Johannes E. Qualey

Johannes E. Qualey was born in Sogndal, Norway, November 15, 1840.  At the age of five he and his family came to the United States settling in Dane County, Wisconsin.  About 1860 he left Wisconsin and moved to Dodge County, Minnesota where he lived for 20 years.  On July 19, 1864 he married Martha Gilderus, who was the first white child born in Koskenang Prairie, Wisconsin.  As a child she and her family moved to Dodge County, Minnesota.

In May of 1880 John Qualey and five children, Edwin, Dorothea, Nels, Mathilda and Sever started their journey to North Dakota, by wagon.  Mrs. Qualey and baby Gunhild took the train as far as Wilmar, Mn., where they met the wagon and rode with them the rest of the way.  In order to have some provisions for the following winter they had sent money to Sever Gilderhus to plant potatoes for them.

On their trip their food ran out at Fargo so they lived on milk and soda crackers the rest of the way.  They were especially concerned about finding a place to homestead that had free fuel and water.  The land around Goose River had all been taken so they came to the Sheyenne River on July 4, 1880.

The original buildings were one mile north of the present farmstead.  Two springs their buildings were flooded so they moved their buildings to the present location.  A daughter, Anna, was born after coming to North Dakota.

The first school was held in the Qualey home: teachers were Christ Bolkan and John Dahl.

In October 1913, Nels Qualey, who had married Annette Windloss in 1904, bought the farm and continued to farm until 1942.  They had four children, Maxine, Judith, Mercedes and Richard.  Richard married Lenore Rosendal in 1942 and they started farming at that time.  They had five children, Sheryl, Nell, Reed, Annette and Brent.  Richard died in 1978 and his sons have been managing and farming the original homestead in addition to other land that has been acquired.  Neil, Reed and Brent are the fourth generation to farm the original homestead.

Source: Cooperstown, North Dakota 1882-1982 Centennial page 92

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