Per Person Farm

Per Person came to the Dakota Territory from Hodal, Sweden in 1881.  He was engaged to be married and his bride-to-be came to the new country about six months later and they were married at Mayville.  After living at Mayville and working there a short time, they took the team of oxen and wagon with the cow tied behind and moved west to Cooperstown.  They then had a baby who was sick and later died.  The first home was located on SE of Section 30 in Cooperstown Township.  Since it was possible to get the NE with a tree claim, they moved to that quarter and planted the required amount of trees.  With two years of planting and working with the trees, the drought dried up the trees.  Neighbors testified that the trees had been planted and cared for but failed; thus they qualified for the land.  In the new location a frame house, granary and barn were built.

Many trying experiences came to the pioneers.  While Mr. Person was doing some carpentry work, Mrs. Person was plowing with oxen and the beasts decided to go and drink water from the slough near by.  The oxen could not be controlled but did as they pleased and Mrs. person could not keep back the tears as they left the field.  Later of course they got horses and Person got a set of harnesses, which he carried on his back from Mayville.  Often when the oxen were resting, Person would pick up buffalo bones, which he sold.  There was a cellar under the house and the sand would fall down from the walls falling into the food.  One time a large chunk fell into the salt pork barrel and Mrs. Person had to wash up each piece and repack it.  In 1888 the frost killed the wheat in the month of August.

A new home was built in 1903 by Chris Seldahl and crew.  The men had worked hard with the haying and had the barn filled with hay.  They were looking forward to a fishing trip to Bald Hill Creek.  That night a lightning storm struck the chimney of the new house and the barn.  The barn caught fire and burned to the ground along with a shed next to it.  A hired man who was a relative helped get the horses out of the burning barn.  The hay, harnesses and new buggy plus other items were gone.  A new barn was built that fall and was used up until 1979.  The original house was finally torn down in 1980.

In 1909 Dr. Bergstrom of Cooperstown was consulted about Mrs. Person's ailing health and it was decided to travel to Minneapolis for a gall bladder operation, which was successful.  Mrs. Person died in 1936 and Per Person died in 1938.  The children born were Peter in 1889, John 1893, Margaret 1895, Julia 1897, and Inga 1899.  Three babies were born and died in infancy.

The farm was rented by Axel and Inga Li1jenquist in 1935 and later bought in 1947.  Their children are Wilbur, Margaret and Julienne.

Axel and Inga's first experiences in farming included the raising of turkeys.  A large hall storm came up suddenly and scattered and killed most of the turkeys.  Many of the windows in the house were broken out in the storm.

Wilbur rented some land and farmed in partnership with his father and then bought the farm in 1980.  Wilbur and his wife, Betty, built a house on the farm in 1959 and continue to farm the land.  Tim, Scott, Susan, Stacy, and Jamie are their children.

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

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