Rolette County, North Dakota
Excerpt from the county history on page 172 of Nordmændene i Amerika, written in Norwegian by Martin Ulvestad and published by History Book Company’s Forlag, Minneapolis, MN 1907. The first Norwegians in this part of North Dakota settled on the border of Rolette and Bottineau counties, near Dunseith and Twala.
The first settlers arrived in 1882 and 1883. In the spring of 1884 some Sioux Indians made camp at Willow Creek, and Sefanias Fuglestad's cabin was just across the river from the encampment. ...The first Norwegian congregation in the county was Willow Creek, established in 1885. Theodor J. E. Tønnesen served as its first pastor, and the congregation built a church in 1895.
John Bridston of Dunseith was elected treasurer in 1890 and was the first county official of Norwegian origin. John Syvertsen was elected to represent the county in the state legislature in 1896.
Bottineau County, North Dakota
Excerpt from the county history on page 162, Nordmændene i Amerika, written in Norwegian by Martin Ulvestad and published by History Book Company’s Forlag, Minneapolis, MN 1907
Knut Aamot from Nordre Fron and Hans and Peder Svingen from Vaage, Gudbrandsdalen homesteaded in the Turtle Mountains in 1883. Other Gudbrandsdalings followed, which is why the settlement was known as Gudbrandsdalen.
In 1884 John S. Sæter, Ole Horneman, C. Gorder and L. C. Gorder arrived, followed by Jacob J. Dalen, Iver Listue, Elias Gulstad and Sivert Haugen.
Devil's Lake was the new settlers' nearest marketplace, at a distance of 100 miles it was where they brought wheat and purchased supplies. They were tough journeys, both for the oxen and the drivers.
Anton Svendsrud was elected county judge in 1896 and to the state legislature in 1889. He was the first Norwegian to hold office in Bottineau County.