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Peter and Anna Anderson

Peter and Anna Anderson

Husband's Full Name:  Peter Beck Anderson

Husband's Place of Birth:  Vefsn, Nordland, Norway

Husband's Father's Name:

Husband's Mother's Name:

Husband's Siblings' Names:

Wife's Full Name:  Anna Dorothea Johnson Anderson

Wife's Place of Birth:  Vefsen, Norway

Wife's Father's Name:  Nils Johnson

Wife's Mother's Name:  Dorthea Sofie Kristinsdtr

Wife's Siblings' Names:  Albert, Mary Gunderson, Dave, Ole, John A., Nennie

Children's Names: Arthur C., Nennie D., Orren C. Cora Nertrost,

Esther D., Perry A., Florence, Matilda G.

PB and Anna Anderson.jpg

Peter B. Anderson, one of the earlier pioneers of Wells County, passed away Sunday, November 28, 1948 at the home of his son, Perry Anderson, near Manfred.  He had attained the age of 88 years, 11 months and 16 days.  He was born December 12, 1859.


Mr. Anderson was born in Vefsn, Norway, where he grew to young manhood and received his education.  He migrated to the United States when he was twenty years old, spent six years alternately working at lumbering and railroad construction in Wisconsin, and as a farm laborer in Traill County, ND.  In 1885, he took a pre-emption and tree claim in Eddy County, on which he erected a claim shanty, and with 3 oxen, a wagon and plow, beginning the improvements to his farm.


The following spring he was married to Anna D. Johnson of LaCrosse, Wisconsin. They returned to the farm, but after 7 years of successive crop failures returned to Wisconsin.


Their optimism for North Dakota farming was still strong, and in 1892 they came to Wells County and filed a claim near Manfred, which was their home for thirty years.  Here he built another claim shanty, hauling the lumber all the way from Cathay.  They encountered all the hardships common to the pioneers of the time, but their venture proved successful.


In 1922, they turned the farm over to their youngest son, Perry and retired to a home in Manfred where they lived until the death of Mrs. Anderson in 1942.  Since that time Mr. Anderson resided with his daughter,  Mrs. Nels (Cora) Nertrost, and with his son Perry.


 He was always active in civic, political and community affairs serving on township and school boards, as a Democratic precinct chairman; he was a charter member of the Vang Lutheran Church.


He is survived by eight children: Arthur, Nennie and Orren, of Kincaid, Saskatchewan, Canada; Esther Anderson of Minot, Perry Anderson and Mrs. Nels (Cora) Nertrost of Manfred; Mrs. William (Florence) Simon of Fairfield, Idaho; and Mrs. Nathan (Matilda) Burg of Chula Vista, California.  Also surviving are 14 grandchildren, and 5 great grandchildren.


Funeral services will be held Thursday, at 2 o'clock from the Vang Lutheran Church in Manfred with Rev. E. Aarthun officiating.  Burial will be made in the Vang cemetery, and the pallbearers will include Leslie Johnson, Emil Onstad, Kenneth Melby, Russell Johnson, Lester Burkum and Arthur Rodne.


Mrs. P. B. Anderson, Pioneer Mother

By Sennev Nertrost Whipple on June 8, 1952


On February 26, 1863, a little girl was born to the Nels Johnson family in the parish of Vefsn, Nordland, Norway. When she grew to the age of six, she came to the United States with her parents who settled near West Salem, Wisconsin, where they engaged in farming. This little girl's name was Anna Dorthea Johnson and when grown to womanhood, she became the wife of Peter Beck Anderson.


She spent her girlhood years helping her parents on the farm.  Her daughter, Esther Dorthea, writes so interestingly of her mother's early years and I quote. "My mother's dad was of the Daniel Boone type always selling out and moving as soon as he had improved his farm enough to make it the least big comfortable for his family. Mother and her older sister were required to forfeit schooling whenever farm work was in season.


During the slack times they cooked and sewed for the family.  No wonder Mother strived so hard to make us capable of living more comfortably.  My mother's schooling was very scanty and McDuffy's sixth reader was the top level reached by anyone in her school."


On April 5, 1886, Anna D. Johnson became the bride of Peter Beck Anderson, the ceremony-taking place at LaCrosse, Wisconsin.


In 1885, Mr. Anderson had taken a "Tree Claim" and "Preemption of 320 acres in Eddy County, then Dakota Territory, near the present site of McHenry, North Dakota.  He built a claim shanty and with three oxen and a plough broke the prairie sod.  Later a wagon was added to the equipment.


Here he brought his bride and in this little frontier home Anna and Peter began housekeeping.  Crops were poor and the location was thirty miles from market. After seven years of successive crop failures, they returned to Wisconsin for the winter.


The following spring, in 1893, they were back to North Dakota to settle on the present homestead claim in Wells County, one and one half miles west of Manfred. Hauling lumber from Cathay, 22 miles distant, they erected a little home, and were among the very first settlers in Manfred Township.


In these early years the men would go out threshing for the neighbors and often remain away weeks at a time.  Being alone in a strange country during the fall days, she disliked being left alone with her children, especially at night, so she hung heavy quilts over the windows to prevent the lamp light from shining through. 


Mrs. Anderson related the fact that she with other pioneer women, resorted to the burning of "cow chips" as fuel.  Wood and coal were hard to get. This variety of fuel was gathered in sacks and dragged home to burn in the cook stove. Many a good cup of coffee was made over such a fire.


It was the custom in those days to gather the bleached bones of the buffalo, which roamed this part of the country at one time. Mute evidence of their existence was the long winding and deeply worn trails made by these denizens of the prairie. A ton of bones would bring five dollars. Butter selling for 77 cents per pound today, then brought five cents.


Twelve children, including two sets of twins were born, Cora Nertrost being the first child born in Manfred township. The children's names are as follows: Arthur Clarence, Nennie Delbert, Orren Conrad, and the three living in Canada.  Cora Pauline, (Mrs. Nels Nertrost), Esther Dorthea, teacher in Minot Public Schools, Perry Andreas on the home farm, Florence Anna (Mrs. W. D. Simon), Matilda Gorgene (Mrs. N. W. Burg), Gertrude May, Esther's twin died at ten, and Frederic, Florence's twin Cora Aurora and a baby son died in infancy.


As the years passed the homestead claim was improved and acres added. Groves were planted and the modern farm today stands as a beautiful monument to the vision and heroic toil of these two pioneers.


Mr. and Mrs. Anderson lived here for thirty years, retiring from actual farm life in 1922. They established a modern and comfortable home in Manfred where they lived until 1942, when Mrs. Anderson passed away.


The son, Perry Andreas, took over the farm operations and at present owns and operates a modern and up-to-date setup, producing both grain and dairy products. Perry and his family have made this their home for several decades.


In 1935, a Golden Wedding celebration was tendered Mr. and Mrs. Anderson, by their sons and daughters.  The grand event was staged in the Sons of Norway Hall in Manfred when hosts of friends and relatives were present to wish them well. The honored couple was the proud recipients of a congratulatory message from the late Franklin Delano Roosevelt, then president of the United States.


This typical pioneer mother was endowed with rare good sense and coupled with an undaunted spirit and faith she learned to know the power of overcoming.


In the darker hours of despair she turned to God for guidance. Through the years she developed a sense of true values and a wholesome philosophy of life and living.


A kindly neighbor, she shared what she had with those in want. She was loved not only by her family, but also by her friends, and acquaintances. She possessed an unusually creative and artistic genius and produced the necessary wearing apparel for the large family out of whatever materials she had on hand. Figuratively speaking, she would build a bridge across a chasm in order to reach the other side.


Her words of sound advice, her teachings of high ideals and principles and the stressing of "Honor above all," left an indelible impression on the lives and living of four sturdy sons and four splendid daughters. Mrs. Anderson was vitally interested in all worthwhile activities and a loyal worker in the church and Ladies Aid.


Though the years silvered her hair and took some of the spring out of her step, the smile on her eye ever remained.  Her faith and her sunny outlook on life were truly inspirational to all.


While tending her beloved flower garden one beautiful May morning in 1942, she heeded the "one clear call" and found the way across the "new land" but not alone. She walked with Him over the hills and valleys of eternity. She was laid to rest in Vang Cemetery near Manfred, and the last rites were conducted in the Vang Church. P.B. Anderson passed away several years later and rests beside her in the family plot.

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