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SHSND Home > Archives > Archives Holdings > Archives & Manuscripts > Family/Local History > 10594
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Manuscripts by Subject - Family / Local History - #10594

Title: Peter Davidson    
Dates: ca. 1870s-1970

Collection Number:  MSS 10594

Quantity: 2 feet

Abstract: Papers consist of correspondence, legal documents, pharmacy certification paperwork, personal financial records, a cash book for Davidson’s drug store, autograph books from Peter’s time at Luther College (Decorah, IA) and the Chicago College of Pharmacy, organizational material from the McKenzie County Better Farming Club and the Knights of Pythias, personal papers of Harold Ingwoldson (who the Davidsons took in and raised), and a financial and personal ledger of Maurice and Joyce Davidson (Maurice was Peter’s nephew and also lived with the Davidsons for a time). Peter and Hilda Davidson moved from Hillsboro (ND) where Peter owned a drug store, and homesteaded near Arnegard in 1912, where they farmed.

Provenance: The papers were donated to the State Historical Society of North Dakota by Peter Davidson’s great-niece Maurine L. Davidson in November 1990.
Property Rights: The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to this collection.
Copyrights: Copyrights to materials in this collection remain with the donor, publisher, author, or author's heirs.  Researchers should consult the 1976 Copyright Act, Public Law 94-553, Title 17, U. S. Code and an archivist at this repository if clarification of copyright requirements is needed.  
Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.
Citation: Researchers are requested to cite the collection title, collection number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.       

Transfer: A Modern Woodman of America watch chain, watch fob, and fishing swivel were transferred from the collection to the Museum Division in December 1990. One cloth fire insurance envelope was offered to the Museum Division in December 2012.


Peter Davidson was born in Wisconsin in about 1864 to Norwegian parents. He attended Luther College in Decorah, Iowa in about 1881, and graduated from the Chicago College of Pharmacy in about 1887. He worked as a clerk in the drug stores of N. McKie and W. Sherwin in Viroqua, WI.

From the Arnegard Diamond Jubilee, 1913-1988, p. 61-62:

“Peter and Hilda Davidson came to McKenzie County and homesteaded four miles southeast of Arnegard. They arrived by train in Williston in the spring of 1912 from Hillsboro, ND. Pete had owned a drug store as he was a licensed pharmacist; he was tired of city life and working indoors and wanted to farm.

After arriving in Williston they unloaded their livestock, machinery, household goods and other belongings. Then loading them all on a wagon, they crossed the Missouri River on the ferry.

They had no children, but had with them a young teenage boy, Harold Ingvaldson, who they had raised from a small child. Peter drove the wagon to Arnegard, with the other horses tied behind while Hilda and Harold walked and drove their two milk cows.

After arriving at the homestead, they built a shed where they lived until they could build a house. They later used the shed for a granary. A big two story barn was built next and finally a two story house with two rooms, main living quarters on the first floor and the bedroom upstairs. They later dug a basement under the house and added two more rooms, a living room and another bedroom.

Mr. Davidson took an active part in politics and was a member of the Ideal Township Board for many years and acted as judge on their election board.

The Davidson house was home to other children after Harold grew to manhood. Maurice Davidson, one of Pete’s nephews, came to make his home with them. Later another nephew, Maurice’s brother, Dean, came to stay with them. During this time, a young girl who had lost her mother, Margaret Haugen, stayed with them. Later a niece of Pete’s stayed there for a time, Margaret Hubbard. Later George Dunster, whose parents had passed away stayed with the Davidsons until he graduated from high school in 1937.

Hilda will be remembered in this area for her good lefsa and raised doughnuts. After Peter passed away Hilda stayed on the farm for a time. She would go from home to home with her lefsa rolling pin and make lefsa for the children in homes where their mother had not learned to do this.”


Box 1:
1 Correspondence, 1909-1914
2 Legal documents and pharmacy paperwork, 1891-1914
3 Harold Ingwoldson school papers, 1910-1912
4 Drug store cash book, Hatton (ND), July 1887-March 1891
5 A-Z financial register, Dr. Peter Davidson, dealer in Drugs, Paints, Oils, and Varnish, Hatton (ND), ca. 1890s
6 Personal cash books, address and financial books, ca. 1902-1907
7 Autograph books, 1881 and 1887
8 Organizational material, McKenzie County Better Farming Club and Knights of Pythias, 1906-1914
9 Miscellaneous, n.d.    
(loose)  Maurice and Joyce Davidson financial and personal ledger, January 1954-September 1970 (Maurice was one of Peter’s nephews who lived with Peter and Hilda)

Box 2: Tintypes
10594-01-08   Unidentified tintypes, probably of Davidson relatives and friends, ca. 1870s-1890s

Box 3: Photographs
10594-09   Unidentified young women (perhaps a niece of Peter Davidson), ca. 1900
10594-10   Chester Clayton Lindberg and sister Marion Edith Lindberg after an afternoon of berry picking, 1917
10594-11   Unidentified men and women walking along sidewalk with umbrellas, ca. 1900-1910
10594-12   Scene at park, photographer taking photograph and people walking and talking, ca. 1900-1910
10594-13   People aboard unidentified steamer, ca. 1900-1910
10594-14   Unidentified family outside farm house, Minnesota? ca. 1900
10594-15   Woman on bicycle and group with wagon outside unidentified church, Minnesota or North Dakota? Ca. 1890s
10594-16   Family outside home in winter, Minnesota or North Dakota? ca. 1900
10594-17   Two unidentified young men with bicycles, Mayville (ND), ca. 1900
10594-18   Unidentified soldier in World War I uniform, ca. 1917

Box 4: Photographs
10594-19   Unidentified young man with hat and cane portrait, ca. 1900
10594-20   Family outside farm, ca. 1910
10594-21   Interior of the First State Bank of Wildrose, December 1912
10594-22   Interior of unidentified church, ca. 1910
10594-23   Interior of unidentified bank of business, ca. 1910
10594-24-25  Group surrounding derailed train, ca. 1910          
10594-26   Men standing alongside line of binders with horses lined up on Main Street, Hatton, ca. 1910

Box 5: Photographs
10594-27   Hatton Band, ca. July 4th 1910
10594-28   Hatton (ND) residents on Main Street with bicycles and agricultural equipment, probably for July 4th parade, ca. 1910
10594-29   View of Hatton (ND), ca. 1910
10594-30   Large group of women and children outside home, portrait by Fuller, Hillsboro (ND), ca. 1900
10594-31   Memorial for unidentified man, probably Peter Davidson’s father, Thorson portrait, Cashton and Westby, WI, ca. 1890s 
10594-32   Memorial for unidentified woman, probably Peter Davidson’s mother, text on ribbon says “Era St Johannes Kvindeforening,” ca. 1890s  

Box 6:    Two Certificates: Peter Davidson of Hatton registered as an Assistant Pharmacist by the North Dakota Board of Pharmacy, 1888 and 1889

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