In the year 1881 they boarded a ship of the Cunnard Line and began their journey. Traveling to America with Martin and Pauline were Martin’s brothers, Edward (and his family), Kasper (just 13 years old), and a sister Helene. Before they reached the shores of America Pauline gave birth to their first born Ole. Upon arrival at the port of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 17 May 1881 the little group made their way to Chicago. Edward and Helene stayed in Chicago to live out their lives while Martin and Kasper moved on to Winneshiek Co., IA.
Martin and Paulina Finholt and family, circa 1906 First row: Minnie, Martin, John, Pauline and Agnes. Second row: Eddie, Heimer, Lewis, Ole and Oscar.
Upon their arrival in Winneshiek Co., the family settled on a small 40 acre farm in.Pleasant Twp. Before long they were able to buy the 126 acre farm next to them (NE 1/4 of the NW 1/4 of Sec. 27). New additions to the family by this time were Lewis Thorwald (25 May 1882), Oscar Carl (4 Jul 1884) and John Melvin (15 Aug 1886). (John Melvin died 15 Aug 1900.)
The new large farm house was a big change from the small log cabin the family had been living in. The house still sits on a hillside, across the “river road" from the Pleasant School No. 7. Here were born Heimer Adolph (1889), Edward (29 Apr 1891), Agnes (17 Apr 1893), Minnie (29 Jan 1897), PederM. (29 Jan 1899-6 Feb 1899), and John M. (15 Oct 1902). (John M. was the second child to have this name.)
They grew corn, oats and their own food items such as potatoes and vegetables for the root cellar, with dairy cows, pigs, and chickens rounding out the diet. Standard fare for meals in those days were cold meats, flatbrod, soups, raspekuler (potato dumplings), lefse and rummegrot (milk pudding) and potatoes, lot of potatoes.
Martin and Pauline are both remembered as jolly and fun loving people and made a happy home for the ten children that were born to this union. Holidays and special occasions, such as baptisms, confirmations and weddings, were always reasons to get together and celebrate with good friends and relatives like the Faldet and Larson families. Good food was a central part of any celebration and the tables would be loaded with everyones contributions. Christmas, in particular, was celebrated with lutefiske, if they could get it, and lefse or flatbrod and maybe rice puddings and other sweet treats.
Not only did the Finholt, Faldet and Larson families celebrate together but they shared the labor and machinery to facilitate the chores of threshing and harvesting. In those days it was rare to have to face a big job alone.
Living across from Pleasant School No. 7 had many advantages. The school served as a community gathering spot as well as the usual school activities and parochial lessons in the summer. It was very convenient to run across the road to school and Martin's field was used for many a baseball game. Later his grandchildren would be attending that school and using that same field for baseball.
Their children were baptized at Big Canoe Lutheran Church and their membership remained there until Martin, Ole Faldet and others of the neighborhood gathered at the Pleasant School No. 7 to plan the formation of a new church that would be named Canoe Ridge Evangelical Lutheran Church. The work on the church began in March of 1907 and by Thanksgiving Day they were holding services. Norwegian services were held in this church until the end of the pastorship of Reverend Brevik in 1930.
Ole, the couple’s first child, never married and moved to Dunn Center, ND to farm. He lived there all his life. Lewis Thorwald married Lenna Barth and had two children, Merrill and Vivian. Lewis owned Finholdt and Barth Hardware in Decorah in partnership with his brother-in-law Sam Barth. Their third child was Oscar Carl. He bought into the Canoe Store in partnership with Nels Faldet in 1906. In 1907 he married Julia Christina Faldet. They were the first couple to marry in the newly built Canoe Ridge Church. They settled in Pleasant Twp. and raised seven children: Orlando, Cora, Chester, Thelma, Leverne, Eunice and Jenanne. Oscar was a big help to his father on the home farm working with him until Martin’s retirement. Heimer Adolph married Hattie Barth. They moved to Canada but returned to Winneshiek Co. in 1914 to farm with his father-in-law, Valentine Barth. They had two children, Vernon and Ray. Heimer later married Mabel Haugen in 1941. Edward Finholt married Ida Juve 3 Apr 1912. They had four children: Rolland, Meiburn, Harry and LaVerne (m. Frank Butler). Agnes married Henry Quanrude and had four children: Harold, Palma, Vivian and Hazel. Minnie the eighth child, married Willie Hanson and had four children: Leon, Phyllis, Eileen and Wilma. Leon was killed in Germany in World War II. John M. married Edna Gavle and had one child, JoAnne.
In 1922 Martin retired from active farming but continued to live on the “home place” until Paulina died in 1923. Martin then sold his farm to his son, Heimer, and bought a small place not far from his son Oscar’s new farm. In his later years he lived with his daughter, Minnie, and then his son, Oscar, until he died in 1934.
Finholt, Orlando and Ruth (Osmundson)
(Kathy Finholt Arbogast)
Orlando Mervin Finholt (14 Dec 1908) was the first child of Oscar and Julia (Faldet) Finholt. He was born at home in the living quarters above the Canoe Store in Pleasant Twp., Winneshiek Co., IA. Orlando attended Pleasant School #7 which was located right across the road from
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this page was last updated on Sunday, 28 March 2021