Margit died 24 Feb 1923 and Jeremias died 3 Sep 1926. They are buried in Big Canoe Cemetery.

Osuldsen, Bertel and Marte (Gundersdtr)

(Katy Bradley)

Bertel (Berthel) Osuldsen was born 12 Nov 1823 in Amli north of Arendal, Norway. His father was of Danish descent as evident by the spelling of his last name. The family members were land owners in Norway and held positions in the government bureaucracy. Bertel was educated in Norway and was a master teacher in his home country. When he came to America, he continued his teaching profession after he bought and cleared land.

Bio PhotoBio Photo

Marte Gundersdatter Osuldsen and Berthel (Bertel) Osuldsen.

He married Marte Gundersdtr (b. 18 Jun 1817) while still in Norway. She also was educated in Norway. Later they departed from Froland, Norway on a small sailing ship named the Vikingen. They arrived in New York on 25 Jul 1849 along with several other families. Bertel and Marte traveled from the Rock Creek Prairie settlement across the Mississippi River to Clayton Co. where they bought land. This was the first Norwegian settlement in Iowa. It was located along the Military Road which ran north of the Turkey River. In the fall of 1851 he sold their original homestead and claimed land ten miles west of there which was two miles from Eldorado and six to eight miles from Fort Atkinson. This was near where the Stavanger Church of Ossian stands today.

Bertel was s devout Christian and helped to bring the Lutheran Church to northeastern Iowa. Between 1849 and 1852 the Norwegian settlers had weekly services in their homes until Rev. Brandt came as a circuit riding minister in 1852. Bertel was one of the founding members of the Stavanger Church and served there as a lay minister. He was a member of the committee that issued a call letter to Pastor Koren in Norway, and we believe that he may have actually written the letter. In 1854, after Pastor Koren’s arrival, the pastorate for the Lutheran Church in northeastern Iowa was divided into 6 Districts. Bertel was elected to serve as the pastor's assistant for the 6th District which later became Stavanger Church. This meant that he was responsible for holding a devotional meeting when Pastor Koren was not present. Bertel also served as the congregational schoolmaster for the district and host to pastor Koren when he came there on his pastoral circuit.

As an educated man and teacher, Bertel made sure that his daughters were educated as well as his sons. He built an extra room onto his house and used it as a schoolroom for his children and those in the neighborhood. The two older sons, Gunder and Osuld, continued their education and graduated from Upper Iowa University in Fayette, IA. After they graduated, they migrated to Fergus Falls, ND where Gunder became a wealthy real estate agent and Osuld served as the County Sheriff.

Bertel was a close friend of some of the founders of Luther College and contributed money to help establish a Christian college. He died at age 50, but Marte lived for many years after his death. She passed away in 1907. They were the parents of 7 children: Gunder (b. 1849), Osuld (b.1850), Berthe (b.12 Jul 1852 - d. 1 Jul 1939), Lars (b. 1854), Anund (b. 1856), Martin (b. 1857 - d. 1905) and Ose (b. 1906).

It may be of interest to the descendants of Berthe Bartelson Gunderson that her father Bertel wrote a letter to his brother Jacob and his extended family in Norway describing her birth on 12 Jul 1852. In this same letter, Bertel gave an accurate account of pioneer life, including details about the dwellings, livestock, crop yields, prices, land values and religious conditions of the time. He urged his brother Jacob and other family members to emigrate to America. Jacob subsequently came to the U.S. and hand carried this same letter. It was handed down through Berthe’s descendants until her granddaughter, Katy (Kathreen Gunderson Bradley) had it translated by Dr. John Christianson of Luther College. She then donated it to the Vesterheim Museum in Decorah, IA. In 1989 Dr. Christianson used this letter as a source for writing a chapter about the history of Norwegians in America. This chapter is included in the book Norwegian-American Studies, Volume 32, Northfield, MN (1989).

Otteson, Orlando and Helen (Overacker)

(Esther (Otteson) Houck)

Orlando (Orrie) Arnold Otteson was born 1 Dec 1905 in Pleasant Twp. to Otto and Anna (Spilde) Otteson. Otto was born 29 Apr 1865 in Norway and Anna was born Feb 1875 in Pleasant Twp. They were married in Pleasant Twp. in 1900. Orrie had 2 brothers and 3 sisters: Edwin, Melton, Natlie (m. Henry Rasmussen), Clara (m. Ernest Riendfliesch), and Idella.

Orrie married Helen Mae Overacker 27 May 1929. She was born 14 Jan 1912 in Decorah the daughter of Joseph and Johanna (Corsen) Overacker. Joseph was born 7 Jun 1889 in Burr Oak, IA and Johanna was born 13 Jan 1889 in Canoe Twp. They were married 22 Mar 1911 in Decorah. Orrie and Helen had 3 children: Esther, Merton Dale and Mavis. Esther Mae born in Decorah and attended school in Afton, Wl and Freeport, IA. She married Wilbur Houck 23 Dec 1954 in Freeport. They had


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.

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