Sten Hofto Papers, 1868-1879
[Back to Formatted Version]
Brief Description:

The Sten Hofto Papers detail the Hofto and Tweten families as they immigrated from Norway, eventually settling in the Dakota Territory. The families began their journey near Vik and traveled to Oslo, where they continued by boat across the Atlantic Ocean until they landed on an island near 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 of 1878, a neighbor showed up at their house and collapsed from smallpox on 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 1870's and 1880's. 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.

Held at:
Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections
Chester Fritz Library
3051 University Ave Stop 9000
Grand Forks, ND 58202 9000
Phone: 701-777-4625
Fax: 701-777-3319
Email: und.archives [at]
Record Series Number: OGLMC/1211
Volume: 0.25 Linear Feet
Acquired: 07/09/1990.
More information is available at
Access Restrictions: Open for inspection under the rules and regulations of the Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections.
Subject Index
Genealogy and Family History
Grand Forks County, North Dakota
Health and Medicine
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Acquisition Notes:   Donations;  Dorothy Hulteng (via Dr. Playford Thorson), East Grand Forks, Minnesota on July 9, 1990 (Acc. #90-1714) and Dr. John Lunseth, Grand Forks, North Dakota, in June 1992. (Acc. #92-1832)
PreferredCitation: (Description of Item). Sten Hofto Papers.  OGLMC 1211, Box #, Folder #.  Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections, Chester Fritz Library, University of North Dakota.
Finding Aid Revisions: Finding aid migrated to Archon in July 2013.