Bernt Fines

Bernt and Emma Fines

Bernt Fines, an early settler in the Roseglen, North Dakota community, was born in Trondhjeim, Norway, in 1877. He came to America when he was fifteen years old. A sister was living at Fort Ransom, North Dakota, so he spent several years there, working on farms, and later driving a stage route between Lisbon and Valley City.

When the Roseglen area was opened to homesteaders in 1902, Bernt decided to stake a claim there. He spent the winter in Fort Ransom, going out to the homestead permanently in the spring of 1903. On that trip, he rode a horse, named Jim, all the way, carrying all of his possessions with him.

He came to Jorgen Jacobsen's sod shanty late at night, after the Jacobsens were sleeping soundly. These folks were friends from Fort Ransom, so Bernt made himself at home, cooking himself a pot of coffee, and making himself a lunch.

His wife to be, Emma Peterson, was also a native of Norway; born in Gulbransdalen in 1890. She and a sister, Sina, came to the United States in 1907. They came to Ryder on June 6th of that year, and Charles Lenartson took them to Roseglen in his two-seated buggy, the height of luxurious travel in those days. They stayed with an aunt, Ole Rostad, the first night. Emma worked then for the Peter Koldens, and later for the Will Flynns. Bernt and Emma were married at the Flynn home on October 3, 1910.

In the fall of 1945, Mr. Fines sold his farm to Maurice Snippen, and held an auction sale of his machinery and livestock. He loaded the family's personal effects and some household furniture in his truck, and started West. They located first in Ellensburg, Washington, where their daughter, Elnora, was married and living. The next August, the family moved to Yakima, where Bernt purchased a home.

Mr. Fines enjoyed his retirement only briefly. He passed away in September of 1947, and was buried in Yakima. Emma continued to live in the Yakima  home until her death in May of 1964.

The Fines had ten children. Two died in infancy. Anna became Mrs. Donnell Haugen, and was living in Roseglen in 1967, when the Roseglen Golden Jubilee book was published. Elnora was married to Cecil Lambert, and was residing in Ellensburg in 1967. Hilma married Bill Greenwood, and was living in Yakima in 1967. Edward was married to Norma Nelstad, and resided in Minot, North Dakota. Ruby was married to R.C. Grochow of Bellevue, Washington. Margaret and her husband, Vern Judkins, resided in Yakima, Washington. Alfred was married to Marky Fischer, and they were living in Roseglen. Merritt, living in Moxee City, Washington, was married to Genny Carl.