KRISTIANNA SIGDESTAD OLSON

Kristianna Sigdestad was born September 23, 1861 in Opstryn, Nordfjord, Norway to parent Sakarias and Synneve (HJelle) Sigdestad. She was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran Faith in Norway. At the age of 18, she emigrated to America with a cousin Rasmus Mork, arriving in Montevideo, Minnesota the Summer of 1880. she was the first of her family to leave her native land.

She went to work in the family of a store keeper in Montevideo, Minnesota for the sum of $1.00 a week, I think. They were a large family, but the work did not prove more difficult than what she had been accustomed to. One advantage, the family was not able to speak the Norwegian language so mother just had to learn theirís.

On September 5, 1881 whe was married to Magnus Olson at Montevideo, Minnesota. (Marriage certificate in Selmaís possession gives the brideís name as Kristiarnna S. Johnson). They moved to a rented farm between Montevideo and Granite Falls, Minnesota where they lived until 1889. Here four children were born: Ida, Julia, A1ma, and Emma.

Soon they learned that sections of Montana were open to homesteaders. So, in the Spring of 1889, they gathered their belongings and their family of four children into a covered wagon drawn by a team of horses with one cow tied behind. They started out for what they thought their destination would be, Montana.

Her Motherís parents and two sisters had settled in Dakota Territory four years before and on their way, they had planned to visit and rest for a few days with them. (SW corner of Lynn Twp. Day County, about 7 miles north of Bristol). The family prevailed on them to go no farther but locate here. The homesteads were all taken but arrangements were made by Dad to buy a quarter section of land 3 miles east. of Grandma Sigdestad. Here in a one room frame house, life was begun anew. A well was drilled by Father which proved a Godsend for this well furnished water for the entire community, including steam threshing machines. Today, the well is in good condition and supplying water. (Selma Flakoll).

The land was new, crops yielded plentifully, new hope was instilled and with each year improved. It was not unusual for herds cross the prairie, but with settlers moving in they soon were either ki1led or moved on. The prairie fires were the general worry, The winters were severe and blizzards would last for days with snow and cold.

Another quarter section of land was bought adjoining the one they had. Here we have the trading of one of the horses for a team of oxen because the oxen were easier keepers on the forage afforded and for field work proved as satisfactory.

The usual hardships in pioneering were encountered, but their courage never failed them. They were schooled in provations. Soon community life improved, churches were organized and Dad being a stone mason by trade laid the first foundation of Bergen Church, his labor donated to a worthy cause which proved they were much concerned about the welfare of the coming generation, a commendable spirit.

Nine children blessed this hone, namey:

  1. Ida Q Mrs. Alden Bratager 15 Aug 1882
  2. Mrs. A. S. Running 8 May 1884- 10 Dec 1935
  3. Mrs. E. Jederberg- 5 Apr 1886
  4. Emma - Mrs. P. A. Sakariason 8 Dec 1887
  5. Minnie - Mrs. A. H. Gardner- 30 Jan 1890- 27 Aug 1950
  6. Selma - Mrs. Bert Flakoll- 18 Jan 1894
  7. Emily Mrs. A. C. Jordanger- 18 Jan 1898
  8. Oscar J. Olson-18 Jan 1896
  9. One sister died in infancy. (Selma Caroline, 10 Nov 1891-12 Jan 1893.
  10. A new home was partly complete when Father died suddenly Jan 5, 1898 just thirteen days before the youngest sister was born. Then Mother shouldered the work of rearing her family, managing the farm and with limited means, much ambition and labor, she proved successful. Her interest in the affairs of church and schools and the activities of community affairs were constant. Her main concern was her family which she struggled to prepare to meet the trials of life. Her perseverance and abounding faith in her Lord and Master was ever sufficient.

    Mother passed away April 27,1927 after a lingering illnessat her farm home she had helped establish and was buried in the Bergen Cemetery a true devoted Christian. Her children were all present at her funeral.

    Contributed by Selma, a daughter