Inga Herigstad

Mrs. Inga Herigstad

From interview by Hannah Lende

Mrs. Herigstad remembers an incident on her trip from St. John. When the company arrived in Chicago, Swen Loge’s little girl had died and when they arrived in St. Paul, Minnesota a boy was born to them at the depot.

Most of the company was headed for Granite Falls, Minnesota. A short ways out of Granite Falls, the women stayed at Ole Lende’s. The men bought each

The men had disagreed on the time they arrived in Griggs County. To settle the disagreement they wrote in to the Scandinavian paper, Chicago. They arrived in Griggs County June 15, 1881.

In six weeks Mrs. Herigstad got word from Mr. Herigstad that he had located land on section 27, Sverdrup Township, Griggs County. The others had located land also. The women then took the train to Valley City and the men came to get them with covered wagon. Mr. Herigstad had built a small sod house for the time being. When the other women saw what Mrs. Herigstad had to live in, they went back, to their wagons and cried like babies.

They lived in this sod house until the fall of 1881 when Mr. Herigstad built a log house. This land they were on was railroad land and they were not allowed to live on there. The same fall they moved to section 30, Sverdrup Township and had the log house moved up there. Carl Herigstad, brother to Mr. Herigstad went to Montana this fall and worked on the railroad.

Mrs. Herigstad and some of the neighbors went to Valley City for provisions each winter. In March, 1882 the Herigstads ran out of food. Mr. Herigstad and some of the neighbors went to Cooper’s Ranch and brought home some flour, kerosene and pork. The next day Carl Herigstad came from Montana. Andrew Watne was along with him. They walked from Valley City and were badly frozen when they reached Herigstad’s.

Early the next morning one of the men noticed fire in the ceiling. A kerosene can was standing close by. They were going to open the window and shovel snow in to quench it, and just then the kerosene exploded. Mrs. Herigstad grabbed the children and ran out to the barn. While the men were trying to quench the fire, Simon Auren and Lewis Johnson came to help. Mrs. Herigstad had made pancakes just previously and her dough was on the table. Simon Auren grabbed the dough and flour. Lewis Johnson grabbed all the silverware and white clothes. Most of their belongings burned. All of Mrs. Herigstad’s things which she cherished from Norway were destroyed. The little log house burned down completely. Another log house was built right away. The burned logs were used to make the kitchen.

In April, 188 another group came from Norway, Martin Lunde, Bor Herigstad and Nels Herigstad. They walked from Valley City. Mr. Betuel Herigstad started out for Valley City in the afternoon to get their trunks etc. It was many days before he got back. The river had risen. It had rained and was very muddy. With great difficulty Mr. Herigstad managed to cross the river.

Seven acres of land were broken in 1883. In the summer of 1883 Mr. Herigstad picked buffalo bones. He picked skeletons of twelve buffalos on his own farm and sold them at Cooperstown.

Mr. Herigstad bought a binder in 1883. The man he bought it from was invited to have chicken dinner with them. He comments on how good the chicken dinner was and told them the other pace he was to he was offered sour milk.

In 1886 Mr. Herigstad helped organize the township of Sverdrup. The meeting was at Lewis Johnson’s. Mr. Herigstad suggested the name of Sverdrup. It was put to vote and was named Sverdrup.

As the years passed the Herigstad’s added more land to their farming. Thirteen children were born to them. Mr. Herigstad died in 1933. Mrs. Herigstad now lives with her daughter Sylvia and Lydia in Minot.

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