Rolette County Land Patent
Thor's Land Patent
February 7, 1893
Rolette County, State of North Dakota
Document Number 736 Accession/Serial# NDMTAA 021015
This document transferred public land to Thor M. Hegland, described as follows:
"The southeast quarter of section thirty in township one hundred and sixty, North of Range seventy three, West of the fifth principal meridian in North Dakota containing one hundred and sixty acres."
Check it out on Google Earth!
48° 39' 12.8" N 100° 8' 6.0" W
The southern edge of the Hegland homestead is marked by a "push pin" in this satellite view (opens in a new window). The house likely sat at the northern edge of the property next to the creek.
Joseph Senechal was farming in Cecil Township in Bottineau Co., ND and encouraged his brother, who was living in Berlin NH, to move to North Dakota.. The Senechals were a French Canadian farming family that originated from Norbertville, Quebec Canada.
Joseph acted as go-between and negotiated with Thor about the sale of his farm in Kohlmeier Township to Joseph's brother and wife, Onesime and Victoria Senechal. The Senechals and their six children rode the train from Berlin NH to Devils Lake ND, which was the end of the railroad in 1897. A rural directory seems to indicate that they rented the Hegland farm until purchasing it for $800 in November of 1901. Thor and Lina filled out the deed transfer in Minnesota, and it was forwarded to Rolette for filing. Original image
Thor reportedly told his younger children that he had abandoned his North Dakota homestead because he never made any money at it. It seems likely that Thor wanted to start over in a new place after Gunil's death. Whatever the timing of the decisions he made, life was different then and his actions should be accepted as the result of practical decisions in very difficult circumstances.