Ruen, Olaus and Amanda (Egge)

Bio Photo  

Mr. and Mrs. Olaus O. Ruen May 23, 1900

The Ruen homestead in Section 25 of Glenwood Twp. was established in 1855 and is, at this writing, a Century Farm plus 40 years. Olaus And Amanda were married 23 May 1900 in Pontoppidan Lutheran Church.

Amanda was born 14 Jun 1870 in Glenwood Twp. to Hans and Emerense Ruen. She was educated in the rural schools and lived most of her life in Glenwood Twp. Olaus and Amanda established their home on the Ruen homestead and lived there until 1944 when they moved to Decorah. They were parents of 6 children: Adolph (m. Harriet Onsager, dec.), Lawrence (m. Sophie Nesset, dec.), Eleanor (m. Joseph Blegen), Otto (m. LailaThorson, dec.), Vernon (m. Lila Mae Dahlen), and Olger who died in 1927.

Bio Photo

Children of Olaus and Amanda Ruen and their spouses.
Vernon and Lila (Dahlen) Ruen, Lawrence
and Sophie (Nesset) Ruen, Otto and Laila (Thorson) Ruen,
Joseph and Eleanor (Ruen) Blegen, Adolph
and Harriet (Onsager) Ruen

Amanda died 8 Mar 1963 at the Aase Haugen Home in Decorah where she had lived 2 1/4 years. Olaus preceded her in death 5 Feb 1960. Burial was in the Pontoppidan Cemetery. The Ruen homestead is presently owned and operated by members of the Adolph and Harriet Ruen family.

Ruen, Ole R and Kari (Egge)

(Vernon Ruen & Elaine Johnson)

Ole. P Ruen was born 22 Oct 1825 on the Ruen Gaard, Grans Prestegjeld, Hadeland, Norway, a son of Peder and Anne Ruen. He was baptized and confirmed by the older Rev. Heirdahl. His brothers and sisters were : Jens (half-brother), Iver, Hans, Peder (who died in childhood), Elina, Kjersti and Marthe. After 6 weeks on the Atlantic Ocean, Anne Ruen died and was buried at sea. Ole came to America in 1850 in company with his parents, his brother Hans and 3 sisters as related in the biography of his father Peder H. Ruen. The Ruens, on coming to Glenwood Twp., Winneshiek Co., IA, came first to the home of Ole’s cousin, Hans Eggebraaten who was already established on a farm of his own. On 29 Oct 1854 Ole Ruen married Kari Egge who was born in Hadeland, Norway 25 May 1830 on Ovre Egge Gaard, a daughter of Peder Anderson and Kari Margrette (Lynne) Egge who had come to America through Quebec after 11 weeks of sailing, surviving terrific storms and icebergs.

The Ruen log cabin was larger than the average, having a large room upstairs as well as downstairs. Later another room and porch were added. Another older log cabin on their farm was loaned out to various families as they came from Norway. Among these were Kari Elvestuen, Ole’s cousin, and Iver Berge who were married at Ruen's. There were so many at the wedding that the house could not hold them all and the wedding was held outdoors. One of the guests remarked, “Det er hoit op under loftet hos Kari Ruen idag” (It is high up to the ceiling at Kari Ruen’s today—the sky being the ceiling). Ole’s brother Iver and family also lived in a log house for awhile after they arrived from Norway. When Ole made trips to Lansing he brought back all the items requested by his neighbors without having made a shopping list. He often substituted as a doctor when needed to set bones or treat infections.

On their farm was a large spring where the Ruens and neighbors for miles around would bring their cattle to water and hauled away barrels for home use. Its clear, ice cold waters still flow forth in undiminished volume. Many are the happy recollections the Ruens have of picnic excursions to this spot.

Many in the neighborhood were desirous of learning to read so the Ruens and several others made arrangements with an American to give a series of lessons. Ole Ruen helped organize a circulating library. A fee of 50 cents a year was charged and quite a large number of books were purchased. Lew Wallace’s Ben Hur was a book which Ole studied a great deal. He also kept a Chicago paper. It was in this paper he once read of a plow for sale at Boscobel, Wl and made the trip on foot to purchase said plow. The magazines Norden and For Hjemmet were also kept, and when the Decorah-Posten came into publication it was a welcome addition to the subscription list.

Ole at one time held the office of Township Trustee, and served as Justice of Peace. Several cases were tried at his home. People had faith in his judgment and brought


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