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Knute T. Rude
The History of Renville County, Volume 2
Compiled by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge
Knute T. Rude, a sturdy pioneer now deceased, was born in Norway, April 25, 1838. He was originally known as Knute Ruud, and came from the old family of Ruud, taking the name Rude after he came to this country. He was married in Norway, in May, 1862, to Marie Hanson, who was born March 4, 1840. For some years after obtaining his education, Mr. Rude was employed in a flour mill with his father. It was in 1865, when with his wife and son, Theodore, he embarked for the Land of Opportunity. After a trip of five weeks and four days aboard an old fashioned sailing vessel, they reached the port of Quebec, in Canada. From Quebec, they went by rail to Milwaukee, Wis., thence to La Crosse, and thence up the Mississippi river to St. Paul, and from there up the Minnesota to St. Peter. After stopping in Nicollet county for a year and a half and then set out with an ox team and covered wagon overland to Hawk Creek township, Mr. Rude driving the oxen, and Mrs. Rude walking. They took a homestead of eighty acares in section 20. This being in 1868 they were among the first settlers in the township, and among the very first to settle on the prairie. They reached their future home Aug. 29, and lived in their covered wagon five weeks until Mr. Rude could erect a log cabin. They also secured eighty acres of school land in section 16, and there constructed a dugout. They lived in this dugout five winters, spending the rest of their time in their log cabin.
Like the other pioneers, Mr. and Mrs. Rude started life in Renville county on the most primitive scale. Conveniences and comforts were unknown. All were strangers in a strange country. The trading points were far away, provisions were scarce and money was scarcer. There were many difficulties with which to contend, and sometimes it seemed that the privations were too deep to be borne. But with courage they forged ahead, they endured much in order that their children might start life in better circumstances than their parents. They were frugal and saving, and as circumstances permitted they erected buildings and fences, broke more land, purchased equipment, and became in time propserous farmers. After a useful life filled with hard work, Knute T. Rude died May 22, 1880. His widow was married in June 1884, to Ole E. Deason, who took the name of Ole E. Rude. They continued to reside on the home farm and successfully carry on general farming until 1902, when they moved to Granite Falls, where they now reside in a comfortable home. Mrs. Rude has many interesting stories to tell of pioneer life. One of the most interesting is of the arrival of K. O., H. O. , and M. O. Agre and Tollef and Simon Johnson in the fall of 1868. She was out in her yard when the five men approached her home to inquire the way. They were arrayed in blankets in which holes had been cut for the heads, and she mistook them for Indians. Rushing into the cabin she sat on the bed clasping her son Theodore to her breast, resolving to protect him with her last breath. But she soon found that the men were fellow countrymen, and her joy and relief were great. The young men all settled in the neighborhood, and were her neighbors for many years. Knute T. and Marie (Hanson) Ride were the parents of five children: Theodore, Helen, Gustie, Henry and Clara. Theodore was born in Norway, Aug. 19, 1863, was brought to this country by his parents, and is in the service of the United States government at Brownsville, Texas. For eight years he was a private in the United States Cavalry. Helen was born Jan. 7, 1869, in the log cabin on the old homestead. She has been twice married. Her first husband whom she married in 1889 was Bennie Wollan, who died in 1892. Her present husband, whom she married June 2, 1896, is Ole P. Flatten, a leading resident of Granite Falls, county commissioner of Chippewa county, and secretary of the board of directors of the New Sanitarium in Chippewa county. By a former marriage, Mr. Flatten had two children: Hilda, who died at the age of sixteen years; and Melvin, who resides at home. Gusta was born Aug. 17, 1874. She married Carl Johnson, of Yellow Medicine county, and has five sons, Kenneth, Earl, Oliver, Tyler and Arnold. Henry was born Sept. 6, 1876. He is county auditor of Clearwater county, and resides at Bagley, in that county, this state. He married Martha Agre, and they have two sons, Melvin and Archie. Clara was born Feb. 26, 1878. She married M. T. Skrukrud of Hawk Creek township and they have eight children: Theodore, Myrtle, Alice, Erwin, Mabel, Kenneth, Melvin and Viola.
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