Andrew H. Overby

Andrew H. Overby and Ingeborg Vangen Overby, married in April of 1884, had three children while living in their sod house on their homestead in Bryan Township.  One day while their Mother was digging potatoes, the children set fire to the sod house.  This made it necessary to build again.  This time a frame house, built on Section 11, which was not his land, but at that time they built wherever they wanted.  Andrew homesteaded on Section 10.  He also obtained a quarter by preemption and another by tree claim.  On December 1885, he bought from the U.S. the NW of Section 12-147-61.  He paid $200.00 for it.

Andrew built his barn on Section 3, so when more homesteaders came, he had to buy this land so as not to lose his barn, which was a very nice building.

Ingeborg and Andrew had 14 children.  They were Hans,

Paul, and Bertha, born in the sod house, then Nels, Dora, Petra, Chris, Olai, Johnny, Marie, Mattie, and two were stillborn.

In 1909 Andrew purchased a steam rig.  It had a 16 bottom plow that it pulled. The front of the engine had a large iron door.  Every morning early it was Paul's job to open the door and clean out the 72 flues that were filled with soot.  After that it took quite a while to fire up and get enough steam to operate.  In the field for plowing they used coal, but in threshing they often fired with straw to cut expenses.  There was a steam whistle on the machine.  It was used to give different messages.  Two long blows might mean "We are low on water, hurry!" The "water monkey" as they were called had quite a job to keep up.  The water monkey was Andrew's daughter Dora.  Threshing was the most exciting time for the kids - next to Christmas.

In the depression years of the 1930s when people had very little money, they sold every scrap of iron they weren't using.  The steam rig was in perfect running order so they steamed it up and ran it into Binford and sold it for $25.00.  It had cost $3,000.00 when they bought it new.

Chris and his wife Pearl took over the family homestead later and now these lands are owned by Chris's widow Pearl and their sons Kenneth and Gordon.  Kenneth and Gordon are the operators.

Pearl said that many times she can remember the Indians coming to ask for food.  She wasn't afraid of them; they were always very friendly and appreciative.  The gypsies came also and they were not so nice.  While some were begging for food, the others would take whatever they wanted.  She was frightened of them.

Source: Cooperstown, North Dakota 1882-1982 Centennial page 91

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