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Gulbrandson-Rugland Family of Norway and Iowa
Posted by: Patrick McCleary (ID *****5603) Date: January 09, 2003 at 21:32:26
  of 15

Would like to hear from anyone who connects to this family:

1. Gulbrand Gulbrandsen4 Rugland (Gulbrand3 Fingarsen, Fingar2 Kristoffersen, Kristoffer Reidarsen1 Skare) was born December 03, 1820 in Rugland, Eggedal, Norway, and died May 08, 1894 in Hartland Township, Worth County, Iowa. He married Sigrid Halvorsdatter Pletanhagen June 09, 1849 in Eggedal, Norway, daughter of Halvor Olsen and Guri Jacobsdatter. She was born April 20, 1828 in Ligarden, Eggedal, Norway, and died January 10, 1911 in Harland Township, Worth County, Iowa.

Gulbrand Rugland and his wife Sigrid, nee Pletanhagen, were married in the old church by Author-minister Jorgen Moe in 1850. Three years later they immigrated to America. They had a daughter named Helga. They were 13 weeks on the way, from the day they went aboard in Drammen until they landed in Quebec. In Wisconsin they went by train about 15 miles from Milwaukee, partway to Beloit. That was far enough. The rattling was dreadful. It was worse for the cart when the harness pin fell out. They went to Rock County, Wisconsin, where Gulbrand found work as a farm hand, and Sigrid as a hired girl for Rev. Dietrichson.

At the time that Gulbrand Rugland left Norway, Gulbrand Mellem settled on the banks of the Shell Rock River where Northwood Township, Iowa, is now. That is the same Gulbrand name. They were cousins.

Gulbrand and Sigrid had a coffee grinder, but they seldom used it to grind coffee. They ground wheat and barley. They had brought a rolling pin and griddle from Eggedal. They bought a wagon and a team of oxen, which they called "Buck" and 'Bright." They were strong and stalwart animals, which had to plod and pull the wagon the whole way from Rock County, Wisconsin to Worth County, Iowa. The only respite they had was when the ferry took them across the Mississippi near Prairie Du Chien. Gulbrand settled near Silver Lake, Worth County, Iowa, in 1855. McGregor was the closest town- 120 miles away. He was a logger. He used the broad ax.

The Danish minister, Pastor Clausen, founded the early congregation in Worth County. He confirmed Helga, Guri and Barbru, the three oldest Rugland children. Helga was the first person to teach both Norwegian and English schools in Worth County. She lives in Seattle, Washington now. Guri married Ole L. Thompson, Hatton, North Dakota. She is now dead. Barbru married Tosten klabo from Sigdal. She is a widow and lives in Portland, North Dakota. She has six sons and a daughter, all live in the neighborhood. Clarence, the youngest son, own's the Rugland farm. That farm was originally owned by Fingar Rugland, the son of Kristoffer, and a brother of Gulbrand. Halvor, Gulbrand's oldest son, has the old farm in Iowa. Ambjor, the youngest daughter, is a widow and lives in Fargo, North Dakota. Gilbert, the youngest child, died in 1914 in Sharon, North Dakota, where he was the postmaster.

Gulbrand and Sigrid lived on the same farm the whole time. He died in 1894, 74 years old, and she died in 1911, 83 years old. Their son Jacob studied at Luther College and Luther Seminary and was ordained into the ministry in 1898. He now lives in Moorhead, Minnesota. His wife is the daughter of the pioneer pastor Tollef Rosholt, Otter Tail County, Minnesota. She has six brothers, who all graduated from Luther College. She graduated from Park Region Lutheran College, Fergus Falls, Minnesota.

Reverend Rugland and his wife have three sons, who all graduated from Luther College, and six daughters, three graduated from Concordia College, two are students and the youngest is at the high school in Moorhead. The oldest son, Gerhard Theodor is superintendent of the school in Appleton, Minnesota. Sigvart Luther is dean of a college in Mason City, Iowa, and in a short time will get his doctor of philosophy degree from the University of Wisconsin. The third, Walter Livingstone is an assistant professor of mathematics at Iowa University; at the same time he is studying for his Master of Arts degree. Gilma Ingeborg, the oldest daughter, is an instructor at the high school in Hannaford, North Dakota. Clara Sigrid is a high school teacher in Pierre, South Dakota. Ruth Josephine is, for the time being, with her brother Gerhard Appleton. Esther Rebekka is a member of the junior class at Concordia. Sara Gjertrud is a freshman at college, and Alma Helena is a junior at the high school in Moorhead.
How can a "home missionary' (Rev. J. G. Rugland wrote several articles in Lutheraneren under that title in 1931) give so many children a college education? Oh, because he is an Eggedoling. Are there any Sigdolings or Kryllinger who can?

Gulbrand Rugland was a homebody. He was never aboard a train, even though he was a very informed man. He was a constant subscriber to and a faithful reader of Feadrelandet og Emigranten and Evangelisk Luthersk Kirketidende. In politics, he was a Republican, but never sought any office and declined if he was asked.

When a dispute blazed up at a party where the neighbors were gathered and liquor had been drunk, it was often Gulbrand who tried to make peace. At one banquet one of the neighbors accused another of stealing a tub of herring. There were several who teased and urged a fight. Gulbrand was a large, strong, well built Eggedoling, but never fought. He could take one or two drinks, but never drank enough to get drunk. When the fight of the herring tub started Guibrand went into the circle of people, where a Sogning and a Halling quarreled. Next to his height of over 6 feet and his weight of 190 pounds the fighters looked small. There was a dead calm. Gulbrand grasped in his back pocket with his left hand. Necks craned. They whispered, "Is he reaching for his knife?" Gulbrand pulled a fresh plug of tobacco from his pocket and said, laughing, "I bought this today at Johnson and Move. It is remarkably good. When I take a quid I will give it to Lars so he can bite off a piece. Lars will give it to Per, who also has good teeth." It went as proposed by Gulbrand, and he got his plug back. Then there was laughter, in which both Lars and Per took part, and which could be heard all over the farmyard. The tub of herring wasn't mentioned again.

At a different gathering there was a quarrel because someone accused his neighbor of opening a letter. Thomas was a government official. We always had such a one in the township. This time he was Justice of the Peace. He said, "I will inform you that there is a $5 fine for opening this man's letter." Silence in the gathering. Gulbrand said, "There is no risk, Thomas, when there is $10 in the letter." "Oh you Gulbrand, you Gulbrand!" said Thomas. Then there was laughter in the group and they began to throw horseshoes.

Gulbrand and Sigrid's home was hospitable. Church services were rare and they were held either out in the grove or inside the house. Rev. A. C. Preus was there on a mission trip one time. Services were held at Rugland. The minister had a pretty chest in which he kept his robe, ruff, traveling clothes and books. He put the chest up on end; It served as an excellent pulpit. The minister stood behind the chest in full vestment. The word of God, which then was dear in the land, wasn't just a sound for the ear, but an ointment for the heart.

Elling Eielson worked eagerly in his way, when the Ruglands worked for Reverend Dietrichson in Rock County. Eielson went on a trip to Worth County, Iowa. He visited the Ruglands and stayed overnight in their home, but didn't hold a meeting there. Reverend Clausen had left the Norwegian Synod then, and the majority of the Silver Lake Congregation, where Rugland was a member, went with him. After this split, which, until his death, he insisted was unjustified, he never went to a regular service in the conference church. He also forbid his family to visit them. On the other hand, he went when there were funerals, weddings, or such gatherings. When the Clausen church and parsonage were built, the carpenters stayed at Ruglands. After the split the Rugland family had five miles to church. In church matters he was completely separate from his neighbors, but in other things they were good friends. There were visits and gatherings; they traded work and shared community projects.

Neither Gulbrand nor Sigrid could write, but they were good at reading. Halvor Pletanhagen, Sigrid's father, was a teacher in Norway. He also came early to Worth County, Iowa. He is buried, along with his wife, at Rugland's farm. There was no congregation or cemetery yet.
Another instance shows that you can be of help to the neighbors, even if you are not an officer in either the state or the church. As a rule, the officers use the law. On the other hand, private people, if they shall gain anything, must use the gospel. There was an argument in Rugland's neighborhood between Syvert and Gunbjorn about the fence line. Syvert's land consisted almost completely of prairie, while Gunbjorn's, which lay directly west of Syvert's, had woods. Syvert had built a house and stable close to the edge of the woods because it was sheltered and warm there. The argument flared up at a neighborhood-party. Both Gunbjorn and Syvert were peaceful men, but it was Astrid and Katrina, the women, who started the argument. "I think," said Katrina, "that when a stable stands here and one there, the fence line should go in a curve into the woods." Gulbrand said, "That is easy to do. Let the line go in a curve, but instead of the curve going to the west, we can have it go to the east." There was laughing at the party. The families continued to be good friends. The fence line stayed where the surveyor had put it.

The only ones of Gulbrand's family who have visited Norway are his grandsons, Gerhard, Sigvart and Walter. The two first had finished their schooling at Luther College, and Walter, high school in North Dakota. The two college graduates made preparations for the trip to Europe. They intended to drive their car to New York, Walter said, "Oh if I too could go along." There was a consultation. The car was large enough for Walter too. The extra expense would be for food, because he ate quite a lot at home. In the end the two older boys gave him this offer: Give us $500 and we will take you along to Europe and back to Mother again. The $500 was procured. The brothers also took Father and Mother along as far as the hundred year celebration in Minneapolis.

In the old World they visited the world's larger cities. They spent five days at Rugland in Eggedal. That was the most glorious of all, they said when they came home. One of their sisters became so enthusiastic when she heard about Rugland's seter and fishing waters where the boys caught mountain trout, that she exclaimed, "Oh, I am going to Norway!" Her father said, "What will you do in Norway, you don't even know how to speak Norwegian." "I know Norwegian," she answered. "What will you say when you get to Norway?" asked one of the boys. "Oh," she answered, "Tak for sidst, kom med no' mad." (Thank you, come with some food.)

Children of Gulbrand Rugland and Sigrid Pletanhagen are:
+       2       i.       Helge (Helga) "Helen" Gulbrandsdatter5 Rugland, born July 29, 1849 in Rugland, Eggedal, Buskerud, Norway; died February 01, 1932 in Wenatchee, Chelan County, Washington.
+       3       ii.       Guri Gulbrandsdatter Rugland, born October 19, 1853 in Rock County, Wisconsin; died June 08, 1911 in Newburgh Township, Steele County, North Dakota.
+       4       iii.       Barbru Gulbrandsdatter Rugland, born November 03, 1855 in Rock County, Wisconsin; died December 04, 1934 in Traill County, North Dakota.
+       5       iv.       Halvor Gulbrandsen Rugland, born April 04, 1861 in Hartland Township, Worth County, Iowa; died March 31, 1948 in Bristol Township, Worth County, Iowa.
+       6       v.       Jacob Gulbrandsen Rugland, born October 16, 1867 in Hartland Township, Worth County, Iowa; died November 02, 1947 in Fargo, North Dakota.
+       7       vi.       Ambjor Gulbrandsdatter Rugland, born October 20, 1871 in Hartland Township, Worth County, Iowa; died Bet. 1964 - 1965.
+       8       vii.       Gulbrand "Gilbert" Gulbrandsen Rugland, born March 07, 1875 in Hartland Township, Worth County, Iowa; died 1914 in Sharon, Steele County, North Dakota.
       9       viii.       Child Rugland.
       10       ix.       Child Rugland.
       11       x.       Child Rugland.
       12       xi.       Child Rugland.
       13       xii.       Child Rugland.

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