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From the Archives
    by Charlotte Jacobson (Volume 32: Page 267)

Balchen, Bernt

Tributes, clippings, correspondence, information about honors and decorations, and photographs of the Norwegian-born aviator and polar explorer who became world-renowned for his career which included rescue missions, transatlantic flights, South Pole expeditions with Byrd and with Ellsworth, and service in the Second World War to the Scandinavian countries. He came to the United States in 1926 and was made an American citizen by a special act of Congress in 1930.

Bergeim, Ingeborg Olsdatter

A 3500-page collection of fifty-two notebooks, which constitute the daily records of a woman from Surnadal who emigrated to the United States in 1880, married Peter Bergeim, and settled with him in Watertown, Dakota Territory.

The first diaries are written in Norwegian, but beginning in 1903 they are in English. They cover her thoughts, personal and family life, and everyday happenings. There are accounts of the Atlantic crossing and of an attempt at homesteading.

Her son Joseph discovered the diaries and translated the story of her early married life into a manuscript called “Ingeborg’s Story.” This volume also includes genealogy, chronology of important events, her husband’s autobiography, and family pictures, as well as a summary of the diaries.

Bjork, Kenneth O.

Papers relating to the Norwegian-American interests of a professor of history at St. Olaf College, 1937-1974. A graduate of St. Olaf College in 1930, he earned his doctorate at the University of Wisconsin in 1935. His publications dealing with the immigrant experience include a great many articles published in Norwegian-American Studies and in other journals and books. His two books, Saga in Steel and Concrete, 1947, and West of the Great Divide, 1958, are landmarks in the field of immigration studies.

He served as editor for the publications of the Norwegian-American Historical Association from 1960 to 1980, during which time twenty-four books were published. On the occasion of his retirement as editor, he was presented with a book of essays in his honor: Makers of an American Immigrant Legacy. The opening essay, “Kenneth O. Bjork: Teacher, Scholar, and Editor,” by Odd S. Lovoll, is an assessment of his career which reflects “a consistent view of the nature and goal of historical investigation, planted securely in a broad interest in human endeavor.” His own statement of purpose was to tell “the whole story of a transplanted people that is now deeply rooted in America.”

In Norway his work was recognized with the award of the Knight’s Cross, First Class, Order of St. Olav, in 1962, and with the presentation of an honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree at the University of Oslo in 1976.

Papers relating to his career as teacher of history at St. Olaf College and as a political activist are filed in the St. Olaf College Archives.

Djupedal, Jakob

“Ei Amerikaferd,” the memoirs of an emigrant who helped build a railway, the Grand Trunk Line, in Canada, 1907- 1909. The memoirs were edited by Reidar Djupedal and published in Jul i Nordfjord, 1982-1984. The accounts cover the trip across the Atlantic to a place near Kenora, Ontario, as well as life and working conditions on the railway and in a new country.

Fedde, Gabriel Anensen

“Pennestrøg - Oplevelser,” the reminiscences of an emigrant from Feda to Brooklyn in 1880. In Norway he had been a teacher and sea captain; in Brooklyn he established himself as a ship chandler and ship builder. He was influential in the religious life of the community as a lay preacher and Sunday School teacher. He was one of the founders of Trinity Lutheran Church in Brooklyn and also of the Norwegian Deaconess Hospital there.

Fosholt, Sanford K.

Notes for a speech given by Fosholt when he made a donation of $50,000 to establish an Archives Fund at the Norwegian-American Historical Association in 1985. In it he explained how he became aware of the need for the preservation of records from our heritage.

Also included is a pamphlet, “A Visit to Dunvegan,” an account of his trip in 1983 to the Island of Skye where some of his ancestors had belonged to the Clan MacLeod of Dunvegan.

Gunnersen, Elise Margrethe Cammermeyer Welhaven

Xerox copy of pages 135-270 of the handwritten reminiscences of the wife of Professor Sven Rud Gunnersen, who taught at Augsburg College, Minneapolis, 1874-1883.

The memoir is a lively account of the interrelated lives of the Sverdrups, the Oftedals, and the Gunnersens, who occupied three apartments in the same house near the Augsburg campus. Elise Gunnersen found it difficult to adapt to life in Minneapolis, and her husband was not happy in his work at Augsburg. After leaving Augsburg the family spent a year at the Hauge Seminary in Red Wing, where August Weenaas was president. The Gunnersens returned to Norway in 1884, where Elise settled into a life that was more in accord with her background.

Hagen, Ole Erikson

Scattered papers of a Norwegian immigrant from Skjåk, Gudbrandsdalen, who came to the United States in 1881, and who spent much of his life at Crookston, Minnesota, where he worked as a stonemason and contractor. In 1896 he became Judge of Probate Court in Polk county.

He was also a journalist who established the popular weekly Rodhuggeren in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, in 1893, editing it for the next three years. Eventually this paper consolidated with others to become Fram, which he edited from 1899 to 1902. In 1904-1905 he was editor of Normanden in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

His other publications include a novel Tilfjelds, a summary of which is in the papers; a number of pamphlets published in Crookston; and a biography: Erik O. Hagen, kort omrids af hans liv og virksomhet i Norge og Amerika (A brief sketch of his life and activities in Norway and in America). There is also one issue (1/9, August, 1896) of Frisind, a periodical which he published together with Halvor Shirley in Fergus Falls, Minnesota.

Haslerud, Peter Peterson

“Petersen fra Peterson,” a pamphlet containing translations of an article about and letters to and from Peter Peterson Haslerud, an 1843 emigrant from Rollag, Numedal, who founded Peterson, Fillmore county, Minnesota. The translation is by Karl Pedersen, edited by John Erickson.

The story of Peter K. Haslerud, a nephew of Peter Peterson Haslerud, is also included in the pamphlet.

Hjelmeseth, Eilert

Correspondence and records dealing chiefly with Landsforbundet for Norsk Ungdom i Amerika, the national union of Norwegian youth societies. Hjelmeseth, who was born in Nordf3ordeid, was the editor for the Landsforbundet publication Norsk Ungdom. He was also associated with other Norwegian-American publications.

Kilde, Clarence

Correspondence and other materials collected by a retired Norwegian-American Episcopal priest in connection with his interest in Waldemar Ager. This interest began when he was growing up in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and learned to know members of Ager’s family and led eventually to his receiving a master’s degree at the University of Minnesota in 1978 on the completion of a thesis, Tragedy in the Life and Writings of Waldemar Ager: Immigrant, Author and Editor, a copy of which is in the St. Olaf College Library.

This collection supplements and in part duplicates papers previously contributed by Kilde to the Ager Papers.

Larson, Harold

Chiefly letters from Norway to the family of a Norwegian-American educator. Included also are the citizenship papers of Michael Larsen, 1885, and three letters from N. J. Thomasberg, then a student at Augsburg Seminary, to members of the Larson family. Letters from 1928 to 1937 are to Harold Larson from his mother.

Larson was born in Sioux City, Iowa, and received his B. A. degree from Morningside College, Sioux City, in 1927, and his M. A. and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia University. In 1929-1930 he was a Lydia C. Roberts Traveling Scholar to the University of Oslo. The King’s College Press published his doctoral dissertation, Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson: A Study in Nationalism, in 1944.

Larson taught history at McKendree College, Lebanon, Illinois; at the Municipal University of Omaha; at the University of Maryland; and at the Pentagon. He was an archivist at the United States National Archives and served as an historian for the United States Army and the United States Air Force. Complete details of his professional career are covered in a letter from the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia University, where the bulk of his papers are kept.

Lindley, Lester G.

“To Fulfill This Mission: A History of Kendall College, 1934-1984,” written by a teacher at Kendall College, Evanston, Illinois, to commemorate its fiftieth anniversary. Kendall was originally a two-year college, called Evanston Collegiate Institute; it had been the recipient of property from the Swedish Methodist Episcopal Theological Seminary and the Norwegian-Danish Theological Seminary. The name was changed to Kendall College in 1950, and the school became a four-year college in 1976.

The building that was originally constructed for the Norwegian-Danish Theological Seminary and later turned over to the Evanston Collegiate Institute was made into an office building by Frank Wheby. His notes on the building are in the file.

Logan Square First Baptist Church, Chicago

A church register listing membership, officers, chronology, and statistics of the Logan Square Norske Baptist Menighet. Minutes of the meetings, written in Norwegian, cover the period 1908-19 18. Some of the other listings continue until 1956.

Lundeberg, Knut Olafson

“Glimt fra mit liv” (Glimpses from my life), an eighty-one page memoir, together with some biographical data, about a prominent Norwegian Lutheran pastor who emigrated from Kviteseid, Telemark, in 1878. He came to Chickasaw county, Iowa, and wrote his first letter to his people in Norway from there. He studied at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, in 1881-1882. During the years 1886-1889 he attended the seminary which was located at St. Olaf College from 1886 to 1890. This seminary later became part of the Theological Seminary of the newly-formed United Lutheran Church. He was ordained in 1889 and had a varied career as pastor, teacher, and administrator. A founder of a small Lutheran group, Brodersamfundet, he served as editor of their publication, but later returned to the United Lutheran Church. An interesting item in the collection is a brief history of the seminary in Northfield.

Molde, Jostein

“Settlement Patterns for Immigrants from Verdal, Norway, a Survey and Analysis,” a study prepared by a Norwegian student at St. Olaf College, 1981-1982, as part of a thesis to be completed at the University of Trondheim.

Øien Family

A collection of letters, dated from 1907 to 1948, written from Chicago, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and Kvalshaug, Norway, by siblings, brothers- and sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews of Randi Larsdatter Øien Flatreit. She was the only one of eight children from the last generation to be raised at the Øyegrinde husmanns place at Nedre Øien who remained in Norway. An explanatory letter concerning the relationships is included in the file.

Oyen, Odin J.

“A Catalog of the Oyen Collection from the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse,” which gives the history of the Oyen Interior Design Firm. Oyen came from Trondheim in 1870 with his parents to Chicago and later to Madison, Wisconsin. After having studied art in Chicago, Oyen settled in La Crosse in 1888, where, together with Louis Nelson, he organized an interior decorating firm, working chiefly on public buildings. The firm was dissolved in 1931.

Peterson, Gerhard Augustine

Biographical data, clippings, photographs, sermons, and poems of a Norwegian-American Lutheran pastor, a graduate of St. Olaf College in 1916. As a member of the St. Olaf College Band he traveled to Norway and remained there for a year of study at Menighetsfakultetet. After serving in several parishes he became Executive Secretary for the Zion Society for Israel, 1943-1952.

Scandinavian Young Men’s Christian Society, Chicago

Minutes and financial records of two societies, the first organized in 1872 as De unge Mænds kristelige Forening tilhørende Trefoldigheds Menighed, Chicago, Illinois, and soon disbanded. The second organization was founded in 1876. The purpose of these societies was to foster spiritual, intellectual, and social development among Scandinavians.

Sohner, Jacob Theodore

“J. Theodore Sohner, Portrait Painter,” by lone Kadden, the story of a versatile artist who was also a fine musician. Subjects for his portraits were many distinguished Minnesotans: governors, senators, judges, scientists, and musicians. A plea is made in the story for locating the extant Sohner portraits so that this record may be preserved at the Vesterheim Museum in Decorah, Iowa.

Solwald, Gunnar Olsen

“Remembrance From My Life,” an autobiographical account of an 1875 emigrant from Skien, who tells about his childhood and youth and his career as seaman, soldier, and teacher in Norway. The emigrant journey in 1875 is covered in detail; it finally ended near Rushford, Minnesota, where Solwald was a farmer and teacher. Later he and his family moved to Clay county, Minnesota, and in 1887 went to the state of Washington.

An epilogue by Gertrude Solwold Wells tells the story of the last years of his life in Tacoma, Washington.

A later addition to the collection is “Borghild,” a memoir by Borghild Solwold Melbye.

Stavangeren, Chicago

Records of a local bygdelag organized by immigrants from Stavanger in Chicago, whose stated purpose was to foster traditions and connections among the members through regular meetings and social gatherings. For a time the group published a newsletter, Mortepumpen, for its members. Some of the articles and stories from it are preserved in the papers.

Tangjerd, Peder

Clippings, naturalization certificate, letters, and other data concerning a Norwegian-born pastor who came from Karmøy in 1888. After serving as a parish pastor, he became editor of Lutheraneren, the official organ of the Norwegian Lutheran Church in America. Among the papers is a manuscript “En fiskedag på vestsiden af Karmøi,” a memoir of a day in 1880.

Winger, Bjorn

Poems, stories, and an unpublished novel by a Norwegian-American teacher, folklorist, and writer, a graduate of St. Olaf College in 1914, who received a master’s degree from Indiana University in 1930. He taught English in an Indianapolis high school, 1916-1941, and saw army service in France during the First World War.

The papers include information about his father, Anders Winger, who had been an actor in his youth in Norway, but who emigrated to the United States in 1882 and lived in Minnesota the rest of his life. He died in 1928.

Woodside, Lorence Munson

The papers of an American woman, born in Hamilton county, Iowa, the daughter of Norwegian emigrants Sivert and Mesine Monson. She was a graduate of Highland Park Normal College, Des Moines, Iowa, in 1893, and did further study at the University of Chicago and at Boston University. She was an instructor in elocution at Buena Vista College, Storm Lake, Iowa, and for a short time Director of Physical Culture for the Iowa WCTU. From 1901 to 1927 she was employed by the Redpath Lyceum, the Eastern Lyceum, and the Chautauqua system as a reader, occasionally as a manager. In 1909 she married Alonzo Woodside, a veteran of the Spanish-American War, whose later career included service in the First World War and work in the Boston Post Office.

Lorence Woodside’s varied interests led her into many fields in addition to her career in public speaking. She was a gardener, leading school garden projects during the two world wars; she developed a dahlia which was given the name “Mrs. Woodside.” Much of her energy was devoted to civic and community service and to clubs and organizations.

Her trips to Norway in 1906, 1913, and 1926, the last as an Honorary Fellow of the American-Scandinavian Foundation, brought her into contact with many Norwegian writers. Her major achievements in this regard were the translation of Sverre Brandt’s play, Sonja and the Christmas Star, produced by the New York Junior League Players in December, 1929, and the translation of Barbara Ring’s short story, Peik, published by Little Brown in Boston, 1932.

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