Ben Halstad came from Northwood, Iowa to Stutsman County, North Dakota, where he took out a homestead on 160 acres of land southeast of Ypsilanti in 1906.
Ben Halstad married Hilda Erickson on August 9, 1908. Hilda had been raised in Marion, North Dakota. Ben and Hilda had six children: Julia, Gilma, Lillian, Evelyn, Luella, and Burnett. Julia, Gilma and Lillian were baptized in Ypsilanti, at the schoolhouse where church services were held at that time by the Reverend Lars Foss. They attended the Lien School until the family moved back to Northwood, Iowa in March of 1918, where the other children were born.
Just before moving back to Iowa, Ben bought an additional 160 acres of land. After moving, he rented out the farm for a few years, then went back and forth in the spring and fall to plant and harvest his crops until 1943.
Hilda cooked for threshers in the Nels Lien cook car before they were married. She also worked at Liens when Esther was born.