Henry R. Martinson was born in Minneapolis in 1883 and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1905. In 1906, he moved to the Crosby area and homesteaded there. He was the state secretary for the Socialist Party, and edited the Socialist paper Iconoclast. He worked at trade and with the labor movement in teh 1920s and 1930s, and ran for the North Dakota legislature on the Socialist ticket in 1936. He was appointed Deputy Labor Commissioner in 1937 and served in that position for 28 years. He wrote several books and articles about his life and political activity in the 1960s and 1970s.