By Jan Lee Buxengard
The Buxengard farm in Wilmington has been recognized as a Minnesota Sesquicentennial Farm for 2017 by the Minnesota Farm Bureau. The presentation took place August 17 at the Houston County Fair, and included a commemorative certificate signed by Gov. Mark Dayton, Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson, and Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation President Kevin Paap, as well as an outdoor sign signifying Sesquicentennial Farm recognition.
Located in Section 15 of Wilmington Township, the farm is 240 acres and has been in the family for 162 years. And, it was the only farm in Houston County to receive the award this year.
In order to qualify for the recognition, the family must have continuous ownership of the farm for 150 years or more. And, the farm must consist of 50 or more acres and currently be involved in agricultural production.
While doing research, an interesting fact was discovered. There was a soldier, named David Barton, who served in the War of 1812. The U.S. government didn’t always have the money to pay their soldiers, so they would borrow it and put a lien on land that was not homesteaded. So when Ole Buxengard purchased the land in 1855, that money paid off the loan that had paid David Barton for his service in the War of 1812, and the lien was removed.
Glenn Buxengard, present owner of the farm, relays: “The history of the Buxengard homestead goes back to 1852 when my great-grandfather (Ole) and grandmother (Margrete), and their three-year-old son Knute left on the 24th of May from Drammen, Norway, on the sail ship Drafna for America. Many of the passengers became sea-sick and the captain ordered them to stay on deck. The water was in barrels and one man had to watch them so no one would take more than their ration. Water for washing had to come from the ocean. One day, there was a storm in the ocean, and it became very rough. One day, there was no wind, so the sail ship stood still. On the 15th of July, they arrived at the harbor in New York.
Ole, his wife and young son lived in Illinois for three years before coming to Brownsville, Minn. and then walked to Wilmington to look for land. They found it in Section 15, because it had fertile soil and a good spring.
A homestead patent was issued on October 15, 1855. Great Grandpa had to work very hard to get a log cabin built before winter set in.
In 1873 their son, Knute Oleson Buxengard, purchased the farm. In 1926, his son Gilbert purchased the farm and, in 1960, Gilbert’s son Glenn purchased the farm. Glenn’s son, Steven, lived on the farm, and in 2013, Steve’s son Kyle purchased the buildings and nine acres. Today, Kyle is the sixth generation on this farm.”
Glenn Buxengard still owns the rest of the farm.
For a long time, there have been Holstein dairy cows on this farm, but Kyle has switched to Black Angus beef cows and started his own herd. Crops raised on the farm include corn, hay and oats.
In 1976, the Buxengard farm was recognized with the Century Farm Award.
Glenn further relayed an interesting note, “It was a custom for Norwegians to take the name of the farm they left in Norway. So, on the ship registry, great Grandpa went by Brattebakke. When he got to America, he was a son of Knute, so he took the name Knutson, and it later became Buxengard.”