Anders Olsen Fossum
[from Sørbakken-Fossum, Soknedal, Norway]
North Dakota: Richland County History
Book, 1977, p. 559
Like so many of his countrymen, Anders Fossum
looked to the USA for new frontiers. In 1868 he emigrated from
Trondheim, Norway, and settled in Menomonie, WI. His livelihood
was found in the lumbering industry.
By 1870 the lure of a homestead in the Red
River Valley caused him to move towards the plains of ND. Anders
(taking the name of Andrew) and Syvert Lium obtained a team of oxen in
Alexandria, MN, and meandered out to the area of present-day Christine
in Dakota Territory. They chose land adjacent to each other
along the Wild Rice River, approximately two miles west and 3/4 of a
mile north of the eventual town site. With a minimum of farming
tools, the development of a successful pioneer farm was slow and
tedious. To provide needed income, Andrew became a part-time
carpenter and spent some summers working at Fort Abercrombie. He
married Kjertrud Hoel, who also had emigrated from Norway.
They had four children: Ole, the oldest who died from diphtheria at
the age of 14; Carrie; John; and Julia. In later years Carrie
was to become Mrs. Anton Johnson, and they moved to the
Aberdeen, SD area; John married Olga Satermoe, and they spent
their lifetime in the Climax, MN, and Christine areas; and Julia
married Martin Myhre, and they moved to the Seattle, WA area.
After his wife Kjertrud passed away, Andrew
returned to Norway and brought back to the USA Ingri Moen, who
was to become his second wife. They also had four children:
Gust, Olaf, Arthur and Delia. Gust married Bordelie Flaa,
and they lived in the communities of Walcott, ND; St. Paul, MN;
Portland OR; and Richland, WA, before they eventually returned to
Abercrombie. In 1975, Gust was the only living son or daughter
of Fossum family. Olaf married Marble Erickson, and in 1930 they
left their farm in Richland County and moved to Dawson Creek, British
Columbia. Arthur married Mollie Myhre, and they eventually took
over the Fossum farm. The youngest of the Fossum children,
Delia, married John Flaa, and they made their home in Fargo.
Soon after Delia's birth, Ingri died (1899) and Carrie, with the help
of "hired girls" assumed a mother's responsibility and
raised the second family.
In later years Andrew Fossum entered the
business world along with his farming interests, and became a prime
stockholder in the First State Bank of Walcott. He became the
bank's second president and served in the capacity until his death.
He expanded his farm holdings locally, as well as speculated in land
purchases in Canada. He passed away at his farm home in 1919.
Written by Duane Fossum.
Contributed by Susan Feulner