Joe & Tina Bergstad

Joe and Tina Bergstad homesteaded in North Dakota in 1903. Mrs. Bergstad's parents, the K.O. Neshuns, settled about eleven or twelve miles south and east of Granville.

The Bergstads left Iowa in 1896, farmed in northern Minnesota for three years, then moved west to North Dakota. Although Joe Bergstad had wanted a ranch in Montana, his in-laws persuaded him to take a homestead adjoining their own, so they settled there. The land was poor, but Mrs. Bergstad was homesick for her parents, so they stayed.

The first summer on their claim, Joe Bergstad worked on a ranch in Montana, but he returned in the fall. Their first house was a sod house, but they plastered and white-washed the walls, and put down a floor.

The walls of a sod house are very thick, and the window sills are deep, almost like bay windows. Mrs. Bergstad put up white ruffled curtains and acquired several house plants. One corner of the house was curtained off with enough room for a bed and a dry goods box that was used as a dressing table. The other end of the house was curtained off as a bedroom for the rest of the family.

Two boys were born in the sod house, so the Bergstads had three children. They lived there for eight years, but only got deeper in debt. Having relatives in the area of Cooperstown, Joe Bergstad went there and got work, so the family moved with him to Sutton. Mrs. Bergstad's father soon came to live with them until he died. His farm was deeded to the Bergstads, so the family moved back to the farm near Granville.

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