Hiat Halverson

HIAT HALVERSON, deceased, was born in the Town of Dunn, Dane County, Wis., May 20, l850. He was a son of Stener and Dogena (Qualey) Halverson, natives, of Norway. Stener Halverson came to Wisconsin in l845, settling in Milwaukee. After a short residence there he went to Chicago, where he did teaming with oxen, often hauling loads of hay over what are now Chicago’s principal thoroughfares. Land in the vicinity of what is now the business district of that city was selling at $1.25 an acre. After a few months of this labor Mr. Halverson came to Wisconsin again, settling in Stoughton, on eighty acres of government land.

For some two or three years he acted as a kind of guide for new settlers; he would haul grain to Milwaukee and then conduct emigrants to their new homes near Stoughton.

An opportunity was offered to secure a larger piece of land, so he sold his Stoughton farm and purchased one hundred and sixty acres in the town of Dunn, a portion of it on Lake Kegonsa. Here he built a log hut, making the roof of sod. The nearest neighbors were the Stoughton people.

It was not an unusual occurrence for the Indians to visit Mrs. Halverson while her husband was away. On one occasion a party of them came begging and Mrs. Halverson gave them some bread and pork. Not satisfied with that they demanded the blankets and when refused them they raised their tomahawks and threatened Mrs. Halverson’s life. She was equal to the occasion, however, and snatching a large knife from the table she raised it above her head and drove the Indians from the yard in confusion. As an illustration of the laziness of the red man, Mr. Halverson often told of an Indian who came to him one day while he was threshing beans and begged for some. Mr. Halverson agreed to give him the beans, but told the applicant that he would have to thresh them himself. The Indian spread his blanket, put the beans into it, took the heavy flail and started to work. He had taken no more than half a dozen strokes, when he threw down the flail in disgust, caught up his blanket, scattering the beans to the right and left, and strode away.

Mr. Halverson remained on this farm until his death, having added to it from time to time until it contained four hundred and six acres. His estate also included two hundred acres in the Town of Dunkirk, part of which is now Halverson’s addition to the city of Stoughton. In 1889 he divided his estate among his four children remaining of the eight born to him, two sons in the Town of Dunn, a daughter in Stoughton and a son in Boone County, Neb.

Hiat Halverson received his education in the Albion Academy. When a mere boy he started life as a farm hand, and later went to Nebraska. Five years of his life were put in here as a farm hand; at the end of that time he returned to Wisconsin where, on March 1, 1887, he married Martha, daughter of Andrew and Sigre Maria (Larson) Torson, natives of Norway.

Mrs. Halverson first saw the light of day in Norway on September 1, l854. Of her father’s family of ten children, seven are living, five in this country,—Louisa (Mrs. Andrew Johnson) of the Town of Rutland; Josephine (Mrs. Lewis Johnson) of the Town of Dunn; August and Samuel, of Taylor County, Mich.; and Mrs. Halverson. Shortly after their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Halverson went back with a brother of Mr. Halverson to Nebraska, where the two brothers purchased one hundred sixty acres of land in Boone County. Upon the division of the father’s estate in 1889 Hiat Halverson received the homestead and one hundred and seven acres of land. He immediately returned and took up his residence there.

On November 13, 1899, Mr. Halverson died, leaving a widow and one child, a daughter, Dogena, eleven years old. Mrs. Halverson and the child still occupy the old homestead.1906 History of Dane County, Wisconsin, p. 362-63

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