The Life Story of
Ingeborg Trydahl Knutson
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The materials below are amazing. They reveal much about life in the early days of Knudson ancestors in the United States, how they came to be in North Dakota, and what they did when they got there. They also document the spiritual struggles of some of our forebears.

Ingeborg Trydahl Knutson was the grandmother of Clarence E. Knudson who sent the material below to his children and other family members on October 28, 1986, as indicated in his "Foreward" below. The division headings have been added by myself.

The photo of Ingeborg on the right was provided by Pam Aakhus. If you click on the photo you will see a larger photo including Ingeborg's son, my grandfather Edward Knudson, on the left, and my father, Claence Knudson, on the right. On each side of Ingeborg are Jean Knudson on the left and Diane Knudson on the right. This is a precious four generation photo.

Ingeborg Trydahl Knutson was later known by her second married name, Mrs. Ingeborg Aakre.

Also included here are letters from Lisle (Little) Knute Knutson to his brothers. He attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, and died in 1901.

Ed Knudson - March, 2013


By Clarence Knudson on October 28, 1986

FOREWORD

As I remember it, my father told me that his mother, Mrs. Ingeborg Aakre, had dictated the attached material to her son, Osmund Knutson, who transcribed it and added some other information regarding himself and the community and distributed the article to relatives.

I do not recall when my father, Edward Knudson, obtained a copy of the attached article. However, we do know that on June 5, 1945, he mailed a copy to his half-Sister, Emma (Mrs. Dreng Halvorson), at Saint Louis, M0. Why Aunt Emma was in Saint Louis we do not know. Also, I remember copying the article for Dad but that is the extent of my memory of the incident. The copy I have in my possession now is the copy that was mailed to Aunt Emma. We know this because we also have the original enevelope in which it was mailed to St. Louis. Why I received this particular copy I cannot now recall.

Ingeborg Aakre was my paternal grandmother and died at the Grand Forks Home for the Aged, now the Valley Memorial Home, in Grand Forks, North Dakota, on April 10, 1945 at the age of 95 years, 4 months and nine days.

I have had the attached article in my possession for many, many years but have never done anything with it until recently when I deter- mined to make additional copies and distribute them to my living sisters and brothers; my children and probably a few copies to other members of my family. Some of you may already have the article.

Also added to the article are copies of a few letters written by my father's youngest brother, Lisle Knute Knutson, to Dad and one letter written to Mrs. H. L. Norley (Aunt Tillie). These are the only letters I have in my possession. Lisle Knute was born in 1879 and died in 1901 from consumption or TB as we call the disease today.

Lisle or vesle is the Norwegian word for "little".

I thought you might enjoy the letters, too.

Signed

Clarence E. Knudson

October 28, 1986


Mrs. INGEBORG AAKRE

Mrs. Ingeborg Aakre was born December 1, 1850, in Satersdalen, Norway. Her parents were Ingeborg and Osmund Olson Trydahl who were also born in Satersdalen. Ingeborg's parents were married only three years before they came to America. They lived with relatives until that time. Her mother's father owned a "gaard" in Satersdalen and was the richest man there before the "pengeslaget" - a time when money dropped in value. He then lost his money but was able to keep his "gaard" or farm which was later divided among the children.

Ingeborg was only one and a half years of age when she came to America by sailboat with her parents. It took them fifteen or sixteen weeks to cross the ocean. They brought their own food. The ocean was very stormy. They left from Stavenger, Norway. and landed in Boston, Massachusetts.

Her parents settled in Jefferson Prairie, Wisconsin. Her father was a very clever man at many kinds of work. He was a good blacksmith, carpenter, jeweler and farmer. When they came to Wisconsin, he was offered a house to live in on the farm of a friend who had two houses on his farm. His friend said that they needed a good blacksmith and Ingeborg's father accepted the offer.

Sometimes he left home to build houses. When he did blacksmithing he made use of the shop his friend had on the farm. In the fall he worked in the harvest fields. He cut grain with a "cradle". It was a scythe made with tines to hold the grain so he could lay it on the ground. Ingeborg's Mother did the binding of the grain. Mr. Trydahl also made and sold looms.

The family moved to Fillmore County Minnesota, after having lived in Wisconsin for three years. The move was made because they desired land of their own. Mr. Trydahl purchased 80 acres of school land and built a log house about 16' x 18' with an upstairs. There was one door and one window downstairs and one window upstairs. He burned his own lime for plaster and whitewash. He gathered limestones and built a hollow fireplace on the ground. He covered the stones with dirt and then fired with wood until the stones were burned enough. When burned so that they would fall apart when handled he placed them into a wooden box which had been made either from a hollow tree or from lumber and crushed them. He added sand and water for plaster and plastered his house with it. Then he mixed lime and water and whitewashed the house on the inside. He sawed lumber for his own use and even made shingles for the roof of his own house.

Mr. Trydahl was handy and clever at many kinds of work and was always busy at something. The first years in Fillmore County he made milk pails, milk bowls, washtubs, washboards, etc., from cedar wood. Articles made from this wood had had a pleasant smell and were easily kept clean. He prepared hides from horses and cows and made shoes for the family. He also made wooden shoes which were much warmer than the leather shoes. Ingeborg says that she wore wooden shoes in the winter and went barefoot in the summer.

About six years after they moved to Filmore County, Mr. Trydahl went to fight in the Civil War. About a year before he had to go he was given notice and that was the reason why he built another log house which he almost finished before he went to serve in the Army. He did not get the upstairs floor installed and did not get to plaster and whitewash the inside of the house. When he went Mrs. Trydahl rented the farm. The renter lived in the old log house and Mrs. Trydahl and her children lived in the new log house.

Mr. Trydahl with the other soldiers suffered much hardship. They had to do much walking carrying their own blankets on their backs. In the cold weather they rolled themselves up in their blankets and laid down on the frozen ground to sleep. Sometimes when they awoke in the morning they would be covered with a thick blanket of snow. They wore strong shoes that were stiff and heavy. When they had walked long dis- tances their feet would bleed and the blood would foam out over the tops of their shoes. The soldiers went in small groups of about fifty to one hundred men, probably because there would be a better chance for them to obtain something to eat. The wagons with the provisions could not get through to bring food along for the soldiers. Therefore, the men had a right to take food wherever they could get it. They even had a right to enter the homes of the settlers and take what food they could find there. They could go into the farmyards and help themselves to chickens, pigs, vegetables, or anything they could prepare for food. The soldiers did not bother the settlers much but would go into the corn- fields and take corn which they roasted over bonfires. They had large bottles to carry water in and filled them every time they had a chance which as a rule was at a settler's home. The settlers were few and the villages were far between. The soldiers had a right to go into a village and help themselves too but the people in the villages usually heard about them coming and were prepared to meet them with much food and drink. The people in the villages were very nice to the soldiers. When the soldiers reached the battlefields the wagons with provisions were not always there either because sometimes snow would block the way and the provision wagons could not get through.

Mr. Trydahl was very sick at times from suffering on the long marches and when they reached the battlefields he was not always able to fight. When he had served for three years he could have been excused with the other soldiers who had served that length of time but because he had been sick so much he had lost his enlistment papers and therefore had to serve another six months. When he had served three and one-half years he returned home with broken health. He was still able to work and did much work around his home the seven or more years that he lived after returning from the service. He did carpentering, repaired watches, etc.

Ingeborg remembers when President Lincoln was assassinated but does not recall any details. She is not sure but thinks that it was General Grant who led the army her father served in.

About 1860 Knut Knutson Kvasager came to America with his wife, Torbjor Knutsdatter Aakre Kvasager and family. The oldest child, a boy, also named Knut, was then only about 15 or 16 years of age. Both Knut Kvasager and his wife were born in Valle Satersdal, Norway, and they lived there until they came to America. They lived some place in Minnesota for a few months but after Mr. Trydahl had left to serve in the Civil War they moved to a place about 1.5 miles from Ingeborg's home in Filmore County.

Ingeborg was at home nearly all the time and helped with the work. The last year before She was married she worked for others part of the time. The last summer before she got married, she worked for the same farmer as Knut Kvasager. The next spring, March 1868, at the age of seventeen and one quarter years of age, she was married to Knut Kvasager, who was 22 or 24 years of age. They lived at the home of Ingeborg's parents for one year. Their first child was born there December 16, 1868. The following Spring Knut and Ingeborg decided to go to Pope County to get land. During the time they stayed at Trydahl's, Mr. Trydahl had made a chair for each of them and he also made a wagon that he gave them before they went to Pope County. When they left Trydahl's for Pope County they drove with two yoke of oxen and wagon. They had two cows and a heifer which followed the wagon.

When they were married they had to drive a long ways with horses and wagon to get a minister to perform the ceremony.

When they left for Pope County, Ingeborg's parents hated to see her go. They went along aways in the wagon. Her father was not so strong and went along only one mile and walked back but her mother went along two miles before she went back. Ingeborg says that she was her father's pet so it was very difficult for him to see her go. She also says that there was more love between parents and children in those days compared with this present time. "The children had to obey their parents but they also loved their parents. Children nowadays get to go after the Old Adam's nature and that is nothing but evil. It hurts me every time 1 hear that a baby is born into this world".

One of their neighbors, Torgreim Drengson Rike, came with them in a covered wagon drawn by one yoke of oxen. Both Kvasager and Drengson bought school land in Pope County. They lifted Kvasager's wagon box (with the covered top on) off the wheels and set it on the ground. There Kvasager and his wife and child lived while the men were working clearing a place for their house and getting ready to build. However, some neighbors offered them a chance to come and live with them in their house and cook their meals with them while they were building, They accepted the offer and Mr. Drengson used the covered wagon instead. Kvasager's log house (16'x18') was built first and later Drengson's house was built. Kvasager's house was plastered and whitewashed on the inside. It had nice smooth hard oak floors. Ingeborg does not remem- ber whether her husband planed the lumber or whether it was bought that way. Knut made the table. Her father made the two chairs while they lived in his home. Her father had made a lathe and he made a very nice bed from very hardwood called "lon" in Norweigan. The bed had smooth round posts. There was no spring but he used ropes that were fastened through holes in the sides of the bed. The ropes made a network that served as a spring in the bed. A home made mattress filled with straw from oats was used. It was good to sleep on.

Mr. Drengson went to work in the harvest around Minneapolis and he planned to go from there to Filmore County to bring his wife and children to Pope County after the harvest was over. He went and brought them but when they got as far as Goodhue County his wife, who was very sickly. became too ill to go further. He had to remain there and never came to Pope County with his family but later he came to the Red River Valley in Dakota. He lived in the vicinity of St. Olaf Church in Americus township. His home was eight or ten miles south and a little West from Grand Forks. It maybe was in 1880 that they came to Dakota. Even if Mrs. Drengson was sickly for a while she lived longer than her husband.

Knut Kvasager and wife Ingeborg lived happily together and six children were born to them.

The winter before Mr. Trydahl died he felt very sick and planned to go to Pope County and spend the winter with Knut Kvasager and Inge- borg, his daughter. He thought maybe that would be good for him. He left home for Pope County on the train but on the way he met a doctor that persuaded him to come and live with him that winter and he would cure him. He was anxious to get well and did not go to his daughter's home but went to live with the doctor for the winter. Spring came and he was not any better. He felt quite sick so he went right home to his wife and family where he remained until he died that same fall.

Knut Knutson Kvasager Dies

Knut was a very nice and good husband and father but in 1878 he took pneumonia and died leaving his wife with five children. The oldest was only 9 or 10 years of age and six weeks later another boy was born. Ingeborg took it terribly hard. She took the three youngest children with her and went out in the trees. and cried until she was all in. Then it was as if a voice spoke to her saying that God had to take her husband now to save his soul. At once she felt better. After that she could not think that it should have been otherwise and she was contented to go on despite her loss. She rented her farm. The renter had to have the house for his family. She could not live with them and therefore she went to Filmore County to live with her mother .. Her youngest child was born there six weeks after Mr. Kvasager died and he he was given his father's name.

In 1878 her brother Ole Trydahl went with his family in a covered wagon drawn by a yoke of oxen to the Red River Valley and took a homestead in Americus township. He built himself a small log house. In 1879 Ingeborg with her six young children went to Dakota too. She had the five youngest with her and went on the train. The oldest who was a boy went with her sister and husband, Mr. and Mrs. Halvor Fladland, who had a little boy by the name of Andrew. Mr. Fladland's brother, Torger, also came with them in a covered wagon drawn by a yoke of oxen.

Ingeborg had three cows and her boy had to help chase them along. It was in April they came to Dakota. The railroad went only as far as Fisher's Landing. Her brother Ole Trydahl and halvor Fladland came there with horses and wagon to bring her to her brother Ole's place. They crossed the Red River on a ferry probably about 12 miles south of Grand Forks.

Marriage to John Aakre

It was difficult to live with others with her family and one year later, in April, she was married to John Aakre. They were married in her brother Ole's log house by Rev. A.A. Aaberg. About three weeks later they moved into Mr. Aakre s little shanty 12'x14' with one door and one window. There was only dirt floor. It was in Walle Township. The shanty was furnished with a home made bed, table, chairs, a long bench and shelves on the wall. They used a grease lamp. It was a home made cup from tin. It was shaped with a lip on the side to lay the wick in. That lamp was used until they moved into the new log house which Mr. Aakre built that same summer. The new log house was 16'x24' with an upstairs. It had one door and two windows downstairs and two windows upstairs. It was only one big room downstairs but later it was partitioned off in the one end for a small bedroom. After they moved into the new log house they used kerosene lamps.

Grand Forks, was not named yet then. The Tharaldson boys that came from Pope County and started a store where Grand Forks is now were neighbors of Ingeborg and her first husband, Knut Kvasager, in Pope County. In those days flour was not sold in sacks, it was put up in barrels. Ingeborg does not remember how much flour cost. They bought some to begin with but as soon as possible after their first crop of grain was harvested they brought wheat to the mill and had it ground into flour. Aakre's received their mail in Walle post office in the pioneer days.

It probably was the second and third year that Aakre and Ingeborg were farming that the wheat froze. They used it for flour but the bread did not get so bad. It was not so white but was pretty good otherwise. The fourth or fifth year the grain froze again and froze much. They used it for flour but the bread would not rise and was heavy and dark.

In the winter they usually had bad snowstorms. Some of the farmers had ropes between the buildings to go by so they would find their way back to the house after the chores were done. Many houses snowed down. The snow would come even with the roof of the stable. Aakre's house too snowed down once. One year during those early days some of the people that were still using the river water for drinking got sick from the water. It was called "Langfar sjuken" in the Norwegian language but it must have been typhoid fever. One year between 1880 and 1890 Mr. Aakre bought some land with a frame house on it. The frame house was moved over on the homestead and fixed up and the family moved into it to live. Some of the children still slept in the log house. One day in the summer a cyclone came up and took the roof off the log house but no one was sleeping in there being it happened during the day.

Ingeborg's mother owned her farm in Filmore County and lived there but she came to Dakota and built a room onto the house of her oldest son, Ole Trydahl, where she lived when she was in Dakota part of the time visiting. She died at the home of her youngest son where she was when she took sick. She was seventy eight and one-half years old when she died.

Mr. Kvasger's mother and brothers came to Dakota too. Knut Knutson Kvasager died, about 1876 and in about 1878 or later, Halvor, John, and Ola came to Dakota. Young Knut and his mother maybe came about 1879.

Osmund Knutson Struggles to Create a Farm

In 1892 Osmund Knutson built a house on his first piece of land, and eighty, on the southest quarter of Section 34, Twp. 150, R.50. December 7. 1893. he was married to Gunhild Upsal, daughter to Ole Upsal, who was postmaster at Walle post office. They went to live on the eighty. He soon traded his eighty for the northwest quarter of Sec. 36, Twp. 150, R. 50. He moved into the house in the fall and in the spring his house burned. He built a new house and when it was nearly ready a cyclone came and took the house, cow barn) granary, and shed, tore them to pieces and sent them into the coulee. It was only the horse barn left. He built another new house the same year and added to it later. That same cyclone took several barns. churches, and dwelling houses. It was in about the year 1901 or 1902.

Osmund says that at the time he was married there was not a Christian in Walle Congregation. People were terrible. Only drinking, dancing and carousing. Osmund was right with them in their evil ways. One day he took terribly sick. He thought sure that he would die before morning. That night he promised the Lord that he would quit his evil life and turn to Him. Osmund struggled with the law trying to save himself through it for about two months.

He did not wish to let his wife see that he was troubled over his soul's condition so he used to take a book and go out in the barn and read out there by himself. It was "Hemmeligheder I Lov og Evangelium" - Secrets in the Law and the Gospel - by Mag. C.O. Rosenius. He says that maybe he read three of those books. The last book he read was the second edition. He was reading where Rosinius explains Christ on the cross and the Holy Spirit let his spiritual eyes be opened and he believed and knew the truth in his heart that Jesus Christ had shed His blood on the cross to save him, Osmund Knutson, from his sins and condemnation. Osmund says, "It was not so hard to lay aside my evil habits then."

In 1898 or 1899. Osmund Knutson together with his brother Edward Knutson, started a store. It was located on the Northwest quarter of Section 24. Ole Upsal, the postmaster of Walle Post Office, turned the post office over to the Knutson brothers and Edward was put in as Postmaster. The post office remained in that store until the Rural Free Delivery service was established. Osmund lived on the farm all the time and did the hauling of the groceries because he had horses and could do it. Be was connected with the store for only one year and sold out to his brothers Big Knut and Edward. They had the store together for about three years and sold it to someone else. The store changed hands many times and the last one that had it was a bachelor who went broke drinking. The store stood empty since two years ago until last fall when it was moved into Grand Forks and placed on 7th Ave. So.

A Divided Church

Osmund Knutson tells about when Walle Congregation was divided. The people of the congregation did not like Rev. Braaten as a pastor and wanted him to go. Rev. Braaten kept on stubbornly until several families or about one third of the congregation left and started a new church which later became East Walle Congrgation. More families left Walle Congregation later. They called Rev. A.J. Hulteng who now lives at 322 Belmont Road, Grand Forks, N.Dak., to take charge of their congregation. East Walle church was built in 1895. Osmund Knutson was converted and born again of the spirit in 1895 and thinks that it maybe was in 1896 that he too left Walle Congregation and went to East Walle Church.

After Osmund Knutson was converted he together with his brother, Vesle Knut, who was also converted and born again, held meetings. They sang and played their guitars besides testifying. There was a revival and souls were saved.

A Move to Minnesota, Then Canada

In 1894 or so Mr. Aakre bought land on the Minnesota side of the Red River. Across the river and four or five miles North along the river from their homestead, in Walle Twp. Mr. Aakre went in the spring and built a house on the land and in the fall the family came. The homestead was turned over to the children after Ingeborg's first husband died.

Knut, the third in Ingeborg's family by that name, was only three years at the time they moved to Minnesota in the fall. He died the following spring.

Mr. Aakre worked very hard on that farm in Minnesota. He bought a ferry to cross the river on. They went forth and back between the homestead and the farm on the Minnesota side. When they had lived there for seven years they sold the farm and bought a farm near St. Olaf Congregation in Washington Township and moved there in the summer of 1904. In the spring of 1905 Mr. Aakre went to Canada and bought railroad land and also filed on a homestead. The law re- quired only that he shoul.d stay over the winter and make certain im- provements on the land but when he had been there two winters the law changed so that he had to bring the family too before the land could be proved up.

Ingebord's Spiritual Struggles

Mrs. Aakre was converted and saved the second year Mr. Aakre was in Canada. It was thirty-two years ago January 17, 1938. She had seen herself as a condemned sinner for many years and it had bothered her much. She was at home alone with the three youngest children and had all the chores to do besides the work in the house. It was to get the children off to school in the morning and then to get to work and work hard all day.

Services were held in the St. Olaf church and she attended. She worked hard all day but when evening came she got ready and went to church. It was so strange she did not seem at all tired. She had struggled many years. She knew she had sinned and knew she needed to be saved but she struggled trying to be saved by the law which would not work. She felt very much condemned and struggled most severely. Whereever she read in the bible there was nothing but condemnation for her. She was not able to see the promises. She tried to read the bible but could not understand it. She had a copy of Rosinious' Secrets in the Law aud the Gospel, the third edition. She read it and could understand some of it.

One day when she went to church again she thought she saw written on the wall in the church "You shall do nothing" and she was glad. She testified. When she came home all was darkness again because the Holy Spirit had not been able to make the words living words for her yet. She went back to the same struggling again but finally gave up and was a helpless sinner before God. She tried to pray but found out she could not do that either and finally gave up entirely. "Then my soul cried for salvation and the Holy Spirit explained Christ for my soul and I knew the truth in the words, "tDet er alt fuldbragt - it is all finished." She became very glad. The words became living words for her. She had read those words, learned them by heart, and heard them preached many times but never did she understand until the Holy Spirit was permitted to make them clear to her. It was seven days she struggled. She did not eat or sleep but yet she was not tired or hungry even though she worked hard all day.

Mrs. Aakre tells of two of her sons that died in their youth. One was Ola that took sick and died when he was only 17 years old. He was saved on his death bed. Knut, the youngest child of her first husband, died when he was only 23 years of age. At the age of 22 years he was teaching in Walle and Americus townships and there was a ruling that the teacher could read the bible to the children every day providing he did not make any explanations. Knut read the bible to the children and thought of what he read and finally one day when the children had gone home he decided that he had to try to get saved. He got down on his knees to pray. He said that "There I got to see, in the light, that I was saved."

Mrs. Aakre said, "Takket og lovet og priset vare Gud fordi han sendte Aanden". ("Thanks and praise to God for sending the Holy Spirit"). In the following verses Jesus speaks of the Holy Spirit: John 14-26. John 15-26. John 16-7, to 11 .13. "I am so glad that the Holy Spirit was able to convince me and show me too that Jesus is my Savior. I am saved and I know it."

Family Happenings

Mrs. Aakre had a sister, Birgit, that was married to Mr. Kirkelei and lived in Harmony, Minnesota. She had four boys and three girls. She took sick and while sick her sister Anne was taking care of her. the children and the house. Before she died she asked Anne if she would be mother to the children. Two years later Anne was married to Mr. Kirkelei and took Birgit's place.

Mrs. Aakre's brother, Anond, came to Dakota in 1884. He was back to Norway for a trip and came again to Dakota. He went to Filmore County, Minnesota, and got married. He came back to Dakota and lived several years on his homestead in West Walle. He had six children when he went to Harmony, Minnesota, to live again.

Big Knut attended the University two or more years. Osmund Knutson attended 1 yr and Little Knud the University three or more years. He also decided after he was saved that he wished to attend school at St. Olaf because he felt that he needed a different schooling because he was planning on going into the ministry. He attended school nine months at St. Olaf and at that time he found out that he was suffering from tuberculosis and he went to his grandmother and lived for a while with her. He came to Dakota and stayed with his sister Mrs. Norlie of Grand Forks for a while but when he got sick so he could work no more he came home to his mother and died three weeks later.

Halvor, the second in Mrs. Aakre's family. got heart trouble. He never was married and he died 31 years old. Inga. the youngest child. attended Aaker's Business College two years. She worked in the courthouse in Crosby for two years, in a chain store in Drayton for one year, and in the First National Bank of Grand Forks for six years.

Halvor Aakre, John Aakre's oldest boy, went to Canada shortly after Mr. Aakre went the first time and also filed on land. He stayed out there over three winters also. In 1907 the whole family went to Canada and lived for two years and came back to live on the farm they bought in Washington township in 1909. They rented the farm while they were in Canada. In 1912 or 1913 they moved to Manvel in the spring. In the fall, in August the same year, Mr. Aakre took sick and died in August a year later. In 1916 Mrs. Aakre moved to Grand Forks where she lived at 905 Cherry Street until 1925 when she went to live at the Home for the Aged.

In January, 1931, Mrs. Aakre took sick with the flu and had bronchitis and neurology. She was very sick. An abscess formed in her head and she was both deaf and blind for some days. The abscess broke and pus ran from both ears. Afterwards the hearing and sight came back to her again. Now she is busy making rag rugs and such fancy work as happens to be in demand.

As she looks back on her many years of life she sees her mistakes but is thankful to the Lord that she too is permitted to look forward to that day when Jesus shall come in the clouds to bring all believers home to everlasting life and glory. God has been good to her to not only preserve her spiritual life but he has also preserved her body. She is strong and has power to think very clearly. Not very many at the age of 88 years and many at the age of 60 are not able to think as clearly as she does.

Additional Data

Buffalo bones were plentiful, also reindeer bones and horns. The reindeer horns were used by the pioneers as decorations but the buffalo bones were useless.

There was a brick kiln on the South side of Grand Forks. A flour mill was located in Caledonia. An elevator was located on the Red River, probably on the southeast quarter of Section 12. It was the elevator Osmund worked for.

At the first wedding Mrs. Aakre attended in Dakota there was dancing. She did not favor dancing and did not take part. Otherwise she did not know much about dancing until the children got big enough to want to attend.

Mrs. Aakre knew nothing of the W.C.T.U. until she came to Grand Forks to live. Then she belonged to that organization. She was along in the Ladies Aid in Walle but was not along to organize it.

There were a few claim jumpers.

If Aakre's had a newspaper, it must have been the "Scandinamian".

There were only 40 acres of land left when Ingeborg Aakre came to Dakota and she filed on that.

Osmund Knutson has been:

  • Township clerk ~ 7 years.
  • School clerk - 26 years
  • State Hail Adjuster - 4 years
  • Parochial school teacher - 1 year
  • Supt. of Sunday School - 15 or 20 years
  • Assessor - 9 years
  • Road overseer - several years
  • Wheat buyer for the Red River Transportation Co. - until the elevator closed because river was too low for boats.
  • He was "Emisar" - or one who is sent out to do mission work - for the "Red River Dalen" and traveled and preached first in 1912 and was re-elected again in 1913 but he had a big family and a farm to tend to so he refused to go after that.

His Uncle Knut Knutson, Jr., was one of the first County Commissioners of Grand Forks County.

The last above 8 pages were mailed on June 5, 1945, from Edw. Knudson, Clifford Annex, Rm 4, Grand Forks, N.D. to Mrs. D. Halvorson, 4319 West Pine, St. Louis, Mo. They were typed by Mr. Clarence Knudson, Grand Forks, N.D.


Little Knut's Letters to His Brother

The following are letters written by Knute Knudson ("Little Knute") to his brother, Edward Knudson. Knute died early from T.B. York, Minn. Nov. 2, 1899.

Edward Knudson, Dear Brother,

I have nothing to do today so I will write you a letter. I generally take an exercise with the ax in the forenoon and afternoon I go hunting. I have Joel's gun. Last Sunday evening I went to church with Ben Hingeveldt and there I saw many of our old school mates but most of the big boys then are married now. I have been invited to come and visit at so many places that I don't know where to go first. All the girls and boys at Hingeveldts are married except Ben. Henry Hebrink is married and is living on Joel's old place. Lidy is also married.

Grandma and I were to Kirkily's a while ago. They are getting along quite well. Aunt Anna looks very good. Edd is drinking right along and Artie is doing all the work at home. Girtie is not staying home. I hear that she is to be married soon. Ida is home and I hear that she has a fellow also. I am going to Kirkily's and stay a while and attend a "Sarntal Mode", that is to be held at Harmony. I suppose you remember our old schoolmam Nina McKinzie. She is still teaching school !here. She is married to Joe Richard. Ruth Richard died a short while ago. She had been married about two years. I can tell you that some of your marks are still to be seen on the fences and walls. Your name is especially plain in the milk shanty where you have it put on with white paint. I remember well when you put that on but you had more courage and just daubed your finger into the can and put on a big E.K. Grandma is well. She has just been fixing up a chicken and I infer from that that we are either going to have roast chicken or chicken soup for dinner. I guess she has forgotten all about you poisoning her chickens years ago. She has not talked about that yet but she remembers well when you and Lydia Hebrink were working for the spelling price at school.

I feel quite well but I cough quite a bit if I don't get better after a while I think I will go to Colorado. I got your letter with the money in it all right. When you write me again tell me all about the Danielson boy and Torkelson's boy if they are well or not.

Your brother, K.K.


York, Minn. Nov. 3, 1899

Edw. Knudson. Dear Brother:

In regard to the land affair, I can say that if you sell I must sell also because I can't let you sell the southern half of the eighty but it seems unreasonable to pay around $2500. and us only $2000. but if you are going to sell and can't make it any other way I suppose we have to let it go at that. I would like to go out where you have taken land and take some myself if I get well again as I think I will so I can't promise you any money but if you get in a pinch I will help you out. If you find any good chances to buy land where you are, please let me know.

Your Brother, K.K.


Northfield, Minn. Jan. 7, 1900

Tillie & Herman Norley, Reynolds, N.D.

Dear Brother & Sister:

I got your letter quite a while ago and was glad to hear from you. I hope that Herman is well again now. I am feeling quite well myself. Have just started in school and think I will like it first rate. I am taking Norwegian, Latin. Religion and music. I take two lessons of music every week. I left Grandma's the 4 of Jan. and was sorry to leave her all alone still she did not seem to worry. She has been all together too good to me if I should stay there much longer I would be more like a baby than anything else. I am boarding in town at a hotel where I have to pay $14.00 a month for furnished room and board. I have got a partner about six feet tall. He is now sitting about two feet away from me studying his Geography lesson. He is sitting on a chair by the wall and laying his feet over onto the bedstead about five feet away more or less. I tell you he is not a very good baby to sleep with. He has got into the habit of piling up his limbs into the center of the bed and it leaves the sideboard of the bed for me to sleep on. Nevertheless we get along first rate. He is a Christian and of course we enjoy each other's company. I hope these few words will reach you and that you will not wait too long before you write.

I am forever Your Brother, K. Knudson Northfield, Minn.


York, Minn. June 16, 1900

Edd Knudson Walle, N.D.

Dear Brother:

Your letter was received before I left Northfield. From Northfield I went to Rochester to see those doctors whom I conulted last fall. Having given me a thorough examination they told me that I had made very little progress but I was certainly not any worse. Still it is my personal opinion that consumption has got a pretty strong hold on me. The trouble is in the left lung and the doctors told me that I did not have any cavity there yet. This spring my stomach broke down and I lost my appetite than I got mumps again so I went down in weight about fifteen pounds. Now I weigh about 139 pounds. I arrived at Lime Springs the 15th of June. The same day I got out in the country on my wheel. The weather has been quite nice here all spring and the crops look good. I learned that Artie has had a spree sometime ago. Artie and another fellow were riding in a wagon with a keg of beer between them. The horses ran away and the beer keg struck first the other fellow in the head and knocked him senseless, then it struck Artie a crack on the knee and dislocated his knee. My standings for the spring term are as follows: Latin 95, Norwegian 88, Religion 98. I haven't got my Botany standing yet. Next time you write, tell me how John Aker is getting along. Is he well and what is he doing?

Your Brother, K. Knudson


Bemidji, Minnesota

September 25. 1900

Edd Knudson

Walle, N.D.

Dear Brother:

I am staying in Bemidji and will be here about J or 4 more days yet then I am going to Solway and stay a week or so. Hugh & Sofie have been telling me ever since I came that Solway would be a fine place for a Norwegian store. There is no Norwegian store and the country is full of Norwegians who are very anxious for a store of that kind. Now if you think you would like to keep a store and you got 8 or 10 dollars to spend you might come over here and we would take a team and go around the country and see what we think about it. Hugh will sell you his house and lot for $900.00. It would make a fine little building for a store. The main part is 20 feet high 20 feet broad and 30 long. To this is added a kitchen 14 by 20 back of the other building. Upstairs you have two single bedrooms and two double. Now I don't know anything about this matter myself but if it is like Hugh & Sofie are telling me it would certainly be worth investigating and if you decide to come you must come within a week or ten days or I might be gone. I feel better now than when I left home still this is all on account of being over that cold I had and getting better board.

I remain. Your Brother, K. Knudson Solway, Minn.


Note: Lisle (Little) Knute Knutson wrote these letters, born 1879, died in 1901. He had attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, the same college from which L. Edward Knudson graduated in 1963 and which his brother, Curtis Lee Knudson, attended, later graduating from Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota.



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