Andrew Pedersen Nackerud was born in
Nakkerud, Norway (Nakkerud is a railroad station and post office
north of Oslo) on February 2, 1878. He married Gunhilda Marie
Skugstad in the late 1800s. Gunhilda die in 1915 of tuberculosis
after bearing five sons. Andrew remarried
a woman in the St. Olaf community by the name of Julia Olson.
Andrew and Julia had two children: Margie and Rodney.
Descendants Andrew's father
was Petter Andersen Nakkerud (birth date 1849) and his mother was Kari
G. Krodsherred (birth date 1853). Jon Nackerud (Franz Nackerud's
son) has traced the family back to the parents of Petter and Kari.
AP's Family Tree back to 1600's! (PDF
Occupation Andrew was
trained as a painter in Norway and upon his arrival in Walnut Grove,
he worked as a painter as short time before he became a farmer. He rented
a farm south of Walnut Grove on what is now known as the "Gullickson"
farm. Andrew was in partnership with H.E. Hanson, the owner of
the farm, in raising cattle. Mr. Hanson served as the Postmaster
in Windom and witnessed Andrew's petition to become a citizen.
Farm The farm is located on County Road 14 about five miles
south of Walnut Grove and just a half mile from the St. Olaf Lutheran
Church. Later, when he married Julia, they purchased a 160 acre farm
on the NE corner of the same section. Rodney Nackerud, Andrew's
youngest, now lives on that farm.
Andrew's Character Andrew
was a gentle person from stories I have every heard. My mother,
Bernita Nackerud, was especially fond of him as were all his children.
Language Andrew loved
the USA and learned the English language quickly. He spoke very
little Norwegian after learning English except when he was talking with
his male friends or when he didn't want his children to overhear some
tidbit. Both my father (Rolf Nackerud) and Aunt Margie Bakken-Nackerud
have told me that their father repeatedly said, "We are in America now
so we will have to speak English".
Margie tells a wonderful story about her father (Andrew) and her mother
(Julie) speaking Norwegian in order to exchange some news that they
didn't want the kids to know about. Over time, Aunt Margie kept
asking what different Norwegian words meant and soon she was able to
understand her parents speaking in Norwegian. She relates, "They
caught onto me so they had to stopped speaking in Norwegian while I
was around to hear them."
Citizenship Andrew petitioned
the District Court of Cottonwood County on July 5, 1906 to become a
citizen of the USA. H.E. Hanson (business partner and owner of
the farm that Andrew farmed) witnessed Andrew's petition to become a
citizen. The other witness was Andrew's long-time friend, Helgi Johnson
of Westbrook. Andrew was admitted to be become a citizen of the
United States of America, on November 9, 1909.
St. Olaf Community Observing
the mail boxes as you approach St. Olaf Lutheran south of Walnut Grove,
you will notice all the "Norwegian" names. Growing up in the 40s,
I recall at least six Bakken families in the area along with Knutson,
Steen, Anderson, Kleven, Osland, Heggerston, etc.
The church was and still is the center
of activity for families. My family was part of this community
until we moved into town in the early 40s. During trips to visit
relatives, I fell in love with this area and the peaceful lives they
led. My goal was to be a farmer which eventually changed after
I realized all the hard work involved.
Hard Work and Clean Living
In the 30s - 60s farmers had to pool their resources. Must of
the farm equipment was jointly owned. This was the time when farmers
worked together as a group because of the manpower required for activities
such as thrashing the grain and putting up hay. I recall five families
(three Bakkens, Rodney Nackerud, and Harry Heggerston) owning on of
the first baler in the area. Working with my Uncle Rodney on the farm
in the summers, I never heard one curse word during the times I helped
on the farm. And things frequently went wrong; equipment breaking,
milk cows kicking, and pigs breaking out of the barn yard.