Manfred History & Preservation, Inc.
Ingvald and Olida Ravnaas
Husband's Full Name: Ingvald Ivarson Ravnaas
Husband's Place of Birth: Sigdal, Norway
Husband's Father's Name: Ivar Ivarson Lillemoen
Husband's Mother's Name: Karen Ivarsdatter Øverby
Husband's Siblings' Names: Ivar, Kristian, Gotdfred, Kristi, Gunhild, Ragna, Einar, Karl, Torstein, Karoline, Petter
Wife's Full Name: Olida Johanna Berve
Wife's Place of Birth: Buxton, North Dakota
Wife's Father's Name: Ole Jonson Berve
Wife's Mother's Name: Anna Maria Eilertsdatter
Wife's Siblings' Names: Jone Berve, Egert Berve, Johanna Berve Ramsfield, Celia Berve Broe, Eilert Berve, Oliver Berve, Olga Berve Knudsvig, Casper Berve
Children's Names: Ivar, Oliver, Cora, Arvin, Cecelia, George, Morris, Inez, Edward
Ingvald, the second oldest of 12 children, was born in Sigdal, Norway, on Feb. 18, 1885 to Ivar Ivarson Lillemoen and Karen Ivarsdatter Øverby. In 1903, along with his cousins Ole, Gunhild and Lars Reistad, Ingvald immigrated to America. He sailed on the steamship, Saxonia, which departed from Liverpool, England. The voyage was treacherous with high seas, but on June 25, 1903, they landed in Boston.
From Boston, Ingvald traveled with his cousin, Lars Reistad, to Stark County, North Dakota where he filed his Declaration of Intent, or “first papers”, for naturalization on June 29, 1906.
In November of 1909, Ingvald filed papers with the Bureau of Land Management for a land patent in Adams County, North Dakota. His cousin, Lars Reistad filed papers for acreage in the same section.
On March 3, 1911, Ingvald was married to Olida Johanna Berve at her parents’ home in rural Manfred. They left Wells County and homesteaded on Ingvald’s land near Bucyrus, North Dakota. They were unsuccessful due to dry conditions and returned to the Manfred area where they farmed and raised their nine children, Ivar, Oliver, Cora, Arvin, Cecelia, George, Morris, Inez and Edward. Over the years, the Ravnaas family had a number of dogs, one at a time, whose companionship they enjoyed. Each dog was honored with the same name – Buster.
Ivar never married and was a lifelong resident of Manfred. Oliver married Alma Schimke and lived in Harvey, North Dakota. Cora married Norman Nelson and lived in Minnesota. Arvin married Helen Olenberger and resided in a number of different localities in North Dakota. Cecelia married Marvin Lillemon and stayed in North Dakota, living in Velva and Minot. George joined the Marines in 1942. He fought in the South Pacific in WWII and was killed on the island of Guam in 1944 at the age of 20. Morris married Joyce Brewer and also stayed in the Manfred area. Inez married Roger Burghstahler and lived in Minnesota. Edward married Kathleen Reding and moved to South Dakota, and after Kathy’s death, he married Lorraine Kuehn.
During his years of farming, Ingvald raised various grain crops, including wheat and corn. He had livestock as well, consisting of cows, pigs, chickens and turkeys. He had the help of his sons and a pair of horses named Baldy and Fannie.
Ingvald was active in his community. He served as township supervisor for many years and was a member of the Farmers Union and Sons of Norway. He played fiddle, as did his father and brothers, and he played for dance socials arranged by Sons of Norway. He was also active in Sigdalslaget – an organization of immigrants whose roots are in Sigdal, Norway. He and his family belonged to Vang Lutheran Church in Manfred.
When Ingvald could no longer continue the demanding life of a farmer, he and Olida moved into the town of Manfred where he continued to grow food for his own table.
Ingvald spoke of returning to Norway but was never able to fulfill that dream. He died on April 1, 1963. Olida remained in their Manfred home until her death April 13, 1969.
Written by Carol Schroeder, granddaughter