known that Isabell Hanson married John Tormundson Eide in Ottawa, LaSalle Co., IL.

Nels and Mary Nelson had a farm in Pleasant Twp., Winneshiek Co. where their 2 children were born. Betsey Anneta was born 16 May 1869 and my grandfather Charles Nickolai 3 Nov 1872.

Betsey Nelson married Ole Mickels of Winneshiek Co. around 1892. In Mar 1893 Ole went out West to establish a farm in the Dakotas. Six months later Betsey left Decorah by train to join him in Griggs Co., ND. They farmed there 24 years raising 4 children: Edgar (b. 21 Aug 1894); Mae (b. 19 Jun 1896); Ruth (b. Nov 1901); and Lloyd (6 Dec. 1904). In 1917 the Mickels family moved to McVille, Nelson Co., ND where Ole farmed until his death in Mar 1924. In Sep 1938 Betsey was hit by a car while crossing the street in Grand Forks, ND. She died a few days later at the Grand Forks Hospital. Ole and Betsey (Nelson) Mickels are buried in Hamlin Cemetery, McVille, Nelson Co., ND.

Unlike his sister my grandfather Charlie N. Nelson lived his entire life (84 years) in Winneshiek Co. On 19 Dec 1907 he married Elise (Lizzie) Beata Rustad, the daughter of Ole and Agnethe (Shervin) Rustad of Highland Twp., Winneshiek Co. Charlie and Lizzie had 9 children: Agnes Mildred, Evelyn Lucille, Beatrice Olga, Clarice Lenora, Gladys Margret, Mabel Marion, Florence Esther, Charles Orville and Darlyne Mae.

My parents are Frederick and Gladys (Nelson) Hicken. Their children are: Linda (Dugan) (m. Bruce D. Stennett); Sonja, the writer of this story; and Michael Frederick (who plans to marry Crista Chittum 15 Jun 1996 in Orange County, CA). Linda has 2 sons Brian Scott Dugan and Randolph Sellers Dugan. Brian and Lisa (Baumann) Dugan have 2 sons Andrew and Jonathan.

In 1919 my great-grandparents Nels and Mary Nelson died within months of each other: Nels 13 Oct and Mary 6 Dec. They are buried in Big Canoe Methodist Cemetery located in Pleasant Twp., Winneshiek Co.

Nels and Mary’s story cannot be concluded without acknowledging the important contribution made by their granddaughter and my aunt, Agnes (Nelson) Estrem Spilde. It was among the childhood memories Agnes shared that I first heard the names Lepsoy and Ljones-names long-forgotten by most because they were never used by Nels and Mary once they came to America. These turned out to be the all-important farm name and surname needed to find not only the birthplaces of Mary and Nels in Norway but also to identify many generations of our Nelson-Ljones ancestors. Thanks to Agnes's wonderful memory this Nelson family will forever know where its roots are planted many generations ago...on an island called Lepsoy and a farm named Ljones in Hordaland, Norway.

Nelson, Ralph and Dorothy (Brooks)

(Dorothy Nelson)

Ralph Nelson was born 26 Aug 1916 in Roy, MT to Mahlon Theodore Selwyn and Alice Henrietta (Bergmann) Nelson. Mahlon was born 14 Sep 1891 in Bluffton Twp., Winneshiek Co. to Tarje Nelson (b. 24 May 1847, Norway) and Caroline Ingeborg Christen (b. 3 Jul 1849 in Sun Prairie, Wl). Alice was born 25 Aug 1894 at Cresco, IA to August Karl Scattfaired William Bergmann and Frederika Amelie Caraline Henrietta Kutcher (from Uftrungen, Saxony, Germany). Mahlon and Alice were married 1 Jan 1914. In 1915 they moved to Montana. They divorced in 1920. On 24 Jun 1922 Alice married Erland Thyren. Ralph had one sister Marjorie Henrietta (m. George Baugh Crouch) and one brother Gordon Earl who married Katherine Marie Harrguth. Gordon took the name Thyren but Ralph and Marjorie kept the name Nelson.

Bio Photo

Barbara (Nelson) Barnett Ralph and Dorothy Nelson 1991

Ralph joined the Navy Seabees 29 Sep 1942 and served overseas in Hawaii and on Saipan, Tinian, Midway, Wake and Johnson Islands. He was discharged from Wold Chamberlain Field in Minneapolis 12 Dec 1945.

Ralph married Dorothy Hazel Brooks 28 Jan 1946 at Montevideo, MN. Dorothy was born 10 Nov 1922 in Allamakee Co., IA to William Herbert and Gladys Ruby (Huffman) Brooks. William was born 28 Mar 1897 and Gladys was born 25 Dec 1902, both in Allamakee Co. Dorothy attended Allamakee and Winneshiek Co. schools and graduated from Decorah High School in 1940. Her siblings are: Delmar Arden who married Marcella Thayer and after her death married Sarah Susan Duff; Dolores Mae (m. Arnold Rohm); William Herbert, Jr (m. Dorothy


Complete OCR transcription

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this page was last updated on Monday, 29 March 2021