and his mother was born in Winneshiek Co. in Jan 1890. Ervin’s brothers and sisters were Henrietta Sundby, Mae Brynsaas, Selma Nelson, Ray, Lester, Vernon and Marlyn (deceased). Ervin married Arlene Fretheim the daughter of Olaf and Ruby Loney Fretheim. Her father was born in Winneshiek Co. in Sep 1895. Olaf's parents were H. and Anna Nesheim Fretheim. Ruby was born in Winneshiek Co. in Sep 1899. Her parents were John and Nellie Langland Loney. Arlene's brothers and sisters are Herbert L. Fretheim and Olive Fretheim Sims.

Ervin and Arlene were married 20 Jun 1948 at the Madison Lutheran Church, Winneshiek Co. They have 2 children: Viann and Gary. Viann graduated from Decorah High School and the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls. Viann worked as a lab technician for Land O’Lakes in Hudson, IA until moving to Waverly, IA. Viann married Howard Clancy. Their children are: Adam    and Elizabeth. Viann and Howard Clancy live in Waverly where Howard works at the First National Bank.

Gary graduated from the Decorah Schools and the University of Iowa, Ames. Gary married Cindy McMillan. Their children are Owen and Travis. Gary is an engineer at 3M in Knoxville. Cindy is a homemaker.

Ervin and Arlene are members of Canoe Ridge Lutheran Church. Ervin graduated from Decorah High School in 1994, served in the military service (Army) for 2 years, and worked at the Decorah State Bank for 37 years. Arlene graduated from Decorah High School in 1945. She worked at the Decorah Creamery and later worked in the City Clerk’s office in Decorah for 16 years. They are both retired and spending a lot of time fishing, playing cards, doing church work, traveling, woodworking and crafts.

Rasmussen, Lars and Dena (Thorson)

(Frances M. Jeffers)

Bio Photo

The Lars Rasmussen Family Lars and Dena’s 25th Wedding Anniversary.

Lars Rasmussen was born 14 Aug 1867 near Bergen, Norway, the son of Rasmus Gerson Knopstad and Lena Larson who emigrated early to America going first to ND and later to Winneshiek Co. On 30 Oct 1900 Lars married Dena Thorson (5 Mar 1874) daughter of Amund Thorson and Agnes (Ingre) Hande. They first lived on Canoe Ridge and later on a small farm in Decorah Twp.

To them were born 5 daughters and a son: Aurelia “Peggy” (12 Jul 1903), Lottie (16 Jul 1905, Sylvia (18 May 1907), Ruth (7 Aug 1910), Jennie (16 Jul 1915), and Elmer (31 Aug 1918). A baby boy was the first born, but died as an infant. Jennie lives in Cedar Rapids and Elmer lives in Manchester, IA. The others have passed away.

Dena died 7 Jan 1960 and Lars died 22 Mar 1960. The Rasmussens are both buried in the Lutheran Cemetery, Decorah.

Rathbun Family

(C.C. Cornell)

Bio Photo

Back row, left to right: Blake Rathbun, Fred Rathbun, Bert Rathbun, Welton Cornell and Hall Rathbun.
Second row back: Bessie Rathbun, Ora Rathbun, Hattie Rathbun and Anna Rathbun.
Third row back: Ralph Cornell, Hartley Rathbun, Kenneth Rathbun and Elisabeth Cornell.
Front row: Darrell Cornell, Donald Rathbun, Clair Cornell and Lawrence Rathbun.

One of the early residents of Frankville was amazed at the size of the family of Thomas J. Rathbun as they entered the village walking behind wagons carrying all their earthly possessions. And well she may have been. Thomas sired 17 children. Three had passed away during their sojourn in Winnebago Co., IL. They are buried in the Rathbun Cemetery, Owen Twp. Roswell, the eldest son, was residing in Michigan. Chauncy died an infant at Portage, NY We find no record of the lives of daughters Anna and Harriet born in NY State.

Two Rathbun sons and his brother Gamaliel, had preceded Thomas to homesteads in Winneshiek Co. Gamaliel moved north to Spring Valley, MN; son Sidney left the county after only two years; son Walter spent his lifetime farming on Washington Prairie. The Rathbuns and son-in-law John McKay, delivered the tall tree used as a flagpole to the site of the area’s first 4th of July celebration. It was on this occasion that the prairie was named.

Thomas purchased 165 acres in Bloomfield Twp. from Francis Teabout for $1410 in 1858. This land became the Rathbun homestead farmed by three generations of the family.

He was elected to the board of trustees of Bloomfield at the first election on 2 Apr 1855. Evidently, he was al-


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this page was last updated on Monday, 29 March 2021