Oscar Simonson

Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Simonson
by Mrs. Simonson (written in 1967)

In the fall of 1915, I came to Minot, North Dakota from Leeds, North Dakota, where it was learned that I could get a quarter of land by drawing a lucky number; 336 happened to be the lucky number for me.

In the spring of 1916, I came out here with my brother, Matt, and he built my homestead shack. We continued to live on the land until I proved it up, which took fourteen months.

None of the homesteaders close by had any wells, so we had to carry water several miles for cooking and drinking. We finally got a well dug, so our trouble was over, so far as water was concerned.

To pass the time away, a bunch of us homesteaders, perhaps seven or eight of us, would drive to one another's place, play whist, have coffee and lunch until the wee hours of the morning. At one homesteader's place, who happened to be Lars Nesvig, who was from my hometown, we stayed all night, played whist and danced to the music of a mouth organ. Before we left, he served breakfast consisting of a huge plate of fried beefsteak and a big stack of pancakes. It all tasted so good.

My two sisters, Alma and Clara, came to visit my brother and me, so in the meantime, Alma and I rented Connors Restaurant, and we served meals to many of the homesteaders and others. In the fall of 1921, our sister, Edna, came up here to teach school. She taught the Fines' school and other schools in McLean County.

My brother, Matt, farmed the land until I got married to Oscar Simonson, which was October 9, 1930. We continued farming until we sold our land to Ernest Giffey, Jr. We then went out to Milton, Washington, where we purchased a home and lived there for two years. We sold our place out there and came back to North Dakota, and purchased a home in Garrison where we are now living.