Johan Nygård’s Street named after the first elected mayor

(Norwegian version) Johan Nygård’s Street is a side street east of the railway line. Johan Nygård was one of the foremost people to initiate municipality status for Sel annex under Vågå. From 1908 he became its first elected mayor for three years.

Text: Per Erling Bakke and Ivar Teigum

Johan NygaardJohan Nygård (1846–1942)

Johan Nygård was born on the Skårå farm at Sel. When he grew up, he ran the farm until 1880, then he bought the farm Botten at Selsverket. Along with the farm work he managed the local postoffice. And he was the local school teacher and parish klerk.

For more than 50 years he taught the local schoolchildren. He also helped people with their writing tasks, formal letters, contracts and deeds.

Johan Nygård was deeply engaged in public affairs, and served the community in various ways. When Sel became a municipality of its own, he was elected its first mayor for three years. In this capacity he managed to establish a local savings bank at Otta, where he was the leader of the board of directors for 15 years. Close to his heart was the draining of the large marsh areas northwards from Selsverket, an endeavor which was started in his lifetime and completed some twenty years after his death.

The farm Botten was sold to the Norwegian state when Sel became a separate clerical district in 1909, and got its own parson.