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SHSND Home > Archives > Archives Holdings > Archives & Manuscripts > Family/Local History > 10603
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Manuscripts by Subject - Family / Local History - #10603

TTitle: Stenerson and Nygaard Families                 

Dates: 1873-1945             

Collection Number: MSS 10603

Quantity: 3.75 ft including oversize in map case drawer.

Abstract: Includes correspondence, scrapbooks of postcards, notes, religious books, music books, diploma from Aaker's Business College, and photographs that belonged to Beatrice (Nygaard) Stenerson, her father Oscar Nygaard, her grandfather Sven Thorvald Nygaard, her great-grandmother Julia Larson, and mother-in-law Christine (Knutson) Stenerson.

Sven Nygaard emigrated from Norway and lived in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Christine (Knutson) Stenerson was born in Iowa and taught in rural schools near Harvey (ND) then homestead near what is now Halliday (ND).

Provenance: The collection was donated to the State Historical Society of North Dakota by Beatrice (Nygaard) Stenerson in 1992.

Property rights: The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to the 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.  Permission to use any radio or television broadcast portions of the collection must be sought from the creator.

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.
(paternal grandfather of Beatrice [Nygaard] Stenerson)

Sven Thorvald Nygaard was born at Häbel, Østfold, Norway, February 20, 1855. He immigrated to the U.S. with his parents and two of his brothers at approximately age 30. He married Laura Bolette Larson December 9, 1887. Laura was born February 17, 1866 at Smaalenne, Norway. She immigrated with her parents, a sister and brother to Barron, WI in 1864. Together they had eight children. Seven grew to adulthood. A ten year old daughter, Lily, died of diphtheria and its after effects during the diphtheria epidemic of 1902. Because the family was quarantined, Sven had to take the team of horses and a wagon and drive to town to purchase a casket and then he had to prepare her for burial. No funeral was held, only a committal service was held at the cemetery by their pastor.

Sven was educated in Norway, although where he was educated and how much education he received is unknown. He was a carpenter by trade and helped build the Ryan Hotel in downtown St. Paul (MN), where he worked 10 hour days and for which he received $1.00. The hotel has since been demolished.

After he was married, Sven started farming at Esdaile, WI, but was an avid reader and not a good farmer. Most of the farm work was left to be done by his family because he liked to read until the wee hours of the morning. His favorite books were philosophy and theology. Because he was so well read in those subjects he became a close friend of his pastor. His penmanship was perfect as illustrated in the notebooks in which he wrote. The only pen he ever used was one that had to be dipped in ink. He could also play the reed organ which attracted Laura. Their three daughters learned to play the organ, and his granddaughter took her first music lessons on that organ. Laura Nygaard loved to sing, especially the Norwegian hymns.

In 1913, Sven and Laura moved to Nevis (MN). The donor’s father, Oscar, was the oldest boy, and went into partnership farming there. Although he was not “cut out” to be a farmer, Sven’s favorite job on the farm was plowing with the horses, a tedious job which he loved because he could be alone with his thoughts about philosophy and theology. He died of a heart attack at the age of 75 and is buried in the family burial plot at Nevis, MN.

(mother-in-law of Beatrice [Nygaard] Stenerson)

Christine (Knutson) Stenerson was born November 2, 1879 near Callender, IA. Her parents and five sisters emigrated from Norway. Her father’s name was Ole and her mother’s name was Aasne (Ness) Knutson. Her sisters were Nellie, Maggie, Carrie, Julia and Betsy. Christine was educated at Drake University in Des Moines, IA and Palmer School of Chiropractic at Davenport, IA. She never set up a chiropractic practice. She mostly gave treatments to family and friends as a personal favor.

In the early 1900s she came to ND to visit her married sister, Mrs. Maggie [Ole J.] Rodne, near Harvey. Here she taught in rural schools for a few years. In about 1908 she went to western ND and took over a homestead near what is now Halliday. Here she taught a rural school called the Olson school and lived in a sod house on her homestead. The McGuffey and Laidlaw readers were used in her teaching. The school year was less than nine months long because children were expected to work at home during the spring and fall.

Later she met and married Erick Stenerson from Eau Clair (WI) who had homesteaded nearby. After their marriage, she traded her homestead for land adjoining her husband’s. They had three children, Agnes (Mrs. Carl Rodne), Orville Stenerson and Olive (Mrs. Berger Rodne). She passed away in 1969 and is buried at Spring Creek Cemetery, Dodge (ND).


Box 1:
1 Songbook in Norwegian, 1879
2 Grammatik for Thor Nygaard, April 1, 1881
3 Notes, correspondence, newspaper clipping, and drawings from the Grammatik book, ca. 1879-1890
4 Published religious books and handwritten copies by Thor Nygaard, ca. 1880-1926
5 Album of mementos of the Christina and Erick Knutson family, and loose papers of Beatrice (Nygaard) Knutson, including printed material, greeting cards, and post cards of family, friends, and scenes in ND and MN, ca. 1889-1945
6 Album of post cards with correspondence of Oscar Nygaard, featuring holiday and MN scenes, ca. 1909-1914
7 Album of post cards with correspondence of Julia Larson (Beatrice’s great-grandmother), featuring holiday and MN scenes, ca. 1910
8 Copies of photographs of Christine (Knutson) Stenerson, friends and relatives outside Christine’s sod house on her homestead near Halliday (ND) and a portrait of Sven Thorvald Nygard and his wife Laura Bolette

Box 2:
1 “Model Organ Method: A Book of Graded Instruction for the Reed or Cabinet Organ,” 1873
2 Music book for the organ (in Norwegian), 1878

Oversize (map case drawer):
Oscar Nygaard diploma from Aaker's Business College (Fargo, N.D.), 1909

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