Of Tosten’s sons, Gustav never married. He and Magnus owned a mercantile business near International Falls, MN. Andrew farmed the land immediately north of Tosten’s farm. Thomas moved to Great Falls, MN after he married. Sigurd lived north of Hesper, IA supporting his family as a handyman and Jack-of-all-Trades. His family is musically gifted also.

Erickson, William and Hilda (Foltz)

(Phyllis Green)

Bill and Hilda were familiar farmers in the Burr Oak community. They farmed one mile south of Burr Oak from 1923-1950.

William Axel Erickson (1894-1950) was the son of Andrew and Carrie Lynne Erickson and the grandson of Tosten and Karin (Vik) Erickson. He and his family were proud of their Norwegian heritage.

Bill was born in a log house that stood on the farm where he lived all his life. He had plenty of brothers and sisters to play with: Albert, Leif, Silas, Carl, Otto, Frichof, Sherman and sister Palma Erickson Hegg.

Bill was educated in the Burr Oak School and baptized and confirmed in the Hesper Lutheran Church. He was a veteran of World War I and served in the army overseas in France. He belonged to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Organization. Upon Bill’s return from the service he married Hilda Julie Bertha Foltz (1897-1984).

Bio Photo

William, Phyllis and Hilda Erickson with Marcella standing in back.

Hilda was raised in Hesper Twp. and was the daughter of Fred and Lydia (Woldt) Foltz. Her grandparents were John and Bertha Foltz and Gottehilf and Julie Woldt. Hilda's brothers and sisters were: Henry, Pearl, Fred, Earl, Esther and Stella. Hilda and her brothers and sisters went to the Knoke School. They were baptized and confirmed in the Hesper Lutheran Church. When Hilda was thirteen she became very ill with diptheria. At the time, 1910, many families lost children with this dreaded disease. When Hilda recovered a big community celebration was held at the Foltz farm. Nearly 100 neighbors gathered and presented Hilda with an engraved gold watch.

As a young adult, Hilda graduated from Valders College in Decorah where she trained to be a teacher. She took art lessons and many people treasure her oil paintings. Hilda painted the mural on the wall in the children’s room at the Decorah Public Library. Winneshiek Co. remembers Hilda for her music. As a young girl of sixteen she began giving piano and organ lessons. It was also at this young age that she began her many years as church organist. Hilda began playing at the Hesper Lutheran Church and after she married Bill she played at the Burr Oak Lutheran Church. She continued until she moved from Burr Oak to Decorah in 1950. After that she shared her music with the Decorah community.

Bio Photo

Hilda Foltz, 13 year old daughter of Fred and Lydia Foltz of Hesper Township, recovered from the dread disease of diptheria. Nearly one hundred neighbors gathered to celebrate her recovery.

Hilda enjoyed telling the story about her father-in-law Andrew. When Bill returned from fighting the Germans in World War I he married Hilda a girl of German ancestry. This was difficult for Andrew to understand since he was sure a “nice Norwegian girl should marry Willie." Bill’s father soon became very fond of his new daughter-in-law Hilda. When he introduced Hilda he would say, “This is Hilda, Willie's new wife. She’s German but you’d never know it!” This was a stamp of approval from her Norwegian father-in-law.

Bill and Hilda had two daughters Marcella Karen Fitch and Phyllis Lydia Green . Marcella “Karrie" was married to Roy Fitch from 1943 until 1971. Their children are Jaceil, Eric, Roy, Andrea and Raymond. Karrie has spent much of her life in California where she is retired. She earned her B.A. from the University of Iowa and her M.A. from the University of Southern California. She taught forty years most of it in California.

Phyllis married Kenneth Theodore Green in 1948. They have remained in Iowa. Their children are: William, James, Frederick, Joseph and Patricia. Phyllis earned her B.S. at Upper Iowa University and her M.A. at the University of Iowa. She has taught thirty years. She is retired and living in Elsworth, IA.

The Erickson farm, now owned by Maynard Newhouse, was a warm and happy home for the Erickson family. Bill

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