Wednesday, August 12, 2015

"Memories" by Kjersti (Lovbraaten) HUSEBYE

Kjersti (Lovbraaten) HUSEBYE (Bef. 1923). Image courtesy of chaz8993 (

On 25-26 Jun 1916, the HUSEBYES had a family reunion. This was documented in the Kindred Tribune for 30 Jun 1916. Kjersti HUSEBYE apparently had either given a speech or written an account that came down through the family and was transcribed and eventually uploaded to It is reproduced below.

Kjersti HUSEBYE, "Memories," (Kindred, ND: 25 Jun 1916). Transcription of "A Two-Day Family Reunion Held at the Old Husebye Homestead," Kindred Tribune (30 Jun 1916). Images courtesy of chaz8993 (

June 25, 1916

My husband, Mr. J. J. Husebye, came from Norway together with his parents, three sisters and one brother to Chicago in 1852. Arriving there, several members of the family were ill with fever. His father died and was buried there. The first work Mr. Husebye did was to help build the plank streets of Chicago. When the family had recovered from their illness all the money they had was $5.00.

My husband, Mr. Husebye, was a pioneer of two states. He came to Iowa in 1853 when he was twenty-six years old. He bought one hundred and twenty acres of land in Winneshiek County and lived there for twenty-six years. In that time he had made a little fortune on that small farm. His mother kept house for him for seven years. In 1864 we were married, my name was then Miss Kjersti Laubraaten. Our family steadily increased. In 1878 we had six children, four girls and two boys.

A friend of ours, Mr. Jacob Shelver, told us of the nice land in North Dakota in the Red River Valley. In the early spring of 1878, Mr. Husebye decided to go out to see for himself how he liked it out here. Finding a homesteader who wanted to sell, he bought one hundred and sixty acres east of Sheyenne River for six hundred dollars. He also bargained for the adjoining hundred and sixty acres, but fortunately did not get it.

Mr. Shelver went to Fargo and purchased for us four hundred and eighty acres from the Railroad Co. for three thousand dollars. This land was a great deal better than the other which was low gumbo soil. Mr. Shelver hired John Kjos and Steffen Hvamstad brake forty acres on this Railroad land that summer of 1878.

In April 1879, Mr. Husebye came out here with a car of horses and other things that he needed. Fargo was the nearest railroad station. Spring came early that year. He seeded forty acres here and twenty acres on the other place. He also planted the first willows on this place. He was alone that summer and it was hard to get a place to board and room as the houses were small. Mr. and Mrs. Evan Knutson boarded him that summer. After harvest he started to build a house for the family. He had to haul all the lumber and other things from Fargo, twenty-two miles distant. It was also hard to get help.

In November that year, myself and six children, Julia fifteen, Martha thirteen, Henry nine, Albert seven, Emma four, Clara one and a half years old, came to this place. We stayed with a neighbor until our house was ready enough so we could live in it. It was a sixteen by twenty-four foot structure with one room downstairs and unfinished upstairs.

In the fall of 1880 the St. Paul, Mpls., and Manitoba R.R. came across the Sheyenne River. The Fletcher brothers, Lee and John, were the first to build grain elevators in Kindred. They too had a hard time to find a place to live. They came to Mr. Husebye and wanted to stay with us. At first there were only four of them. Later on we shared our food and shelter with nine bridge builders who came out here to put the first R.R. bridge across the Sheyenne River. Rather than see the bridge delayed another year because builders could not get places to board, we did our best and took them in. I remember one builder who very seriously offered to pay double board because he ate so heartily. The Fletchers stayed with us until Christmas.

In 1881 when building began in Kindred, there was no hotel there so again we had our house more than full. That year we built a kitchen and later a summer-shanty and welcomed the arrival of a fine pair of twins. Building, boarding, and baby-tending kept us busy.

Our house now had three bedrooms, a sitting-room, and two kitchens, making more room for the large family. William, our youngest son, was born in 1884, Ida in 1888. Mr. Husebye's mother came to North Dakota in 1884. She had lived with us four years in Iowa. Remembering the fourth Commandment which tells us to "Honor thy Father and Mother." That is what Mr. Husebye did. He always remembered and cared for his mother when she needed help. She died in 1885 and was laid to rest in Sheyenne Cemetery.

Mr. Husebye was fifty-two years of age when he started his pioneer life in North Dakota. He was a strong and hard worker. He died in 1897 and was laid beside his mother.

Coming west was surely a good move for this family. The Red River Valley was called the "Breadbasket of the World" and it certainly was! Now after thirty-six years it has changed some and they raise other things besides wheat.

The younger generations have much to thank the pioneers for, for it was they who opened for them.

We, sixty-three in all, have gathered again in our old home. We rejoice to have half a hundred offspring, ten children, thirty-five grandchildren, and three great-grandsons, also in the fourteen (husbands and wives) brought into our family circle by marriage. May all live to perpetuate and brighten our family. Today let us all think of Mr. Husebye and his mother, the great-great-grandmother, who lived such useful and worthy lives; honored be their memories.
The Old Farm, Kindred, N.D.
The text of the Kindred Tribune article regarding the Husebye family reunion is reproduced below.
A Two-Day Family Reunion Held at the Old Husebye Homestead
Kindred Tribune, Kindred, North Dakota, June 30, 1916

On Sunday and Monday, June 25th and 26th, a grand family reunion was held at the old Husebye homestead. Mrs. Kjersti Husebye, who is now 71 years of age, and all her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, numbering 63 souls in all, were gathered for two solid days of enjoyment. All the members of this family tree were present excepting one, Dr. Lommen, of Fordville, who could not come. It is needless to say that they had the time of their lives. Old and young frolicked and played like children and indulged numerous childhood games. On Sunday afternoon the Kindred Concert Band was there and rendered a number of choice selections. A feature of the afternoon was a grand march by the many couples; stepping lively to the music. The spacious residence was beautifully decorated for the occasion. Mrs. Kjersti Husebye was presented with a handsome and costly diamond pin from her children and grandchildren. On Sunday Mrs. Husebye handed out to each of her ten children an envelope which contained one thousand dollars each. On Monday five auto loads of the older folks went over to the Norman Cemetery and strewed flowers on the graves of J. J. Husebye and his mother, whose remains repose there. The festivities wound up on Tuesday with a large gathering at the home of Oscar Husebye.

The families represented at this gathering, besides Grandma Husebye, whose present place of residence is Mayville, N.D., were Mr. and Mrs. E. E. Ellertson and 5 children of Minneapolis, Minn. Mr. and Mrs. E. J. Ellertson of Minneapolis, Minn. Mr. and Mrs. Otto Ramstad of Poplar, Mont. Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Ellertson of Pipestone, Minn. Mr. and Mrs. A. H. Johnson and 7 children of Mayville. Mrs. C. Lommen and 2 children of Fordville. Mr. and Mrs. Leon Johnson and child of Mayville. Mr. and Mrs. H. J. Husebye and 5 children of Kindred. Mr. Albert Husebye of Williston. Mr. and Mrs. Albert Stenehjem and 5 children of Arnegard. Mr. and Mrs. Julius Erickson of Eckman. Mr. and Mrs. O. M. Husebye and 3 children of Kindred. Mr. and Mrs. T. A. Stenehjem and 7 children of Williston. Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Husebye of Williston. Mr. and Mrs. A. A. Sorg and 3 children of Circle, Mont.

Kjersti (Lovbraaten) HUSEBYE died on 5 May 1923 in Mayville, Traill, ND, and was buried beside her husband in Norman Cemetery. Her obituary appeared in the Kindred Tribune in May of 1923.

Obituary. Transcription of "Former Kindred Pioneer Laid at Rest," Kindred Tribune (May 1923). Image courtesy of chaz8993 (

Former Kindred Pioneer Laid at Rest
Kindred, North Dakota, Tribune, May, 1923

Funeral services for Mrs. Kjersti Husebye, whose death was mentioned in last week's issue, was held from the Norman church at 1:30 o'clock last Thursday afternoon, Rev. Endresen officiating. A large assembly of her pioneer friends and relatives gathered to pay tribute to her memory. The church was decorated in mourning and the beautiful and profuse floral offerings were a slight token of the high esteem in which she was held. Interment was made beside her husband in the Norman cemetery.

Mrs. Kjersti Husebye was born in Hadeland, Norway, August 8th, 1845. At the age of four years she came with her parents to America, settling first in Wisconsin and moving later to Decorah, Iowa. She was married in Iowa in 1864 to J. J. Husebye. They lived there until 1879 when they moved to the Husebye farm near Kindred now occupied by their son, H. J. Husebye. Mr. Husebye died in 1897. Later, Mrs. Husebye moved to Mayville and for the past twelve years she has made her home with her daughter, Mrs. A. H. Johnson, of that place, making frequent visits to all her children. About the first of the year she was taken sick with cancer of the liver, and although everything possible was done towards her betterment, she grew steadily worse and passed away at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 5th. All her children had visited her during her last illness and all were present at her funeral.

Funeral services were conducted from the Mayville church at two o clock Wednesday afternoon and the body shipped to Kindred that evening, members of the family accompanying the remains.

Mrs. Husebye is survived by ten children: Mrs. E.  E. Ellertson, Minneapolis, Minn; Mrs. A. H. Johnson, Mayville; H. J. Husebye, Kindred; J. A. Husebye, Williston; Mrs. A. A. Stenehjem, Arnegard; Mrs. Julius Erickson, Sawyer; O. M. Husebye, Kindred; Mrs. T. A. Stenehjem, Williston; William Husebye, Aberdeen, S.D.; and Mrs. A. A. Sorg, Circle, Mont.

Mrs. Husebye was another of those worthy pioneers of whom it can be truly said, "She did all things well."  One of the founders of the Norman congregation, she was always a staunch worker in and supporter of the church, a woman possessed of a true Christian and moral character who influenced many for good, and most important of all, a fine mother to her large family, rearing and educating them to become good and useful citizens respected each in his place.

Other out of town relatives and friends present at the funeral were: Mr. and Mrs. Helmer Tiyhus of Mayville; Mrs. Iver Siem, Blanchard; Mr. Ellertson of Mpls.; Mr. Johnson, Mayville; Mrs. J. A. Husebye, Williston; Mr. and Mrs. Hans Hersrud, Horace; and Mr. and Mrs. H. A. Dustrud, Hickson.

The bereaved family has the sympathy of their host of friends in their hour of sorrow.


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