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Arneson & Byfuglien: Norway to Minnesota

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Arneson & Byfuglien: Norway to Minnesota

Posted: 1259198703000
Classification: Biography

M/M Erick Byfuglien, left Etnedalen, Valdres, Norway and landed in New York in late April 1899. Two weeks later they left New York and arrived in Portland, North Dakota on 17 May 1899.

A year later their son, Knut was born. In the fall of 1900, Mr and Mrs Byfuglien and Knut moved to Pinecreek, settling on a homestead in Dieter Township, where they lived for six years. In 1903, a datter, Jennie was born.

Five years later, the Byfuglien family moved to a farm two and a half miles north of Ross. Here they lived for 35 years. At the age of 17 yrs, Jennie began working at Bell's restaurant in Roseau during the winter; in summer she helped with the farm work. But in 1927, Knut and Jennie went into business, opening a L.B. Hartz store in Ross. During the first year of operation, there was a tremendous flood in the area, and rowboats were used to get to the store fra the road.

At the end of the year, Jennie Byfuglien was married to Olaf Arneson, who had come to Roseau county fra Norway in 1913. Here he joined his brothers Harold and August and a sister, Mary, who had arrived earlier. Olaf Arneson then joined Jennie in the operation of the L.B. Hartz store and in the management of the Standard Service Station in Ross, businesses which they maintained for 35 years, during which time they experienced seven serious floods.

The Ross store served as a gathering place for the community, where all kinds of goods were bartered. It became a general merchandise store as well as grocery store. At first the goods came by rail to Fox, and had to be transported with horse and wagon; later the Model T, then the Model A was used. In 1943, L.B. Hartz began delivering groceries to the store by turck and some salesmen also delivered their wares.

Olaf and Jennie Arneson had five children:
Milton Arneson
Otto Arneson
Jimmie Arneson
Glen Arneson
Elaine Arneson

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