Iowa the summer of 1855 and established a home on the south line of Decorah Twp. Gjermund and Merit had 5 children: Ole, Berit, Thomas G. (my grandfather), Eivind and Molla (Mary).

My father, Thomas E., was the sixth of seven children. The first born, Johan, died in infancy; Clara Marie (b. 13 May 1892); Gjermund T. (b. 6 May 1894); Mabel (b. 30 Jun 1896); Helmer (b. 14 Aug 1898); Thomas E. (b. 14 Oct 1900) and Lila (b. 12 Mar 1903). All were born in Spring-field Twp.

Bio Photo

Thomas E. and Evelyn Haugen Golden Wedding Anniversary, June 3,1981.

Thomas G., my grandfather, was killed in a tragic threshing-machine accident on 16 Aug 1904 when my father was only three years old. He left his wife Emma to support her 6 children on a farm in Springfield Twp., now on the Haugen Hill Road south of Decorah.

Because of the early loss of his father, my father began working as a hired man at a very early age. During one of a series of farm threshing days the story is told that because he ate a great deal of soup he was given the name “Soup", a nickname that stayed with him all his life.

Thomas E. attended the Nordness School, Springfield No. 6 and enjoyed it but money was always short for the family, so he was not able to complete 8 years. However, he did attend Decorah’s Valders Business College.

My father loved people young and old. He was big-hearted, generous and was interested in current happenings both locally and world-wide. His big love was baseball and he was a “southpaw” pitcher and 1 st baseman on the Nordness team for many years in the “cow pasture” league. Our family spent many Sunday afternoons at the various baseball diamonds. My father also enjoyed music. At the time of his death I was told that this person could remember my grandmother, Emma, with my dad and siblings, going by their farm on their way to Decorah in a one-horse wagon and they were all singing joyously with full voices. My parent’s enjoyment of and my mother’s insistence on practice were instrumental in our musical success.

My father, Thomas E., and mother, Evelyn Lucille (Nelson), were married 3 June 1931 by Rev. Paul Koren at the Washington Prairie parsonage in a noon ceremony. Their attendants were my dad’s cousin, Norman Halvorson and my mother’s sister, Clarice Nelson.

Mother was born 1 Jan 1911 on afarm in Pleasant Twp., Winneshiek Co. She was the second child of Charlie and Lizzie (Elise Rustad) Nelson. Charlie was born in Pleasant Twp. on 3 Nov 1872, the son of Nels O. Nelson and Mari (Mary) Pedersdtr. Lizzie was born 6 Nov 1887 in Spring-field Twp. the daughter of Ole Martinson Rustad and Agnetta Shervin (Sherven). Her father Charlie bought the general store in Nordness from his father-in-law, Ole Rustad, when she was a 9 year old girl.

Mother also attended Springfield School No. 6 and graduated from the 8th grade and then went on to high school in Decorah graduating in 1929. While attending high school she roomed in town working for her room as did many of the other “country” girls. I remember her speaking of living with and working for the Montgomery family.

After their marriage my parents lived in Nordness where Dad was a partner with his father-in-law in the Nelson-Haugen General Merchandise Store until selling it in 1944 when I was 11 years old.

They had 5 children: Donna Mae Thomas Nelson  the twins, Judith Ann and Gerald Alan and David Joe. I was born at home in Nordness and the others were born at the Decorah hospital.

Living "over the store" in Nordness was home until moving to Decorah in June of 1944. My father operated the Skelly Station on East Water St. Later my parents had the Scenic Cab Service and they were also the depot agents for the Hawkeye Stages Bus Co. until they retired. They had a great deal of respect and affection for the B.l. White family, owners of the Hawkeye Stages, and the respect and affection was returned for they were excellent employees. We attended First Lutheran Church where all 5 of us were confirmed.

It was very important to my parents that we all attend and graduate from Luther College which we did. My sister and I became elementary teachers. Tom and David became high school band directors and Jerry became a CPA. They were very proud of their children and their accomplishments and later their grandchildren as well.

Dad was especially interested in people and this lasted until his death 29 Aug 1988 in Decorah. My mother is quite self-sufficient and continues to live in her apartment in Decorah and enjoys visiting her children, 14 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.

Hayek, Allen and Mary Frances (Pavlovec)

Allen George Hayek was born  in Decorah, lA the son of Raymond and Sylvia (Frana) Hayek. Raymond was born on the Hayek family farm west of Ft. Atkinson. Sylvia was born on the Frana family farm Howard Co., Lime Springs. Raymond and Sylvia were married 20 Jun 1950 at Lourdes.Allen’s brothers and sister are: Gary, Ronald and Arlene.

Partial OCR transcription, some sensitive personal information such as birth dates of people that maybe living is not included. See the associated scan to compare with the published information.

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

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this page was last updated on Sunday, 28 March 2021