The pioneer women stories contain accounts of family life of the settlers, some local histories, and biographies of a few men. The richness and variety of experiences gives a perspective of the life during the homesteading era of North Dakota. Reading the biographies brings alive the Pembina pioneer women’s struggles and gives the reader a sense of frontier times and the hardships.
In an effort to chronicle the pioneer women’s histories, the Pembina County Pioneer Daughters formed in 1940. Their purpose was: “The object of the organization is to honor the memory and spirit of those women who pioneered in North Dakota and to perpetuate the history and promote the resources and activities of the state.”
About 1000 women wrote memories of their pioneer mothers. The organization remains active today.
The original documents reside at the Pembina County Historical Society Museum west of Cavalier, North Dakota and one copy is at UND Special Collections.
George A Freeman has made the biographies available to all by compiling the information into three books.
Volume I contains all the Icelandic biographies for the entire county. Vesturfaraskrá: A Record of Emigrants From Iceland to America 1870-1914 by Kristinsson, Júníus H. provided emigration dates from Iceland.
Volume II includes the biographies from Bathgate, Hamilton, Pembina, and Walhalla areas.
Volume III includes the biographies of Bowesmont, Crystal, Drayton, and St. Thomas areas. Volume III contains the Index for all three volumes.