The son of Ole and Ragna Erdahl, who had moved to Ypsilanti, Stutsman County, North Dakota in 1902, Henry grew up in the Ypsilanti area.
Henry and Olivia Strommen were married in Moorhead, Minnesota on November 12, 1931. They lived, for six years, on Spilde's farm, where Carol Jerry and Gene were born. They moved to Holstead's farm for another six years, where Glenn, Roger and Dale were born.
The Erdahls accumulated thirty head of cattle, which were auctioned off in 1937, and they used the money from the sale to buy a blacksmith shop and a home in Ypsilanti. World War II was tough on them, but they managed to keep the family in food and clothing.
In 1942, Henry Erdahl moved to San Francisco, California, to aid the war effort. He found a job in the shipyard at Fort Mason as a pipe burner welder, later working as an electrical helper. The family joined him shortly afterward, and they established a home on Mason and Bay Street, the hub of all sorts of activity. Olivia found work, and all of the children contributed through part-time jobs and by helping out at home.
In 1945, following the war, the family moved back to Ypsilanti and bought a store and tavern. Olivia and the children were active in the church.
In 1953, Henry and Olivia decided to move to Seattle, and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary there. In 1982, when the Ypsilanti Community Centennial Book was published, they were both still living in Seattle.