the misfortune of catching her long hair on fire. She suffered severe burns to her back. She would take nothing for the pain saying the Good Lord gave her this cross to bear.
Our family history is published in the book, Bittersweet Years, however, histories are never finished. Neither is this one. If anyone finds mistakes, I hope they let me know so they can be corrected.
Lansing, Robert and Rita (Willson)
Rita Willson was the daughter of Leo and Mary (Hyberger) Willson. She has 2 brothers and 3 sisters: Gordon, Dennis, Madelyn (Wise), Marian (Schissel) and Martha (Samuelson).
As a young child Rita was hit by a hit-and-run driver. Her legs were broken and her teeth knocked out. She spent many weeks in the hospital, but made a full recovery. As a result of this experience Rita became a nurse and made it her life work.
Rita married Robert Lansing 14 Feb 1949 at St. Agnes Catholic Church, Plymouth Rock. Bob and Rita first lived in an upstairs apartment on Bob's mother, Monica Lansing’s farm in Military Twp., rural Ossian. At the time Bob was farming his mother’s land. Their 3 children were born while they were living on the farm: Timothy Craig, Michael Leo and LuAnn. All 3 children were born in Decorah. In Mar 1964 the Lansings moved from the farm into a remodeled house in Ossian. They purchased “Bob’s Tavern” and operated it for 15 years. In the meantime they built 2 more houses. Bob bought a back hoe and started developing 2 new housing additions. He then also needed a caterpillar and truck which he purchased.
Tim attended college in Sioux City, at Upper Iowa University and Northern Iowa Area Community College before moving to Minneapolis, MN. Tim, now known as “Craigan", is a painter in the Minneapolis area.
Michael attended Brown’s College of Radio Broadcasting in St. Paul, MN, but soon moved to California. Michael married Debbie Dubnow 13 Apr 1980 at the Sportsman Lodge, Studio City, CA. They have 3 children: Kimberly Brooke (b. North Hollywood, CA), Jason Michael and Blake Alexander . Michael and Debbie live in Palm Desert, CA. For a while he traveled as a tour manager in the entertainment industry. He currently owns and operates “Michael Lansing Amusements."
LuAnn attended the University of Wisconsin, Platteville where she majored in law enforcement. She married Peter Conroy IV 20 Jun 1982 at St. Francis DeSales Catholic Church, Ossian. LuAnn and Peter have 2 children: Megan Elizabeth (b. Rock Port, MO) and Peter Joseph V (b. Downers Grove, IL). They are planning to move to the Chicago area where Peter is employed by “Waste Management."
Bob is now retired. Rita continues to work as rehabilitation assistant at the Ossian Senior Hospice.
Larsen, Jakob & Ragnild
Jakob (b. 7 Jan 1813) and Ragnild Larsen (b. 1815) and their 7 children emigrated from Hattfjelldal, Norway to Winneshiek Co., arriving in Calmar in July of 1868. The journey at sea had taken 96 days. During a severe storm one of the two rudder pins came out of the eyelet. Crew men were lowered over the stern and heroically secured the pin, thus saving the ship from certain disaster. They arrived in Quebec, Canada, 18 Jul 1868. Upon arrival, son Ingebret was hospitalized and declared hopelessly ill by doctors. Dwindling resources left the Larsen family with no alternative but to abandon their apparently dying son and board a train headed for Calmar, IA. Soon after arrival in Winneshiek Co. death repeatedly visited the Larsen family. Son Lars (25) developed a fever and died 2 Aug. Carl (23) developed the same symptoms and died on 9 Sep and daughter Maria (21) died later in September. It is likely that all were victims of typhoid fever. Pastor V Koren held committal services for the interment of these young people at Washington Prairie Church. Meanwhile Ingebret made a recovery from his very critical illness. Knowing that Decorah was the ultimate destination of his family, Ingebret set out to follow them. The family was overjoyed at his miraculous recovery and safe arrival. He was deeply saddened to learn of the loss of two brothers and his only sister.
Jakob Larsen died Nov 1869 and was buried the following spring. The graveside service was held by Pastor Koren. Surviving was Ragnhild and four sons, Ingebret (b. 21 Mar 1849), John (b. 12 Jul 1851), Christian (b. 1854), and Ole (b. 25 Sep 1857). The sons took the surname, Jacobson. In the spring of 1871 Ragnhild Larsen and her sons left the Decorah area to claim homesteads in Ottertail Co., MN.
In 1870 three members of the Kamrud family, Iver (25), Beret (23), and Ingrid (20) from Ulnes in Valdres, Norway, arrived in Winneshiek Co. Beret and Ingrid were employed as housemaids by a Yankee family in Ossian. Ingrid accepted John’s proposal of marriage and left for Ottertail Co. in 1872. Two years later, in 1874, Iver and Beret left the Decorah area. Iver went to homestead near Buxton, ND and Beret to Clitheral, MN to join into marriage with Ingebret Jacobson. Ingebret and Beret Jacobson are great grandparents of John Tjostem who resides in Decorah.
Larson, John and Ingabor (Larson)
(Esther Larson Bigler)
John A. Larsen was born Dec 1840 in Sweden. He married Ingabor Larson in Norway. After they were married, they decided to use Larson rather than Larsen. Ingabor was born in Apr 1841 in Drammon, Norway. Their first 2 sons, Hans (6 Jul 1865-13 Oct 1943) and Lars (22 Feb 1871-1 Sep 1959), were born in Norway.
John and Ingabor came to the United States in a sail boat in 1871. Lars was only 6 months old when they left Norway. At times they thought they would never make it across the ocean. Sometimes the boat would go back a
See the associated scan to compare with the published information.
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this page was last updated on Monday, 29 March 2021