Biography of Mrs. Lars O. Hitterdal of Goose Prairie Township Minnesota

Mrs. Lars O. Hitterdal, born in Lunner, Ringerike, Norway, in 1865, resided in a modern ten-room brick home in Goose Prairie Township, Clay County, Minnesota. She emigrated to the U.S. in 1875 with her mother, Christa Helgeson, and married Lars O. Hitterdal in 1883. Lars, born on April 26, 1858, in Norway, homesteaded in Clay County, overcoming early hardships to become a prosperous farmer with 500 acres of fertile land. After Lars’s death in 1900, Mrs. Hitterdal continued to manage their estate. She was known for her hospitality and rich stories of the early pioneer days in Clay County.

In one of the scenic locations along the charming lake of Hitterdal, on the northeast side, stands a modern brick residence with ten rooms, surrounded by a beautiful grove spanning several acres. This property is situated in Section 34 of Goose Prairie Township. Residing here is a warm-hearted lady whose hospitality knows no bounds, always ready with words of encouragement for anyone she encounters.

Mrs. Hitterdal, born in Lunner, Ringerike, Norway, in 1865, is the daughter of Klemmet and Christa (Halverson) Helgeson. Her mother, accompanied by Mrs. Hitterdal, made the journey to America in 1875 (for more details about Mrs. Hitterdal’s family, please refer to the biography of her brother, Mr. Helge Klemmetson, elsewhere in this publication). She grew up in humble surroundings, attended district schools, and, due to circumstances, received early training in household duties under her mother’s guidance. Her mother had endured years of hardships and suffering during pioneer life. However, Mrs. Hitterdal’s own experiences were different. The family emigrated to the United States when she was just ten years old. Becoming well-versed in the English language and familiar with American customs, she soon found her place in high society. She entered into a fortunate marriage in 1883 with Mr. Lars O. Hitterdal, with whom she enjoyed a happy life until his passing on November 21, 1900.

Lars O. Hitterdal, born in Norway on April 26, 1858, was the son of Ole and B (Larson) Hitterdal. The family immigrated to America when Lars was eleven years old, in 1869. During the first two years, they resided in Iowa, where they engaged in farming. In 1871, amidst the Great Chicago Fire, they relocated to Minnesota. Lars O. Hitterdal then claimed a homestead in Goose Prairie Township, Clay County, and, like many other pioneers, began his life’s journey with determination. Grasshoppers destroyed his crops in the initial years, compelling him to trap animals for sustenance while tirelessly working to improve his land, which he tilled using oxen. Their first dwelling was a hewn-log structure, where they lived for several years and welcomed the birth of their first child. Patience and perseverance were defining traits of both Mr. and Mrs. Hitterdal. After exerting considerable effort, success eventually smiled upon them. They soon emerged as among the most prosperous farmers in Clay County. At the time of Mr. Hitterdal’s passing, he owned 500 acres of the county’s most fertile land and a splendid two-story brick residence with ten rooms, complemented by spacious barns, granaries, and other commodious buildings.

The thriving town of Hitterdal bears the name of Mr. Ole Hitterdal, the esteemed pioneer father of our subject. It stands as one of the most prosperous towns in the Red River Valley, boasting a local bank, three general stores, a grain elevator, a hotel, churches, and other modern amenities. Serving as a prominent grain center, the town is adorned with numerous beautiful homes.

Mrs. Lars Hitterdal holds a treasure trove of captivating stories recounting the early days of Clay County. Having resided in the area since 1883, her home is always open, welcoming a multitude of dear friends.


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.

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