BURIED TOGETHER

Partner Grace Raymond Hebard

Queer Places:
Hartvig Nissen School, President Harbitz' gate 3, 0259 Oslo, Norvegia
University Library, Problemveien 7, 0315 Oslo, Norvegia
Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Professor-Huber-Platz 2, 80539 München, Germania
University of Zurich, Rämistrasse 71, 8006 Zürich, Svizzera
Bryn Mawr College, 101 N Merion Ave, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010, Stati Uniti
715 Grand Ave, Laramie, WY 82070, Stati Uniti
318 S 10th St, Laramie, WY 82070, Stati Uniti
Greenhill Cemetery, Laramie, Wyoming 82072, Stati Uniti

Image result for Agnes WergelandAgnes Mathilde Wergeland (May 8, 1857 – March 6, 1914) was a Norwegian-American historian, poet and educator. Agnes Mathilde Wergeland was the first woman ever to earn a doctoral degree in Norway.[1][2]

Agnes Mathilde Wergeland was born in Christiania (now Oslo), Norway to Sverre Nicolai Wergeland (1817–96) and Anne Margrethe Larsen (1817–89). She was from a prominent, distinguished Norwegian family. Wergeland's family hailed from Brekke in Sogn. Her brother was Norwegian painter, Oscar Wergeland. She was the great-niece of Norwegian writer and politician, Nicolai Wergeland; hence Henrik Wergeland, Camilla Collett and Joseph Frantz Oscar Wergeland were the cousins of her father.[3]

She attended Nissen Girls School in Christiania in 1879, studied independently Norwegian history, Greek and Roman architecture and sculpture, and medieval history at the University Library of Christiania from 1879 until 1883. Then she studied Old Norse and Icelandic law under jurist Konrad von Maurer at the University of Munich from 1883 to 1885. She then attended the University of Zurich, whence she took her PhD in 1890. Wergeland emigrated to America because there were few opportunities for women in higher education in Norway.[4]

She received a fellowship in history from Bryn Mawr College in 1890 and lectured there for two years before lecturing at the University of Illinois in 1893. She was a docent in history and nonresident instructor at the University of Chicago from 1896 to 1902. In 1902, Wergeland was offered the position of chair of the department of history at the University of Wyoming. [5]

Agnes Mathilde Wergeland wrote several scholarly works, three of which were published after her death. She also wrote two volumes of poetry which were published by Symra in the Norwegian language: Amerika, og andre digte (1912) and Efterladte digte ( 1914 ).[6]

Wergeland lived with Grace Hebard, and Grace's sister, Alice, in the home she built with Hebard in Laramie, known to students and colleagues as "The Doctors Inn". Wergeland died in 1914. Grace's sister, Alice Marvin Hebard, died in 1928, and Hebard in 1938.[7]


Agnes Wergeland House, Laramie


The Doctors' Inn, Laramie


Greenhill Cemetery, Laramie


University of Wyoming, Laramie

Agnes Wergeland remained a University of Wyoming history professor until her death. Before she died at age 57, she testified her book collection to the library of the University of Wyoming. She is buried alongside Grace Raymond Hebard at Greenhill Cemetery, Laramie, Albany County, Wyoming.[8]

An endowment fund was given as a memorial to the University of Oslo for Norwegian women students to study history and economics in the United States. A scholarship in history was also established by professor Grace Raymond Hebard to honor her friend and colleague, Agnes Wergeland, as one of the pioneering members of the History Department to the University of Wyoming.[9]

In 1916, Maren Michelet wrote a biography Glimt fra Agnes Mathilde Wergelands liv. She also wrote an English language translation, Glimpses from Agnes Mathilde Wergeland's life. Both editions were published by Folkebladet Publishing Company which Sven Oftedal had organized in 1877 in order to promote Norwegian language publications in the United States. [10]

Agnes Mathilde Wergeland Lodge of the Daughters of Norway was organized in Junction City, OR on October 2, 2011.[11]

Agnes Wergeland is honored, together with Elise Wærenskjold, at the Western Norway Emigration Center at Radøy in Hordaland, Norway as one of two Norwegian-American women writers who helped bring the news of life in America to Norwegians.[12]


  1. Norwegian-Americans (Odd S. Lovoll. Multicultural America. 2006)
  2. "Agnes Wergeland". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  3. Jon Gunnar Arntzen. "Wergeland". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  4. The Scandinavian Immigrant Writer in America (Dorothy Burton Skardal, Norwegian-American Historical Association. Volume 21: Page 14)
  5. Øyvind T. Gulliksen. "Agnes Wergeland". Norsk biografisk leksikon. Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  6. Larry Emil Scott The Poetry of Agnes Mathilde Wergeland (Norwegian-American Historical Association. Volume 30: Page 273)
  7. Glimpses from Agnes Mathilde Wergeland's life.
  8. The Promise of America (Nasjonalbiblioteket, avdeling Oslo)
  9. Mathilde Wergeland Memorial History Prize Archived October 11, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. (University of Wyoming)
  10. Vidar L. Haanes. "Sven Oftedal - Teolog". Norsk biografisk leksikon. Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  11. "Agnes Mathilde Wergeland #52". Daughters of Norway. Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  12. "The Western Norway Emigration Centre". Museumssenteret i Hordaland. Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  13. Biographical and Professional Information (Wyoming Writers) Archived March 30, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.