Aspenson Legacy

(Ellen (Lennon) Holland)

My grandfather, Oscar Aspenson, was the youngest of 15 children born to his father who had been married twice. Grandpa had a tremendous love for fun and enjoyed people immensely. He always had the coffee pot on and welcomed visitors for a cup and maybe a game of horseshoes or cards. He loved to show off the antiques Grandma filled their home with and hinted that he may have sold a piece or two occasionally in her absence. She was never really sure that he had not made a sale!

My mother, Corolla, told us, while milking the cows, he would seat the kids on stools beside him and tell them stories to keep them entertained. One of his favorite tactics was to begin a story and continue it on succeeding nights. He was ambitious and hardworking, farming during the day and becoming a salesman (shoes and later Investors Diversified Services) during many evenings. Family members have commented family life has not been the same since Grandpa Oscar died. He had a wonderful sense of humor, loved his family and was especially good at entertaining family and friends. He was a hero to his grandchildren who adored him.

Four children were born to Oscar and Clara (Josvanger) Aspenson. Corolla Marguerite (b. 9 Feb 1918); Harriet Cleone (b. 25 Jul 1919); Donald LeRoy ; and Oscar Jerome . All were born in Forest City, IA and the family moved to Winneshiek Co. and Decorah in the 1930’s.

Aspenson, Oscar and Clara (Josvanger)

(Frances M. Jeffers)

At the home of her parents, the H.O. Josvangers, Clara Margrethe (b. 25 Sep 1898) was married to Oscar Walter Aspenson (b. 23 Jul 1893) on 1 Nov 1917. Oscar was the son of Ole Aspenson (b. 1830 - d. 1879) and Severine (Knudson) (b. 1851 - d. 1918). The Aspensons lived in Forest City, IA on a small farm at the edge of town and worked for Clauson and Hanson Dept, store in the city. Their four children were born there prior to their moving to Madison Twp. in 1936. Oscar was a “top” salesman for the IDS Insurance and Investments Co. Among the positions he held at Decorah Lutheran Church, where he was a member were: Deacon, Trustee, church council, welfare committee and Lutheran Brotherhood. Oscar was also a member of the Senior Citizens of Decorah. Following a heart attack, Oscar died 13 Nov 1970 at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Cresco. After moving to Decorah to live on the Josvanger “home place," Clara became a leading authority on antiques. She was a collector and dealer for many years, converting unused farm buildings into show places for her unusual possessions.

After the death of her husband in 1970, Clara married Wm. Victor Ostby in Sep 1974. Victor and Clara had been acquainted since they were teenagers. Their time together was not long, as Victor died in 1978. He was buried in Mason City. Clara was an active member of Decorah Lutheran Church serving as a Deacon; she belonged to

Bio Photo


Back: Corolla, Don and Harriet.

Front: Oscar Sr., Oscar Jr. and Clara (1932).

the Winneshiek Co. Mental Health Association, Sons of Norway and the Senior Citizens. Clara died 2 Dec 1980 in Mason City, IA. Both Oscar and Clara are buried in the Lutheran Cemetery, Decorah. They were survived by their four children: Corolla Marguerite (b. 9 Feb 1918) m. Huber Lennon; Harriet Cleone (b. 25 Jul 1919) m. Marvin Norland; Donald LeRoy  m. (1) Adelaide Hovden and (2) Gloria Ann Lee; and Oscar Jerome m. Margaret Eva Harvey. Sixteen grandchildren and fourteen great grandchildren (in 1980) also survived them.

Aspenson, Oscar and Margaret (Harvey)

(Frances M. Jeffers)

Bio Photo


Thomas, Eric, David, Margaret and Oscar.

Oscar Jerome Aspenson (b. 19 Mar 1926) was the son of Oscar W. and Clara (Josvanger) Aspenson. He was born in Forest City where he attended grade school until 1936 when his parents moved to Decorah. He graduated from Decorah High School and Luther College. He

Partial OCR transcription, some sensitive personal information such as birth dates of people that maybe living was not transcribed. See the associated scan to compare with the published information.

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this page was last updated on Sunday, 28 March 2021