THOMAS BJORNSTAD

1889-1949

Researched and Compiled by Faye Bell (SLC) 2013

Data confirmed by Bernard and Orville Bjornstad, nephews, Cody and Byron, WY, respectively

            Thomas Bjornstad was born in Sirdal, Tonstad, Norway in 1889  He was born to Rasmus and Serene  (Torstein) Sigbjorson and a year later his brother Benjamin Bjornstad joined the family.  Both young men planned to come to the United States and had hoped to come on the Ship Titantic[1] but they missed it and came instead the following year (1913). [2] Tom began his life in America with settling in Montana and held acreage there as a farmer. ‘Tommy’ stayed a bachelor and in 1946/47, he moved to the Nowood and worked for Richard Redland who was a sheep rancher.   In 1924, his brother Ben had moved to the Lower Nowood country.  Tom rejoined the Bjornstad family and was there until his passing.  On June 14, 1949, Tom Bjornstad was leading his horse in the middle of a fierce electrical storm and was killed by a lightning strike.  It is believed that Tom was working as a herder for Richard Redland at the time of his passing.

Memories:  It had been a dreadful spring in 1949 of continuous, frightening lightning storms—day after day—until I recall having said that it seemed like the lightning was looking for a person to strike.  I made comment to this effect and it is strange to imagine, but the storms were over not long after Tom Bjornstad was laid to rest.  fb


[1] This fact was given to me by Ben Bjornstad’s son Bernard on March 29, 2013 via telephone from SLC to Cody, WY and other data come from Orville Bjornstad on April 1, 2013 to Byron, WY.

[2] Family members agree that the port of entry was New York City. Ben Bjornstad said on the 1930 U.S. Census that he had immigrated in the year 1913

Newspaper Date: 6/14/1949