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Early Families of Emmet Township, North Dakota

Biographical sketches of some of the early residents of the former Emmet Township, in McLean County, North Dakota, are featured here, obtained primarily from the Golden Jubilee book, published in 1967. Further information about, or photos of, these or other early settlers of Emmet County would be appreciated.

When they were interviewed for the Golden Jubilee book, Mr. and Mrs. Bjornholt discussed the fact that, by 1967, most of the early homesteaders had passed away. Comparing the 1914 Atlas with the 1962 Atlas, they found that there were about half as many people and homesteads in the area of the former township than were there previously.

Many of the small farms of Emmet Township has been united, either through direct purchase from the owners, or through foreclosure by lending agencies.

A number of the early homesteads had been passed on to second or third generations, however, and they discuss some of them. I will use their words, generally, only altering their references to 1967 in the present tense.

The farm of Mr. and Mrs. Menton Rime, or Mrs. R.E. Rime as she was better known in 1967, is one of them. Mrs. Rime carried on the farming operations for several years after her husband passed away, with the help of her young sons. In 1967, Mrs. Rimes was one of the few early homesteaders still alive, although she had passed the farm on to her son, Russel, and his wife, Laura. Russel enlarged the farm by purchasing adjoining quarters, one of which was the hometead land of Emma Peterson Kingsnorth, who was living in Minot in 1967. Her husband, George Kingsnorth, homesteaded the land owned by Mr. and Mrs. Otto Dittus in 1967.

The farm of Mr. and Mrs. Konrad Iverson, who homesteaded in the year 1905, was owned by their youngest son, Edmund, in 1967. Konrad and Inga had moved to Garrison soon after their son’s marriage to Bertha Roth of Turtle Lake, although Konrad remained active in farming for a number of years after that.

Not far from the Iverson farm was the late Ole and Ossie Korstad farm, which they homesteaded in 1902. In 1967, that farm was owned by their son, Daniel, and his wife, Betty, who was a nurse at the Garrison hospital.

Another farm which was passed on to a son was the homestead of the late John Holst and his wife, Anna, who (in 1967) was living with her daughter, Bernice Patera, in Bismarck. In 1967, that farm was operated by Alvin and Amy Holst.

Alvin’s aunt, Augusta Holst, was also a nearby homesteader. She later married John Thode who, after farming for a number of years, moved to Washburn, where he served as Deputy Sheriff and Sheriff between the years of 1929 and 1940. John passed away a few years before 1967, but his wife, Augusta, was living with their daughter, Dorothy Bakker, in Youngstown, Ohio.

Still another farm that was passed on to the next generation was that of the late Mr. and Mrs. Math Hagge. Although no one was living on the place in 1967, the land was owned by their son, Marvin, and his wife, Marlene.

One farm that was passed on to the third generation was the homestead of the late Mr. and Mrs. Lars Lee. Their son, Arthur, and wife, Mathilda, who were living in Minot in 1967, had passed the land on to their son, Jerome, and wife, Deloris, who was employed by the A.S.C.S. offices in Garrison in 1967.

Near that farm was the homestead of Mr. Arthur Benshoof, who was living at McLean Manor in Garrison in 1967, and the late Mrs. Benshoof. Their son, George, was farming the land in 1967.

Not far from there was the homestead of J.S. McGuire, whose land was being operated by Mr. and Mrs. Harold Christopherson in 1967. It is said that when Mr. Benshoof came to Emmet from Iowa, it took him three weeks to make the trip with a wagon drawn by horses.

Some years before 1967, Mr. and Mrs. Herman Zimmerman came into possession of the land of Mary Boyer Hodges, who had homesteaded in 1902. In 1967, that land was being operated by the Zimmerman’s son, Gene, and his wife, Joan.

The former homestead of H.J. Ahrenstoff was owned and operated by Mr. and Mrs. Manuel Rime, along with their son and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Rime. The Rimes had also acquired other land in the area.

Approximately one mile west of there was Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Kastner, whose land was once homesteaded by the late Carl J. Hanson and his wife, Clara, who was living in the Minnewaska Retirement Home in Starbuck, Minnesota in 1967. Their land was later purchased by the late Mr. and Mrs. Antone Kastner Sr., the parents of Leonard.

Many of the old timers came from foreign lands, either to a neighboring state before coming to Emmet, or coming directly to Emmet Township.

Mr. and Mrs. Seivert Sandy came directly to Emmet Township when the land was opened for homesteading, but after only a few years of farming at Emmet, they returned to their native land. Their farm was being operated by Mr. and Mrs. Allan Hodges in 1967.

In 1967, Mr. and Mrs. Francis Rime owned the land that was the homestead of Thomas J. Walsh in 1914, and Mrs. and Mrs. Orville owned the former homestead of a bachelor by the name of Thomas Mangan, who had been a prize fighter in his younger years.

Mr. and Mrs. Olaf Iverson owned (in 1967) the farm that belonged to Andrew Johnson in 1914, and by Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Brown in later years.

The Curtis and Lois Mehloff land of 1967 was once the homestead of Robert Fitzgerald, while the Jim and Irene Trueblood farm belonged to R.D. Wilson in 1914. Later, it was purchased by Jim’s stepfather and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Swan Johnson.

Then we have the E.L. Mackey homestead of 1914 which, in 1967, was the property of Robert Ulrich. There was also the homestead of E.P. Buzick, and at one time owned by Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Boots; their son, Warran and wife, Lois, operated that farm in 1967. The homestead of the late Chris Christopherson was owned by Mr. and Mrs. Harold Van Cleve in 1967.

Early Families