that time the farthest the train went west was Ossian, IA and that was where he eventually landed. Gunder decided to work there and develop a homestead. Meanwhile he met Berthe Osuldsen Bartelson who became his wife 4 Sep 1873 at Dover Twp. in Fayette Co. near Eldorado, IA.They had 10children: Mathilda (1874-1950), Bert (1876-1965), Otto (1878-1934), Della (1882-1961), Charlotte (1885-1973), Albert (1887-1888), Alfred (1887-1888), Alida (1888-1969), Arthur (1891-1943) and Ruth (1897-1985).

Mr. Gunderson continued to work at his trade, first as a bricklayer and stone mason and later on as a contractor. At this time he also operated a brick yard and erected many of the brick store buildings in Ossian as well as a number of residences, including the residence in which he and his family lived.

In 1885 Mr. Gunderson became identified with the business and commercial interests of the town when he purchased an interest in the mercantile firm of Anderson & Gunderson. He remained with the firm until 1894 when he sold his interests and embarked in business for himself, conducting a mercantile business in the building which formerly housed the Citizens State Bank of Ossian. He remained there until he built another larger store building and then devoted his life to the commercial enterprise he had established. In 1917 he sold two-thirds interest in the business to his sons, Otto L. and Arthur A. Due to poor health he retired in 1919 turning the entire business over to the two sons.

Bio Photo

Gunder (G.F.) and Berthe Osuldsen Bartelson Gunderson

In 1901 a co-partnership, composed of brothers A. T Gunderson and G. F. Gunderson along with lifelong friends R. W. and C. M. Anderson, organized the Citizens State Bank of Ossian. The co-partnership became the owners of the First National Bank of Lime Springs. In addition to these other banking interests, G. F. Gunderson was for many years one of the directors of the National Bank of Decorah and had an interest in several banks in North Dakota.

G. F. Gunderson was deeply interested in public affairs and watched Ossian grow from a wilderness into a prosperous and wealthy little community-a community he helped to create and preserve through his ingenuity and hard work. As a member of this thriving community Mr. Gunderson is also remembered as one of the founders of the present Ossian Lutheran Church. Because of his long residence in the community he was widely known; his integrity and honesty gained for him the good will and confidence of all with whom he had business or social relations.

Berthe Osuldsen Bartelson was born in Dover Twp., Fayette Co., IA 12 Jul 1852. Her father, a master teacher in Norway, built an extra room in his home to be used as a schoolroom to educate the young of the area. He had an unusual philosophy for his time in that he believed women should be equally educated along with their male counterparts. It is evident that this philosophy of education influenced Berthe and her family in that all of her eight surviving children received education beyond the secondary level. Mathilda graduated from the Chicago Conservatory of Music; Bert graduated from business college in Des Moines and eventually became State Auditor of Iowa and later became a prominent businessman in Dubuque, IA; Otto graduated from Carleton College in Northfield MN; Alida graduated from Drake University in Des Moines; Ruth graduated with a degree in music from the Lutheran Seminary for Young Ladies at Red Wing, MN; and Charlotte. Della and Arthur all studied at Valders Business College in Decorah.

Berthe was an avid reader of all types of literature, including daily reading from Holy Scripture. This love of learning and her faith in God made her a much loved mother and grandmother. She was active throughout her long life in the Stavanger Lutheran Church which her father Berthel Osuldsen helped organize, and later in the Ossian Lutheran Church, of which her husband Gunder was one of the founders.

Berthe lived a long and fruitful life and was an inspiration to all who knew her. She died shortly before her 88th birthday in the summer of 1939.

Gunderson, Otto and Marie (Horal)

(Katy Bradley)

Otto Ludwig Gunderson was the third child of Berthe and G. F. Gunderson. He was born in Ossian, IA on 9 Oct 1878, and died on 11 Oct 1934, at the age of 56 years.

Otto received his education in the Ossian public schools. Later he continued his studies at Carleton College at Northfield, MN. After completing his course he accepted a position with the National Bank of Decorah, when he remained for a period of two years. When his father became seriously ill, he resigned to take up work with his father in the mercantile business; later he purchased an interest in the business and continued working there until his death. Otto also took up banking interests after his father’s death, and his business associates and co-workers manifested their faith in his judgment by honoring him with the vice-presidency of the Citizens State Bank of Ossian. At the height of the Depression when President Roosevelt chose to close all the banks nation-

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

Please, contact the County Coordinator to submit additions or corrections.

Winneshiek IAGenWeb Home

Copyright statement

Please read the IAGenWeb Terms, Conditions & Disclaimer
~all of which applies to the Winneshiek Co. website. ~
this page was last updated on Sunday, 28 March 2021