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Christian Johannessen Grimsrud


Christian Johannesen Grimsrud was born April 23,1843 on the Grepperud farm in Høland, Askersus, Norway. His parents were Johannes Christiansen and Karen Halvorsdatter Grimsrud. Christian was the oldest of five children, two boys and three girls.


In 1865 Christian was 23 (his father was deceased), Christian’s widowed mother had been given her father’s farm, Grimsrud Farm of Trøgstad Parish in Østfold. Her father Lars Halvorsen lived to be at least 86 years old, but was blind in his old age and was living with Karen, Christian and his three sisters. The farm had been in Karen’s family since 1768 when it was purchased by Karen’s great grandfather Halvor Larson Stiltsrud.


Christian helped run the farm. His younger brother Halvor was a deckman on the “Indsøes” Steamship. In 1865 the family owned 2 horses, 5 cattle, and 4 sheep. In that year they produced 8 measures of oats, 4 measures of potatoes, 1 measure of barley, and a half measure of rye to support their family of six.


In 1869 Christian, his mother and his three sisters Louise age 30, Johanne age 18, and Bollette age 11 immigrated to America. They were traveling on the same contract ticket to RED WING, Minnesota. They sailed on the ODER. The ODER was a Wilson Line feeder ship, and sailed to Hull, England. They took a train to Liverpool, and sailed on a transatlantic steamship to America. They landed at the port of Detroit, Michigan May of 1869.


When they first arrived in America Christian located at Faribault. Later he moved to Minneapolis were he lived for ten years and worked in the lumber industry. He married Gunhild Gundersen. They lived at 1520 So. 6th street in Ninneapolis. in October 29, 1872 a son Johannes Christian was born to them. Then a daughter Gusta was born December 28, 1874. Little Johannes died of scarlet fever when he was only two years old February 15, 1875. Gunhild died two short years later February 19, 1877 at age 33.


Two years later Christian married again, Johanna Hansdatter Larson Hvesser on April 15th, 1879. Johanna gave birth to two daughters Alma Karoline born January 17, 1880 and Johanne (Jenny) Hildora born October 16, 1881 in Minneapolis. Two weeks after giving birth, Johanne died at age of 30 October 29, 1881 of typhoid . She was laid to rest beside Gunhild and little Johannes in Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery. At age 39 Christian was now twice windowed and a father of three daughters: Gusta 6, Alma almost 2, and a infant daughter Jenny.


The Red River Valley had opened for homesteading and Christian had already filed on a claim. In February of 1882, only three months after his wife had died, Christian and his three daughters traveled by covered wagon to Grafton in the Dakota territories. He had filed on the land the previous Fall and would surely have lost it to squatters had he not occupied it as quickly as possible. That February Christian built a frame house 22 feet by 25 feet with one window and one door on a 160 acres.


A year later in Grafton on March 1, 1883 he married Bertha Sirina Johnson. Bertha immediately became pregnant. (And maybe because of a difficult pregnancy?) Bertha felt unable to care for his youngest daughter. Christian took Jenny to her grandparents Hans Larsen Hvesser and Anne Gundersdatter Fløtten to raise. A son Martin Johan was born to Christian and Bertha November 25, 1883. Three years later another son Sigvald Christian was born February 13, 1887. Baby Sigvald died May 15, 1888 only fifteen months old.


October 10, 1884 Christian paid in full for the Land Patent for 160 acres in Walsh county of the Dakota territory. In 1898 Christian had an additional homestead land patent on 40 acres of timber land also in Walsh county. He homesteaded in Grafton for more than 26 years.


Christian and his family were members of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Grafton. Bertha was a charter member of the Ladies Aid organized in 1885. The big event of the year was the kvinderforening auktion, an auction of sewing and fancy work. This event was especially looked forward to by Christian’s children Gusty, Alma, and Martin since it was the only time they had lemonade during the entire year.


Christian retired from active farming in 1909. In 1912 he and Bertha spent a year in Portland, Oregon where Jenny and her family lived. They spent the remainder of their lives in Appleton, Minnesota where their son Martin, his wife Signora, and grandson Milton lived. Christian died January 19, 1924. Bertha preceded him in death by only a few months.

biography written and researched by Linda Rawles ©2006 Linda Rawles

Ancestors in Norway

Christian's mother's family came from Trostad in Ostfold Norway. His father's family came from Grepperud farm in Holand, Akershus Norway. I have records of his ancestors from the Norwegian church books back 300 years. (Thanks to a very distant cousin in Norway! via the internet!) E-mail me for more information.

Famlies I am looking for:

Christian's two sisters lived in Minnesota, Norman County, Rockwell Township. Bollette Amalia married Julius Heier. Johanne married Ole Thorpe. Below is their familes as listed on the 1885 Minnesota Census

  • Heier, Julius - Head - W/M - Sept 1851 - 48 - M 22yrs married) - Born:Norway Father Born:Norway Mother Born:Norway Came to US:1873 - 27yrs in US) - (naturalized citizen) Occupation:Farmer -
  • Bolette - Wife - W/F- June 1856 - 43 Has Bore 8 CHildren/7 Children Living at Census - Born:Norway Father Born:Norway Mother Born:Norway Came to US:1869 - 27(#yrs in US)
  • Chris J - Son - W/M - June 1879 - 20 Occupation:Farm Laborer
  • Karen S - Daughter - W/F - June 1881 - 18
  • Albert H - Son - W/M - Mar 1883 - 17 Occupation:Farm Laborer
  • Julia B - Daughter - W/F - ???1885 - 14
  • S??? I. - Daughter - W/F - Sep 1887 - 12
  • John L - Son - W/M - Sep 1889 - 10
  • Mable E - Daughter - W/F - Oct 1892 - 7


    Page 4 - Rockwell Township - May 6, 1885
  • Thorpe, Ole 37 M W Norway 11
  • Thorpe, Johanah (born Johanne Johannsdatter of Grimsrud farm) 34 F W Norway
  • Thorpe, Svend 9 M W Minn. Married Selma Oveland
  • Thorpe, Karen 7 F W Minn. Married Allen Barnes
  • Thorpe, Bridgit 3 M W Minn. Married Edward Trost moved to Goldendale, WA
  • Thorpe, Henry Joseph 1 M W Minn. Married Mabel Alette Johnson
  • Thorpe, Oscar 1 M W Minn. Married Amanda
  • Grimsrud, Karen (Karen Halvorsdatter Grimsrud) 72 F W (born in ˙stfold Norway)

    Another son John Thorpe was born in 1885 married Marcia

    Henry Joseph Thorpe and Mabel Alette Johnson had a daughter who married E. C. Engen.

    If you are a decendant of any of these family members or if you can tell me anymore about them, please email me! Thank you so much!



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    ©2002 Linda Rawles

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