Gilbert Garnas

Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert Garnas

Gilbert Garnas came to the United States from Hallingdal, Norway to live with his brother and sister in Northwood, Iowa. There, he worked with his brother on a well digging outfit until 1904, when he traveled to Hampden, North Dakota to work with a threshing crew. Later that year, he worked in a store until he was hired as a rural mailcarrier, a job that he held until August of 1913, when he moved to the Fort Berthold Reservation.

Hannah Pollestad came to the United States from Stavanger, Norway in 1906, to stay with her cousins in Hampden, North Dakota. She was with them for about a year, then lived with another cousin, in Valley City, until 1908, returning to Hampden, where she met Gilbert.

Gilbert Garnas and Hannah Pollestad were married on June 9, 1910.

After filing on a homestead in Amundsville, Gilbert came to Makoti on an immigrant car, bringing a team of horses, a cow, a hog, some chickens, machinery, and some household goods. With the help of Andrew Olson, who had been their neighbor in Hampden, he built their first home.

Mrs. Garnas and their new baby, Lyle, came later that fall, after the home was completed. That fall, they were able to put up hay, as that was the only crop they had planted that year.

Later, Gilbert found work on the Woods Brothers threshing crew. Unfortunately, Gilbert had a leg cut off in the binder when a team of horses ran away. He was fitted with an artificial leg but it took some time for him to get used to it.

Nevertheless, they managed well until 1928 when an cyclone destroyed their crop and a new house that they were about to move into. Their old home was spared, however, although the roof and most of the windows were destroyed. Neighbors and friends came to help them make repairs on the old house and some of the other buildings.

In the 1930s, there were no crops at all, so they had to put up Russian thistles for hay. Things were better through the 1940s, however.

In 1958, Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert Garnas were able to travel back to Norway to see Mrs. Garnas’ brothers and sisters, whom she had not seen for fifty-two years.

The celebrated their 50th anniversary in 1960, with all of their children at home for the first time since 1937. Mr. Garnas passed away in 1963, and their son, Garnet, was killed in an airplane accident while returning to his home in California after attending his father’s funeral.

At the time that the Golden Jubilee book was published, in 1967, Mrs. Garnas was living in Parshall.

Their children were: Lyle, Eldor, Genevieve, Garnet, and Lynn.