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Ole L. and Anna Rodne

Husband's Full Name:  Ole L. Rodne

Husband's Place of Birth:  Imsland, Rogaland, Norway

Husband's Father's Name: Lars Olsen Hebnes

Husband's Mother's Name: Sigrid Ølsdatter Vormestrand

Husband's Siblings' Names: Karen (Ivan Rodne); Sevrin (Anna Finvik; Ole Johan (Margit Ølsdatter Knutson); Haldor (Delia Ring)

Wife's Full Name:  Anna O. Lunde Rodne

Wife's Place of Birth:  Suldal, Norway

Wife's Father's Name:  Ola A. Lunde

Wife's Mother's Name:  Guri Galland

Wife's Siblings' Names:  unknown

Children's Names: Lars (Inez Erickson); Oliver (Inga Overland); Arthur, Otto, Alfred (Mabel Dovre); Carl (Agnes Stenerson); Gena (Lirgg); Laura (Bill Cook); Berger (Olive Stenerson); Sena (Andrew Hillesland)

Ole L Rodne family-later.jpg

Ole L. and Anna Rodne

Back:  Sara, Otto, Lars, Oliver, Arthur, Alfred

Front, Laura, Ole L. Carl, Berger, Anna, Gina

In his early teens, Ole joined the Norwegian seamen and experienced high adventures.  He immigrated in 1892 and worked in Buxton for a year before homesteading in Wells County in 1893.  One winter day, he had to fight off a wolf pack with his jack knife, but finally made it back to his claim shack.  In 1910, he and his family of seven children returned to Norway to visit his dad and family.  They stayed three years during which time the twins, Laura and Gina were born.  Ole and Anna were married in 1896 in Hillsboro, ND.  They had 10 children. 

Ole L. Rodne was born at Imsland (Stavanger), Norway on February 17, 1871 and grew up on the family farm. He had many stories to tell his children and grandchildren of the storms at sea, the setting of sails and the shipwrecks. This work also took him into fishing and whaling ventures.

In 1892, he immigrated to the United States leaving the mountains and fjords of his native land and settled on the open prairies of North Dakota. As the Homestead Act opened up lands in the west, Mr. Rodne also traveled westward and worked a year at Buxton, ND, before filing for a homestead in what is now Wells County in the year 1893.

He told of life in the early days; the breaking up of the land with a team of oxen and pounding his own plow shares at the end of each round. Besides the farm work, he also dug wells by hand with only a spade. From early morning, until late at night he labored for the measly wage of 75 cents a day.

He also built sod houses in the neighborhood. One incident he related was when he went back to Buxton on business for a few days and came back only to find his claim shack stolen.

Before railroads came, long trips with horses and wagon had to be made by the homesteaders to sell their wheat and bring back supplies for the winter. When the family became larger, as much as thirty-five, one hundred pound sacks of flour, a fifty gallon barrel of coffee and two, one hundred pound sacks of sugar were needed.

Ole L. told also of going on foot to see a neighbor on a winter day. On the way back the wind increased and the snow began blowing so the visibility was almost zero. Then he heard it... the low growl of the wolf pack as closer and closer they came. Then with only an open jack knife, he had to fight back those hungry wolves in the deep snow. Half crawling, half walking, he finally made it home to his shack.

After living three years on the claim, Ole went back to Buxton, ND and married Anna Lunde, (who was born, August 10, 1875 near Suldal, Norway), at the Grue Lutheran Church on March 24,1896. Together they built up their home consisting of a sod house and several other buildings on the land.

To this union were born eight boys and three girls: Sena (Andrew Hillesland); Seattle Lars (Inez Erickson), Seattle; Oliver (Inga Overland), Manfred; Arthur, Manfred; Otto, Manfred; Alfred (Mabel Dovre), Manfred and Seattle, Carl (Agnes Stenerson), Dodge, ND; twin girls Laura (William Cook), Seattle and Gina, Seattle; twins boys Berger (Olive Stenerson) Birger, who died in infancy.

In 1910, Mr. Rodne took his family of seven children and returned to Norway to visit his father, Lars and family. They stayed there three years, doing some hunting and fishing also. On the return trip, nine children came back as twin girls were born in Norway during their stay.

Mrs. Rodne died in 1939 at the age of 64. Mr. Rodne died in 1956 at the age of 85 years. They are buried in the Bethel Lutheran Cemetery near Manfred.


We look back in awe at these hardy, God fearing settlers who established homes and raised large families with so few conveniences, with only crude machinery to work with and poor roads and means of travel.


Source: Growing with Pride Book

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