M.J. Solum came to the United States at age 15 in 1888. In 1893 he engaged in the hardware business in Hitterdal, Minnesota until his death. The store remained open until 1973. The Solum Store was a general merchandise store dealing in coal, twine, machinery, and grain lift movers. The store had several contracts with various dealers. One of their bigger ones was the state prison in Stillwater, Minnesota. Others included International Harvester Company, Avery Power Machinery Company of Peoria, Illinois, and the Fargo Plumbing and Heating Company, Fargo, North Dakota.
The Solum Hardware Store Records are arranged topically and chronologically. Most of the collection consists of correspondence and journals.