Tosten O. Berge was born in
Vang parish, Valdres District, Oppland County, Norway on April 20,
1841. His parents were Ove Zachariason Boe-Odegarden Berge and
Marit Olsdatter Berge.
In 1852, Tosten's family
moved to North America, arriving first in Quebec, Canada. His
parents eventually settled and bought a farm in Manitowoc County,
Wisconsin. Tosten's mother sent him to Emmet County, Iowa, in 1866
to check on his sister Anne who had moved there after her marriage
the previous year. Tosten decided to stay in Emmet County and took
a claim of 160 acres on the Northeast quarter of Section 34.
Tosten married Thuri Paulson
Flatland on May 15, 1867. Flatland had lost her previous husband in
the Civil War. After they were married, Tosten sold his plot of
land and built a cabin on the land Thuri had lived on with her first
husband three miles south of Estherville. During this period,
Tosten dropped the final "e" in his surname to avoid confusion with
other "Berge" families in the area. Tosten and Thuri had nine
children who lived to adulthood: Martin, Lewis, Emma, Oscar, Henry,
Clara, Arthur, Samantha, and Serene.
Tosten and Thuri farmed
their land until 1900, when they retired and moved to Estherville.
The farm stayed in the Berg family for over 100 years. According to
one account, the family barn which had been constructed using wooden
pegs instead of nails was sold by a later owner of the farm. The
barn was sold to a buyer who carefully took it apart and had it
shipped and reassembled in California.
Tosten Berg died
in his home in Estherville, Iowa, on December 22, 1917.