Biography of Otto E. Ronglien
My Parents names were Martin E. Ronglien and Anna Westkvam Ronglien. Mother was born in Toten, Norway, father was born in Hurdalen, Norway. Name is Otto M. Ronglien. I was born in Hurdalen near Oslo, Norway, the twenty-first day of September, 1864.
My parents immigrated to America when I was four years old. They settled in Trempeleau County, Wisconsin. I was the youngest of eight children, all my brothers having farms of their own, I decided to strike out and get something for myself. North Dakota was more advertised in Wisconsin than any other state. Lots of men left Wisconsin at that time to take homesteads in North Dakota.
I came out here in the fall of 1885 on the Northern Pacific Railroad to Dezey where I was met by my cousin, John Clemenson. The same day I walked twenty-two miles northwest from Dazey to the farm of Ole Feiring where I was going to work during harvest. I arrived at sundown, stopping once for lunch. I worked for different farmers during the season for some years, making Dazey my headquarters until the spring of 1890 when I filed a tree claim on which my present home is located on section 28, Township 144, Range 59, one hundred and sixty acres. I built a frame house on the claim, 14' x 16', that I lived in for many years. The nearest town was Dazey, six miles from my claim, that boasted of two stores, two saloons, one hotel, one school house. My nearest neighbors at that time were John Milray, Tom Mossing, and Michael Monson, all in the same section. A mile or so away were Aslak Gunderson, Austad Brothers, and John Lilja.
I started in farming with two oxen, one horse, seeding only wheat at first, later flax. Some years yields were good but more years poor. Fuel in those days was anything that was to be had for nothing mostly. Some hauled brush from the Sheyenne River about ten or fifteen miles. There was always straw to burn. Railroad ties could be had for three cents a piece and North Dakota lignite was two dollars and fifty cents a ton.
Prairie fires were common in those first years and my house had one narrow escape from burning up. Luckily I saw the fire coming and had time to plow fire breaks around it.
In 1898, I built a big up to date barn during the summer and just as harvest commenced, the barn barely ready, lightning struck the barn and burned it to the ground with carpenter's tools and one hundred chickensinside of it. Three men and myself were sleeping upstairs in the barn at the time but we all escaped with a good scare.
June, 1908, I married Mrs. Ellen O. Larson at Fargo, North Dakota. My present home was built in 1901 and is a frame addition to the-original house.