Clipping: Early Norwegian Settlers
BRITSON, SHELDAHL, HENDRICKSON, DUEA, TUNGESVIK, RASMUSSON, ERICKSON, TWEDT, OPSTVEDT, NESS, PETERSON, HENRYSON, HOLLAND, EGLAND, CHARLSON, BRALAND, BJORKA, CHRISTENSON, TJERNAGEL, HELVIG, THOMPSON, GROVE, GRINDEM, TVEDT, HENDERSON
Posted By: Mark Christian
Date: 3/6/2010 at 12:02:13
[This settler article was included in the obituary of B. J. Britson published in The Roland Record, Roland, Story County, Iowa, Wednesday, February 24, 1932.]
LAST MEMBER OF PIONEER GROUP IS GONE
B. J. BRITSON HAD LIVED IN ROLAND COMMUNITY FOR 76 YEARS
The last member of the first group of pioneers to settle in the Roland community in 1856, was called away last week when B. J. Britson died at five o'clock Thursday morning. Mr. Britson was a babe only a few months old when his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Sjur Britson, came from Illinois, and h e has lived here continuously since that time, a period of 76 years. There may be a few in Story county who have lived here a year or two longer, but Mr. Britson had the distinction of being the oldest resident of the Roland Community.
There were three groups of pioneers who left Illinois to make their homes in this part of the county, the first in 1856, another in 1857 and the third in the following year, 1858. From then on new settlers came steadily and the country was soon well inhabited.
It is interesting at this time to enumerate those who first broke the sod in this vicinity. The members of the first colony who came in 1856 were: Rasmus Sheldahl with is wife and one child; Erick Sheldahl and wife; Elias Hendrickson and wife; Jonas Duea with his wife and two children, Julia and Joseph; Rasmus Larson Tungesvik with his wife and six children; Ole Rasmusson with his wife and one child; Jacob Erickson and wife; Hans Twedt, wife and one child; Torkel Opstvedt and family; Sjur Britson, wife and two sons, Sjur and Brit; Lars and John Ness and Hans Peterson.
The members of the second colony who came in 1857 were: Osmund Henryson and wife; Samuel Holland family; Knud Egland and family; John Charlson and family; Ole Braland and family; John Bjorka and family; Andrew Christenson and family; Peter Tjernagel and family; Knud Helvig and family.
The third group of 1858 included Paul Thompson and wife; Mons Grove; John Grindem, wife and two children; Knut Tvedt and wife; Lars Henderson, wife and four children; Johannes Mathre and family; Tjeran Halsnes, wife and four children; Baard Beroen, wife and four children; Thor Hill, wife and one child.
As far as is known all of those who came in these three groups are now dead, Mr. Britson, who came in the first contingent, being the last surviver to pass away.
Brit J. Britson was born October 13, 1855 at Lisbon, Ill. He came with his parents to the Britson homestead just east of town in 1856 and has continued to live in this community ever since that time.
He was united in marriage to Mrs. M. E. Tearson at Cambridge on October 6, 1887, who died July 4, 1918. Mr. Britson died February 18, 1932, at the age of 76 years, 4 months and 5 days.
He is survived by three sons, Severt and Milford of Roland, and Thomas of Albert Lea, Minn., and a daughter, Mrs. Bernice Elliott of McCallsburg, also a sister, Mrs. Hannah Sexe of Nevada, and eight grandchildren, Leeffia, Cleopha and Virgil Britson; Betty and Loren Elliott, and Duane, Frances and Herbert Britson.
Mr. Britson suffered a heart attack two years ago and his illness gradually became worse from then on, although he was able to be up and around until the last few weeks before his death. In recent years he has made his home with his sons Severt and Milford Britson, being with the former at the present time.
The funeral was held Saturday afternoon at the Britson home and at Bergen church, Rev. M. O. Sumstad officiating, with interment in the Roland cemetery. The pall bearers were S. H. Twedt, Joe H. Twedt, Joseph O. Johnson, B. A. Rassmusson, P. J. Peterson and Carl Solberg.
Among those from a distance in attendance at the funeral, besides the children, were Mr. and Mrs. Ray Johnson and Melvin Henderson of Des Moines, Mrs. Hannah Sexe and Mrs. [?]itch of Nevada, Lars Hauge and Henry Stenson of Huxley.
Story Documents maintained by Mark Christian.
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