Nils Kolkin, an early resident of Dakota County in Minnesota, researched a number of Norwegian-American settlements. A photocopy of his unpublished history of the community in Dodge and Olmsted can be found (in manuscript form and in Norwegian) in the archives of the Norwegian-American Historical Association, at Northfield, Minnesota. (The original may be in the Luther College archives, Decorah, Iowa.) The following particulars concerning early settlers (and a few clergymen) are mentioned in Kolkin’s history:
See the complete text of Kolkin’s work here: Norwegian Settlement History of Dodge and Olmsted Counties
Name Order = given name – patronymic – farm name
NOTE: Clicking on a name at left will open a new page showing that person in the genealogy database.
Rev. Adolph Carl (A. C.) Preus — Visited the D-O settlement in July 1858. He held a service under an oak tree at “Ole Guldberg’s” house on Section 10 in Rock Dell. In the summer of 1859, Preus visited the D-O settlement 4 times.
Aaron (Aron) Anderson Sjolstad (Top) — Arrived in 1854.
Amund (Anund) Nilsen (Nielsen) Giere — Nils Giere had a farm 15 miles northeast of Decorah. Ole Sattre and Amund Giere left Dane Co. and went to Winneshiek Co. where the brother was located before following a man named Bear to Olmsted Co. Nilsen (Nielsen) Giere
Anders (Andrew) Christophersen (Christofferson) — Andreas Christophersen from Christiania arrived in 1854 from Wisconsin.
Anders (Andrew) Torgrimsen Moen (Mohn) — “Andrew Hedal” arrived in summer of 1856 and settled on Section 12 in Canisteo.
Bernt Stolsen (Staalesen) Barstad — Bernt Barstad from Sokkendal in Christiansand arrived in 1854. At same time[?] came Jens Levang from Sannikedal. Both from Blue Mounds, Wisconsin.
Bottolf Larsen (Larson) Eitorn (Eithun) — Botolf Eithorn and family arrived about “Vaaren” in 1854. Eithorn came from Winneshiek County where he owned land. When moving to D-O his oldest son was age 20 and his youngest had just been born.
Christopher Isaacson Tvedt — “Christopher Twait” and family settled in Section 7 of Salem Twp in 1854, and that his brother Torbjorn (then too young to get title to his own land) returned to Winneshiek Co. Kolkin says some things about “Christopher Twait” in conjunction with Pastor Munch’s visit to settlement (in Sep. 1857.) Munch baptized 22 children at Ole Sattre’s house, including two of Christopher Tvedt’s children, Thomas (age 2 1/2) and Ingeborg.”
Rev. Elling Eielson — Kolkin suggests that Eielson visited the area in the 1850s. Says he visited with the svigersøn of John Wing.
Endre E. (Andrew) Skogsmark — Endre Skogsmark arrived in (summer?) 1856.
Endre Endresen Vidden (Aslebraaten) — Halvor Stensrud arrived at Rock Dell on 18 June 1855 along with Endre Aslebraaten. They had been at Rock Prairie, Illinois. Also “Ole Kaasind” from Saude, TE.
Erik (Erich) Knudsen (Knutsen) Levang — Erik Levang was early settler at Canisteo. He was married to a sister of Anders Furuland.
Erik Reiersen Bakke (Bakko) — Erik Bakke arrived in summer of 1856 and settled on Section 12 in Canisteo. [NOTE: It was in Vernon Twp.]
Even Halvorsen Leifstad (Holtan) — Even Holtan and family from Dane Co. — svigerfader of Knudt Holtan — arrived in 1854.
Gulbrand Thoreson (Thronesen) Buind (Dokken) — Gulbrand Thronesen Dokken from Nummedal came to the settlement in “Vaaren 1856.” He was from Koshkonong. Took a claim in Section 32 in Salem Twp. In the summer of 1857 he brought barrels of whiskey from Winona and sold them.
Gunder Pedersen (Pederson) Lauvaasen (Lovaasen) — Gunder Pederson Lauvaasen and family were early settlers.
Guttorm Olson (Olsen) Fraagot (Fraagat) — “Gutorm Olson” with mother and sister arrived in 1854.
Haavel (Haavald) Nilsen (Nielsen) (Nelson) Brække — Haavel Brække and his wife came to the settlement in 1854 from Painted Creek, Allamakee Co., Iowa.
Helleck (Hellek) Gulbrandsen Waagtveit (Vaatvet, Vaagtvet) — Hellek Vaatveit arrived in summer of 1856 and settled on Section 10 in Canisteo. [NOTE: It was in Vernon Twp.]
Halvor Halvorsen (Halvorson) Stensrud — Halvor Stensrud arrived at Rock Dell on 18 June 1855 along with Endre Aslebraaten. They had been at Rock Prairie, Illinois. Also “Ole Kaasind” from Saude, TE. Stensrud settled on Section 9.
Jacob (Jake) Hansen (Hanson) Tveitan (Tvedten) — Arrived in summer of 1855. No other info.
Jacob (Jakob) Helgeson (Helgerson) Dahl (Hallenstvedt) — “Jacob Dalen” arrived in 1854 (Salem Twp?).
Jacob (J.?) Tostensen Leqve — “Jacob Lekve, father of Thorsten Lekve, settled east of Christopher Twait and Ole Vegger [in Salem Twp?].”
Jacob Knudsen (Knutson) Thoe (Toe) — Jacob Thoe arrived in summer of 1856 and settled on Section 26 in Canisteo.
Jens Knudsen (Knutson) (Knutsen) Levang — Jens Levang from Sannikedal arrived in 1854. At the same time(?) came Bernt Barstad from Sokkendal in Christiansand. Both from Blue Mounds, Wisconsin. [NOTE: Two brothers with the same name of Jens K. Levang were both possibly residents of the Dodge-Olmsted area. One, born in 1831 died in Olmsted County in 1890. Less is known about his brother, born in 1816.]
Johan (John) (Jon) T. Arntson (Arntzen) — John Arntson, unmarried, arrived “in Høsten 1856” and settled in SW part of Salem Twp.
Rev. Johan Storm Munch — Munch baptized 22 children at Ole Sattre’s house. In September (1857?), Pastor Munch visited the settlement. With him as klokker was a man named Peder Fenne, from Voss. Also, that Christopher Twait (Tvedt) accompanied Munch on some of his travel in area.
Johannes Bendiksen (Bendixs.) Fjerestad (Fjærestad) — Settled in summer of 1855.
John Gunnefsen [Gunnufson] Grimsrud — He “var her og claimede Land og reiste ned igjen” (was here and claimed land and went down again)– to [Paint Creek] Allamakeee Co., Iowa.
John Kittilson [Kittelson) (Kittleson) Fjosemoen — John Kittilson arrived in summer of 1856 and settled on Section 15 in Canisteo. [NOTE: Records indicate his land was in Vernon Twp.]
Knut Erickson (Eriksen) Rockne (Rokne) — He arrived summer 1855.
Lase (Lars) (Tostensen) (Torbjornson) Olesen Gjesme — Refers to “Ole Sattre’s svoger Lars Gjesme in Winneshiek.” [Ole S Sattre married Lars’ sister Ingeborg.]
Lasse Olson Alrek (Alræk) (Alrick) — Says “gammel Lægprædikant” Lasse Aase who was married to svergmoder of John Sørum who came up from Blue Mounds [in Dane Co.] years before.
Rev. Lauritz (Laurits) Steen — Pastor Steen was offered a call by the St. Olaf and Bear Creek congregations and he responded in 1861.
Leiulv (Livay) (Levi) Evensen (Evenson) Folkestad — “Leiel Folkestad” who was married, arrived in 1854.
Nels (Niels) Nelson (Nilsen) Giere and Anund (Amund) Nelson (Nilsen) Giere — Nils Giere had a farm 15 miles northeast of Decorah. Kolkin says that Ole Sattre and Amund Giere left Dane Co. and went to Winneshiek Co. where the brother was located before following a man named Bear to Olmsted Co. Nielsen (Nilsen) Giere (Giri)
Rev. Nils Edward Schanke Jensen — In 1860 an arrangement was made for Pastor Jensen at Highland Prairie [Fillmore County] to visit the D-O settlement.
Ole Amanson (Amundson) (Amundsen) (Anundson) (Anunsen) Buind — “Ole Amundson” and family from Koshkonong arrived in 1854.
Rev. Ole Anderson Bergh — “South Zumbro congregation was formed in 1860, Pastor [Arne] Boyum of Fillmore Co. and Pastor [Osten] Hanson of Goodhue served until 1868.” [Pastor Bergh served South Zumbro from 1868 to 1886. He was a resident of Canisteo, Township.]
Ole Flaaran (Flaaren) — Ole Flaaren arrived in summer of 1856 and settled on Section 11 in Canisteo. [NOTE: Kolkin places residents of Vernon Twp AND of Canisteo Twp all in the latter.]
Ole Helleksen Flata (Lundeflata fodt paa Holtandal) (Holtandahl) — Ole Hellkson and family settled in 1854.
Ole Johnson (Jensen) Enger (Engen) — Ole Engen arrived in June of 1856. He was from “Urskoug i Smaalenene.”
Ole Olsen Lea (Lie) (Lia) — Ole Lea arrived in summer of 1856 and settled on Section 13 in Canisteo. [NOTE: It was in Vernon Twp.]
Ole Oleson (Olson) Kaasa (Kassa) (Kaasen) Sauhering — Halvor Stensrud arrived at Rock Dell on 18 June 1855 along with Endre Aslebraaten. They had been at Rock Prairie, Illinois. Also “Ole Kaasind” from Saude, Telemark.
Ole (Ola) S. (Sjurson) (Severts) Saetre (Saettre) (Sattre) — Kolkin refers to “Ole Sattre’s svoger Lars Gjesme in Winneshiek.” (Ole’s brother-in-law.) Also describes how Ole went to Dakota Co., MN and claimed land there a little north of Peter Sampson at the end of Chubb Lake. Peter Sampson was among very earliest of Christiania settlement pioneers.) Kolkin indicates Nils Giere had a farm 15 miles northeast of Decorah and that Ole Sattre and Amund Giere left Dane Co. and went to Winneshiek Co. where the brother was located before following a man named Bear to Olmsted Co. Ole Sattre bought 200 acres of land in Dane County for $1,400 and sold it in 1856 for $2,600. Many church services were held at Ole Sattre’s house. Pastor Munch baptized 22 children there (Sep. 1857?). In the summer of 1858 Ole Sattre and Even Holtan bought the first reaper in the D-O settlement. It was manufactured by John P. Manning (Many?). Also, Ole Sattre and Knut Rokne, with a team of horses, took first “Hvede [wheat] til Winona.” They went by way of Rochester, St. Charles, Lewiston and Stockton.
Ole Tollefson Golberg (Gulberg) (Goelberg) — In “Vaaren 1854,” Ole Tollefson Guldberg and family settled on Section 10 of Rock Dell — while Nils Giere and family settled Section 11 Rock Dell. Also Haavel Brække and wife. All these came from Painted Creek, Allamakee Co., Iowa. Pastor A. C. visited the D-O settlement in July 1858. He held a service under an oak tree at “Ole Guldberg’s” house on Section 10 in Rock Dell.
Ragnhild (Ranghild) Jurine (Julia) (Gurine) Evensdatter Holtan — She was the first child born in Salem Twp.
Sjur (Severt) Magneson Sattre (Sætre) — mentioned
Syvert (Syver) Nilsen (Nelson) — Syver Nilson and wife from Land, Norway arrived in 1854.
Tarald (Tharald) Nelsen (Nelson) Lensegrav (Lonsgrav) — “Høsten 1856” Tharald Lensgrav and family arrived in D-O settlement. Settled in SW part of Salem Twp. Also John Arntson.
Thorbjorn (Torbjorn) (T. B.) Isaakson Tvedt — In July 1856 Thorbjorn Twait came up (from Winneshiek Co, Iowa) and bought 80 acres of land on Vegger Prairie in Section 19 (Salem Township).
Thorbjorn (Torbjon) Knudson Levang — Thorbjorn Levang and family among early settlers in D-O area.
Thrond (Tron) (Tom) Christensen (Christenson) Saethre (Saether) (Horgeseter) — Thrond Sathre and family from Koshkonong arrived in 1854.
Tollef (Tolleiv) A. Olson Golberg — In 1854 there was Sunday school, opbyggelser, at the house of Tollef Guldberg in Section 10 [Rock Dell Township].