Chris Hendrickson

Chris Hendrickson was the son of Thomas and Ellen Hendrickson, who had come to the United States from Denmark. The family was living in Kasson, Minnesota when Chris was born. He had five brothers and one sister.

When Chris was a young man, the family moved to a farm in Ypsilanti Township, Stutsman County, North Dakota.

Chris's brother, Allen, was dragged to death by a horse in the Seven Mile Coulee when he was thirteen, and was buried on the farm, as was the custom at the time.

Chris's brother, Fred, was married and lived near Ypsilanti on a farm for a time, raising his family there before moving to Zap, North Dakota.

Fred was known to tell about Chris when he was a young man. He said that Chris would jump on his pony in the evenings with a mouth organ and a quarter in his pocket, and go galloping off across the prairies singing, "Oh Dakota Land, Sweet Dakota Land." 

Fred was amazed that Chris could always be so cheerful, laughing, singing, and enjoying life. Once, when Chris was a young man, he rode on his bicycle to Browns Valley, Minnesota. It took him about three days of hard riding to get there.

Chris took a homestead on Section 30 in Ypsilanti Township. Later, he sold it to his brother, Pete. After several years, Pete decided to move to western North Dakota, so Chris bought the homestead back.

In 1900, Chris married Elizabeth Henderson, who, with her parents and their family, came to North Dakota from Winona, Minnesota. Chris built a sod house on the west side of the James River, not far north of where the Dennis Hendrickson home was located in 1982, at the time that the Ypsilanti Community Centennial Book was published.

While they lived there, they fed all the hoboes who passed by. In those days, hoboing was popular. Hoboes would ride the boxcars and walked the railroad tracks from early spring until late fall. The ladies and children were often afraid of these roving bands of men.

In 1901, Chris and Elizabeth's oldest daughter, Pearl, was born in the sod house. About this time, the James River Valley flooded. While the banks were overflowing, Chris took a washtub and floated down the river, looking for a high place to build the new home that he had in mind. He found a small piece of land on the east side of the river that was higher than the rest, and this is where he decided to build his new home.

Chris and Elizabeth's only son, Ralph, was born in this house in 1904. They had two more children. Florence was born in this house in 1908. while Irene was born in Montpelier in 1917.

From 1901 to 1904, Chris and his family moved to Montpelier where he bought a pool hall. After three years, he sold his house and pool hall, and moved back to the farm.

In 1916, he had Severt Spilde and his carpenter build a home for him in Montpelier, where he had again moved.

Chris passed away in 1956. Elizabeth died in 1958.