Gulbrand Hagen

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Gudbrand Torsteinson Hagen (March 20, 1865 – February 25, 1919) was an American newspaper editor, writer and photographer in Minnesota and North Dakota at the end of 19th Century and beginning of the 20th.[1] [2]


G. T. Hagen was born at Eggedal parish in Sigdal, Buskerud, Norway. He immigrated to the United States in 1882. He continued his education at the Minnesota Lutheran Seminary and Institute in Willmar, Minnesota. In 1894, Hagen purchased a Norwegian language newspaper and moved it to Mayville, North Dakota and then to Crookston, Minnesota. He edited and published Vesterheimen from 1894 to 1914. Vesterheimen was a reform-friendly weekly with most of the subscribers in northwestern Minnesota. Hagen ceased writing and editing Vesterheimen in 1914 when the English-only movement and the coming war created a chilling effect on German and Scandinavian language use.[3]

In addition to his newspaper career, Hagen wrote several Norwegian language books and short stories. In 1903, Hagen wrote and published the novella Per Kjolseth, eller Manden til Marit, a comic sequel to Allan Saetre's popular Norwegian-American novella Farmerkonen Marit Kjølseths erfaringer i Chicago (Chicago, Ill.: J. Anderson Pub. Co., 1904). In both books, Marit's husband Per was represented as a striver, eager (perhaps too eager) to be Americanized.[4] [5]

Hagen’s daughter, Ida Hagen Kirn worked for Norwegian-American novelist Ole Edvart Rolvaag while attending St. Olaf College in the early part of the 20th century and maintained a correspondence with Rolvaag until his death. G. T. Hagen died from complications following flu after the 1918 flu pandemic.

Selected works[edit]

  • Bruden fra fjeldet. (Mayville, North Dakota: Vesterheimen. 1898)
  • Fra Snelandets Hytter. Fortællinger og gamle Sagn fra Norge. (Mayville, North Dakota. Vesterheimen. 1898)
  • Per Kjolseth, eller "Manden til Marit. (Crookston, Minnesota: Vesterheimen. 1903)


Other sources[edit]

  • Hervin, S. (“Review of "Per Kjolseth," in Smuler. November, 1903)
  • Wist, Johan B., (Norsk-Amerikanernes Festskrift, Sigdalsaget, 1914)

Related Reading[edit]

  • Øverland, Orm. The Western Home: A Literary History of Norwegian America. (Northfield, MN: Author Series Norwegian American Historical Association, 1996)
  • Lovoll, Odd Sverre (2010) Norwegian Newspapers in America: Connecting Norway and the New Land (Minnesota Historical Society) ISBN 9780873517966
  • Ager, Waldemar. Norsk-amerikanernes festskrift. (translated by H. T. Cleven. 1914. Decorah, Iowa : Symra Co.)

External links[edit]