Amos Leverson (originally known as Amund Leverson Langeberg) was born February 1, 1830, in Hallingdal, Norway. He emigrated to America in 1850 with his sister Ingeborg. Ingeborg had found a job with Governor Alexander Ramsey of Minnesota before she left Norway. He stayed in Minneapolis several months then went to Rock County, Wisconsin Where he worked as a laborer for about six years before going to Worth County, Iowa, in 1856. He settled on the SW quarter of Section 14 of Brookfield Township, near Elk Creek, being one one the first settlers in the township. He built a home and then went back to Wisconsin to marry Ingeborg Tidemansdatter Quarve the following year.
Ingeborg Quarve was born December 28, 1837, in Nes Hallingdal, Norway, to Tideman Olsen Quarve and Kjersti Jorgensdatter Garnaas. In 1848, the ten-year-old Ingeborg left Hallingdal with her parents; three unmarried brothers, Knud, Jorgen and Levord, two unmarried sisters, Kari and Liv; a widowed half sister, Ingeborg Knutsdatter Gudbrandplass and her four sons, Ole, Tideman, Knud, and Svend. Another married half sister Margrethe, her husband Vilhelm Peterson Langslet and their three children, Peder, Knud and Birgit also accompanied them.
In 1860, the first Norwegian service conducted by the circuit traveling pastor, C.L. Clausen, was held under a large oak tree near the Leverson home. In 1863 their house burned down. In 1873, they purchased land in Section 21 in Brookfield Township and moved there. By 1884 they owned 468 acres of well-improved land and had eight children, Betsey, Clara, Knut, Oliver, George and Sam. A short time later, they had another child, Cora.
Amos Leverson was much admired for his resourcefulness and authoritative bearing. People came from far off to seek his counsel. A little praise was enough to make him ready to give assistance and valuable advice, but if anyone contradicted him, he became angry. He had some money to begin with and prospered quickly from the start. He bought up one farm after the other for almost all of his four sons. he exercised an old-fashioned patrician authority over these sons. Like so many of the old pioneers he was for a while addicted to the bottle, and in 1873, on the way home from town, he lost his mittens and froze badly both his hands. The doctor was called, and his verdict was amputation of the hands. Amos's opinion was that cutting of the fingers would suffice, but the doctor stuck to his original decision. This made Amos furious. He gave the doctor a torrent of violent abuse and ordered him out of his house. Then he took a homemade saw that he once had fashioned out of the mainspring of a clock and sawed off his fingers. Some time later, the doctor met Langeberg and noticed that all that was left of the fingers was a stump of one thumb. "You don't have very much left, after all, I see," said the doctor. Leverson stuck his stump close to the physician's nose and said, " You will never be worth so much to me as this little stump!"
Later he became an eager teetotaler. But is seemed that when his old vice was gone, so was his good fortune. And both he and his sons no longer prospered. He lost his cheerful buoyancy and became seriously ill. Finally, he wrote his will, sent farewell greetings to old friends, and lay down to die. All of a sudden his mood and attitude changed. He arose and decided that he was going to live for a while yet. He immediately became well again. In 1897, he and all his sons sold out every bit and parcel they owned and went 400 miles out in the wilds of Clay County, Minnesota, to start pioneer life all over once more. The whole Leverson family had luck with them and shortly became quite prosperous.
Amos Leverson died in 1903 and his wife in 1928, both in Clay County, Minnesota.
Sources: History of Mitchell and Worth Counties, Iowa, 1884, page 724. Hallingen Magazine, Dec. 2004,page 12 and March 2004, page 30.
Written by Gordon Felland, December 4, 2004