Dagny Fredbjørg Frantzen Krag Oral History Interview, 1982  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Krag, Dagny Fredbjørg Frantzen
1982 (inclusive)
2 file folders
1 sound cassette
Collection Number
An oral history interview with Dagny Fredbjørg Frantzen Krag, a Norwegian immigrant.
Pacific Lutheran University, Archives and Special Collections
Archives and Special Collections
Pacific Lutheran University
12180 Park Avenue South
Tacoma, Washington
Telephone: 253-535-7586
Fax: 253-535-7315
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Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Dagny Fredbjørg (Frantzen) Krag was born on December 12, 1906 in Furuland, Sulitjelma, Norway, and a mining town near Boedo. She was one of seven children by Jenny Bendikte Jensen and Sverdrup Frantzen; her father worked in a store. She went to school and was confirmed in Sulitjelma, and when Dagny was 15, the family moved to the paternal grandfather's farm in Beiarn after he died. Dagny stayed at the farm for a few years and then lived with an aunt for a while. She went to Oslo by herself and got a job in an insurance company. She met her husband, Frithjof Krag, through his brother, and they married in 1931; Frithjof was a businessman and worked for a newspaper interviewing people. Their daughter, Asta Marie (Krag) Marquardt, was born on March 20, 1932 in Oslo. Frithjof died in 1938, and Dagny and her daughter lived with her parents after WWII, during which time Dagny worked in a shop. Dagny had three aunts living in the U.S., and one encouraged her to come to the U.S. Dagny emigrated with her daughter, leaving Norway aboard the "Stavangerfjord" on May 2, 1950. They landed in New York, and, because of a railroad strike, they took the bus to Tacoma, where an aunt met them on May 17. They lived with this aunt and uncle in downtown Tacoma, and Dagny got a job at Almar Aires (?), a ladies' clothing store downtown; she also went to Lincoln School and learned to speak English. She is an active member in Daughters of Norway, joining in 1952, and has been an officer; she also belongs to Nordlandslaget, a special group of people from Trøndelag, in northern Norway. She has taken six trips back to Norway; the first time was in 1959, when she stayed for four months, and her last trip was in 1980.


Full Name: Dagny Fredbjørg Krag. Maiden Name: Dagny Fredbjørg Frantzen. Father: Sverdrup Frantzen. Mother: Jenny Bendikte Jensen. Paternal Grandfather: Frantzen Olsen. Paternal Grandmother: Dortea Vold. Maternal Grandfather: Andreas Jensen. Maternal Grandmother: Marie Jensen. Brothers and Sisters: Astrid Marie Frantzen, Trygve Frantzen, Sigmund Jarl Frantzen, Arnoll Johannes Frantzen, Thor Reinholt Frantzen, Edith Mary Frantzen. Spouse: Frithjof Krag. Children: Asta Marie Krag Marquardt.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The interview was conducted with Dagny Krag on January 28, 1982 in Tacoma, Washington. This interview contains information on family history, childhood home, Lapp people, Lappish language, Christmas traditions, church, life before moving to the U.S., WWII in Norway, emigration, voyage to America, first impressions of the U.S., settling in, Daughters of Norway, trips back to Norway, Norwegian heritage, changes in Norway, northern Norway, and copper mining in Sulitjelma. The interview was conducted in English.

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Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The partial interview transcription highlights important aspects of the interview. Numbers may be used as guides to important subjects. Two numbers separated by a slash indicate that the first number is for cassette and the second for CD.

Container(s) Description
137, side 1 006:
Dagny Fredbjoerg Krag. Born on December 12, 1906 in Furulund, Sulitjelma, Norway. This is a mining place. The nearest largest town is Bodø.
137, side 1 030: PARENTS
Sverdrup Frantzen and Jenny Bendikte Jensen. Her father worked in a store, which had almost everything. Mother was a wife and mother.
137, side 1 041: BROTHERS AND SISTERS
Astrid Marie, Dagny Fredbjørg, Trygve, Sigmund Jarl, Arnoll Johannes, Thor Reinholt, and Edith Mary.
137, side 1 046: GRANDPARENTS
Paternal lived closer to Dagny's family. Father was born in Beiarn. Grandparents had a farm there. Frantz and Dortea Olsen. Grandfather was a tall, good-looking, straight man. Grandmother was small with dark hair. They were wonderful. Dagny visited them every summer. They had cows, goats, and sheep. She never saw her maternal grandparents, Andreas and Maria Jensen.
137, side 1 075: NAME
Dagny's maiden name is Frantzen. Her grandfather was Frantz. The name was to be supposed to be Strand but so many had taken the name improperly.
137, side 1 090: CHILDHOOD HOME
Good home. 3-4 apartments, which belonged to the store. A bakery was right down below them. Their home was in connection with her father's store. The community was not isolated. Went by train then boat to Bodoe.
137, side 1 108: SCHOOL
Had a good school. First class teachers.
137, side 1 114:
Moved to her grandfather's place where Dagny did not stay long. She went to Oslo.
137, side 1 117: LAPP PEOPLE
Interesting. Met them through the store. They were from Sweden. They dressed different, fur and skin. Men had tight pants, fell kofte, reindeer fur. They had fur gloves, decorative headpieces in all colors. Men and women had different headpieces.
137, side 1 142:
Sometimes they came into the store in large groups. When the rains came they had to move their tents, had a fire in the middle of their tents.
137, side 1 153:
Dagny visited them when she was in the mountains skiing. They knew her father, brought him gloves, meat and other gifts. She was with other girls on a girl scout outing.
137, side 1 172:
Lapps were considered different. Not big people on the smaller side. Have high cheeks. Dark brown eyes. They walk different, used to walking in the mountains.
137, side 1 186:
They had a special little bed to carry their babies in, kromse. This was a small bed considered necessary for fjellfolk.
137, side 1 189: LAPPISH LANGUAGE
This is different from Norwegian. Used their hands to communicate. Some Lappish children went to school and learned Norwegian. Dagny's father went fishing with them in the mountains.
137, side 1 217:
The Lappish people were liked in Dagny's community. Dagny's mother invited them for Christmas.
137, side 1 224:
They lived mostly in one place, had to move when the snow melted. They do not have much milk, made cheese from reindeer's milk, strong cheese. They also used goat's milk, which Dagny was not used to drinking. Made cheese with goat's milk.
137, side 1 245:
They had skins for furniture in the house. Dagny went in for coffee. She describes this. They used canned milk for their guests. They put reindeer's cheese in the coffee.
137, side 1 269:
They usually have one reindeer at home. There were many herds of reindeer around. Were about 40-50 Lapps in the area that Dagny lived in.
137, side 1 290:
Dagny recalls when a Lappish friend asked her about black people in the world. They asked her various things about the world. Some did go to school. Dagny had a Lappish teacher names Nels Flottesfjell(?).
137, side 1 299: WAR IN NORWAY
Could not sell Lappish food because they were Swedish not Norwegians. Father was always a generous man, always helped people.
137, side 1 328:
Father went back to his father's place until he died. This is in Beiarn, a beautiful, long valley from the sea. Grandparents lived two Norwegian miles from Dagny's family.
137, side 1 350:
Place called Dryppistein in this valley. People come from all over to see it. This is in the mountains.
137, side 1 363: CHRISTMAS
Big, beautiful tree decorated the night before Christmas Eve. The tree was transported to the store from another place. Had rissengroet on lillejulesften and lutefisk on Christmas Eve.
137, side 1 388: CHRISTMAS EVE
They had ribbe, country style meat and surkål, sweet and sour cabbage with lots of baked goods. Mother did the cooking and baking. A maid helped out sometimes. Dagny lists the other foods they had, fattigmand, julekaken, hjortetak, goro, and berlinerkranser. They also had lots of fruits and nuts.
137, side 1 417: JULETREFEST
A gathering after Christmas of friends and family. Christmas goes until January 6. In Dagny's house the tree stays up until the 7th.
137, side 1 428:
Hung small baskets on the tree filled with nuts, fruits, and other little things. Lit the tree with candles. Sang around the tree. Got lots of presents on Christmas Eve. They hung up their real stockings so Santa could fill them.
137, side 1 450: JULENISSE
This is what Santa is called. Left rissengroet out for the Julenisse.
137, side 1 458: CHURCH
Family went to church and were all confirmed. Went on New Year's Eve.
137, side 1 473: LIFE BEFORE THE U.S.
Went to school in Sulitjelma and confirmed there also. Left Sulitjelma when she was 15 years old. Moved to her grandparents' area. Stayed there for a few years then stayed with another aunt for a while.
137, side 1 502:
Went to Oslo by herself and got a job. Had friends and family there. Did some sewing and worked in an insurance company.
137, side 1 519: MEETING SPOUSE
Met her husband through his brother. Married in 1932. His name was Frithjof Krag. He was a businessman and worked for a newspaper interviewing people.
137, side 1 543: WORLD WAR II
Oslo was bad during the war. It was hard to get food. Dagny's parents wanted her and her daughter to come home. Her husband died before the war in 1938. Her daughter was born in 1932.
137, side 1 557: WAR WAS TERRIBLE
Bombed, shot people in Oslo. Oslo was occupied first. Talks about when the Germans took over. Dagny moved with neighbors up to Svartskog. Streets were full of people. She had to go back to the bomb shelter. "Everybody had to be out of Oslo in 10 minutes."
137, side 2 SIDE II:
137, side 2 010:
A man helped Dagny get out of Oslo. The whole town was chaotic, it really upset people.
137, side 2 026:
Dagny wanted to go back to Oslo to get clothes, money, etc. She was stopped trying to go.
137, side 2 036:
Thousands of German horses and Germans soldiers were all over. Dagny did get back to Oslo finally to gather some things. She kept in contact with her parents constantly. She sent a Red Cross telegram, which was sent to Russia and Sweden before her parents got it.
137, side 2 061:
Dagny had a difficult time getting permission to go north to visit her folks. They gave her a 30-day pass.
137, side 2 074:
Came to the U.S. in 1950. Her mother had three sisters in the U.S. Two were in Tacoma. One aunt encouraged Dagny to come.
137, side 2 083:
After the war, Dagny lived with her parents. She worked some, doing selling in the store.
137, side 2 102:
Did not have to wait long to get on okay to come to the U.S. It took a while to get a boat. Many were sunk during the war.
137, side 2 106:
Came on the Stavangerfjord. Left Norway on May 2, 1950. Stayed in Trondheim for a few days before going to Oslo. Landed in New York on May 12.
Hard on her, she cried when they left. Dagny had to be strong. The midwife who delivered Dagny was there when they left.
137, side 2 130: BOAT TRIP
Very nice. Good food. Many immigrants on the boat.
137, side 2 150: LANDED IN NEW YORK
Had two big wooded boxes with her. Men all had colorful ties in New York.
137, side 2 164: FIRST IMPRESSIONS
Went through immigration. A Norwegian person helped her at the immigration office.
137, side 2 180: RAILROAD STRIKE
Had to take a taxi, which was an experience. The driver gave them a hard time. Took the bus to Tacoma.
137, side 2 206:
Stayed overnight in Chicago before finishing trip to Tacoma.
137, side 2 212: EXPECTATIONS OF U.S.
Had seen lots of movies, which made things not so much of a surprise.
137, side 2 216: BUS TRIP
Funny to see windows rolled down. Pigs looked different. Saw many different animals. Trip took five days. Bus stopped every two hours for people to take a break.
137, side 2 253:
Arrived in Tacoma on May 17. Her aunt picked her up. They lived with this aunt and uncle downtown.
137, side 2 265:
Went to Lincoln school and learned to speak English. Worked downtown in a store, Almar Aires (?), a ladies clothing store.
Had to go home and wait for work. Didn't make much money this way.
137, side 2 286:
Had lots of relatives and friends in Tacoma. Many have Norwegian identities. Norwegians stuck together.
137, side 2 300: SOCIAL GROUPS
Joined the Daughters of Norway in 1952. She was an officer here. Was very active. Has a plaque from the Daughters.
Did many things. She liked to be active. Liked being with Norwegian people.
137, side 2 333: TRIPS BACK TO NORWAY
She has taken six trips. The first time was in 1959 and she stayed for four months. It was nice to be back. She took a ship back, left from New York.
137, side 2 350:
Dagny feels at home in Tacoma. Her daughter is here. She loves Norway.
137, side 2 356: LAST TRIP BACK IN 1980
Dagny has a sister left to visit. Mentions the places she visited.
137, side 2 371:
In 1966, she took a trip over with her daughter and two grandsons. They love Norway.
137, side 2 379: NORWEGIAN HERITAGE
Grandchildren are interested in it. Still speaks some Norwegian. Grandson can understand the language.
137, side 2 415: CHANGES
Daughter has been back two times. The landscape, there are buildings going on all over. Lots of houses. Lapps changed from what they were before.
137, side 2 452:
Dagny missed snow when she first came to the U.S. She was excited when it first snowed.
137, side 2 461: NORWEGIAN PEOPLE
Like to know they are Norwegian. Proud to be Norwegian. Good, honest people.
137, side 2 485:
Dagny feels good in Tacoma. She has made the most of it. Dagny describes some of the pictures up on her wall. Has keepsakes from Norway.
137, side 2 535:
Speaks in Norwegian about how you can make butter. An old song she says. She also says a Table Prayer.
Belongs to a church but it is too hard to be active now. Belongs to Nordlandslaget, a special group of people from Trøndelag, northern Norway.
137, side 2 575: NORTHERN NORWAY
Northern Norway is dark in the winter and has beautiful summers. Everyone is active in the summer, lots to do. Lots of tall mountains and fjords.
137, side 2 606:
Beiarn is a place where the boats go in, as if you are going into the mountains. Jettegryte, big holes formed by water.
137, side 2 654:
Hopes to take a trip back to Norway again.
137, side 2 657:
DESCRIBES THE COPPER MINE IN SULITJELMA: Horses used to get copper out of mines. Put copper into bars. Mining area had many minerals and metals.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Bus travel
  • Christmas
  • Emigration and immigration
  • Family--Norway
  • Norway -- History -- German occupation, 1940-1945
  • Norway -- Social conditions -- 1945-
  • Norwegian language
  • Norwegian-Americans--Ethnic identity
  • Norwegian-Americans--Northwest, Pacific--Interviews
  • Norwegian-Americans--Social life and customs
  • Ocean travel
  • Sami (European people) -- Norway
  • Sami language
  • World War, 1939-1945
  • Personal Names :
  • Krag, Frithjof
  • Marquardt, Asta Marie Krag
  • Olsen, Frantz
  • Vold, Dortea
  • Frantzen, Sverdrup
  • Jensen, Andreas
  • Jensen, Jenny Bendikte
  • Jensen, Marie
  • Krag, Dagny Fredbjørg Frantzen--Interviews (creator)
  • Corporate Names :
  • Daughters of Norway (U.S.) Embla Lodge #2 (Tacoma, Wash.)
  • Lincoln High School (Tacoma, Wash.)
  • Nordlandslaget Nordlyset (Tacoma, Wash.)
  • Stavangerfjord (Steamship)
  • Family Names :
  • Frantzen family
  • Jensen family
  • Krag family
  • Marquardt family
  • Olsen family
  • Vold family
  • Geographical Names :
  • Trondenes (Norway)
  • Beiarn (Norway)
  • Fauskevaag, Trondenes (Norway)
  • Furuland, Sulitjelma (Norway)
  • Oslo (Norway)
  • Strand, Beiarn (Norway)
  • Sulitjelma (Norway)
  • Tacoma (Wash.)
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Oral histories
  • Occupations :
  • Dressmakers