Stirpes, Volume 30, Number 1, March 1990 Page: 8
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and for all that here and here alone would they cast their lot and
rebuild their homes."1
In 1854, after the Texas legislature created Bosque County and offered land
to settlers, families from Brownsboro moved to the southwestern part of
the county and established Norse, near present-day Clifton. There they
planted wheat and fought Comanches and Kiowas during the frontier period.
In 1867, thirteen people died of disease at Four Mile Prairie, whereupon
twelve of the remaining 33 families also displaced to Bosque,
In 1860, as most Norwegians continued to stream into Wisconsin, Iowa,
Minnesota, and Dakota Territory, the Federal Census listed only 326 persons
of Norwegian birth in Texas, 81 of whom were in Bosque County,
In general Norwegians opposed slavery but doctrine on the matter, as
preached in the Lutheran churches, was split between the Norwegian Synod
(in Wisconsin) and the Missouri Synod (in St. Louis). in Texas, Elise
Waerenskjold spoke out against slavery. Most historians believe that
Norwegian-Americans in the south only half-heartedly supported the
In February 1868, the Atlanta, the first ship to bring Norwegians directly to
Texas, departed Kristiania and after a 51 day voyage by way of Bremen,
Germany, arrived at Galveston. The 114 passengers were under two-year
contract to the Poulsen and McKerrall Company of Waco to work on farms in
Bosque County. They were described thusly by the company in a New York
"The Norwegian laborers are strong, large boned, men and women,
honest, sober and industrious. They have no disposition to run
about, they are always at home, humble and tractable. They are
raised in humble circumstances, and know nothing but to work and
obey orders promptly. They work in Norway sixteen hours a day,
but I do not suppose we should require that much from them."2
By 1870 there were 716 Norwgians in Bosque County. A flour mill called
Norway Mill operated during the 1870'so In 1872 Hendric Dahl, an early
settler from Kaufman County brought in new immigrants. The first
Norwegian Lutheran pastor served in Clifton after the Civil War, and in
lClifton Record, April 30, 1954, as cited in Pool, Bosou Territory, 75.
2The Evening Post, New York, 13 Mar 1867, as cited in Syverson and Johnson, Ntor? LL.a, .t
Bid. - No'rskp mortionsistoie p 114.
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Texas State Genealogical Society. Stirpes, Volume 30, Number 1, March 1990, periodical, March 1990; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29495/m1/9/: accessed August 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Genealogical Society.