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Oscar and Bertha Melby

Husband's Full Name:  Oscar Julius Melby

Husband's Place of Birth:  Cooperstown, ND

Husband's Father's Name: Knud O. Rudi

Husband's Mother's Name: Guri K Melby

Husband's Siblings' Names: Guri Ranum, Ole, Christen Knutson,

Knute Knutson, Ragnhild Wolding, Guldbrand, Marit Satterberg

Caroline Anderson, Martin

Wife's Full Name:  Bergit (Bertha) Gulliksdotter Nordtorp Melby

Wife's Place of Birth:  Valdres, Norway

Wife's Father's Name:  Gullik Rønjusson Nordtorp

Wife's Mother's Name:  Ragnhild Olsdotter Hegge

Wife's Siblings' Names:  Marit Jacobson, Ingrid Hovey, Ingebjorg  (Emma), Jennie Isakson, Oscar, Anne, Hilda Roberts, Gladys Basarab

Children's Names: Cora Turner, Roy, Ruth Hovey, Muriel Schwartz Boyum, Orlien, Kenneth, Gene, Ethel Bolyard

Oscar, also known as O. J. Melby, was the tenth child born to Knud and Guri Melby on March 7, 1890 while they were living in Foster County. The crops were poor during that time. However, the Soo Line railroad track was being laid through North Dakota and so a source of income was possible for the folks. So, Knud and all his neighbors went to work for the railroad, building the track. It was through this work that they learned of the new land opening up further west in Wells County. Knud was impressed with the land and filed on section 8 in Manfred Township. In 1894 when Oscar was 4 years old, his family and other families moved in a caravan, herding their animals and hauling their belongings on wagons.


Oscar took all his schooling in Manfred Township. He became well versed in farming having worked side by side with his father and older brothers through the years. His parents retired in 1911, and Oscar took over farming his father's land. He married Bertha Nordtorp on July 10, 1910 in Millet Alberta Canada. Bertha was born May 12, 1891 in Øystre Slidre, Valdres, Norway to Gullik and Ragnhild Nordtorp. They had first immigrated to the USA in 1892 on Bertha’s 1st birthday, but returned to Norway in 1899, only to return again in 1906 on her 15th birthday. They settled both times in Manfred, and it was there that Oscar and Bertha became acquainted. They became engaged in 1908, but her parents moved to Canada and they needed her help.  Oscar and Bertha kept in touch and after the crops were planted in 1910, Oscar went to Canada for his bride.

In 1914, Oscar and Bertha bought land in section 30 of Manfred Township, which had been passed from brother to brother Gilbert, then Chris, then Ole, and then finally to Oscar. Here they lived the rest of their lives. They owned and operated a threshing rig for 22 years. Oscar was very musical having a beautiful high tenor voice, and played the clarinet and violin. They were both very active in Vang Lutheran Church, and Sons of Norway, and other offices in the community.  Born to them were eight children: Cora 1912, Roy 1916, Ruth 1919, Muriel 1921, Orlien 1924, Kenneth 1925, Gene 1928, Ethel 1931. Oscar died February 16, 1954, and Bertha died November 11, 1985. Both are buried at Vang Cemetery north of Manfred.

Bertha & Oscar Melby formal.jpg
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