ters: Elizabeth, Courtney, Christina and Marit.

Karen Beth received her education from the Nordness and Viste Schools and the Decorah Community Schools graduating in 1972. She graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 1976 and took post-graduate work at North Dakota State University. She married Donald M. McClintock 8 Aug 1981 at Washington Prairie Lutheran Church. They have one son Matthew. Her husband Don also had 2 daughters from a previous marriage to Linda (Price): Lori and Jodi.

The Ode farm had 4 generations of Odes living there from 1865-1979. It remained in the family until 1990 when it was sold.

Oen, Helge and Borgine (Soliah)

(Hazel (Hoyt) Markovetz)

Helge Oen and Borgine (Soliah) were both born in Norway, grew up there, married and began their family there. (The origin of the name Oen (Oy) is an island).

In about 1864 they decided to leave Oslo where Helge worked in the sawmills, and look for greater opportunities in the United States. The journey took 6 weeks by sailing ship. Each family had to provide their own food. The Oen family had a trunk filled with cheeses, flatbread, lefsa and other breads, dried meats and fish. They saw the dead rolled in a blanket and dropped into the sea. One day six-year-old Nils and some other little boys were discovered napping outside the rail and had the sea not been calm that day, they could have rolled into the ocean.

When they arrived in New York they took the train, then river transportation and finally came overland to Decorah. It is not known whether they had relatives or friends there.

The family grew and prospered. In time they were able to buy land and build a nice home and farm buildings on property purchased several miles northwest of Ridgeway, IA. The place is still a farm home though none of the family live there. However, the house they built and most of the other farm buildings are still in use. Buildings, lawn and farm are well-kept.

After the family had grown and gone and Helge and Borgine were too old to keep up the work, they moved to the home of their son and daughter-in-law, Nels and Kristi. Nels built a large two-story addition on the north side of their big, square house for his parents’ living quarters where they lived until their deaths. Both are buried in the Madison Church Cemetery. Borgine, (b. 1 Dec 1837 - d. 30 Apr 1911) and Helge (b. 9 Mar 1833 - d. 8 Mar 1920). The writer of this record remembers how afraid she was of the old gentleman with the long, flowing beard who sat in a big chair smiling at her and wanting her to come closer, but she would hide behind her grandmother Kristi’s skirts when she would take Helge his meal.

About their children—Christina and Nils (later changed to Nels) were born in Norway. Christina married Tom Kittleson and had 3 or 4 children. Nels after a time homesteading near Hatten, ND married Kristi Torggeson and had 7 children of whom their eldest was my mother. Chris married Lena Hellen and had 2 sons. All farmed in the Ridgeway area and remained on their farms until their deaths. Martin first married Minnie Magnus but she and their infant child died. He left the Ridgeway area and later married Elsie Anderson from ND or MN. They lived out their lives in Thief River Falls, MN where he worked for the railroad. They had 2 sons. Bertha and Hannah went to SD., whether before or after marriage is debatable. They lived at Sisseton, SD. Bertha married Hans Korsmo and died young leaving 4 young children. Hannah was married to Oscar Hanson and had no children. They raised the 2 youngest Korsmo children as their own but the two-year-old boy and four-year-old girl kept the Korsmo name.

Three small girls of Helge and Borgine are buried in the old (Void) Cemetery a mile east of the present Madison Church Cemetery. The graves of Josephine and Maren have been found, but not the one about 10 years old—name possibly Helga or Hilda. She could have been born in Norway but the other two were born in the Ridgeway area. Descendants changed the name Oen to Owen.

Ohlert, Charles and Edna (Eppens)

(Dennis Ohlert)
Bio Photo

Charles J. Ohlert

Charles Ohlert was born 26 Jun 1920 in Mt. Hope, Wl to Peter J. and Lillie (Morgan) Ohlert. He grew up on dairy farms in Grant and Crawford Counties in Wl. He graduated from Prairie High School in Prairie du Chien. From 1942 to 1946 he served in the U.S. Army as a radio intercept operator. He married Edna May Eppens, daughter of Robert W. and Florence (Lawrence) Eppens of Calmar, 24 Apr 1946.

Charles worked as a construction carpenter in Prairie du Chien. He and Edna built their own home on evenings and weekends in that city. He also worked for a time for Decorated Metal and at the woolen mill in Prairie before moving to Calmar in 1951. While living in Prairie du Chien, a son and daughter were born. Following their move to Calmar another son was born.


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 Monday, 29 March 2021