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Knut and Ragnhild Kopseng

Husband's Full Name:  Knut C. Kopseng

Husband's Place of Birth:  Sigdahl, Eggedal, Norway

Husband's Father's Name: Christoffer Torsteinsen Kopseng

Husband's Mother's Name: Guri Johnsdatter Skar

Husband's Siblings' Names: Torstein, John, Karl, John, Kristen,

Ingrid, Ingrid

Wife's Full Name:  Ragnhild Persdatter Arnegard

Wife's Place of Birth:  Arnegard, Vats, Hallingdal, Norway

Wife's Father's Name:  Per Embrikson Arnegard

Wife's Mother's Name:  Borghild Grovo 

Wife's Siblings' Names:  Sander, Anne

Children's Names: Gudrun (Martin Bjerke), Ben, Theodor, Clarence, Arne

Knut and Ragnhild Kopseng.jpg

Knut Kopseng was born July 30, 1871 in Sigdal, Norway. He was the son of Christoffer Torsteinsen Kopseng and Guri Johnsdatter Skar Kopseng. 


The lure of the United States and the stories of free land and opportunities influenced him strongly. In Norway there was not much to look forward to, except for the eldest son, who always inherits the ancestral acres. Knut, as the youngest son of eight children received his passage to America. He never returned to Norway.


The trip to the United States was long and strenuous in the year 1893. Knut played the violin well and he felt badly when his trunk with his violin and all his possessions was stolen somewhere along the line. 


He made his way across the United States and homesteaded on level land seven miles east of Harvey. The land had to be broken up a little at a time, and life was hard. The homesteaders built sod houses and Knut likewise built a home with sod from the native prairie. Life was so very difficult that for long periods of time he would have not so much as a nickel in money.


He married a neighboring homesteader Ragnhild Persdatter Arnegard on April 7, 1898, and life was better from then on.  Ragnhild had immigrated to America in 1893. They lived the first years of their marriage in the sod house Knut had built in Fram Township. Their first two children Gudrun and Ben were born there.  In 1903 they built a two-story frame house and outbuildings. The third child, Theodor Sander was born in the new house in 1904, and a year and a half later there were twin baby boys, Clarence and Arne.  Arne died at the age of six months of the summer flu. 

Knut liked people and he joined the Nonpartisan League in its beginning and during the 1930’s he was fortunate enough to get a job working as a legislative employee in Bismarck.This brought in badly needed cash. His sons were old enough then to do the farm work. The land was good and eventually in the latter years of their life Knut and Ragnhild bought a neighboring farm, and then their son, Clarence and wife Olive did the farming, and Knut and Ragnhild lived comfortably in a small house in Harvey in their retirement, until his death in 1946.


They gave their children a deep religious background, and an appreciation of their Norwegian heritage.


Source:  Growing With Pride.

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