- S -


Click on picture for a larger view.
Asa was born 5 August 1844 in Vermont and died 20 May 1935 in Vermont.
In the 1880 and 1890 Census reports he is in Traill County. In the 1900 Census he is in Caledonia.
Asa was influental and was the early postmaster for both Goose River and Caledonia.
From Peacham, Vermont at about age 18, Asa enlisted as a Private on 16 September 1862. He mustered into Company F, Vermont 15th Infantry Regiment on 22 October 1862. On 19 February 1863 he received a disability discharge. He started receiving his disability in October 1863; $4.00, loss of sight in one eye.
He is in Traill County in the 1880 Census and is in the 1890 Veterans Federal Census as living in Caledonia. The 1900 Census lists him and family in Caledonia.
Asa secured a land grant of 160 acres in Section 22, Township 146, Range 49. This townships map shows he had land in Sections 14, 15, 22, and 23
He married Amanda L. Houghton in Traill County on 1 December 1878.
He is buried in Danville Green Cemetery, Danville, Caledonia County, Vermont with headstone being provided by the government as a veteran.
More information can be found on Asa by inserting his name into this website's Search Box.

See Vermont in the Civil War for more information.


North Dakota History and People - Outlines of American History
Volume II
The E. J. Clarke Publishing Company
1917 - Chicago

Ivar Seim, who is part owner of and conducts the Blanchard Mercantile Company at Blanchard, Traill county, was born in Norway, on the 3d of March, 1870, a son of Eric and Elizabeth (Hamre) Seim, both natives of that country, where they still make their home. To them have been born twelve children, all of whom are living, four residing in America and eight in Norway.
Ivar Seim [link has information on his spouse] was reared in his native land and attended the public schools in the acquirement of his education but in 1888, when a youth of eighteen years, emigrated to America and, making his way to North Dakota, located in Traill county. He worked as a farm hand for some time, but in 1896 came to Blanchard and established what is known as the Blanchard Mercantile Company, of which he is part owner and which he manages. He understands the business thoroughly and has built up a large and profitable patronage. The excellence of the goods carried and the reasonableness of his prices have commended him to the public and his business is one of the prosperous concerns of the town. He also owns two hundred acres of land on section 13, Blanchard township, which is well improved and which yields him a good return.


See Lars Isaacson Seim


In 1880 William was living in Township 146, Range 49. He enlisted as a Corporal into Company B, 111th Pennsylvania Infantry on 30 December 1861 and was released at the end of the war on 19 July 1865 at Washington, D.C. His wife, Adelia, started receiving a war pension on 10 July 1890. Burial, Tombstone Photo.


Andrew was born about 1837 and died 6 February 1900 in Minnesota .
He enlisted as a Corporal in Company A, Massachusetts 27th Infantry Regiment on 9 November 1861 and mustered out on 13 April 1863 at New Berne, North Carolina. He again enlisted on 22 February 1864 and mustered out on 21 June 1865. During the second enlistment he was a prisoner of war at Andersonville, Georgia. He started receiving his pension 9 December 1890 in Minnesota.
He is in the 1890 Veterans Federal Census as living in Mayville.
He is buried in Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis in the Grand Army of the Republic plot as a Veteran in Section A8 B 25.


North Dakota History and People - Outlines of American History
Volume II
The E. J. Clarke Publishing Company
1917 - Chicago

Joseph Sim, who holds title to seventeen hundred and sixty acres of valuable land in Kelso township and is president of the Farmers Elevator at Grandin, is one of the leaders in business and agricultural circles of Traill county. He was born in Oxford county, Ontario province, Canada, on the 2d of May, 1853, of the marriage of Francis and Elizabeth (Cousins) Sim, the former a native of Scotland and the latter of England. Both removed to Canada in their youth and there the mother passed away. The father died in Traill county, Xorth Dakota, while visiting his son. Ten of their fourteen children are still living.
Joseph Sim was reared under the parental roof and received his education in the public schools of Canada, where he remained until 1878. In that year he came to North Dakota, having heard much concerning the advantages offered the agriculturist here, and located on section 26, Kelso township, Traill county. He has erected excellent buildings upon his farm, where he still resides, and has purchased additional land from time to time until he now holds title to seventeen hundred and sixty acres, all of which is in a high state of cultivation. He raises an immense amount of grain each year, but has not confined his attention exclusively to grain farming as he recognizes the value of stock-raising, and he derives a gratifying addition to his income from that branch of his business. He is also a large stockholder in the Farmers Elevator at Grandin, of which he is the president.
Mr. Sim was married in 1884 to Miss Maria Lockhart, also a native of the Dominion, where her parents, James and Margaret Lockhart, both passed away. To Mr. and Mrs. Sim have been born six children: Blanche; Gertrude; Lida; Gordon, deceased; Milton, who is attending the Fargo College, and Frances.
Mr. Sim has given his political allegiance to the republican party since becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States, and for thirty years has been a member of the board of county supervisors and chairman for over twenty years, a record which indicates the high esteem in which he is held. He has also served on the school board for a long period of time. He is a thirty-second degree Mason and is also identified with the Foresters. He has given strict attention to the management of his afTairs, and his energy, foresight and good judgment have been richly rewarded, as he is now one of the well-to-do men of his section. He has also found time to cooperate with others in the promotion of the interests of his community, and has always had the greatest faith in the future of the county and state. He is widely known and his ability and integrity are universally acknowledged.


John was born about 1844.
He enlisted as a Private in 1862 into Company A, Missouri 8th Infantry Regiment, a Confederate Regiment.
In the 1890 Veterans Federal Census he is living in Caledonia.


Louis also used the alias of Mattes Matteasen, sometimes Matteson.
From the Norwegians in the Civil War; Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum: "MO 40th Inf Co A. Born 24 Sep 1840 in Tonsberg, Norway. Came to America to New York in 1860. Civil War: Enlisted in 1863. Private. Served at St. Louis, Missouri. Re-enlisted in Jun 1864. He served at New Orleans, Mobile, Alabama; and Spanish Fort. He was in a hospital at Jackson, Mississippi. Mustered out at Benton Barracks, St. Louis, Missouri, on 14 Aug 1865. Post war: He married, in 1872, Cora Christian (1845-1917). Eight children. Came to Fargo, North Dakota, in 1878 and to Mayville, North Dakota, in 1882. In 1901, he lived in Velva, [McHenry County] North Dakota. Joined the GAR. His occupation was painter. Died 16 Jul 1936."
With the use of alias it is difficult to determine but records indicate he enlisted in 1860 and that he also served in Company I 8th Eng Missouri Military. He started receiving his pension on 21 August 1890.
There are two biographies of him on this web site located at Page 67 in the Mayville Diamond Jubliee 1881-1956 and at page 128 in the A Saga of Two Cities [Mayville-Portland]. Both biographies include pictures.


Jacob L. Skrivseth was born December 26, 1853 in Nördmore, Norway.He came with his parents to America in 1869. They first settled in Freeborn County, Minnesota.
Jacob Skrivseth was educated in Norway and Minnesota. He learned the photography trade in Albert Lea, Minnesota. From there he moved to Fairbault, Minnesota, then to Fargo around 1878 or 1879. Although F. Jay Haynes was the first photographer to operate in the Fargo-Moorhead area, Skrivseth was the first to open a studio in the Fargo city limits on March 6, 1879. The exact location of his studio is unknown, it was located somewhere on Broadway. In the fall of 1879, Skrivseth became a partner of O. E. Flaten in Moorhead, Minnesota. The two men apparently built a traveling wagon with a built-in dark room. Flaten stayed in Moorhead and Skrivseth traveled throughout the Red River Valley shooting town and farm scenes. Flaten and Skrivseth also were the official photographers for the St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Manitoba Railroad (Later to become the Great Northern), according to an article in the February 1881 Moorhead Weekly Argonaut.
Mr. Skrivseth was married to Bertha Christenson on June 10, 1880 in Fargo, and they had three children, Henning, Margaret, and Jay.
In 1881 he dissolved his partnership with Flaten and moved to Buxton, North Dakota. He then moved to Hillsboro, North Dakota in 1882 where he opened a studio. While in Hillsboro he rose to prominence and served as the community’s mayor.
Around October 1896, Mr. Skrivseth returned to Fargo and bought the studio of Reis Larson, but after several weeks he sold this studio to C. L. Judd and left town.
By 1898 he opened a studio in Mayville, North Dakota and then one in Crookston, Minnesota. By 1905 he had moved to Minot, North Dakota and erected the Skrivseth Block. He went to Seattle during the year of the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition and worked there as a photographer. After the Exposition he returned to Minot and continued his business. In 1925 he moved to Williston with his wife and son Jay.
He died February 23, 1934 in Williston, North Dakota.

County Coordinator Note: In October 2004 while I was visiting Moorhead, Minnesota we were walking through the main Moorhead Downtown Shopping Mall. In one hallway was posted a blown up (probably eight by five feet) picture of downtown Moorhead. The sign on the side of a building which stood out the most was:
It was taken by O.E. Flaten Photos in 1879. The view was from Main and 3rd Street corner looking east. The picture was provided by the Clay County Historical Society.

Adapted and Transcribed From North Dakota State University, Institute of Regional Studies and Traill County History, Volume One by Mike Peterson.


North Dakota History and People - Outlines of American History
Volume II
The E. J. Clarke Publishing Company
1917 - Chicago

Carl L. Smette, a merchant at Upham, McHenry county, was born in Traill county. North Dakota, December 3, 1878, a son of H. C. [Halvor C.] and R. (Finneseth) Smette, the former a native of Norway and the latter of Minnesota. It was in 1866 that H. C. Smette came to the United States and established his home in Fillmore county, Minnesota, where he was employed at farm labor and also taught school for a time. He afterward engaged in merchandising for two years and in 1878 he removed to Traill county, North Dakota, where he secured a preemption claim, upon which he has since engaged in general farming, being numbered among the representative agriculturists of that district.
While spending his youthful days under the parental roof Carl L. Smette acquired his education in the schools of Traill county and in periods of vacation worked in the fields, so that he early became familiar with all the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist. Thinking to find other pursuits more congenial, he began clerking in stores, spending four years in that employment. He next secured a homestead in McHenry county and spent four years in developing and improving the property, since which time he has rented it. In 1905 he was joined by his brother, Louis C. Smette, and they embarked in general merchandising at Upham. For eleven years they have now conducted their store and throughout the entire period have enjoyed a large and growing trade. They erected a fine two story double store building and carry an extensive stock, their interests being conducted under the name of the Upham Mercantile Company. The brothers are also proprietors of a general store at Newburg and were the owners of a store at Bantry until 1916, when they sold out at that place. Carl L. Smette is also a stockholder in the Farmers Elevator Company of Upham.
In November, 1904, Mr. Smette was united in marriage to Miss Lina Lund and they have become the parents of four children, George, Robert, Lillian and Adeline. Mr. and Mrs. Smette hold membership in the Lutheran church and his membership relations also extend to the Brotherhood of American Yeomen and the Sons of Norway. His study of the political questions and issues of the day has led to his support of the republican party. His chief interest, however, is his business and along the lines of steady progression he has developed his commercial activities, which are now important, while the capable management of his business aflairs has brought to him a well deserved and constantly growing measure of success.


Jesse was born 2 January 1846 in Ohio and died in Grand Forks County (County of Residence was Traill) on 17 February 1924.
He enlisted as a Private in Company I, Ohio 195th Infantry Regiment on 18 March 1865 and mustered out on 18 December 1865 at Columbus, Ohio. He started receiving his pension in North Dakota on 6 January 1908.
Jesse secured a 160 acre land grant in Section 26 [Note: the Township map shows he has 320 acres] in Township 147, Range 51..
In the 1880 and 1890 Federal Census he is living in Traill County. In the 1900 Census he is living in Logan and in the 1920 Census he is in Fargo.
He is buried in Hillsboro #1 Cemetery.
Burial, Tombstone.


Katherine Sorlie was born on May 25, 1900 in Buxton, North Dakota. Her father was Oscar James Sorlie and her mother was Blanche (Esterley) Sorlie. After graduating from Buxton High School, she attended the University of North Dakota from where she graduated in 1921. The next years she taught high school English in several towns in North Dakota.
In 1927 she married E. B. McLeod in Buxton. The couple lived in Jamestown, North Dakota; Hibbing, Minnesota; Atlantic, Iowa; Cherokee, Oklahoma; Pond Creek, Oklahoma; and Enderlin, North Dakota, before they settled in Lisbon, North Dakota.
E. B. McLeod worked as superintendent of schools in Lisbon and Katherine McLeod worked as a substitute teacher.
The couple had three children, Donald Bartlett McLeod, Katherine Mary (Kay) McLeod and Alexander Oscar McLeod. Katherine McLeod's father O. J. Sorlie and her brother O. J. Sorlie II both served for a time in the North Dakota Legislature.
E. B. McLeod died in 1976. Katherine McLeod died on July 10, 1995.

Adapted and Transcribed From North Dakota State University, Institute of Regional Studies by Mike Peterson.

Katherine (Sorlie) McLeod Papers


In one census listed as Charles and surname has been spelled Spiering, Speiring, and Speering in records.
Carl was born 14 June 1828 in Germany and died in Manitowoc, Wisconsin on 1 December 1903.
He enlisted as a Corporal 8 February 1865 in Company D, Wisconsin 45th Infntry Regiment and mustered out on 17 July 1865 in Nashville, Tennessee. In civil war records he is described as 5 feet, 3 inches, blue eyes and light brown hair. He started receiving his pension in North Dakota on 23 July 1890 and his wife Mathilde started receiving her widow's pension on 11 November 1904 in Wisconsin.
Carl secured a 160 acre land grant in Section 10 [Note: the Township map shows his land in Section 11], Township 145, Range 51.
In the 1880 Federal Census he is living in Traill County. In the 1890 Veterans Federal Census he is in Blanchard. In the 1900 Census he is in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
He is buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Manitowoc County, Wisconsin.
Burial, Tombstone Picture.


Thomas was born in 1845 in Baltimore, Maryland. He enlisted, in Baltimore, in the U. S. Navy on 10 February 1864 for a one year enlistment as a Landsman (Seaman with less than a year experience). He served on the Victoria, Commodore Perry, and St. Lawrence. In 1890 he was living in Grandin, Cass/Traill County. A record of his death and burial could not be found.


Dwight was born 29 December 1849 in New York and died 20 July 1900 in Chico, California.
From Beaver Dam, Wisconsin he enlisted 18 May 1864 as a Private in Company K, Wisconsin 39th Infantry Regiment. He mustered out on 22 September 1864 at Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
In Traill County, North Dakota records he married Elizabeth C. Colby on 19 November 1894. He is in the 1890 Veterans Federal Census living in Blanchard.
He is buried in Chico Cemetery, Chico, Butte County, California.


Some records have his surname as Starkson. He was born 16 June 1832 and died 20 March 1886.
From Norwegians in the Civil War; Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum: "WI 42nd Inf Co C. Residence: Lodi, Columbia County, Wisconsin. Enlistment credited to Darien, Walworth County. Born in Norway. Civil War: Farmer. Age 31. Unmarried. Blue eyes, light hair, fair complexion, 5’8”. Enlisted for one year on 1 Sep 1864 at Lodi. Mustered 6 Sep 1864 at Madison, Wisconsin. Bounty $100. Private. Post war: Moved from Iowa to Steele County, Dakota Territory, in June 1877. Lived at Traill County, North Dakota. Dead (before 1907). Sources: (WHS Series 1200 box 176-4; red book vol 47) (1885 Census, Dakota Territory) (Ulvestad p330)."
His service records indicates he enlisted 9 January 1864 and reported on 1 September 1864 and mustered out on 20 June 1865 at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A minor, Caroline M. Benerd started receiving his pension on 20 August 1890 in Minnesota [Note: Incorrectly recorded as a Minor. Caroline M. is John's widow who married Mathias P. Benrud 28 October 1887 in Traill County].
John is buried at St. John's Lutheran Cemetery, Hatton. Burial, Tombstone Picture.


North Dakota History and People - Outlines of American History
Volume II
The E. J. Clarke Publishing Company
1917 - Chicago

Among the prominent citizens of Hillsboro, North Dakota, is Peter G. Swenson. who has been engaged in the practice of law there since 1893 and served as state's attorney of Traill county for four years. His birth occurred at Trondhjem, Norway, on the 23d of December, 1866, but he was brought to this country by his parents in boyhood and received his education in the Decorah Institute at Decorah, Iowa, and in the law departmcnt of the University of Minnesota, from which he was graduated with his professional degree in 1892.
The following year Mr. Swenson located for the practice of his profession in Hillsboro, North Dakota, where he has since remained and during the intervening period of twenty- three years has built up a large and representative clientage. He studies his cases carefully, taking into account every point that might possibly have a bearing upon the outcome of the trial. In his arguments before the court he is lucid and convincing, and the records show that he has won a large portion of the cases in which he has appeared as counsel. In 1894 he was elected to the office of states attorney of Traill county and filled that position for four years, making a highly creditable record. He is a director of the Hillsboro National Bank.
In 1895 Mr. Swenson was united in marriage to Miss Sofie Olson, and they have four children, a son and three daughters. He takes the interest of a good citizen in political affairs, but has held no important office outside of the strict path of his profession, preferring to concentrate his energies upon the practice of law. He has, however, served as a member of the board of education. He not only occupies a high position at the bar of Traill county but is also popular personally. Fraternally Mr. Swenson belongs to Hillsboro Lodge, No. 10, A. F. & A. M; Fargo Consistory; and El Zagal Temple of the Mystic Shrine. He is also a member of Hillsboro Lodge, No. 30, K. P.