Born: Feb­ru­a­ry 5, 1855, Øs­ter­gård, Hjerm Par­ish, Jut­land (now Stru­er, Midt­jyl­land), Den­mark.

Died: Oc­to­ber 9, 1931, Ty­ler, Min­ne­so­ta.

Buried: Da­ne­bod Lu­ther­an Ce­me­te­ry, Ty­ler, Min­ne­so­ta.



Ostergaard was a pi­o­neer among Da­nish-Am­er­i­can pas­tors and folk school lea­ders.

He taught at the Elk­horn Folk School, Elk­horn, Iowa, from its be­gin­ning in 1878, and helped es­tab­lish the Ash­land Folk School at Grant, Mi­chi­gan, in 1882.

In 1885 he re­turned to Den­mark, where he found­ed Stov­ring Folk School in Stov­ring, Jut­land (which still ex­ists to­day), but be­cause of his li­ber­al po­li­ti­cal views a re­act­ion­a­ry gov­ern­ment re­fused him fi­nan­cial sup­port.

Soon af­ter this his wife died, leav­ing him with six child­ren, and his own health im­paired. It was dur­ing these try­ing times that he wrote Den Sag er ald­rig i Ver­den tabt.

In 1892, Os­ter­gaard re­turned to Am­er­i­ca and, af­ter a pe­ri­od of se­mi­na­ry stu­dy, was or­dained a Lu­ther­an pas­tor in 1893. He served a num­ber of con­gre­ga­tions in the Am­er­i­can Midw­est be­fore re­tir­ing in 1916 at Ty­ler, Min­ne­so­ta, to de­vote all his time to writ­ing.

Ostergaard wrote a num­ber of no­vels de­pict­ing the life among Dan­ish im­mi­grants, and wrote ma­ny songs, an an­tho­lo­gy of which was pub­lished in 1912 as Songs of the Prair­ie.


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