Of the three, Lorenz Falck was the only one married. In 1855 his wife and three children came down the Ohio River and up the Mississippi to McGregor where Lorenz met them. On the way back to Ft. Atkinson they had an accident and Salome was thrown from the wagon and landed on a stump. A couple weeks later she died from the injury.
Fie knew that in Pennsylvania where he had relatives there were unmarried women from Alsace. So the following year he began a return trip to Pennsylvania looking for another wife. Flowever, his search ended in St. Louis. Fie traveled from McGregor to St. Louis by boat and after arriving in St. Louis was informed that the boat up the Ohio River had left and there wouldn't be another for a week. While in St. Louis he met and married Mary Breihner. To this union three children were born: Mary, Elizabeth and Jacob. All three of these children married brothers and a sister from the Gesell family.
Lorenz lived out his iife on the farm that he had bought when he first came to Ft. Atkinson and died 1 Sep 1902. He and some of his family are buried in the small cemetery on the hill overlooking the old Fort.
Faldet, Melbourne and Virginia (Baker)
Melbourne Oliver Faldet (27 Jun 1918) was the third child and second son of Nels and Grace Faldet. Nels and Grace Faldet were the owner-operators of the Canoe Country Store at Canoe, IA (in Pleasant Twp.). The store was the hub of activity for the community and the Canoe Ridge area. With the creamery across the road from the store in full operation there was a lot of coming and going. The “skimmers” (cream haulers) were bringing in cream two and three times a week. The early and late customers at the store, in addition to bringing in eggs to sell in trade for groceries, always provided the news of the neighborhood as well as stories of interest.
Mel spent 8 years in rural school at Pleasant #7, then went on to 4 years at Decorah High School graduating in 1936. Since he had chosen the Normal Training Course in high school he was eligible to start teaching in rural schools. After high school he signed a contract and started teaching in 1937 at Pleasant School #10 (across the road from the Dick Young farm on the Canoe Ridge Road).
Mel enjoyed teaching for several years, but with World War II in progress, every day became more serious. He was called into service in Oct 1942. After completing basic training Mel entered special training in electronics, radio-and radar. This completed, he was sent overseas to join the 39th Bomber Group of the 20th Air Force. He was based on the Island of Guam. The huge planes would load up with 500 pound bombs or incendiary bombs to bomb Japan every night. The Enola Gay loaded the atomic bomb from the nearby islands of Saipan and Tinian. This soon put an end to the bloody fighting and hardships so Mel was allowed to go back to the states to be discharged 5 Jan 1946. Mel was awarded 2 bronze stars from the Northern Pacific Campaign and a Good Conduct medal.
After completing military service Mel had an expired teaching certificate and no job. He put in his application and was accepted by Northwestern Bell Telephone Company in Mar 1946. Mel worked on a line crew for about 6 months and then was assigned to work on telephone maintenance in Waverly. He worked for 3 years in Waverly and then asked for and got a transfer to Decorah in 1949.
Virginia (Baker) and Mel Faldet
During the period he worked on the line crew, Mel had a nice wedding 14 Jun 1946 to his faithful girlfriend who had waited for him while he was in the service. Virginia Baker, the telephone operator, became Mrs. Mel Faldet. After a wonderful honeymoon trip to Canada in a car borrowed from brother Arnie (you could not buy a car anywhere after the war), Mel and Virginia were back at their jobs within a week. Not only were cars very scarce - most everything was - Mel had a terrible time to find a wedding suit. He finally found one in a “back room" in Waterloo.
In Waverly Mel and Virginia could not find a place to live, but they moved in some trailers for "veterans housing.” Living in a trailer about 12 feet long with community restrooms and showers was indeed an experience to remember. They were very happy when they finally found an upstairs apartment. Virginia also worked as a telephone operator in Waverly until their first daughter Mary Rebecca was born 22 Apr 1947.
Mary loved animals and at a very young age she started riding horses and could not wait to get her own horse. After completing grade school, she went on to high school where she had many friends and became a member of the honor society. After graduation Mary went to nurses training and graduated as an RN from Swedish Hospital in Rochester, MN. Mary and her good friend, Marilyn Matter of Decorah went on an extended tour of Europe. Using Eurail passes, hostels and even hitch-hiking, they visited most of Europe available at the time and enjoyed it all. Unfortunately, Mary developed Hodgkin’s Disease and bravely carried on telling only her doctor and family until she died 4 Oct 1971. She will be forever missed.
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this page was last updated on Sunday, 28 March 2021