Andrew Reinertson

Mr. and Mrs. Andrew R. Reinertson

Andrew R. Reinertson was born in Slater, Iowa in 1874. In 1877, he moved with his parents to a place near Toronto, in Dual County, South Dakota. The town of Astoria, South Dakota was later founded just one mile from the Reinertson home.

Sarah Oscarson was born in Newark, Illinois in 1878. In 1882, she moved with her parents to Kingsbury County, South Dakota. Her father was a lay  preacher, who taught parochial school during summer vacation and, in 1892, he taught school in Dual County, not far from Andrew Reinertson’s home.

He hired Andrew to work on his farm during this time, and the hired man fell in love with the farmer’s daughter. On returning to his home, Andrew would make frequent trips to the Oscarson home, by bicycle or by horse and buggy.

They were married on Christmas Day in 1897 at Lake Preston, South Dakota, and soon after moved to Colfax, North Dakota, where Andrew had bought a farm the precceding year. They lived there until 1912 and, during that time, they had six children.

In 1912, Andrew filed for a homestead on land that was then known as the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, later becoming Amundsville Township, in McLean County, North Dakota. In September of that year, they loaded two emigrant cars at Wyndmere with horses, cattle, household goods, and machinery to be unloaded at Ryder, which was twenty-seven miles from the homestead.

Shortly after they arrived on their homestead, they were faced with one of the prairie fires that North Dakota was known for. By plowing a few furrows, he managed to save about twenty acres of grazing land, and a place to keep his belongings.

Rudolph, his oldest boy, had accompanied his father on the emigrant cars. On the day that the fire struck, Rudolph had been riding their saddle horse, Dandy. When he jumped off the horse to help fight the fire, Dandy took off and disappeared. The next spring, while Andrew was in Ryder, he saw an ad in a newspaper about a stray horse near Douglas, and it turned out to be Dandy.

In October of 1912, Sarah and the rest of the family arrived at the homestead to find that the house was partially finished. Winter came early in 1912, before a well could be dug, and the nearest source of water was a spring located over a mile away, and feed for their stock had to be hauled seven miles or more, from the Kolden’s, Lunden’s, Hill’s, or Pederson’s, which were a few that had hay and feed to spare.

The Bethlehem Lutheran Church was organized in the Reinertson home during the summer of 1913. The first school was located in the Gust Bolkan homestead shack, in the fall of 1913, with Lillian J. Johnson, also a homesteader, as the first teacher in Amundsville Township.

The Reinertsons had another daughter during the summer of 1914, which made a family of seven children.

1915 was a good year for crops, and a big boost to the entire community. Andrew was able to buy the Arnold Simonson homestead, which gave him the west half of the section.

On June 6, 1915, the Rev. Adolph Fjeldsgaard was installed as pastor of the Bethlehem Lutheran congregation. A parsonage was constructed in the Reinertson yard, then moved to the homestead that the Reverend filed on in 1916.

There were telephone lines to be built, school affairs to tend to, and the Reinertsons were in the middle of it. More settlers came in 1916. The portion of the reservation known as the Coal Land was opened to homesteaders. Sarah was kept busy baking bread and churning butter, as the homesteaders got hungry and it was a long way to a market.

The Wright School was built in 1917, a one-room schoolhouse in the center of Amundsville Township. Mr. Clandenning and Rita Johnson were the first teachers.

Roseglen was built, which provided a market that was closer to settlers in that part of the community.

In the fall of 1917, another girl was born to the Reinertsons, which made eight. The year 1918 brought World War I, and Andrew was called upon to register the local boys for the draft. Most of them returned to resume normal lives again.

On May 12, 1922, the ninth, and last, of their children was born; they named him Earl Orval. Rudolph, the first to be married, moved to the Pacific Northwest and other members of the family, as they grew up, did the same.

Mr. and Mrs. Reinertson made several visits to their children on the West Coast. They hoped to move there one day but then the years of dry weather came, and the value of their North Dakota property was not great, so they remained, taking an active part in church and community affairs, until 1947, when they sold their half section to Melvin Slind and headed west.

They found a place near Canby, Oregon, not far from where their children had settled, except for Mabel, who married and made her home in Glenburn, North Dakota.

Their nine children include Rudolph, Johnnie, Gladys, Arnold, Sylvia, Mabel, Earl, Alice, and Lillian.

In 1967, when the Golden Jubilee book was published, they were both still alive, and living at their home near Canby.