Dr. Nils Anders Bergstrom was one of Cooperstown's pioneer doctors.

He came here from Montevideo, Minnesota, where he had operated a drug store in connection with his medical practice.  He was a graduate of Upsala Medical School in Sweden and attended Rush Medical College in Chicago, Illinois.

Olaf, a brother of Dr. Bergstrom, had settled on a farm near Ottofy Post Office and had established himself and his family in Dakota.  Olaf told his brother of the new village of Cooperstown.  The young doctor went there to investigate the town and was so favorably impressed that he decided to locate there.

The newly opened Palace Hotel was available and in a short time space was found in the thriving new village for the doctor's office.

About this time the John Arneson family had taken the complete management of the Palace Hotel, which was the chief hostelry of the rapidly growing community.

The young doctor joined in the social life of the town including the popular Terpsichorean Club.  Wedding bells were gaily ringing in the community and before long Dr. Bergstrom's friends were invited to attend his marriage, March 19, 1892, to the lovely Ella N. Arneson of the Palace Hotel.

Sometime after their wedding, a baby girl was left homeless by the death of her mother, a transient in the town.  Dr. Bergstrom was then the county coroner.  He took the baby home to his wife, as there was no provision in town for such a situation.  Mrs. Bergstrom was delighted to provide a home for the tiny waif, but one day a couple came with positive identification as relatives, so the baby was sadly relinquished to them and taken to their eastern home.

Later, the Bergstrom home was brightened by the arrival of a baby daughter named Jeannette Eleanor, who lives today at the age of eighty-one to tell this story.

A couple of years later a second baby girl named Brynhilde Constance arrived to make their joy complete.

Both daughters were attended by Doctor Kerr.

Can you imagine a town with no electric lights, no telephone, no sewer system or conveniences?  Churches and schools were held in odd buildings.  The first sidewalks were built high, as water in the spring or when it rained was a menace to walkers.

Hitching posts were installed along main street.  The city was proud of its first street lamps, which were hand lighted by the village constable, Anton Christianson, before curfew was rung.  Al Shue's livery stable was a popular place and Dave Sansburn's blacksmith shop served the horses well.

Fred King's bicycle rental and sales was a popular place, especially for Sunday recreation.  Churches and schools were rapidly built.  Mrs. Maynard Crane's sister, Miss Fitch, was an eastern college graduate who opened a kindergarten upstairs in the new fire hall, janitored by Jake Arnold.

I was an animated pupil in this new project, which was a delight for youngsters.

Source: Griggs County History 1879 - 1976 Page 59


Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict        Valid CSS level 2.1