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Norwegians on the Prairie

Norwegians on the Prairie

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Ethnicity and the Development of the Country Town

Author Odd S. Lovoll, Foreword by Todd Nichol

Minnesota Historical Society Press (August 1, 2007)

A pioneering study that examines the social, cultural, and religious development of Norwegian Americans in the agricultural communities of rural Minnesota.


Against 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.

Also of interest:
MNopedia: Norwegian Immigration to Minnesota

Author information

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. This book has been published in cooperation with the Norwegian-American Historical Association.

  • This title is also available at your favorite e-book vendor.
  • 344 pages
  • 30 b&w photos, 18 tables, 8 maps, 1 chart
  • 6 x 9 inches
  • ISBN: 9780873516037

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