He married Jennie Thurner. They have 2 children: Trevor and Samantha Kaylin ). Tanya Renea is single. She is a graduate of Jefferson High School.

Donna attended school in Pleasant No. 7 to the 6th grade. She was tutored at home during the 7th and 8th grades. Donna died 13 Oct 1960 from complications of polio. She is buried at the Canoe Ridge Lutheran Church Cemetery.

Edward attended Pleasant No. 7 and graduated from Decorah High School. He served in the Army for 4 years during which he served one year in Viet Nam. Edward married Lorilie Hurlbut 24 Apr 1971. They do not have any children. Edward and Lorilie live in Decorah. He works for Wicks Construction.

Owen, Nets and Kristi (Torgerson)

(Hazel Hoyt Markovetz)

By about 1915 all but Helge and Borgine Oen had changed the spelling of the family name to Owen, and Nils had changed his to Nels.

Nels, at age six, came to the United States with his family from Norway. His birthplace was in the Olso area or Drammen. When he was a young man he went to Hatten, ND where he homesteaded for several years. He played the fiddle for dances, loved to jig and was known for his great strength. It was said that he could pick up a bushel of wheat in his teeth and throw it on a grain wagon. When his oldest granddaughter visited that area in 1962 there were still those who remembered him doing this.

Nels returned to IA and married Kristi Torgerson in August 1888. Kristi had worked the past 4 years for Rev. Wulfsberg and it was he who married them in the Madison Lutheran Church. Kristi, slender and trim, wore a brown wedding dress. She remained so all her life and walked ramrod straight until the day she died.

Nels drove a gray horse named Prince hitched to a single buggy which they drove home to the farm he had purchased on the old creamery road 2 miles east of Ridgeway. Prince eventually became a handsome rug but Nels and Kristi never failed to have a gray horse on the farm named Prince.

One of the first things they did was to set out one hundred pine trees north of the house for a windbreak because they both remembered with happiness the sound of the wind blowing through the pines of Norway. Willows were planted along the creek on the west side and a large orchard was planted on the east. Their first visitors were Rev. and Mrs. Wulfsberg.

Kristi was born possibly in the Eggdal area, but spoke of Trondheim and Stavanger too. Coming here at age ten with her mother Kottie Torgerson, she remembered more about Norway but both grandparents loved to tell about their native land, sing native songs of Norway and tell the old Norwegian fairy tales.

As their family grew so did their house finally becoming 12 rooms. First Kristi’s mother came and then Nel’s parents came and lived in the two story addition built on to their big 8-room square house. The big house stood until the mid 1980’s when it burned down in a grass fire. The barn and a couple of out-buildings still stand.

Kristi and Nels were determined that their children should have a good education and all were offered a college education. They provided musical instruments, an organ and a piano. As a young man Nels had taught himself to play the mouth organ and the fiddle. Kristi’s dream was to become a teacher. Of their children, Borgine, Christine and Ernest became teachers. Borgine married Archie Hoyt, mother and father of the writer of this article. Christine never married. Ernest married Marguerite Hall, Ohaha, NE. They had a daughter and a son. They returned to Decorah after living in NE for many years. Norma was in teacher training when she died. Josie chose nurse’s training but her health did not permit her to finish. She stayed with her parents as long as they lived. She lived the longest of all her family and died in a Nursing Facility in Ossian, IA. Henry was called to serve in WWI and was in training at Ft. Benning, GA when the war ended. He married Anna Feuerak, Harmony MN and had no children. He chose a start in farming. Carl married Mabel Odden, Decorah, IA. They had 2 sons. He also chose to farm.

Nels and Kristi lived to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary and lived their entire married life on the farm where they began their life together. Both were dedicated to living their Christian faith, were faithful members of Madison Lutheran Church and are buried there in the Cemetery.

Nels was born 6 Jul 1858 and died 2 Jul 1940. Kristi was born 18 Feb —and died 3 Sep 1939.

Overacher, Joseph and Johanna (Korsen)

(Esther (Ottenson) Houck and Carrie (Houck) Lee)

Bio Photo

Joseph and Johanna (Korsen) Overacher

Joseph Overacker was born 7 Jun 1889 in Burr Oak, IA. His parents were Richard and Emma (Frye) Overacker. Richard was born in 1861 and Emma 15 Apr 1867 in Germany. Joe had one sister and 2 half-sisters: Jesse (m. Smith); Rose (m. Miller); and Frances (m. Clute).

On 22 Mar 1911 Joe married Johanna Jenny’’ Korsen. Johanna was born 13 Jan 1889 in Canoe Twp. Winneshiek Co. Her parents were Ole and Julia (Grimstad) Korsen.


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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