Arizona Copper

When we lived in Tucson, Arizona, I drove for Arizona Tank Lines hauling fuel and gas in Southern and Eastern Arizona. I made a weekly trip to Globe, slow travel most of the way up to El Capitan Pass. The return trip was fast, and a lot of fun with no load.

Most of my trips were to open-pit copper mines, sometimes delivering to skid tanks down in the mine. Some of those trips set the rear end to puckering, trying to eat a hole in the seat cover you might say. The ore trucks could have run over my rig like I was a bug.

Big truck

One time I stopped to check my tires before coming down the mountain from Oracle Junction. When I got started going again, a front tire blew out! New tires were put on the front the day before, and I got one that had a flaw in it. Talk about an angel riding shotgun. If that tire had blown going down the mountain with a full load, that would have been not nice. The mine at Oracle had a BIG storage tank, 8000 gallons made it raise 1/2 inch. One night west of there the road was covered with tarantulas after a storm. Running over rattlesnakes was routine, gives me the heebie-jeebies thinking about it. I will take South Dakota over any place.

The picture shows the cuts on the mountain grade near Clifton and Morenci, Arizona, taken in my rearview mirror. My truck just barely had power enough to go up that steep road. That is the oldest copper mining region in the nation.

My old truck
Open pit at Bisbee Arizona.

I delivered to skid tanks all over this mine. It was near the Mexican border, we went there most of the time. I even saw a bunch of coati mindes near there one day.

My New Norway Linkage

I have learned through a dedicated group of very talented writers and historians that my links to Norway go back, much farther than I thought. I would like to share some of that information with you. My great-great-grandfather was born near Trondheim in 1816, much of this history was long before that.

I find it very interesting, delving into old history from centuries ago. To read how some people with very little felt blessed. Many sacrificed and suffered just for their daily existence. It shows that humans continue to strive, in spite of obstacles. To pursue better, press on to make life better. Some found they could claw their way out of a hot, stinky, copper mine only to crawl onto a sailing ship and become a fisherman. Their reward was unlimited fresh air. Maybe walk out into the forest with ax in hand a hard but honest living. Many traveled across the ocean to mine copper in a new country. In 1670 Sir William Davidson was allowed to start mining for copper in Klaebu, south of Trondheim where he first met some of my family. He didn’t make many friends with working people.


Husband of Christina Hohendorf
Catrine Richte, Father of Brostrup Jacobsen Tax and Mette Richter Father of Brostrup Jacobsen Tax and Mette Hernes


Gender: Male

Birth:   1630  Freiberg, Sachsen, Germany Death:   1698, Trøndelag, Norway.



Christina Hohendorf

You → Frank Olson your father → show 6 relatives → Brostrup  Jacobsen Tax her father → Christina Hohendorf his mother share this path.


Sir w

           Sir William Davidson of Curriehill

“In 1670 he was allowed to start mining for copper in Klaebu, south of Trondheim. His note from King Kristian IV of Denmark was given to him October 14. 1670. The date is in references from letters sent to and from the king Kristian IV of Denmark. He started Ulrichsdal Mining Company, and build a melting-cabin at Hyttefossen in Klaebu. There are still rest of his building there. He also mined for iron at Mostadmark in Malvik east of Trondheim. The rest of buildings are still there. He became broke and owed the king a lot of money, and suddenly he was gone from Trondheim, but his history still lives, and so do his buildings.”

I have seen it written somewhere that he left Norway with a gun pointing at him, the gun was being held by one of the Tax Brothers. Sir William Davidson’s welcome had run out.

The book Bergmannsslekten TAX was written depicting early copper mining in Norway.
“… an impressive family history work … Through the general mining history story and the long and detailed biographies of rockers at different levels, this book is not only interesting for the descendants of the Tax Brothers, but also for others who are interested in mountaineering or mining history in general. ” (Knut Bryn in Genealogue No. 2/2010) Read more
“… a family history research … impressive wide source material” (Finn Karlsen) Read more
“… as well as young people as well as well-behaved are mentioned as far as the sources are coming. And it has become a lot of nice social history.” (Odd-Arne Helleberg) Read more
“Unique about mines, general and local history” (Eastern Norway, 24.11.2009) Read more
“… a rare booklet … a link of family history and Norwegian and local mining history” (Labor Court, 25.11.20


Simon and Torsten Dakota Land 1880’s




My great-great-grandfather Ole Estensen Hoel was born in 1806. He lived in an area of Norway near Kaafjord, on a farm, he also worked in the copper mines. Most of the families worked in the copper and silver mines, or as fishermen. Our genealogy lists family members there since the 1600’s. Ole and his wife Johanna had eleven children between 1839-1864, three died young. Scarlet fever took many lives in those days.

Copper and silver mining was the main means of employment for the men of the area. Working conditions were bad, primitive and dangerous. In the 1850’s many mines were in trouble because of low copper prices, management and political unrest. There were many different reasons but the mines started closing in Norway, families there were desperate.

The hard times prompted many families and young people without families to think of going to America where copper mining was booming in the state of Michigan. My great uncle Simon Hoel born in 1848, was one of those who decided to leave in 1868. His first cousin Torsten Estenen born in 1852, also decided it was time to search for greener pastures. Torsten’s mother Inger was a sister to Simon’s father.

They went to Michigan together and found work near Calumet and Marquette were they both met and married their wives. Working in the copper mines there was not their goal, or desire. The two fearless, hardy young men were driven to continue west to Dakota Territory. Plentiful, rich farmland was just becoming available to those who were willing to stake a claim on it.

Simon and Torsten ended up living on adjoining land on the southeast side of Lake Poinsett where they both raised their families. The Lake Poinsett area must have been very appealing to them, with a plentiful supply of fresh fish.

They knew all too well, many hardships lay ahead of them, much in the way of trials and tribulations could be expected. Above all else, hard work from sunup to sundown would be the norm. Along with that, howling winds and subzero temperatures in the wintertime, they were used to winter weather, coming from near the arctic circle in Norway.

Simon and Torsten were both men with a strong faith in their creator. Torsten was a preacher, it is said that he baptized over 500 children, into the Old Apostolic Faith. The church’s in Norway kept very good records of all families. Children learned the bible at home from their parents, starting at a very young age.

Their childhood faith traveled with both Simon and Torsten as they came to the United States. Simon married Christina Lindolahti while they were still living in Michigan, they had six children together. Torsten married Greta Kaisa Taskila at Calumet Michigan, they had eleven children.

In the 1880’s those two pioneer families started life in South Dakota in holes dug into a hillside, as any animal would do for shelter. They then built sod houses. Their lives steadily improved from their diligent labors. Simon built a house from the plentiful field stones left behind by the glacier period. Torsten built a wood frame house. Their families did very well.

I wanted to write this story for those who are living today and for future generations. They should be proud to have come from such a heritage, a pioneer spirit, an unshakable faith. May we be always thankful for the blessing of the memory of those who have gone on before us. Let us hold on to and keep that faith that sustained them.