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Ole H. Jorstad (Ole Hendrichsen Jørstad)
Ytterøen, Trøndelag, Norway

Extracted from the History of Dunn County Wisconsin (1925), p. 546-547.

 Ole Jorstad, one of the leading citizens of Ridgeland, for many years a prominent business man of the village but now retired, was born in Norway, Dec. 22, 1862, son of Hendrich and Ingeborg (Forberg) Jorstad. The father, who was a farmer, is still living in Norway, though now 90 years of age. The mother died in 1917. They had eight children, six of whom are now living, namely, Margaret, Ole, Hans, Henrietta, John and Inga.  Hans resides in LaCrosse, and Margaret in Norway. Henrietta married a Mr. Sandquist and now lives in Kansas City. John is in Norway managing the home farm, with his sister Inga keeping house for him. The two deceased are Sophie and Marie.  Sophie married a Mr. Nesterhouse of Fort Scott, Kansas, who is also now deceased. They left three children, two sons and a daughter, namely, Axel, Henry and Inga, the last mentioned being now the wife of Fred Link of the town of Dallas, Barron County.  On the death of their lats surviving parent these three children were brought to Ridgeland by the subject of this sketch and were reared by him and his wife.  The two boys are now conducting the Jorstad General Store.

Ole Jorstad was reared in Norway, where he attended school and worked on his parents' farm. In 1884, at the age of 22 years, he came to the United States, being obliged to borrow the money to pay the expenses of the journey, as his father was opposed to his coming and would not pay his transportation, though he was well to do.  Thus Ole was $52 in debt when he landed in this country.  Coming west, he settled first in LaCrosse County, where he was hired by an American farmer, who paid him $15 a month. He worked on that farm in the summers for some ten years, being employed in the woods as a logger in winter and engaged in the river drives in the spring, and being a careful liver and economical, in that time he saved $5,000.  In 1900 he came to Ridgeland and opened the first general store in the village, with A. L. Pangraf as partner. After running the store until 1918 he sold out to the Farmers Store Co. Two years later he rented a store building, which he later bought, and started the boys Axel and Henry in business.  He, himself, is now retired and occupies a nice modern residence which he has just completed. Aside from his own mercantile business he has interested himself on several occasions on other local enterprises.  He was one of the organizers and is now vice president of the Farmers State Bank, at Ridgeland, is a stockholder in the Ridgeland Co-operative Creamery Co., and the Prairie Farm, Dallas and Ridgeland Telephone Co.  He has been village treasurer since the incorporation of the village and is still serving as such.

Mr. Jorstad was married in 1893 at La Crosse, Wis., to Bertina Hendrichson, daughter of Hans and Antonetta Hendrichson, the parents being natives of Norway who settled at an early day in LaCrosse County. The mother is still living, the father being deceased. The latter twice married. By his second wife, Antonetta, he had five children, Martin, Peter, Bertina, Charles and Mollie. Mr. and Mrs. Jorstad have three adopted children, Axel, Henry and Inga, previously mentioned. In may 1918, Axel was inducted into the United States service. He trained at Camp Grant, Illinois and saw active service in the trenches overseas, subsequently returning to the United States and being discharged in 1919.


NOTE:  According to  Digitalarkivet, Ole H. Jørstad emigrated from Trondheim on May 20, 1884, age 20. Residence: Ytterøen. His passage was paid in America.

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06 Nov 2003 03:35 PM

Copyright © 2003 Linda K. Schwartz