Listen to the Weekly Radio Readings by Sheila Winstead, RCHS Board Member
Recorded April 2018
April 1 One of the ancestors described in the family history of Wayne T. Melby is Martin Tolleivson Tollefson. I found Wayne’s compilation of stories in the Roseau County Museum. It was written in 1986.
Considered one of the early pioneers to Roseau County, Martin Tollefson immigrated from Varhaug, Norway to the USA in 1888. Martin was the first ancestor in the Njaa family to leave Norway and homestead in Minnesota. Later he sent for his nephew, Tore Njaa, and he, too, settled in Roseau County. Martin was 28 years old when he left Varhaug, and the following interview by W. S. Adams of “The Roseau Times-Region” (in about 1953) relates some of the experiences Martin had during his early years of homesteading in northern Minnesota…
April 8 & 15 Wayne T. Melby’s story about his ancestors.
The Njaa descendants immigrated from Varhaug, Norway to the USA in the late 1800s. While farming had traditionally been the livelihood of the Njaa family, opportunities for the younger generation to continue farming in Norway were limited. Jobs on farms in the USA were abundant, and homesteading options were enticing to the new generation. Martin Tollefson immigrated to Roseau County first, and four years later his nephew, Tore Njaa, joined him. A short time later, two of Tore’s brothers, Ole and Sven, also made the decision to immigrate, but unlike Martin and Tore, they encountered serious medical problems and died not many years after their arrival. Martin farmed on his homestead west of Roseau while Tore took over his brother’s homestead south of Wannaska and continued to farm it…
April 22 & 29 In the early days of the county, Thor Kveen was the funeral director and furniture store operator in Roseau. He died at age forty-four during the flu epidemic of 1918. His widow, Julia Listug Kveen, was left with a business to run and a family to raise. She asked for help from her brother Carl Listug and sister Anna Listug, and after some years they became joint owners of the business with their sister Julia. Carl attended the University of Minnesota where he studied and received his certification as Funeral Director, and the business became known as Kveen & Listug.
Thank you to for letting us share the history of our county with your listeners.