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From “Pembina County Pioneer Daughter Biographies”



Mrs. Kristjan Skagfjord (Ásta Jónasdóttir), Mountain, North Dakota, was born in Iceland in 1836. They came to Dakota Territory in
Asta
Asta Scagfjord          
daughter of Jon and Sigurhlif
the spring of 1879, from Gimli, Manitoba. They came by boat to Pembina, N. D., then by wagon and ox-team to their homestead, nine miles west of Cavalier, N. D. The "Flat" between Pembina and Cavalier was almost a lake so the Skagfjord's tried to get a farm on higher ground, which proved to be very poor sandy soil, but it looked good to these pioneers as they had left floods and pestilence in Manitoba.
This Pioneer mother had just gone through a great trial. She had only two children, a boy eleven and a girl nine. Both died the same week from small-pox, which ravaged so many homes in the Gimli Settlement in 1877.   In her deep bereavement she was glad to make the change and come to a new country and in the adjustment  mend her broken heart.                                                                                                                                                                                                  She befriended a young girl and her fatherless son. Later this girl had a second son. She died when these children were very young and Mr. and Mrs. Skag­fjord adopted these two little boys. They loved them like their own. They felt God had thus helped them reconcile the lost of their children.
Mr. and Mrs. Skagfjord had some money when they homesteaded in Pembina County and built their home of lumber. This was the only frane house in the community. Today it would be considered small and inadequate. It was 14x16 ft, with an up­stairs room, unlined, with two windows at either end, the downstairs room had three large windows of 12 panes each. The room was lined with ceiling boards. Then a lean-to, 8 x 16 was added and used as a summer kitchen.
Mrs. Skagfjord was a cheerful neighbor and a good friend. She loved the family of her niece who lived on an adjoining farm and enjoyed the children in the home.
In 1902 the family moved back to Canada. She died there in 1908 at the age of 71 and is buried at Swan River, Manitoba.

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