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Upham Centennial Book


Einar Jonsson Breidfjord
by Thuridur Ingiborg Breidfjord Olafson

Einar Jonsson Breidjfjord and Gudny Jonasdottir were married in Borgum, Skorgarstrond
Einar Breidfjord and his wife Gudny
Willhelm and Thura
Breidfjord
Iceland in 1891. Einar was born August 2, 1864 in Laugum in Hvammssveit, Iceland, Gudny March 30, 1873, Borgum Skorgarstrond, Iceland. They lived with his parents until they sailed to America in 1894. The first Thuridur was born in Iceland and she was about three months old when they sailed. She passed away a few weeks after their arrival. Her name was the same as mine Thuridur Ingiborg. The summer they came from Iceland, Dad herded sheep for a living. They made their home with my grandfather Jonas Danielsson and his wife Johanna. They were my mother's father and stepmother. The following year they moved to a small sod house about one-half mile from the grandparents' home. They lived here for a year or two. I was born while they lived on this place and I was named for their first-born. Dad homesteaded on eighty acres of land in the Mouse River settlement near Upham, McHenry, North Dakota. His homestead papers were from 1895-1900. They built a house here and it was where their first son was born.

The spring of 1901 they moved to Canada near Swan River. My memories are not quite clear, as I was quite small I remember we drove by covered wagon from Mouse River, ND, to Deloraine Manitoba. We arrived the month of June; from Swan River we went twelve miles west where mother had a sister and brother-in-law, Jónasína, and Guđmundur Laxdal.  We stayed with them while Dad and Grandpa went to find land open for homesteading. They found land 15 miles north east of Swan River, 4 ˝ miles east of Bowsman, where they had adjoining land.  Einar homesteaded on SE 34-37-26-W1. Finnur Laxdal, and Jonas Danielsson homesteaded on the same section. The buildings they erected were log cabins with sod roof and no floor. During the time we spent with mother's sister the second Wilhelm Stein was born. We moved to our new home when he was about two or three weeks old. At that time there were no roads, only trails so the going was quite rough and hard. The first summer we spent in Canada was very rainy, the men tried to hay but it was too wet so the time was spent making a barn for the livestock. This first year Grandpa and his family, Mother and Dad and their family all lived together. In the spring Grandpa built his house about one-half mile from our place. Hardships plagued our family all the years we lived in Canada. The first year Dad lost one of his horses so he had only one that he could use, because the other was lame from a barb wire cut she could barely walk, he sold her in the spring. In the spring the lambs died shortly after birth. They only had five or six sheep. They had one cow named Branda, one two-year old heifer, Krossa, and one yearling. The old cow fell in the manger one night, the next morning they found her dead. This really created a hardship as they just had two young heifers left. After losing one horse and one getting wire cut this left only one horse. Dad had to do his haying with a scythe and had to pack groceries home from town on his back so life was very hard.

In 1902, a family named Skagfjords moved into the neighborhood, which did help Dad because they had stock and they helped with things that required horses. In return, Dad had to work very hard in the spring; he helped them clear their land and lots of time he had to stand in water up to his knees to do it. They lived about two miles from us. In the winter Dad would help them with their chores in return for the help he had received from them.   Malfrida (Freda) and her twin brother, Daniel, were born November 27, 1903. Daniel passed away when he was three months old. The following year Dad built a log house with a roof of lumber with shingles and a floor. We thought we had a really nice home then. Soon after this they acquired a team of oxen and the last year or so they bought a team of horses. Asta, my youngest sister was born in 1909 in Canada.  Willhelm worked at Caverly’s planer when he was older.   In 1915, they sold out in Canada and moved back to the Mouse River Loop near Upham. They had a farm in the sandhills east of Upham until the government bought the land for a wild game refuge. Then they lived for a time right east of Upham and then finally moving into town. Thura returned to North Dakota when she was 18, her family had soon followed. Additional Notes: Einar was a fisherman, farmer, an intellectual and a genealogist.

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