This collection contains oral histories pertaining to life and events in Pope County, Minnesota. The oral histories range greatly in topic and time period.
The digitization of these oral histories was made possible in part by the people of Minnesota through a grant funded by an appropriation to the Minnesota Historical Society from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Any views, findings, opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the State of Minnesota, the Minnesota Historical Society, or the Minnesota Historic Resources Advisory Committee.
Clara Alsakson was 83 years old and had lived all her life in the Starbuck area.
In this interview, Clara discusses growing up on the farm, household chores (including laundry and washing machines), country school, and her teaching experiences.
Martin Anderson was 94 years old and was born in Norway to a family of farmers. He immigrated to the United States when he was 18 years old. He married in 1913 and had 9 children. He was a resident of Cyrus at the time of the interview.
In this interview, he discusses his immigration to the United States. He talks about farm work and threshing in South Dakota. He talks about the droughts and living through the Great Depression. He describes his activity in the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP).
Edward E. Barsness
Edward Barsness was born on July 25, 1891 and was a long-time resident of Pope County. After attending school in the county and then in St. Paul, Edward Barsness served in World War I. He then became editor of the Pope County Tribune, a job he held for 35 years. He served several terms in the Minnesota Legislature (1927 and 1961) and was also the Judge of Probate in Pope County for several years.
In this interview, Edward Barsness discusses his personal background. He then discusses the Pope County Tribune as a political force. He talks about politicians he respected and the newspaper as a "moral enforcer." He discusses issues important to Barsness as a legislator, the Farmer's Holiday, and newspaper editors of his era compared to the editors of the 1970s.
Ole Barsness was 92 years old. His father and brothers came from Norway to homestead in Barsness Township, Pope County. His father fought in the Civil War, and was the first to introduce horses into West-Central Minnesota farming. Ole farmed in Pope County. He talked of early automobiles, road conditions, and why he never married.
Mary (Hawn) Bogie was born on December 16, 1879 in eastern Canada Province. When she was 3 years old, she and her family moved to Pope County and farmed.
In this interview, Mary Bogie discusses her childhood and younger years. She talks of migrating from her birth place in Canada to Pope County and discusses life as a farm girl.
Ed Brandvold was born around the Starbuck area and was 86 years old at the time of the interview.. His family moved to Canada for a while in 1905 to homestead the land. He moved back to Starbuck in 1914 and married in 1915. He worked for the railroad in Glenwood for some time, then homesteaded in 1918.
In this interview, he discusses his history, his work for the railroad in Glenwood, and homesteading. Next, he talks about his truck driving work, which he did for 29 years.
In this interview, Dina Bremness discusses life during World War II. Mrs. Bremness was born in 1905 in Pope County, MN. Dina worked as a nurse during World War II in Glenwood, MN.
Rev. Elias Christianson was 81 years old and was from Starbuck, Minnesota. He was born in China in 1898 to missionary parents. His father was from Norway. He spent most of his life working in churches in North Dakota. After his retirement, he became a chaplain at the nursing home in Starbuck, Minnesota.
In this interview, Elias discusses missionaries in China and growing up in China. He discusses going to seminary and becoming a reverend. He discusses preaching in Norwegian and the churches that he preached at in North Dakota. He discusses the effects of the Depression on the church and the people in his congregation. He discusses what he has been doing since his retirement, including being a chaplain at the nursing home in Starbuck. Finally, he talks about his hobbies, including diary writing and writing a memoir.
Harold Eastlund was born in Moorhead in November, 1901. After his two year Moorhead teaching degree was completed, he came to teach in the Pope County area in 1923 and became County Superintendent in 1926. He served in this capacity until 1936 when he was not re-elected and worked until his retirement as a school textbook distributor.
In this interview, Harold Eastlund discusses the role and function of county superintendents, early rural schools, school consolidation, and other related materials.
In this interview, Harold Eastlund discusses life and attitudes during World War II.
Ellen A. Eberlin
Ellen Eberlin was born in 1882 in Howard Lake, Minnesota and graduated from Glenwood High School. She married Dr. E.A. Eberlin in 1907 and lived in Glenwood in the same house since then. Her husband practiced in the Glenwood area until his death in the late 1960s.
In this interview, she comments upon early medical practices, running a private hospital, billing, and the outstate doctor's life. The tape begins by discussing her family's background.
Lewis Elder was 73 years old and was born in Iowa. He came to Minnesota in 1955. He held jobs in Nebraska, South Dakota, and California before coming to Minnesota. He worked in tire repair and later bred Angus cattle in Pope County.
In this interview, Lewis Elder discusses his father's service in the Civil War, having just received his discharge papers. He also talks about breeding and showing cattle.
Herman Engebretson was 87 years old and was born near Lowry.
In this interview, he discusses his education, business, college, his experiences overseas during World War I and his participation in the army band. He also mentions banking problems during the 1920s and 1930s.
Albert Forbord and Mrs. Albert Forbord
Albert Forbord is 90 years old and was born on a farm in Pope County. Mrs. Forbord is 83 years old. They were married in 1916. He farmed and did road construction work.
In this interview, they reflect on the good old days, dust storms, deer hunting, and milking cows by hand. They talk about the price of crops when they were young. In addition to farming, they hauled cattle. Albert talks about hauling the cattle and a story about some broncos. He talks about his work doing road construction.
In this interview, Astrid Forde discusses the process of changing church services conducted in Norwegian to church services conducted in English in the Lutheran churches in Pope County.
Elmer Goodyear was born in Sioux City, Iowa and was 81 years old at the time of the interview.
In this interview, Elmer Goodyear discusses the Depression and his early schooling. He also discusses a wagon train move from South Dakota to Iowa during the 1930s.
Joseph O. Grove
In this interview, Joseph Grove talks about life and farming in the Glenwood area during World War II. Mr. Grove was born in Glenwood on May 15, 1907. Joseph worked for the U.S. Forest Service during the 1930's, before permanently moving back to Glenwood are in 1940.
Paula Gunvalson was 82 years old and lived in Starbuck. She went to college in Moorhead and studied art.
In this interview, she discusses her experiences doing advertising work in Starbuck and creation of the Starbuck trademark. She also discusses New Prairie, Minnesota where she and her husband had a store. She talks about the railroad there and a train crash that occurred once. She speculates why the town didn't survive.
Ida Hagen was born in 1886 and lived in Starbuck. She was 92 years old. She was originally from the Waseca area.
In this interview, she discusses Native American/white relations in Minnesota when her mother was growing up. She talks about farm life growing up and the pests on the crops they had to deal with. She discusses food preparation and preservation and the changes she had seen over the years. She also recalls when President McKinley was assassinated.
Nels P. Hanson
Nels P. Hanson was born in 1899 in Westbrook, Minnesota. He attended the School of Agriculture and the University of Minnesota College of Agriculture, graduating in 1933. He came to Pope County in May of 1934.
In this interview, Nels Hanson discusses the Non-Partisan League, the effects of the Great Depression on farmers in the Pope County area, and the politics of Pope County during the 1930s.
Earl Hauge was born on October 18, 1940 and resided in Glenwood, Minnesota. He was a farmer and former parish pastor, and was active in the Powerline protest in the late 1970s. Hauge was a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party and served in the Minnesota House of Representatives for District 15A from 1981-1982.
In this interview, Earl Hauge discusses the reasons for his defeat in the 1978 election for legislator in District 15A, running against Delbert Anderson. Earl Hauge also discussed issues related to his bid for office, such as education and the Powerline controversy. He also mentions some basic strategy he planned to use in the election of 1980 that was different from his strategies in 1978.
Albert Hendrickson was 89 years old and was born in Pope County in 1890. He grew up on a farm, worked as a hired hand and a driver for a veterinarian in South Dakota before settling down in Hancock in a blacksmith and auto repair shop. He came to Morris in 1942 and worked for Ecklund's Auto Body Repair for 27 years.
In this interview, he discusses early blacksmithing, shoeing horses, and wagon repair in Stevens County. He also discusses working in auto repair.
Edelweiss Peterson Huntly
Edelweiss Peterson Huntly was 81 years old and was born in Hancock. She lived in Cyrus for a lot of her life. She taught school and her husband was manager of the telephone cooperative in Cyrus.
In this interview, Edelweiss discusses her education. She talks about the changes in teaching and her work with reading for the blind. She mentions working as an operator in the telephone cooperative in Cyrus, and discusses the phone system and problems with party lines.
Tegner Hustad was born in 1911 and lived in the area all of his life. He worked for eight years as a state park ranger at Glacial Lakes State Park. Bird watching and ecology were life-long hobbies.
In this interview, Tegner Hustad discusses the preservation of prairie lands, management of the land, and the changes he has observed in plan and animal life on the prairie.
Tegner Hustad was born and raised on a farm north of Starbuck which both his father and his grandfather had farmed. Tegner farmed that land for a few years, then went on to be the first park ranger at Glacier Lake State Park for 7 years. He was employed at the time of the interview as a field supervisor for the Minnesota Valley Breeders' Association.
In this interview, Tegner Hustad discusses the early settling of the Starbuck area and why people settled there. He discusses the founding of the Starbuck school and church, the effect of the railroad on the growth of the community, early health care, relations with local Native American tribes, and the founding of the Pope County Bank. He also discusses the conditions that caused Norwegians to immigrate to the United States, and the problems they encountered on arrival.