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Ole Forland and Mary Evensen Forland

Heritage of the High Country-
A History of Del Bonita and surrounding Districts
Pages 338-339
written by Eula Rasmussen

Ole Forland was born in Kassin, Minnesota on October 10, 1865. He was the fourth child of Andrew Oleson and Sarah (Gunderson) Forland of Norway.

Ole married Mary or "Marie" Evensen about 1884. She was born in Christiania, Norway, May 25, 1864, the daughter of Even and Anne Kathrine (Rustand) Nilssen of Norway.

Mary was a very good seamstress and sewed for many of the pioneer families of the Turtle Lake Country. She also served as midwife, when there was need for one.

Ole homesteaded eight miles northeast of Turtle Lake, N.D. In 1902 he moved from Turtle Lake to McLean county and helped with the harvest of flax. Ole came from there to Lethbridge, Alberta looking for work in about 1908. His wife Mary and the four younger children, Manda, Alice, Edwiti, and a daughter came later. They stayed for a few years, then Mary and the younger children returned to Bismark. Mary died May 24, 1917 and is buried in Bismark.

Ole and Mary had nine children, Anna, Alfred, Emma, Alma, Clara, Manda, Alice, Edwin, and a daughter who is the only one living and is now eighty years old.

Ole lived with Pete and Alice (his daughter) helping at different times, herding the sheep and helping out where ever he could. A grandson, tells of the good crop of potatoes that Ole raised one summer, as high as twenty potatoes to the hill.

Ole stayed and bought a quarter section of land in the Lens district. This was in the late twenties. He farmed this land for several years.

Ole was a carpenter by trade. He built a few houses in this area. The story is told of Ole when he was up on a rafter and it began to break. Ole being of Norwegian descent, spoke broken English. Harry Boyd yelled, "Jump Ole, jump!. Ole replied, "How can I yump if I've no place to stood.

One time when Ole, Pete and some of the children were standing in the corral Pete said, "Watch that old buck Ole, he's eying you up". Ole said, "Oh he won't hurt nobody". Just then the old buck let go and pow! He hit the post that Ole was leaning on and knocked him down. They all had a good laugh.

Ole was a fun type sort of a guy and he liked a good time. For a pastime in the winter he operated a small still, made rye whiskey, and entertained his friends.

One time while Ole and some of the guys were coming home from town, it was very muddy. The old cars at that time didn't have much power. They got stuck coming up a hill and they all got out to push. Ole fell down in the mud. He just rolled over and said, "I'm taking a bath."

A granddaughter, tells that Ole helped to lay the cement side walks in Lethbridge. Ole sold his place in Lens and walked across the border. He went to California where his daughter and son Edwin lived. He stayed at Edwin's.

Ole died of a heart attack, March 18, 1934 in Longbeach, California. He is buried in Westminster Memorial Park, California.

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Copyright 2000
Mary Tollestrup