Torger Skaar

Mr. and Mrs. Torger Skaar

Mr. and Mrs. Torger (Tom) Skaar, and their family of six children, moved to what had been the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in June of 1913, after it was opened to settlement. They took a homestead near Raub, in what would become Amundsville Township, in McLean County, North Dakota.

Bethlehem Lutheran Church was organized on July 1, although its meetings were initially held in homes. People drove in wagons or buggies, and some walked. The Rev. Nels Mehlen was the pastor, and the congregation’s first service was held at A.R. Reinertson’s. The following people joined the church: Willie Dahl, Halvor Selmonson, Andrew Reinertson, John T. Haugen, Andrew Olson, Tom Skaar, George Lund, Ole Johre, Theodore Mortenson, Ole Haugen, and their families.

The first Ladies Aid Society meeting was held at the home of Tom Skaar on October 7, 1913, and the ladies made many things to help pay the pastor. They held basket and pie socials, also. The church worshipped in the Norwegian language until 1926. Torger Skaar built the Bethlehem Lutheran Church in 1916.

On September 29, 1917, the Skaars were blessed with another addition to their family; Palmer was baptized at the home of Theodore Mortenson.

Mrs. (Johanna) Skaar passed away on October 28, 1919, leaving Mr. Skaar with seven youngsters. They were all kept together, and Emma, the oldest, did most of the work, helping her father to raise the family.

Mr. Skaar quit farming in the early 1940s, and moved to Plaza, where he did carpentry work until his health failed. He passed away on July 19, 1963, and was buried beside his wife at the Bethlehem cemetery.

The Skaar’s children were Emma, Hazel, Jennie, John, Art, and Palmer.