The Halvorson Farm

In 1867 three Norwegian brothers, Halvor, Ole and Syver Halvorson immigrated to America and settled in Wisconsin.  They were natives of Lillehamer, Norway.

In the spring of 1881, Ole and Syver and a friend, Elling Nelson came to Dakota Territory.  They decided to settle on adjacent pieces of land in Washburn Township near present-day Cooperstown, North Dakota.  Later that summer they returned to Wisconsin for their families.

Making the trip to Washburn Township were Syver and Anna and their six children; Ole, his wife Petra, one year old son and Petra's father and the Nelsons.  Everything, including animals, was loaded into two or three boxcars and sent to Blanchard, North Dakota.  From there the families went by foot and wagon to their new home they called "Sod-town.€  (Located near Ness Church for which Ole Halvorson later donated two acres of land) One of the farmhouses they stayed at on the trek had had recent cases of diphtheria.  Two of Syver's children died from the disease.

Syver died of pneumonia in 1883.  A month after Syver's death, Anna gave birth to the couple's last child, Siverina.  The baby joined four other children in the family, Lise, Marie, Halvor and Caroline in the family's sod home.

Anna managed to keep and "prove-up" the homestead.  In 1894, with the help of a hired man named Charlie Swanson, she moved the farmhouse slightly northwest, closer to the center of additional property she had acquired.

Anna moved to Cooperstown in 1918.  The farmland she left remains in the family today, 51 years after her death in 1930.  Present owner is Jessie Arneson, widow of Clarence S. Arneson, son of Arne and Marie (Halvorson) Arneson and grandson of Anna Halvorson.

Source: Cooperstown, North Dakota 1882-1982 Centennial page 77

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