Early County Settlers

A little log cabin on section 26 of Washburn township was the birthplace of the first white child born in what is now Griggs county.

Anna Mathilda Torfin was born in this humble abode on September 11, 1880, less than a year after the first settlers, the Opheims, had established their home along the Sheyenne River. The Torfin's, neighbors of Opheim's in Iowa, came to this area in the spring of 1880 by covered wagon. Their first Dakota home was this nine by fourteen log hut. Here several of the other children were born.

A resident of Aneta, North Dakota for a number of years, Anna Torfin was married to Olaf M. Sloulin, a pharmacist, on May 6, 1900. Their children were Effie, Hazel, Mildred and Milton.

Anna's parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Torfin, lived on the homestead in Washburn township for a number of years. Later they moved to Rosseau, Minnesota but returned to Griggs county a few years later and made their home in Romness township until moving to Aneta where they lived the remaining years of their lives.

According to available information the second white child born in Griggs county was Katherine Opheim who was born October 4, 1880, and the third was Anton Olson born January 31, 1881. Elmer Mathieson whose birthday May 17, 1881, was the fourth.

Born October 8, 1881, Arne Hagen is perhaps the oldest living man in the Cooperstown area who claims Griggs county as his birthplace. Arne's parents, Thor and Ingeborg Hagen, came to this country from Norway m 1880 and to Griggs county in the summer of 1881. Their first home was a sod but later they enjoyed the comparative elegance of a log cabin. This pioneer home was located in Sverdrup township. Eleven children, two of whom died in infancy, were born here. Besides Arne, two are still living.

Mrs. Arne Hagen died March 31, 1957. Surviving besides her husband are the four daughters, Ingeborg Clauson, Norma Frisvold, Duna Frigaard and Arlene Colden.

Marson Cussons oldest businessman in Cooperstown who is still actively engaged in the operation of the business.

Source:  Cooperstown Diamond Jubilee 1882-1957 Page 17

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