Biographies - V



"These Our Roots, The History of Fertile, 

Minnesota;" The Ulen Union, David G. Evans (Publisher), 1987, page 196

 "Nels L. Vesterheim born in 1865 at the Opheim farm in Voss, Norway, the son  of Lars Isakson Vesterheim and Ingjerd Opheim.  In 1884, he left Norway  together with one brother, Isak, and sisters, Gjertrud and Cecelia.  They  first lived at Ada, Minnesota and then moved to Fertile.  Gjertrude lived  with Nels and later married Fred Peterson.  Cecelia moved to Crookston and  married Mr. Knutson.  The brother, Isak, moved to Lengby. 

Mrs. Nels Vesterheim was Sigrid Moyard, born in 1864.  They were married on November  18, 1893, and opened a restaurant where the Town and County building now  stands.  There were five children, a son who died when a child and four  daughters, Ida, Christine, Leona and Inger.  As they grew up they all  worked with the parents in the business.  Christine married Chris Ormbreck  and lives in Ulen, Minnesota.  She has four sons, Harlan, who lives in  Fargo; Clayton, Neal and Paul who live with their mother.  Ida lived in  Fertile all of her life and died on September 14, 1973.  Lena lived in  Grand Forks and married Melvin Herndon.  She died in 1959.  They had  one daughter, Lois, who lives in Macungie, Pennsylvania.  Inger worked for  many years in Grand Forks, returned to Fertile and lives at the Sunshine  Courts. 

Mr. Vesterheim died in 1945 and Mrs. Vesterheim lived to be almost  95 years and died in 1961.  She was a very active worker in Concordia  Lutheran Church ladies aid.  She had attended aid meetings from the time  she was twelve years old back in Norway.  The first aid meeting she served  in Fertile was in the kitchen of the restaurant where she set the table in the  kitchen, served biscuits, sauce, cheese, jelly, cake and cookies and, of course,  coffee.  Another interesting fact is that Mr. Vesterheim built the house  where Jessie Halvorson now lives.  Later he sold this to Albert Gullickson,  who added to the size of the house, and the Vesterheim Family then bought the  Kankel house where Inger lived until five years ago.  This house is now  owned by G. Werner."


Jon  Raymond
St. Paul Park,  MN

submitted February 2006


Bicentennial History of Polk County, Minnesota: Pioneers of the Valley,
Polk County Historical Society, 1976, Copyright 1976, Taylor
Publishing Company, Dallas, Texas
page 136

Ole Syversen Viken and his wife Ingeborg Olsdatter Rud Viken together with Mr. Vikenís old mother Anna Knudsen Viken, and their three daughters Anna, Alice (Olaug), and Thora, immigrated to the United States from Nesbyen, Hallingdal, Norway in 1880.  They arrived first at Lanesboro, Minnesota, where Mr. Viken had a relative.  Later Mrs. Vikenís two brothers, Jurgen and Jens Rud, convinced them to take a homestead near them at Fertile in Polk County.  They arrived at Edna (New Beltrami) by train and took a claim near the Red Lake northeast of Fertile. 

Four sons were born in America: Syvert, Henry, Otto and Olaf.  Anna Viken married Andrew Stovern and pioneered at McIntosh; Alice Viken married Luther Fowler and resided in Two Rivers, Wisconsin; Thora married a Fertile school teacher, Mr. Orvik.  Syvert married and became a pioneer farmer near Portland, Oregon.  Henry was Chief of Police in Grand Forks, North Dakota.  Olaf married Anna Larson and resided at Blackduck.  Otto Joel Viken married Rose Morvig of Fertile.  Rose and Otto had seven children: Albert, Anges, Dora, Olga, Otis, Orpha and George.

submitted by Jon Raymond January 2003

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