The Sten Hofto Papers detail the Hofto and Tweten families as they emigrated from Norway, eventually settling in the Dakota Territory. The families began their journey near Vik, then traveled to Oslo where they boarded a boat to Quebec. From Quebec, they traveled aboard steamboats until eventually reaching the town of Qaupaca, Wisconsin. Here they raised cattle but farmed no land.
In the fall of 1869, the families moved to Waseca County in southern Minnesota - the Twetens near Richland and the Hoftos near Willton, where they bought homesteads. The families farmed there for six year until swarms of locust ravaged large tracts of land in southwestern Minnesota. Rather than risk another locust attack the families decided to move west to the Red River Valley in Dakota Territory. They finally settled on a homestead in Americus Township of Grand Forks County.
One day in October 1878, a neighbor showed up at their house and collapsed from smallpox on the floor of the Tweten house. This incident eventually led to the infection of Martin, the oldest child, who survived the disease. The father, Solomon, and his two daughters, Gunhild and Ingeborg, eventually died from smallpox. The Hoftos didn't suffer any losses from smallpox but were good friends with both the Tweten's and the neighbor who collapsed at the Tweten farmstead. A total of 26 people in Grand Forks County were infected, eight of whom died.
The portion of the Stan Hofto Papers deposited by Dorothy Hulteng (folder 1) consists primarily of family history, from both Norway and the United States, and correspondence from the 1870s and 1880s. The portion of the Stan Hofto Papers donated by John Lunseth (folder 2) examines the effect the smallpox epidemic had on the Hofto and Tweten families.