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History of the Life
Anton T. Julseth

Anton T. Julseth
Portland, Oregon


Edited by
James S. Whittier
Palos Verdes Estates, California


My grandfather, Anton T. Julseth, wrote his life story when he was in his nineties. He did his writing using an old manual typewriter at his home in Portland, Oregon. He finished the story in 1971 when he was 93 years of age. He died March 27, 1974.

His original manuscript was single-spaced with narrow margins all around. Here I have reprinted the story using the same Courier font, but with wider margins for ease of reading. During the reprinting, I corrected a few obvious typographical errors but otherwise left the words as he wrote them.

Anton and his wife, Anne Brekke, had a large collection of old photographs. I have inserted select photos, along with some maps and other images, to illustrate Anton’s story.

James S. Whittier
Palos Verdes Estates, CA
October 16, 2002

History of the Life of Anton T. Julseth.

I was born at a Dugout in a side hill, about one mile south of Brandon, Douglas County, State of Minnesota, on the 5th day of October 1878, my Father's name was Torsten T. Julseth born in Norway on the 18th day of April, 1846, his Father's name was Torsten Tronson Julseth born the 12th day of September, 1812.

My Grand Mother's name was Mali Julseth, born in 1816: My Dad had two Brother's Named Nils T. and Peder T. and Four Sister's, named Gunnil, Ellen, Ingeborg and Johanna.

grandparent's portrait
Anton Julseth’s grandparents: Torstein Trondsen Julset and Mali Nilsdatter Aune, (portrait circa 1870 in Nord Trondelag, Norway).

They all emigrated to America, except Nils, who remained on the old home, which had been the home of the Julseth's for hundreds of years before.

As an illustration, when I was about eight years of age, and being a natural inquisitive little boy, up and asked my Dad one time the following question, "How long has the Julseth's been living on the place you were born?", and after thinking for a while, he replied by saying that he had, when he was little like myself, he had asked his Grand Father the same question, and he replied by saying that "He Did Not Know".

My Mother's maiden name was Jorand Jenson, born in the State of Iowa, near Decorah, where her parents had settled after emigrating from Norway, where they were both of them born.

Grand Father Jens Pederson, born in the year 1823, Grand Mother Aase Pederson, born October 2nd 1825.

My Mother's Brothers and Sisters were born, as follows, Peder Jenson, on December 18th 1848, Andrew Jenson, on Oct. 20th 1850, Jorand Jenson, My Mother, born Feb. 25th 1853, Kristine Jenson, born June 3rd 1855, these were all born in the State of Iowa, before their Parents moved to Goodhue County, State of Minnesota, where they settled on a Homestead about twenty-five miles west from Red Wing the County Seat, located on the Missisippi River, and about One Mile west from Kenyon, a small town located on the Zumbro River,

It should be noted at this time, that the name Jenson, is derived from the Father's Name being Jens Pederson, Father of the Jenson children, who has chosen to use the Norwedgian Custom of placing the Father's given name of Jens and adding this with Son for their Son's, and the daughter's names ending theirs with JensDaughterson.

The rest of their Children were born in the State of Minnesota, at their new location, as follows. Olaus Jenson, born December 16th 1862, John Jenson, born October 1st 1865, Died Brother & Sister in same family, John Jenson, born 1857, Died 1858, John Jenson, born April 9th 1859: Died: Olaus Jenson,born 1861, Died 1862, Annie Maria and John Jenson Twins, both died a few days old,

It should be noted, at this period of our Family History, that the several deaths in Mother's family, as shown, was caused by the T.B. Disease, which was very prevelent during that period of our time in this world.

The foregoing Family History will provide, I hope, the necessary beginning of my Life's History.

About one year after my Birth, Dad purchased a Quarter Section of land about one mile south of the place where I came into this world, located on the south shores of a very large Swamp, about two miles in length and about one mile in width.

This land had no buildings on it, and Dad had to begin from scratch, by hauling logs from the nearby woods, to build a house and stables for his Milk cows and other live stock, including his Yoke of Oxen.

I could relate many interesting occurances, during the time we lived at this place, but will not go into details about this period, except to say, that it was a very happy period and will never forget it.

Julseth family portrait
The Torsten Julseth family in 1890, when Anton was twelve. Children in back row are Anton, Theodore, John, Maria and Thea. Front row has Torsten Julseth with Oscar on his knee and Jorand Jenson with Palmer on her lap. The family’s eighth child, Ida, was born in 1895.

The next period of my life, runs from about the years 1889 to 1894. My Dad having made two trips out to Eastern Washington, to a place about twenty-five miles Southeast of Spokane, near a small town called Rockford, and had purchased a home near there, decided to sell his Douglas County, Minnesota home and all his personal property and move out to this new home, going ahead, by offering his home for sale and had an Auction Sale of all his Personal Property, at this sale, milch cows, that would fill a twelve quart or more, twice each day, was sold for from Seven and Eight Dollars each and all the other property was sold for the same price ranges.

Julseth farm house
The Julseth farm house in Brandon, Minnesota, Oct. 1891. From left: Theodore, Torsten, Oscar, Jorand holding Palmer, Anton, John, Maria and Thea.

The home was sold to neighbor for much less than its actual value, however after everything was disposed off, we all of us, had to get ready to go by train from Brandon, Minnesota, our old Home Town, to Spokane, Washington, and on a certain Fall Day, we all got on the train at Brandon, to go over the Great Northern Railway to Fergus Falls, Minnesota, where we had to stay over night, in order to go on the Northern Pacific train back to Wadena, Minnesota, to get on the Main Line Emigrant Train to Spokane, Washington.

The Great Northern R.R., was not built any further west then to Bismarck, North Dakota, at that time.

Our night's stay at Fergus Falls, we all of us almost froze to death, as the fall weather had dropped to over twenty below zero during the night, and the Hotel, we were staying at, must have been short of sufficient bedding to keep us comfortable.

At any rate, we all survived and got on the Mixed Train for Wadena, the next morning, I was sitting in the back end of the Coach and the Train was doing some switching, when there was a man getting on train, he got as far as the door, when the train suddenly stopped and this man came into the coach on all fours, as he got up shakeing his head, he looked and exclaimed "Well I got in any way".

We finally arrived at Wadena, and had to wait quite awhile before getting on the Emigrant Train for Spokane.

old Minnesota railroad map
Old Minnesota railroad map shows route from Brandon to Fergus Falls to Wadena and then to Fargo and points west.

This train was really a Hum Dinger, compared to trains of later modern times.

These trains were operated and pulled by Coal Burning Steam Locomotives and the Coaches were made mostly of wood, when crossing the Rocky Mountains, they had to use two Locomotives to pull the long train of coaches over the steep grades, and I will never forget at one place we could sit in our coach and look across a very deep Chasm and see two Locomotives on the other side, with black smoke streaming out of their smoke stacks, high up in the Mountains on the other side of the Chasm.

The Sleeping Coaches, had lower and upper Berths, with room for two persons to sleep and had a plank in the middle, my two older brothers had an upper berth, and as they were short of sleeping room, they placed me on top of the plank in the middle with my Brothers, and in view of the un-comfortable place to sleep, I got up and was standing on the platform between the couches, when our train ran into a string of freight cars of a derailed train and tore all the wooden steps of our couches, which made a great deal of noise, wakeing up all the passengers on our train, but we went on our way, regardless of our encounter, we had with the derailed freight cars, lying along the track.

Northern Pacific railroad map
Northern Pacific Railroad map from 1891 showing the route from Wadena, Minnesota to Spokane, Washington.

The coaches had no storm windows and when we got on the train at Wadena, it had ice covered windows, and we could not look outside at all, but when we arrived near to the Bad Lands in North Dakota, the weather being warmer, the frost on the windows, melted off and we could see outside, and in doing this, I could see what appeared to be a big black cloud in the northwest, just like the ones we used to see at home in Minnesota, before a bad northwest storm was approaching, and as the train moved closer to the cloud, I could see trees in it, and after a little while, we entered The Bad Lands in Western North Dakota, and after a while we came to a small town, by the name of Beach, located on the banks of The Little Missouri River, and which used to be Teddy Roosevelt's old home, and his house was still there, having been preserved, as a relic and memorial to his life, being one of our past President's.

After leaving the Bad Lands, our train, moved westward across the State of Montana, via Glendive, Miles City, Billings, Bozeman (where we ran into the derailed and wrecked freight train), Butte, Anaconda and Missoula and on across the State of Idaho, via Coeurd'Alane and on into the State of Washington and the City Spokane, where we had to change trains, over to the Union Pacific Branch Line from Pendleton, Oregon to Spokane, Washington.

old Spokane County, Washington railroad map
Old railroad map of Spokane County, Washington. The city of Spokane is in the center and Rockford is on the railroad line running to the southeast of Spokane.

By the way the difference of the temperature, should be noted, at this point, as when we left Minnesota, it was Twenty below Zero and when we arrived at Spokane, the sun was shining and the people were running around in their shirt sleeves and wearing straw hats,

After getting lined up for the last stretch of our journey to Rockford, Washington, where our new home was located, we boarded the Oregon Pacific train and finally arrived at our destination and was met by one of our new neighbor's for a ride to our new home, which was located about six or seven miles north of Rockford, in a Wagon Box on a loging truck, pulled by horses and the roads were very rough and it also had lots of snow in this part of the State, as we were to be located at the base of a fourteen thousand feet high Mountain Peak called "Mica Peak" and other high mountains on the north side from our new abode.

catechism inscription
Inscription in Anton’s Norwegian-language catechism book. Date is May 13, 1894.

Mother was very disappointed about our new home, and cried almost constantly, and to please her, Dad purchased another home out on the prairie, one mile south of Rockford and moved out there and this seemed to help Mother to certain extents, but she never got over the loss of her Minnesota home.

However, she became more satisfied after my youngest Sister Ida was born, and continued to live on this place for about four and half years, my oldest Sister Maria, was murdered at Spokane,Washington, which is a very sad occurrence, during the history of my Life.

Sister Maria was a very nice and easy going girl, and at about the age of Seventeen, she decided to go out and earn her living and went to work in a Hotel at Fairfield, Washington, about ten miles south of our place, and while there, an Elevator man took her out to a Picnic where they served alcoholic drinks, and got her drunk and while she was in this condition, he had sexual intercourse with her and she became pregnant.

Maria Julseth and friend
Maria Julseth and friend (Alexandria, MN circa 1891). Maria is on the left.

This man had a very wealthy Brother at Spokane and also a Mistress who was located in this City, and he made arrangement with this Mistress to have Sister Maria to move to Spokane and stay with her and she would help her get rid of her pregnancy, all of this being arranged by the wealthy brother, and of course my Sister being very young, agreed to the arrangement and moved to Spokane, without the folks being notified about the move.

After arriving at this Mistress place, she proceeded to perform an abortion by using a long hat pin to punch an opening in her womb, and in doing this she had used a dirty pin and blood poisoning set in and of which she died in agonies.

Dad had this woman arrested for the murder of my Sister, but the wealthy brother, had bought up the whole of the Legal Outfit, and the case was dismissed for the lack of evidence.

This of course, drove Mother almost out of her mind, and she decided to take my two younger Sisters Thea and Ida, my Brothers Oscar and Palmer, with myself and move back to southern Minnesota, to live on a farm belonging to her Father near Kenyon, before very long, shortly after Sister Maria's Funeral, we were ready to leave Washington forever.

By the way, my Dad had purchased the last farm, by paying a modest sum in cash, and the balance with a mortgage covering the place, and Of course with all the trouble about my Sister's and poor management of the farming operations, they lost this farm with the foreclosure of the mortgage, on account of non payment of the past due payments and interest and of course they had to leave the place and move back to the other farm near the Mountains, where they lived for some time, after arriving to the State of Washington and before they moved to the place they had recently lost.

However, arrangements where made for Mother and us children to depart for our trip back to southern Minnesota to live and operate the farm belonging to my Grand Father.

After the arrangements being all finished, Dad loaded us all in his wagon and drove to Spokane, Washington, where we should board the Great Northern (by the way, this Railroad had been extended from Bismarck, North Dakota, to Seattle, Washington, during the five years we lived in the State of Washington) "Flyer" train, and of course of myself being the oldest of the children to travel with Mother, who had my youngest Sister Ida, who was a baby about two years of age, I had to take charge of the rest of the family.

I enjoyed this trip very much, as the G.N.R.R. had used an entirely different route, then the N.P.R.R., the road we traveled over when going out to Washington, and of course having to change trains at St. Paul, Minnesota, also was quite an experience for a youngster of between fourteen and fifteen years of age.

After getting on the Great Western R.R. train at St.Paul, and arriving at Kenyon, about fifty miles to the south, it being in the middle of the night and both of my brother's Oscar and Palmer, being very young and having gone to sleep and of course Mother had to take Ida the baby, I had to make two trips into the Coach to carry the other's out, and when I came out with the last one, the Conducter standing at the bottom of the steps, asked "Is that all now" and as soon as I replied, he motioned with his arm and hollered "All A Board" and the train was on its way bound for Chicago.

Uncle Andrew, Mother's Brother, who lived on Grand Father's old home, was there with Two Seated Buggie and took us to his place, where we stayed for a while, until we could get around and purchase three horses, two or three cows, a Brood Sow about to have a set of little pigs, a wagon, plow, harrow, seeder, mower, binder, harnes for three horses and a lot of things required for operating the farm where we being supposed to live.

Jens Peterson and surviving children
Jens Pederson and his (surviving) children, circa 1900. Back row: Kristine and Jorand Jenson. Front row: Andrew Jenson and John Pederson. All these children used the patronymic Jenson as surname, except for John, who used Pederson.

It was arranged that Dad was to sell the place we had in Washington and as soon as he had done this, in about four or five months, he came back to Minnesota, bringing my two older brother's of mine, with him.

The two Brother's, got jobs going to work for neighboring farmers and of course I myself had already taken over the farming operation, which was a very Large Order for a Sixteen Year old boy to take on, but I managed very nicely and got along without any trouble.

My Dad, who really had a very strong case of the "Wander-lust", as soon as he got back, commenced to read Advertisements of Old Virginia farms for sale, and decided he would make a trip back to that country, and got ready and pulled out for Old Virginia, to find a place to live, but it did not take very long before he decided to come back, as it was too hot for him back there, but when he got back, he read some advertisements about Texas, and he decided he would make a trip down there, but it did not last either, as there were too many Rattle Snakes to suit him in that Country, so he came back very shortly, and he had to settle down for awhile at least.

So we lived on Grand Father's place, for about five years, at which time my oldest brother and Dad, decided to go out to Minniwauken, North Dakota, where there was an Indian Reservation which had been opened for white people to apply for Homestead Filings by a Lottery Drawing, but they both of them failed to win, and so Dad purchased two City Lots in Minniwaukan, and built a house there, as Mother and my two youngest brothers and Sister, were planning to go there and live with Brother and Dad, but it did not last very long, as the two of them made a trip to The Turtle Mountain area, to file on Homesteads to be located in Three Townships, which had been opened for filing by the Federal Government Administation, on July 1st in the year 1900 A.D., and they both of them squatted on two tracts of land for themselves and also built squatter’s claims for my Brother John, Myself and Sister Thea, as were still on Grand Fathers farm and were renting this for the last year.

Brother John got ready and traveled to Devils Lake, North Dakota, where the filings was made, and when he got into to the office to make application to file on his squatters quarter of land, it had already been taken, and he asked the Receiver, what he could do about it and the answer was, that he could, do like the party who had filed on his quarter, and so he made application to file on my quarter, which Dad and Older brother had picked out for me.

This of course left me without any squatters rights, so in the fall of the year 1900, Dad wrote me a letter, that if I wanted to file on my Sister Thea’s Claim, I would have to go to Devils Lake, and enter my filing right of way, as there was a person who had discovered that Sister Thea's quarter had never been filed on, and so I had to quit my job as Separator Man on a Thresher Outfit and get ready to make "My First Trip to North Dakota" which by itself, is a very interesting episode of my "Life History", however I got ready and boarded the train at Kenyon, Minnesota, for St. Paul, where I had to change cars from The Great Western R.R. to a train over the Great Northern R.R. to St. John, North Dakota, and after purchasing my ticket and boarding the train for St. John, N.D., when the Conducter took my ticket and gave me another one in place of it, with the explanation that "You change cars at Churches Ferry," which was the first time I knew that St. John, N.D., was on a Branch Line, and when the train stopped at Churches Ferry, I got off the train and ran into the Depot and inquired "When the next train for St. John" would leave, and the answer was "Monday morning". I very quickly ran out and got on the same train to go as far as Leeds, North Dakota, where I planned to get on a train over the Northern Pacific R.R. to go as far as Minnewaukan, where Mother was still living, and after crossing the town from the G.N.R.R. Depot, to the N.P.R.R. Depot, I inquired at the Agent's Office, when the next train would leave for Minnewaukan?, The same answer was like the one I received at Churches Ferry "Monday Morning", so I decided to try a Livery Barn, and was informed that they would want $25.00 for the trip and that they were not very anxious to make the trip, as the weather being quite blustery and might turn into a Bad Blizzard and which it did, altho I decided to walk the twenty-five miles, and save the $25.00, and went to a store and bought a pair of over shoes, putting them on and pulled out for a twenty-five mile walk, along the R.R. track, out over the barren prairies of North Dakota, in the face of a rageing N.D. Blizzard, and which might have been my last days in this world, being overcome by such storm, and in view of the fact that I had purchased no ticket from Churches Ferry to Leeds, having paid with cash, there would have been no way of tracing me any further than at Churches Ferry, where I left the train on the main line, being bound for St. John, N.D.

My frozen body or bones would have been discovered in the spring, when the snow had melted off, and probably found some article on my dead body, which might have identified who I was and notified some of my folks.

old North Dakota railroad map
North Dakota railroad map (1895) showing the Rolette County vicinity. The dashed line marks the railroad route from Leeds to Minnewaukon that Anton Julseth walked during a blizzard in October 1900.

However, I survived, and left Leeds by foot to walk twenty-five miles to Minnewaukan, and walked and walked on the R.R. tracks, over the barren prairies of North Dakota’s, after a while I could see some tall Grain Elevators, way down the tracks, and I thought, Minnewaukan at last, but after reaching this place, I looked up at the sign on the R.R. Depot, which read Brinsmaid, and after entering and asking the Agent, how far it was to Minnewaukan? and the answer NINE MILES in a loud voice, I was half ways out of the door, before the last part of the answer was out of his mouth.

I kept on walking, the snow storm was getting worse and night coming along, I entered the rolling and brush covered area between Brinsmaid and Minnewaukan, and the Coyotes in this wild area commenced to howl and coming closer to where I was walking, I became really scared, as I had never before had any experience with these animals, and as it would never do to try running, so I began to think I had done something which should'nt been done.

However the train which was due at Leeds to stay over the week end, came along, and I could see the bright Lights on the Locomotive, way down the track and coming towards myself, and this scared the Coyotes away and this helped me a lot.

And finally arriving at Minnewaukan, about ten o' clock P.M., feeling like having walked a hundred miles, the storm being by this time a full fledged and typical North Dakota Blizzard, and after having located Mother's Home, I was very happy to see her and two Brother's and Sister Ida. But I was not thru for the day, as they were completely out of fuel and it was becoming very cold, and the reason for her to be out of fuel, was that there were no coal to be had in that town, so I had to go out in the Burg to try and locate some kind of fuel, and finally found a place where they had some Briquets and they could could spare me a bushel full, and this, my brother Oscar and myself carried home to Mother.

The Blizzard continued all day Sunday and every day until Thursday, when the train back to Leeds and being the train I was supposed to go back by to get to Churches Ferry and on to St. John, came along after they had dug out the tracks which had been covered with Mountains High Snow Drifts, made by the five day Blizzard which had just now subsided.

This train finally arrived at Leeds and the train from there to Churches Ferry, was not due until the next day Friday, so, and there being a crew of men who had come out to Dakota to work in the Harvest Fields, from the east, and being all finished, were on their way back home, these were along on the same train I was on, and we all of us, went to all the Hotel's and they being all full, with no Vacancy, so we went back to the train we had come up on, with the idea of staying in one of the Coaches, but they were all locked and so, we all of us went back to one of the Hotels to stay in the Bar Room over night, and the Manager of the place, offered to have us go up to the Attic, where he would rig up some sort of Beds for us, but we thanked him and said that we would stay in the Bar Room.

The next morning we all of us got on the East bound train on the G.N.R.R., and I got off at Churches Ferry, having bid all of my new friends from the N.D. Harvest Fields, Good Bye, and thanking them for their good company.

My train for St. John, did not leave until late in the afternoon and it did not arrive at St. John, until about Mid Night and going to the only one Hotel and was informed that they were all full, but the Manager said I could sleep with one of his regular Roomer's and I agreed to do this, so he took me upstairs and as I was un-dressing, the fellow who was asleep, turned around in bed and looked at me and remarked with the words "It is a Long Time, since we Slept together, Is'nt it" and I told him "Yes it is", and crawled into bed with him.

I had never seen the man, and have never seen him since either, but I had a good rest anyhow.

The next morning after having had Breakfast, I began to look for some one who I could ride with, as far as Carpenter Lake.

After having made arrangement with a person who would go as far as one mile or so, south of Carpenter Lake, and of course I would have had to walk the rest of the way around the Lake, because Dads Homestead was located on the North Shore of the lake, but in the meantime, my Brother Theodore came walking into town and I decided to go back with him and cancelled the ride with the other party, and so, as soon as my brother had completed his business, we started for the long walk thru the wilderness of the heavily timbered area, called The Turtle Mountains in North Dakota, along the Canadian Border on that Country.

We walked and walked, wading thru deep snow and it became dark as the night came along, and there were no roads or even trails thru the snow, and I commenced to wonder, if my brother knew where he was going, and I up and asked him if he knew where he was going, and he stopped and asked me to take a look at the stars which were shining brightly in the sky, do you see those five stars and pointed his finger at them, and said, the star that the fifth star points to the North Star and we are traveling just about due West.

We arrived at our destination about midnight, very tired. My Brother and Dad was building a log house on Dads Homestead, North of Carpenter lake, and they had dug a cellar and finished the floor of the building and were camping in the basement or cellar.

T.T. Julseth house
T.T. Julseth house on Carpenter Lake in Rolette County, North Dakota. The house was built circa 1900-1901. Date of photo and names of people unknown.

After resting until morning, the next morning which was Sunday, we made a trip to the place which I was supposed to file on as my Homestead, located about half mile north of my Dads location.

The next day being Monday, my brother and myself started to walk to Rolla, North Dakota, about twenty-six miles, to file on my Homestead Claim and arrived there about Noon. I have always regreted that I let my brother make that long walk to assist me, with my Homestead filing, he at least would not have had to go any further than St. John, which would have saved him about Sixteen miles.

After getting thru with my Filing and bidding my brother Good by, as he was leaving for his trip back home, I made arrangement to stay over night at a place of a person by the name of Ole Odden, who had filed on a place about two miles east of the one I had filed for.

He was operating A Shoe Repairing Shop in Rolla and lived there.

The next day, being Tuesday, I boarded the morning train for Churches Ferry on the Main Line of the Great Northern Railway and arrived there in due time, but had to wait for the main line train quite awhile, and so I went to a Barber Shop to have a shave, as my whiskers were getting too long to be comfortable, as they had been growing since the beginning of this trip, and this being before the time of carrying an Electric Raisor or any kind of shaveing outfit in your traveling bags.

The Barber mentioned above, must have been careless, as he had cut me with his razor and neglected to disinfect the wound and I had to spend the rest of that winter Doctoring for a real bad case of Barber Itch.

The Main Line train finally came along, and I boarded it for St. Paul, Minnesota, as I was going back to Kenyon, in that State for the winter, with the idea going back to my Homestead in the spring next year.

And so ended my "First Trip to North Dakota." After getting back to Kenyon, I had been staying with my Brother John and Sister Thea, who had been doing the farming of my Grand Father's farm, for the last year of the Five Year Contract, Mother had under taken and made with him. This arrangement was made, when the rest of the folks left for Minnewaukan, North Dakota, and my Brother was planning to load all the machinery, household goods and some of the live stock in a Box Car and ship it to St. John, North Dakota that fall, and when I returned from my trip, we started to get ready for the loading of this car, and by the way, winter had come along in the meantime, while we were loading the Box Car, one of the large Grain Elevators along the tracks, burnt down, and as it was full of grain, this fire could not be extinguished on account of the grain burning, and we were glad to have this fire burning so close to us, as it was very cold at that time.

However, the loading was finished and my brother left with it, in the Caboose of the train, for St. John, North Dakota.

After this, I made arrangement to work for my board and room, to stay with my Aunt in Law, who had married a Widower, and who had passed away, and she was left with a family of young girls, and needed some one to take over the chores and farm work which I did during the winter months. The work consisted mostly of Milking Cows, feeding Hogs, Chickens, Horses, Sheep, cleaning barn and feeding with hay. Also hauling wood from the Wood Lot about seven miles away, sawing and splitting, also stacking the same after it was split.

When spring come along, she wanted me to put her crops in the ground and I did this for her, and when I got ready to leave, she offered me $15.00 in cash, and made the remark that "I had gotten all her money."

My Sister Thea, who had been staying with some of our relations at Kenyon, during this time and was ready to go with me, to join our family, who was now, all of us living in the Turtle Mountains area in North Dakota.

We left Minnesota for the third time in our lives, about the last part of the month of May, in the year 1901, and arrived at St. John, North Dakota, on the 31st day of this month, and was met there with my Dad and brother John, who loaded us in their lumber wagon, for the trip into the wilderness of the Turtle Mountains in North Dakota, going thru mud holes, over tree roots, rocks and what have you, but arrived safely at my Dads Homestead and glad to see all the rest of our family together again, after about five years since we had been together last.

From that time until the time we moved to Rolla, North Dakota, after the good people of Rolette County, North Dakota, had elected me to be their official Register of Deeds in the year 1920, and which position I held until the year 1964, more about this, comes later, as I have to narrate some of my experiences, of life in the Turtle Mountains, from the time of arrival to the time of leaving for my Rolette County job, at Rolla.

My first experience, was a big Snow Storm, on the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth of June in 1901, just after arriving in that wild area.

We were all of us staying at my Dads Homestead, working together, putting up log buildings on my brothers John, Theodore and on my own Homestead and getting along very nicely, but on the night between the Third and Fourth of June, there was a terrible electric windstorm came along, breaking down a lot of the tall poplar trees and as a matter of fact, we had built a cow pen for Dad close to the house and he had gathered all his livestock in this pen on account of this threatening storm coming up that night, and us three boys had made a tent over a double top Wagon Box, which we used for sleeping in, as there was not room enough for all of our family to sleep in the house, and at mid-night the storm struck and it became so dark, that when we got up out of our wagon box tent and ran to the house, we had trouble finding the door into the house.

Anton Julseth homestead
Anton Julseth’s homestead shack near Carpenter Lake in Rolette County, North Dakota. The log building was built circa 1901. Anton operated his Carpenter Store and Post Office in this building. He and Anne Brekke lived here from their marriage in 1906 until they moved to Berdella in 1910.

This storm turned into a big snow storm, which lasted for three days and piled down at least about four feet of snow on the level. If I had, had the money, I would have left the Country after this storm, but I had only .95 cents left when I came to the place, and the next time we went to St. John, I bought myself a Double Edged Axe with this money.

We kept on working on our separate houses and when we finally finished, we set up house keeping in each house, this being my first real home that I owned in my name. The neighborhood decided that they needed a School House for their children, and collectively, we agreed to each one would help cut the trees and haul the logs to the location to be decided on and help put the building up at an early date.

Schoolhouse built (circa 1902) on Anton Julseth’s homestead property in Rolette County, North Dakota.

At a later meeting, it was decided that the building was to be located on the South West corner of my Homestead, for which I would give to the School District, without any cost, and the same arrangement about the timber to be used, from my place, as it was heavilly covered with timber and I was glad to have some of it removed.

The cost of the Doors and Windows, also for the roof and floor, was to be shared equally by each one who had joined with us for the project.

When this was completed, some one suggested that we should have a Post Office in the neighborhood, and it was decided that I should contact the Post Office Department at Washington, D.C., and I did write to this Department, and received a prompt reply, together with the instructions how to go about doing this and which consisted of the following requirements to-wit:

Submit a Petition signed by the residents in the area, for the establishing of a U.S. Post Office in the locality, describing the location with the Government Survey descriptions, and suggest the Official Name to be.

It was decided at our last meeting to name the Post Office CARPENTER and that Anton T. Julseth, should be appointed as the Post Master, and these requirements were submitted to the Department at Washington.

After a short time we received our answer with the granting of our requests and legal papers to be signed and returned to the Department.

These were duly signed and returned to the Department, and in due time we received the paraphernalia required to run a Fourth Class Post Office, and that we would have to carry our own mail from Bachelor Post Office, about six or seven miles away, at our own expense, for one year, after which time the Post Office Department, would let a Contract for A Star Route Carrier.

My brother John had two horses and offered to let me use one of these horses to ride horse-back and carry the mail, which I did for the first year, going three times a week, and got along very nicely.

During this time it was suggested to me that I should put in a stock of groceries for the convenience of the patrons of the Post Office, and I did this and had to haul the freight from St. John, being the nearest Railroad point, and of course, together with this, I had to prepare myself with a wagon, pair of harnesses, together with a pair of horses, and this set-up lasted for about fourteen years, during which time, I have driven back of horses in a wagon, over all kinds of muddy and rough roads, if we might call them such, but at any rate, the distance figures up to some over 52,000 miles altogether.

During this period of time, my Mother who lived just a short distance away from my place, hired a nice young girl to help her with the house work, and of course being single, I became very much in love with this girl, named Anne Brekke, age about eighteen, the daughter of a neighbor who lived about five miles away from my place, and we decided to get married, which we did and she moved in with me in January 1906, and we have spent the rest of our, days, being very happy, having raised Two girls and Two Boys from childhood to maturity during this time,

Anton and Anne Julseth portrait
Anton T. Julseth and Anne Brekke were married January 8, 1906.

However, during this time, we decided to move our business about six miles south from the location where we were at, thinking it would be a better place to do business and also closer to Anne's folks. There was a small tract of Government land still left on the North end of Lake Horse Shoe and I induced my Brother in Law to file on this tract and prove up on it and then give me a deed to it, which he did, by making his home with us at that time.

That is the place we located our new business at until we decided to quit.

We had to go thru the same Rig Ma Roll to have a U.S. Post Office located at our new location and it was named BERDELLA and I became the first Postmaster, having resigned from this position at Carpenter and of course had to carry the mail from Carpenter, without cost for one year, and of course the mail could be and was taken with my freight transportation for the Old Place as well as the New Location.

Berdella, ND store
Anton and Anne’s Berdella, North Dakota, store and residence – built in 1910. It was near Horseshoe Lake about 5 mile south of Carpenter. The family lived in the Berdella area from 1910 to 1921.

The management at Carpenter was turned over to the new Post Master, on a commission basis and lasted for about one year, when the Carpenter P.O. was discontinued, as the Department had established a Rural Free Delivery Route in that area of the community and of course the mail for our P.O. at Berdella was delivered from Dunseith instead of St. John, as formerly, And so this leaves us at just the one place of business and P.O. at our new location.

The first thing I was instrumental in, was to have our Township organized into a Civil Township, and after this was accomplished, and at the first Election, elected Township Treasurer, and the County Commissioners appointed me as a Member of the Township Supervisors and became the Head of the Board, which offices I held until my election to the County Register of Deeds office.

Anton and Anne Julseth children
Winter 1910-11. Photo shows Anton and Anne’s children: Elsie, Mervin and Bernice.

The next episode has to do with my effort to the Organization of The Mountain Home Telephone Company and the building of approximately fifty miles of telephone lines in this area, together with one Main Line to the City of Dunseith to connect with The Northwest Bell System at that place.

This was accomplished by each party to get a telephone in their home, had to cut, trim the bark of and haul to the place where they were to be used, poplar poles in the timber which covered the area at that time, for about two miles of line, and when the ground thawed out, to help set these in the ground ready for the wire to be strung.

Each party to these attempts to pay cash for his prorata share of the cost for wire and other material, together with the Switch Board which was to be located in our house and my wife was employed as the Operator of this Instrument and to receive the magnificent sum of $30.00 per month, which we were glad to accept, as we were not financially well fixed at that time. However, the project was a Grand Success and is still in full operation after being enjoyed by the public for over Sixty Years. Of course the Poplar poles have been replaced with Cedar's many years ago, In due time shortly after this having worked out so very successfully, I conceived the Idea that the neighborhood, might like to try and organize an Association for the purpose of purchasing, such as Flour, Apple’s, Farm Machinery, Etc, by the Car load and save money by so doing, and accordingly I arranged to call a meeting, over the new telephone, which we were all proudly enjoying, at that time, and at this meeting, we decided to go ahead and organize and to use the name of "The Mountain Home Buying and Selling Association", and at this meeting, after the Election of A Board of Directors, and this board having appointed myself to act as Secretary-Treasurer & General Manager of the Concern. At this first meeting there was orders placed for One Car Load of Flour and Two Cars of Apples, and after scouting around I discovered a man at Bottineau, North Dakota, about forty miles distant, and together with myself and a Member of the Board arranged to go and see this man who was supposed to have two car loads of Best Patent Hard Wheat Flour, Manufactured at Great Falls, Montana, and after seeing this person, we purchased two carloads for and at a saving of over One Dollar per Hundred pound bag.

These loads of flour was delivered shortly afterwards and the people who had placed orders were notified to be at the Dunseith R.R. Station, after first having stopped at the Local Bank and deposited the money to pay for their order and call for the Flour they had ordered, at the R.R. Car. The entire two Car Loads of Flour was delivered and paid for and the deal finished in one day.

This was the first transaction and was followed shortly afterwards, with Two Carloads of Apples, shipped from Spokane, Washington, and delivered in the same way as the former deal, later, we delivered Two or Three Car Loads of Farm Machinery, shipped from The Independent Harvester Company, some where in the State of Illinois.

Their Machinery was a very high grade and satisfactory quality. When we had meetings, there were many propositions discussed, such as, ordering groceries from the Wholesale Houses, was suggested at one time, and of course, this would not work without having a stock of groceries on hand at all times, as for instance, Mr. Nerple who made the suggestion, might want a package of Yeast, and of course, the Private Local Dealer had been forced to quit his business, so Mr. Nerple would have to wait until we had enough orders to make a profitable shipment, for his package of Yeast.

Turtle Mountain settlers
Turtle Mountain settlers, Rolette County, North Dakota. Front row: Anton Julseth and unknown. Center row: Bernt M. Brekke (Anton’s father-in-law) and Torsten T. Julseth. Back row: unknown.

One episode I must report, and that concerns Potato growing in the Turtle Mountain area, where the soil was capable of producing the finest and best potato I have ever tasted in my life, and I have lived in many places, as this History will be proof for.

And to show the possibility of growing these spuds in this area of the State of North Dakota, comprising all of this Mountain Country, about 30 by 40 miles in length and width.

This episode has to do with reference to two Brother's who had each grubbed and opened Seven Acres of their one hundred and sixty acre homestead, and proposed to and did plant this into and with Idaho Russet Potatos, which produced a very large crop of the finest and best potatos, I have ever seen in my life, and of course, as these Brother’s were Members of Our Organization, they requested the Management to provide a market for their crop of Potatos, and so it was left for me to take care of the problem.

And so, the first I did was, to contact a Chicago Commission House, for the purpose of shipping potatos to them by the Car Load Lots, for them to dispose of on a Commission Basis, and after being informed by them, that they would be glad to take care of as many car loads as we might want to ship, and so I ordered from the R.R. Agent at Dunseith, to provide me with two Box Cars for shipping potatos to Chicago, lllinois.

At this point of the project, I made inquiries for what the local buyers of spuds and found them to be offering Fifty Cents per bushel, and of course the quotation I had from the Commission House was at least twice as much as the Local Buyer's were paying, and so we got busy loading the two Box Cars, with the Idaho Russets from the two tracts, and they were loaded in the Bulk fashion, Seven Hundred Bushels in each car.

When this shipment arrived at Chicago, the Commission House immediately sent me a Telegram, wanting to know if we could supply them with Fifteen Car Loads of the same kind of potatos, at the price of $3.50 per bushel.

This goes to show the possibility of growing potatos in this area, as Chicago alone would require a great many more car loads than Fifteen, and of coarse the same could have been done in New York and other large City's in this Country.

However, the Peterson Brothers, where very much surprised and pleased with the returns for their potato crop.

If I had been about Thirty or Forty years younger, I would have liked to organized, A Potato Grower's Association, in this territory, with a Potato Warehouse at Dunseith, and I am confident, it would have been a great success.

We lived at this place from the year about 1910 until 1921, when we moved to Rolla.

A great many more episodes occurred while we were here, but I shall mention, just a few.

It was here that our two Sons, Mervin and Allan were born, and after discontinuing our business and resigning the Postmastership at Berdella, on account of the P.O. Department wanting to establish A Rural Free Delivery Route from Dunseith, thruout this area, I used to go out at harvest time each year and operate a Threshing Machine and make enough money for our living, beside the money my Wife Anne received for operating the Telephone Central and of course we raised a good garden, had some potatos to sell each year and kept chicken's and pigs and managed very nicely, however it was during this period of my life, that I had my several Major Operations, besides several Minor ones.

After one of the first Major Operation’s, the Surgeon had told the Nurse, that Twenty-Four hours would be the length of my life, but I have now survived and still living on borrowed time, according to the Doctor's twenty-four hours.

At the State Election in the year 1920, the people in Rolette County, elected me to take over the office of Register of Deeds, and in the month of January 1921, we moved to Rolla, North Dakota, for the purpose of my taking over the office, to which I had been elected.

And so ended our life in the Turtle Mountains area for the period of about twenty years, during which time, there were a great many things which I would like to include, but it will make the History too lengthy and the reader would become tired of perusing this history of my existence in this world.

And so, on about the 20th of December 1920, I went to Rolla, for the purpose of taking over the office, for which I had been elected, on January 2nd 1921. The folks were supposed to follow me later, as I had to be on tap to take over the affairs of the office on January 2nd 1921.

Anton Julseth, Register of Deeds
Anton T. Julseth, Register of Deeds, Rolette County, North Dakota. Photo in his office, 1923 (or 1928).

After being sworn in at the Commissioner's Office, I was taken to the Register of Deeds Office and presented to the Out Going Register and I asked him to show me ropes of the office, and he took me to a high desk with two big books on top of it, and remarked the following words, to-wit; "You will have to get it yourself and you will find all the information necessary in these books". This is all the help he ever gave me, and so I went to his Deputy and asked if she would be my Deputy and help me to take the official duties of the office, and she agreed to remain on the job. It was up hill work for me, but between the Two Books and the girl, we got along very nicely.

The work in this office being of a routine nature, I will not go into details very much, but have to say that I enjoyed every minute of the Forty-three and half years I spent in that office.

As a Matter of Fact, this part of my life time, has been the most enjoyable and satisfactory of all the time I have existed in this world,

There were at least two period's during my time in this office, which I believe should be mentioned in this Narrative and be useful, as well as interesting.

The first period was from about the year 1928 until about 1932. The Country seemed to be in a bad situation financially, with Prices of Farm Products going down, labor strikes and living costs going up and really was the cause of the Second period mentioned before.

This was the time when the Great Depression hit this Nation and to top it off, especially for the Farmers, the six or seven years of Drought this Country had at that time.

The pictures of Rolette County, will give the reader a scope of the situation, which was almost National, reaching from Texas, north across the Plains, even into Canada in the far North and from the Mississippi River, west to the Country located East of the Cascades, in Washington, Oregon and South to the Mexican Border.

In the records of our Office, we had three large Books with 640 pages each, consisting of One Sheriff’s Mortgage Deed for each page, and this meant One Farm Home for each deed, where the Owner would have to leave his home.

With the loss of crops for at least five years, he could not even pay his taxes and the County, not getting these Taxes, became broke, and us Officer's and Clerks, had to accept County Warrants for their Salaries which we had to sell at about ten per cent discount.

This was the period, when President Franklin D, Roosevelt, came into the picture, and also the time when the Federal Goverment went to work straightening out the bungled mess of the former Administrations.

Anton Julseth in Rolla, ND
At the Anton Julseth residence in Rolla, ND, 1933. From left: Bernt M. Brekke, Mervin Julseth, Anton Julseth, Allan Julseth, Ole John Brekke, Theodore Brekke.

The first thing he did, was to organize the AAA Farm Administration and The Federal Land Bank, was authorized to make Chattel Mortgage loans to Farmers, on their livestock and machinery, which saved a considerable number of farmers from having to quit their farm operations. These various Government undertakings, made a great deal of extra work in my office at that time, and to top it off, the County Commissioners, requested that I should run the office without a Deputy, and I did take care of the office without any help for over one year.

This was accomplished by myself working, overtime from six o’clock P.M. to 15 minutes to Mid Night, when the lights would a warning that at Mid Night the lights would be shut off.

I had to put my work away and get lined up to close shop, in order not to be left in the dark.

Anne and Anton Julseth
Anne and Anton Julseth in 1939. Anne was age 54 and Anton age 61.

I did this for over one year, and never received any pay for overtime work what so ever, during my entire time of forty-three and half years, spent in the Office of The Register for Rolette County, State of North Dakota,

As a matter of fact, the time we lived in Rolla, where our Children grew up, Graduated from High School, matured, married and moved away, and where I worked together with about Twenty One different girls as my Deputy, and during all these years in the office, I enjoyed the good will of all the people in Rolette County, as well as some of the people in the adjoining County’s and even in Canada north of the International Border between The U.S. and Canada.

Golden Wedding photograph
Extended family at Golden Wedding, 1956. Front row: Theodore Brekke (Anne’s brother), Anne Julseth, Anton Julseth, Ida Rowan (Anton’s sister). Second row: Alan Julseth (grandson), Teddie Brekke (grandson of Edith), Bernice Whittier (daughter), Lillian Julseth (daughter-in-law), Edith Brekke (sister-in-law), Dan Whittier (grandson), Jean Julseth (granddaughter), Jonas Rowan (brother-in-law). Back row: Elsie Holstad (daughter), Millard Whittier (son-in-law), Mervin Julseth (son), Allan Julseth (son).

While we lived in Rolla, we made several trips out to the West Coast and enjoyed it very much. About three of these were made by train and three or four by car.

The first trip by train over The Great Northern Railway via The Glazier National Park in Montana, across the State of Idaho, Spokane, Washington, Portland, Oregon, down thru Central California to Los Angeles, returning along the Coast, via San Francisco, Oakland, California, Salem, Portland, Oregon, Seattle, Washington, and north into British Columbia, up along the Fraser River about fifty miles, to visit my youngest Brother, then back the same way to Seattle, and from there thru Spokane and back to Rolla, North Dakota, this was the longest and most extensive trip of all the others we made.

During my life time spent in Rolla, North Dakota, I was a Member of The Odd Fellows Lodge for Twenty Five Years, and my wife Anne was a Member of the Rebecca Lodge for the same length of time. We also belonged to the Methodist Church during our time there and still are Members of this Church.

Our time spent at Rolla, North Dakota, I can honestly say, was the happiest and most satisfying part of my whole lifetime and would, if possible, mind doing it all over again.

And so we will now have to end up with our last and final move from Rolla, North Dakota, to Portland, Oregon, and will try to depict some of the episodes, during the moving and later part of my time, until the present time of life, in this world.

During the year 1964, in the early part, I had a bad Heart Attack and came very nearly to the end of my time in this world, but with wonderful Hospital and Medical care, I survived, but left me in such shape that it would be impossible for me to continue as the Register of Deeds any longer, and it was decided that I should resign my office, as of the First day of July 1964, and we began to prepare for moving to Portland, Oregon, where we had purchased a Home about a year before, contemplating to move, sometime when retiring from work. And so we began to get ready for the move, by arrangeing with a Moving Van Concern at Minot, North Dakota, to transport most all of our Household Goods and some other articles that we wanted to keep.

We had an Auction Sale and disposed of a lot of articles which we did not want anymore, and after getting every thing prepared for moving, the County Commissioners and other Officers of the County, made arrangement to have A Farewell Party for us, inviting any one who cared to attend, to be present, and there were several hundreds of people at this party and enjoyed it very much.

And so, on one of the last days in the month of June, 1964, our oldest Son Mervin, who lived at Lakota, North Dakota, came to Rolla, to take us to Minot, North Dakota, to board the train for Portland, Oregon, and we went to Minot the same day, with the plan of staying at a Hotel that night and leave there the next morning at six o’clock A.M.

My Grand Son came up with his Dad and stayed in Rolla for the purpose of helping the Moving Van to get loaded, whenever it would arrive for the purpose of making the trip.

We arrived at Portland the Eight day of July and stayed with our oldest daughter, who lived next door to the place we had acquired, and the Moving Van arrived Shortly afterwards and in the next few days, we were fully settled in our New Home in Portland, Oregon, and we have enjoyed it very much ever since.

However, there has been a few problems which has not met with my idea of living "happily forever afterwards", and the outstanding happening has now been finished with the loss of my Wife, which leaves me a very lonesome person, as far as the future is concerned.

In January 1970, she had to be taken to a Hospital, where she had to remain for about three and half weeks, after returning Home, she became very forgetful and unable to remember anything, and this condition becoming worse, as time went along and finally her mind became so mixed, that she commenced to rave, and wanted to get out of the house and "go home", we had to lock all our doors from the inside to prevent her from getting out, especially at night, for the reason, if she could have gotten out and after crossing the Street she would have been completely lost, and so we finally had to take her to a Nursing Home, where they locked her in a chair during her waking hours and in her bed the same way at night.

She was entered at the Home on the 25th day of April 1970, and remained there until February 22nd 1971, when she finally, went to sleep forever, after having spent all the intervening time fighting for her freedom, at the Home. She is now at rest in the bosom of her Saviour, who I am very certain, will take good care of her, and I expect to join her before very long, so that we may continue being happy, as we always have been in the past.

We have now lived in Portland, for almost seven years, and can truthfully say that, it has been a very lonesome life, as for neighbors in a big City, we have none, as they all appear to be afraid of getting mixed up with any newcomer.

However, I have enjoyed, being relieved from my office job, and having to be on tap from Eight o’clock A.M. to Five P.M. every day of the week, and have spent most of this time, taking care of the place, both indoors and outside.

Have made a trip back to Minnesota and North Dakota each year, but from now on, I will not be able to do this any more, as I am becoming very feeble and become very tired when attempting to make any long trips.

On October 5th this year 1971, I will be Ninety-three years old and assure readers of this "History of my Life", it has been a very happy and eventful life and can truthfully admit that I have enjoyed it very much.

Anton on 93rd birthday
Anton on his 93rd birthday.

After reading this "History" over, which I will have to do, I may have to add a few pages more, as I have had several requests to report a certain number of happenings which I have overlooked to mention. In answer to these suggestions, I would like to have them read this "History", very carefully, keeping their requests, in mind, I believe they will find that their requests have been covered.

In summarizing my "History," I find that my good judgement, far outweigh’s the bad ones and that this is the reason for the almost uniform successful outcome of all my undertakings, during my stay in this world. However, I am not saying this, as a bravado, but have to admit that GOD has been my chief consultant in all matters of my life, since the time I was in the Hospital, at Bottineau, North Dakota, which was a Catholic Church Hospital, and most of the Nurses were Nuns, and my Nurse, regardless of Church Affiliation's, gave me a Protestant Bible which a Clergyman Patient had left in my room, and this was my first realization that there is a God, and that he had kept and protected my life from Childhood up to the time of my stay at the Hospital, and for which I am very thankful.

The most of my efforts during my life in this world, has been to help my fellow man to enjoy life, and especially my closer neighbor and relatives, such as the various undertakings I made while we lived at Berdella, in the Turtle Mountain area, of North Dakota.

My most terrible experience, was the outcome of my own foolish decision to walk from Leeds, to Minniwaukan, North Dakota, in the face of a North Dakota Blizzard, and want to at this point, to call the readers attention to the fact, how nicely and carefully GOD took care of me during that fearful walk, which might have ended my existence in this world.

In my estimation, I fully believe that my long life in this world, has been a great success and a very happy one at the same time. My life at Brandon, Minnesota, as a child, was a very happy period and I have to admit that I enjoyed it very much, and would not mind at all of living it over again.

The period spent in Eastern Washington, was a rather difficult time of my life, trying to become adjusted to all the problems of life, in a strange neighborhood and surroundings.

After leaving Eastern Washington for Southern Minnesota, this period, was a vast struggle for myself, you may if you wish, imagine yourself, being a boy aged about fifteen years old, having to take over complete operations of a farm and no one to consult about the many problems which usually comes along regarding such operations.

The first thing we did, qfter arriving at this place, was to go out and purchase horses, cows, sheep, pigs, chickens and a whole set of farm machinery and tools, in order to get busy and line things up so that I could go to work and do some farm work all by my lonesome self.

I always got along very nicely and I some times, wondered how I did this, and the only reason to be, atributed for this wonderful success, is that God was giving me the inspiration how to go about doing the work.

Even after Dad arrived, I had to stay on the job, as he had to be making use of his "Wander Lust" and travel, as I have already outlined previously before.

This period was a real struggle for myself.

The next period concerns my travels to North Dakota, and while I enjoyed some of it, truthfully I have to admit that I did not, except after getting married and settled I did commence to be more satisfied with life, but this was at the time I had to haul freight for my business at Carpenter, North Dakota, and can assure anyone, that this job was no snap for any body to enjoy.

And at this point, I am going to, in order to take care of request’s which I have had, to include in my Life History.

The first is about a very tough trip I made, when hauling freight from St. John, North Dakota to Carpenter for the business I had at that place. My brother John went with me on this trip, as the roads were almost impassable and we left about four o’clock in the morning and arrived at St. John about eleven o’clock A.M. and after backing our wagon up to the Depot Platform, and taking the horses to the Livery Barn, we went back up, to the Depot and loaded our freight, returning to the Barn for our horses, we stopped at a store to purchase some Cheese and Crackers, for our Lunch to be ate after we got started for our way back, as the first part of the road was quite nice, until we had to enter the foot hills of the Mountains, and knowing that we would not be able to take the load we had, over the terrible roads we had come down on, and as I had heard of a good road running along the Canadian Border over the higher part of the hills, we decided to try this and found this to be a very good road to use, until we got to Wacupaw Creek where there had been a bridge, but this apparently had burnt, and we had to tie our horses and get our axes out, which we always had to carry for some time when your wagon wheel were passing over a tree root and when dropping into the deep mud on the other side of it, you would have your wheel stuck against the tree and you would have to cut the tree down and haul it out of the way with your horses.

And so we proceeded to cut some timber and build a new bridge, in order that we might cross the Creek, which we had to, and after getting across, we noticed a trail running up over a hill again, and after following this for quite a distance, it led us into a hay

Ole Jenson
Ole Jenson. Photo in Kenyon, MN, circa 1900.

meadow, and as it had become night time and we had to light our lantern, which we always had to carry, and look for an outlet from this hay meadow and while doing this, I noticed a light up in the timber, and that we should be very close to my Cousin Ole Jenson, who had filed on a Homestead in that area, so I hollered, "Is that you Ole?" and he answered, by saying "Yes is that you Anton?"

I asked him if there was a way out, except the one we had come in on, and he told us to wait for him to go back to his house and get an axe to help clear a way to get up to his place, which we did, and arrived at his place at mid night.

The next morning we got ready and pulled out for home, which was about three miles away, and we got there about Noon, very tired and disgusted.

An other trip I made from Dunseith, North Dakota, with a big load of freight, which I will never forget, after driving to Dunseith over the most terrible roads, and so, I knew that I could never be able to go back the same way, with a load, and so after loading my freight at the R.R. Depot, I pulled out over another road I had never tried before and after following it for about five miles, I discovered that the north end of this road had been closed as impassable, and stopping at a place, I inquired if there was any way I could get over to the Old Kelvin Road going north from Dunseith, and was informed that there was. I asked him, if he would go with me part ways and would be glad to pay him for doing it and walk back, but he would not do it, so I had to do it all by myself, and pulled out and got along quite well, until I got to the South One Mile Section line along what is now the Canadian and American Peace Garden, and in this stretch, there is a rather steep up hill for about half mile, and where I got stuck with my heavy load and had to unload all of it, except for a barrel of salt, which was too heavy for me to lift, and drive the empty wagon for a ways and carry the unloaded freight back again, this had to be done three times before getting to the top of the hill. This, as usual had to be done after night time and I arrived this particular night about mid night, very tired and depressed.

The third episode, has to do with winter Travels in North Dakota, which being caught in a full fledged Blizzard, on a two and half mile wide Lake. After leaving Dunseith with a big load of freight for Carpenter, I got along nicely until getting out on this lake, which had a peninsula making a narrow place, and when I got to this place, the horses refused to go any further, facing the storm and I had to set out and take down the halter ropes and lead them, following sleigh tracks that I had made, going down in the morning and being the first and only one crossing the lake with about six inches of snow, and which I had to follow, because I knew that if I lost those tracks, we would wind up in snow drifts twenty feet or more in the east bay of the Big Lake and both the horses and myself would freeze to death, however after about two hours of slow travel, sometime on my hands and knees, I could hear the roar of the wind blowing in the heavy timber along the north shore of the lake, I knew we were close to the end of our struggle for the lives of myself and my horses, and arrived, another time at home, very glad and thankful for being alive and well.

I could go on and describe many things which happened during my long life in this world, but I am afraid, it might become tiresome to read, and so, but before ending my story, I would like to include a short report for our family of four children, and will begin with our oldest daughter Elsie Julia, born March 13th 1907, Married September 21st 1947 to Harry Holstad, at Lutheran Parsonage, Portland, Oregon, where Harry’s Dad and Older Son, Maurice was living at that time, having moved from their farm in North Dakota, a few years earlier.

Elsie Julseth
Elsie Julseth, Rolla High School, Class of 1925.

Elsie Graduated from High School in Rolla, North Dakota, and worked at the AAA Farm Organization, in Rolla, until her marriage, they had no children, Harry, her husband works at a Wholesale Grocery House in Portland.

Our, other Daughter, Theodora Bernice, born July 26th 1908, married to Millard Whittier of Farmington, Minnesota, at Cannon Falls, Minnesota, lived in North Minneapolis, for some time, before moving to Farmington, where they are at this present time.

Bernice Julseth
Bernice Julseth, Rolla High School, Class of 1925.

Mid, nick name, was working for a large Creamery Firm, at the time of their marriage, but had a bad Heart Attack and had to quit his job, retire on a Pension and moved to his old home at Farmington, Minnesota, where they have lived until the present time.

Bernice Graduated from High School at Rolla and worked at local Banks in North Dakota, until her marriage, when she came to Farmington, she became Cashier at The First National Bank in that city.

They had two Boys, James Spencer, born June 19th 1935, Graduated from The University of Minnesota, with a Batchlor's Degree, is married and lives in Los Angeles, and Works for the U.S. Secret Service, and have a Daughter, Laura Jean, born June 8th 1964, being our first Great Grand Child.

The Second Son Daniel Anton, born September 2nd 1938, Graduate from Minneapolis College, married and lives at Farmington, Minnesota, works for an Large Advertising Concern, they have two boys, the oldest Joseph Daniel Whittier, born November 28th 1967, and the youngest, Thomas Harold Whittier born June 8th 1969, being our second and third Great Grand Children.

Our First Son Almar Mervin, born April 14th 1910, Graduate Rolla High School, married to Lillian Marie Ida Wilkie May 19th 1935, they had one Daughter Jean Elizabeth, born July 9th 1938, married and has one son, Mathew Christopher Oseto, born September 28th 1970, this being our Latest and Fourth Great Grand Child, Our oldest Son and Wife had one Son Alan Claud, born February 8th 1941, Graduate from Valparaiso Indiana College, with A Bachelor's Degree, and is at present A Professor at this same College, teaching Music and Language.

Mervin, after Graduating from High School, worked at a local Hardware Store in Rolla and later purchased A Coast to Coast Hardware Business at Lakota, North Dakota, and operated it for several years until he had to quit on account of having eye trouble, and sold his business, and at present works part time at the same place which he used to own.

Mervin Julseth
Mervin Julseth at age 17 in Rolla, ND.

Our youngest Son, Allan Byron, born February 22nd 1916, Graduate of Rolla High School, not married, and lives at home with myself and my Brother in Law Ole John Brekke.

Allan Julseth
Allan Julseth, age 19, in May 1935.

He works at an Electronic Concern here in Portland and comes home for his meals.

He served for two years, during World War Number Two, and is a great help to me since I have become as helpless, as I am and of course so is Elsie, living so close to our home.

And so, with a final Good Bye, to all of my old and young Friends, and especially to all of my Rolette County Friends, which I think is the Finest And Best Friends a man has ever had, and hope to meet all of you in Heaven, is my Prayer for all of you.

Sincerely Your Old Friend

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