Klubben Farm

Elling and Soneve Klubben were the parents of Waldemar Klubben.  Elling made his living as a fisherman till he died when Waldemar was four years old.  His home was in Nordfjord, (near Bergen) Norway.

After the death of his parents, Waldemar was reared by an aunt, but had to make his own living at an early age.  In this part of Norway fishing was the main occupation.  He found the ocean made him sick, so he moved south to Stavanger and worked on the railroad.  He married Maria Pernilla Johansen of Sonmore June 9, 1878 and they lived at Holland Station, near Stavanger.

In the winter of 1881, The Waldemar Klubben family, together with the families of Ola Westley, Sven Loge, Sven Lunde, Knut Haaland, Ola Stokka, Andreas Vatne, Sven Lima, Carl Herigstad, Lars Herigstad, and Tobias Thime made plans to move to America.  They were ready to leave when the children contacted whooping cough, which made it necessary for the mothers and children to remain in Norway until the children recovered.

The men began their journey April 10, 1881.  In England they boarded the ship "The Palmyra".  The ship's propeller broke near Newfoundland.  Many ships passed them, but did not stop.  They were adrift four days before help came and towed them to St. Johns, Newfoundland, where they stayed ten days while their ship was repaired.  From there they went to New York and then overland by railroad to Granite Falls, Minnesota.  The trip took them seven weeks.  Meanwhile, the women and children left Norway and arrived soon after the men did.

These travelers stayed at Granite Falls with the Christian Aarestads, their friends, for two weeks.  Since the land there had been claimed, they moved to North Dakota.  Klubben and Sven Loge bought three oxen, a covered wagon, a plough, and a harrow.  When they unloaded in Fargo, they found that one ox had caught his horn between the boards of the wheat car and had been killed.

Upon coming to Sverdrup in June of 1881, they found a great deal of land available.  Tired after their long tedious journey, they decided to settle there.  Some chose to live by the Sheyenne, but Waldemar chose the prairie.  He filed this claim in Valley City and settled on Section 26.  The land was not surveyed until later that summer.

The first year Klubben was able to break up only five acres of land, since it was so late in the season.  He had only one ox, but the neighbors let him use one of theirs.  The land was seeded to wheat and oats.  Wheat sold for ninety cents a bushel that first year and averaged 20-25 bushels per acre.  Christian Lee had a reaper and cut all the grain that was cut in the area, but they had to tie it by hand.  R.C. Cooper had a threshing machine and threshed for the settlers.  Klubben had his grain threshed fourteen days before Christmas the first year.  The grain was cleaned and seeded by hand.  The grain farming did not provide enough income to keep them through the winter, so Klubben, Sven Loge and others went to Valley City to get work threshing.

The next spring, when they were out of provisions, they had to make a trip to Valley City, the nearest town, a distance of thirty miles.  They were within twelve miles of town when they had to turn back; the Sheyenne River at Sibley Crossing was so flooded it was impossible to cross.  They obtained some provisions from Mr. Cooper, which lasted till the waters receded.

The first house in which the Klubbens lived was a sod house built on the quarter line between Klubben's and Loge's land.  Each family had one room.  The house had a dirt floor, a small opening for a door and no windows.  There was very little furniture and when company came, they brought in stumps on which to sit.  Having built the house, the men went to Valley City to buy supplies.  Klubbens lived in this sod house for three years.  Then they hauled logs from the river and built a log house.  Often during a summer rain, the settlers, while inside their houses had to use umbrellas to protect themselves from rain.  After a rain, everything had to be taken outside and dried.  Klubbens first barn was made of sod.

Snowstorms were frequent in the winter.  Sometimes snowdrifts were higher than the barn and the settlers dug tunnels and went through trapdoors in the roof.

The mosquitoes were a real problem.  They were inside the house as well as out.  The people would build smudges on the dirt floor of the house.

A large frame house was built on the Klubben farm in 1912.  This house is still standing and is sheltered on the north by trees planted by Waldemar.  In 1918 a barn was built on this homestead also.

Maria Klubben died on April 26,1919, and Waldemar on May 27, 1929.  The nine children were:

  1. Elisa Sophia Askelson (1879-1944)

  2. Susanna Loge (1881-1965)

  3. Karen (1882-1897)

  4. Enga (1884-1905)

  5. Regina Haaland (1887-1959)

  6. Margareta (1889-1896)

  7. Berta (1891-1963)

  8. Edwart (1893-1974)

  9. Albert Johannes (1895-1972)

Source: Cooperstown, North Dakota 1882-1982 Centennial page 84

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