In the Northwest Part of Norman County, Minnesota
and the Southeast Part of Traill County, North Dakota.
As written by O.P. Oien, 1921
Translated by Olaf Kringhaug,
Vernon, BC, Canada 2006-2014
Mali Løvsnes, born Sirum was the first of Trønder ancestry who settled in Norman County, then Polk County. She came with her husband Engel Løvsnes from Wilkin County, Minn.
Accompanying Engel Løvsnes were Rasmus Haga and his wife, Nils Haga,unmarried, a Thom Olson, Henry Henderson, unmarried and L. B. Larson who had
a wife in Norwegian Grove, Wilkin County living with Lars Kollenes, L. B. Kollenes, L. B. Larson's brother-in law.
This group built the first bridge over Wild Rice River.
Engel Løvaas claimed land 2½ miles north of where the town of Halstad now lies. They settled there in the last half of May, 1871.
The 2nd June the same year O. P. Øjen came accompanied by Anders Gulbrandsen (Andrew Gilbertson) and Kristian Bergjerdet, Landsem, all three
from Houston Co., Minnesota. Øjen was from Mosvik and Kristian Landsem from
Lexviken. They went by foot from Riceford, Houston Co. to Winona, took a
steam boat to St. Paul and the train from there to Benson, the end of the
line for the railroad. From Benson they went by foot to Norwegian Grove,
Wilkin Co. and came to Halvor Berg or Landsem, a brother to Kristian
Bergjerdet, on Whit Saturday, the 27th May. There they heard Pastor Vetlesen
of the Synod who preached about Pastor Johan Arnt Berg of the Conference.
The first mentioned dwelled especially on that the latter went around and
criticized the Synod.
On the morning of the 29th May they went on foot to Red River. The first night they stayed in the north of Clay County with a new settler, a
Swede by the name of Anderson. He and his wife were ambushed not long after
by Indians. The second night they stayed among some large elm trees, seven,
eight miles east of Georgetown, not far from Buffalo River. The third night,
the 31st May, they came to Martin Skau, who lived a bit north of Georgetown,
and stayed there until 2nd June. From there they followed the Red River and
crossed the Elm River on a toll bridge for 25 cents a head. Then they came
to where the Grandin farm no. 1 now lies, then owned by Mike Shelly, and set
off across the Red River on some rotten logs and came to where Halstad now
lies on the 2nd June as previously mentioned.
The land where Halstad now lies was claimed by two Swedish boys Carl Holmberg and G. Oberg. These boys then gave them directions to where Engel
Løvsnes lived who gave them lodging under his wagon box. He had taken it
off his wagon and placed on some rather large oak stumps.
"One night while we were there we were awakened by bad weather, a rainstorm with thunder and lightning. In the morning when they got up Mrs.
Løvsnes sat with a dead child on her lap. Engel and Mali had a little child
and it died during the night. They buried the little girl right by a big tree east of the buildings on Engel Løvsnes' farm. This was the first burial
in the now town of Halstad."
As previously mentioned, L. B. Larson left his wife in Wilkin County and after having taken land he went back to fetch her. Eleven covered wagons
of people from Fillmore County were there waiting to join him on the trip to
the Red River. Most of them were Trønders. There were the brothers Ole and
Sivert Paulsen from Strinden near Trondhjem with Sivert's son Peter. Also
Ole's sons, Paul, Anders and Johan and a daughter called Inger who later
married Peder Tønder. There was also Ole Halstad from Mostadmarken, married
to a daughter of Ole Paulsen and also Laurits Hauske, also married to a
daughter of Ole Paulsen.In the same group was John Grøttte with his sons
Johan, Nikolai, Peder, Ingebrigy and Kristian as well as his three daughters, Beret, later married to John Gjertsen near Moorhead, Oline married to Peder Efteland and Karen married to Nikolai Hagen. As mentioned, they were waiting to accompany L. B. Larson to Red River. They joined him until they came almost to Georgetown. There they met a couple of men who had been up at Red River and told them that people could not live up there
because of grasshoppers, mosquitoes and weeds and they frightened the whole group so L. B. Larson had to continue alone to his land. The others went up to Dakota and stumbled around for three weeks and then the whole group came and settled at Marsh River in Halstad Township.
O. P. Øjen claimed land at Red River in section 25 in the present town of Shelly but when the land was surveyed this was shown to be railroad land.
He later moved a little further north to section 24.
These were the Trønders who settled a Marsh River and Red River in 1871.
During the winter of 1871-1872 Øjen lived in a little log house on section 25. Early in the spring of 1872 while there still was snow but otherwise fine weather he became aware of skier who came across the prairie
from the southeast. It was Bertinus Rognlie who came from Audubon, Becker
County, Minnesota. With his family and a little older brother, Peder and
wife had come up from Houston County, Minnesota in the summer of 1871 but he
had been up to Red River and claimed land on the Dakota side in Traill
County in the fall of 1871.
Bertinus came early in the spring because he wished to have a house built when his family came. He lodged with Øjen on the Minnesota side. The
ice on the Red River was then passable and he could cross on foot at first but later the when the ice broke up they had no choice but to use a long hollowed log. Then Bertinus built a fine little raft of logs and rowed across the Red River with it but each time he crossed the stream took hime further and further down the river and finally he had to completely give up the raft.
Not long after the ice was gone Peter Rognlie came with his family as well as his old mother, Johanna Rognlie. The whole family settled at Red
River: Christine married to Ole Bjøre furthest north, then Zefanias with his
mother Rognlie, then Bertinus and furthest south Peter. Settling south of Peter was Peter Wigen, a brother of Peter Rognlie's wife and south of him Ole Rognlie, a fosterson of Johanna Rognlie. They were all from Værran and came over in a group to Houston Co., Minnesota.
Some years later a group from Eau Claire, Wisconsin came and settled at the Red River south of the Værran settlers. They were bachelor Bernt Pederson, Christian Næsvold and family from Inderøen and Johannes Lyng and
family from Værdal. In the same party were Jacob Hovd from Værran and the Nordlander John Kulstad.
In the summer of 1872 Peter Øien, father of Ole, Hans, Magnus, Margrethe and Ragnhild came from Houston Co. Peter Øien immediately claimed land in section 24 in the fractional town of Shelly. In the same company were Zefanius Rognlie and the widow Anne Sirum with the children Ingebrigt, Ole and Anne, later Mrs. Theodor Stennes. The Sirum people were from Sælbu. They had a temporary home with Engel Løvsnes who was married to the previously mentioned Mali, the daughter of the old Anne Sirum. The Sirum people claimed land a ½ mile north of Engel Løvsnes.
For some years after 1872 There was a steady immigration to west Norman Co. Alexander and Tale Nilsen from Værran claimed land in the town of Shelly. Alexander had a large family: Nils who married and moved to Montana; Thore has run and still runs a hotel in Halstad: Jørron, married to M. A. Opgrand; Pauline, Married to B. M. Øien; Trine, married to a Haugan, a Bynæssing in Montana; Kristine, married to Paul Jacobson living at Red River in Traill Co. and Anna, married to Charley Miller in Shelley.
Almost at the same time as Alexander Nilson came Morthinus, Albertinus, Johannes and Ole Opigrand. They were from the large Opigrand farm in
Mosviken. This is a large family spread over the western part of the town of
Halstad and partly in Traill Co. Morthinus Opigrand, as mentioned, was married to Jørron Nilson. They first took a piece of land in the town of Shelly but later bought the farm of Johannes Opigrand, who had bought a piece of land north of Halstad. Johannes Opigrand was married to Margrethe Vinje from Mosviken. Albertinus and Ole Opigrand were married to daughters of Mathias Sliperdal from Mosviken. All these Opigrand men have had many children so there is a large number of them.
Early in the 1880s the Skavdal family from Værran came up to the Red River Valley. The two boys Gunnerius and Karelius came first. A little later
their parents came along with a daughter and likely two sons. As with many newcomers they were afflicted by typhoid fever and it was quite severe. Johannes, the old father, and one of the sons died. The others escaped with their lives. Old Mrs. Skavdal reached a rather great age. The previously mentioned brothers live and farm on land in the town of Halstad while their brother, Peter Lorens had land a little further south but being unmarried stayed with his brother Karelius. The latter is married to Marie Norvik and
has four children. He has been for some time been the sexton for Marsh River Parish and is the chairman of the Board of Trustees of Bethesda Hospital in Crookston, Minnesota. Gunerius is married to Jette Norvik, a side branch of the Opigrand family. Their aforementioned sister, Anna, married L. W. Pederson (Kvistad), father of the Lake Park Children's Children's Home, but she died some years ago.
Of Trønders who later moved into the town of Shelly and the town of Halstad we can name Nils Nilsen from Jemtland but his wife was from
Jørstadsjøen, Yttterøen. They live in section 25 in the fractional town of Shelly. Nilsen has four sons of which two, Nicolai and John served in the war. Then there is Mrs. Loraas who lives somewhat south at Red River. She was born on a cotter's place under the Stordal farm in Mosviken. Also there is Mrs. Følstad with her two sons, Julius and Manfred. Mrs. Følstad was born at Jørstadsjøen, Ytterøen and is a sister of the aforementioned Mrs. Nilsen. Mrs. Følstad's husband was called Kristoffer and was a son of Søren Følstad in Værran and Kristoffer's mother was a sister of Rakel Rognlie who was married to sexton Nils Rognlie, Værran. She was a distant relation of Pastor
Dons, once a priest in Ytterøen parish and for a time secretary for 'Det
Norske Missionsselskab' (Norwegian Mission Society). Kristoffer Følstad's grandfather was Kristoffer Nyland or Buret but was best known as Burskal'n.
He lived in Lexviken, was a lay preacher and well known throughout Inner Trøndelag.
Then we come to the Trønders at Red River in the town of Halstad. First we have Oliver Serum, the eldest son of Ingebrigt Serum. Oliver Serum is
married to Josephine Rognlie, the youngest daughter of Peter Rognlie. He lives on the old Jacob Hesby farm right by the Red River. Next to him in the south we find his father A. O. Serum, baptized Ingebrigt. He was previously mentioned as one of the earliest settlers in Norman Co. Mr. Serum has regularly held positions of trust in the town and the school board, has been secretary for several companies and has been chorister and secretary for his own parish for over 45 years. He was married to Anna Røstvold, also a
Trønder, in 1877. They had 9 children. Mrs. Serum died in 1897. The two youngest daughters, Minnie and Annie are school teachers in public school and live with their father. About a mile east of Oliver Serum is Edward T. Stennes. He is the son A. O. Serum's sister and lives on his father's farm that he became owner of a few years after his father's death. He is a skilful farmer. A bit south of O. A. Serum we have Mrs. Berg from Værdalen and her daughter, married to well digger Aadne Waag. Mrs. Berg's husband, Lorens Berg died a few years ago. Nearer the Red River lives Mrs. Blomseth, the widow of Johan Blomseth. They were from Værran. Johan Blomseth lost his life in a dynamite explosion while he was blowing up stumps. South of Mrs.
Blomseth lives Lars Wolseth, also from Værran. He is a brother of Mrs.
Næsvold and lives on the Minnesota side of the Red River, right across from Ole Rognlie's farm.
On Engel Løvsnes' old farm, now owned by L. W. Pederson of Halstad, lives Carl Haga, a son of Edvard Haga. Carl's mother was a daughter of Peder
Jermstad, a brother to Johannes Lyng. Carl is married to Petra Grande, a daughter of Kristian and Ragnhild Grande. Ragnhild is a daughter of Peter Øien.
A family by the name of Ole Lyngstad from Værran live by the Red River. It is now many years since they came from Norway. One Lyngstad son, Johannes, has for many years been cashier at Harald Thorson's bank in Halstad. Ole, a younger son, has for several years has been secretary in the Marsh River Parish.
If we go southward to Halstad we have a whole colony of Trønders. The first we come to closest to the road are Thomas and Karen Thompson or Liaunet. They are both from Mosvik. Kaaren is of a branch of the Opigrand family. They are now elderly people but have a pleasant home that is taken care of by their son Ferdinand and daughters Martha and Thora. Thompson has a daughter that is married to merchant Ed Herberg in Halstad.
Another from Mosvik is Mads Øien. He lives at Red River and is a widower with five children. At the moment his sister Martha Magdalena, married to a German called J. Kief, lives with Mads and looks after the house for him.
A neighbour of Mads Øien is Morthinus Vennes, also from Værran. A little closer to the road that goes to Halstad lives Ole Stenerson and a
little further north, John Stenerson, who is married to a daughter of Christian Næsvold.
A bit south of Thomas Thompson we find the brothers Sivert and Ludvig Norem - sons of the deceased Nicolai Norem of Inderøen. South of them lives
Ole Bernt Melting, also from Mosvik. He is now a widower. A little south of him is Mrs. Lorense Nervik from Nerviken in Mosviken. She was married to John Nervik, who died some years ago. A little further east lives Mrs. Anton Melting. She is from Lexviken and the only one I know that is from there who lives at Halstad. She was married to Anton Melting who died a number of years ago. Her daughter is married to Orlando Serum, a son of Ole Serum. Quite close to Mrs. Anton Melting lives Augustinus Øien and his wife Amalie. He is a brother of the previously mentioned Mads Øien. Augustinus has
suffered from consumption for several years and currently lives at Sunnyrest
Sanatorium in Crookston. Closer to Halstad is Sem Pederson who is married to
Christianna, a daughter of Johannes Liaunet. He was also from Mosvik and came to America many years ago. He lives a bit south of Halstad, in the woods at Red River. He is now a widower with a large number of grown children. Mrs. Thale Halvorsen lives a bit west of Halstad. She was born in Mosviken and came to America with her first husband, Peter A. Melting. They lived at first a bit over two miles east of Halstad where Peter Melting died a few years ago. Some years later she married Ketil Halvorsen from Telemark.. Ole Melting, a brother of Peter Melting, also from Mosviken, lives a couple of miles east of Halstad. His wife Jørgine died many years ago. Ole has a large number of children, all grown. A son Oliver was in the war and took part in several battles in France. He came home uninjured to Halstad.
Then there is the Jørgen Sundseth family who live three miles east of Halstad. They are also from Mosvik and before they came to Halstad and lived before they came here on a cotter' place Haugen under Sundseth. Jørgen and
one of he boys, Marcelius, came here first. After them came Kristian and wife and Ole and wife and finally his wife Ingeborganna came with their son Gustav and daughter Ingeborg, The daughter was later married to G. Kvanvig in Halstad.
The Sundseth family was afflicted by typhoid fever. Both Kristian's and Ole's wives died and that was almost the case with Gustav also but he
survived. Ole Sundseth later married Marie Troseth from Mosvik. Ole died some years later of consumption. Gustav married Olga Sundseth, also from Mosvik but they weren't married long since Marie also died and both Gustav and Kristian are now widowers. Their father Jørgen S. died last summer, 90 years old but their mother Ingeborganna is still alive and 86 years old. Marcelius S. married a daughter of Rassinus Tangsted from Værran, now living in Halstad. Marcelius S. has a large family and lives on a farm a good two miles east of Halstad, where Peter A. Melting lived. Kristian and Gustav Sundseth live together and run the farm together. A younger brother of Jørgen S. by the name of Lorents took part in the recent war but happily came home safely. Marius Sæther lives 3½ miles north of Halstad, is also a Trønder and married to a girl fromYterøen. He rented the Hauge farm from L. W. Peterson from Halstad, but since he has bought the farm.
Of the Trønders in Traill Co., N. Dak. that I have not already mentioned can be mentioned Edward Braseth from Mosviken, now living in Caledonia. He is married to Sophie, the eldest daughter of Peter Rognlie and
a sister of Professor W. P. Rognlie of Grand Forks, N. Dak. A sister of
Edward Braseth, Mrs. Karen Larsen, also lives in Caledonia. She is the widow
of the recently deceased contractor and builder Anton Larsen of Caledonia.
Of Trønders at the Red River in Traill Co. not already mentioned there
is John Vennes, also from Værran. His wife was born at Jørstdsjøen on
Ytterøen and is a sister of the previously mentioned Mrs. Nilson and Mrs.
Følstad. John V. lives on and owns the old Zefanius Rognlie farm. Jørgen
Vennes, John's father came with his wife to the Red River Valley several
years ago. Old Jørgen V. was a carpenter in Norway and did similar work when
he came to this country. He is now dead but his wife is alive and lives with
her daughter, Mrs. Peter Wigen in Halstad. John has a son called Harald who
is an electrician and has a very good position with a firm in New York City.
Anna Rognlie, Ole Rognlie's widow, still lives on the Ole Rognlie farm.
She has some of the children with her.
Further south on the Red River lives Gunder Steenerson, brother of the
previously mentioned Ole Steenerson. He is married to Mathea Lyng, the only
daughter of the deceased Johannes Lyng from Værdalen. They live on the
old Johannes Lyng farm, have several children and are doing very well.
Jakob Langaunet came in the 80s with his wife Bergithe and their
children Ludvig, Ole, Paul, Johan and Kathrine. They are also from Mosviken.
Jacob did not live long after the family's arrival and Bergithe became a
widow. However, it went well since the mother and children stayed together.
They soon bought a piece of land on the Red River on the Dakota side. Ole
married Anna Throseth and bought land on the prairie west of Peter Rognlie's
farm. He later moved to Montana. Paul moved to the Pacific coast and Ludvig
and his mother moved to Montana where Ole lived. The daughter Katherine
married Edward Sundseth, also from Mosviken. They moved to Canada. Johan
bought a piece of forest land on the Red River east of the Peter Rognlie
farm and lives there. He married Caroline, the eldest daughter of Christian
Næsvold. For many years she has suffered from arthritis and for years has
been totally helpless. She had to be cared for like a child as she could not
lift a finger. They have four children, a boy and three girls. The children
and parents stuck well together so Johan Langaunet, despite his wife's
disability, stands well in financial respects.
In the summer of 1882 a 17 year old youth called Paul from Mosvik came
to Peter Øien, he was from Damaas, a cotter's place under Liaunet. He later
took the name Jacobson and now lives at Red River a couple of miles
southeast of Caledonia in Traill County, N. Dak. Like other newcomers he was
bedridden the first winter with typhoid fever. But he did get healthy again
and worked and toiled so that three years later - 1885 - he brought his
parents, Jacob and Ragna Liaunet along with his siblings here to America.
They lived on O. P. Øjen's farm at Red River where so many newcomer families
found a place to live in those days.
According to good Norwegian custom, Ragna wished to brew ale for
Christmas but they lacked a keg to hold it. So a youth Hans Braseth, who had
most to say on O. P. Øjen's farm when Øjen was absent, took Nellie and Kate
as well as Paul Jacobson and drove to Caledonia. There was a surplus of
discarded beer kegs since there were saloons in Caledonia in those days.
They quickly took a discarded keg with a bit of beer in it and threw it on
the sled and went on their way homeward. When they came to where they were
to cross the Goose River there was a large number of youths who were
skating. In the manner of youths they wished to hang onto the sled. But that
could not be permitted because there were stolen goods they transported. They
had a long stick lying in the sled. Hans, the driver called to Paul, "Take
the stick and hit them if they come." Paul shouted, "You are bigger and
older, take the stick and keep them away." In a hurry Hans took the stick
and straddled the keg and anyone who came near the sled got a rap and so
they got home safely with the keg and beer. There was Christmas, not only
with home brew but also with real beer. Paul Jacobson was later married to
Christine, a daughter of the previously mentioned Alexander Nilson or
Kværnvig from Værran.
Right across the river from Paul Jacobson's farm is Peter Øien's old
farm, there is a true Inntrønder by the name of Marius Loraas who had worked
for Margrethe Øien for ca. 15 years as a hired hand. He has taken part in
several Trønder meetings and is a serious temperance and Good Templar.
In the town of Shelly we have Adolph Rognlie, a son of the previously
mentioned Bertinus Rognlie. Also Mrs. Ingvald Efteland and Mrs. E. Dybing
and a boy and girl of Mrs. Julia Swalstad. Similarly Nelius Bjore, the only
son of Ole and Christine Bjøre, née Rognlie, lives in Shelly and for the
most employed as a garage worker. All these are from the numerous and widely
spread Rognlie family from Værran. Next we have Mrs. Miller, a sister of
Paul Jacobson and daughter of Alexander Nilson. Then there is Willard
Brurud, a nephew of the aforementioned Ingebrigt Sirum. Willard Brurud works
for the firm of Hansen, Silver and Swalstad. Of Trønder ancestry there is a
Mr. Grøtte, son of the aforementioned Johan Grøtte, who is an assistant
cashier at a bank in town. Also Clarence Grøtte, son of Nikolai Grøtte.
Clarence G. runs the Reno Hotel as well as manager of the oil station in
Another man who must not be forgotten is Job Lilledal from Mosviken. He
is a true Inntrønder. He has no other defect except that he is very deaf. He
came to Houston Co., Minn. in 1870, moved to Becker Co. in 1871 and to
Traill Co., N. Dak. in 1874 and had a farm for many years south of Goose
River, some miles south of Caledonia. He sold the farm a number of years ago
and moved to Shelly and enjoys his leisure as a retired farmer.
Our doctor in Shelly, P. S. Vistaunet is also a Trønder from Inderøen.
He possesses all the Trønder qualities. Dr. Vistaunet came to this country
in 1891. On his own he has worked his way through schools and worked up a
very significant practice. Doctors in the other towns between Moorhead and
Crookston have gone their way but Dr. Vistaunet remained in Shelly. Some
times he was the only doctor between Moorhead and Crookston. He has also
been very fortunate in his work as a doctor. He is also quite reasonable
when it comes to payment for his services. In these hard times he does not
keep accounts of what people owed him but took what he could without demand.
As well he is something of a mechanic and has given Adolph Rognlie counsel
and suggestions with regard to a new auto wheel rim that Mr. Rognlie has
invented. According to reports it is a very clever invention which
promises a great deal.
In a discussion of the Trønders in the northwestern part of Norman Co.
we must also deal with Arne and Anton Haugan. They came to America from
Mosviken some years ago. They are cousins and from the aforementioned
Opgranden family. Arne is a brother of the missionary A. W. Haugan. He is
married to a daughter of a Mr. Sten in Anthony, Norman Co. and Anton is
married to a daughter of Hans Øien at Red River. Both Arne and Anton have
bought land in the town of Anthony and do rather well as farmers.
Hjalmar R. Holand has accused Norwegians of being too modest to put
Norwegian names on towns and villages where they settled and live. This is
hardly correct in respect to the names of towns along the Great Northern
rail line between Morhead and Crookston.
There we have Krognes, a very good Norwegian name, then Perley from a
Norwegian called Per Lie. Also we have Hendrum from a farm in Lexvikstranden
named Hindrum (Heinremmen) and also we have Halstad named after Ole Halstad
for a farm in Mostadmarken near Trondhjem called Halstad. This clearly comes
from the fact that the region was mostly settled by Trønders. Trønders
from pagan times were not known for being modest or reserved. They certainly
showed this when they stabbed St. Olav to death. But it was the Trønders in
Halstad we were to write about.
The first that is recalled is Peter Wigen from Værran. He is a retired
farmer. He came from Houston Co. in 1872 and settled at Red River on the
Dakota side, 3 miles north of Halstad. His wife is also from Værran. He is
an uncle of Professor Rognlie in Grand Forks. Then we have L. W. Pederson,
also a retired farmer who now lives in Halstad with his two young daughters,
Ingeborg and Sara. He is from Kvistad in Inderøen and came to America in
1866. He was married in this country down at Lark Park, Minn. where he lived
and had a farm and where his first wife died. He then gave away his farm to
a children's home, the well known Lake Park children's Home. He was
remarried to Anna Skavdal, a sister of the Skavdal brothers. He bought the
so-called Rasmus Hauga farm and later the Engel Løvsnes farm and lived there
until his second wife died. Now he has rented out the farm and enjoys his
leisure in Halstad.
Next is Christian Næsvold, also from Inderøen. He came from Eau Claire,
Wis. and claimed free land in Traill Co., N. Dak, 3 miles north of Halstad.
He has sold the farm and now lives in Halstad with his wife, also from
Værran. Then there are the brothers Peder and Bernt Jermstad from Værdalen.
Their father was from Værdalen and was a brother of Johannes Lyng. Bernt
runs a painting and wallpapering business and has for a long time been and
still is a chorister in the Lutheran parish in Halstad. His brother Peder
runs a saddlery in town. Next there is Thore Nilson, also born in Værran, he
owns a hotel and has lived in Halstad for a long time. His wife is of Aadal
origin and if anyone wishes to have a very good cup of coffee she will
provide. Mr. Nilson is an uncle to the brothers Arnt and Anton Opgrand who
operate a general store in Halstad. The Opgrand brothers are sons of
Morthinus Opgrand of the numerous and widespread Opgrand family from
Mosviken. In addition to the store Arnt O. has a potato business and has
erected one of the most modern and best equipped potato warehouses.
Then there is Mrs. Martha Liaunet from Mosvik. She came to America with
her parents Jacob and Ragna Damaas or Liaunet in 1885. She was married in
1893 to G.J. Gilbert, the first and only pharmacist in Halstad. Mr. Gilbert
died of cancer in 1919. He ran the drugstore until his death. Then his son
Allen Gilbert took over the business still with a younger brother. Allen was
in the World War and served as a druggist. Fortunately he came home safely.
He has two brothers, Chester and Raymond as well as a sister Myrtle.
Mrs. Margrethe Opgrand, the widow of the deceased Johannes Opgrand
lives in Halstad. She has 2 sons and 4 daughters.
Also there is Johannes Johnson or Klet from Inderøen. His wife is from
Mosviken. Then there is John Sether, also a Trønder. His wife is from
Another Trønder we have in B.S. Johnson who served for a long time as
a section foreman. Johnson is married to a daughter of Captain Eckman of
Among the others remembered now is Miss Kvistad, a sister of L. W.
Pederson, from Inderøen. She came to America in 1881. Another is John Foss.
He is also from Inderøen and came to America in 1876.
Then there is George Rognlie; he was born here to parents Ole and Anna
Rognlie, both from Værran. George works at the Farmer's Elevator in Halstad.
Another Trønder is John Huseby from Børs-Skogen. His wife is from
Værran. He works for Standard Oil Co. and lives in Halstad but has a farm
ca. 4 miles southeast from Halstad. His father-in-law, Rasmus Tangstad also
lives in Halstad. Mr. Tangstad is an old sea tar from Værran and had worked
in the Lofoten and Finmark fisheries in Norway for a long time.
Ellingson from Hevne has a little farm not far from Halstad.
Ole J. Wangberg is one of the old pioneers of Norman Co. He was born on
a farm near Trondhjem and grew up in Klæbu. His father was a sea captain and
followed that calling all of his life. When Ole was 21 years old he went to
America and landed in Quebec, Canada. He went from there straight to Houston
Co., Minn. In 1861 he enlisted in Co. B. 12th Iowa Infantry and took part in
several battles. In the battle at Pittsburgh Landing he was captured and sent
to Macon. Ga. where he was a prisoner for 6 months. Mr. Wangberg was in the
nation's service for over four years as a loyal soldier in the Civil War.
After the war he went back to Houston Co. and lived there until 1878. Then
he moved to Norman Co. where he bought some land and as well took 160 acres
on soldier's homestead. He was married in 1867 to Oline Olson. They have had
a large family and their son John now runs the farm while old Mr. and Mrs.
Wangberg live in their lovely home in Halstad.
Jacob P. Nygaard was born in Klæbu and came to America in the spring of
1880. He first stayed in Fillmore Co., Minn. In the spring of 1881 he moved
to Hendrum, Norman Co. In 1888 he took a homestead in Beltrami Co. and was
one of the first white settlers in that county. He set up the first post
office, organized the first Lutheran congregation, the first school district
and was the first postmaster and the first sheriff in this county. Besides
he held from time to time various positions of trust in the township and
county. Was appointed by the government to appraise the forests and classify
the land for the five civilized tribes of the Indians in Oklahoma and moved
there in January 1901. Because of an accident he had to quit and then moved
home. He then lived for a time in Halstad. In 1910 he moved to Canada and
again became a leader in various areas. In the fall of 1919 he moved back to
Halstad where he now lives. He was married in 1886 to Hilda Edseth and they
Haldor P. Nygaard, a brother of the aforementioned Jacob Nygaard, was
also born in Klæbu and came with his mother and younger siblings to America
in 1882 and lived in Hendrum, Norman Co. the first year. In the fall of
1883 the family moved to Halstad where most of this family has lived ever
since. Haldor Nygaard has been in the butcher business since 1900. The firm
Nygaard and Halstad are now also working at farming. Nygaard has held many
positions of trust from time to time and is now a member of the school
board, secretary of the Halstad Creamery Co., secretary of the Halstad
Telephone Co. as well as the treasurer of the Halstad Elevator Co. He has
been and remains a prohibitionist and has done not a little to advance the
temperance movement. His wife is also a Trønder
John Nygaard, a younger brother of the aforementioned Jacob and Haldor
was also born in Klæbu and came to Hendrum with his mother and siblings in
1882. He has lived in Halstad most of the time since 1883. He has been in
the blacksmith business and automobile and mechanic business. He has held
various offices and positions of trust - among them president of the city
council,, Grand Templar in the state's English Good Templar Order, special
Indian agent under 'Pussyfoot' Johnson and sheriff of Norman County since
From this it is understood that John Nygaard has been very interested
in the temperance movement and has often offered not a little of both time
and money for its promotion. He is married to Josephine Griffin and they
have four children.
Carl J. Stordahl was born in Lensviken and came to America in 1875. The
first two years he lived in Fillmore Co. Minn. In 1887 hr moved to Hendrum,
Norman Co. and took a homestead in Hendrum, Norman Co., 1? miles east of the
Town of Hendrum. He still lives here. Mr. Stordahl is one of the pioneers in
Hendrum Township, where he has been involved in the organization of both the
Township and the school district. He is the treasurer of the Town and a
member of the school board. He was also involved in the organization of
Hendrum Creamery, Hendrum Elevator Co. and the Farmer's State Bank of
Hendrum. Mr. Stordahl. Mr. Stordahl was married in 1883 to Hansine Nygaard,
born in Klæbu. They have nine children.
As we write the saga of the Trønders in Halstad we must not forget Sven
Forseth. He is a true city boy from Trondheim and an extremely active man.
He has built his farm, which lies a half mile from town, to a model farm. He
is the potato king of Halstad. Mr. Forseth has been in the lead of the
construction of the most up-to-date potato warehouse in town and has been
the business' manager most of the time. His wife is a daughter of G. O.
Gilbertson and is a very diligent housewife.
All Rights Reserved
redistribution of content or any derivative
work for "private use only"
is permitted, as long as users acknowledge and attribute any use of
material found on this website to Olaf Kringhaug. No part of these
translations or this website may be reproduced in any form or by any
electronic or mechanical means including information storage and
retrieval systems without written consent from:
Kringhaug and Margit
2004-2014 Olaf Kringhaug
Prepared for NDGenWeb by Mike Peterson.
Norwegian Heritage Page
See more Olaf Kringhaug translations on the Margit (Nysetvold) Bakke website.