Guide to the Bertha (Josephsen) Anderson's Life Story, 1862-1955  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Anderson, Bertha Josephsen
Guide to the Bertha (Josephsen) Anderson's Life Story
1862-1955 (inclusive)
one hundred and four sheets, (bertha's life story is in teo parts , one from 1936-1939, 28 pages and the other "my life story:, 76 pages)
Collection Number
The life story of Bertha (Josephsen) Anderson, a Danish 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

Historical NoteReturn to Top

Bertha Josephsen was born on 6 December 1862 in Frederikssund, Sjælland, Denmark, to Niels Josephsen and Maren (Willums-datter) Josephsen. Bertha Josephsen was the third of seven children. The family owned a hotel and later moved to a farm near Fredericksvard. The children were educated in public schools and also helped out on the farm along with hired men. Bertha was sent to a large dairy farm on the island of Fyn when she was eighteen. Here she met her future husband, Peter Anderson, and they were engaged for nearly two years before marrying on 17 August 1883. After Bertha and Peter were married, they moved to a farm near Bertha's home. Their first child, Mary, was born in 1884, and following that they had a son, Niels, in 1885, and another daughter, Dagmar, in 1888. After three of Bertha's brothers moved to America, the family decided to emigrate as well, traveling across the Atlantic to New York in a large ship, and going by train and stagecoach to Sidney, Montana, where they homesteaded. The family faced many complications while settling in during the first few years, including food shortages during the winter, paying off debts, battling prairie fires, unexpected encounters with Native Americans, and a lack of close neighbors or facilities to go to for help. After 1898, Bertha's mother and thirteen other relatives joined them in Montana. Bertha and Peter had eight children in all. Bertha was active in helping new settlers in the area and she and her family played a great role in establishing a Danish Lutheran Church in the area, and were founding members of the town of Sidney, Montana. Bertha Anderson died in April of 1955 in Salt Lake City and was buried next to her husband in the cemetery in Sidney.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Two different copies of the life storyy are available; one is a shorter printed version, and the second is a longer typewritten version. It details her life history, including her birth and early years in Denmark, marriage, and emigration to America, pioneering experiences, family life, and descendants. It also contains information on the settlement and activities in the west, the role of religion during the time, the history of many organizations in and around Sidney, Montana, and general notes on life as a pioneer.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Personal Names :
  • Anderson, Peter
  • Josephsen, Carl
  • Josephsen, Louis
  • Family Names :
  • Anderson Family
  • Josephsen Family
  • Geographical Names :
  • Fyn (Denmark)
  • Glendive (Mont.)
  • Kenmare (N.D.)
  • Salt Lake City (Utah)
  • Sidney (Mont.)
  • Sjælland (Denmark)
  • Yellowstone River