Steele Anderson Family
Forest City, Iowa

Steele Anderson
Forest City & Mason City, Iowa, USA
Rodland, Kvinesdal, Vest Agder, Norway

Steele Anderson & family ca1889
Steele Anderson & family
photographer: H.A. Anderson, Forest City, Iowa

Steele Anderson was born under the name of Staale Andersen on 13 March 1845 and was Christened on 23 March 1845 in the Kvinesdal church in Vest Agder, Norway. He died on 1 Feb 1927 of old age and was buried on 9 Feb 1927 in the same church cemetery. His 82 years on earth contributed to the following story.

He married Christiane (AKA Christine) Hansdaughter (Hansen) on 9 May 1871 in the same church and together they left their families ten days later to begin their journey to Forest City, Iowa. Steele, the sixth of eight children, left his father, Anders Hansen, 13 Dec. 1808-9 Feb 1881, and his mother, Elisabeth Godtzen Staalesdatter, Aug 1807-10 Feb 1881 on the farm he was born named Rodland. Christiane left her father, Hans Andreas Hansen, 1820-15 Nov 1905 and her mother, Gunhilde Marie Hansdatter, 1819-1909 on the farm she was born, Faret.

They had the following children in Forest City, Iowa: Andrew born (b.) ca. 1872, Elizabeth (Lizzie) b. ca. 1874, Mary G. b. May 1875, Hans S. b. ca. 1877-78, Samuel (Sam) b. May 1880, Ida b. 28 Feb 1882, Albert b. April 1884, d. 6 Oct 1961 in Mason City, Sarah C. b. June 1885, and Hattie C. b. Aug 1888.

In later years Lizzie would become Mrs. Andrew B. Nesset on 12 Oct. 1892, Ida would become Mrs. Shadrach Morgan on 28 June 1905, Sarah C. would become Mrs. McAlpine or McAlpin, and Hattie C. would become Mrs. Erdix Marlowe Swift. Hans would marry Lena Deckert or Dechert on 29 July 1900. Steele and Christine are mentioned on page 161, under Andrew B. Nesset in the book “The History of Winnebago County and Hancock County Vol II, published in 1917 and available online for free through a number of sources.

The photograph which accompanies this paper was made by H.A. Anderson of Forest City as the name implies on the bottom of the photograph. Currently no relationship exists between H.A. Anderson and the rest of the family spoken of here. The photo, ca. 1889 is of the entire Anderson family and is thus dated by the age of the youngest, Hattie. All the children attended school in Forest City and by 1900 the family had moved to Mason City in Cerro Gordo county, Iowa.

In his early sixties Steele began to make trips back to Kvinesdal to see long lost relatives and friends. During one of these trips he put a new grave marker on his parents grave which was located near the church.

Steele Anderson Iron Cross Grave Marker

The Iron Cross gravemarker in Kvinesdal cemetery, erected by Steele Anderson upon the grave of his parents.

The style of the marker stands out today in Kvinesdal cemetery and is known as “the old iron cross”. In the book “Silent Sentinels of The Prairie” we learned that many of these forged or pressed iron and steel crosses were ordered by the early settlers in Iowa from foundries in Glasgow, Scotland and shipped to America for use. . Staale could not help but notice these traditions and likely developed an appreciation for the style. But, for whatever reason, the cross he created for his parents stands no less a monument to his efforts and is left today as a lasting legacy for future generations. While known as the “old iron cross”, the lack of deterioration indicates it is likely to be made of, from and for…..Steel(e).

~contributed by Michael J. Hansen; dated March 31, 2011

Alternate spellings:
Ståle Andersen
Staale Andersen


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