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  On Norwegian Settlement in the United States
  On Norwegian Settlement in Illinois
  On Norwegian Settlement in Iowa
  - - - - - On Norwegian Settlement in Central Iowa- - - - -
    General History     Church History     Newspapers     County History     Town History

On Norwegian Settlement in the United States

Blegen, Theodore C., Norwegian Migration to America 1825-1860. New York: Haskell House Publishers, Ltd., 1969; reprint of 1931 ed.

———. Norwegian Migration to America: The American Transition. New York: Haskell House Publishers Ltd., 1969; reprint of 1940 ed.

Flom, George T. A History of Norwegian Immigration to the United States. Bowie, Md.: Heritage Books, 1992; reprint of 1909 ed.

Rolvaag, O. E. "The Vikings of the Middle West." The American Magazine 107 (October 1929): 44-47, 83-86.

On Norwegian Settlement in Illinois

Eightieth Anniversary, Lisbon Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession: The Word Alone, Grace Alone, Faith Alone . Lisbon, Illinois, 1934.

Qualey, Carlton C. "The Fox River Norwegian Settlement." Quarterly Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 27 (1934): 133-177.

Strand, A. E. A History of the Norwegians of Illinois. Chicago: John Anderson Publishing Company, 1905.

On Norwegian Settlement in Iowa

Bergmann, Leola Nelson. "A Century of Immigration," "Immigrants in Iowa," & "The Scandinavians Come to Iowa." The Palimpsest 37 (March 1956): 129 -161.

———. "They Came to Iowa," "Their Way of Life," "Their Occupations," "Church and School," "The Press," & "Politics." The Palimpsest 40 (August 1959): 289 -369.

Flom, George T. "The Coming of the Norwegians to Iowa." Iowa Journal of History and Politics 3 (July 1905): 347-383.

———. "The Growth of the Scandinavian Factor in the Population of Iowa." Iowa Journal of History and Politics 4 (April 1906): 267-285.

Gronlid, I. Rudolph. "The Beginnings of Norwegian Settlement in Iowa." Master's thesis, State University of Iowa, 1928.

Qualey, Carlton C. "On Into Iowa." Chap. 4 in Norwegian Settlement in the United States. Northfield, Minnesota: Norwegian-American Historical Association, 1938.

Swanson, H. Fred. "The Norse in Iowa to 1870." Ph.D. thesis, State University of Iowa, 1936.

On Norwegian Settlement in Central Iowa

General History

Barnes, George, Amos A. Lande, & Lars H. Larson. History of the Lande Clan. N.p., 1932; revised in 1968 by the Revision Committee.

Dyrvik, Ståle. "Den Tidlege Utvandringa Frå Indre Sunnhordland." In Etne Sogelag Årsskrift, 1986, [Etne, Norway], 1986.

Hall, M. R. Biography of Siri Hall, 1845-1926, and M. J. Hall, 1844 -1926. N.p., N.d.

Hansen, Carl G. O. "Glimt fra Livet i det Norske Amerika." Minneapolis Tidende, 17 November 1932-9 January 1933.

H., M. [Marc. Helleland]. "Litt om utvandringa frå Etne til USA kring midten av 1800-talet." Haugesunds Avis, 3 April 1970.

Haugland, Anders. "Den tidlege utvandringa frå Skånevik." In Etne Sogelag Årbok 1988, [Etne, Norway], 1988.

Haugland, Paul. "Letter to Hans [Kjærland]." In Utvandringa til Amerika: Kvinnhers-Minne Årbok for Kvinnherad VIII. Kvinnherad Sogelag of Husnes Mållag: [Kvinnherad, Norway], 1996.

Havneros, Ivar. History of St. Petri Congregation from its foundation June 1857 to its 50th Jubilee, June 1907. N.p. 1907; Translated by Rachel Vangness under the title "Minde Blad" English Translation.

Henderson, Historical Events and Reminiscences of The St. Petri Lutheran Congregation, Story City, Iowa, and its Present Day Activities. N.p., 1932.

———. "My Years in Story County." The Annals of Iowa 30 (1951): 604-616.

Hodnefield, Jacob. "The Story County Colony of 1855." The Annals of Iowa 33 (July 1955): 34-43.

———. "Iowa Life 1875-1925: The Story of a Central Iowa Community of Norwegian Immigrants and Their Descendants." 1955; In Norwegian-American Historical Association Archives, Northfield, Minnesota.

Holand, Hjalmar Rued. "Lidt Nybyggerhistorie: Stavanger og Hordaland Kolonien in midtre Iowa." Decorah-Posten, 6 February 1906.

———. "The Stavanger and Hordaland Colony in Central Iowa." Chap. 54 in De Norske Settlementers Historie, Ephraim, Wisconsin, 1909; Translated by Jacob Hodnefield. In Norwegian-American Historical Association Archives, Northfield, Minnesota.

Kolle, Nils. "På sporet eiter Bømlo-emigrantar (2): Gjensyn med Lars Steinsland." Bømlo-nytt, 22 July 1983.

Larson, Carrie O. ed. Larson Family History. Des Moines, Iowa, 1980.

Larson, Fred. W. The Story of the Larson Clan. N.p. 1936; Additions by Silas B. Larson, 1972, Edited by Darryl D. Larson, 1988.

Mason, John M. ["Biography of John Michaelson."] Roland Record, 18 June 1902.

Nelson, Oley. En kort historie af det forste norske settlement i Story og Polk counties, Iowa. Chicago, 1905; republished in English by the author in 1930 under the title A Brief History of the First Norwegian Settlement of Story and Polk Counties, Ia. 1855-1905; and re-compiled, corrected and added to by Anfin Apland in 1945 under the same title; [1905 ed. also translated by Jacob Hodnefield. In Norwegian-American Historical Association Archives, Northfield, Minnesota].

Nelson, Sam J. and Katherine C. History of Farmers Mutual Insurance Association of Central Iowa, Roland, Iowa. N.p., [1960].

Peterson, Henry J. [Henry J. Peterson's Memoirs.?] N.p., N.d.

Ritland, Everett. A Son of the Norsemen: Memoirs of Everett Ritland. 2nd ed. N.p., 1984.

Ritland, John. "John Ritland's Civil War Story." Transcribed by N. Tjernagel, The Story City Herald, 9-30 March 1922.

Severeid, Mrs. E. L. "Reminiscences of Pioneer Life." In [Chronology and Historical Notes?], by Severson, Geo. J. M.D., comp. Slater, Iowa, N.d.

Severson, Glen. Rasmus Jonsen and Anne Margrethe Berentsen: My Norwegian Grandparents. N.p., N.d.

Sheldahl, Stephen A. Searching For Roots: A Study of Ancestors. Northglenn, Colorado: Scudder Press, 1997.

Soldat, Bretta Carol Espe. The Espe and Prestegaard Families of Norway: Covering 1,000 years of their history and genealogy. 2 vols. N.p. 1992.

Takla, Knud. "Stort Norsk Settlement." Skandinaven, 14 July 1900.

———. Det norske folk i de Forenede Stater: deres daglige liv og økonomiske stilling historik over Amerikalandets fremtids-muligheter for en invandrer. . . Kristiania, [Oslo]: Stenersen, 1913.

Thompson, K. B. "Many Attend Old Settlers Picnic." The Cambridge Leader, 1 July 1920.

Thompson, Malinda Ann. Biography: Peder Christian Heggem and wife Anna Serina. N.p., 1926.

Tjernagel, Peder Gustav. The Follinglo Dog Book: A Norwegian Pioneer Story From Iowa. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1999; reprint of 1909 ed. with prologue and epilogue by Peter Tjernagel Harstad.

Tjernagel, N. "Little Stories of Pioneer Days," [and other titles]. Weekly column in The Story City Herald, 16 February 1922-5 July 1923.

———. "The Sheldahl School." The Palimpsest 12 (September 1931): 359-369.

———. "The Last Horse Robbery." The Palimpsest 12 (October 1931): 373-380.

———. "The Riverside Band." The Palimpsest 13 (May 1932): 202-214.

———. "Angels of the Sick Room." The Palimpsest 23 (September 1942): 298-304.

———. "Immigrants' Trying Experiences." The Annals of Iowa 31 (July 1951): 64-71.

———. "Pioneer Iowa Homes." The Annals of Iowa 31 (October 1951): 146-151.

———. "Variable Iowa Weather." The Annals of Iowa 31 (January 1952): 205-214.

———. "Pioneer Foods and Water Supply." The Annals of Iowa 31 (April 1952): 276-299.

———. "Pioneer Iowa Soil Subjugation." The Annals of Iowa 31 (October 1952): 417-443.

———. "Pioneer Animal Lore." The Annals of Iowa 31 (April 1953): 595-611.

———. "Prairie Fires Menaced Settlers." The Annals of Iowa 32 (July 1953): 32-37.

———. "Pioneer Church Fathers." The Annals of Iowa 32 (January 1954): 217-225.

Travass, Erik Arnesen. "Litt om De Første Settlere i Story County." 1888. In Hjemve: Norske Digte og Fortællinger. Samlet og utgit av hans datter, Anna Travaas Gilbert, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1925.

Twedt, Arlen. Biographies of Arlen Twedt's Ancestors: From Story County, Iowa, U.S.A and Etne & Kvinnherad, Norway. N.p., 1985.

———. Emigration From Helvik: Descendants of Anders Axelson (Mowat) Helvik Who Emigrated to Iowa 1852-1892. N.p., 1993.

———. "The Coming of the Norwegians to Central Iowa." Historical talk presented at the Sons of Norway meeting, Story City, Iowa, November 22, 1993.

———. "The Coming of the Norwegians to Central Iowa: 1860 - 1880." Historical talk presented at the Sons of Noway meeting, Story City, Iowa, February 24, 1997.

———. "Rasmus Sheldahl's Pioneer Story." Historical talk presented at the Singles in Agriculture meeting, Story City, Iowa, December 4, 1999.

Weltha, David. "A Look at My Ancestors." Paper prepared at St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota, 1954.

Church History

This section is curently being researched. It will contain a listing of all the Norwegian-Lutheran churches that were organized in Story, Polk, Hamilton, and Hardin counties and the principal history for each congregation.


The news of central Iowa Norwegians was printed in the community newspapers for Ames, Cambridge, Ellsworth, Huxley, Jewell, McCallsburg, Nevada, Radcliffe, Randall, Roland, Sheldahl, Slater, Stanhope, Story City, and Webster City. The newspaper titles and their dates of publication can be found in the following bibliography:

The Iowa Pilot Project of the Organization of American Historians-Library of Congress United States Newspaper Project, comp. A Bibliography of Iowa Newspapers, 1836 -1876. Iowa State Historical Department/Division of the State Historical Society, 1979.

The State Historical Society of Iowa has copies of many of these newspapers in Des Moines and Iowa City. The copy for a specific time period will normally be in one location or the other, but not both. Consult the "Union List" of newspaper holdings to determine if copies of the newspaper are available and at what location or contact either library at 600 E. Locust, Des Moines, Iowa, 50319-0290, phone: 515-281-6200 or 402 Iowa Avenue, Iowa City, Iowa, 52240-1806, phone: 319-385-3916.

Another newspaper containing information about central Iowa Norwegians was the Visergutten. A microfilmed copy, for 1896 to 1939, is available at Preus Library, Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, 52101, phone: 319-387-1166.

County History

Hamilton County:

A Biographical Record of Hamilton County, Iowa. New York: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1902.

Biographical Record and Portrait Album of Hamilton and Wright Counties, Iowa. Chicago: Lewis Biographical Publishing Co., 1889.

Lee, J. W. History of Hamilton County, Iowa. 2 vols. Chicago: The J. S. Clarke Publishing Company, 1912.

Nass, Martin E. Hamilton County: Its Towns and Settlements. Webster City, Iowa: Hahne Printing Co., 1976.

———. Bibliography for Hamilton County: Its Towns and Settlements. N.p., 1976.

Radio Station KQWC and Hamilton County Historical Society. The History of Hamilton County, Iowa, 1985. Dallas, Texas: Curtis Media Corporation, 1986.

Hardin County:

Hardin County Historical Society, comp. History of Hardin County, Iowa. Dallas, Texas: Taylor Publishing Co., 1981.

History of Hardin County, Iowa. Springfield, Ill.: Union Publishing Company, 1883.

Moir, Hon. William J., ed. Past and Present of Hardin County, Iowa. Indianapolis, Indiana: B. F. Bowen & Company, 1911.

Polk County:

Brigham, Johnson. Des Moines together with the history of Polk County, Iowa. 2 vols. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1911.

Union Historical Company. The History of Polk County, Iowa. Des Moines: Union Historical Company, 1880.

Story County:

Allen, William G. A History of Story County Iowa from the Earliest Settlement to the Present. Des Moines: Iowa Printing Co., 1887.

Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Story County, Iowa. Chicago: Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1890.

Heubinger, M. Atlas of Story County, Iowa, containing maps of cities, villages, and townships of the county. Davenport, Iowa: The Heubinger Surveying and Map Publishing Co., 1902.

Payne, W. O. History of Story County, Iowa: A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievement. 2 vols. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.

Town History


Allen, Minne Elisabeth. "A Historical and Sociological Study of a Rural town in Central Iowa." Master's thesis, Iowa State College, 1929.

Hill, Mathilda, "History of Cambridge." [Cambridge Leader?]. N.d.


Tjernagel, Henrietta. "Christytown, USA '81." N.p., 1981.


Members of the Ellsworth Historical Society. The Centennial Story of Ellsworth 1880-1980: A Look back, a Step forward. New Providence, Iowa: Providence Printing, 1980.

Garden City:

"The History of and Founding of Garden City." In Radcliffe Community Folks & Facts, edited by Caleb & Luis Knutson. Taylor Pub. Co., [1980?].


Hagen, Jo Ann. Gilbert, Iowa, 1879-1979: Historical Perspectives. N.p., 1976.


Freeland, Esta & Gladys B. Willert, comp. & ed. The Huxonian: Huxley Centennial, 1882-1982. Ames, Iowa: Sigler Publishing, 1982.


Peterson, Keith, Chairman, et. al. Jewell: The Gem, 1881-1981. N.p., 1981.


Whisenand, Merlene Meldrem. Kelley, Iowa: My Kind of Town. N.p., 1997.


Dillin, Mrs. James R., comp. & ed. McCallsburg Centennial 1869-1969. N.p., 1969.


Knutson, Caleb & Luis, ed. Radcliffe Community Folks & Facts. Taylor Pub. Co., [1980?].


Holt, Mrs. Albert. History of Randall, Iowa, and Adjoining Areas: 1673 -1976. N.p., 1976.


Birkland, Henry. History of Roland, Iowa. N.p., 1962.

Centennial History Committee. A History of Roland, Iowa, 1870-1970. Roland, Iowa: The Record, 1970.


Anderson, May. "The Rosendale Story". Trail Tales 26 (1976): 18-22. Also reprinted in the Story City Herald with other articles about Rosendale, 23 Jun 1982.


[Bryant, Minnie Burkey & Maurine Bryant, comp.] History Book: Sheldahl, Iowa. N.p., [1974].


[Centennial History Book Committee?] I Remember Slater, Iowa. Lake Mills, Iowa: Gaphic Publishing Company, Inc. [1989].


History Book Committee. Stanhope 1869-1976. N.p., 1976.

Story City:

Olson, Paul A. "Panorama of Forty-three Years as a Country Editor." Historical Supplement to The Story City Herald, 8 April 1948.

Olson, Paul A. and sons. "Anniversary Number 1940." Story City Herald: Story City, Iowa, 1940.

"Blowing Off the Dust." In A Family Album, compiled and edited by Jil Ose, Story City, Iowa: The Record Publishing Co., 1976.

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