Biography of S. P. Waxdahl

S. P. Waxdahl, born in Norway in 1847, emigrated to America in 1869. He initially settled in Wisconsin, working on farms and as a sailor on Lake Michigan. After a stint in California from 1875 to 1878, he moved to Moody County, South Dakota, in 1877, where he homesteaded a tract of wild prairie land near Flandreau. Waxdahl transformed this land into a productive farm, engaging in diversified farming and stock raising. A committed Republican and active community member, he has served as a school director. On January 31, 1880, he married Regina Anderson, and they have six children: Regina, Bertina, Albert, Edward P., Ingyald, and Sophia.

S. P. Waxdahl was born in Norway in 1847, being a son of Peter and Bertina (Siverson) Waxdahl, both of whom passed their entire lives in Norway, where the father devoted his active life to agricultural pursuits. This worthy couple became the parents of seven children, of whom six are living, while the subject is the only representative of the family in South Dakota. S. P. Waxdahl was reared and educated in his native land and there continued to be identified with the tilling of the soil until he had attained the age of twenty years. He sailed from Norway on the Mediterranean and Black seas from 1866 to 1869. In 1869 he severed the home ties and set forth to seek his fortune in America, his financial resources being very limited, while he had no influential friends in the country to which he thus came as a veritable stranger in a strange land. He made his first permanent location in the state of Wisconsin, and his early labors were in connection with farming and work as a sailor on Lake Michigan. In 1875 he went to California and for the following three years was employed on various vessels plying out of the port of San Francisco. He then returned to Wisconsin, where he remained for a short time, and then came, in 1877, to what is now the state of South Dakota and took up a tract of wild prairie land in Moody County, the place being located eight miles from the thriving little city of Flandreau, of which scarcely the nucleus was to be seen at the time when he came here. He still retains his original homestead, which he secured from the government, and the same bears little resemblance to the virgin prairie represented at the time when he secured possession of the property. Mr. Waxdahl has put forth the most strenuous effort in the improvement and cultivation of his farm and the same is now one of the attractive and valuable places of this favored section of the state. He devotes his attention to diversified farming and stock raising and is recognized as one of the upright and industrious citizens of the county, where he has the confidence and regard of all who know him. In politics, he is a staunch supporter of the Republican party, and though he has never sought public office, he has shown a deep interest in the welfare of his chosen state and has lent a helpful influence in worthy enterprises for the good of the community. He is now serving his second term as school director of his district. He and his wife are worthy and consistent members of the Lutheran Church.

On the 31st of January, 1880, Mr. Waxdahl married Miss Regina Anderson, of this county, and they have six children, namely: Regina, Bertina, Albert, Edward P., Ingyald, and Sophia.


Robinson, Doane, History of South Dakota: together with mention of Citizens of South Dakota, [Logansport? IN] : B. F. Bowen, 1904.

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