Mr. and Mrs. A.N. Nordrum
Amund N. (Nilsen) Nordrum was born April 12, 1861, at Ringebu, Norway.
Anna Julia Takerud was born November 13, 1867 in Freeborn County Minnesota. Later, with her parents, she moved to Ottistal (sp?) County, Minnesota where she resided until their marriage, February 23, 1886.
The fall of 1885 Dad came to Dakota Territory, where he settled on land, which is now Eldon Township. The spring of 1886, together with three other families, they traveled cross-country by wagon, and drove their livestock on foot to their homestead. Their first year was spent in a sod house, across the road from where they built a frame house, which was re-modeled from time to time, and later was a beautiful home, with barns, granary’s etc. Their farm consisted of 400 acres, part of which still belongs to their descendents.
Money was scarce, but with faith, courage, determination, and hard work they succeeded. There were many hardships. Prairie fires were fierce. So fire breaks were plowed. There were the Indians, wild animals, especially wolves. Mother told of being alone one night, with her children, while Dad was away making fire wood, and she heard much commotion out doors. She covered the windows, fearing it was Indians. The next morning she discovered it had been wolves.
The blizzards were many and severe on the open prairies. Dad told of tying twine to house and following that on other errands out-doors. In one storm Pastor Blegen from Leeds, having had church service and dinner at their home, when a storm came up, so he spent the night. The next morning Mother made wraps from gunny sacks and wrapped his feet and legs for his 14 mile walk to Leeds. Dad walked with him half-ways to carry his satchel. This was March 8, 189?.
The corner stone of St. Olaf Lutheran Church, of which they were charter members was laid October 31, 1897. Dad served as treasurer from the time the congregation was organized until his death, Math 13, 1922. Then Melvin was appointed, serving until his death in 1936. Another brother, Arthur, then held the office, until his sight failed. Mother passed away November 9, 1934.
We were a large family, namely Melvin, Nels, Mary, Emil, Alma, Inga, Clara, Arthur, Amanda, Norman and Pearl, plus 2 sons who died in infancy.
The houses were small and not too warm at times. Frost would be thick on windows, on which we made rings with thimbles. Mother knit the families mittens and stockings, besides sewing our clothes. Much of this was done by lamp light.
School terms were held in one room buildings, one teacher for all grades. Many pupils did not exceed the 6th grade. Our school was known as Rigga School, later changed to Westrum school. Some of the fine neighbors were John Anderson, John Rysne, and the Huffmans.
Getting business done, groceries, mail, and medical attention was 9 miles away, and transportation horses or oxen.
July 6, 1916 lightning struck barn, killing three horses, and injuring others. July 16 of that year a Norwegian school program and picnic where held in grove. And in August a ladies aid sale and picnic were held.
But as time passes on the beautiful home we all loved and enjoyed is now vacant. But many happy memories, together, as a family, still linger, with the three remaining daughters.
These next two pictures are of the quilt my Great-Grandma Olson (daughter of Amund Nordrum) made for me when I was born. Amund sleeps with it. I love the old fabric prints! Many of the pieces of fabric are probably from old flour sacks I would guess. But you can see when you look at it that it is made up of fabric from many different decades.
I think Amund is really fortunate to have someone like Amund Nordrum to know about as his namesake. He seems to have had a pioneering spirit, been a hard worker, and a kind and faithful man of God. All that I hope and pray for Amund. Thanks Grandma and Grandpa Olson for sending us the picture and written account.