Norwegian immigrant ND's biggest landowner
The person reported to be "the largest landowner in North Dakota" with 20.000 acres, arrived in northern Dakota territory like most immigrants, without very much money. The first years his home was a hole dug into the bank of a river.(more).
The immigrant was a Norwegian, he was 23 years old when he came to America by spring 1869. His name was Fingal Gulbrandsen Enger. He landed in Quebec in Canada, and from there he took a steamboat by way of Lake Huron to the U.S. When he came to America he was barely able to speak English, yet he later served a board executive for a college, a private school, a hospital and a bank. He also owned major interests in three grain elevators and was elected to serve four sessions in the North Dakota Senate.
Enger was the first white settler in Steele County. He spent the winter of 1872-1873 hauling freight between Fargo and Grand Forks for the Hudson Bay Company. By spring, he still had not saved enough money to begin his farming operation, so he did some railroad construction and loaded and unloaded sacks of grain and flour from the riverboats.
By spring 1874, Enger had saved up enough money to buy oxen and some farming equipment and planted his first wheat crop. After harvesting the grain, Enger hauled it 70 miles to the closest elevator, which was in Fargo.
If you want to read more about Fingal Gulbrandsen Enger, we are sure that you will find more about his history on the internet. The Enger Family Book is available on the internet. Maybe you find links to your family....