Arctander Township Pioneers

*The first recorded homestead or pre-emption in Arctander Township was filed in 1857 by Nels P. McCool who filed a pre-emption statement for part of Section 6. The first marriage in Arctander was recorded on 11 May 1861 between Christopher Hanson and Ragnhild Gunderson. The first recorded birth in the township was, Gunnil Knutson, daughter of Ole and Aasa Knutson in 1861, and the first death recorded was Andrew Knutson in 1860, the infant son of Ole and Aasa Knutson.

The first religious services were performed by Rev. Jackson, a Swedish Lutheran minister, in the Swedish settlement of West Lake. Rev. Jackson brought together both Swedish and Norwegian settlers into one church group that eventually formed the Norway Lake parish in 1861.

Many of these settlers who were a part of this parish, were killed during the Indian uprising known as the Dakota Conflict on August 20, 1862. In fact, 12 members of this church were killed in one day, during the first days of the uprising, and the congregation never recovered. Following the Indian uprising, no attempt was made to revive this congregation. The founding members of this Norway Lake church were: Anders P. Broberg and family; Daniel P. Broberg and family; Even Railson and family; Haavel Halvorson and family; Johannes Iverson and family; Sven Johanson and family; Ole Knutson and family; Andreeas Larson Lundborg and family; Thomas Osmundson and family.

Other churches that served the Arctander community were: The Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church of Norway Lake established in 1866 and incorporated in 1868. This congregation later separated into two congregations, East Norway Lake Lutheran Church and West Norway Lake Norwegian Lutheran Church. The Nannestads Hauge Synod Church of Norway Lake which was first named Urland, also served the community.


Some of the first pioneers from Arctander Township

Gunder Swenson.....born in Rollang parish, Byskerud Amt, Norway 16 Jan 1845. Father, Sven Gunderson born 16 July 1810; mother, Margit Syvertsdatter born 1812. They immigrated in 1857 to Quebec, then to Rock Co., Wisc. On about 20 June 1860 they came to Kandiyohi Co., settled in Section 24, Arctander township. They came by ox team from Wisc. with 1 cow and a calf. Following the Indian outbreak, the family went to Rice Creek near Mpls for 3 years.....then returned to the father's homestead in Sec. 24. The father died 27 Nov 1904. Gunder married at Norway Lake, Gemine H. Nygaard who was born in Norway 9 April 1854. Her father was Halvor O. Nygaard and her mother was Martha Tharaldson. They had 13 children [their ages as of 1905]: Sven G. 30; Minnie 28, now Mrs. O.A. Mankel in Lake Andrew; Henry 26; George 24; Clara Randine 22, Anna Maria 20; Otto 18; Melvin 16; Gerhard 14; Mabel Theoline 12; Lydia Bergitte 9; Helen Emilia 7; Wm. Bernhard 3.


Ole E. Sagadalen.....born in Arctander township, 30 Nov 1868; father Elling Sagadalen born 4 March 1831; mother Eli Sagadalen born 4 Dec 1829. Both parents born in Hallingdal, Norway. Ole was married 24 June 1893 at Belgrade, MN., to Kari K. Lokken born Sept 1866 in Hallingdal, Norway; her father was Knut P. Lokken and her mother was Thora Lokken. Ole and Kari Sagadalen lived on Section 9 in Arctander township, which was first own by Ole's father. They had four children [ages as of 1905]: Edward 8; Cornel 5; Elmer 3; Oliver 1.


John Oliver Halvorson.....born at Norway Lake 19 Aug 1870. Father was Johannes Halvorson born on 7 Oct 1836 in Gausdal Lands parish, Norway. The family came to Rock Prairie, Wisc. from Norway in 1857. The father took a claim in Monongalia County on Section 18 on 25 May 1859. The family immigrated later in 1860. They were driven out by Indians and spent 3 years at Fort Francis, Benton Co., Mn. John Oliver married Oline Olsdatter who was born in Gausdal, Norway. She died in 1870. She had one child. John Oliver married a second time and had 5 more children. The family lived on the father's original claim in Lake Andrew. Joh Oliver's second wife was Mary Elizabeth Gordhamer (her parents were Andrew and Jennie Mankel Gordhamer). Mary Elizabeth was born 16 April 1879 at Norway Lake. Two of their children [as of 1905]: James Orien 5; Amy Myrtle 3.


J. A. Lindquist.....John August Lindquist wa born at Mamre 24 Aug 1875; father, J.P. Lindquist born 2 Nov 1839 in Värmland, Sweden and mother, Anna Peterson born 20 Aug 1836 in Skåne, Sweden. Paternal grandparents were Anders Lindquist and Maria Johnson. He grew up on the homestead in Mamre, Kandiyohi Co. He moved to Willmar and worked as a carpenter and proprietor of the Willmar Novelty Works. Nov 17, 1900, he purchased part of Sec 33 in Arctander where he lives [1905]. Mr. Lindquist had 2 brothers: Andrew 31; Gustaf 27; 1 sister Ellen 23, now Mrs. W. B. Lake of Seattle, Wash.


Ole Stene.....was born in Columbia Co., Wisc. on 5 June 1857. His father was Iver Gulvson Stene born 29 Nov 1821 in Urland, Sogn, Norway; his mother was Inga Olson Vold born 3 Nov 1830 in Lerdal, Norway. Paternal grandparents: Guly Ostenson and Sigri Ivarson. Maternal grandparents: Ole Stenson and Randi Thomson. Ole Stene came to MN in 1862 spending 1 year in Fillmore Co., then to Goodhue County until 1867 when he came to Lake Andrew in Kandiyohi Co. In 1886 he moved to Dakota Co., living on a farm for sometime then on to St. Paul where he worked at the St. Paul Plow Works. He returned to Kandiyohi county in 1899 and purchased lots 2 and 3 in Sec 16 in Arctander Township. He married 1 May 1881 Olianna Andriasdatter born 1 April 1861 in Norlandstrop, Norway. Her father was Andres Olson Sveam; her mother was Helena Sveam, both from Norway. Ole and his wife had 9 children: Andrew Ingvold b 22 Sept 1882; Henry Olai b 10 Feb 1884; Elmer Helmen b 20 May 1887; George Robin b 17 Sept 1889; Ida Cora b 25 Mar 1891; Oliver Benhard b 22 Feb 1894; Mabel Olina b 13 Dec 1896; Cornil Melvin b 22 Mar 1900 (died the next yr); Johnny Melvin b 22 Dec 1902.


Some of the First Settlers of Arctander Township
"Pre-emptors and Squatters"

Anderson, Michael.....born near Christiania, Norway; came with his wife from Madison, Wis., in the spring of 1862 settled on Sec 4, Arctander township. Following the Indian outbreak, they moved to Goodhue County.

Borgen, Sven Gunderson.....born in Nommedal, Norway on 16 July 1810; arrived in America 1857 and settled in Rock Co., Wis. They homesteaded in Sec 24, Arctander; he died 27 Nov, 1904. Wife, Margit Syversdotter born 1812, died 26 July 1891. Children: Gunder Swenson (see above); Birget (Mrs. Thomas Osmundson) lives at Fentress, Va.; Ranghild (Mrs. C. H. Engen), died 1 Dec 1903.

Charleson, Charles John.....filed claim on Sec 6, 1 Feb 1859 and soon abandoned same; killed by the Indians at Erickson's cabin.

Engen, Christopher Hansen.....born in Land Parish, Norway, 20 July 1823; emigrated to America 1857; lived a short time at Painted Creek, IA., and at Rock Run, Winnebago Co., Ill. Made a claim in Sec 12 on 16 July 1859. Married to Ranghild Svensdotter 1861, (see above...Sven Gunderson Borgen) who was born at Nommedal, Norway in 1839; wife died 2 Dec 1903; no children but adopted Lovise Regine (Mrs. Theo. S. Nelson), lives at Baldwin, Wis.; Christopher Hansen Engen still living on homeplace Sec 12 as of 1905.

Everson, Elias.....took claim on west side of West Lake Sec 8, July 1862.

Hale, Peder Olson......born in Vassevangen, Norway; came in company with Anderson and Johnson; took claim in Sec 10; moved to Goodhue County following Indian outbreak.

Johnson, Chas. Peter (Jonason).....made a pre-emption filing in Sec 6 in Marach 1859, but soon abandoned the site; was killed by Indians at Eagle Lake.

Johnson, Lars.....born near Christiania, Norway; came in spring of 1862 in company with Michael Anderson; filed claim in Sec 4 on 31 July 1862. Remained in Goodhue County following Indian outbreak.

Knudson, Ole (Storbraaten)......born at Sigdal, Norway 1 March 1835; emigrated to America 1853 and lived in Green Co., Wis., came to Monongalia county in 1860 locating a claim in Sec 2; where he still lives [1905]. Wife, Åsa Nervesdatter born 7 Oct 1836; died 16 Aug 1896. Children: Knud born 1858, died 1876; Andrew born 16 Sept 1859, died 3 Dec 1860; Gunnil (Mrs. John Skare), born 26 Aug 1861, Arctander; Ragne (Mrs. Ole Halvorson) born 25 Dec 1863; Marie (Mrs. C.T. Skindelien), born 18 Nov 1868; Albert O., born 29 Sept 1881, lives on father's place; all reside in Arctander, except Mrs. Ole Halvorson who lives in Lake Andrew.

Lundborg, Andreas Larson......born in Härenes, Västergötland, S., 28 Feb 1812; emigrated to America 1861 to Boston arriving June 1861; came to W. Lake 15 July 1861 filed claim on Sec 5; died at West Union, Carver Co., MN., 8 Jan 1891. Wife, Lena Johansdotter, born in Tinnbergs parish, 11 Oct 1810; died at West Lake 18 Oct 1870. Children: Johannes, Anders Petter, Gustaf and Lars, all born in Algustorp parish, were killed by the Indians at West Lake, 20 Aug 1862; Johanna, born in same parish 21 Dec 1848, is now Mrs. Erick Paulson and lives on the old claim; Samuel born 12 Feb 1853 was wounded by the Indians and lives in West Union. [as of 1905]

Lundborg, Johannes Anderson......born 28 Sept 1832, in Algustorp, Västergötland; in company with brother Anders, Gustaf and Lars, emigrated to America in 1858; came to West Lake in 1860; married Christina Larsdotter; filed a claim in Sec 6 on 24 July 1861; died at West Union 15 nov 1899, his wife died 6 Nov 1901.

Lundborg, Andrew P.....born Algustorp, Sweden 23 March 1837; father Andreas Lundborg; lived in Sec 6; killed by Indians in massacre.

Lundborg, Gustaf.....born Algustorp, Sweden 30 April 1839; son of Andreas Lundborg; lived in Sec 6; was killed in Indian outbreak and massacre.

Nelson, Johannes.....born in Algustorp, Sweden; came to settlement in July 1862; was a half-brother of Mrs. A. P. Broberg; he was killed at West Lake in the massacre, 20 Aug 1862.

Swenson, Ole.....born Sköfde, Västergötland, Sweden; came with his family in July 1862 but did not stake a claim before being driven out by the massacre; settled near Red Wing, Goodhue County, where some family members still live. [1905]

Aman, Sven Johanson.....born Algustorp, Sweden 28 July 1819; emigrated to America in August 1861 and settled at West Lake settlement making a claim in Sec 6; moved to East Union, Carver Co., MN., in 1863, and still resides there with son [1905]. His wife was Christina Persdotter born in Norunga parish 25 Oct 1819; died at East Union in 1877. Children: Anders Petter, born Tinnbergs parish, 4 oct 1851; lives at East Union; Johanna, born 21 July 1854; died at Afton, Washington Co., MN., in the winter of 1862-63.


First Settlers, Town of Hayes, Arctander Township

Broberg, Daniel Peter.....born Härenes, Västergötland, Sweden 8 Jan 1824; came to America in 1861 via Quebec; settled at West Lake, Sec 1 15 July 1861. His wife was Anna Stina Johansdotter born 31 March 1832 in Sköfde parish. Children: Andreas Peter bon 17 Dec 1854; Alfred born 31 March 1858; John Albert born 22 Oct 1861. All members of the family but one were killed in the massacre at West Lake, 20 Aug 1862. The survivor, was the oldest son who lives now in New London. [1905]

Broberg, Anders Peter.....born in Algustorp, Sweden 16 Sept 1819; emigrated to America in 1861 locating in Sec 1. His wife was Christina Nelsdotter, born in Sköfde parish, 31 Aug 1826. Children: Anna Stina, 25 July 1846; Johannes born 23 Jan 1849; Andreas born 27 Jan 1852; Christina born 31 may 1855. All the members of this family but one were killed by the Indians in the massacre of 20 Aug 1862. The only survivor was the oldest daughter, Anna Stina. She married John Peterson of West Lake, is now a widow and lives with her children at St. Hilaire, Minnesota.


* Source: Illustrated History and Descriptive and Biographical Review of Kandiyohi County Minnesota. Published by Victor E. Lawson, and J. Emil Nelson, Publishers of the Willmar Tribune, Willmar, Minn. Compiled and arranged under the direction of Victor E. Lawson and Martin E. Tew. St. Paul, Minn., The Pioneer Press Manufacturing Depts., 1905.

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