Our History

In 1894, Henry Somsen, SR came to New Ulm as a graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School. Since he was only 19 years old at the time, he had to wait two years to be admitted to the bar. Until 1896 he was a law clerk for John Lind and later became his partner. Lind was elected to serve in the United States House of Representatives and as a United States Senator. In 1899, Lind was elected governor of Minnesota.

 Henry Somsen Sr. and Einar Hoidale were law firm partners from 1900-1906 until Hoidale moved to Minneapolis and was later elected a member of Congress. In 1909, Somsen partnered with attorney W.H. Dempsey through 1946. There were several additional partners along the way.

 In 1934 Henry Somsen JR was admitted to the Bar and joined his father at the firm. When Henry Somsen SR died in 1955, Henry Somsen JR practiced alone until 1964 when Terence M. Dempsey became his partner. The following year, Dempsey opened the firm’s law office in Sleepy Eye. William M. Schade joined the firm in 1972 and Steven J. Franta joined the firm in 1994. The firm name then became Somsen, Schade and Franta. Steven J. Franta eventually purchased the firm in 1997.

In 2003, Somsen, Schade and Franta merged with the Mueller Lowther law firm. The firm name became Somsen, Mueller, Lowther and Franta. In 2013, the firm joined with the Sommerness Law firm in Hutchinson which is now called Sommerness Franta and Associates. In January 2014, the firm joined with the Hauser and Schmid law firm in Sleepy Eye and is now called Hauser, Schmid, Franta and Associates. Since 1896, the law firm has serviced its clients and community for 120 years!