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
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:

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