First Settlers, Opheims

In the spring of 1879 Omund Nelson Opheim, together with three of his neighbors and his brother-in-law came to Dakota Territory to look for land.  Opheim had been farming in Iowa for several years.  He decided to settle near the Fort Totten crossing on the Sheyenne as river crossings were few and far between.  The men built Mr. Opheim's log house.  Logs were notched and fitted and no nails were used.  This was the first house in Griggs County known to have been built by a permanent settler.  In 1932 it was placed beside the courthouse in Cooperstown.

After the log house was built, the party returned to Iowa, by way of Mayville, there Mr. Opheim's brother-in-law located.

In the fall of 1879 Mr. Opheim, together with his wife, his son Nels, his daughter, Martha (Mrs. Gustav Olson) her husband, Mr. Olson, and their sons, Martin and Oscar, left Iowa in a covered wagon drawn by horses.  At Fargo their horses were sold and oxen bought, as more suitable for Dakota conditions.  They reached their log house on Section 12-146-58, (Washburn Township), September 20, 1879.

Source: Griggs County History 1879 - 1976 page 6

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