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Knud Melby family on front porch, Manfred, N.D.
Knud Melby family on front porch, Manfred, N.D.
TitleKnud Melby family on front porch, Manfred, N.D.
Date of Original191-
CreatorJorstad, Nils Olson
Creator RolePhotographer
DescriptionA group portrait showing Knud and Guri Melby with nine of their ten adult children. They are standing and sitting on the front porch of the home of their son, Ole Melby, in the village of Manfred, N.D. The original door can be seen in the background. This house is now the headquarters for Manfred History and Preservation, Inc. and the Manfred Heritage Museum.
General SubjectPeople
Pioneer Era
Subject (LCTGM)People
Group portraits
Doors & doorways
Suits (Clothing)
Personal NameMelby, Ole K., 1864-1940
Melby, Martin Knutson, 1886-1977
Melby, Oscar Julius, 1890-1954
Melby, Gilbert Knutson, 1877-1963
Melby, Knute, 1870-1959
Anderson, Caroline Melby, 1884-1971
Ranum, Guri, 1862-1938
Satterberg, Marit Melby, 1880-1957
Melby, Christen K., 1868-1936
Melby, Knud Olson Rudi, 1843-1927
Melby, Guri Kristensdotter, 1844-1921
Wolding, Ragnhild Melby Skattebo, 1873-1955
LocationManfred (N.D.)
Wells County (N.D.)
Item Number001.59.04
Format of OriginalPhotographic prints
Dimensions of Original28 x 35 cm.
Transcription"Knute Melby family"--Handwritten on back of photograph.
"Nils Jorstad, Manfred, N. Dak." - Stamped on front of photograph.
Biography/HistoryThe photo showing Knud and Guri with nine of their ten children was taken at the home of their son, Ole, in the village of Manfred. This house is now the headquarters for Manfred History and Preservation, Inc. and the Manfred Heritage Museum.
Knud Olson Rudi was born in 1843, at Rudi, Øystre Slidre, Valdres, Norway, the fourth son of Ole Mikkelson Rudi. Knud Olson Rudi and Guri Christensdotter Melby, born in 1844, were married in 1861. Knud obtained his share of the inheritance money from his older brother, which he then used to buy the Melby farm from Guri's parents. Guri had been blessed with parents who had each inherited a farm. Her father, Christen Mikkelson Rogne had inherited Røgnemarke farm #43/5 and her mother, Guro Gudbrandsdotter Melby had inherited Melby farm #41/1. Guri was the oldest child and when she came of age and was ready to marry, she was given the inheritance of the Melby farm. Her parents and her siblings then moved to Røgnemarke.
Knud and Guri commenced with farming Melby, and also began their family. Born to them in Norway: Guri 1862, Ole 1864, Christen 1868, Knute 1870, Ragnhild 1873, Gulbrand 1877, and Marit 1880. They sold the Melby farm and departed in the spring of 1881 for America with their seven children, ranging in age from 19 to 8 months. In 1884 they were ready to file on their own land and start farming. They first went to Griggs County, North Dakota where two more children were born to them: Caroline 1884 and Martin 1886, and in 1887 they moved a little further west and farmed in Foster County for six years. Knud and Guri's 10th child was born here: Oscar 1890.
The crops were failing during those years, so it was not easy for the people. The Soo Railroad track was being constructed westward through the region, so all the men went to work helping to build the track. But their first love was farming and so as the track was being laid they had opportunity to see the new lands that would be soon open to settlement. Knud and others in his family thought that Wells County looked good, and so they went to Sykeston, the location of the first court house in Wells County, and each filed on a new claim which were all located not far from the railroad track. Back in Foster County, they loaded up all their meager belongings on wagons. Knud even took his barn apart and laid it flat in sections on a wagon, they gathered their domestic animals together and caravanned to Wells County to their new claims in Manfred Township.
Nels Olson Jorstad was born in Valdres, Norway. Nels Jorstad married Gunhild Reistad Jorstad, who was born in Sigdahl, Norway. Many years ago, Nels and his wife Gunhild, and children lived in Manfred in the house west of the parsonage. After his wife died, Nels Jorstad bought the farm NW of Adolph Shirley's.
Bibliographic ReferenceInformation found at the website under Biographies and then the families last name.
Repository InstitutionManfred Heritage Museum
Repository CollectionManfred Heritage Museum Photograph Collection
Credit LineManfred Heritage Museum, Manfred, N.D. (001.59.04)
Rights ManagementCopyright status unknown.
Ordering InformationManfred Heritage Museum
Visit the Manfred History and Preservation, Inc. website: - go to Guestbook.
Mailing address: Manfred History and Preservation Inc., PO Box 321, Harvey, N.D. 58341
Open May 1- September 30, on Tuesday- Saturday 10am-4pm.
When open, Museum phone number (701) 547-2564.
Manfred project historian, Audrey Solheim, e-mail address,
Winter phone numbers that are published in their newsletter for staff who could open the museum on special request are 701-547-3123, 701-324-2091, and Pam Norstedt at 701-324-2027.
GrantNHPRC SNAP Grant 2008-2009, NAR08-RC-10021-08
Digital IDdm0015904
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