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Peder Lunde history by Emma Stoa Lunde

This is some family history of the Peder Lunde family who came to Hayward, Minnesota, and together with Endre Gulbrandson, were the first two permanent white settlers In Hayward Township.

It is written by Mrs. Emma Stoa Lunde, Rt, 4, Austin, Minnesota. Emma Lunde is the wife of Peder Lunde (son of 0le Peder and grandson of Peder Asleson Lunde) It was read at the Centennial Celebration of Hayward Township, In Freeborn County, Minnesota.

Peder Asleson Lunde (1820) and his wife Else Gravli (1821) were married in 1845. They came to America in 1850. They brought along their first son, Asle (also Ashle)1846). Their second son, Ole, was bom In 1858, and was the first white child born in Hayward Township.

Peder Asleson Lunde, the first of the Lunde family to emigrate to America, was born July 13, 1820, on the Lunde farm In Aadalen, Norway, where he grew to manhood. His wife, Else Gravli was bom January 6, 1821, on the farm of her father, 0le Gravli, where she grew to womanhood. They were united in marriage In the "Viker" church in 1845.

Endre Gulbrandson was born in 1812 on the Oimoen farm In Aadalen, neighboring the Lunde farm. His wife, Marit Gravli, a cousin of Else Gravli, was born on her father's farm In 1814, but became an orphan and was raised at the home of Else Gravli. Endre and Marit were also united in marriage In their beloved "Viker church.

Our forefathers who emigrated to America so often reminisced about the beauty of the homeland where they spent their childhood days, and about their church, the Viker Church of Aadalen, Norway. On the "Viker" estate there has been a church for over 500 years. The first church building (which was a Catholic church) was a stave church (stav-kirke), and was torn down and rebuilt in 1702 --- the pulpit, altar piece and crucifix from the old church being used to this day, This church is built of heavy logs, boarded up on the outside with planks placed perpendicularly and covered with tar. It has two church bells, one dated 1721 and cast in Amsterdam Holland, The other, a little larger, was cast in Drammen in 1842. A beautiful brass chandelier dated 1713. Brass candlesticks dated l7l9 and the baptismal font in 1720, On the wall beside the pulpit hangs an old bear skin. According to "Saga" this skin was taken from the bear which was shot beside the Altar in the "Hedalen" church, when that church was rediscovered after the valley had been deserted for several generations on account of the "Black Death", year 1000-when all the inhabi-tants of that valley had fallen victims to the terrible scourge. The story goes thus: A hunter shot a wood grouse, "tiur'* sitting In a pine tree; the bullet also struck the bell of the church which was completely overgrown with pine and spruce. Upon investigation he found the church, and inside, by the altar, he shot this bear who evidently had made his home in the church. Whereupon the hunter brought the bearskin to ''Viker" church where it hangs to this day.

Another "saga" tells of the original "Viker" church first being located on the east side of the river "Sperillen," but that one night the church was spirited over to where it now stands, and the spot where it first stood is called the "church field" (kirke-aaker) to this day. Though Viker church lacks beauty and style of architecture;
which reflects the poverty of that age; yet she has the venerableness of old age, having gathered generations of Lutherans about the work of God for over 250 years and her members loved her.

In spite of economic conditions the peasants being hungry and ill clad, yet the religious instruction of the children and young people was considered of utmost importance, the children being taught from early childhood their catechism, ex-planation and Bible History, which were their early text books. Their education was chiefly acquired in the home; the parents teaching their children to read and memorize the catechism, explanation and Bible History and to this day, we who are descendants, humbly bow our heads in recognition of the wonderful store house of knowledge with which these our beloved ancestors were blessed. A school called the "Omgangs Skole" was held in the various homes, & few days each year; and the l4 and 15 year old children were given confirmation instruction by the Pastor, Abraham Storen. As a result, the first desire of the emigrants after they had built their log cabins here in America, was to establish a place of worship.

In March 1850, Peder Lunde walked to Kristiania, now called Oslo (21 miles) to seek emigration permit from the King. This permit was granted and preparations for the long journey were begun. As the travelers had to board themselves and cook their own meals, large quantities of flatbread (Flat-brod) was baked and packed into wooden chests, potatoes, salt pork and herring and other supplies were provided. Long and tearful farewells were said as these families were the first to venture into the unknown.

On May 1, 1850, they sailed from Drammen on a sailship. The trip across the ocean from Drammen to Quebec took nine weeks which was considered good as the weather, although not stormy, was not always in their favor. They often spoke of this incident which took place while they were on the ocean. Early one morning, little four-year-old Ashle was on deck and his hat blew off and went overboard. Ashle cried for his little red hat which was very dear to him, and the kind-hearted Captain and sailors promised to be on the lookout for it, as it was one of those days when the ship made little headway as there was a calm. And sure enough, just before dark, one of the sailors spied the hat bobbing on a wave close to the ship.

They lowered a boat partway and with long poles retrieved the hat. They did not dare to set the boat on those waves as they were treacherous, having tried that once they almost lost the sailors and boat as the waves would toss the boat away from the ship. Needless to say, Ashle was overjoyed on receiving his precious hat again.

Landing at Quebec they went by canal boat and sailboat through the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. From there they walked to Rock Prairie, Dane Co., Wisconsin, where they tarried for about 2 years, continuing by covered wagon to Decorah and Rock Creek, Iowa.

Endre Gulbrandson and family left Norway in l852, following the same route and having almost the same experiences. In the early fall of 1852 the two friends, Peder and Endre, met again in Peddler's Creek, Wisconsin, where Peder was clerk in a grocery store.

Endre Gulbrandson and family tarried in Wisconsin for a while, moving on to Fillmore Co., Minnesota to visit his two brothers, Gulbrand and Amund in the spring of 1856. From there they went to Rock Creek, Iowa where he again met his friend, Peter Lunde. The two man and their families then set out by covered wagons into the unknown and arrived in Section 8, Township 102, Range 20, which later became Hayward township. Endre and Peter, leaving their families in the covered wagons for awhile, walked west along the Blue Earth Trail to the "East Chain Lakes" south of where Fairmont stands today in Martin County, in quest of a better location but decided to come back and establish their homes here, ever thankful to God who directed their footsteps; as the following year the settlement by East Chain Lakes was massacred by the Indians.

To tha Endre Gulbrandson family the following children were bom: Gunnor, Gulbrand, Hans, Vegger, Maria, Kari, Else, Edward. All of whom were bom in Norway except the last two mentioned. Else and Edward. Kari was the wife of Lars Lunde.

To the Peter Lunde family two sons were born; Ashle and 0le.

In the summer of 1858, Peter and Elsie Lunde walked through a trackless wilderness from their home in Hayward carrying their infant son Ole, to the home of Ole and Bertha Barness (near where the East Freebom Church now stands) Accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. Bamess they walked to the home of Ole Stugu, Itasca Prairie, where services were conducted by the Rev. A. C. Koren and the infant son of Mr. & Mrs. Lunde and also the son of Anfin Andersen were baptized. The distance walked by these sturdy pioneers was 15 miles, one way. (By the way, A. 0. Koren was a cousin of Vilhelm Koren and went back .of Norway shortly.) In speaking of these incidents we would like to mention the part the East Freebom congregation had in the lives of these people. \
The Freeborn congregation is, so to speak, the Mother of eleven or twelve Lutheran churches now in Freebom County, among them Hayward and Oakland, Moscow and Trondhjem. The East Freebom congregation was organized in 186l with Rev. C. L. Clausen its first Pastor, serving until 1865, with the exception of the time he served as Chaplain in the Civil War. However, even before l86l, the Right Rev. H. A. Preus: and the Right Rev. Vilhelm Koren made Mission trips in and around Freebom County. On October 1, l86l. Rev. C. L. Clausen conducted confirmation services in the shade of a burr oak tree on the Ole Hanson Indahl farm directly east of where the East Freebom church now stands. The confirmands were: Hans Gulbrandson, Martin Rua and Ashle Lunde. This was the first confirmation services conducted in Freeborn County.

Other incidents of interest include the following: In the winter of 1856-57, Endre Gulbrandson took his musket and started out to what is now Bancroft, in quest of some corn for food. He was unable to get any corn and on his way back he stopped at the Ole Indahl home but Ole had no corn so Ole went with Endre to his neighbor Ole Christian who had corn but didn't want to share it and Indahl said " You SHALL let Endre have some corn; which he did and Endre happily carried the corn home in a sack on his back, ground it on their coffee mill and used it for food. In the fall a year later, Endre had his hay all stacked up by his stable when a raging prairie fire driven by a strong wind from the south burned his stable and all his hay, and by the way, the first cow that Endre owned in America, fell into an abandoned lead mine at Mineral Point In Wisconsin and died.

In spite of adversities and hard times they never lost faith but moved bravely on, taking great interest in religious and civic affairs. Among these, Endre Gulbrandson acquired the land for the Hayward Cemetery from D. C. Armstrong. Peter Lunde was one of the organizers of Hayward Township and was the first Assessor and Treasurer. An interesting incident also was a conversation between Peter Lunde and Lysander Luce, in which Luce said, in discussing railroad building after the Civil War. "Some day Peter, we will have a railroad running between your place and rnine." Over this they laughed heartily, but in a couple of years the railroad was actually built through Hayward and between their homes. Also on Peter's farm a log school house was built which was in use until Dist. #34 Hayward was organized; the members of the first school board being Lars Lunde, Andrew Sanderson and Peter Lunde. In honoring those men, let us not forget their God-fearing wives who stood so faith-fully by their aide through trials and tribulations.

So, to these God-fearing, law-abiding, brave and industrious pioneers we owe our sincere thanks.