Oscar Adolf Tingelstad, son of Bent and Beret (Livdalen) Tingelstad, was born on a homestead near Eiokson, Cass County, North Dakota on September 20, 1882. In 1892 the family pioneered again, this time to Silverton, Oregon. He passed the eighth grade public school examination in Marion County, Oregon in 1898 and completed the commercial course at Pacific Lutheran Academy in Parkland on June 1, 1900. He attended the Silverton, Oregon, high school during the first year of its operation, 1900–01; and completed the Luther College preparatory course at Pacific Lutheran Academy in 1902. He entered the sophomore class at Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, in September, 1902, and graduated in June, 1905.