Cuba Township
Becker County

"The town of Cuba was mostly settled during the years of 1871 and 1872. A few came in 1870, but they were only there three or four. Their names were Martin Olsen, B.O. Bergerson, Halvor M. Beaver and Ole Kittelson. Nearly every government quarter section was settled on during the years 1871 and 1872."

"Martin Olson was the first to arrive in the township, although the land was not surveyd at that time, so that this locality did not posses a name. Next after him came the writer, Bernt O. Bergerson. I was born in Norway, July 23, 1847, and with my parents came to America in the year 1852, and settled in Winnishiek County, Iowa, in the village of Decorah, where my father worked for a name named Painter, who was building a canal and mill, which was the first mill in that county. In the year 1863, we moved to the town of Bancroft, Freeborn County, Minnesota, where my father opend up a new farm, and after working on that farm until the year 1870, I started west to find a farm for myself. After traveling with an ox team for twenty-one days, I finally arrived at my present homestead, the southwest quarter of Section 36. The land was not surveyed yet. If it had been, I could not have taken it as a homestead, for it would have been become school land when surveyed, it being on Section 36. I was not married then, so I had to "bach" it that summer; but late in the fall of that year I hitched my oxen to the wagon and turned their heads towards Albert Lea and went over the road once more that year. I slept out of doors every night and late in the fall the ground was frozen hard nearly every night. I arrived safe at my father's farm in Freeborn County, none the worse for the trip both ways with a pair of oxen, which is not the fastest way to get over the country roads. That winter I visited with my folks till in the early spring when I got married to Ingeborg Grasdalen, a daughter of a neighbor of my parents. Immediately after we were married we started for Becker County in company with several others who wanted to go and get land for themselves. The parties who came with me that spring were my brother-in-law, Lars P. Laite and Erick Quam. They are still living in the county. On arriving at my claim that spring, I found everything as I had left it. The previous summer I had built a house which came handy now when I brought my wife home with me. We lived through that summer mostly on what we had brought with us. Then in the winter, I had to go to work in the woods hauling ties and cutting cord-wood for the railroad company in order to get flour and pork; besides, we had three cows which were a great help to us. In 1871, the year the railroad was built through here, we sold milk and butter in the railroad camps near our home for a good price. They mostly paid us in groceries, but they paid us well, I thought. The first year we tried to farm, we did not have any success, the grasshoppers and blackbirds got in their work so that we were left without anything, not even seed. I had to buy seed wheat three times. The first I bought cost $1.90 a bushel, the second lot cost $1.50, and the third lot cost $1.25. In order to get that last seed I had to sell a cow, which was a great loss, because the cows were our main support then as now. I stay by the cows yet, and this is thirty-five years after, and I will always stay by them as long as I stay on the farm. A good many of the settlers went to Dakota to do breaking, and also some of them did breaking for a Mr. Paul Van Vlissingen, who opened a farm near where Hitterdal now is, in Clay County; and in 1872 a man by the name of M.E. d'Engelbroner, opened a large farm in the western part of Cuba."

From an article, "History of Cuba Township" written by B.O. Bergerson in the book by Alvin H. Wilcox, A Pioneer History of Becker County Minnesota (St. Paul:Pioneer Press Company, 1907), pp. 510, 512.

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Last updated: October 20, 1997