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Benson County North Dakota Genealogy

Arne Township North Dakota
Township 151 North Range 70 West

Atlas of Benson County, 1910 Plat Map

History of Arne Township

Taken from the Maddock Centennial Book

Arne Township was organized on March 7th, 1906. It was argued to name the township Greenfield or Blaine, but due to the fact that most of the early  homesteaders originated from the area called Indre Arne, Norway, they agreed to name it Arne.

The settlers came to the area in covered wagons, horse and oxen, or they walked in from the nearest railroad station. Early settlers found no wood or coal here. The houses were built only of sod. Twisted prairie grass, flax straw and dried prairie chips were burned for heat and kerosene and candles were used for light. The closest country store was in Viking,  "The Olson Store"  (later called the Quarve Store). It  also had a post office. Mail was brought in by horse. The nearest trading center was Oberon. Plowing was done by the walking plow drawn by oxen and horses. Usually the first crop seeded was flax. No grain brought over a dollar per bushel until 1900. During the 1890's little moisture was had so there were many crop failures.

Early Settlers

Homesteaders to Arne were: Iver J. Larson, first settler in Arne in 1887 who lived in a sod house; Peder Vold--1896--sod house, Amound Vold--1898, Ole Vold--1898, Albert Stromberg--1898--sod house, Ole Stoe-1898. Gust Peterson--1896, Olai Larson --1896, Andrew Bevri--1898, August Hanson--1898, Lars Tobiason--1898, Nicholas Halvorson--1897, Martin Sorlie--1899, John Vikander--1898, Albert Greenfield--1896, Emil Mattson--1900, Hans Ronning--1900, Engbert Fossen--1899, Martin Anderson--1896, John Dahlstrom--1890--sod house, Ivar Nygaard--1899, S. S. Kanikkeberg--1896, (early Benson County Commissioner), Julia Legreid--1902, Otto Olson--1900, Martin Thompson--1900, Andrew Larson--1896, Bennie Guskjolen--1901.

There were many early pioneers coming to the Arne Township to make their residence. Pete Haugen came to the area in 1902-03, bought and settled on the Hans Ronning farm. He is the oldest living pioneer now residing in Maddock.

Many sons and daughters of the early pioneers still reside in Arne Township and the area -- those still residing on the original homesteads are: Paul Wold, Odin Fossen, Martin Anderson and Norman Halvorson. Other sons and daughters of the original homesteaders still landowners and some still residing in Arne Township are: Harley Guskjolen, Elmer and Gladys (Mattson) Guskjolen, Marie (Dahlstrom) Ramsfield, Melvin Nygaard, Andrew Larson, and Mrs. Mabel (Tobiason) Anderson.                 

Arne Schools

Arne-Hesper School known as Fairview was organized in 1897 in the home of S.S. Kanikkebert, before there was a township organized. The Directors were Albert Greenfield, President and Henry Halvorson, S. S. Kanikkeberg, Treasurer and Fred Hill, Secretary. They purchased an old claim shanty from Matt Wisness and moved it to the desired site in Arne. Albert Greenfield went to Minnewaukan and came back with their first teacher, Mary M. Morris. They held school three months in the fall.

In 1902 two identical schools were built in the Hesper-Arne Townships. One was on a hill south east of Hesper and the present Arne School. The only school house ever constructed in Arne is the one still standing. Arne No. 1, was built in 1902. At that time it was consolidated with Hesper and was called Fairview. In 1908 that consolidation was dissolved and from then on it was called Arne. In 1905-06, Helmer Olson drove a wagon bus to school, 22 students rode in the back of the wagon box. His pay was $60.00 a year. The monthly check for the school teacher was about $40.00 per month. He or she was also the janitor. Some of the first students were: Ellen Kanikkeberg, Alma Larson, Julia Larson and Adeline Greenfield. In the spring of 1962, Arne merged with the Maddock Public School District No. 9. The last teacher was Mrs. Ann Sorlie, Maddock.  


Fairview Scandinavian Lutheran Cemetery is located in the  SE¼ Sec.8 of Arne Township
Fron Lutheran Cemetery, located in the  W¼ Sec.10 of Arne Township
Swedish Lutheran Cemetery. Klara Congregation is located in the Sw½ Sec.28 of Arne Township. From Maddock ND travel south on highway #30 seven miles.  Turn and go west five miles and the cemetery and empty church building sit on the north side of the road. This cemetery was established by the Klara Lutheran Church in 1897. It is situated in a primarily Swedish community. The church closed in 1997 but the empty church building still remains beside the cemetery. The cemetery is very well maintained and very picturesque with evergreen trees abounding. The cemetery is still used for previously purchased cemetery lots.



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