Michelle R. (Fossum) Schwartzhoff was born in Spring Grove, MN to Ove A. Fossum, Jr. and Janet B. (Mestad) Fossum. Michelle’s father was born  in Spring Grove to Ove G. Fossum, Sr. and Della (Roble) Fossum. Michelle's mother was born  in Highland Twp, Winneshiek Co. to Joseph O. Mestad and Nettie A. (Gjere) Mestad.

Michelle married Michael J. Schwartzhoff 24 Jun 1989 in Spring Grove. Michael was born in Waukon, IA to Gerald R. Schwartzhoff and Rita M. (Howes) Schwartzhoff. Michael and Michelle currently reside at 2543 River Road, Decorah.

Michael is employed by Lang’s Dairy in Decorah and Michelle is employed by the State of Iowa. They are members of the Decorah Lutheran Church.

Schwarze, Nicoline Andrea Jansen

(Lilly Womeldorf)

Bio Photo

Edith Geraldine Adams and Andrea Johnson Schwarze 1920

Nicoline Andrea was born 14 Jan 1871 on the Island of Stord, Norway, the first-born child of Jan and Iverine Jansen. She was educated and confirmed in the school associated with Stord Seminary. School was the great love of her childhood days, and she always regretted not having been able to continue her education. In her own beautiful words, written in Jan 1963: “How I loved school. What happy days, alas, too soon ended. From eight to fourteen, six short years; and with the passing of those years, it seemed as though I had lost everything I cared for. ’Tis with a smile I recall an incident: I heard my uncle say ‘Need not go to school everyday,’ so I sneaked out in the early hours of the morning — with dirty face no doubt — unkempt hair, wooden shoes. The teacher, being a friend of the family politely sent me home. No more staying after that. My first real sorrow was leaving school: saying goodbye to the teacher and the school house was unbearable, so when I reached home I called our dog, my pal, strolled away to a remote spot and cried until the well of tears was dry.”

Andrea was 14 when the family came to Decorah. She stayed there for three years, working for the Nefstads (on the farm presently owned by Erlin and Lilly Womeldorf), and then went to Milwaukee with Mrs. Bucknell. Pauline remembers that, when Andrea came back from the big city, she always brought something for the younger children. Andrea then went to Chicago, where Professor Bothne lived. He was her great uncle (Iverine’s uncle), and was assistant editor of Skandinaven. She earned her living as a domestic and also clerked for four years. While working at a hotel in Madison, Andrea met an engineer, Henry Carl Schwarze, and was married to him on 1 Sep 1892. On 7 Jul 1893 Edith Marie was born when they lived in Chicago. Henry died 10 May 1938, and Andrea went to Florida to join her daughter in 1944. Edith had married George P Adams 3 Sep 1917 and lived West Palm Beach, FL. To them was born Edith Geraldine (b. 10 Aug 1918), Jean Nedra and Robert Pierce. Presently, Edith Geraldine (Jerry) Mathes lives in Sunnyvale, CA; Jean Sanders lives in Russell Springs, Ky; and Robert (Bobby) lives in Fort Pierce, FL.

Edith died 26 Dec 1945, and Andrea has since that time lived with a number of elderly persons in Decorah and West Union, IA. Most of the women she stayed with were younger than she. Among them was Mrs. Victor Hoeg of Decorah.

Andrea loved to play cards, and also was a poet. At an advanced age she would visit the “old people” in the nursing home. She spent her last years in West Union where she continued to be active until her death at age 101 on 4 Aug 1972. She was the oldest of the children in her immediate family and lived the longest.

Schweinefus, Charles and Anna (Althouse)

(Gladys Sampson)

Charles Schweinefus (christened Carl Friedrich Wilhelm) was born 1 Jun 1896 in Westphalia Province, Germany to Franz Friedrich and Louise (Krieger) Schweinefusf. (There are several different spellings of the Schweinefus name.)

There were five Schweinefus brothers who emigrated from Germany between 1870 and 1884. As each brother settled in Iowa, he began saving money for ship’s passage to send back to Germany until all five had emigrated. After coming to Iowa, the brothers worked as farm hands for established German immigrant families. All eventually married and bought farms near Castalia and Ossian in the border area of Winneshiek and Fayette Counties.

Charles Schweinefus married Anna Althouse on 25 Feb 1892 at Eldorado, IA. Anna was born 6 May 1871 in Winneshiek Co, IA. Her parents were Christian and Margaret (Steffens) Althouse.


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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this page was last updated on Monday, 29 March 2021