was an author and the editor of Decorah-Posten
from 1923 until 1946.
Kristian Prestgard was born in Heidal
Heidal is a valley and parish within Gudbrandsdalen valley, in the county of Oppland, Norway.-History:Heidal parish was separated from Vågå as a separate municipality of its own on January 1, 1908. It was merged with the municipality of Sel on January 1, 1965.Heidal is a side valley of Gudbrandsdalen...
in Kristians Amt
is a county in Norway, bordering Sør-Trøndelag, Møre og Romsdal, Sogn og Fjordane, Buskerud, Akershus, Oslo and Hedmark. The county administration is in Lillehammer. Oppland is, together with Hedmark, one of the only two landlocked counties of Norway....
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...
. His parents were Gudbrand Kristensen Harelstad (1829–69) and Marit Prestgard (1841–97). When his father died early, Kristian moved with his mother back to her childhood home. He grew up on the Prestgard farm in Lillehammer
is a town and municipality in Oppland county, Norway, globally known for hosting the 1994 Winter Olympics. It is part of the traditional region of Gudbrandsdal. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Lillehammer. As of May 2011, the population of the town of Lillehammer was...
Prestgard started folk high school
Folk high schools are institutions for adult education that generally do not grant academic degrees, though certain courses might exist leading to that goal...
The Gudbrandsdalen is a valley and traditional district in the Norwegian county of Oppland. The valley is oriented in a north-westerly direction from Lillehammer at Mjøsa, extending 230 km toward Romsdal...
. After two years at the Askov Højskole in Jutland, Denmark (1886–88), he started teaching at the folk high school operated by Johan Christian Viggo Ullmann in Seljord
Seljord is a municipality in Telemark county, Norway. It is part of the traditional region of Vest-Telemark. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Seljord...
. His first year as a teacher at Ullmann's school in Seljord was interrupted by a severe illness followed by two years of recuperation. His second teaching position at the folk high school of Olaus Arvesen
Olaus Arvesen was a Norwegian educator and politician for the Liberal Party.He was born in Onsøy. He graduated as cand.theol. in 1862, and was influenced by the pastor and educator N. F. S. Grundtvig...
is a town and municipality in Hedmark county, Norway. It is part of the traditional region of Hedmarken. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Hamar. The municipality of Hamar was separated from Vang as a town and municipality of its own in 1849...
, was canceled before it had begun because of Arvesen's election to the Parliament of Norway. As consequence, Prestgard was offered a job in Arvesen's newspaper, Oplandenes Avis
, which began his career as a journalist.
He attended the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition
The World's Columbian Exposition was a World's Fair held in Chicago in 1893 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the New World in 1492. Chicago bested New York City; Washington, D.C.; and St...
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...
as a correspondent for Norwegian newspapers. Instead of returning home to Norway, he started working in the Norwegian-American press. In 1897, he married Orlaug Musum and took a position with a Norwegian language
Norwegian is a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Norway, where it is the official language. Together with Swedish and Danish, Norwegian forms a continuum of more or less mutually intelligible local and regional variants .These Scandinavian languages together with the Faroese language...
newspaper company in La Crosse, Wisconsin
La Crosse is a city in and the county seat of La Crosse County, Wisconsin, United States. The city lies alongside the Mississippi River.The 2011 Census Bureau estimates the city had a population of 52,485...
In 1898, he joined the editorial staff of Decorah-Posten
. Together with Johannes B. Wist
Johannes B. Wist was an Norwegian American newspaper editor, journalist and author.-Biography:Born Johannes Racinus Benjaminsen, he was the son of Benjamin Johannessen Wist and Magdalene Arnoldusdatter Wist. He was born on the Sund farm in Inderøy parish in Nord-Trøndelag county, Norway. He...
, he also edited the Norwegian-language periodical Symra
Symra was a Norwegian language periodical published between in 1905 and 1914.Symra; En Aarbog for Norske Paa Begge Sider Af Havet was established to publish the literary works of Norwegian American authors, writers and poets. Johannes B...
from 1905 to 1914. He became editor-in-chief of Decorah-Posten in 1923 following the death of Johannes Wist. Prestgard was also one of the founders of the Norwegian-American Historical Association
Norwegian-American Historical Association publishes scholarly books, documenting research and interpretations of the American experience of immigrant Norwegians....
in 1925. He was appointed a Knight of the Order of St. Olav by the King of Norway during 1926.
Prestgard was also an author, principally of Norwegian-language books. Probably the most widely known of these work was En Sommer i Norge
, his account of a journey to Norway with a group of American journalists during 1927. Shortly prior to his death in 1946, he was able to complete his memoirs, From My Life as a Newspaperman in America. The Memoirs of Kristian Prestgard
- Nansenfærden (Minneapolis, MN: 1896)
- Norske Kvad, 1814–1905 (Decorah,Iowa: 1906)
- En Sommer I Norge: I; Fra Den Gamle Heimbygd (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg, 1928)
- Fjords and Faces (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg, 1937)
- Streiftog: Stemninger og Skildringer (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg, 1937)
- Bergmann, L. N.: Americans from Norway (New York. 1950)
- Øverland, Orm : The Western Home. A History of Norwegian America (Northfield, MN 1996)