A. K. and Willa Raundal at their Homestead, 1916

Homesteading was hard work, and those who took the life on faced austere, difficult existences. But the rewards could be great as well.

This couple from outside of Roy, Montana, have been identified as A. K. and Willa Raundal. The homestead was claimed by Willa Raundal's brother, but after he took sick it was Willa would would move there and try to keep it going. After she had been living on the homestead for six months, she married Amund K., and the couple engaged in the maintenance of the homestead together. 

Willa and Amund Raundal wedding photo
Source: Montana Memory Project

Looking at the wedding photo of Willa and Amund, we see a beautiful young woman and a dashing man, both with at least a hint of a smile on their lips.  They were unquestionably a handsome couple. 

They only lived on the homestead for two years, however - at that time, they sold the plot and bought a farm in Moccasin, MT, a little over sixty miles to the southwest. They would raise one son together, Robert S. Raundal, who would live until 2000, serving four terms in the Montana House of Representatives.

Robert himself left behind many children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. 

It is the story of Montana: so many happy families bloomed from what may have seemed like arid plots, and so much history was made by hard-scrabble farmers scratching at dusty land and dreaming about bright futures. 

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