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