Born at Solor, Norway. His family came to America in 1868 and settled near Blair, Wisconsin. Married to Annie Simonson June 1, 1884. They had eight sons. He was involved with several railroads beginning with the Green Bay and Western Railroad. In 1888 he was employed with the Northern Pacific Railroad in Montana. For seven years he was roadmaster of the Wisconsin Central Railroad. He worked as roadmaster for the Union Pacific Railroad until 1902.
Granberg was also in the mining business. In 1905 he organized the Stemp Springs Coal and Power Company. In 1906 he organized the Hahn's Peak Gold Mining and Milling Company in Colorado. He organized the Pluto Gold and Copper Mining Company in Wyoming and the Jack Pot Mining and Milling Company also in Wyoming. In 1914 he was injured in a mine accident in Columbine, Colorado. He was a resident of Oshkosh, Wisconsin. He wrote the charter for the ANA and secured passage through Congress. The bill was signed by President Taft May 9, 1912. He served as 11th ANA President September 1, 1915, to August 29, 1917. He was ANA life member number 67. He was a member of the Chicago Numismatic Society and the New York Numismatic Society. He was appointed by President Wilson to serve on the 1916 and 1917 Assay Commissions.
Granberg purchased an 1804 dollar from William Idler via Haseltine. At the 1912 ANA convention he exhibited an extensive collection of fractional currency. At the 1917 ANA convention he exhibited paper money proofs. His collection included the 1884 and 1885 Trade dollars.
Parts of his collection were sold at auction by B. Max Mehl July 14, 1913. Mehl had additional Granberg coins in his sales of July 16, 1919, and November 19, 1919. The remainder of his collection was sold piecemeal to Woodin, Raymond and others.
Granberg was a member of many civic organizations. He was a member of the National Geographic Society, the Benevolent and Protectorate Order of Elks, the Fraternal Order of Eagles and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He was a 32nd degree Mason and Shriner.
The July 1962 issue of The Numismatist had an article about Granberg that begins, "If the eleventh President ever revealed his biography to anyone, there was no record made of the statements." He is pictured on the 1986 ANA convention medal.
bio: NCAB 17; NUM 75 Jul 1962 p. 897-899; NUM/NIN 8/93
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H. O. Granberg archive related to the ANA congressional charter in 1912, as well as financial statements related to publication of the Numismatist during the same period. Includes correspondence with Edgar H. Adams, W. W. C. Wilson, Congressman James H. Davidson, Congressman William A. Ashbrook, Senator Clarence D. Clark, Senator Francis E. Warren, F. G. Duffield, and Judson Brenner. Courtesy of Bill Burd.