John Olsen Nysetvold
Taken From The Norman County History Book
John Olsen Nysetvold was born April 15, 1850 at Haltdalen, Norway. He
was reared on the home farm in Norway and there he received his
education in the local schools.
He helped his father operate the farm and so acquired a practical
training that was a great benefit to him in America. . .
In 1872 John Nysetvold immigrated, first going to Iowa where he worked
for two of his uncles almost a year, then on to Wisconsin where he
worked six years lumbering. By now he had enough capital to set himself
up in farming, and in 1878 he came to Norman County, Minnesota.
Here he homesteaded 160 acres in section 32, Flom Township, where he
lived the rest of his life. To break up the land he used oxen, which
served his purpose for fourteen years. These were also used to haul his
grain thirty miles to the nearest market.
Soon he began building first house, a small frame structure fourteen
by sixteen feet, roofed with pieces of sod. The other farm buildings
were of logs, but as time went by he added to the farm home and barn —
the former becoming an eight room house with a hall.
He was a grain farmer; raising mostly wheat and had some graded stock.
In 1883, John was united in marriage to Guri Stuedahl, who was born in
Tydal, Norway, April 22, 1857.
They were charter members of the Norwegian Lutheran Church, Aspelund,
at Flom and he served as trustee many years.
He helped organize the school district and was its clerk for over
He was the first township clerk of the Flom Township board.
Before Flom had a designated post office the Nysetvold home was used
as a post office for a period of time. Mrs. Nysetvold carded and spun
her own wool and knit for her children and later stockings, mittens and
scarves for the grandchildren. John died in 1929, Guri in 1935.
There were four children born to this union: Ingeborg, (Belle) the
only daughter, born in 1883, took over where her mother left off and was
house keeper for her two brothers who never married, but continued the
farm after their father died. Belle served many years as church
organist. One Sunday a year an offering was taken to pay the organist.
She was a competent seamstress and sewed for many friends. She had
flocks of chickens and a large garden, and was a wonderful cook. She
died in 1961.
Henry, born in 1890, and Johan (Johnny), born in 1892, were a team -
working together, using and updating the good farming methods of the
father. They, too, were active in community and church. Johnny died in
1964; Henry sold the farm to a relative and moved into Twin Valley where
he lived until he died in 1973.
Ole, born in 1885, spent his boyhood on the home place— but found a
higher interest in building than in farming. He spent some time in
Montana as a carpenter and when he returned to Norman County he bought a
tract of land in Twin Valley—built a home and was married in 1912.
His bride was Mina Aasgaard who was born in Home Lake Township in
1891, the daughter of Martinus and Maria Aasgaard of Stange in Hedmark
and Eidsvoll in Akershus. Ole inherited the industry and thrift of his
forbears. and in a few years had advanced himself to become an
architect, contractor and builder.
Many buildings, churches, homes, barns, etc., stand today as monuments
to his talent and industriousness. His sons helped him when they became
The second world war came and all four sons entered service. Building
was at a standstill and Ole had a family to feed. He went to Couer d
Liene, Idaho, and worked on a government project in the forties, and
later worked on the' Alaskan Highway, putting up buildings necessary for
the 'work of the road crews.
When the war was over he was back in Twin-Valley actively drawing
plans and contracting for building projects again.
Ole was active in the community, being a member of the Twin Valley
Council many years, a member of the fire department, a trustee of Zion
Lutheran Church where they were lifetime members!
Mina was a Sunday School teacher and a life member of Zion Church
Women. There was a large garden for her to can and preserve; she sewed
all her children's clothes, was a good friend and a concerned neighbor.
Ole died in 1962 and Mina in 1967
To their union were born eleven children: (Gladys (Mrs. A. S. Heiberg)
of Twin Valley; Miles, a Lutheran pastor in Castlewood, South Dakota;
Orwin, results engineer with the Municipal Utilities in Willmar; lona
(Mrs. K. E. Kvenvolden) of Fergus Falls; Arnt, an Electrical contractor
in Twin Valley; Paul,retired from Navy Ordinance In Bremerton,
Washington; Loanna (Mrs. W. E. Wagstrom), Moorhead; Judith (Mrs. M. E.
Pfaff) Appleton; Enid (Mrs. Phil Myrold) Thief River Falls; and Dorothy
(Mrs. Robert Hammer)Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. One daughter died in
John O. Nysetvold
Funeral Services were conducted October 29, 1929 over the remains of
John Olsen Nysetvold from Aspelund church by Rev. B.L. Opdahl. Mr.
Nysetvold having passed away on October 25th after a somewhat extended
illness. He had been a resident of Norman County since 1878 and was one
of the influential and substantial citizens of the community in which he
The deceased was born in Holtaalen, Norway on Aptil 15th, 1850, and came
to America April 19, 1872. After a short stay in Iowa he went to
Wisconsin where he remained for about 6 years, and took a homestead in
Flom township, Norman county, in 1878, residing there since that time.
He was united in marriage on April 14th, 1883 to Guri Henningsdatter
Stuedahl, who survives him and to this union four children were born,
Ingeborg, Henry and John at home and Ole of Twin Valley. The community
mourns the loss of one of its pioneer residents and extends sympathy to
the bereaved family.
Contributed by Margit Bakke
12 May 2001 01:04 PM
Copyright © 2001 Linda K. Schwartz
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.