils Lovin was one of Bismarck’s leading local builders from 1893 until his death in 1932. Post-mortem, his sons continued in the contracting business until the 1940s.

Lovin was born in Estad, Sweden in 1866. At age 21, he immigrated to the United States and settled in Saint Paul, where he first entered into the construction and contracting business.

Lovin moved to Bismarck in 1893, the same year he married wife Annie Lindhal. Lovin had moved to Bismarck upon winning a construction bid. Until his death, he remained one of the city’s leading builders, constructing numerous residential, commercial, and government buildings of the era.

Until 1901, Nils was partnered with Matt Glineburg and jointly operated under the name “Glineburg & Lovin.” His sons, Carl and Oscar, later joined Nils in the business and continued long after his death.

Among the most noted buildings constructed by Lovin were Saint Mary’s Church, the Wards Building, most regional Standard Oil stations, and many buildings at Fort Lincoln (now UTTC). Lovin was also often employed for maintenance and repairs at the State Penitentiary. A master at decorative crown-molding and wood carving, Lovin often lent his talents to other local builders.

Lovin died in January 1932 of a cerebral hemorrhage from complications of a stroke that had paralyzed his right side. He was survived by his wife and their two sons.

On a personal note, I am proud to say that Nils Lovin was my Great-Great Grandfather. He is one of the biggest reasons I am so passionate about the city. 


  1. Gw

    March 23, 2014 at 9:24 am

    Do you have a list of properties he may have built? I just bought a home on rosser that was built in 1921. Doing some research. Have not seem the abstract yet. Thanks

    • Randy Hoffman (admin)

      March 23, 2014 at 9:31 am

      Sorry, but I don’t have a list of all of the properties. The era certainly makes it possible.

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