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Zakarias Martin Toftezen

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Toftezen Memorial, Stanwood[1]

Zakarias Martin Toftezen (September 17, 1821 – August 13, 1901) was an early pioneer in the Oregon Territory and the first Norwegian immigrant to settle in the area which would later become the State of Washington.[1]

Toftezen was from Levanger in Nord-Trøndelag, Norway. In late 1849, he first arrived on Whidbey Island.[1] He filed his land claim in 1851, taking 320 acres in what is now Oak Harbor. He was joined by his mother Emmerence (1792–1871) and sister Bernhardine (1822–1906) in 1865.[1] His brother Ole Christian Toftezen (1816–1884) and family arrived in the area during 1874.[2]

Toftezen died in 1901 and was buried at the Our Saviour's Lutheran Church Cemetery in Stanwood, Washington. A monument was erected by the Pioneer Historical Society of the Stillaguamish Valley and the Sons of Norway of America on May 27, 1939.[1][3][4] The memorial dedication was attended by Crown Prince Olav of Norway.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e Toftezen Memorial — Washington's First Norwegian Settlers (Memorial). Stanwood, Washington: Pioneer Historical Society of the Stillaguamish Valley, Sons of Norway. May 27, 1939. Retrieved April 18, 2023.
  2. ^ "Facts about the Pioneer Toftezen Family". The Arlington Times. April 27, 1939. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  3. ^ "Crown Prince Olav of Norway attends Stanwood's Toftezen Memorial dedication". HistoryLink.org. 27 May 1939. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  4. ^ "Toftezen Memorial, Lutheran Cemetery, Pioneer Highway, Stanwood". Stanwood Area Historical Society. Archived from the original on 29 June 2020. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  5. ^ "Norway's Prince Will Honor Whidby Pioneer of 1849". The Seattle Times. May 18, 1939. p. 29.

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