by Gertrude Crowell
Part 1 of 7
Transcribed by Deidre Badker
This booklet, "History of Meroa" has been written in an effort to preserve some of the facts about the origin of Meroa, Iowa and the area, how it grew through the years, its activities, how it looked in yesteryear and how it looks today. We are grateful to the people for their time to write articles and for the pictures loaned to us. Some of the information was taken from old newspapers, scrapbooks, court house records, Mitchell County record books and memories of our senior citizens. We are writing it as it was given to us; however, despite careful proofing, mistakes will at times occur, for which we apologize.
Meroa is a small village located in West Cedar Township, Mitchell County, Iowa.
General Store By Mrs. Gertie (Maakestad) Sponheim
In the early 1890's, two brothers, Theodore and Nicholai Peterson decided to go into business, so they started a general store. This was located near the Rock Creek bridge, one and a half miles north of the church on the west side of the road near what is now known as the Albin Krueger farm. A few years later, the store was moved to where the building still stands, one quarter mile south of the church. The ground was obtained from John N. Johnson, the adjoining farmer. They stocked groceries, yard goods, footwear, hardware, all the products that a general store implies. During the summer months they ran a grocery wagon in the area, picking up the farmers' eggs in return. The young men lived with their widowed mother on what is now the Avilla Moe farm.
Theodore married Anna Maakestad in 1898 and moved to Minnesota, going into business of his own, leaving his brother Nick as the sole proprietor of the store.
After the post office had been moved from home to home, it came to the store with Nick as postmaster. Here it stayed permanently until the rural mail was delivered from house to house.
In the late 1890's, Julian Schoger (a brother-in-law) bought part interest in the store. It was then known as Peterson-Schoger General Store. Julian and his wife moved into the bachelor quarters on the second floor, thus providing a home for Nick.
Along in the 1890's, Anton Iverson, a blacksmith, built a shop across the road from the store and his anvil was heard for some distance. Horseshoeing was his big business, especially in the winter. He and his wife Mattie and son Ingvald lived in a house in the village until the early 1900's when they moved to Osage, having bought a shop there.
Millard Williams, a carpenter, built his shop a short distance from the blacksmith shop. He also built a residence south of the store where he and his wife, Bertha raised their family of 3 boys and 1 girl: Homer, Stanley, Chester, and Clarice (Mrs. Lawrence Olsen). Later he moved it three-quarters of a mile south; then in the 1920's, it was moved to the present Kenneth Ahrens farm. Later they moved to the Williams family estate.
Years went on -- the Schogers moved to Rock Township, having bought a farm there. So, again Nick was the lone proprietor of the store and housekeeper. In 1908, Nicholai Peterson and Olava Docken were married. They made their home on the second floor of the store. Two sons were born to them: Charles Olaf Nicholai and Marion Nils Taylor.
Another blacksmith shop was built in the later 1900's north of the store on the Haugen property and managed by Oliver Haugen. A residence was built close by where he and his wife, Alma, and two daughters, Iva and Mildred, lived. In a few years they sold the property. The Peterson's bought the house and lived there until Nick's death in 1942. The home was sold to Stanley Williams and is now occupied by his widow, Mildred Lewis Westling Williams. The store building is home for Newell and Jesse Johnson.
[Note: In 2003, when this booklet is being transcribed, the Williams home is now owned by Krista and Roger Koschmeder, and the Newell Johnson home stands empty.]
Taken from page 325-326 of The Story of Mitchell County, 1851-1973: Levi Olson emigrated to America in 1850, arriving in Cedar Township in 1852 and laid claim to land in Section 12, on the present site of Meroa. He also made a claim for O.C. Haraldson on Section 1-98-17. The following spring, he married Isabella Haraldson and both families moved to their respective claims in 1853. They each brought two ox teams and a wagon.
In 1854, the John N. Johnson family came to Cedar Township and entered a claim on Section 28-98-17. Nels Johnson, his father, died in 1855, and his was one of the first funerals in the township and his estate was the first administered. The Rev. Claus Clausen was the administrator. John J. Johnson finally moved to point near the present site of Meroa on Section 12-98-17, where Dean, Marvin and Merrill Johnson now live.
In 1911, Meroa consisted of one store, one blacksmith shop, the Rock Creek Co-op Creamery, the Norwegian Lutheran Church, the Rock Creek Cemetery and the Walnut Grove School and is located on the southwest bank of Rock Creek, Section 12, on land owned by N.J. Johnson and Knut Haugen.
The Meroa Post office was named in honor of G.B. Mayfield's daughter, Meroa and established in 1870. Fixtures consisted of letter boxes, stamp window and letter slot, all of which are presently in the Museum in Osage, Iowa.
This is taken from an Atlas of the County, 1911: Eli Hutchinson was the first postmaster and the office was kept at his house on Section 17-97-17, later at the home of John Struben. When one was tired of the office, another would take it, and so on until the advent of the R.F.D. system, when it was discontinued. Among others who held the office were G.B.Mayfield, Ole J. Maakestad, N.K. Syverud, Evan Hegg, Levi Olson, Schulze Brothers and Nick Peterson. The mail was received three times each week from Orchard and was carried by William Skinner who received $25 per year for his services. Another post office was established in 1885 named "Drammen." It was located at the home of Ole C. Haugerud, now the LaVerne Olsen home. When he moved to Dakota in 1879, the office was discontinued. He was one of the early settlers, in 1867, he donated land for the establishment of the Rock Creek Cemetery and also the land for the Norwegian Lutheran Church.
Per Press-News papers: Anton Iverson had the shop as far back as 1892 because it states, "Ole Tollefson is at work building Iverson's blacksmith shop." Then in 1899 - "A. Iverson and family are now occupying the rooms upstairs in the old creamery building."
Oliver Haugen also had the blacksmith shop so probably he had it between 1900-1916. Odin Sorose also operated a shop here. Then Harold Linstead in 1916 to 1920 or 1923; 1924 Elvin Docken; 1925 & 1926 Al Olson and Knud Klemesrud had it.
The Rock Creek Cemetery was opened in 1867 on Section 12, on land belonging to Ole Haugerud. Another is situated at the schoolhouse, District 3, on the farm of Ole Torblaa, south of the RC Cemetery.
Rock Creek Co-Op Creamery
The first creamery was located just north of where Albin Krueger lives. The creamery was organized in 1886 and incorporated May 1, 1886, with the following officers: M. Kildee - President; Lars Iver Olsen - vice president; Gustave Muller - secretary; William Weinberger, Ole O. Skuttle and B. Leighton, directors; we now have 366 stockholders. A quarter of a million pounds of butter is manufactured yearly and $60,000 net paid out, after expenses are paid.
The present officers are: George O. Moe - President; S.K. Klemesrud - vice president; Hans Lauritz Johson - secretary; C. H. Hartwig, S.J. Maakestad and C.G.Apel, directors. (Above taken from the 1911 Atlas)
Ice for the creamery use was cut north of the schoolhouse back of the John Norby farm. The creamery ice house used to stand north of the old creamery. Per the Press-News, July 4, 1894: "The old creamery was moved to the new spot and will be used as living quarters for help." In 1895: "We hear the work on the new creamery is not progressing as fast as we thought it would." Feb. 6, 1896: "Mr. Fosholdt has been our creamery secretary for nine years and we cannot spare him for now the one pct. Is to be deducted from the sale of butter and we think it takes someone who knows something about the books before." Small ad: Best Rock Creek Creamery butter for sale at Johnson, Odden and Co.'s for 15 cents a pound. Jars filled for 14 cents a pound."
April 17, 1895: "Meroa will be moved south about one and one-half miles, creamery, store and blacksmith shop. It will be moved onto J. N. Johnson's land, we think 40 rods NW from his residence. It will be a much better location for our little town of six population than where it is now."
Jan. 19, 1899: "Several hands will be employed this week to supply the creamery with ice for the warm season." Jan. 1899: "The creamery is once more in running order and McLaren is again at his post." Jan. 4, 1900: "The Creamery is to have a new ice house."
I have looked through school records and Meroa news in the publications in the past and found the following butter makers were employed: Frank Foy; 1890 S.M. Rowell; 1891 Alvin Roehr; 1893 W.F.Penney; 1894 Alvin Roehr; 1895 Mr. Parson (Meroa is now moving to its present location); 1898-1899 Loren McLaren; 1900 Sigvart Klemesrud; 1901-1902 Harry Fritz; 1903 Vinton Cady; 1906-09 Sigvart Klemesrud (Sidney's father); 1911 Mr. Crocker (Mrs. Mabel Maakestad's father); 1913-18 Ed McAffrey; 1919-27 Mike Mikkalson; 1928-29 Pete Christiansen; 1930 Donald Christiansen (the creamery burned); 1931-43 Henry Nelson; 1944 Robert Jorgensen; 1945-52 Everett Krueger; 1953-54 Carroll Schroeder (became a cheese factory).
At the annual meeting in Feb. 1954 it was voted that due to declining volume in cream, as many customers were selling whole milk, and due to the high cost of getting set up to buy milk, it seemed to be best to liquidate, divide assets among the patrons and go out of business. Lloyd Staff and Herbert Klemesrud with Frank Holiday started the new cheese factory. It was later sold to Curtis Forbes and Sons, (John and Eugene) from Wisconsin, who were cheese makers. The Forbes families bought homes in Osage and lived there. Curtis Forbes still lives in Osage, Iowa. Their helper, Bud Wayne, lived in the creamery house and stayed on to work for Tom Tate after he bought it from Curtis Forbes.
Damage from a tornado in 1965 and a fire on Labor Day ended the life of the cheese plant and Mr. Tate sold the building to Merrill Johnson. Merrill lived in the creamery house for about a year after we started making cheese.
After the fire in 1930, at the stockholders' meeting it was decided to rebuild. There were some who thought they should move the creamery into Rudd. The new company was called The Rock Creek Co-op Creamery Co. Stock was sold and in due time was in business again. Officers were Harold Fosholdt President; Gustave Olson vice president; Herman Klemesrud secretary; and Andrew Hansen, Halvor Tingelstad, Andrew Marth, H. F. Brandau, directors. The first butter maker was Henry Nelson. (Thanks to Herbert Klemesrud for the above information)
In 1955, Merrill Johnson built a garage for a repair shop for milk trucks, which is known as the Rock Creek Garage and which continues to operate. In 1956 Merrill set up a sawmill which is still in operation.
The Schultz Brothers had the first grocery store on the Tingelstad land, now the Albin Krueger farm; probably also a post office.
There was another store in operation for a short time across the road from Nick's store and was operated by Tooth and Confer.
Families who lived in Meroa
Williams, Stanley and Mildred (Lewis-Westling) moved into the house and garage area in 1962. She and Stanley bought the house from Olava Peterson. Stanley operated a woodworking shop in the garage until his health failed. He died in 1976.
Peterson, Nick and Olava (Docken) bought the house from Harold Linstead in 1920 when the Linsteads moved to Wisconsin. Petersons had two sons: Charles and Marion, both deceased. They also lived above the store for several years.
Linstead, Harold and Kingsburg (Stok) bought the house from Oliver Haugen when he moved into Osage. They both came from Norway. Their children were Hans and Cora, both were born in Meroa.
Haugen, Oliver and Alma (Teslow) moved here from Minnesota and had two daughters: Iva (Mrs. Kenneth Tordowff) of Nora Springs and Mildred (Mrs. Dan Hummel) of Osage, Iowa.
General Store Building Owners/Occupants
Johnson, Newell and Jessie (Woodiwiss) moved here in 1967 after they purchased the store building from Loren Smith. They have one daughter Corinne (Mrs. Phil Bolz) of Mason City, Iowa.
Smith, Loren and Martha (Christiansen) bought the store from Kenneth and Nora (Maakestad) Klemesrud in the late summer of 1947 and operated it until 1953. They remodeled it into living quarters and lived there until 1967, when they sold it to Johnsons. Their children are: Janice (Mrs. Lester Benttine) of Osage; Gary C., U.S.Navy 15th year, Virginia Beach, Virginia; and Dennis. The Smiths now live in Phoenix, Arizona.
Klemesrud, Kenneth and Nora (Maakestad) bought the store from Mrs. May Klemesrud in 1946. Kenneth is now a resident of California and Nora is deceased.
Klemesrud, Mrs. May (Denner-Billings), now deceased, purchased it in 1942 after Nick's death. She had three daughters: Evelyn (Mrs. Lawrence Dieterich), St. Ansgar; Beverly (Mrs. Gordon Allison) of Mesa, Arizona; and Betty (Mrs. Birney Gast), Osage, Iowa.
Creamery House Owners
Schroeder, Carroll. Believe they live in Greene, Iowa.
Krueger, Everett and Beatrice (Naig) had two children: Lael (Mrs. Harry Martin), and Beatrice, Sumner, Iowa; Jimmy passed away. Mike is in Elizabeth, Illinois. Jeanne Brandau, Beatrice's niece also made her home with them for a while.
Jorgensen, Robert and wife, Tillie, and their sons Ronald and Dennis. Have learned Robert has passed away and the family was in Arvada, Colorado.
Nelson, Henry and Bertha had two children: Conrad of Clear Lake and Marjorie (Mrs. Freddie Bruggeman) of Toeterville; Beverly, Helen, and Kathleen Barlow of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, also spent some time with them. When Henry retired they moved to Seattle to live with their daughter and family for a year. Henry worked at Boeing aircraft for one year, then came back to Lake Mills where they enjoyed several years of retirement.
Christiansen, Donald and Pete were brothers. Pete and wife had a daughter Phyllis.
Mikkelson, Mike and Josie. They moved to Plymouth and operated the creamery.
McAffreys, Ed: their children attended Meroa school and included Lucile, Monica, Owen, Helen, Marie, Francis, Harold.
Klemesrud, Sigvart and wife: their daughter Rosella (Mrs. Harold Andrews) and son Sidney live in Osage.
After the Cheese Factory started: Merrill Johnson and wife, Frank Holladay and wife; Bud Wayne and there may be others who lived in the creamery house.
Meroa Story Taken from Osage News September 29, 1898
We had the pleasure of meeting about 100 or more of the sturdy farmers in the vicinity of Meroa last Monday. The well kept farms, capacious farm buildings and the various other improvements seen on our trip attest to the sterling worth of our Norwegian farmer friends in that vicinity, who have with their brawn and muscle and by careful and economic plans developed the country that answers every glance at the surroundings, as we rode along, was enough to convince us that as a rule all were well to do. We would not attempt to estimate the number of grain stacks seen enroute. To put a long ride into a short story, we have reason to rejoice in the greatness of Iowa and Mitchell county, firmly believing that "In all that is good, Iowa affords the best," and that the country we traversed is of the best and its citizens the same.
There is no lawlessness at Meroa, no blue coated policeman necessary, and the township justices records have long since become mildewed from lack of having to be used in making entries for infractions of the law.
A well kept country store affords the people of the vicinity with an excellent trading post where they also get their mail. The store and office are run by Messrs. Peterson and Schoger. Their system of fair dealing has built for them a good trade.
The village blacksmith, Mr. Anton Iverson, is a genal, whole-souled fellow who seems not only to enjoy his work but the good will of the people there, as well.
The Meroa creamery is one of the leading creameries of the northeastern part of Iowa and the ready sale of its products is, in a large measure, due to L. McLaren's knowledge of the butter makers' art.. We were told that the officers in charge of the creamery's business affairs were giving satisfaction in every detail.
We noticed along the way many improvements being made. Gustave Millard Williams has been awarded the contract to build the parsonage for the Rock Creek Norwegian Lutheran Society. It will be of a neat cottage plan, 24x30 with 12 foot posts and is to cost in the neighborhood of $1000.
Nels Nubson has recently built a new hay house and corn crib combined; also a new milk house. Lars Iver Olsen has rented his farm to Ole Brenden for five years and moves to town this week, where he will occupy his Osage property on Free street. On the farm he has built a hay house 23x32 foot and a large corn crib 24x32x8-1/2 foot was under construction.
John N. Johnson had a thresher crew at work on his farm Monday. He had 22 grain stacks and the treshers, Conner and Kinney, told us that the oats would go 45 to 50 bushel and the barley about 35 bushel.
Ole Johnsrud was just setting for the finishing of a second day's run at Martin Fields as we drove up. Martin had 25 stacks this year of as good grain as ever stood outdoors and it bothered him to find bins for it. We enjoyed his and his good wife's hospitality at dinner. Threshers and poor hungry newspaper mongers had no reason to complain. The board was set fit for a king and with plenty of it.
Peter Christianson was threshing for his father, A. Christianson. He had a jolley crew at work and everybody managed to keep busy. G. Gunderson came near going over the embankment at the Rock Creek bridge with his threshing outfit one day the past week. A pinion broke which allowed the engine to run down the incline. Fortunately it stopped just at the brink of a 10 or 12 foot fall which might have badly damaged if not entirely destroyed his outfit.
Ole Torblaa was out for the first time last Friday after being laid up five weeks resulting from a sprained hip joint. He resorts to crutches for the present, but we hope to soon see him around as usual.
H. C. Olson is one of the substantial farmers of the neighborhood. He is one of the road supervisors of Cedar Township and keeps his sections up to the highest standard.
A respectable person need have no reason to complain of the people of Cedar and Rock townships. We enjoyed the outing immensely in company with Nick Peterson and made many acquaintances which we hope to enjoy for years to come. (The Editor)
Notes From the Press-News Papers
1865: Cedar Township population: 410 and 86 dwellings
1879: Eight percent loan rate
1885: Land sold for $45 an acre; 160 acres in Cedar township brought $2600; 83 acres brought $2200. A house and lot in Osage sold for $600 down to $450. Markets: corn 28 cents, oats 21 cents, beans $1.25,hogs $3.25,cattle $4.00, cream 16 cents, eggs 17 cents, butter 16 cents.
1887: A man's suit sold for $12.
1890: S.M. Rowell severed his connection with Rock Creek Creamery. A. Roehr was installed as butter maker. Oscar Olson and wife have moved into the rooms above the creamery that were occupied by the Rowells. T. A. Sorbon sold his farm to L.L. Sorlie.
A railroad line is anticipated between the Halstein Norby and J. N. Johnson farms across Rock Creek. Buying cream for 23 cents. Mike M. Bracken sold his farm to Ole Torblaa and Ole sold his to Lars Iver Olsen. Mr. Schultz, our young merchant, is doing a good business. Bracken will move one mile north of Rudd. Two carloads of oats, clothing and money were sent to the Dakota sufferers. The oats were from John N. Johnson. Our shoemaker has moved back to Osage. Ole Torblaa plans to move onto the farm he purchased from M. Bracken. Lars Iver Olsen is located on his new farm and he rented his old farm to A. Christianson for five years. Misses Lydia and Belle Maakestad were appointed to head the Sunday School at the church. Magnus Sponheim, formerly of Newburg township, moved to his new farm in Cedar which he recently bought. Martin Moe will be assistant butter maker at the creamery for the summer.
May of 1890: Harold K. Klemesrud and Belle Maakestad were married and afterwards, all went to the home of the bride's brother, S. J. Maakestad for dinner. After dinner all guests were invited to Knute Klemesrud's barn where they all had a jolly time till dawn the next day. Several cases of diptheria.
July, 1890: Harold Klemesrud is building a large dwelling.
1891: Our genial storekeeper W.L. Shulze has quit handling poultry for this season as he says there isn't any more profit in it. J.N. Johnson built a new barn. Andrew Christianson purchased 100 acres from Levi Olson. Halvor Brenden and family will move into the house on the farm recently purchased by L.L.Sorlie.
June, 1891: Four Indians passed through our town yesterday. H. Nordby reports his flax went 22 1/2 bushels per acre.
1892: Storekeeper William Shulze has disposed of his entire property in this town to Theodore and Nicholi Peterson. Anton Iverson is building his shop, Ole Tollefson is the carpenter. A new way of repairing bridges is to cover them down with flax straw. Lewis Larson is laying the foundation for his future home. (The correspondent now signs her name Snowflake) William Oleson's flax yielded 10 bushels per acre. John N. Johnson has given his engineering business to his son Nickolai.
1893: W.F. Penney, the new butter maker, has started working, October 5th. Lars Iver Olsen will move to Osage this week. He has lived here since he came from Wisconsin 18 years ago. C. Carlson has taken possession of the farm.
1894: Anton Iverson has secured the services of S. Harlis in his shop. Emil Gratias has a new dwelling. M.H. Maakestad and E.K. Evens shipped a carload of horses to northern Minnesota. Martin Field moved into his new house. G. Docken has build a corn crib and hog house combined. A traveling dentist visited the area, Miss Emma Schroeder. Alvin Roehr is butter maker.
1895: Peter Haug and family have rented M. H. Maakestad's farm. Martin Field and Anton Christianson are building new granaries. Checked ginghams sell for six cents a yard. The Meroa people are adding buildings such as corn cribs and horse stables. Mr. Parson is the new butter maker. Uncle Sam will now furnish us with daily mail. 600 people attended confirmation services Sunday. Peterson Brothers have now moved their store into the new town site.
S.J. Fosholdt received a three seated buggy and $27.80 from the Norwegian Lutheran church as a birthday gift. The ladies of the church served a free dinner to everyone present. Mrs. A. Iverson and son, Ingvald, will soon make their home with Julian Shogers and Mr. & Mrs. A. Roehr and family will occupy the rooms at the Rock Creek creamery. George Moe is building a horse bar. Mr. Wilk is building a fine living house.
1896: The post office has been removed from Peterson Brothers store to Confer and Toothman. J. Johnson is now postmaster. Monday was a busy day in our town, the Meroa Department Store had a fine lunch counter, 15 cents for a first class meal.
December, 1896: Millard Williams will build a carpenter shop in Meroa. A. Christianson has his new house nearly completed. Ole Torblaa was appointed supervisor to replace Mr. Kildee. Many in the area have been to a doctor in Albert Lea, Minnesota. Mr. And Mrs. Confer attended a funeral at Belmond. Anton Iverson has put a new engine in his shop.
1897: Julian Schoger of Osage has started in the mercantile business with Nick Peterson. Anna Hanevold of St. Ansgar is teaching the Norwegian school.
April, 1897: Magnus Sponheim is going to build a barn on his farm which he bought from H. Cannon. Cannon will move to Nora Springs. There are three peddlers' wagons out - offering six cents for eggs. A teacher should try to stop the boys from swearing and chewing tobacco at school. I teaches the smaller boys a bad habit. 10 cents for a can of salmon; 3 bars laundry soap is 10 cents.
October, 1897: Ole Torblaa is improving his farm with new buildings. Mrs. Lars Wamstad has a date plant seven years old. A couple of Indians drove some horses through Maple Lane. Klemesrud Brothers are good threshers and they are hustlers and everybody wants them. Lost of beggars around now. C. Confer of Mason City was visiting his brother in Meroa. Two loads of potatoes sold for $18.75. Syver Moen has bought F. Confers store, Confer will move to California.
May, 1897: Meroa now runs two peddling wagons. Fourteen men with teams hauled stone for Lars Iver Olsen's barn (now the Dean Norby farm). Nick Peterson made a bicycle trip to Manly. Traveling photographers are located at Meroa for a few days. Nelson Brothers and Peter Christianson have purchased a new I.I. Case threshing machine. Confer and Peterson, two prosperous merchants in Meroa, were nominated as peace officers of the town. Mr. Confer's chicken coop will be used as a calaboose. Miss Toothman was visiting with her sister, Mrs. Confer.
1898: Ole Tollefson has been nursing a lame back. Hans Finsand is now back from Dakota. The Pigeforening (a young girls' organization), will hold a sociable in the Walnut Grove Schoolhouse. Sigvart Klemesrud has purchased a new buggy and harness.
March, 1898: Maple Lane News: We are glad to hear Meroa is improving. They have a fire alarm. Six cents was paid for chickens last week. M. Sponheim is moving the old place on to the new one. Hans Finsand sold his new buggy, harness and horse for $50, pretty cheap. Plenty of rag peddlers nowadays. There is quite an improvement in Meroa - a new post office has been put in. J. Schoger (Shoger) is postmaster.
April, 1898: Andrew Shoger is building a new addition to his house and A. Christianson put up a new steel windmill. Nick Peterson and his sweetheart were out riding Sunday afternoon. Pete Larson has built a new barn this summer. Work shoes are selling for $1.50.
October, 1898: John N. Johnson has had his house resigned and a cistern dug, Syver Moen and Guul Bakken doing the work. Mr. Finsand is having an addition built to his house. Hans Finsand and family will make their home there this winter. Ole Tollefson is assisting Mr. Williams as a carpenter. Sigvart Klemesrud has bought Mr. Ahrens' team and wagon and will haul cream for the Rock Creek Creamery this winter. M. H. Maakestad is having a house put up by the side of his own to be occupied by his mother. S.V. Moen does the work.
December, 1898: Julian Schoger purchased 125 acres of William Coulthurst's farm at $45 per acre. Klemesrud Brothers are running a feed mill with their threshing engine at H.K. Klemesruds. A few of our young people spent the evening at Honorable G.N.Haugen's place which is now occupied by Torval and Henry Lindelien. Iver Aspenhotl, Nels Nubson, Anton Iverson, and Henry Lundelien have purchased new cutters. S.J. Maakestad, Cornelius E. Schoger and Peterson and Schoger have new bobsleds. A large number of folks enjoyed a social dance at the home of Mr. & Mrs. S.V. Moen, formerly Confer and Tooth man's store. Anders Larson from Dakota is visiting at Mrs. Norbys. We shall miss the Torblaa family when they move into Osage.
1899: Nels Nubson is attending the seminary in Nora Springs. Hans Finsand bought another mule. L. McLaren has resigned as butter maker and S. Klemesrud will take his place. Harald Fjeld is assisting his brother Martin who is planning to build a new barn. Mrs. Hans Finsand and children are now with her parents, Mr. And Mrs. Isaac. She will leave for North Dakota this spring where her husband is preparing their future home. Anton Iverson and family are now occupying the rooms upstairs in the old creamery building, S. Klemesrud and wife, the rooms downstairs. Martin Field has moved his old dwelling house from its location and will hereafter use it as a poultry house. Ben. C. Olson has bought a new double-seated carriage.
May, 1899: Mr. & Mrs. S. Costly are now settled in the house formerly occupied by Mr. & Mrs. Sigvart Klemesrud. Sunday school commenced in the church last Sunday.
March, 1899: Martin Maakestad shipped two carloads of cattle to Chicago. L.B. Larson sold 10 hogs, last spring pigs, weight 325 lbs., $3.40 cwt. Lars Iver Olsen remodeled his home on Free Street. Sam Costly married Hattie Torney of Dixie and they will live in one of Martin Maakestad's houses near Meroa. A number of our young people attended the dance in Lewis B. Larson's new barn.
August, 1899: Gustave Millard Williams and Ole Tollefson have now finished Alvin Roehr's new house. Sunday school next Sunday at 3 p.m. at the church. The Pigeforening meets with Miss Anna Olsen. This organization originated in 1898-99 by a group of 12 members - dues were five cents a meeting. It was started for the young girls in the church. They made and sold aprons, towels, holders, etc. They also made a hand embroidered spread with 244 names embroidered on blocks - 10 cents was collected for each name. Names consisted of mothers, grandmothers, aunts, nieces, cousins and friends. Numbers were drawn for the spread and Nels Nubson, brother of Alma, won the spread and after his death, it was given to Alma to keep. Mrs. Harold Klemesrud will entertain the Hjelpeforening (a young girls' organization similar to sewing circle - they helped orphanages). Mrs. Lewis Larson has returned from St. Paul with little hope of restoring her hearing. Ole and Nettie Tollefson's sister, Maria from Hancock County is here visiting. Lewis Larson is having a corn crib built by Haugen and Staff.
1900: For a new member, Congressman Haugen is placed on good committees. He is a member of Committees of Agriculture and War Claims. Olaus Haugen (Claus) is hauling lumber for his new barn to be built in the spring. S.J. Maakestad is making preparations to build a large barn the coming spring. Julian Schoger has moved from Meroa, onto his farm in Rock township. O.J. Johnsrud has sold his threshing outfit and farm and will move to Fertile, Minnesota. There was a large crowd at the sociable at Lars Berges' Saturday night. Mrs. Nubson won the pillow cases and Mrs. Andrew Schoger, the bedspread. George Mogk, Alfred Schoger, Nels Nubson, Tilda Hegg, Clara Schoger and Thea Docken have each a new bicycle. Children's Society will meet with Inga Sorlie. Cornelius Shoger has given his granaries a coat of paint.
Deweyville News: Herman Klemesrud, our census enumerator was calling on the farmers last week. There was a dance in Sever Maakestad's barn last night. Mrs. Ole Dahley and daughter, Mrs. Sever Klemesrud, went up to Cedar picking gooseberries. Ole Torblaa has been helping Magnus Sponheim stack. Lars Wamstad purchased a nice trotter from E.K. Evens of Osage. The Kjelpeforening meets with Georgia Moe. The Kvindeforening (ladies aid), meets with Mrs. J.G. Olsen. There was a large crowd at the sociable at Andrew Christiansons on Saturday night given in honor of Gena Wamstad and Anna Christianson. Mollie Fosholt won the pillow shams. Gena and Anna attend the seminary at St. Ansgar. Ole Torblaa moved onto the farm recently purchased of S.S. Smith. Martha Nubson is attending the Seminary in Osage.