LaSalle County Illinois History
Norwegians in Adams Township, La Salle County, Illinois
Transcribed by Kris Dunlap
Norwegians in Adams Township, La Salle County, Illinois
James R. Glacking, 616 Sheridan Road, Highwood, Illinois 60040
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the first organized group of Norwegians to immigrate to the U.S.A.
The group left Stavanger in Jul, 1925 aboard the sloop, "Restauration"; and sailed for New York. Under
the guidance of the noted rover, Cleng PEERSON, they settled at Kendall in New Orleans County, New York, a site
that Peerson had helped to select the previous year. After several years a need was felt for room to expand.
Desiring land that was less expensive and less difficult to clear, members of the group came to Illinois, settling
first at Beaver Creek on the Fox River. The site proved unwise from a health standpoint. Many of the settlers
suffered from exposure to the cold during the winter; and in the warmer months malaria ran rampant. Thus the first
year saw many of them die. It was then that the move was made into La Salle County. Permanent settlements were
made in the environs of the present day villages of Norway and Leland. The king of Norway will visit Norway Illinois
this October when the 150th anniversary is celebrated.
As late as 1907 numerous individuals, either immigrants themselves or descendants of immigrants were in business
in Leland. The following list was taken from Strand's History of the Norwegians of Illinois, page 79.
ABRAMSON, John; mason
ABRAHSON, Walter T. ; harness maker
ANDERSON, Alfred; contractor and builder
DANIELSON, Edward A. ; dealer in hardware, wagons, implements
ERICSON, Burton and Miss Louise; photographers, Ericson Studio
ERICSON Eric, and Sons; wagon makers, blacksmiths, farm implement dealers
FARLEY, Edward; manager of grain elevator
FOSSLAND, Martin O.; shoemaker
GROVER, W.A., manager of grain elevator
HANSON, Conrad; blacksmith
JACOBSON, Jacob C.; and Son; merchants, general merchandise
JACOBSON, Joseph; merchant, candies & cigars
JACOBSON, Jacob R. ; contractor and builder
JOSEPHSON, Elias; merchant, meats
KLOSTER, Miss Anna; dressmaker
KLOVE, Noah G.; newspaper publisher
KNUTSON, K.W.; driving and expressing
LARSON and GROVER; merchants, general merchandise
LOGELAND, Nels; housemover
MOSSNESS, john; CONTRACTOR AND BUILDER
Pederson, M.B.; barber
PEDERSON, Ole R.; painter
SATTER, Peter; merchant, hardware & furnaces
SIMONSON, Miss Anna; milliner
SIMONSON, Omun; merchant, general merchandise
THOMPSON, S.O.; grocer
THORSEN, John; driving and expressing
WALD, Miss Martha; dressmaker
WARREN, Levi; dealer in coal, cement, feed
In 1857 a small Norwegian newspaper was established in Leland. Called the "Vossingen", it had the stated
purpose of providing "convenient means of communication between the expatriated Vossings and their countrymen
in the old world." In 1858 about one hundred issues were sent to Norway. Contained among its pages were
letters, marriage announcements, death announcements, advertisements, appeals for funds with which to help needy
immigrants, short articles, and items attempting to locate lost relatives and friends. The paper was published
irregularly until 1859, when the publishers removed it to Milwaukee, where it ceased publication in 1860. (Blegen,
Norwegian Migration to American, vol. 1, page 328)
The following are biographical and genealogical notes about those Norwegians who were early settlers in La Salle
County and those who had settled in the vicinity of the village of Leland in Adams Township prior to 1870:
- ANDERSON, Andrew (1820 -1883) came from Stavanger 1836; lived near Ottawa, Ill. 1836-7; to Adams Twp. 1837;
farmed section 34; married lst Malinda ANDERSON(d. 1863); 6 children, 5 predeceased father; only son , Christopher
survived; married 2nd 1866 Anna ANDERSON; 4 children, Andrew, Anna, Oscar and Adolph.
- ANDERSON, Andrew (d.1849) came from Tysvaer parish, Skjold, south of Haugesund, 1836 with wife Olena, 33 sons,
2 daughters; spent 2 years Orleans Co., Y to La Salle Co. 1838; died during cholera epidemic; daughter, Susanna
married John HILL who had come from Stavanger in 1836 and settled near Lisbon Illinois in 1839.
- ANDERSON, Bjorn came from Vikedal 1836; lived Rochester, NY one year ; came Mission Twp., LaSalle Co. 1837;
to Dane Co., Wisconsin 1839 married Catherine VON KROGH; six children, Arnold, Andrew, Bruun, Elizabeth, Cecelia,
Martha and Rasmus B.
- ANDERSON, Nelson (1824-1864) came from Oslo to DeKalb Co., Il 1845; removed to Adams Twp., in 1843 and had
settled Mission Twp., LaSalle Co.; 6 children; Sophia, wife of Alexander HALVERSO, Mattie; Linnie, wife of Edwin
JOHNSON; Andrew K.; John; and Nelsie, one of the early day teachers in the Leland schools.
- ASKVIG, Even ( d. 1875) came from Hjelmeland, 1836 or 1837; settled lst Beaver Creek; came to LaSalle Co.,
1838; to Texas 1840's; settled southwest Iowa, 1852.
- BAKER, Carrie (STENBON), widow Ole BAKER; came from Bakke 1842 or 1843; settled Muskego, Wisconsin, where husband
died; to Norway, IL, where married Peter ORMSON. Baker children; Ole, who removed to Nebraska; Sarah, wife Andrew
H. JOHNSON; granddaughter Carrie (JOHNSON) Hovda, postmistress at Leland 1899-1913.
- BAKER, Ole C. came to this country from eastern part of Norway in 1850; settled near Leland DeKalb Co., 1869
married 1867 Julia CANUTESON, native Mission Twp.; 8 children: Charles, Jeremiah, Hiram, Newton, Jesse, Mervin,
Nettie ( wife of Willis C. FARLEY), Josephine ( wife of Franklin FARLEY).
- BARLIEN, Hans ( d. 1842) came from Trondheim, 1836; took part in peasant uprising in Norway; was printer and
became involved in much litigation over his editorials; member of the Storting; came to LaSalle Co., 1837; to
Sugar Creek, Lee Co., Iowa, where he died.
- BJORGO, John Halderson came from Voss, 1837; came directly to La Salle Co., 1837 or 1838; to Koshonong, Wisconsin,
- BRIMSOE, Lars Larson (d. 1873) came from Stavanger, 1836; worked as a carpenter in New York and Chicago before
he came to LaSalle Co.,; removed to Benton Co., Iowa 1858; to Adams Co., Iowa 1872.
- BULAND, Christen came from Norway to LaSalle Co., 1845; settled near Leland; farmed section 21; married 1840
Ann KNUDSON; 5 children: Knute C., grain merchant, Leland; Samuel C., famer, Leland; Isabelle, wife of Ole J.
HILL of Leland; Sarah and; and Louisa C.
- CANUTESON, Oliver came from Norway to Mission Twp., LaSalle Co., 1834 or 1835; daughter Julia, wife of Ole
BAKER of Leland.
- DALE, John J. came to this country and settled in LaSalle Co in 1837; wife Ann, died in LaSalle Co. in 1839;
removed to Racine Co., Wisconsin 1842.
- DANIELSON, Christopher came from Ardal with parents. Christen and Martha Danielson, 18137; settled Mission
Twp., LaSalle Co.; both parents died of cholera in 1849; married Anna THOMASON ; nine children: Martin J.; Daniel
C.; Bertha, wife of L HAYER; Osman M.; Edward A.; David N.; Ida, wife of Charles HAYER; Mary Emma, wife of Andrew
GAARD; and Joseph C.
- FARLEY, Christopher ( d.1895) came with parents Christopher and Julia Farley, to Muskego, Wisconsin 1842;
father died there; he and his other removed to Adams Twp., 1844; married Helen SANDERSON; 7 children: Esther;
Matilda; Willis C.; Hannah; Franklin; Adolph Helleck, who was called Ed; and Alfred.
- FRULAND, Nils ( d. 1872) came to this country in 1837; one of the few survivors of the Beaver Creek Settlement;
came to Mission Twp., LaSalle Co., 1839; to Miller Twp., 1840.
- GORD, Ole came to this country, 1857; settled Earl Twp. near Leland; farmed section 25; married Adaline HALVERSON
in 1864; children: Lena, Simon, Susan, Josephine; Nettie; Sarah Ann; Hannah; Andrew; and Arthur.
- HALVERSON, Knute came with brother Nils and parents Halver Knudson and Betsey Forgersdatter to Rutland twp.,
1838; mother died there in 1838 or 1839; father died cholera in Earl Twp., 1949; he came to Adams Twp., 1840 farmed
section21; married 1841 Elizabeth Olson daughter of Ole Thompson; ten children Halver and Ole both died in service
during Civil War; Nels; Alexander; John; Betsey; Charles k; Sarah Ann; Ellen Josephine and Elias.
- HANSON, Ole H. (1827-1904) came from Telemark , 1839 with parents, the Hans Olsons; a brother , Alexander
of Ellsworth, Iowa ; and 3 sisters Betsey, Helen, and Levina ; settled on Indian Creek near Leland and lived in
a dugout the first winter, 1839-1840; mother died 1842; father died 1845; farmed section 15 married 1855 Isabelle
OSMUNDSON, daughter of Charan Osmundson; she died in 1873; six children: Henry M.; George M.; Emma C.; wife of
Christian JACOBSON; Charles F.; Joseph; and Simon .
- HARMONSON< Isaac came to this country and settled in LaSalle Co., 1845 at age 3; at age 19 enlisted in Union
forces and served in Civil War; spent 3 years in military service against Indians on west coast; married 1871 Marinda
Erickson, native of LaSalle Co.,
- HAUGAAS, Gudmund ( d. 1849) came to this country1825; settled in New York; married 1827 Julia MADLAND (d.
1846); then married Caroline HARWICK (d. 1852); purchased 160 acres Rutland Twp., 1835; joined Mormon church and
became an elder; practiced medicine; died of cholera near Norway, Illinois; 4 children, Mrs. R.W. Bower, Sheridan
Ill., Daniel, Henderson, Ia.; Mrs., Isabel Lewis Emington, Ill., and Thomas, Mormon church elder.
- HAYER, Ole (d. 1873) came from Telemark, 1837; became a Mormon, then joined the Baptists; removed to Iowa,
- HETLETVEDT, Knud Olson (d. 1849) came from Norway to LaSalle Co., with wife Serena, 1836; both died of cholera.
- HIGHLAND, Ole came to this country age 20, 1862; came directly to Adams Twp.; farmed section 16; served Union
forces Civil War; married 1883 Julia EDWINSON, daughter of Gunder Edwinson, Adams Twp., farmer, section 9; five
children: Orton, George, Lila, and Melva; Harold died as infant.
- HILL, Ole J. came to this country age 17, 1855; settled Adams Twp., farmed section 17; married 1865 Isabelle
BULAND; 5 children: William Franklin; Clarence E.; Joseph M.; Emma E.; and Anne E.
- HIMLE, Odd J. (d. 1893) came LaSalle Co. from Voss, 1837; served as guide for those bound for Koshonong, Wisconsin,
1840; returned to Norway 1844; married there Marie JERMO; returned to this country 1845; settled Columbia Co.,
Wisconsin; died DeForest, Wisconsin.
- HORNEFJELD, Amund Anderson came to this country from Norway 1836; located Mission Twp., 1836; to Albion, Wisconsin,
married Ingeborg, widow of Erik SAVIG, 1841.
- HOVLAND, Gjert ( d.1870) came from Hardanger, 1831; purchased 160 acres Miller Twp., 1835; lived there until
death; early promoter of immigration.
- JACOBSON, Jacob C. came to this country from Norway 1857; located Leland; sold general merchandise; married
1857 Caroline M. CARLSON; 3 children: Christian, Jacob, and Andrew, who died at age 9
- JAMESON, Sivert came to this country from Skudeness, Norway 1866; settled near Leland; married 1853 Rachel
CHRISTOPHERSON; 9 children Gabriel M. of Freedom; Anna, wife of Knute HOLTE of Blairsburg, Iowa; Margaret; Rachel,
wife of Richard THORGERSON of Chicago; Rastus of Freedom; Martha, wife of John WATNE of Dayton Twp.; Laura, wife
of B JOHNSON, Ottawa; Olive, wife of H.L. THORNBURG of Chicago; and Nellie.
- JOHNSON, G. came to this country from Norway, 1843; settled Adams Twp.; farmed section 7; married Sarah BENEDICTSON,
1849; 4 children: Edwin, Joseph, Benjamin, and Anna Mary.
- JORSTAD, Rasmus O. came to this country from Stavanger, 1855 settled Adams Twp.; farmed section 10; married
1949 Anna, daughter of Jonas ANDERSON; 11 children Christina; Jonas R., who taught school in Leland in the 1870's;
Martha; Peter; Margaret; Erasmus; Helen; three who died young; and Osmund; who accidently shot himself while
on a hunting expedition in the Dakotas.
- KITTLESON, Halvor born Tinprestegjeld, Hovins sogn, 1836; came to this country 1860; settled near Leland; to
DeKalb Co. 1863; married Gunne HELGESTAD; children: Henry, Cory, Isabelle and Julia.
- KLOVE, Anders A. came to this country from Bergen, 1843; settled Racine Co., Wisconsin, 1843, came to LaSalle
CO., 1854; member of first village board of Leland; farmed section 8; served as supervisor, notary public, collector,
assessor, and justice of the peace; married 1855 Randvei GROVER, who came to this country with her parents at
age 2 in 1837; the GROVERS lived in Chicago 3 years; then to Kendall Co.; to Adams Twp. in 1850; 17 children;
nine died young; Martin suffocated while unloading grain at the Leland elevator-and entire load was accidently
dumped on him; Julia, wife of Henry M. HANSON Andrew M.; Clara; Lydia; Josephine; Martha; and Noah G.
- MIDBOEN, Erik Gauteson settled LaSalle Co. 1837; joined Mormon church and became one of their representatives;
returned to Norway in latter capacity; died soon after return to this country in 1850.
- MOSEY, Knute Thompson (d. 1849) came to this country, 1844; settled LaSalle Co., 1845; he and his wife, Sarah
and two daughters died of cholera in Freedom; sons were Barto Thompson and Thomas T.
- NELSON, Carrie (PEERSON) ( d. 1848), widow of Cornelius Nelson; came aboard sloop in 1825; settled at Kendall,
New York, where husband died 1833; her brother, Cleng PEERSON purchased for her 80 acres in Rutland Twp.; 7 children:
Anna; Nels , last survivor (male) of the sloop party, died at Sheridan, Ill in 1893; Inger, wife of John S.
MITCHELL of Ottawa, Ill.; Martha, wife of Beach FALLOWS; Sarah, wife of Canute MARSETT, Mormon Bishop at Ephriam,
Utah; Peter of Larned, Kansas; and Amelia.
- NELSON, Halvor came from Norway to Mission Twp., 1836; settled Adams Twp., 1837.
- NORDVIG, Malinda (AADLAND) (d.892), widow of Anders Nordvig, who died at Beaver Creek settlement; came from
Norway in 1837; to LaSalle Co. when widowed; died in LaSalle Co., two daughters; Malinda, wife of Iver LAWSON,
who came from Voss to Chicago in 1844, and mother of Victor F. LAWSON; Sarah (NORDVIG) DARNELL, widow of a pioneer
settler of Benton Co. Iowa, she returned to spend her widowhood at Sandwich, Ill.
- OLSON, Christian came to this country 1829; settled Kendall, N.Y. to LaSalle Co. 1836-7.
- OLSON, Knud T. came from Riskedal 1850; settled Freedom Twp. 1850; to Adams Twp. 1857; married 1837 Isabelle
ASLAGSTATTER; 7children: two died young; Ole K. of Freedom; Regina, wife of Halver WARREN of eagle Grove, Iowa;
Andrew of Huxley, Iowa; Charles of Shelby Co., Iowa; and Martin of Adams Twp.; family farmed Adams Twp., section
- OLSON, Ole T. came from Norway to Mission Twp. , LaSalle Co., 1836; settled Adams Twp. in 1837; farmed section
22; left homestead to is son Nels.
- OSMOND, Herman Aarga (d. 1888) came from Stavanger 1836; lived Ohio; to city of Chicago 1837; settled on farm
near Norway, Ill 1848; to Newark in 1869; died Newark.
- PEERSON, Samuel came to this country 1836; resided near Norway, Ill, as early as 1837; aided in bringing Norwegian
immigrants to LaSalle County.
- RICHOLSON, Lars (d. 1868) came to this country 1837; settled near Ottawa, Ill; married Helen JOHNSON; resided
on homestead until death; widow to Leland; son, Samuel, was an attorney in Ottawa, Ill. and served as mayor of
- ROSSADAL, Daniel Stenson (d. 1854) came with wife Bertha, aboard sloop in 1825; removed to LaSalle Co. in
1830's; both died there; 5 children: Ellen, Ove, Lars, John and Hulda.
- SANDERSON, Helge (d. 1855) came from Bakke in Tin, 1845; married Adelaide KNUDSON; she died 1887; 6 children:
Sander H.; Knut; Levina, wife of Kittle KITTLESON; Margaret; Helen, wife of Christopher FARLEY; and Austin.
- SANDSBERG, GUDMND came from Hjelmeland, 1829, with wife, Marie, and 3 children, Bertha, Anna, and Thorbjer;
to LaSalle Co., 1836.
- SATTER, Ole T. came from Norway to Adams Twp., ca. 1841; dealer in boots and shoes at Leladnd; first in village
to build his home away from place of business; member of first village board, Leland; wife Caroline; 4 children:
Tobias, served in Union forces during Civil War; Peter; founded hardware business; Caroline, wife of T.F. THOMPSON;
and Mrs. Frank MOULTON.
- SAVIG, Erik Johnson (d. 1840) came from Kvinherred Parish, 1836; died LaSalle Co.; widow, Ingeborg, married
Amund Anderson HORNEFJELD; they removed to Albion, Wisconsin, 1840 or 1841; SAVIG children were John and Anna Bertha,
wife of John J. NAEST of Christiana, Wisconsin.
- SAWYER, Erasmus O. came from Norway to Adams Twp., 1846; farmed section 23; married Anna ANDERSON, 1859; four
sons: Racine Albert, William and Franklin.
- SAWYER, Mathias came to this country, 1845; settled near Milwaukee, Wisconsin to LaSalle Co., 1847; married
Bertha BULAND, who died 1902; 8 children: Samuel M. of Leland; Jacob of Earl Twp.; Tabertha, wife of O.G. KNUDSON,
of Jewell, Iowa; Martha, wife of Ole A. OLSON of DeKalb Co.,; Thomas, served in Civil War, died later in Arizona;
Isabel, wife of Osman WATLAND of New Sharon, Iowa; Sarah Ann who died at age 16 and Amelia first wife of Gabriel
M. JAMESON of Freedom; family farmed section 16.
- SEBBE, Henrik Erickson came to this country and settled LaSalle Co., 1836; to Salt Lake City 1848.
- SIMONSON, Omun came to this county, 1857; first settled Freedom Twp. 1857; to Deerfield, Wisconsin, 1858; returned
LaSalle Co., settling at Leland, 1859; merchant at Leland; married Rachel OLSON; 8 children: Simon, Mary, Lydia,
Ruth, Anna, Esther, Bernard, and Amos; brother, Halvor, later came to this county with his wife, Marie; they also
settled in Leland, where Halvor was a cooper.
- TALLAKSON, Lars (d. ca. 1900) came directly to LaSalle Co. from Bergen, 1836; to Clark Co., Mo., 1838; to Sugar
Creek, Lee Co., Iowa, 1840 or 1841; returned to LaSalle Co., where he remained until his death.
- THOMASON, Osmund (d. 1878) came to LaSalle Co. from Meling near Stavanger, 1836; married Bertha SOVAAK; daughter,
Anna, wife of Christopher DANIELSON.
- Thompson, Thomas Flattre came to this country with parents; Thormon S. and Ingeborg (LYDAHL) FLATTRE, 1844;
first settled near Racine, Wisconsin; came to Leland, 1852 or 1853; married Caroline SATTER, 1861; 6 children:
Louis, Stanley, Cora, Mrs. Henry THOMPSON, Mrs. William GROVER, AND Mrs. W.H. BURKE.
- THORNSON, Thorn ( d. 1883) came to this country from Hovda, 1844; settled Mission Twp., family farmed section
16, Adams Twp.; married Malinda RICHARDSON; 8 children; Thomas H. of Adams Twp.,; Richard of Minnesota; Isabelle,
wife of John A. OLSON of LaSalle Co.,; Anna, wife of Osman TLER, Hamilton Co., Iowa and Mary, wife of Gabriel M.
JAMESON of Freedom.
- VAULDER, Hans came from Vaelder in Vats Parish in the Ryfylke, 1837; had taught school in that parish; went
to Adrian and Lenawee Counties, Michigan; came to LaSalle Co. in 1838; removed to Newberg, Minnesota 1853.
- VATNAME, Helge came to this country in 1836; resided near Norway, Ill. in 1837; aided in bringing immigrants
from Norway to LaSalle County.
- WALLER, Iver brought claim from Cleng PEERSON and came directly to LaSalle County, 1837.
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