Allamakee co. IAGenWeb - Immigration & Naturalization

'Nordmændene i Amerika' by Martin Ulvestad, 1907
Allamakee County Translation


Allamakee County, Iowa
Ole Larsen Rotnem† from Gol, Hallingdal and Ole Strala and Thomas Anderson, similarly from Hallingdal were the first Norwegian settlers in this county. They came from Rock County, Wis and settled in the area of Harper's Ferry in 1850. Later in the year came Nils Bottolfsen and Ole Grandgaard†, the former from Ringerike, the latter from Hallingdal. As soon as they had completed their log cabins, they began to clear the land that was partly covered in forest. Wheat growing was their main source of income. They sold the wheat in Prairie du Chien, Wis., on the other side of the Mississippi River, where they also made their purchases, and to which they drove with oxen that were the only draft animals they had at that time, they also served as 'show horses' And no more than there could be talk of show, could there be talk of riches in those days, for the new settlers (farmers) did not have much to sell, those who worked for others, earned only 50 cents per day.

Ingebrigt Hansen† from Kongsvinger was the first in the area of Quandahl and Nels Smedsrud from Torpen, Nordre Land, was the first in the area of Church.

L. O. Larson, the county's first Norwegian settler's son, who came together with his parents and 5 siblings, says that their first home was a 'brush shanty' (a shed made of bushes) and that for several weeks there was a rattlesnake under the boxes that served as their table and bed, but none of the children were injured. L. O. L., who is now an old man, had been a teacher in Iowa, his father was a teacher in Norway.

Paint Creek Congregation, that was established at Dalby P.O. in 1854 by Pastor V. Koren of The Norwegian Synod, was the first congregation in the county, it built a church in 1856. Now there are 7 Norwegian churches and 7 congregations, 5 belong to The United Church and 2 to The Norwegian Synod.
The first Norwegian to hold a political position was Gulbrand Sætrang†, who was elected Co. Supervisor in 1875.

Post offices with Norwegian names; Dalby, Bergen and Quandahl; the first two have been closed.

© 2004 All Rights Reserved.  Translated by Olaf Kringhaug  Vernon, British Columbia, Canada.   Published by Olaf Kringhaug (deceased 2008) and Margit Bakke.
Republication or redistribution of content or any derivative work for "private use only" is permitted, as long as users acknowledge and attribute any use of material found on this website to Olaf Kringhaug. No part of this translation may be reproduced or reused for commercial use without written consent from Margit Bakke.

~Source: “Nordmændene i Amerika” by Martin Ulvestad, 1907
~Posted on the Allamakee co. IAGenWeb with permission of Margit Bakke & Olaf Kringhaug.


Return to Immigration & Naturalization Index