decided to keep it rather than go to ail the bother of changing so many records. The people in Glenwood remembered him as a small boy on the farm and always called him Willy and to this day when visiting some of the older people, they still refer to him as Willy.

Bio Photo

William T Hexom and Charlotte Larson

My father's sister Amanda was married to George Johnson with a big wedding. I asked her how they could feed all these people before electricity, deep freezes and refrigerators. She said she was amazed at how her mother could do it too, but all the neighboring women would come and help bake and prepare all the food. They were only married for six months or so and her young husband was killed in a tragic farm accident. George wasn't one of the crew but had just stopped at the Kallavang farm and was going to help out. They were sawing wood and his coat became caught in the belt of the saw and it flung him into some metal and crushed his head. How sad for her. Just two weeks before that Carl Moen was killed in a similar accident nearby.

Besides the church in Virginia, my father also served Forbes and Eveleth churches up on the iron range. Virginia was a wealthy city in the early 20’s because of the huge mines and the schools and public buildings had lots of marble floors and elaborate furnishings. My father had been thinking of going to China as a missionary, but after the Boxer Rebellion, it was no longer safe for foreigners, so with three little girls he gave up the missionary idea.

Then with the depression and another child too, he accepted a call to Hawkins, Wl and also served Catabaw Glen Flora and once in a while Jump River. My parents would take me along to sing sometimes and because I was so small they would have me stand on a chair or end of the piano bench and one of the first songs would be ‘Aften Solen Smiler” in Norwegian. I met new friends Floy and Ruth and we still keep in touch. Floy and I would go along when my dad had his confirmation classes at Catabaw and would have a penny or nickel to buy candy at the store and then play in the school yard until he was done. In fact, Floy and I were both short, Dutch boy haircuts and looked so much alike he would be asked if he had twins.

It was fun growing up in a small town where we could run all over without fear of any danger. We had a large house and big lawn so neighborhood kids would always come over to play there. When there was bad weather, we could always count on my dad’s car being outside our school to give us and all the neighbor kids a ride home at noon. If it was cold and rainy on Halloween and May Day etc., he would drive all of us around town for treats. There were now five of us kids and with the depression, it was hard times for the pastor's family too. People were very good to us bringing milk, meat, chickens and garden produce plus we had a big garden and strawberry patch. To supplement the pastor’s income they were given the festival offerings. Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter were fairly close together, but we used to joke about the long Pentecost season.

We had lots of weddings in our home as young couples would cross into Wisconsin to avoid long waits. Audrey and mother would often serve as witnesses. Daddy would be paid as little as $2.00 and even as a child, I would wonder how they were going to live if that was all they could pay for something so special. It was a hard time, but we really didn’t feel we were so bad off because most of the rest of the town were caught up in the Depression too.

Pastor Hexom and other pastors in the circuit started the Bible Camp at Chetek, Wl in the early 30’s, at first in tents until cabins and facilities were built. He typed with his two index fingers and quite well doing his own bulletins, cut stencils for programs and annual reports. He used a hand-crank mimeograph, and never had a secretary, just family help.

We would usually go back to Decorah every summer to see Grandpa and Grandma Hexom and at those times my father had the patience of Job. Five restless kids packed into a 1930's car, with luggage tied on the running boards. One child always got car sick, always detours, flat tires, pit stops and arguing about who was invading whose space etc.

For Grandpa and Grandma's Golden Wedding all of their 10 children and their families were in church at First Lutheran and then an open house at 409 W. Broadway. I sang “How I love My Dear Grandparents” to the tune of “What a Friend."

When Charles, the fifth child was born, mother kept after my dad to quit smoking trying to save some money for more important things. He agreed he wouldn't buy anymore and when the men in town heard about it, they all felt sorry for him. They would constantly give him cigarettes or cigars, but he kept his word. We all thought it was so funny.

In 1939 we moved to Decorah and the Big Canoe and Highland parish and to the beautiful Borgen parsonage. I was so upset at learning that we were going to live out in the country at first that I bet with my girl friend Floy $10,000 that I would never marry a farmer. My father and mother loved the country and soon so did we.

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

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this page was last updated on Sunday, 28 March 2021