John (Johannes) Arneson

John Arneson, his wife Kristi Nelson Arneson and their son, Arne (1864-1917) came to America from Storebo, Norway in 1865.  They traveled Iowa, Minnesota, Washington, and Oregon, and then returned to Montevideo, Minnesota.

Five years later, the grasshoppers destroyed all their crops.  The sky was thick with the insects, as though a dark cloud covered the sun.  The Arnesons with their nine children, covered wagons and oxen and two other families moved west again.  The children took turns driving the cattle behind the wagons.  The wagon wheels made trails of dead grasshoppers as they crunched over the thick insects.

On the journey, the youngest Arneson, a nursing baby, was starving as the mother was unable to supply enough nourishment.  A gypsy train was traveling nearby.  They could hear the child's cries in the night and recognized it as hunger.  They sent a mother to the Arneson camp as a wet nurse.  The gypsy caravan continued to travel nearby, to feed the baby, saving her life.

The appeal of Dakota Territory brought the pioneers to the Sheyenne Valley.

The Arnesons homesteaded on NW of Section 6-146-57 in what was then Griggs County, now Steele County.  The adjoining land in Griggs County E of NE of Section 1-146-58 was bought by John Arneson January 25, 1884 for the sum of $800.00 from William A. Kindred.

Later, the younger Arnesons took over complete management of the Palace Hotel, which was the chief hostelry in Cooperstown.  The daughters wallpapered, cooked, and served the meals.  Arne was manager.  The venture was a success, and the Palace became the focal point of this growing community.

The Arnesons eight children were Arne, Dorthea Tobiason, Ella Bergstrom, Anna McDermott, Martha Hazard, Nels, Hans and Josie Hartman.  Descendants of the family who still live in the Cooperstown area are Mr. and Mrs. James Arneson, Mrs. Clarence Arneson, James Hazard family, and Mr. and Mrs. Albin Arneson.

John retired.  Arne, who was by then married to Mary Halverson, operated the farm home till his death in 1917.  Arne and Mary's son, Albin, and his wife, Hazel Monson became the next owners of this farm, where they still reside.  Their son Jerome is now farming and owns both the early homestead and the land purchased by the Arnesons in 1884.

Source: Cooperstown, North Dakota 1882-1982 Centennial page 70

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