One of the most famous Norwegian-Texans to settle there was Elise Amalie Tvede. She was already a well known journalist and advocate for women in the Kingdom of Norway when, at the age of 32, she came to Texas in 1847. At the Four Mile Prairie Norwegian colony in Van Zandt County she settled down and married Wilhelm Waerenskjold. She became a prolific writer, first simply as a way to help people deal with the loneliness of her fellow Norwegian-Texans. She wrote letters to everyone telling them about the latest news in the community and, being a natural talent, she also began to write articles about life in Texas for publications back in Norway. She would often visit her neighbors who, it was said, treated her “like a bishop” because of her refined, dignified manner as well as her fame because of her literary ability. Long after her death in 1895 her name has lived on for the colorful accounts she left behind about her first-hand experience as one of the early Norwegian pioneers in Texas. Despite the rough start, the Norwegian presence in the Lone Star State was set to grow and expand in the years to come.
In 1909 a land developer in Chicago named Anders L. Mordt sold land in the northernmost reaches of the Texas panhandle in Hansford County to a group of Norwegian immigrants living in the Midwest. That was where most Norwegians had settled in the United States but not all were that impressed with it and were inclined to move to the more wide, open spaces of northern Texas. A new settlement was started that became known as “Oslo on the Plains”. Anders Mordt went to considerable expense to get this new settlement going; building a school to attract families with children and donating land for a church. He also started publishing a local newspaper in the Norwegian language. It became quite a busy, little community for a few years but, unfortunately, did not last long as the settlement was wiped out in a drought in 1912 which caused most families to move away. Still, the Oslo on the Prairie has never been completely forgotten.
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