From the Archives
by Charlotte Jacobson (Volume
31: Page 317)
Translation by Karl B. Schultz of two chapters of 70 aars
tilbakeblik, a book by a Norwegian sea captain which was published
in Oslo in 1932. The chapters excerpted deal with the voyage
of the Viking from Bergen to the Columbian Exposition in Chicago
in 1893 and later down the Mississippi River to New Orleans.
Clippings about an immigrant from Valdres who came to Milwaukee
in 1848 and moved to La Crosse in 1851. He established his
own business in 1856 and became known as “The Merchant Prince
of La Crosse.” Of special interest are information about the
house he purchased in 1865 and a coin which he had minted
with his lion trademark on one side.
Translation of a journal covering everyday happenings in
home, church, and community which was kept by an immigrant
from Balestrand, Sogn, who left Norway in 1853 and was ordained
into Eielsen’s Synod in 1858. He served the Arendahl congregation,
Peterson, Minnesota, 1876-1896. He was president of the Hauge
Brosten, Andrew (Einar)
Translations of letters to his relatives in Norway from an
immigrant who came to the United States in 1881. He wrote
from Illinois and Iowa, but finally settled on a farm in Griggs
county, North Dakota.
Fjelde, Herman Olaus
Papers of a physician from Alesund, who emigrated to the
United States in 1889. After receiving a medical degree from
the University of Minnesota, he practiced medicine in Minnesota
and in North Dakota. He was a man of many interests who worked
tirelessly for the preservation of the Norwegian heritage
of his countrymen. He helped establish Det norske Selskab
and Søndmørelaget. He was also instrumental
in the erection of statues in the United States of famous
Dr. Fjelde came from an unusually gifted family. His father,
Paul Michelet Fjelde, was a woodcarver. His brother, Jacob
Fjelde, became a well-known Norwegian-American sculptor. Jacob’s
son Paul also became a noted sculptor. Dr. Fjelde’s sister
Pauline was a painter, needlework artist, and weaver, who
had mastered the art of Gobelin tapestry.
Reprint of “The Effect of Community on Migration; Three Minnesota
Townships, 1885-1905,” published in the Journal of Historical
Geography, vol. 5, no. 4 (1979), by a Norwegian-American scholar
at the University of Minnesota. The area studied is Renville
Papers of a teacher of Norwegian at St. Olaf College who
was active in promoting study and interest in everything Norwegian
and Norwegian American. Especially interesting are papers
connected with the program “Coffee Hour,” conducted by the
members of the Department of Norwegian over radio station
WCAL. There are also transcripts of letters between St. Olaf
College students and Norwegian seamen during the years of
World War II.
“John Lie og Amerika,” the story of a Norwegian novelist
and poet who lived in Fyresdal, Telemark, 1846-1916, and who
was one of the most popular writers among first-generation
Norwegian Americans. In 1898-1899 he visited the United States
and published a volume of poems, Helsing til Amerika. He also
gave occasional lectures, but because of ill health the visit
was not a great success for him.
Hagen, Monys Ann
“Norwegian Pioneer Women; Ethnicity on the Wisconsin Agricultural
Frontier,” a master’s thesis at the University of Wisconsin,
Papers concerning the life and work of an immigrant from
Mandal, who came to Chicago in 1904. In 1915-1931 he operated
Den Norske Kafe, which became a center for fellowship among
Norwegians in Chicago. Much of his time, interest, and energy
was devoted to church and charitable enterprises. He was the
first business manager for Norsk Ungdom, which began publication
in Chicago in 1913. In 1926-1927 he published a weekly, Chicago
Hansen, Oskar J. W.
Newspaper items and photographs of the work of a sculptor
who emigrated to the United States from Vesterålen in
1910. In 1961 he was awarded the President’s Medal of Merit
for a sculpture at Yorktown, Virginia, commemorating Washington’s
victory over Cornwallis. His most famous work is the Winged
Figures of the Republic at Hoover Dam, “said to be the largest
cast bronzes in the world.”
Hardanger Fiddle Association of America
Descriptive material about an organization seeking to preserve
interest in the traditional eight-stringed violin which is
the national folk instrument of Norway. An earlier organization,
Spelemanns Laget af Amerika, founded in 1914, died out at
about the time of World War II.
Hildahl, Hud Naes
Letters and a memoir “Listugfarmen,” written by a woman who
emigrated from Kragerø in 1937 to Roseau, Minnesota,
after her marriage to a Norwegian-born farmer who had settled
there. She tells about her life in Norway and the contrast
to her life in Roseau. She had been trained in handicrafts
and as a hobby began making dolls illustrating Norwegian fairy
tales. The hobby grew into a business, and she traveled all
over the United States, showing, selling, and lecturing about
Hoen, Peter L.
My Life, Dyre Dyresen’s translation of an account written
by an immigrant from Nordrehaug in Ringerike. After coming
to Chicago in 1971 he was converted to the beliefs of the
Seventh Day Adventists. He spent the rest of his life as a
layman working among the Scandinavians of this denomination.
“Hawaiian Adventure,” a brief account by an immigrant from
Drammen who came to Hawaii in 1880 as an indentured servant.
After a few months he was released from the indenture by his
father, who paid the passage money.
Two accounts, Kallevig Reunion and Georgeville, Minnesota,
from 1860-1903, edited by Kalevik, who at one time was a resident
of Georgeville, Stearns county, Minnesota. The Kallevig reunion
was held at Willmar, Minnesota, where descendants of three
brothers, Alias, Johannes, and Olle Kallevig, gathered in
the area where these men had originally settled in the 1 880s
and 1 890s.
Langseth, Peder Olsen
“Norske Settlementer og Menigheter i Sherburne, Benton og
Mille Lacs Countier, Minnesota,” written by Langseth together
with A. Larsgaard and R.J. Meland. All three men had been
pastors of congregations in this part of Minnesota.
Lofthus, Orin M.
Pioneers in the Norwegian Settlement, a compilation of information
about the families who came to Albany, Wisconsin, beginning
in 1849. The statement is made that this is intended as “a
layman’s history of the entire settlement,” which covers “members
of various family groups through three or four generations.”
The work is in manuscript form, but has been copyrighted.
Munch, Peter Andreas
Records pertaining to the Norwegian-American interests of
a sociologist who was born at Nes, Hedmark, and received the
first Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Oslo. He came
to live in the United States in 1948 and after teaching for
some years at the University of Wisconsin, St. Olaf College,
and the University of North Dakota, he taught for twenty years
at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
In 1939 he had been part of a Norwegian scientific expedition
to Tristan da Cunha, an island in the South Atlantic. This
led to his publishing numerous articles and books about the
island, the best known being Crisis in Utopia, published in
In 1970 he and his wife, Helene Munch, published The Strange
American Way, based on their translations of the letters of
his grandmother, Caja Munch, and on excerpts from the autobiography
of the Reverend Johan Storm Munch, who had served parishes
at Wiota, Wisconsin, and the surrounding area, 1855-1859.
After Dr. Munch’s retirement from Southern Illinois University
in 1979, he was elected a member of the Norwegian Academy
of Science for his contributions to the field of sociology.
He died in 1984.
Nora Lodge, No. 1, Riddere av det Hvide Kors. Sons of
Norway no. 415.
Additions to the papers of a Norwegian cultural and benefit
society in Chicago, consisting of historical information,
legal documents, and five volumes of membership, secretarial,
and financial records.
Norsk Leseforening, Chicago
Secretarial and other records of a women’s reading club,
founded in 1898 to foster interest in the literature of Scandinavia
and particularly of Norway. The club often made financial
gifts to charitable enterprises in the Chicago area.
Norwegian-Danish Methodist Episcopal Conference, Richland
Records of a rural Richland county, Wisconsin, congregation,
which in 1945 became part of the West Wisconsin Conference
of the Methodist Church. The congregation was organized by
a group of Norwegian immigrants in 1856. Because of declining
membership the church was closed in 1981.
Odegard, Ethel J.
Papers of a Norwegian American who had a distinguished career
in nursing before her retirement in 1951. She was at one time
executive secretary of the Nurses’ Examining Board, District
of Columbia. Her article “Farewell to an Old Homestead,” dealing
with her home in Merrill, Wisconsin, appeared in Norwegian-American
Studies, vol. 26.
A covering letter and an interview conducted by Janet Rasmussen
with a resident of the Norse Home in Seattle, Washington.
Olson had emigrated from Laksevåg, near Bergen, to Boston
in 1907, where he joined the Norwegian Society and Norumbega.
Overn, Anton Gustav Helgeson
“A Pioneer’s Proclamation; Uncompromising Truth; Unfailing
Love,” the translated sermons of a pastor in the Norwegian
Synod, 1879-1905, who served congregations in Illinois, Wisconsin,
Minnesota, Missouri, and Utah. The translations were made
by a son, Alfred Victor Overn.
Pedersen, Ole R.
An autobiography translated by Pedersen’s daughter Marie
Peterson in 1974. It is the story of childhood and youth in
Valdres, the journey to Brown county, Wisconsin, in 1873,
and family, church, and pioneer life in that county.
Pederson, Luke Molberg
“Nineteenth Century Social Change in Lesja, Norway,” a paper
written by a history major in the College of Liberal Arts,
University of Minnesota, 1980.
Papers of a Norwegian-American politician from Dennison,
Minnesota, who served in the Minnesota Senate, 1954-1958,
and was congressman from the Minnesota First District, 1959-1978.
In 1978 he was elected governor of Minnesota and served a
The papers deal with his Norwegian heritage and background,
and tell of his visit to his people’s home area in Norway.
“Alone on that Prairie,” excerpts from a memoir written about
1910 by a woman who recalled the difficulties of life on a
homestead in Rosebud county, Montana. With her Norwegian-American
husband she had gone to Montana in 1914. The story ends tragically
with the murder of her husband in the early 1920s.
Papers about the work of a Norwegian-American sculptor in
Elgin, Illinois. His designs for a pioneer memorial in Elgin
and for a huge statue to be placed in the Chicago harbor were
never executed because funds were not available.
In the 1940s he was medalist and sculptor for the United
States Department of War. He designed their Combat Infantry
Badge and was instructor in sculpture at the United States
Army University near Oxford, England. He designed and edited
the commemorative American Roll of Honor, which was placed
in the American Memorial Chapel, St. Paul’s Cathedral, London.
Many of his statues, badges, and medals are to be found in
the Chicago area.
Royal Norwegian Navy War Veterans Association
“The Sea Breeze,” a newsletter, 1972-1983, of the United
States Branch of S.S.H. Veteranforening, a social organization
of citizens of Canada and the United States who served in
the Norwegian Navy during World War II.
Sønneland, Sidney Gaylord
Additional papers given by Mrs. Sidney Sønneland concerning
her mother, Caroline Stuverud Short. Of special interest is
the story of Mrs. Short’s pilgrimage to France as a Gold Star
Copies of Slægt register, an account by an immigrant
from Arendal who came to Dane county, Wisconsin, in 1861.
In 1867 he moved to Stevens county, Minnesota, which was frontier
country. The journals cover family history, his youth in Norway,
his experiences as a seaman, the journey to America, and the
kinds of work he engaged in. He intersperses his accounts
with philosophical observations and poems, some of which are
of his own composition.
Letters written to a Norwegian immigrant living in Clinton,
Wisconsin, in connection with her gifts to Opheim for an old
people’s home and to Vossestrand for a children’s home in
Letters written by a resident of Yttre Vefald, Drangedal,
Telemark, to his son Knud, who had emigrated to the United
States in 1887 and who became a distinguished Minnesota politician.
Papers of the son, Knud Wefald, are also in the collections
of the NAHA Archives. During the past year many additions
have been made to these papers. Included are an account from
1903 concerning a trip to Norway, poems that he wrote in both
Norwegian and English, and extracts from the Congressional
Record during his term in the United States House of Representatives.