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
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
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.