Mrs. Sophie Stokkeland

Sophie Gunderson was born on September 4, 1886 in Gol, Hallingdal, Norway.  She came to America in 1889 and stayed with relatives in various places until her mother and stepfather settled in Pleasant Township, later known as Lenora.  There she attended a school in Pilot Mound Township right across the line, where she completed the eighth grade.  Later she went to Concordia College for one term in Home Economics.

In July 1908, she was married to Torval Fosholdt and they made their home on a farm in Tyrol Township until his death on August 11, 1911, leaving his wife with a bountiful crop to be harvested.

Ludvig Stokkeland and two of his brothers came to assist with the harvest that fall.  The widow stayed on the farm and took care of the cows and the team of Shetland ponies.  She sold the horses to the Stokkelands.

In the spring of 1913, she was married to Ludvig Stokkeland.  They had three children: 

1.     Torval who lives on a farm in Tyrol Township, Arnold in the city of Cooperstown, and Lillian (Mrs. Eldred Savre) of Gresham, Oregon.

There are 18 living grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren.

Mrs. Stokkeland's memories include the big prairie fire of 1896 which started out near New Rockford on a Sunday afternoon, and Monday afternoon it got across the river near the Tanse bridge, where some dry trees lying across the river made it possible for the fire to cross.  The Sever Odegaard family lived east of the bridge and just barely made it to save their log house.  From there it didn't take long for the fire to reach the Gunderson place in the valley.  Her father had broken up some land around their place so there were just a few rods to fight the fire.  Mother and Dad put the children on the plowing, while they were fighting the fire.  Luckily enough, their uncle and father were able to plow a firebreak around their grain stacks and those of the uncle he was renting from, so their grain stacks were saved.  They heard later that the fire went east past the Rinde farm and two Rinde girls climbed into the well and sat there until the fire went by.  A great deal of hay and grain along its path was destroyed.

Sophia Stokkeland

Source: Griggs County History 1879 - 1976  Page 82

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