Egertson, Hagbard and Thilda (Wennes)

(Margarethe Calfas)

There are many fond memories of Winneshiek Co. for Thilda Egertson. She was born 26 Aug 1904 to O.L. and Caroline Larson Wennes in Highland Twp. There she lived until age 15 in a large family, in a large house, on a large farm, which spelled PLENTY She had a caring, big sister, Jennie, and five brothers: Peter, Edgar, Nels, Carl, and Theodore. Two brothers died in infancy.

Bio Photo

Thilda Wennes Egertson Mexico City, Wyvliffe Bible Translators Campus Library, Summer, 1973

Her first memories are of being cozily tucked in beside mother's ample side, hearing her clear, strong voice sing the familiar Norwegian hymns from her Landstad’s Salmebog (Hymnary). Everyone brought their own hymnbook. Church was serious business and one was duly taught to sit quietly and listen. There were no church bulletins to scribble on, so one learned to “respect and endure" for an hour or more, which set a pattern to learn to “wait” later in life. A big step in the maturing process began right there.

Her mother died suddenly in 1916 when Thilda was age 11 ...a difficult time, but the family all learned, little by little, that each trying day mastered, eased the next hard problem which arose, as when brother Edgar was drafted into World War I. He returned without a scratch after five battles in France; so God was praised and thanked.

By age 15, the pastor (her father), trying his best to provide for his teen-ager, planned her education, with no questions asked of her, or by her. She attended the Lutheran Ladies Seminary, Red Wing, MN, a lovely church high school for girls, high above the mighty Mississippi, and soon loved her school. But, sadly, it burned down in June, 1920.

September found her at Luther Academy in Albert Lea, MN, another high school of her church, where she met a tall young man, named Hagbard. What a name! Being the first girl in the school with bobbed hair, Thilda was dubbed “Bobbie,” later shortened to “Bob," still used by family and close friends. In her second year there she won a trip to Minneapolis and a medal, by placing first in a speech competition...her first visit to a big city. Second place in another elocution contest gave her a gold pen and pencil set.

After three years and graduation, she and Hagbard returned to Decorah, where her father had to sign for her on their marriage license at the court house.

On 19 Aug 1923, Thilda Amanda Wennes and Hagbard Odin Egertson were married in the Highland Lutheran Church, Highland Twp., by her pastor, Rev. TO. Tolo.

Later Hagbard felt convinced of a calling to the Christian ministry, which meant seven more years of schooling. So they returned to Decorah, where she secured a position as legal secretary to Willett & Nelson Law Firm, and he attended Luther College.

They had no car or telephone in 1924 and house-sat and baby-sat in West Decorah. Later he chauffeured Rev. Torrison of First Lutheran Church and she “kept house" for him. On 25 Oct 1926 their son Jordan Wennes Egertson was born in the Decorah Hospital, and with three other college couples they lived in an upstairs apartment at 117 W. Water St. - four bedrooms, four couples, four highchairs. That winter, between baby feedings, she walked up to the campus to type for Prof. O.M. Norlie and Dr. M. Rohne at $.30 per hour. $.30 x 2 hours= $.60, and $.60 bought seven quarts of milk so she felt good about it.

Bio Photo

Hagbard Odin Egertson Lutheran Chaplain U.S. Navy World War I11944-45

That year they saw one movie, Ben Hur, sang in the church choir and Christmas Messiah.

Later, with Hagbard at Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul, MN their daughter Margarethe Wennes Egertson

Complete OCR transcription. See the associated scan to compare with the published information.

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this page was last updated on Sunday, 28 March 2021