Kittson County Historical Society

Kittson profiles and photos from the past and present


Siggestad school

Uncertain of the location of the Siggestad school.  My great aunt Annie Edith Larter Johnson was the teacher at the school in about 1916.

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Latest Activity: Apr 18, 2018

The lady on the left in the back row is Annie Edith Larter Johnson, b. 1893 in Kittson County, d. 1926 in Minneapolis MN, and was a teacher at the school.  The man to her left in in coat and tie is her husband, Peter Johnson, b. unk., d. 1930 in Freeport TX.  Peter and Annie were married in 1916.  They had two children, Freeman and Grace Johnson.  The children were subsequently raised by George and Mary Larter Smolak who lived in Lancaster MN.  This is a family photo and none of the others in the picture are identified.  According to Minnesota Place Names, a book published by the Minnesota Historical Society, Siggestad was a farmers post office, 1902-17, 12 miles northeast of Hallock in Hill Township; Ole Peterson, its postmaster, was a jeweler and watch repairer.  Online access to the above referenced publication;

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Comment by Skip Smolak Rither on March 24, 2014 at 11:01pm

Additional reflection and research indicate that the location of Siggestad school given in the Minnesota Place Names book is likely incorrect.  First,  Hill Township is not northeast of Hallock.  Hill Township is northwest of Hallock.  Second, in 1916, a news item in the Lancaster Herald reported that "Siggestad came near losing their postoffice last Saturday.  Miss Lydia Peterson who has been postmistress for a couple years, resigned and the Postmaster general ordered the office discontinued as no one applied for the position.  Last week Miss Sadie Mulzof drew up a petition to have herself appointed postmistress and received enough signers.  The post office is now at the John Mulzof home."

The John Mulzof home was located in McKinley Township, SW 1/4 of Section 24.  This would be about 12 miles northeast of Hallock.

Comment by Marcy Johnson on March 25, 2014 at 10:13am

I agree with you that the MN Place Names is wrong. I have accessed the US Appointment of US Postmaster from 1832 to 1871. For Siggestad in Kittson County it lists the following as appointed Postmasters:

  • Ole Peterson was appointed postmaster on July 9, 1903. In the 1905 census, Ole Peterson is listed as a jeweler and lives in Township 162N 45W Peatland Township. He homesteaded in 1905 on – SE1/4 section 6, 162N 45W, Peatland Township, Kittson Co., MN.

  • Ida Ekholm was appointed postmaster on January 6, 1904. In the 1905 census for Peatland Township, Ida is living with her parents, Nels and Anna (Holmgren) Ekholm.

  • Iver Norum was appointed postmaster on May 2, 1905.

  • Nels Ehrenstrom was appointed postmaster on July 29, 1909. In the 1910 census for Peatland Township, Nels and family are living there.

  • Lydia Peterson was appointed postmaster on October 18, 1913.

Siggestad postoffice was dissolved on April 3, 1917 – effective April 30, 1917. Mail was then sent to Lancaster, Minnesota. [Source: U.S. Appointments of U.S. Postmasters 1832-1971


  • Siggestad is a Scandanivan name and the first postmaster, Ole Peterson, was born in Sweden. [Source: 1905 US census for 162N 45W (later became Peatland Township)]

  • Kittson Co. Atlas – 1912 stated: “Ehrenstrom, N. G. - Proprietor - the Siggestad Farm and Breeder   lives in Section 6, Twp. 162N 45W, Peatland Township, PO Siggestad.” [Source: 1912 Kittson County Atlas]

Comment by Louise Coffield on September 23, 2014 at 12:41am

I agree that Marcy is correct on the above information.  I recently confirmed it with Lloyd Farbo, a lifetime 94 year old member of the area.  He said the school was just 1/2 mile east of the Alton Ekholm farm on Kittson County Road # 25 and then 1/2 mile south off that road in Peatland Township.  Minnesota Place names is wrong.

Comment by Skip Smolak Rither on October 7, 2014 at 11:06pm

A Bit of History from Minnesota, translated from “Nordmændene i Amerika” by Martin Ulvestad. 1907.

Posted: 3 Dec 2004 6:01AM
Classification: Query
Kittson County, Minnesota
A. C. Teien, from Drammen was, as far as is known, the first Norwegian to settle in this county. He settled in the area that now bears his name, in 1879.
G. Medso from Overhalden was the first in the area of Hallock.
And B. M. Bothun, from Bergen, the first at Beaton.
About the journey to America, one of the oldtimers (one who first lived in Wisconsin) had this to say, "I came to America on a little brig from Kristiania. That was in 1862. We were 82 days on the trip from Norway to Quebec and 16 days on the trip inland. During two terrible storms, herring bunkers and boxes and everything else on the deck was washed to sea. During one of the storms we lost all the rigging. Masts, yards and sails - everything went overboard . while the one wave after the other washed over the vessel. We all thought that our time had come. One could hear many cries to God for mercy for our souls. We did not soon forget the danger we had faced. Finally we came ashore. It took 16 days before we reached our destination. The trip through the country was also long and unpleasant also. What a difference there is in an America trip, then and now!"
Skjeberg congregation, founded in the Town of Teien in 1883 by Pastor Iver Tharalfsen, of the Norwegian Conference, was the first Norwegian congregation in the county. There are now 11 Norwegian congregations and 8 churches, 6 belongoing to The United Church, 3 to The Lutheran Free Church, 1 to The Norwegian Synod and 1 to Hauge's Synod.
Ole Holter was the first Norwegian to hold a public position in the county.
P. M. Hendricks is so far the only Norwegian who has represented Kittson County in the State Legislature.
Places with Norwegian names: Norway, Teien, Reinholt, Visby and Siggestad.
Translated by: Olaf Kringhaug
Vernon, British Columbia, Canada
All material on this page was translated by Olaf Kringhaug from Norwegian . All Rights Reserved. Republication or redistribution of content or any derivative work for "private use only" is permitted, as long as users acknowledge and attribute any use of material found on this website to Olaf Kringhaug. All rights reserved. No part of this website may be reproduced or reused for commercial use without written consent from Olaf Kringhaug and Margit Bakke.
Comment by Skip Smolak Rither on October 7, 2014 at 11:21pm

I have had additional contact with Margit Bakke.  She was instrumental in the translation of the book.  She could not provide any further details about Siggestad School, Siggestad, or Kittson County.  It is unknown if the book “Nordmændene i Amerika” by Martin Ulvestad. 1907 is extant, and, if it is, where it is located.  As it relates to the history of Kittson County, its availability in Norwegian or English would be worth pursuing.

Comment by Skip Smolak Rither on November 4, 2014 at 7:48pm

I have obtained the three volume set of "Norwegians in America, their History and Record: A translated version of the 1907 and 1913 "Normaendene i Amerika, deres Historie og Rekord"  by Martin Ulvestad.  The three volume set will be donated to the Kittson County Historical Society. 

Comment by Skip Smolak Rither on November 24, 2014 at 11:44am

The books were delivered to the KCHS museum last week and are now available for use.

Comment by Skip Smolak Rither on April 18, 2018 at 4:24pm

The place-name Siggestad appears on a map in the booklet, The Land of Ten Thousand Lakes over Jefferson Highway Minnesota.  The highway began in New Orleans, Louisiana, and ended in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.  On page 73, a map shows the route of one segment of the Jefferson Highway beginning at Thief River Falls and ending at Emerson, Manitoba, Canada.  The place name Siggestad appears northeast of Bronson.   Publication date of the booklet is unknown.  The legal description of the Jefferson Highway was filed with the Minnesota Department of Highways in 1917.  The booklet contains an advertisement for the Main Motor Sales Co. auto dealership (established in 1919 and still in business in 2018) in Anoka Minnesota.


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