“[Here] we listen to stories of individual settlers and . . . watch and interact with them as each community evolves through the decades.” Ann M. Legreid, Department of Political Science and Geography, Central Missouri State UniversityAgainst the broad backdrop of the expanding western frontier, noted Norwegian American scholar Odd S. Lovoll explores the country town through the lens of ethnicity in this pioneering study. Benson, Madison, and Starbuck, all located on the western Minnesota prairie, were settled primarily by Norwegians and served as urban centers—railroad hubs, destinations for trade, and social nexuses—for the farming communities that surround them. Lovoll’s meticulous research into census data, careful reading of local newspapers, and extensive interviews with the descendants of Norwegian immigrants reveals strong ties to homeland that are visible today in each town’s social, political, and religious character. Odd S. Lovoll is professor emeritus of history at St. Olaf College and the author of numerous books including The Promise of America: A History of the Norwegian-American People. Todd Nichol is editor for the Norwegian-American Historical Association.
History, Europe, Scandinavia, Norway,