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Notes for Nils Johnson Skalet

The Family of John Christianson & Anne Nilsdatter Viker

!Birth: Film #307314, Hedalen Kirke, Sor Aurdal, Norway.15 Sep 1851
!Baptism: Film #307314, on 12 Oct 1851. (Jakob & Kari Nilssen were witnesses at the baptism of Nils.)
!Confirmation: Film 307316, 30 Sep 1866. Hedalen Kirke, Sor Aurdol, Norway.
!Marriage: 22 Dec 1873, Riceford, MN. Black Hammer Township, Houston Co.
!Death: Died at home on the 15 Dec 1902. Nielsville, MN. Polk County.

1865 census Skalet, Søndre Aurdal, Oppland, Norway
1952 33 1 Hans Ols. Husfader Husmand med Jord g 42 m Søndre Aurdal 3 3 1 1 1
1953 34 Guri Arnesd. hans Kone g 34 k Søndre Aurdal
1954 1 Ole Hans. deres Søn ug 9 m Søndre Aurdal
1955 2 Anthon Hans. deres Søn ug 7 m Søndre Aurdal
1956 3 Martin Hans. deres Søn ug 5 m Søndre Aurdal
1957 4 Olia Hansd. deres Datter ug 2 k Søndre Aurdal
1958 5 1 Eivind Arnes. Inderst Dagarbeider ug 27 m Søndre Aurdal
1959 6 Ole Arnes. Inderst Dagarbeider ug 22 m Søndre Aurdal
2673 29 1 John Kristians. Husfader Forpagter g 50 m Søndre Aurdal 1 6 4 1 1/2 1 2 1/2
2674 30 Anne Nielsd. hans Kone g 40 k Vigers Prgj. (Ringeriget)
2675 31 Kristian Johns. deres Søn ug 17 m Søndre Aurdal
2676 32 Niels Johns. deres Søn ug 15 m Søndre Aurdal
2677 33 Ole Johns. deres Søn ug 12 m Søndre Aurdal
2678 34 Johan Johns. deres Søn ug 9 m Søndre Aurdal
2679 1 Karen Johnsd. deres Datter ug 6 k Søndre Aurdal
2680 2 Gunhild Johnsd. deres Datter ug 3 k Søndre Aurdal

Film number for Polk County, Hubbard Township, 1st land owner (Homestead) is #338,181.

1880 United States Census Vineland, Polk, Minnesota Page Number 340B

1900 census Hubbard, Polk Co., MN
Nels J. Skalet, head, Sept 1851, age 48, md 26 yrs, Norway/Norway/Norway, imm 1872, in US 28 yrs, farmer
Berte, wife, Sept 1853, age 46, md 26 yrs, 10 births, 7 surviving, Norway/Norway/Norway
Clara Amalia, daughter, March 1880, age 20, MN/Norway/Norway, servant
Oscar Ingeval, son, Sept 1882, age 17, MN/Norway/Norway, farm labor
Inga Torina, daughter, March 1884, age 16, MN/Norway/Norway, servant
John, son, Feb 1887, age 13, MN/Norway/Norway, farm labor
Nenini Bertine, daughter, Dec 1893, age 6, MN/Norway/Norway
Anna, daughter, Feb 1896, age 4, MN/Norway/Norway
John Christianson, head, Feb 1816, age 84, md 50 yrs, Norway/Norway/Norway
Anne, wife, April 1826, age 74, md 50 yrs, 6 births, 6 surviving, Norway/Norway/Norway

Nils died December 15, 1902



Berthe died May 01, 1929

Saga of Nils and Bertha
by Lorraine Hanson Haugstad

Nils Johnson and Berthe Iversdatter left Oslo, Norway 1873 for the United States. They went to Houston County (an Uncle Nils Skalet's lived near Spring Grove and possibly two more Uncles lived there at that time also.) An older brother by the name of Christian Johnson came along with them at the time and they were all together in Houston County. I have found them listed in the 1875 census in the township of Black Hammer, Houston County, MN. This is on page six, #42 of the 1875 census for Houston County.

Nils and Berthe were married 22 Dec 1873. Their first child, Anne Jonetta, was born there on 24 Jan 1877. The children born after Jonetta were born at Nielsville MN. Nils and Berthe left southern Minnesota in 1877 and arrived at Nielsville MN where they hurridly built a shelter for the livestock and made a dugout to live in the first winter. They had two stones-one on either side of their door-can be seen at the Anna Brekke farm. (Was destroyed when work was done on the coulee.) The next summer they built a one room house, (lumber was hauled from Fisher's Landing) adding to it as was necessary to accommodate the large family. There was not much snow the first winter. They melted snow for the cattle to drink. (I have made some correction's on dates and places as I have found dates on the Homestead Papers I ordered from the National Archives, Census Records of 1875, Houston County, and the marriage records found on the IGI at the LDS Library which were extracted from the Riceford MN church records. LGH.)

Both of them lived out the remainder of their life on the farm they homesteaded. Nils died in 1902 of Blood Poisoning. Berthe died in 1929. The farm is today owned by the grandson's of Nils and Berthe. There names are Stanton and Gene Brekke.

Written by Inez with notes by Lorraine Haugstad:

Christian and Nels were the first in the family to migrate to America in 1873, settling in Fillmore County. ( I found them in Houston County on the 1875 Census. LGH.) Berthe Klubberud also came with them on the same ship. She later became Nels' wife in 1874. (I found on the church records, they were married Dec of 1873. LGH.) They first landed at Ellis Island, NY Harbor, ordered pie (unknown in Norway) and didn't like the pie. In Fillmore County Christian worked as a carpenter, and Nels as a farm hand. During the 1870's chintz bugs devoured the crops in southern Minnesota. People were unable to pay their mortgage-one reason they left Fillmore County. Nels and Christian, together with several friends came to the Red River Valley by oxen and covered wagon in a caravan in 1879. (I think this must have been 1877. LGH.) Caravans offered protection from Indians and provided company. Other in the caravan were the Johannes Olson family, Nels and Lars Helgeland families and others. They brought cattle along, tied behind their wagons. Washed in sloughs along the way, which resulted in sever skin irritation. Christian refused to wash and had smooth, nice skin. Mosquitoes came in droves, so smudges had to be built along the way to keep mosquitoes off the animals and themselves so they could sleep. They followed trails, men stopped in saloons for drinks, women, not being allowed in saloons, were delighted when Christian brought out a bottle of wine for them. Jonetta, 2 years old, (here again I wonder if Jonetta was a few months old as she was born Jan 1877.) traveled with her folks. There was tall buffalo grass along the trail. On their journey they had deep iron kettles, put beans and lots of salt pork in them, placed them on hot ashes in the evening and had beans for breakfast, dinner and supper. Corn meal was used to make Johnny Cake (baked in frying pan) and they put their butter in the flour to keep it from melting. When they arrived at Nielsville they built a shelter for the livestock and made a dugout in the coulee to live in the first winter. Next summer they built a one room house adding to it as was necessary to accommodate the large family.

Nels and Berthe had 10 children. John and Oscar died in the 1918 flu-the other boys died in infancy. Only the five girls lived to an old age. Nels (the father) became ill with blood poison. They tried to save his life by "cupping" his blood (a method used to draw blood to the surface with a vacuum.) He passed away Dec 15, 1902 leaving Berthe to care for the farm and family. She had faithful hired men-especially Andreas Regedal and Olaus Rodal.