Magnus Bernhard Hegland (1890-1918)
Magnus Bernhard Hegland was born on his parents' homestead outside Overly ND on July 26, 1890. He was named in honor of his grandfathers, Mikkel Hegland and Bjorn Gunderson. Like his sister Sophie, he was commonly addressed by his middle name.
Bernhard was baptized into the Willow Creek Congregation on November 9, 1890. His sponsors were Syvert and Gunhild Gullickson and S. and Marit Severtson.
He was not quite 7 when his mother died. He and Sophie were the only two of Gunil's children with a clear memory of their mother or their lives in North Dakota, and that seemed to create a special bond between them. In 1898, the family moved to a farm outside Fosston in Polk County, Minnesota.
Bernhard was confirmed as a member of Poplar River Church in Fosston on September 17, 1905. Shortly thereafter he left home and took work as a hired hand for relatives in Red Lake County MN. He followed his sisters to the Buffalo River Settlement northeast of Moorhead MN.
He was working on a farm in eastern Clay County when he registered for the draft. Although he never lived in McIntosh, Bernhard used his father's address as his home address, registering as a resident of Polk County rather than Clay. He reported to Fort Dodge, Iowa for training in February of 1918. From there he was transferred to the 30th Division at Camp Sevier, North Carolina. After completing training, he shipped out to Europe as part of Company F, 118th Infantry, Second Battalion, 59th Infantry Brigade. They arrived in France on May 25, 1918. After training with the British, the 30th Division moved to the front lines in August, 1918. Bernhard was felled by a bullet to the head on October 8, 1918 during the advance from Montbrehain. He is buried in Somme-American Cemetery in Bony, France.
Bernhard is honored each year by the American Legion at their Memorial Service in McIntosh. In 2007, memorial stones were placed next to his brother Carl's grave at Concordia Cemetery in Moorhead and his father's grave in McIntosh. A brick was purchased in the Walk of Honor at the World War I Museum, Liberty Memorial in Kansas City. Although he died long ago and far away, Bernhard will not be forgotten.