Ole and Ellen (Knutson-Shoger) Dahley
Biographical Sketch


Hans Fredrik Christiansen Shoger was born on February 1, 1841 on the Røbergeie farm in Land prestigjeld, Christians Amt, (now Nordre Land, Oppland county), Norway. His parents were Christian Fransen Øvre Schiager and Anne Olsdatter Komperud. He was baptized on February 21, 1841 at the Gaarder church in Land prestigjeld, Christians Amt, Norway.

Ole Iversen Dahley was born on June 12, 1860 on the Dale farm in Granvin
Ole and Ellen (Knutson-Shoger) Dahley
on their wedding day (1886)
prestigjeld, Søndre Bergenshus Amt (now Hordaland county), Norway. His parents were Iver Nielsen Dahle and Elisabet Olsdatter Seim. The region of Norway that Ole was born is known as Hardanger and is famous for the Hardanger fiddle.

Ole was baptized on July 8, 1860 at the Granvin church in Granvin prestigjeld, Søndre Bergenshus Amt, Norway.
Elmer and Ida (Torblaa) Dahley

Ole immigrated to America with his parents, brothers, Niels and Viking, and sisters, Brita (Bertha) and Anna, leaving their homeland in 1866. The family settled on a farm in Pleasant township, Winneshiek county, Iowa. The family is listed in the 1870 Federal Census living on this farm and their surname is listed as Nelson in this census. For a time, family used the Nelson surname, later changing it to Iverson, but they also used the Dahle surname. The spelling eventually became “Dahley”.

Around 1875, Ole and his parents and sisters, Bertha (Mrs. Charles Frost) and Anna (Mrs. Knut E. Knutson), moved to Cedar township, Mitchell county, Iowa. Ole was confirmed at Rock Creek Norwegian Lutheran church in Meroa, (Cedar township), Mitchell county, Iowa on April 23, 1876.

At the age of 16, Ole plowed up 40 acres of prairie located ½ mile north of Meroa, Mitchell county, Iowa (section 1 – later known as the Martin Field farm). There were rattlesnakes lying in the grass and the snakes would roll out into the furrow. The horses would often times step on the snakes, and they would get plowed under. Ole carried a bottle with him and after a days work was done, he’d often have a bottle full of rattles which he cut off the rattlesnakes he had killed.

The Dahley family, taken in Nora Springs
Front row: Donald Norby, his wife, Ole Dahley holding his great granddaughter, Sidney Norby and his wife
Back row: Lottie Knutson, Vina Dahley, Nettie Shoger, Dorothy Norby, Stanley Klemsrud, Adella (Dahley) Norby, Ella (Shoger) Klemesrud, Syver Klemesrud, Erling Dahley, Ida Dahley
According to the 1880 Federal census, Ole was working as a hired hand on the John Shoger farm in Cedar township, Mitchell county, Iowa. Ole’s parents were living next door to the Shoger farm. The 1885 Iowa State census also shows Ole working on the Shoger farm.

On December 24, 1886, Ole married Ellen (Knutson) Shoger at the Rock Creek Norwegian Lutheran church in Meroa, (Cedar township), Mitchell county, Iowa. They became the parents of four children – Ira William; Elmer Obed; Adella Elizabeth – Mrs. Sigurd H. Norby; and Klara Isabella (or Cora Emelia). The youngest child died in infancy. Ira married Vina Gray and Elmer married Ida Torblaa. Adella remarried to John Kerr many years after her first husband died during the Spanish Influenza outbreak.

Ellen Knutson was born on December 9, 1854 in Cedar township, Mitchell county, Iowa and was given the name of Ellia Ragnilda Knutson. She was born in a covered wagon and was the first white girl born in the township. Her parents were Engebrigt Knutsen Vik and Kari Ivarsdatter Aure. According to church records, she was baptized by her father on February 18, 1855 at the Norwegian Evangelical church (now known as First Lutheran church) in St. Ansgar, Iowa. Witnesses at the baptism were Niels Johnson, Hans Halvorsen, Brita Gulbrandsdatter and Ranny Gulbrandsdatter.

Ellia grew up on a farm located on section 20 of Cedar township, Mitchell county, Iowa and later on a farm located on section 1 of Rock township, Mitchell county where she attended country school. When she became of age, she changed her name to Ellen Ragnhild Knutson. She was only 16 years old when she married John F. Shoger who was 30 years old and was a very well respected farmer in the community.

Ellen R. Knutson was united in marriage to John F. Schoger on May 18, 1871 at his farm home in Rock township by Rev. Alva Bush. They became the parents of five children – Cornelia Andrene (died at 9 months of age); Cornelius Edward; Ella Augustina – Mrs. Sever K. Klemesrud; Henry Julius and Anton Oscar.
Family picnic at the Dahley farm southwest of Osage, taken about 1937
Front row (seated): Cornelius Shoger, Ellen Dahley, Anna Knutson, Ole Dahley, Iver Knutson

John and Ellen began their married life together on the Shoger farm (section 24) in Rock township, Mitchell county, Iowa. Also living on the farm were John’s sister, Caroline, and their brothers, Andrew and Julian. By the late 1870’s, John had improved his farm by building a new house and barn, corn cribs and a large shed. They also were parents of two children – Cornelius and Ella. Their first born, Cornelia, died at 9 months of age prior to Cornelius’ birth.

In 1880, John was faced with a rather large financial problem. He had co-signed a land mortgage for his brother-in-law, Knut E. Knutson, of which Knut was not able to make payments. John sold his father’s 160 acre farm in Rock township and was able to purchase Knut’s 320 acre farm on section 15 of Cedar township, Mitchell county, Iowa. John also purchased an 80 acre farm in Lincoln township, Worth county, Iowa for Knut and his family. This 320 acre farm was a rather large farm, so John had several hired farm hands, one of whom was Ole Iversen Dahley who was a brother to Knut E. Knutson’s wife, Anna, and another was his brother-in-law, Jacob E. Knutson, and his youngest brother, Julian Shoger.

John and Ellen were blessed with two sons – Henry and Anton – born on their Cedar township farm. John died unexpectedly in a farming accident on August 22, 1884. He was stacking hay and slipped and fell backwards onto a wooden posted used to support the pile of hay. It is not clear if he died instantly or not. He was laid to rest on August 25, 1884 at Riverview cemetery located on section 1, Rock township, Mitchell county, Iowa next to his little daughter, Cornelia.

Ellen and her four children, Cornelius, age 9; Ella, age 7; Henry, age 4; and Anton, age 1, remained on the farm.
Rock Creek Lutheran Church Ladies Aid (original members)
(Ellen Dahley is the in the front row fourth from the right)

Ole and Ellen took residence on Ellen’s farm. Ole purchased the east 40 acres of section 15 and after Ellen’s son, Henry passed away. They also purchased the 38 acres between his step-son, Cornelius Shoger’s farm and the land that Ellen owned.

Ole and Ellen remained on their farm until 1912, when they moved to Nora Springs, Floyd county, Iowa where they lived the rest of their lives. They sold the 238 acre farm to their son, Elmer O. Dahley in 1937.

Ellen passed away on April 11, 1941 at her home in Nora Springs. She was buried at Rock Creek Lutheran cemetery. Ole passed away on January 29, 1950 at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Adella Norby, in Nora Springs, Iowa. He was buried next to his wife at Rock Creek Lutheran cemetery.



Copyright 2008 Larry Shoger
Webization by K. Kittleson 12/31/2008