had a disease in his leg bone and was taken to a doctor in Oslo where the doctor opened his leg and scraped the bone. He didn't cry and was told he was a “good boy". Knut's father died when he was nine. Knut always said he earned his own living from age ten.
In October of 1910 at age 18, he took a North Sea steamer from Oslo to Hull, England, then a train to Liverpool, a ship to Montreal and finally a train to Decorah. His ticket cost $68. at 7% interest. This was a fortune when you consider a farm hand was paid $20 a year cash. Many relatives were in the Decorah area including 4 brothers and one sister, who wrote of life in the U.S. and the opportunities for all.
Cora with Alice Louise and Knut Hamre with Lilly Marie.
The first winter Knut worked on the Helmer Engen farm; 1911 - dug ditches to lay the gas mains in the streets of Decorah; 1912-1914 - worked on the Peter Gavle farm; 1915 - worked with brother Lars in a shoe store; winter of 1916-1917 before the war - attended Charles Valders Business College and studied English, math and business; summer of 1917 - worked on the Pete Ford farm; the summer of 1918 - worked on Gudings farm; fall of 1918 - worked in the shoe store until February of 1919 when he, along with Jake Winger, bought the shoe store at 106 Washington St. from his brother Jake, who left for Montana. Knut took the U.S. citizenship test after World War I.
He married Cora Othilia Knutson 30 Dec 1928. They had 3 children: Alice, Lilly and Corrine. Cora died in childbirth 25 Jun 1939. On 19 Jun 1941, Knut married Manda Iverson, born 19 Jun 1892 from Granite Falls, MN. She died 15 Dec 1974 after being confined to a wheel chair for several years.
Knut read his Bible daily and was active at Decorah Lutheran Church serving as trustee, deacon, etc. He had the vision to replace the old wooden building with the present brick church.
Knut was a horse shoe champion and he also enjoyed playing chess and checkers, often in the back of the store while fixing shoes. He loved gardening and shared the bounty with friends and neighbors. He won first prize on his tomatoes at the county fair. His sister Berit said he was a fine dancer, particularly the Norwegian spring dance. After Berit moved back to Norway, he made lefse and rommegrot
for family occasions and gifts. In the 1930’s he made dried leg-of-lamb and rolle pulse (rolled meat). Knut bought dried cod and made his own lutefisk and Cora made klub (grated potato/blood dumplings), but Alice and Lilly left the room when he brought out the smelly gammel ost, Knut’s favorite Norwegian cheese.
Knut bought out his brother Olav’s share of the shoe store 16 Feb 1943. He took pride in repairing and selling shoes. Former Decorah residents sent shoes to him for repair from as far away as New Orleans and Virginia to get his expert work.
In 1962 Knut sold the business to Carl Leistikow, who sold it in 1967 to "Huns” Bergsrud, who sold it in 1972 to Jim Burreson. Knut continued to work with all these owners until he died 29 Aug 1977 at age 85 1 /2—he even went to work the morning of August 29!
Alice Louise - see separate article -married Marcus W. Arneson Lilly Marie - see separate article - married Erlin C. Womeldorf . Corrine (b. 25 Jun 1939-d. 26 Jun 1939). See separate article for Cora Othilia Knutson Hamre.
Hamre, Lars Hansson and Berit (Semmilinger)
(Alice Hamre Arneson)
Lars Hansson Hamre (Haugland, Neste) was born in 1854 and died Dec 1901 and is buried at Vestre Slidre Church in Valdres, Norway. His father was Knut Neste and his mother was Marit Olsdtr. Hamre.
He married Berit Jakobsdtr. Semmilinger born 21 Dec 1857 in Valdres and died 20 Oct 1942 in Decorah and is buried at the Lutheran Cemetery. Her father was Jakob Holden and her mother was Dorothy Jondet.
In June, 1947, a Lars Hamre of Oslo, Norway printed a book in Norwegian “A Valdres Family Through 300 Years" "Oien in Vestre Slidre” .This included a book and a hand-drawn family tree dating back to 1629. In 1985 Margaret Hamre Kuhlman hired Pastor Donald Berg to translate it. Few of us read Norwegian.
When Lars and Berit were married they lived with his brother Little Knut at the Haugland farm. Their first child, Hans, was born there and took that name. The little family
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this page was last updated on Sunday, 28 March 2021