Biography of Torkle Austinson of Ulen, Minnesota

Torkle Austinson, father of Mr. A. T. Austinson, a prominent politician of Ulen township, was born in Hallingdohl, Norway, July 6, 1826, and is now living with his son, in Ambrose, North Dakota. He married Miss Gure Oleson, in Norway, in 1854. She was born, October 7, 1819, and died in the village of Ulen, in 1904, at the age of eighty-three. They emigrated to the United States, in the spring of 1868, in a sailing vessel called “Nordna;” it was a three months’ voyage, provisions ran out, almost causing starvation among the passengers. They first settled in Primrose township, Dane county, Wisconsin, where they remained until 1869, and then moved to Freeborn county, Minnesota, and lived there until 1871, and again started overland in company with Andrew Larson, for Clay county, and located in Ulen township, where they took possession of the claim cabin of Arne Evans, in section 28, but remained but a short time, being frightened away by some land sharks claiming it Indian Script land. He again moved to section 27, Goose Prairie township, and that became railroad land, so he again moved, and this time located in section 26, where he proved up a homestead and remained until 1887, then sold out to his son, and moved into the village of Ulen, to his sons.

Mr. and Mrs. Austinson had a family of three children, viz. : A. T. Austinson, Susie, now the wife of Hans Hanson, and Julia, wife of O. S. Naserad, postmaster of Hitterdal.

This venerable couple were charter members of the Lutheran Church, of Goose Prairie township, and their first child, A. T., was the first to be confirmed in that pioneer church.


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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