Southwestern Historical Quarterly
NORWEGIAN MIGRATION TO TEXAS: A HISTORIC
RESUME WITH FOUR "AMERICA LETTERS"
By LYDER L. UNSTAD
Not many people of Norwegian birth have settled in Texas;
and not many people of Norwegian extraction are living inside
the borders of the Lone Star State at the present time. Only one
settlement of any real importance and two or three others can
be called to the attention of any with interest and curiosity for
historic events-namely, one group at Brownsboro, another group
located in and near Dallas,' another in the neighborhood of Waco,
and the largest and most important group in Bosque County, with
Clifton as a center.
But in the history of the Norwegian migration to America, these
people of Norwegian birth and extraction in Texas have made a
place for themselves out of all proportion to their number. The
reason for this is the quality of the people who settled here. For
quite obvious and well known reasons, almost all of the migrants
from Norway to the United States of America before the year
1905 went to the states of the great Northwest.
For the sake of historical convenience it is usually said that
the Norwegian migration to America commenced in the year
1825,2--thus the important and historical centennial festival in
Minneapolis, Minn., in 1925. Be that as it may, it was not before
the 1840's that Norwegians began to settle in the State of Texas.
And these Texan settlements were not haphazard undertakings
by some stray individual, but were the results of careful investi-
gation and planning.
The first known Norwegian family to settle in Texas was that
of Johan Nordboe (himself, wife, and children) in the year 1838
on a large tract of land in Dallas County.8 But that was only a
1This group was represented at the Olympic games in Los Angeles in
the summer of 1932 by the 19-years-old "Babe" Didriksen of Dallas.
2listorical research by Dr. John O. Evjen shows that a rather large
number of the people settling in New York before 1700, and who came
especially from Holland, were born in Norway.
S8ee Rasmus B. Anderson, The First Chapter of Norwegian Immigration,
p. 370, Madison (Wis.), 1906; and Martin Ulvestad, Normaendene s
Amerika, vol. I, p. 197, Minneapolis (Minn.), 1907. It is also said that
1841 is the date of Nordboe's Texan settlement.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101111/. Accessed January 29, 2015.