Letter of 1871 from Olmsted County, Minnesota
From Nils Helgesen Nubberud
Rock Dell, Olmsted Co., Minnesota
January 14, 1871
To Ole Gundersen Nubberud, Eggedal, Sigdal, Buskerud
Rock Dell, January 14, 1871
To Ole Gundersen Nubberud
Now I must finally take up my pen in order to write a few short lines back again in response to your own letter of last summer that came to me and which we happily received and read through and moreover we see that you are all in good health now to date. And I can greet you in return with the same good news and it is the best each of us can wish for themselves here in the world.
And likewise I can tell you that I have had the farm to work this summer that I have my house on and we had a good summer here this year. At first this summer we had quite a little rain but it ended up to be a good year. On the farm I got 624 bushels of wheat, 165 bushels of oats, 100 bushels of corn and a few potatoes and a half share of the grain belongs to the owner of the farm and the other half share belongs to me; and this summer I have had much to do since I have not hired much help. I hired Kjersti Ereksdater Sansbraaten for 3 days in the fall and I gave her 2 dollars per day and I had Hellek Wasvigen for 3 days when I gathered wood and he gave me 2 dollars per day and moreover I have gone along when they followed the reaper and I drove it with a pair of oxen and when I drove the machine all day then I could cut around 9 acres per day. And the letter we got from you last summer we received a month after it was sent and then I had gotten my threshing done about three weeks before, and I had the threshing machine 1 ½ days and that time I have many people. I had 11 men and 10 horses to pull the machine and a pair of oxen to pull the threshed wheat home, because here threshing floors are not used, rather they thresh the wheat out in the field, so therefore with this work there is nothing that needs help other than those who cut it and pick it up. And now this fall I have had steady work because I have rented the farm again and gotten some other driving and those oxen that I have are quite young for working very hard yet. But I got it done in good time and do not drive them too hard, so they are in fairly good shape yet. And I get to take care of the farm work next year again and also, for the owner of the farm, I am going to work up 15 acres of new land for next summer and for that I shall get 7 ½ dollars per week with which I plan to buy me a pair of oxen in the spring. And this winter I have one cow and one heifer, 19 hens and 1 pig and I have slaughtered 2 pigs for Christmas and last summer I lost 1 heifer which was a loss of about 20 dollars. And the wheat price here this fall has been varied. This fall the average price was 70 cents per bushel but now it is 90 cents per bushel and certainly the war [between France and Germany] continues so the wheat price will be higher next summer.
And Asle [Fingarsen] Flaagan [the sender’s father-in-law, who emigrated in 1869] is here with me yet and he has worked at Asle Ereksen’s place this summer and Ingebør [Asledatter, sender’s sister-in-law] has also been away this summer when Lille Ingebør [Torsteinsdatter, younger sister of the sender’s recently deceased mother-in-law] has been lambing with their brood. And I don’t deny that I have nothing further to report about, other than I think Asle Flaagan should marry again and it is with Anne, widow of Fingal Gullegsen Neg[g]en or Rølstadeie and she has a daughter that I believe is around fourteen years old. And for that matter, I have heard for certain that Maret Ebbesberg finds herself well and Mari Ebbesberg is not yet married and it is completely done now with Nils Ereksen Rølsrud [Rolsrud] and her and the address for Maret Ebbesberg is Albert Lea P. O. Fhriboren C. O. [Freeborn Co.] Minnesota, North America. And our little Karoline grows and thrives well and is beginning now to talk quite well.
And so, in closing, I would ask you if you would greet Halgrim E. Gresvig and Iver E. Flaaganeie and their families and Olle R. Flaagan with his family and Engebret Flaagan and family. And then all of you on the Nubberud farm receive the friendliest greetings from me. Goodbye, live well in God, that is my wish. My devoted Olle G. Nubberud write to me again when you get these lines in your hands and don’t put it off as long as I did when I didn’t answer you until the end of the year, which I shouldn’t have done, but you must accept my pardon since before Christmas I have had much to do, and now in this Christmas season we have been in the pleasant company of many and so I just haven’t had time. Goodbye, live well.
N. H. S. Nubberud
Also I can greet you from your brother John, that he and his family are in very good health and a good state of health now to date, and for the rest he doesn’t have anything new to report about other than all is now as before. And so you will receive from your brother John, and his family and likewise from me and my family the friendliest greetings. Goodbye, live well. Write to me again.
N. H. S. Nubberud
A letter published in Fra Amerika til Norge 3: Norske utvandrerbrev 1869-1874 (med et tillegg av brev 1845-1867) edited by Orm Øverland and Steinar Kjærjheim. Oslo: Sorum, 1992.
English translation by Julie Dragvold copyright 2009.