Nielsen and Margreta
(Petersen) Overgaard Family
by Ruby (Mrs. Harold) Nielsen
Christian Merinus Nielsen Overgaard was born in Hals Sogn, Denmark on May 9, 1859. He married Margreta Petersen, who was born in Horsens, Denmark on January 14, 1862. They were married on April 8, 1882, and came to America the same year. This was a long, hard journey. They finally arrived in New York and from there they took the train to Marion, South Dakota. Since there was no further means of transportation, they walked the twenty some miles to the home of Margreta’s half-brother, Knud Mellegaard. When they came to the Turkey Ridge Creek, they found the water was knee deep, so they had to wade across. Two other young couples came at the same time as the Overgaard’s. They were Mr. and Mrs. Hans Lutvig and Mr. and Mrs. Soren Christensen.
Yankton was the capitol of Dakota Territory, and this was where they went to file for a Homestead Claim in Spring Valley Township. This was located about thirty-five miles from Yankton. Trips were made with oxen hitched to a stoneboat on which the necessary provisions were hauled. Margreta had four sisters and one brother, who all lived within a radius of three miles. Their names were Knud, Mariene, Petrea, Andrea and Stena. Christian and Margreta lived to celebrate both their silver and their golden wedding anniversaries on this homestead.
As the years passed, a mill was located in Centerville, where they took their grain to have ground into flour. These trips were made with horses and lumber wagon, and took two days. They spent one night at the mill. It took a lot of bread for the family of nine children and Margreta was said to bake bread every day. Strangely, the two ladies Margreta and Mrs. Soren Christensen, who came to this country together, both passed away in March of 1952, and were at the funeral parlors at the same time. Margreta was the last survivor of the five sisters and one brother. She passed away at the age of 90 years. Christian passed away September 23, 1932 at the age of 73 years.
Children of the Overgaard’s were:
Sena, born April
3, 1883. She married Levin Johansen. Their children were Iva, Alfred, Violet,
Chris, Martin, Agnes and Ernest. She died on May 16, 1964 at the age of 81.
Arthur, born September 13, 1884. He married Rikka Petersen. Their children
were Florence, Gladys, Joy, Eileen, and an infant son. He died January 21,
1970 at the age of 86. Nora, born September 18, 1886. She married Niels P.
Jensen. Their children were Margaret, James, Ruby, Elnora and Magdalin. She
died January 19, 1926 at the age of 39. Edward, born July 9, 1888. He married
Jennie Jensen. Their children were Rueben, Ruby and Edwin. He died July 29,
1977 at the age of 89. Alfred, born December 3, 1890. He married Dena Rice.
Their children were Walter, Margaret, Ervin and Norman. He died January 23,
1981 at the age of 90. Henry, born February 24, 1893. He married Hulda Mellegaard.
Their children were Lavaun, Lorraine, Helen, Doris, Evelyn, Ruth, Lillian,
Charles, Alfred and Earl. He died August 23, 1968 at the age of 75. Charley,
born June 1, 1895. He married Edna Nelson. Their children were Mayme, Odell,
Dale, Kermit and Myra. He died November 1984 at the age of 89. Eunice, born
December 16, 1898. She married Albert Nielsen. Their children were Hayden,
Phylis, Emmitt and Dorothy. She died July 9, 1979 at the age of 80. Effie,
born March 8, 1901. She married Rueben Hansen. Their children were Ronald,
Robert and Marilyn. She died January 17, 1985 at the age of 83.