ter. In spite of ill health through much of his life, Charles was able to run the farm until his death 29 Aug 1965. He is buried at the North Washington Prairie Cemetery. Elizabeth is an active retiree residing in Decorah.

Charles was not able to participate in most athletic activities. He was, however, an avid horseshoe and checkers player. There were a group of men who enjoyed these activities with him. In his lifetime he saw farming move from horse drawn machinery to tractors. A sentimentalist, he kept up his father's tradition of recording the grain planting data on the wooden covers of the original horse drawn grain drill which was converted to be tractor pulled.

Charles and Elizabeth’s 3 children all attended the Bakke school, officially known as Frankville #7, graduated from Decorah High School and attended Luther College. All 3 also were confirmed and married at Washington Prairie Lutheran Church.

John Carlisle married Marilyn Esther Johnston, daughter of Stanley and Gladys (Chalmers) Johnston 24 Aug 1958. He graduated from Luther College in 1959 shortly before the birth of his first son. He worked with his father on the farm while Marilyn completed her degree at Luther. John taught high school English in the St. Francis schools for 3 years and then entered Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul, MN. Upon ordination in 1967 he and his family moved to his first parish in Jamestown, ND. John and Marilyn have 3 sons, one daughter, two granddaughters, and one grandson. Serving parishes, in Sheyenne and LaMoure since beginning in Jamestown, he is a man who truly loves his calling. As an avid sailor, however, John is proof that the Viking blood is still there.

Paul David was born 10 Dec 1939.

Lilah Elizabeth graduated from Luther College in 1967 and began teaching English at Albert Lea High School, Albert Lea, MN. She married Gordon Aas, a fellow English teacher, on 26 Jul 1969. Gordon is the son of Morris and Gladys (Kind) Aas. Lilah has been and still is teaching English, except for a 3 year period during which she established a costume rental business which she ran in addition to teaching until 1993. Gordon and Lilah have no children. They especially enjoy spending time at their summer lake home near Vergas, MN.

Estrem, Christopher and Inger (Lomen)

(Lilah Aas and Paul Estrem)

On 5 Dec 1850, 160 acres of land in Winneshiek Co., IA was purchased by Christopher A. Estrem for the sum of $136.00 and one silver watch. This purchase marks the beginning of the official residency of the Estrem family in Iowa. It is of some interest to note that the sale of land was through legislation enacted in 1847 which provided for the sale of land by the United States Army to raise money; it was not homesteaded. (The Homestead Act was not in place until 1856.) Many of the facts about the family are known, but unfortunately the “how" and “why" questions that would have provided a more complete picture remain unanswered.

Christopher (sometimes spelled Kristoffer) was born 28 Nov 1819 in Vang, Valdres, Norway to Anders and Ingeborg Estrem. He also had at least one sibling Anfind, who emigrated with him to America in 1858. When they arrived in America they used the surname of Anderson, which would have been correct traditionally. In approximately 1856, however, both agreed to use Estrem their father's name - perhaps because it was the American thing to do. Their first destination was Chicago, IL where Christopher worked as a tailor. He married Inger Lomen in 1850 in Koshkonong, Wl. There is no record as to how they became acquainted as they did not know one another in Norway.

Inger Caroline Gulbrandsdtr Lomen was born 17 Apr 1821 in Land, Valdres, Norway to Anna (Iversdtr Rignstad) and Gulbrand Iverson Lomen. She was one of 5 children; her brother Iver took the name of Ringstad and her brother Jorgen took the name of Lomen both of which were farm names. In 1849 she immigrated to Wisconsin with her brother Iver, his family, and their niece Trine Anderson. Both she and Trine quickly found work and learned to speak and read English. On 27 Aug 1850 she and Christopher Estrem were married by Rev. Dietrichson at the home of Iver Broelaug in Koshkonong, Wl. According to a letter from her brother Jorgen to their mother in Norway, “Estrem is an honorable and intelligent man. Both brother and I are well pleased with the match. Estrem has bought oxen and a wagon and intends to locate at a place called Washington Prairie, Iowa, the place where Ole and Anders Lomen went to. I expect to follow.” On 9 Sep 1850 Christopher and Inger set out on this journey of 150 miles which included crossing the Mississippi. What a honeymoon!

Family legend credits Inger with selecting the stopping point that had a small spring and a pleasant clearing at the top of a hill. The farm site selected was about 7 miles east of Decorah near the intersection of the present Highway 9 and the Frankville road. It is interesting to note that the original road was approximately in the same location as the present highway that was constructed in 1969. Although they did not arrive until late September, they planted some vegetables and erected a crude house, probably sod. Early in December Christopher walked to Dubuque, a distance of about 90 miles, to purchase the land and to apply for citizenship. The courage this must have taken for both of them is amazing. As an indication of how slowly the mail moved, although citizenship was applied for on 5 Dec 1850 the papers granting it were not dated until 19 Aug 1851 by President Millard Fillmore. Like many couples Inger and Christopher had to work diligently to clear tillable land and erect increasingly larger houses as their family grew. Between 1853 and 1863 they had 5 children.

Anna was born 3 Apr 1853 in the first log house. On 28 Nov 1883 she married Toilet Halvorson and they had 2 children. She died in Decorah and is buried in the Spring-field Lutheran Cemetery of rural Calmar, IA.

Andrew was born 22 Mar 1885 in the second house which was built by Christopher’s brother Anfind. (Anfind moved to Goodhue, MN in 1856.) On 2 Feb 1878 An-

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