ALBERT AND CLARA JORGENSON ANDERSON
From 'Fanning the Embers', published 1971, Range Rider Reps, Miles City, Montana
Albert and Clara Anderson, owners of the N. P. Grocery
Clara Anderson and her Family, Theo, Howard and Donald
My parents Mr. and Mrs. K. J. Jorgenson moved from Wisconsin to Minnesota by covered wagon; the boys drove the cattle behind the wagon. Mother baked bread at night wherever they camped in a three-legged oven with a cover over a charcoal fire. Father was a blacksmith.
My grandparents came to America in 1840 settling in Dodge, Wis.; my grandfather was a blacksmith. Grandmother did all her sewing by hand. They were a very religious family and sang for their church. One great-aunt came on a sail boat and the trip took four months and three weeks.
In September, 1862, a party of Sioux Indians attacked the white settlement. Grandfather Ole Jorgenson rode horseback up the Wantonwan River to notify the neighbors. He tied his horse up and the Indians stole it and wounded him in the shoulder. He hid in a swamp where he lay all night and relatives and friends found him the next day.
I attended schools in Minnesota and one year of college at Red Wing, Minn. I taught school where I was raised in Madelia, Minn.
In September, 1905, 1 married Albert Anderson and came to Miles City. Albert had come to Glendive in 1900. We lived in Glendive when he was a conductor on the Northern Pacific freight and every time he passed through Miles City, he saw the little store on the corner across from the N.P. Depot. When he would get home he would tell me, "Some day I will own that store." When he heard that the owner had passed away he came up to Miles City and bought it in 1911.
Since it was his great desire to own a store he made a great success of it. The most interesting events in the store business was the Indians' visits at rodeo time; they always came for the 4th of July celebrations, and we became very good friends with many of them.
We sold the N.P. Grocery in 1925 and built the first Anderson Cabins. Albert passed away in 1930 and I operated the cabins until 1947 when I retired and later sold them. I still live in Miles City.
We had three children. Howard has the Miles City Ready Mix Cement Co. Donald married Marian Rufner and is a civil engineer in Phoenix, Ariz. Theo married Virgil Prouty and lives in Bismarck, N.D.; she is a teacher.
I studied art at the Red Wing Seminary and have been painting ever since as a hobby. I have given many pictures to friends and have sold many; they are scattered around, some in Washington, D.C., Phoenix, Seattle, and various other places. In 1934 1 gave a religious picture to my church and at this time they had a tea to raise money for the church. I have paintings from high school days to the present.
We Andersons bought water by the barrel in Glendive and Miles City before the water system. We knew what it was to carry water too, like the ranchers. My husband was raised on a ranch and he often talked about their ranch life in the earlier days. We had so many ranch customers coming in wagons, on the "dinky" and the local freight train. They brought their produce to market, eggs, butter, cream, garden produce and so on and took groceries in trade; many times this produce took care of their grocery bill. They didn't forget on the 4th of July when they came to the celebrations to bring the family in to a treat of ice cream sundaes. We had the ice cream parlor in one end of the store or partly centered, the little old-fashioned round tables and chairs to match. Many people tell me they have never forgotten this treat at our store when they were children or young folks when they came to town. It delights me to see their faces light up at these remembrances. The N.P. Grocery really did mean something to us and to them in those days.
I have been a member of the Range Rider Reps for many years and I certainly enjoy these get-togethers. Montana has been good to me these many years; it is home.