Arnt J. Helland

Pioneer Biography

Arnt J. Helland

Mr. Arnt J. Holland is the son of Mrs. Marie and Mr. Jonas Helland, who lived in Norway.

Mr. Arnt Helland was born February 9th near the town of Stavanger, Norway.

He came to America because he thought he could earn money more quickly in America than he could at his former home. He first came to Montana in 1887 where he was for some time before coming to North Dakota. When he came from Montana to North Dakota he had to pay the fare to St. Paul because he could not get a ticket to Sanborn where he intended to stop. He came to North Dakota in November 1892. He did not go any farther because he was too poor to get out of the state.

Mr. Helland gave the Indians milk and other food, who in return gave him some berries which they had gathered in the woods on the shore of Lake Addie. The Indians then had a big camp where Mr. Helland now has his home. They also trapped and hunted gophers which they ate. Before they made their camp there were many gophers but after a short time there were none left.

Mr. Helland took up land in Griggs County, Addie Township on the northeast quarter of section 34, *Range 60, Township 147 north. Mr. Helland built his first home by digging in a side hill and laying sod for the front. In the winter the snow drifted over it and they had to go through a long tunnel of snow to go in and out. The house was so snowed under that they could hear the wolves running over it at night, where they had a path across the roof. In summer the grass ­grew on the roof of the house.

The trip to town was a long and hard journey, especially in the winter when the snow was three or four feet deep and the distance twelve miles.

The nearest neighbor was Mr. Fred A. Sinclair who lived two miles away.

The early farm machinery was a wood mower and a hay rack with a wooden frame and wheels. The team used in his work was a team of oxen.

He had no grain crops because he raised sheep.

The fuel used was cow chips and timber that was found around the prairie.

The greatest hardships of the early days were the prairie fires because of the broad prairies. One of these fires started where McHenry is now and traveled over the land where Mr. Helland now lives and he had to chase his sheep out in the lake to prevent their being burned. The fire burned the grass off the roof of a neighbor's sod house and went over a hay stack without doing any damage because of the rapidity with which the fire sped. The men ran out and threw off the burning hay and put it out. It was said that this fire went so fast that it leaped over the Sheyenne River.

Mr. Arnt Holland was married to Miss Martha Helland in Griggs County in December 1892. They had eleven children, two of whom are dead. Jonas died in France during the World. War, and Hans also was to war and died in 1923. The other children are Hjelmer Helland, Binford, North Dakota, Fritjof A. Helland, Binford, Otto Helland, Binford, Miss Minnie Helland, Binford, Seval Helland, Binford, Miss Selma Helland, Binford, Rudolph Helland, Binford, Hermit Holland, Binford, Walter Helland, Binford.

The present home of Mr. Helland is in Addie Township, Section 34, and his address is A. J. Helland, Binford North Dakota, R.F.D. 2,Box 8.

--Rudolph Holland

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