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Mrs. Gurine Nordseth, 76 on Sunday
Has Lived in Lincoln County 64 Years
(Sioux Valley News, Canton, South Dakota, 1 July 1943)

This week our new Diamond Club member is Mrs. Gurine Nordseth, who celebrated her 75th* birthday Sunday at a family dinner.  This story will be a surprise for her, for the information was furnished by her daughters, Marie, of Chicago, and Alma, of Canton.

Gurine Nordvedt was born to Gerhardt and Andrea Nordvedt** June 27, 1867, in Throndhjem, Norway.  One of five*** children, she lived there with her parents until the family left for America in the spring of 1879.

With her parents, three sisters and one brother, she celebrated her 12th birthday on the ocean while crossing to this country.  From Norway, they went to England where they stayed three days.

Arriving here, they came by rail to Beloit, which was as far as the railroad went at that time.  They stayed overnight with Magnus Bergstrom in Beloit, and the next day he drove them to Canton where they met Thor Tonsted.  Mr. Tonsted then drove them to Lennox, a trip which took all day.

In Lennox, they lived with John Ringstad in a sod house for about a week, after which they came to Canton and built a house.

In 1886, Gurine was married to Jens Peter Nordseth, who had come to Canton the year after the Nordvedt family came.  Although he hadn't known Gurine in Norway, being 19 years older than she, he had known the family, though not very well.

Their home was built at 722 East 4th Street in Canton, where Mrs. Nordseth has lived ever since that time.  Her daughter, Alma, makes her home with her there now.  Eight children were born to them, all of whom are living but one daughter, Marie, who died when she was five years old.

Mrs. Nordseth frequently recalls the big snow storm which hit Canton in 1888, and tells about the farmers who came into town on skis to help dig out the railroad track which had been buried in the snow.

Mr. Nordseth held several positions before his death in 1922.  When they were first married he was a teacher of parochial schools all around this community, for he had been graduated from the seminary in Norway.  Later he worked as a carpenter, and in the years just before his death, he was employed as caretaker of the court house.

Mrs. Nordseth earned her first dollar working on a farm.  Her wages were one dollar a month.  She has always been very active and a hard worker up until the past winter, when her health was not so good, although she is improving and able to go out more frequently now.  She is a member of the Lutheran Church, the mission band and is a charter member of the ladies aid.

Her favorite pastime is knitting, and she has just recently finished knitting a bedspread.  She also enjoys listening to the radio, and especially likes the stories.

Three of her 19 grandchildren are now serving in the armed forces.  Two of them are stationed at Fort Knox, Ky., and the other is taking training in the air force at Superior, Wis.  She also has three great grandchildren.

Her children are:  Joe, of Emery; Alma and Olaf, of Canton; Marie, of Chicago; Alpha, of Arlee, Mont.; and Norman, Fairburn, S. Dak.

*As indicated above, it was her 75th birthday.
**Andrea was actually Gurine Randine Nordtvedt's stepmother.  Her mother was Elen Marie (Solberg) Nordtvedt.  She died when Gurine was 5 months old.
***A sixth child, Paul Fredrik Nordtvedt, had died before the family left Norway.

Contributed by Tracy Scriver

BACK to Emigrant Biographies Index

14 May 2001 08:29 PM

Copyright 2001 Linda K. Schwartz