carries the unique distinction of being the first white child born in Canoe Twp., thus under the constitution of the United States, his citizenship cannot be questioned. On a hard, packed dirt floor he learned to walk. The lad wore shoes made from raw cowhide, padded with wisps of slough hay. Here he learned to relish meals of mush and milk-he was indeed a child of pioneers. His mother, with an awkward broom made from a bundle of willow saplings, kept the dirt floor clean as a polished plate. Later the family moved into a one-room log house which seemed luxurious after the days spent in the dugout.

Bio Photo

Lars and Ingri Iverson and their children on their 50th (golden) wedding anniversary at Phelps Park.

Lars attended a one-room schoolhouse and from there he studied at Breckinridge Institute in Decorah where he prepared himself to teach, and that he did. He served as Justice of the Peace and became popular as a marrying justice. He recorded mortgages and held a few trials to settle disputes among neighbors.

Before the telephone came into use Lars prepared an instrument that served this purpose by extending a wire between the house and granary and using cigar boxes on either end. It was so successful that the neighbors would come to use it for entertainment.

Dances were frequently held in cabin homes and here he met his wife-to-be. The boys wore homemade, long-tail coats and the girls wore hoop skirts with bustles, which were little gatherings of cloth above the hips that resembled steps on the back. Lars married Ingri Severson (b. 12 Jan 1856 - d. 7 Feb 1946) on 29 Jun 1877, the Rev. Carlson performing the ceremony. They were the first couple to be married in the Hauge Lutheran Church which was not completed at the time. Planks were used to sit on and the bride's mother put a shawl down for them to kneel on. A remembered hymn sung at the wedding was “The Church’s One Foundation.”

Lars Jr. was the second generation on the farm. Ingri could do all the farm work like a man in addition to her housework and gardening but she wouldn’t get behind a plow. The neighbors frequently got together for baking bees. On these occasions the women would bake stacks of flat bread which was stored in boxes that would keep several months. The early settlers drank a lot of homemade

beer at harvest time.

Lars donated a highly valued old Bible (weighing 14 pounds- printed in Copenhagen, Denmark-1589) to the Luther College Museum.

Lars and Ingri had 9 children. Their son Knut, the 3rd generation, was next to take over the farm. Knut (1883-1956) married Clara Tilla Selness (1884-1941) in the Highland Lutheran Church, Winneshiek, Co. 16 May 1917. They had 5 children. Their son Lester (1920-1991) was the 4th generation to take over farming. The farm was recognized as a Century Farm in 1976.

This brings us up to 1995. Hundreds of years ago America was wilderness and now it has changed drastically. Men have set foot on the moon, computers can store vast amounts of information that was previously thought impossible, we can ride on airplanes that fly faster than the speed of sound, buildings are so tall that when you go to the top you can see 4 different states, and anybody can go to college to study whatever he wants to. Most importantly we should remember all the sacrifices the pioneers made to give us a better life.

Bio Photo

Knut Iverson and Clara Tilla (Selness)

May 16,1917, married in Highland Lutheran Church.

Iverson, Leonard and Anna (Rohm)

(Anna Iverson)

Leonard Iverson was born 23 Oct 1907 in Duel Co., SD the son of Marvin and Caroline (Kjenstad) Iverson. He was confirmed at Wood Lake Lutheran Church, Duel Co. and attended schools in Duel Co. He did farm work until coming to Decorah in 1925. At first he worked on his Uncle Fred Iverson’s farm and also hauled cream. Next he worked for Phil Johnson on Case machinery and then at the Decorah Creamery running and repairing the milk dryer. Finally he worked as a maintenance man at the creamery until he retired. Leonard had one sister, Violet and 5 half-sisters: Thelma, Ruth, Marie, Evelyn and Audrey, and 3 half-brothers: Irvin, Walter and Virgil.

Leonard married Anna Marie Rohm in 1947 at Big Canoe Parsonage. Anna was born 26 Aug 1918 in Decorah, the daughter of Ole and Thorbjorg (Skaftedal) Rohm. Thorbjorg was born in Granvin, Norway and Ole was born in Lervik, Stord, Norway. Anna has a twin brother, Arnold,

Complete OCR transcription. 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