leggers were so many that they had to wear badges to keep from selling each other booze. Another trouble spot was in Spillville at the dances where illegal liquor was common. Frank would give moonshiners one warning to get rid of the liquor and the second time he would throw them in jail. He had a 32 Smith and Wesson to help enforce the law but only carried it if he was expecting trouble. In 8 years he only fired it a few times in the air as a warning.

Despite his age and size Frank fulfilled the office of sheriff and when his fourth term ended in 1931 his reputation as sheriff was of great achievement. The people knew he was a good sheriff, one to be relied upon. He was one of the better men to hold that office.

Frank died at age 94 from injuries sufffered in a traffic accident 3 Feb 1989. He is buried at Phelps Cemetery.

Christen, Lloyd and Josie (Vail)

(Carrie (Houck) Lee and Marjorie (Christen) Lee)

Lloyd Christen was born 23 May 1884 in Bluffton Twp., the son of Clarence and Elizabeth (Walton) Christen. His father was born 19 Jan 1855 on a farm near Madison, Wl, the son of Sven and Signe Christen. His mother was born 28 Sep 1858, the daughter of Joseph and Harriet Walton, both natives of England. They came to the United States in 1852 and located in Winneshiek Co. Lloyd had 3 sisters: Josephine, Lottie (m. Jeffery Welch) and Myrtle.

On 10 Dec 1918 Lloyd was united in marriage to Josie Genevieve Vail. She was born 22 Nov 1887 in Canton, MN, the daughter of Richard Nelson and Eva Genevieve (Kimball) Vail. Her father was born 18 Apr 1847 and her mother 31 Oct 1854. She had 2 brothers and one sister: Ray, Charles and Nettie (m. a Wolff). Lloyd and Josie had 2 children: Charles and Marjorie.

Charles Walton Christen was born 18 Sep 1920. He went to school in Decorah and graduated from Decorah High School. He went to Luther College for a short time before he became too ill. He loved the outdoors and outdoor sports. He also loved music and was a member of the Decorah High School and Decorah Municipal bands. He was also a member of the Boys Glee Club. During the winter of 1937-38 he sustained a bruise on his right leg while skating. He was taken to Rochester where his leg had to be amputated above the knee. In Jan 1939 his classmates solicited funds to procure an artificial leg. They raised $400.00, enough for the artificial leg plus tuition to Luther College. Charles passed away 17 Nov 1939 from cancer which had started in his leg.

Marjorie Vail Christen went to school in Decorah and graduated from Decorah High School. She worked at the Winneshiek County Co-op before marrying Norman Lee 20 Jul 1950. They first lived in Decorah. Later they moved out to a farm. In 1968 Norman and Marjorie moved from the farm to Freeport, IA. Marjorie worked at the Aase Haugen Home for a while and then took a job at the Oneota Riverview Care Facility where she worked until retiring in 1985. She now lives a quiet life with her husband, Norman, in their home in Freeport.

Lloyd was educated in public schools. He then went to Breckenridge Institute in Decorah and later was an instructor there. Lloyd was Deputy County Treasurer, County Treasurer, Assistant County Engineer and a member of the Hook and Ladder Company. He also worked at a bank in Lakefield, MN. Lloyd belonged to the Congregational Church and the Elks Lodge. He passed away 11 Apr 1946 from a heart attack.

Josie received her education in Canton, MN. As a young woman she moved to Decorah and worked as a stenographer and bookkeeper with the American Drug and Press Association until she was married. In 1923, a few week after the birth of her daughter, Josie died from complications of childbirth. A few years earlier her sister also had died shortly after giving birth.

After Josie’s death, Lloyd had a 3 year old son and a month old daughter to care for. His sister, Josephine Mae Christen, took over and cared for the children as her own. She was a very kind person and a wonderful mother even though she never had a family of her own. She spent her whole life taking care of others.

Josephine Mae Christen was born 17 Nov 1877 in Bluffton Twp. She attended the Decorah Public Schools and Valders Business College in Decorah. She was employed for many years for the telephone office and Winneshiek County Bank. Josie was a member of the First Congregational Church in Decorah. She died of old age 29 Aug 1956.

Lloyd, Josie, Charles and Aunt Josephine are all buried in Phelps Cemetery.

Christen, Sven and Signe (Homme)

(Steven C. Rude)

Bio Photo

Sven Christen

In 1843 Signe Bjorgufsdtr. Homme, daughter of Bjorguf Targiesen Midsund and Ingebor Amundsdtr. Midboe, born in Kviteseid, Telemark, Norway 10 Jun 1823, came to America on the Lorena.

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.

Please, contact the County Coordinator to submit additions or corrections.

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this page was last updated on Sunday, 28 March 2021