Even Olsen Reiersgaarden, born on December 1, 1851, grew up on a farm in Norway. He immigrated to the United States in 1875, settling in Minnesota. After facing numerous challenges, including the loss of his wives, he eventually became a respected member of the Ulen community. In 1907, he moved to Sask, Canada, where he still resides.
Even Olsen Reiersgaarden, the subject of this sketch, was born on December 1, 1851. His parents were Ole and Anne Olson, who owned a farm called Reiersgaarden in Hallingdal, Buskerud Amt, Norway. Even Olsen received a good education in the common schools held in farmhouses for approximately six weeks each year during the winter. From the age of six until he reached adulthood, he worked for various farmers. Even was a naturally talented student and consistently ranked at the top of his class, both in school and during his confirmation. He had one sister, Anne, who still resides in Norway, and two brothers, Ole, who came to Clay County in 1881 and passed away in the spring of 1898, and Torger, who arrived in Clay County a few years later and still resides here.
Mr. Even Reiersgaarden married Miss Guri Ellingsen Bentehaugen in Norway in 1874. In 1875, their eldest son, Ole, was born. Even left for the United States the same year, with Mrs. Reiersgaarden following in 1876. They initially settled in Houston County, Minnesota, where they lived for about one year. In 1877, they moved to Clay County and lived with Bjorn Hendrickson for one year. The following year, Even obtained a tree claim in Section 10 of the town of Ulen, but later abandoned it and acquired a homestead in Section 10 of the town of Hagen in 1880. They resided there for over twenty years. In March 1888, Even’s wife passed away, leaving him with six young children: Ole, Annie, Ellen, Julius, Carrie, and Oluf. Over the next two years, Mr. Reiersgaarden faced significant challenges in raising and caring for his children while also working on his farm. In 1891, he married Miss Julia Halvorson, who proved to be a good wife and mother to his children. They had four more children together: Edward, Gilbert, Bertinus, and Hilman. In 1898, Mrs. Reiersgaarden contracted diphtheria and passed away. However, by this time, the family was in better circumstances, owning a well-improved whole section of land with comfortable buildings.
In 1902, Mr. Reiersgaarden purchased a house and some lots in Thief River Falls and relocated there. Two years later, he bought 160 acres of land six miles northwest of Thief River Falls, where he resided for two years. He eventually distributed his land among his children for a small consideration and lived in the vicinity of Ulen for two more years. In 1907, he moved to Sask, Canada, where he acquired a homestead and has since lived alone. Even is a man of excellent character and willpower, and the hardships and experiences of his earlier life are evident on his face. He was highly regarded as one of the best citizens in the Ulen community.
C.F. Cooper & Company, History of the Red River Valley, Past And Present: Including an Account of the Counties, Cities, Towns And Villages of the Valley From the Time of Their First Settlement And Formation, volumes 1-2; Grand Forks: Herald printing company, 1909.