Special Collections Department
403 Parks Library
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011-2140

MS 631
Tosten O. Berg (1841-1917)
Papers, 1868-2008

Descriptive summary

creator: Berg, Tosten O. (1841-1917)
title: Papers
dates: 1868-2008
extent: 0.21 linear feet (1 half-document box)
collection number: MS 631
repository: Special Collections Department, Iowa State University.


Administrative information

access: Open for research
publication rights: Consult Head, Special Collections Department
preferred citation: Tosten O. Berg Papers, MS 631, Special Collections Department, Iowa State University Library.


Biographical note

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.


Collection description

The collection (1868-2008) includes tax receipts (1868-1914) from the Tosten O. Berg farm which was located three miles south of Estherville in Emmet County, Iowa. The papers also include genealogical information about Berg and his family.



The collection is arranged alphabetically.


Container list







Biographical information




Tax receipts