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Andrew Knud Tollefson
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Reverend Andrew Knud Tollefson

From "History of the Norwegian Baptists in America" by Peter Stiansen

Andrew K. Tollefson was born in Rock Prairie, Wis., April 17, 1854. While he was a boy his father moved to Iowa, and there young Tollefson studied at the Cedar Valley seminary. In 1883 he moved to Verdon, S.D., where he took a homestead. There he was converted and shortly afterwards he joined the Baptist church in Spink County.

Tollefson became early a preacher of the gospel. He traveled around in the townships around his home and preached the Word of Life. In 1895 he became the pioneer preacher in Summit where a church was organized shortly afterwards. From 1900 to 1903 he preached for the Spink County church beside working on his farm. From 1903 he was pastor of the Summit church for about a year and a half. After that time he traveled around and gathered the people around the Word of God as often as his time and strength would allow him. He died July 24, 1932.

Tollefson was married three times. In 1877 he married Miss Carrie Nelson who died shortly afterwards. In 1881 he married Miss Belle Peterson, who died in 1916. In 1920 he married Miss Amelia Arnston who died in 1924. He had two children with his first wife and ten with his second.

Tollefson was a many-sided man. His daughter, Miss Mary Tollefson wrote about him:

"He had many interests in life. He had always been a busy man. Carpenter, mechanic, farmer, preacher - he could not be idle. But his greatest interest in life was 'folks'. We are very lonely without him."