By Kylie Blanchard, Staff Writer
The Summer 2014 issue of North Dakota Horizons featured a story on Historic Homes in North Dakota. Recently we received a letter from a gentleman who was raised in Minot and now resides in Idaho. He has many fond memories of time in his childhood spent at one of the featured homes, the Freborg Homestead, (pictured above is the homestead's 1906 home) and we thought we would pass on some of the additional historic information he shared on the Freborg family and homestead:
"John Alfred Samuelsson left Sweden in April 1893 for America...Upon reaching New York Harbor, John went through immigration station at Ellis Island. John boarded a train that would take him to Chicago and on to North Dakota. After disembarking the train in Bismarck, John headed to Coleharbor. John had a cousin named David Carlson that had a farm. There were a lot of Swedes named Carlson and David approached John and suggested he change his name for whatever reason and John quickly replied he would take his soldier name - Freborg.
John Freborg had a job working for the Robinson strore hauling freight...It was while working for the Robinson's that John met Alida Patience Youngquist. John and Alida were married in Bismarck in January 1896.
John Freborg became a citizen on March 27, 1897. Under the provisions of the Homestead Act of 1862, John filed his claim for a homestead on 160 acres...John would add several buildings over time. [The homestead's barn is pictured at right.] By the winter of 1905 or 1906, John had proven up his 160-acre homestead...In 1906, a new home was built...and was constructed directly in front of the old log house.
John expanded the original homestead claim from 160 acres to 640 acres. John died on October 14, 1916 at the age of 49. Most of the children left the farm and married. Carl [the oldest of the Freborg's children] stayed on the farm to help his mother and remained farming until 1975 when he retired. Alida died on January 1, 1962 at the age of 83.
During the years that I was growing up, my cousin and I would spend many happy days at the farm. There were family reunions every year that I remember with great excitement. My grandmother was the sister to Alida. Because we spent so much time at the farm in the summers we called Alida, Grandma Freborg."
When I shared this ne ws with the Freborg Homestead's current owners, Sherwood and Patsy Gibbs, they were also excited to have additional information about their home and to share their own update in an e-mail:
"Happy to say that on September 10, 2014, our little place was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Patsy and I were so happy. It might have taken us a little longer than we expected, but we can now say we are not old, but historic...We are proud of our little place. Yes, it was well worth the effort."
The Gibbs said they are always open to additional information about their home and will continue to learn about the Freborg family and their historic homestead.
If you have any additional information on the Freborg Homestead or any of the other featured historic homes in the Summer 2014 aricle, or if you have any comments on articles featured in North Dakota Horizons, feel free to contact us at email@example.com.