Meroa, Iowa - 1977
by Gertrude Crowell
Part 5 of 7
Transcribed by Deidre Badker
Johnson, Ivan -- 160 Acres
Ivan and Kathryn (Maakestad) Johnson purchased this farm in 1972 from the Kalmar Klemesrud estate. They are parents of five children: Bradley, Steven, Pamela, Jane and Rebecca, who are all still in school. Ivan and Kathryn were married in 1957.
Kalmar bought the farm in 1932 from his father Herman K. Klemesrud. Kalmar and Thelma Johnson were married in 1925 and had one son, John Philip, who died in 1970. Thelma died in 1960. Kalmar then married Rosella (Norby) Ahrens in 1964. After Kalmarís death in 1972, Rosella moved into Osage. John Philip lived on the first farm north.
Herman K. and Lise (Dynna) Klemesrud bought the farm in 1892 from Diedrick Ahrens, who had purchased it from Charles Abbot. Abbot had secured the patent from the U.S. Government January 1, 1859.Living on the place at the time of the purchase in 1892 were Mr. And Mrs. Lang and son John. They were perhaps relatives of Ahrensí and moved to Osage after the sale of the farm.
In 1911, the farm was sold to a railroad prospector named J. J. Lanin. There were plans to build a railroad from Osage to Mason City with a railroad station named Hermansville to be built on the land. The price offered was $120 an acre. The plans never materialized and it ended up taking several years to clear the title to the land.
It is worthy of note that Herman and Lise were first generation native Americans. Hermanís parents, Knud and Lise Klemesrud, with two children left Valders, Norway in 1866. They lived in Wisconsin for two years and here Herman was born in 1868 before the family came to the Meroa area. They lived with the Dockens until a house had been built on their farm. Knud was a carpenter, cabinet maker, blacksmith as well as a farmer.
Liseís parents, Lars and Ingeborg (Flatla) Dynna came as newlyweds from Hadeland, Norway to Rock Township, also in 1868. They lived with his brother, Anders Dynna and family until their house was built on the present John Field farm. Two children were born to them, Ludwig and Lise, who was born after her fatherís tragic death in 1872. While hauling logs from the Cedar River, and walking beside the load, he attempted to steady the load as it slid in the tracks. The chain became unhooked and the logs rolled onto him crushing his chest. He did not reach home alive.
Herman and Lise were parents of ten children: Kalmar and Livius died very young; Alice (Mrs. Ingvald Sponheim) Osage; Helen (Mrs. Edwin Maakestad) St. Ansgar; Kalmar and Irene, deceased; Knud (married Stella Maakestad) of Pewaukee, Wisconsin; Lars, died in infancy; Louis (Mrs. Stanley Dieterich) of Osage and Herman Ludwig (married Dorothy Hanson) of Indianapolis, Indiana.
The first living place on this farm was 40 rods south of the present one- just west of the fork in the road. Here five of their children were born. The buildings were rather poor, but they had one unique convenience - the feed for the livestock was ground by power from the windmill. Neighbors also brought grain to be ground at this mill.
The present living place began with the planting of the evergreen grove. Then a well was dug. What a merry-go-round that team of horses had as Harold Klemesrud operated the drill. Next came the house which was built in 1902. The contractor was Funston of Nora Springs and the approximate cost was $2040. A small machine shed was built to serve temporarily as a barn for horses and cows. The present barn was built in 1914 by Ole Havig. The old house was moved from the corner to serve as a tool shed. It also served as a home for Waldemar and Anna Graff for the few years they rented the farm.
Through the years other buildings were added: a granary, hog house, and chicken house as well as three silos. Extensive changes and improvements were made on the house as well.
The tiling done in 1916 improved this farm greatly. This really was a big project. All the tile was hauled in horse-drawn wagons and there were many loads. Two men, Fred Anderson and Carl Gustafson dug the ditches and laid the tile by hand. Consideration of and for neighbors meant getting tile large enough to drain 25 acres of the Augusta Spaanum farm; also 50 acres of the Alfred Shoger farm. Very interesting are the contracts drawn up with these parties, with a local boy, Carl Spaanum as the notary. An understanding with Magnus Sponheim that he help dig the ditch to the boundary line to drain a low spot in his farm is evidenced by a snapshot showing Arthur as the helper. The picture shows him and the Klemesrud boys, Kalmar and Knud in a ditch about 10 feet deep. The tiling project took most of the summer with the tilers eating and living with the family.
Herman had other interests connected with his farming. These were in the cooperative endeavor. He was secretary of the Rudd Elevator for many years, also serving as president for a short time. He also served as secretary of the Meroa Co-Op Creamery for many years.
After renting and subsequently selling the farm to Kalmar, Herman and Lise moved to the Fred Apel place, and here Lise and daughter Irene passed away, both within a year. He then became a part of Meroa by moving there and subsequently purchasing and remodeling the south end of the church horse barn for dwelling quarters. He was janitor of Rock Creek Lutheran Church at the time so it was very convenient. He was married to Mrs. Agnes Christianson in 1936 and for four years they enjoyed this home until his death in 1940.
Pastor S. O. Sorlien and family lived in these quarters for a time until the parsonage was finished. It was then converted into Sunday School quarters for the primary department with Borghild Sorlie, Alice Klemesrud and Olga Olson the teachers in charge. The north end of the barn had been removed, greatly improving the appearance. After the new educational unit was added to the church, the little house was moved to Nora Springs to serve as a dwelling for the party who bought and moved it.
While living on the Apel place, his son Knud and Alfred Olson operated a car repair or garage in Meroa and this was the school of experience for these now seasoned auto mechanics. - Thanks to Mrs. Alice Sponheim.
Johnson, Merrill -- Acreage, south edge of Meroa
The Merrill Johnson home in Meroa was built in 1958 and is just north of the Johnson farmstead. Merrill Johnson and Muriel Bratland were married in 1954 at Odin, Minneosta. They have four children: Krista; Wayne; Karla and Robert. All are students in the Osage School System.
Merrill was associated with the Rock Creek Cheese factory from 1954-1958. He was employed by the Co-op Oil Co. from 1958-1967. He is owner of Rock Creek Tree Service which does tree and stump removal. In 1975 he became a partner of C. C. Hansen in tiling and land improvement. His hobbies include a saw mill operation and a large collection of antique farm machinery and implements.
Muriel continues to be employed part-time as a registered nurse at Mitchell County Memorial Hospital. - Thanks to Merrill and Muriel Johnson.
In 1955, a house was torn down which was just east of the Dean Johnson farm. This was at one time home for Martin and Emelia Maakestad. Lloyd and Nora (Johnson) Gillerman were the last family to live there. They had two daughters: Ruth (Mrs. Vernon Abraham) of Mason City and Lois (Mrs. Thomas E. Lehmann) of Clear Lake. Nora is deceased and Lloyd is a resident of the Manly Care Center.
The Fred Tucker family lived here in 1930.
Clarence and Alma (Olson) Huset lived here with their family from 1930-1935: Leona (Mrs. Eugene Estal), Osage; Clarice (Mrs. Alvin Kalke), New Richland, Minnesota; Carmen, Waunakee, Wisconsin; Merlyn, Winnebago, Minnesota. Clarence was a cream hauler for Rock Creek Creamery. They also lived in the creamery house in 1929. Clarence and Alma are deceased.
The Jack Forbes family lived there from 1913-1915. They had four sons: Harry, Melvin, Earl and Edward.
By Harry Forbes, Nevada, Iowa: ďMy father (James) passed away in 1959 and mother (Mary Rainey) in 1975. We moved to Mitchell County in 1913 and worked for Nick Johnson, living in the house just east of his home. Our family included Melvin and myself then. The twins, Edward and Earl were born on the Johnson place in 1913. In the fall of 1915 we moved to the Johnny Maakestad place.
Dad started farming for himself on the Tom Hvattum farm (Glennys Lunde) in 1916 and continued there until 1918, when we moved to the Moe 80 (Bill Greiner).
We moved to the Sorlie farm in 1919 and lived there until 1922. All four boys went to the Meroa school then.
In 1923 we moved back to the Hvattum farm for one year and that is where my only sister, Bonnie, was born. In 1924 to 1926 we lived on an acreage 4 miles west of Truman Askís farm. In the fall of 1926 we moved to the old Krogstad farm (land owned now by L. E. Christiansen) and raised onions for one year. In 1927 we lived on a farm east of St. Ansgar for 2 years and in 1929 we moved to Nevada, IA. My youngest brother Don was born here in June 1931. He was killed in service in 1950. My wife and I are retired. Melvin has been a resident of the Iowa Soldiers Home in Marshalltown for many years- he is not in very good health, he has four children. Edward is in Los Angeles, he is a finished carpenter. Earl is in Riverside, he works for a print shop and has 2 children. Bonnie lives in Nevada, her husband runs the Farm Service tank truck and they have 3 children.Ē
Mr. And Mrs. Bentley and baby were living here in 1919. Around 1904 John N. Johnson and wife and family lived here.
Ketelsen, Dean -- 80 Acres
Farm owned by Avilla Moe.
Dean and Karen (Wold) Ketelsen moved here in 1976 and rent the house - their children are: Kurt, Kymn, Kent and Kyra. Dean manages the Ketelsen Oil Co. Dean Norby farms the land.
Ronald and Dixie (White) Jellum and two daughters, Michelle and Jennifer, were tenants before the Ketelsens. They moved here in the spring of 1972.
Olvin and Avilla (Larson) Moe lived here in 1926 when they bought the farm from Martin Moe and they had no children. They built the present house in 1926. Olvin died in 1967 and Avilla moved to the Faith Home in 1971. Ed Cook rented this from Martin Moe awhile and he was also a skimmer for the creamery.
Martin Moe bought it from Sam Costly in 1926. Costly bought it from Carl Olson; Olson from Nels P. Peterson (also known as Fagerbakken). Peterson bought it in 1868.
From the Press News: Obituary: Mrs. Ingeborg Anna Fagre was born in Narland, Norway in 1842. She came to America in 1866 and located in Meroa. In 1868 she married Nels P. Fagerbakken. Theodore and Nicolai were born to them. First husband died and she married Hans P. Fagerbakken, a brother to Nels. They had two sons, Pete and Chris. The last eight years of her life were spent with Nick. She died in 1926.
At one time the house was empty and it has been rumored that Jesse James camped here. Mary Klaven lived here in a small house, she was related to Mrs. Nels Peterson.
Klemesrud, Mrs. Donna -- 80 Acres
John Philip and Donna (Griggs) Klemesrud moved here after their marriage in 1952. They have seven children: Brenda, Tracy, Babette (Mrs. James Thome), Becky, Bonnie, Terry and Tim. John died in 1970 and the family has continued to live on the farm, renting out the land. Johnís father, Kalmar Klemesrud, bought the farm from Myron and Pearl (Olson) Maakestad. They had two children: Ardis (Mrs. Fred Dieterich) and Gene near Osage.
The first owner of this farm was Charles Abbot who got a patent from the U.S. Government in 1856. Other owners: John Dutton 1858 and George Briggs who acquired it in 1864 through tax sale. Julia, widow of Charles Abbot, who died in estate was then the owner. She later became Julia Barnhart. Through a warranty deed owned by Niels Knudson, it became the property of Andrew Shoger in 1873. Andrew was married to Betsy Larson and their children were: Ella (Eliason-Featherkile); Clara (Mrs. John Johnson); Annie (Mrs. Peter Paulson); Alfred; Mathilda (Mrs. Andrew Wamstad) and Lawrence.
Alfred and Alice (Havig) Shoger became owners in 1920. Through the death of Alfred in 1928 it was left to wife Alice and son Robert. Alice decided to move to Osage, sold the farm to Julian and Carrie (Olson) Shoger and bought a house in 1929 in Osage. Edwin and Thelma (Norby) Jellum rented the farm one year, 1929. In 1935 Myron and Pearl Maakestad became owners and in 1942, they sold to Kalmar Klemesrud. Following the death of his wife, Thelma, the 80 became the property of the son John Philip.
Kalmar built the corn crib and remodeled the barn into a cattle feeding setup. A new house was built in 1956. During the years 1953-1962, Harvey and Elsie Felton lived here while they worked for Kalmar. They had one son Tom. This farm also included 40 acres which Jim Urbatsch purchased at the Kalmar Klemesrud estate sale in 1972. - By Mrs. Alice Sponheim.
This farm house is now empty. Kinley and Alice (Wahl) Klemesrud and two daughters: Marjorie (Mrs. Don Risting) and Mrs. Mary Alice Morphew of Minneapolis, Minn. Were the last family to live in the house. Kinley and Alice now reside in Osage.
Knud Hermanson Klemesrud was born in Hedalen, Valdres, Norway in 1834. His youth was spent in his native land. Bears frequented that area and he was cited for hunting bears. In 1858 he married Liv Grove of Hedalen. They lived in a log cabin which they built near the Hedal church.
Mr. And Mrs. Klemesrud came to America in 1866 with children Harold and Carrie. They lived near Black Earth, Dane County, Wisconsin. In 1868 they came to Cedar Township, Mitchell County. They stayed temporarily at Tidemand Dockens in their log cabin home near Meroa. Knud and Liv purchased a 160 acre farm southwest of Meroa on the county line and a 40 acre strip of woodland along the creek three miles east of his farm. He used some of the rock from the bluff and the lumber from the oak trees for his buildings. The first section of the house he built was constructed up on the hill about ľ mile west of the place on which it now stands. He had it pulled down there with oxen and added two more sections to it.
The house, completed in 1878, and some of the buildings still stand. Knud also built the barn, granary, workshop and other buildings. He built a wooden windmill, many years later replaced by one of steel. He was skilled in carpentry and cabinet making and built many of the buildings on the early pioneer farms, and constructed much of the furniture for the homes. He was also one of the builders of Rock Creek Lutheran Church. Two of Livís sisters also belonged to RCLC church: Johanna (Mrs. S. J. Fosholdt) and Marie (Mrs. Ole S. Kleven). Marie married Ole Lunde after Ole Kleven died.
Knud and Livís family consisted of eight children: three died in infancy; Harold, Carrie (Mrs. C. J. Carlson); Herman, Martin and Syver.
Syver and wife Ella (Dahley) Klemesrud lived here with their three sons: Ellsworth and Stanley, both deceased and Kinley of Osage.
Klemesrud, Robert, Jr. -- 120 Acres
Robert Jr. and Nancy (Debuhr) Klemesrud moved on this farm in March 1972. They have two sons: Matt Robert and Andrew Ryan.
Herbert and Laura (Williams) Klemesrud moved here in December 1921 and bought it in July 1922. They had three children: Robert Sr., Nora Springs; Patty (Mrs. William Rothmeyer) Des Moines; and Kent of South Pasadena, California. Herbert and Laura moved into Osage in 1972.
As Herbert and Ruth remember it, the George Lohrs came here November 21, 1892 and moved to Nora Springs about 1909. Then Halvor Tingelstad rented it for awhile. Next it was rented to George Mogk. Then to Jake Shindler who was Bill Mogksí father-in-law. Then Bill Mogk rented it until Herbert rented it.
Courthouse records show that George Lohr and wife Tillie came here November 21, 1892. William G. Helm and wife Keziak, August 18, 1888. Arad Hitchcock and wife Matilda December 12, 1872.
Klemesrud, Robert, Sr. -- 80 Acres
Robert and Joan (Ryner) Klemesrud moved on this farm in 1947. They bought it in 1976 from Herbert and Laura Klemesrud. They have six children: Robert Jr.; Lori; Barbara Jo; Wendall; Randall and Kevin. Robert and his sons raise purebred Spotted Poland China hogs.
Olaf Klemesrud and son James and daughter-in-law Helen, and children: James Jr.; Kathleen; William and Normand lived here from 1937-1947. Gregg was born later.
Clarence and Gladys (Maakestad) Klemesrud lived here from 1923 to 1937. They have three daughters: Bonnie, Clear Lake; Cleone (Mrs. John Weaverling) and Mary Lou (Mrs. Richard Dean), both of Osage.
Herbert and Laura (Williams) Klemesrud bought 120 acres of the original 220 and Clarence and Ted Klemesrud bought the 100, from the Harold Klemesrud Estate in 1947.
Harold K. Klemesrud was born in Hedalen, Valdres, Norway in 1859. At the age of 7, he came with his parents Knud H., and Liv Klemesrud and sister Carrie, to America. They lived in Dane County, Wisconsin, near Black Earth. In 1868 they came to Cedar Township, Mitchell County where they purchased a farm and built a home southwest of Meroa.
Knud was a farmer, carpenter and cabinet maker. As Harold grew older he helped his father with the carpenter work as well as with the farming. He purchased a well-drilling machine and drilling wells proved to be a much needed service at that time.
In 1888 Harold bought 119 acres from T. R. Davis of County of Sanborn, Territory of Dakota. In 1890, he married Ingeborg Maakestad and they established their home on this farm, which became known as Midway Farm, being equal distances from the parental Knud H. Klemesrud and Ole J. Maakestad homesteads. In 1899 he bought 40 acres adjoining his land on the northeast, from his parents. This had a house which was moved home and made into a chicken house. Mr & Mrs. Mike Brakken lived on this place in the 1890ís. In 1904 he bought an additional 60 acres adjoining his farm on the north from N. J. Johnson and wife Caroline. This had a house and some other buildings. In 1909 the former Johnson house was moved across the field in two sections, and joined at either end of the one Klemesruds were living in then. The basement was enlarged and carpenters hired to get the job done. That fall a hot water furnace was installed, and running water and bathroom fixtures added. Later gas lights were put in to complement thekerosene lamps.
Harold and Ingeborg had 10 children: Omer, Lillie, Cora, Olaf, all deceased, and Herbert, Clarence, of Osage; Theodore of Thompson, Ruth, Lorin of Osage and Eleanor of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The first windmill was of wood, years later it was replaced by a taller one of steel. Many buildings were added later and much of the carpenter work was done by Harold and sons.
Mr. Klemesrud was a thresher man for 38 years. In 1896, in company with his brothers, he purchased a threshing rig and each fall carried on extensive threshing operations.
In early times he also ground feed for many of the neighbors. In 1933 some of the farm buildings burned and Harold was rebuilding them at the time of his death in 1935.
The school teachers would often board at this home.
Krueger, Albin -- 263 Acres
Albin and Ruth (Kuntz) Krueger bought the farm in 1955 from John Hilarides, Belle Fleuer, California. Albin and Ruth have three children: Donald of Baudette, Minnesota; Janice (Mrs. Carroll Nelson) of Osage and Judeen (Mrs. Gene Hendrickson) of Edmonton, Canada.
Kennth and Virginia (Benson) Warrington rented the farm from 1946 to 1956. They had three children: Larry and Robert of St. Ansgar and Karen, deceased.
Halvor and Betsy (Staff) Tingelstad and son Howard lived here from 1907 (we think) to 1945, when they sold to Hilarides and they moved into Osage. They also lived on the Johnson farm southwest of Dean Johnsons in the field for a few years before moving here. Lauritz Olsen and wife had a daughter when they lived here. Lauritz had a sister, Anna and two brothers, John and Oscar.
Halvor was a dairy, livestock and hog farmer and he operated a threshing machine for the neighbors for many years. Some of his hired men were Chris Brenden, Benny Johnson, Alfred Koschmeder, Chris Erickson and Stephen Fagerlie. In the 1920ís Halvor also filled silos with a Hart Parr tractor, using horses on the racks and corn binder and loading the racks by hand.
Transfers at the Mitchell County Courthouse show in 1909 Hans Lauritz Olsen and wife to Halvor Tingelstad. In 1926, Ben Johnson, single to Halvor E. Tingelstad.
Larson, Loren 120 Acres
Loren and Altje Larson moved here in 1959. They have three daughters: Carolyn, Joyce and Audra, all at home. They bought the farm in 1966 from Phillip Larson.
In 1949 Philip rented the farm to Maynard and Nora (Johnson) Mogk. They are parents of three sons: Robert, Bruce and Dennis, all of Kensett, Iowa. A daughter Vicki was born after they moved to Kensett.
Philip H. Larson bought the farm in 1940 from his father Peter Bastian Larson. Peter Bastian and Helen (Johnson) Larson were married in 1906 and had three children. They were: John of Lexington, Kentucky; Philip of Mission, Texas; and Mary (Mrs. Art Hollatz) of St. Ansgar.
Bastian Larson bought part of the land from the government in 1859. Peter was born here in 1864 and lived on the same farm until he was 86 years old.
Bastian Larson and his wife were both born in Norway. They left for America by ship the day after they were married. They crossed the Atlantic by the northern route, experiencing stormy and treacherous seas. After landing in Montreal, they crossed southern Canada, coming down into Minnesota and settling near Blue Earth, Minnesota. Many people who lost their families in the Indian massacre at New Ulm stayed in their home to rest before walking on to Decorah or McGregor where they had relatives. The Indian threat was constant so the Larsons moved to a farm near Mona, Iowa. From there they moved to the present farm in Cedar Township.
The house was two rooms with a hay loft. Later three more rooms were added, making it L-shaped which was typical of old settlers homes. In 1921, it was extensively remodeled and modernized into the present home, at a total cost of $5,000.00. They had built around the two room house. Peter built the barn in 1898.
Entertainment during those days consisted of quilting bees, school programs, box socials, and visiting neighbors. Yearly events included planting with horses, corn husking, threshing, butchering, etc. They usually had a hired man who lived right with the family; preparing food was an enormous task, particularly the Norwegian specialties and daily duties included cleaning lamp chimneys, carrying in wood and cobs and pumping water. - Thanks to Mrs. Art (Mary Larson) Hollatz
Lorence, Carl 129 Acres
Carl and Darlene (Troge) Lorence rent the house. They have three children: Diane, Craig and Debra. They moved here in 1964.
Gary and Mary (Decklever) Nelson lived here awhile in 1964.
Donald and Jennie Blake and daughter, Sandra, lived here awhile. They have moved to England.
Keith and Mildred (Sampson) Westling moved here in 1957. Their children are Barbara (Mrs. Richard Onken); Karen and Jeff. In 1960, they moved three fourths of a mile south to the Stanley Williams farm.
Transfers from the courthouse are: Susan & Joseph J. Emerson to Ole Moe in 1867, price $360 for 40 plus acres. Ole Moe's wife was Guri Bjoran. Their children were: Ole, Gilbert, Julia, (these 3 born in Norway), Martin, George, Lena, Carrie and Mary. They came to Wisconsin from Norway in 1865. Ole's brothers took different last names - Abram Olson and Halvor Christiansmoen.
The farm was owned by Martin and Gilbert Moe and later inherited by Ole's daughter Mary who married a Lars J. Oppedahl in 1931, she died a few months later.
The son Ole Moe married Mary Field, their daughter was named Georgia. They lived on the Greiner farm.
Julia married Martin Field. Lena and Carrie never married.
George married Olava Finsand in 1895, her parents were Tustin and Margaret he (Halvorsdatter) Finsand. Petra and Jacob Halvorson were Margarethe's sister and brother.
When Lars J. Oppedahl died in 1958, Olvin, Clarence and Edward Moe bought the farm and later sold to a great-grandson of Ole Moe, Mr. Marvin Norby.
Transfers from the Mitchell County Courthouse are:
1856: USA to Gayen Kennedy
1860: J.H. Brust and Cyrus Foreman
1861:Dubuque Company to Mark Rowe
1862: Gayen Kennedy's heirs - George Walkn, Veturia Walkn, Lyman Fletcher, George w. Duryea, Jane Duryea & Mark Rowe, heirs to Zenette E. Harker.
1866: Zennette E. Harker & husband, Simon to Susan E. Emerson.
1867: Susan E. Emerson & Joseph Emerson to Ole Oleson Moe
1884: Halsten Tollefson & wife to Ole Olson Moe.
Maakestad, Edwin Jr. -- 160 Acres
Edwin and Jacqueline (Snowgren) Maakestad moved on this farm in 1963. They bought it from the Martin Maakestad estate. They had two children: Nicole and Jon.
Martin and Emelia (Nelson) Maakestad bought it in 1904 from Christopher Eliason. They were married in 1894 and had six children: Ester (Mrs. Odin Sorose); John; Edwin; Gladys (Mrs. Clarence Maakestad); Lenard; Nora (Mrs. Kenneth Klemesrud).
Clarence and Gladys and daughters Bonnie, Cleone and Mary Lou lived here in 1946 with Gladys' parents so they could help care for her mother. After the mother's death, they moved into Osage and Lenard and Josie Maakestad and family moved here, living on the farm until 1963.
Maakestad, Maurice -- 160 Acres
Maurice and Lois (Gregg) Maakestad moved on this farm in 1963. They bought it in 1963 from Edwin M. Maakestad. They have two sons, Gregg and Michael.
Edwin and Helen (Klemesrud) Maakestad moved here in 1925, when the new house was also built. They bought this farm in 1927 from Martin Maakestad. They were parents of five children: Dorothy (Mrs. Norman Berry); Maurice; Kenneth; Edwin Jr.; and Kathryn (Mrs. Ivan Johnson).
The northeast 80 acres of this farm was at one time part of the Halstein Norby farm. In fact the old barn foundation is still here. Martin Maakestad bought 160 acres of the Norby farm - 80 acres was added to this farm and 80 acres was added to the Onken farm. The barn hog house, garage and chicken house on this farm were all moved here from the Norby farm. The house was located on the 80 acres that went to the old John Maakestad farm, that farm is now owned by Dwight Onken. - Contributed by Mrs. Maurice Maakestad.
Moe, Clarence and Edward -- 146 Acres
Clarence and Edward were both born here, the sons of George O. and Olave (Finsand) Moe. Their siblings were: Mabel, Olvin, Alice (Mrs. Herbert Norby). George and Olava were married in 1895.
Transfers from the courthouse are:
1875: John R. James to Anthony R. Carter
1893: Anthony R. Carter & wife to George O. Moe.
There was a log house here but Mr. Carter tore it down. When George Moe bought the farm, there was nothing but a few straw shed. He started with 80 acres in 1893 and bought 65 acres across the road in 1914 and paid $125 an acre. A three room house was built in 1895. The barn was built in 1903 and the carpenters were Gustave Millard Williams, Ole Tollefson and George Moe. The present house was built in 1907 by George and Harry Haugen. On May 5, 1965, an early evening tornado, whose path stretched over three counties, tore out the grove, a plum thicket, large apple orchard and a few small sheds. -- Submitted by Mrs. Marvin Norby.
Norby, Dana -- 160 Acres
Formerly the Glenn Olson Farm
Dana and Ann (Mark) Norby moved here in 1976. They are renting the house, Garland Isaac is renting the land.
Glenn and Doris (Isaac) Olson moved to this farm after their marriage in 1945. They had one daughter, Dorothy Jean (Mrs. Kenneth Harms) of Fairbanks, Iowa. Glenn died in 1971 so Doris moved into Osage and the farm was rented by Jerald and Loi (Sutton) Tourtellott. They have 3 children: Sheila, Troy and Frank. In 1975, they purchased the Elmer Eidnes farm northwest of Meroa and moved there.
The farm was deeded to Glenn by his parents, Gustav and Bertina (Torblaa) Olson in 1947. Gus and Bertina had three children: Gladys (Mrs. Fred Shoger); Olaf and Glen. Gustav and Tina moved to the farm after their marriage in 1908. Gustave and Tina bought the farm in 1919 from Ole Torblaa. Gustav was the son of John and Gulbjor Anderson Olson.
Norby, Dean -- 129 1/2 Acres
Dean and Jane (Hendrickson) Norby moved here after their marriage in 1973. They have two children, Karen and Joel. They bought the farm from his father, Herbert, in 1975. Herbert and his brother Kenneth farmed this together for several years. The farm was their boyhood home. During this time several different families rented the house, including Merrill Johnson, Marvin Norby, George Willis, Dean Greaves, George Rosel, Carl Lorence and Chester Wallace.
Carl and Ida (Olsen) Norby bought the farm from Ida's father, Lars Iver Olsen in 1913. Carl and Ida moved here around 1912. They had four children: Rosella, Herbert, Kenneth and Loren. When Carl and Ida were married, they lived on the Halstein Norby farm for a while, then moved to rural St. Ansgar and then moved here. Rosella was born on the old Norby farm and Herbert was born near St. Ansgar.
Lars Iver Olsen bought this farm from his sister, Mrs. Martha Torblaa. This farm was home for Lars Iver Olsen and children for several years also. The house was close to the well years ago and Carl Norby moved it close to the road, about 1928.
Old Halstein and Taren Norby Homestead
Located across the creek from Ronald Jellum's farm, farm site gone in 1977.
Halstein Iverson Norby came from Hedalen, Norway to Black Earth, Dane County, Wisconsin in 1857. In 1869 he and his family headed west to Mitchell County and bought a half section of land near the Rock Creek. His family included his wife, Taran Olsdatter (Jubraaten); Iver Halstein; Olaus Halstein; Anna (Mrs. Anton Lundene); Edward I.; Henry; Lauritz H.; Carl; Caroline (Mrs. Nick Johnson); Elizabeth (Mrs. Martin Klemesrud); Edward II; all now deceased. Iver, Olaus, Anna were all born before they came to Mitchell County.
This farm had a large apple orchard from the barn to the house and they were about two blocks apart, in fact, the area between the house and outbuildings was so distant that a wire or other type of rope was always attached between the house and barn in late fall. Thus, whenever there was bad snow or blizzards, the family could find their way.
The house was quite roomy. There was a well on the front porch, the other well was by the barn, two blocks away. Probably the first years' water source was the spring nearby or the creek itself.
The two older sons, Iver and Olaus farmed land in Floyd County. My Dad (this was written by Thelma Jellum) mentioned on cold, snowy days during corn husking that "this is nothing". When he was a young boy, about 17, Carl and he had to help husk corn near Rudd and the boots they wore were leather and wood and needed a boot hock to get them on in the morning, but at night after a day outside, they needed to thaw them out along with their feet.
Dances were a popular form of entertainment at homes and in barns. Grandma had an unwritten but abiding rule, "Out on a dance Saturday nite, Sunday morning: out of bed, chores done and ready for church in more time than usual."
Halstein died in 1897 and Carl and Lauritz rented the farm from their mother and lived with her. Cattle and land, share rent. I have the scale she weighed out the cream in 3 equal parts and the boys furnished their share of butter and food. Henry decided Dakota was for him so he bought land there, and married a girl who came from Norway. Ed, the youngest of nine, had more educational hopes than farming so he worked in Osage at a couple of the business places, a hardware store and the drug store. Henry, who had first bought the east half of the Lauritz Norby farm, intending to really be in Iowa, had even set out the grove of evergreens which still stands there - but he sold it to Olaus and then Carl and it was there after in 1904. Lauritz bought that and the east half of that 160 acres.
Carl continued with Taren after his marriage in 1904 and lived a couple years with her but then moved to near St. Ansgar. Mrs Rosella Norby Ahrens Klemesrud, their oldest child, was born on the old Norby homestead, the only third generation descendant with that honor.
Then Iver, Adolph and Clara came to live in half the house as Taren was very poorly and forgetful. Taren died in 1912 at Rudd at the home of her daughter, Marie Lundene.
Many people made it their home for short times. Guy Tibbetts of Rudd lived here a couple years, and some of his relatives took shelter with him (Weaverling, Peters and Chandlers). The Hegg Brothers of West Cedar lived and worked the farm a year or so. The Williams boys who were really very young at the time worked the land for a year or two, but the Harold Linsteads and Carlsteads lived in the house. These two men were carpenters. Linstead later lived at Meroa in the Williams house. The farm was sold in 1917 to Martin Maakestad.
One half of the 160 acres is now Maurice Maakestad's and the other is Dwight Onken's.
Lauritz and Rachel, my parents, retained and lived on their half of the original Norby homestead until their deaths, in 1939 and 1946. Edwin and I bought the place and made it our home and still call it our home in the country on Rock Creek's rich banks - even though we are now contented and happily retired here in Osage. It seems so pleasant and satisfying to know I am leaving the 4th and 5th generation to make their memories and footprints in the sands of time on this pioneer farm. - by Mrs. Edwin (Thelma) Jellum.