When the Titanic sunk on
April 15th, 1912, Johannes Nysveen from Øyer, Gudbrandsdal
valley, Norway, went down in the disaster. Johannes, born
1850, had emigrated to the US some time after 1880, and
had lived in ND with his Norwegian wife. After 6 children
were born his wife died and so in 1909 he returned to
Norway. He remarried there and planned to remain in Norway.
However, in 1912 Johannes decided to take a trip to ND
to arrange for his eldest son from the first marriage
to take over his farm here. He had plans to return to
Norway after the business was settled, but he never returned.
Johannes left by train from Gudbrandsdalen in April 1912,
went by ship to England, and found that the ship he had
booked a ticket on was overbooked, so he entered a drawing
for a ticket on the Titanic. Unfortunately, he won a third
class ticket and boarded the Titanic for it's maiden voyage.
He sent a card from Southampton to his wife before he
knew he was going on that ship, and told her that all
was well. When the vessel went down, none in his family
knew that he was on it. When the list of the lost and
the saved came out in May 1912, his name was mispelled
as Johan Nyoven so his family did not know that he was
among the lost. When it was corrected to John Niskenen
they still did not know that he had perished on the Titanic!
When Johannes realized that he would go down with the
ship, he gave his watch and his overcoat to a younger
man thinking that he would have a better chance to survive
than himself as he was now 60 years old. The younger man
did survive and brought the items to the sons of Johannes
and told them what had happened. They were living in Traill
Co. between Hillsboro and Mayville. The grandsons of Johann
live in Hillsboro at present.
When Mr. Nysveen's widow got the news in Norway, she never
overcame the shock and had mental problems for the remainder
of her life. She and Johannes had 3 three children. The
oldest emigrated to America and 2 others remained in Norway.
There are decendants of Jørgen Nysveen, youngest
son of Johannes and wife #2, living in Valdres today who
say that seeing the movie about the Titanic was a very
emotional experience for them.