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Sunday, May 3, 2015

Nancy Christenson-Hendrickson

I decided to do several posts about North Dakota women. These women are not relatives of mine but all hold a special place in my heart for the things they had accomplished in their time.      

The above link is a book called Leaning into the Wind: Women Write from the Heart of the West. by Linda M Hasselstrom, Gaydell Collier & Nancy Curtis. one of which lived in Nancy's house five years after her death.

Nancy Christenson-Hendrickson

The first women I would like to mention is Nancy Christenson-Hendrickson she was born 26 Feb 1886 and came to live near Mandan, ND where I live!!! She was a smart whimsical character that has touched me with her clever ideas.

She had no formal education. She did everything from farming, sewing, and amateur meteorologist. She was from a large Swedish family being the seventh child. That would keep one busy.

She claimed her own homestead and built a house on it. Being a widower and having no children, she helped her neighbors with theirs. She collected coins, and samples of sand from all fifty states.

In 1902 she bought her first Kodak box camera for 3 cents. The kit included instructions on how to develop the photo's.

After the passing of her father she helped her mom on the farm taking in sewing as extra income. Then she got this wonderful idea of sewing little clothes for her pets which included dogs, cats and rabbits. She would created little scenes and put the pets in them and take their photo's. And by golly it worked, in the 1920's the Minneapolis Tribune, Denver Post and New York Times published her photo's. What an ingenuous idea!

Nancy Christenson-Hendrickson

Before she died in 1978 she donated a collection dating from 1892-1977 including diaries, A guide book to the New York World's Fair 1939, ration coupons 1945, Weather Bureau Stat's 1952-1972 and almost 300 glass slides and negatives.

One photo she took of the Bismarck Capitol after the fire.

The above link is for the Bismarck Historical Society

I am tickled to have learned about this wonderful dynamic women. I hope other's enjoy her story as mach as I have. How did she get those animals to pose for her???


  1. Dear Gwen,
    I would like to get into contact with you! I'm a Dutch writer/stylist and exploring the idea of writing a book about Nancy Hendrickson. As you are an expert on gynaecologie and also interested in extraorinary people I hope you can help me find living relatives of this special lady! Looking forward to hearing from you! Kind regards, Ghislaine van Delden

  2. You can email me at gwen.kubberness@gmailcom