JULIUS J. WESTBY
the son of Jacob Westby and hs wife martha, of Nord Odal, Norway, northeast of Oslo, emigrated to America in 1887 in a sailing vessel via Holland and settled in Walsh County, North Dakota. He worked on farms and dug wells by hand for 50 cents a day to enable him to send for his wife, Marie Lishaugen, daughter of Jens Lishaugen, a girl he had married in Norway. She also came in a sailing vessel with their daughter, Martha.
They filed a homestead claim for free land in Kinloss Township. They built a sod house and burned buffalo chips to keep warm in the sub-zero weather. With walking plows and oxen they broke the sod to plant grain. With oxen and wagon they drove 30 miles to Park River twice a year to lay in provisions. Once he had to walk 50 miles to Grafton over snowdrifts.
Julius and his brother, Peder, soon sent for their parents in Norway. Brothers and sisters also came, including:
Jacob Westby who married Jennie and was drowned in Lake Superior under a log jam;
Theodore Westby, a crippled shoemaker, who died in Sand Point, Idaho;
Matthea Westby, who married Hans Hansen, who lost both legs in a garin binder accident and became a lay evangelist in Bagley, Sask;
Marie Westby, who married Mr Kittelson; and
Karen Westby, who married Anton Fossholm;
Ole Jacobsen Westby, a sheath-knife maker to the Kinf of Norway and a sister: Oline Jacobsen Westby, a dressmaker in Oslo, remained in Norway.
Marie Westby's sisters and brothers also emigrated to North Dakota:
Mathea, married August Swanson of Edmore, ND
Ole Nordlie, a merchant/farmer, married Sina Gruben, of Fairdale, ND
Theodore Nordlie, prominent businessman, married Gudrun Haraldson.
Thea Lishaugen (Marie Westby's twin sister) and a brother:
Amund Lishaugen, remained in Nord Odal, Norway.
Julius and Marie Westby raised 10 children on their farms north of Fairdale:
Martha, born in Norway, married Olaf Hammer, a confectioner/farmer.
Mathilde, died in her teens.
Jacob, also died young
Ingolf, farmer and violinist
Hannah, married Theodore Melland, a fisherman and violinist fra the Lofoten Islands
another Jacob, a mail carrier, died at age 19
Oscar, married Anna Bakken, whos eparents also came fra Odal.
Elling, a machinist, married Agnes Haug, and after her death he married Selma Gunderson.
Selmer, a farmer, woodcarver, violinist
W. Henry Westby, married Inez Klopstad in Sioux City, Iowa and after her death married Helen E. Purcell.
Julius and Marie Westby and their family were member sof the Silvesta Lutheran (now Our Redeemer's) Church of Fairdale. Oscar was a soldier in Europe and drove tractors along the Rhone River into Spain during WWI. He also held several responsible county and state offices, dealing with agricultural and credit problems.
Henry graduated fra Park River High School, St. Olaf College, Luther Theological Seminary, Princeton Theological Seminary and University, Th.M., Southern Baptist Seminary, PhD, and also studied at Yale Universoity Graduate School and Westminister Seminary. He was an Army Chaplain during WWI for five years, a hospital chaplain at the Veterans Admin Hospital in Fargo for five years and for 14 years was Western Area Director for the Lutheran Service Commission, a national commisson for servicemen.
His first parish was First Lutheran Church of Fargo and he served in Redwood Falls, MN for nine years. He is author of several theological works and currently is serving church in Palm Desert, California. In 1976, he will have served the Lutheran Church as pastor for 50 years. The only other survivor of this family is Selmer, farming at Fairdale.
*PHOTOGRAPH: Julius and Martha Westby
Walsh Heritage, ND Vol 2, page 915-916