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NORGE

Norge is a community located four miles southwest of Chickasha on State Highway 92 in Grady County. Situated along the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway on the old Allie townsite, Norge was settled about 1907 as Norden. The Norden post office was established January 27, 1908, and its designation was changed to Norge on March 21, 1908. Pres. Theodore Roosevelt commissioned Norwegian immigrant Anfin Ersland, a Civil War veteran, as Norge's first postmaster.

The name Norge, the Norwegian translation of Norway, honored the large group of Norwegians who settled the farming community. They traveled from Iowa on two railroad passenger cars in 1907 in search of their own land. Norwegian families from Illinois joined them later. In 1918 the community had 60 people with 300 by 1930. The 2000 census listed 82 residents.

Early Norge included a railroad depot, a Western Union office, two grain elevators, two cotton gins, a lumberyard, two service stations, a blacksmith shop, two churches, and a grade school. The Great Depression and the Dust Bowl took their toll on Norge. The lack of good water hampered the town's growth. By 1943 two businesses, one of which housed the post office, and the depot remained.

The Norge post office closed in 1954. Today the community has a town form of government and little business activity except oil and natural gas production. The establishment of a rural water system has provided a good residential setting for families southwest of Chickasha, including many descendants of Norge's founding Norwegian settlers.

SEE ALSO: SETTLEMENT PATTERNS.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Chickasha (Oklahoma) Daily Express, 24 September 1990, 31 August and 1 September 1993. Chickasha (Oklahoma) Star, 20 September 1990. "Norge," Vertical File, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City.

Pat Cunningham

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