noe Ridge Lutheran Church where they lived out their lives. Later in life Julius was the caretaker at the Canoe Ridge Lutheran Church.

Helena died 2 Jul 1952; Julius died 3 1/2 weeks later on 28 Jul 1952. Everyone said Julius simply had no will to go on after Lena’s death. Both are buried at the Canoe Ridge Church Cemetery.

Peterson, Mikkel and Johanna (Olsdtr.)

(Verna (Peterson) Dalbey and Julie (Clauson) Boots)

(Note: The following biographical information is by Verna.)

Mikkel Pederson was born 22 Mar 1828 in Ryen Vestre Narjord, Os i Osterdalen, Norway (Roros). His parents were Peder Jonsen Ryen (Narjord) (b. 1795) and Kari Mikkelsdtr Naren (b. 1796) who were married 8 Apr 1822 in Tolga Parish, Norway.

Bio Photo

Oliver and Annie (Sollien) Peterson
married October 19, 1929

Mikkel married Johanna Olsdtr Narjord 24 Jun 1866 in Norway. Johanna was born 22 Jul 1843 in Lille Narjord, Os in Osterdalen. She was the daughter of Ole Olsen Narjord (b. 1798) and Sigrid Estensdtr Grue who were married 18 Jul 1824 in Norway. Other children of Ole and Sigrid were: Ole Olson (b. 1825) married Marit Toredsdtr Norbvoll; Esten (b. 1827) married Ingeborg Olsdtr Rostbakken and went to America; Marit (b. 1829) went to America; Halsten (b. 1831) married Ingeborg Jonsdtr Hosoyen and went to America; Ingeborg (b. 1835) married Mikkel Ingebretson Broun; Barbru (b. 1837) married Gruvedalen in Sweden; and Johanna (of this history). Ole and Sigrid were cottagers on the Narjord farm in Os, Tolga Parish.

Mikkel and Johanna emigrated to the United States in 1869 leaving behind a child they had buried. They settled in Highland Twp., Winneshiek Co. Ten more children were born to Mikkel and Johanna in the United States: twins Kari and Signi; Martin; twins Peter and Ole (b. 23 Mar 1871); Christ; Christine (1875-1958); Anne Sophie (1879-1883, m. a Clauson); Anna Elizabeth (b. 21 Mar 1881, m. a Hammervold); and Sophia (1884-1908).

Mikkel was a farmer, carpenter and cabinet maker. His granddaughters, Selma Clauson, Jarla Clauson and Julie (Clauson) Boots each have beautiful walnut and oak furniture pieces made by Mikkel. His great grandson Marc Dalbey has followed in his footsteps and also is a fine cabinet maker.

Johanna was an active, energetic person who worked continuously - weaving rugs; knitting mittens while walking between farms; and working her farm near Bear Creek by herself for 20 years after she became a widow. She never learned English and was still writing letters in Norwegian in 1931 to her granddaughter, Verna Peterson who was a student at Northwest Missouri State University. Johanna did not own a horse or a car and walked everywhere she went. This included to Quandahl for groceries; to the Waterloo Ridge Lutheran Church; and to her son’s home 2 miles away.

Mikkel and Johanna were a highly self-reliant “economic production unit” and produced almost all the goods and services used by the family members. Johanna made food products from garden to table, including ale, dried beef and bread which began with growing the wheat and hand-grinding the wheat into flour. For clothing she raised sheep, sheared them, carded and spun the wool and wove it into cloth. Johanna sewed all the clothes including the suits for her twin boys Ole and Peter. Mikkel butchered animals, tanned the skins and made leather boots. He also made all their furniture.

Mikkel died 22 Feb 1913; Johanna died 1 Mar 1933. Both are buried at the Waterloo Ridge Lutheran Church Cemetery.

(Note: The following are Julie’s memories of her grandparents.)

My maternal grandparents were Mikkel and Johanna Peterson. My mother was Mikkel and Johanna’s daughter Christina. After coming to Highland Twp. in Winneshiek Co., Mikkel and Johanna made their temporary home with Mikkel’s brother, Andrew Peterson. While living at his brother’s home, Mikkel, an accomplished woodworker, built furniture for Andrew’s family. Mikkel and Johanna’s home was on a 55 acre farm which borders the acreage where my husband Kenneth and I now live. This is in the northeast corner of Highland Twp., Winneshiek Co. Our mailbox is in the very same location as theirs was. What seems so remarkable to me is the fact that Mikkel, using only hand tools, built his own home, barn and furniture and made a living for his family on that 55 acre farm. In fact, he built 2 houses because the first was destroyed by fire. Sadly, I never knew Mikkel because he died before I was born.

Grandma Peterson is the one grandparent with whom I was closely associated. She died 1 Mar 1933 when I was in high school.

When I was a young girl, it was taken for granted that my sisters and I would regularly walk to Grandma’s to bring her food and help do errands. My job was to pump water for her and to fill the woodbox. Invariably she gave me a quarter but I was told to say “You shouldn't do that.” I do not know how she had money to share. Fiercely independent, Grandma resisted offers to come live with


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