Andrew Gran & Anna Marie Olsen Lund

Submitted to the Dixon Co., NE, GenWeb Pages by:  Cathy Logue, great, great, great grand daughter.

This information comes from a family history book that Cathy had written for a family reunion and is uneditied. If you have any questions or connections you can contact Cathy at

Andrew Nilson Gran was born at Høeland Parish, Sitskogen, Agershus County, Norway on September 24, 1843. Andrew's parents were Nils Hanson Gran and Sophia Graverholt Gran.

Anna Marie Olsen Lund was born at Ullensaker Parish, Agershus County, Norway on November 19, 1844. Anna was the daughter of Ole Olsen and Marthe Jacobsen. Anna had one younger brother that we know of, Hans O. Lund (or sometimes he went by Olsen, as he was the son of Ole). Hans O. Lund was born October 11, 1834 and was married to Ingeborg Christiansen. Hans and Ingeborg and their 7 children immigrated from Ullensaker Parish over the Kristiania (Oslo) harbour on October 5, 1885. Their destination was listed as Vermillion, South Dakota but they settled in Dixon County, Nebraska.

Andrew Gran and Anna Marie Lund's engagement was established while they were both working in Oslo (Kristiana), Norway.

In 1868 Andrew Gran immigrated to Trempealeau, Wisconsin. The following year, Anna Marie came to the United States. They were married in Trempealeau on October 4, 1869. Their witnesses were Anners Larsen and Karen Hansen.

As noted previously, many immigrants from Norway followed the same route. Landing in New York, they came west by railroad or more likely by boat or barge up the Hudson River from New York to Albany and then west on the 363 mile Erie Canal completed in 1825. Continuing to travel by boat through the Great Lakes to Lake Superior. Settling for a short time on the Minnesota/Wisconsin border preparing for the rest of their journey by barge down the Mississipi River to St. Louis, Missouri and then north up the Missouri River to Omaha, Nebraska.

Andrew and Anna settled temporarily at Blair, Washington County, Nebraska just north of Omaha. Their first child, Louise, was born while they were there. They remained until the spring of 1871 when they moved to Dixon County, Nebraska where they settled on a homestead.

Andrew and Anna had five children:

Louise Gran was born on July 12, 1870 in Washington County, Nebraska. She married Olaf Brede Severson. These are my great-grandparents. They had 10 children and lived in the Vermillion area most of their lives.

Oscar A. Gran was born on June 26, 1873 at Lime Grove, Dixon County, Nebraska. He married Mabel Westre. They had 3 children and lived in the Vermillion area most of their lives.

Caroline Gran was born on September 29, 1875 at Maskell, Dixon County, Nebraska. She married Oscar John Anderson. They had 7 children and moved to Donna, Texas in 1915.

Adolph Gran was born September 10, 1877 and was baptized October 14, 1877. Date of death not known, but Andrew and Anna'a obiturary states they had "a child who died early."

Nels Adolph Gran was born April 6, 1881 in Dixon County, Nebraska. He married Hilda Gunerson. They had 7 children and lived on the Andrew Gran homestead. Nels was killed by a team of run away mules on June 16, 1918.

On September 25, 1873, Andrew and Anna Maria became charter members of the Lime Creek Lutheran congregation. On this same date their son, Oscar A. Gran was baptized. Church services were held four times a year with an occasional week day service. During this time the congregation was being served by Rev. Emil Christensen from Gayville, South Dakota. In 1876 Rev. N.G. Tvedt started serving as Rev. Christensen's assistant. In 1879 Rev. Tvedt married Miss Lena Nelson (Andrew's cousin). Shortly after that he became the resident pastor.

Amos Gran and his wife currently live on the Gran farm where the homestead is located. The house is partly made from brick and still stands. It was noted that many of these earlier pioneers had a trade they followed in addition to farming. Marcus Nelson Graverholt was a carpenter, Nils Gran was a blacksmith and he also burned the brick used in building his house. Perhaps Nils or Andrew fired the brick for this house.

A patent for the homestead was filed August 7, 1885. An excerpt reads:

Whereby it appears that, pursuant to act of Congress approved 20, May 1862. "To Secure To Actual Settlers on the Public Domain" and the acts supplemental thereto, the claim of Andrew N. Gran has firm established and duly consummated in conformity to law for the South East Quarter of Section Thirty in Township Thirty One of Range from East in the District of lands subject to sale at Niobrara, Nebraska containing one hundred and sixty acres ... By the President R.B. Hayes

Amos Gran has the original homestead certificate.

A land deed was also located for two parcels of land, one 80 acres and one 40 acres purchased for $525.00 on December 14, 1883 by A.N. Gran, S.N. Gran (Andrew's brother) and Christian Johnson (Andrew's brother-in-law).

In 1885 the state of Nebraska conducted an agricultural census. This contains information regarding Andrew Gran, as well as, Christian Johnson (Andrew's brother-in-law), Marcus Nelson (Andrew's uncle) and S.N. Gran (Andrew's brother).

All four of these families had at least 200 acres of tilled land and at least an additional 150 acres of pasture. All of them kept livestock. Andrew had the most horses with 6. Christian had the most milk cows with 12. All reported selling milk. Butter made on the farm ranged from 50 lbs produced by the Andrew Gran farm to 200 lbs produced by the Christian Johnson farm. Undoubtably, it was probably the womens' task to churn all of this butter. All of these families raised pigs and chickens as well. Christian's farm produced 300 dozen eggs in 1884 and Andrew's farm produced 50 dozen. Crops noted on the agricultural census were indian corn, oats, rye, wheat and potatoes.

The following is an excerpt from the "History of Dixon County, Nebraska", by William Huse, published in 1896, page 223

Hooker Township. It is situated in the northwest corner of the county. It adjoins Ionia and New Castle on the east, Daily on the south, Cedar County on the west, and the Missouri River bounds it on the north. The face of the country in Hooker is somewhat rough, but the soil is excellent and along the river timber is abundant. Stock raising was for many years a leading enterprise, but as the population increased, the stock business has given place to general farming.

A few of those who have been prominent citizens or early settlers of Hooker are the following: A.N. Gran and S.N. Gran and their father Nels H. Gran came from Norway. A.N. Gran in 1868 and S.N. Gran and their father in 1870, and located on homesteads in Hooker in 1871. A.N. Gran and his brother now occupy the same claims first taken by them; his father lived on his until his death in 1889. Both the brothers are successful and enterprising men and have large farms which are well improved and profitably worked. A.N. Gran has 250 and S.N. Gran 240 acres. The former has a wife and four children living and the latter has wife but no children. Both are prominent in township affairs, and A.N. Gran has been Hooker's member of the board of supervisors for several years.

Andrew and Anna and their families were some of the first white settlers in the area. The following information regarding the life of the early settlers came from the "Marcus Nelson Graverholt and His Descendants" history. The information had been collected in a booklet made by the children who attended Grand Ridge School. The teacher was Maurine Nelson, who would have been Andrew Gran's cousin. The Grand Ridge School was built on Nils and Sophia Graverholt Gran's (Andrew's parents) land (section 32, Hooker Township). The school was built by Marcus Nelson Graverholt (Andrew's uncle). The school sat along a road that ran on top of a ridge or hill top they called Gran's Ridge. When the school district was organized they mistakenly added a "d" to Gran and entered the school as Grand's Ridge.

One of the first tasks that faced the settlers was to build a house. The simplest and cheapest home that could be built was a dugout. Often times they were a hole dug into a hillside with a roof made of poles covered with slough grass and then covered with dirt. It was hard to keep these roofs from leaking no matter how carefully they were made. The house was used to store what little they had in tools and other worldly goods, sometimes even grain.

Another important item was food. The settlers raised wheat for bread and it was usually the first crop planted. The settlers would take their wheat to St. James where it was ground into four in the Jones Mill. Their meat was obtained mostly by hunting. These was a plentiful supply of ducks, geese, turkeys and prairie chickens. They occasionally also found a deer. The settlers did not have milk at first but they soon got cattle. Potatoes and corn were also important foods and among the first crops to be planted. In addition to being used for food, corn was sometimes used for fuel. For food the settlers also used wild fruits, which they made into sauces, jams and jellies. The most common were wild plums, gooseberries, wild grapes, choke cherries and buffalo berries. Apples were one of the first tame fruits to be planted by the settlers. Marcus Nelson also set out rhubarb plants and planted tobacco which he smoked.

The first farm work to be done was to break up the land. This was not easy because the wild grass had grown on it for years and the roots were very tough. This breaking was often done with oxen. Wheat was planted by hand, the seed being spread broadcast. They soon had fields of corn, also planted by hand. To get the rows straight they used a sled with four runners and they would first drag it across the field one way and then pull it across the other way and where the tracks crossed they planted the corn, using a hoe or stick to make a hole and then dropping the corn into it. They fed the prairie hay to their stock in the winter time and at first they cut it with a scythe as they did also the grain. Their wagons were often made by hand.

Water was very important so most of the settlers settled near streams or springs. They soon began to dig wells. There is a spring located in the creek of Andrew Gran's homestead.

Fuel was not easy to get as there were few trees on the prairie. The men often went down to the Missouri River and got driftwood which was hauled home and cut for fuel or fence posts. They also dug up little trees and took them home and set them out for wind breaks and shade and later for wood and posts.

There were Native Americans in the region and they sometimes stopped and asked the settlers for food. They had a trail that they followed from St. James to Ponca. They often camped at Lime Grove.

The towns to which the settlers went were Vermillion, South Dakota and Ponca, Nebraska, or later Hartington. They crossed the Missouri River on the ice in the winter. This was safe enough if the ice was good but sometimes they through the ice. Ed Severson lost a team that way and only saved himself because he was a powerful swimmer.

Nature was not always kind to the settlers. In 1874 the great grasshopper plague struck Grand Ridge. There were hoards and hoards of locust and they ate everything available, clothes on the line, even fence posts. They seemed to come from the west and moved east. They were not a local product.

The year 1888 is noteworthy because of the Great Blizzard. It came up in the afternoon about 2:30 pm. The day began as a quite, beautiful day after snowing hard the night before. Not soon after the afternoon session had commenced Andrew Gran came and told them there was a terrible storm and that they had better get started for home. Andrew Gran took his son, Oscar, and James Johnson with him. The teacher, a Mr. Foote, and Willie Weindenfeldt, walked to the Weindenfeldt's. Syverin Gran took the other children, including the younger ones of the Chris Johnson and Andrew Gran families to his place.

The year 1894 was one of the driest years to hit northeast Nebraska. The corn, about a foot to two feet in height, turned white in a single afternoon from the hot, dry wind. That was on July 22, 1894.

Andrew and Anna Marie at the ages of 74 and 73, died just one day apart and were buried together in the Lime Creek Lutheran Cemetery located south of Maskell, Nebraska.

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