Dakota Bound


Simon Olson Hoel was born in 1848.  At the ripe old age of 20 years, He left Norway in 1868. He came to Calumet, Michigan to find work in the copper mines under that great Lake Superior. Simon met and married his wife Christina Lindolahti there. Christina had sailed with her father Eric Lindolahti from Finland where she was born in 1848

Two daughters were born to them in Michigan, Johanna was born there in 1875, the other sister was Hilda. They came to South Dakota with everything they owned packed in a covered wagon pulled by  a team of oxen. They built a sod house as soon as they arrived, preparing for their first windy, freezing cold, Dakota winter. Many retreated back to Michigan after one winter, the word spread, be prepared.

They had two more children Ellen born in 1879 and Josie in 1883. Simon Hoel homesteaded on the southeast side of Lake Poinsett, South Dakota, USA. At that time it was called Dakota Territory, with no townships or counties yet. Simon, built his famous stone house in 1885. They made their home there until they both died in 1914. A part of that Stone house is still standing today, as a reminder of those pioneers who bravely came, over 100 years ago.

They were well aware of the fact, all they had to count on for the first years was hardship. They hoped their faith would prevail, waiting for the harvest. They sowed seeds of faith, harvested rich rewards in peace of mind and soul. Most pioneers raised large families to go out and blaze new trails in a new land. To work and prosper, each in their own way.

An old friend of the family left behind many written memories. “Reminiscing Pioneer Days By Alfred E. Kangas 1870 to 1944.” “One of the stories he tells goes like this, “Later that same fall I plowed for Simon Olson Hoel on the land that the buildings are on now. At that time Olson lived nearly a mile farther north, not far from the lake in a dugout on the south bank of a hill. It was there one evening that I had fever. I may have got up from bed crying that the house will fall. I remember Simon Olson’s father, a big tall man, took me in his arms and held me until the fever was over that was in the fall of 1883.”

The big tall man wasn’t Simon’s father, that was my great grandfather Ole, Simon’s brother. He came from Norway to help his brother Simon build the stone house and find the land that he wanted to farm. He returned to Norway and brought his family back in 1892. The children were 7,9 and 11. His wife died in Norway so the children Gideon Joas and Ingeborg  Jetta went to live with relatives after they arrived. Kristian Andreas my grandfather stayed with Simon to help him farm.

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Simon Hoel’s Elegant Home 1885



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