Oscar Oien

Oscar and Clara Oien

Oscar Oien was born near Waseca, Minnesota in 1878. He came to the Roseglen, North Dakota community in 1909, working initially for John and Henry Snippen, freighting goods from Ryder to the John Snippen store.

Clara Haugen was born in Leaf Mountain, Minnesota. She left her home in 1904, at the age of nineteen, living and working in Hampden and Crary, in northeastern North Dakota, for four years, coming to Roseglen in 1908. She kept house for her brothers, Rudolph and George Haugen, for awhile, at the time when they were on the John Haugen farm, across the coulee from where Oscar was working for the Snippens.

Rudolph was spending much of his time with Lucinda Pollert, a neighbor to the east, and Clara and Robert were part of the Roseglen group of single folks. She met Oscar, and she and her brother decided on a double wedding in early 1916.

In preparation for the wedding, John Pederson took them to Garrison in his new automobile. From Garrison, they planned to go first to Bismarck so that the girls could buy new dresses, but somehow they left the train at Washburn, and were married by the county judge on January 4th. The day after the wedding, they continued on the Bismarck and spent a day shopping, taking the Soo Line back to Garrison the following day, where John Pederson met them for the return trip to Roseglen.

John was in no hurry to leave Garrison, although the newlyweds were anxious to get home. It was mid-afternoon before they finally left Garrison, where John drove them, not to their own farms, but to the John Snippen farm, where they found a big wedding supper prepared for them by Mrs. John Snippen.

Oscar and Clara Oien lived on a quarter section of land that he had bought from Hanson Rud in 1914, but when Rudolph decided to give up farming in 1917, they moved back to the John Haugen place to work with Clara's bachelor brother, George, and to keep house for him.

When John Haugens returned to his farm in 1918, the Oiens moved back to their own place. In 1923, Roseglen Township was organized, and Oscar was elected township clerk, a position he held until 1932. While the Immanuel congregation was meeting in the church basement, Oscar and Clara were caretakers there.

Clara was often called to help with sicknesses, births and deaths, serving as something of a practical nurse for the community.

In 1956, Oscar and Clara began spending winters in Minot and, in 1959, they moved to Minot to stay most of the year until 1965, when they were among the first to move into McLean Manor.

Wherever the Oiens have lived, their coffee pot was on, and a table was set for any visitors who happened by, and that includes many friends and neighbors.