her father, Laurence Nelson, and his wife and family. The Nelsons resided in Decorah for about 2 years. Lawrence Helge and Florence resided in Decorah all their married life. Florence (Larry’s mother) worked at the Commercial Hotel which was located east of Kephart's Music Store where State Street is now. To this union 9 children were born: Lucille, Helen, Ruth, Lester, Robert, James, Charles, Frances and Lawrence. Lawrence Helge was a meat cutter and butcher most of his life. He died 18 Aug 1967; his wife Florence died 17 Oct 1967. Both are buried in Decorah Lutheran Cemetery.

Bio Photo

Helen, Lucille, Mrs. Seim (Florence Nelson), Mr. Seim (Lawrence Helge), Laurence H. (Larry), Ruth, Frances. Front row: Robert, Lester, James and Charles.

Larry's grandmother Sigre (Sarah) was educated in the rural schools in Pleasant Twp. Larry’s father went to the 6th grade at the East Side School in Decorah upon its completion in 1896.

Seim, Lawrence H. and Arlyne (Forbes)

(Larry and Arlyne (Forbes) Seim)

Bio Photo

Jeffrey L. (son) and Holly (Hoffman) Seim, Lawrence H. (Larry) and Arlyne (Forbes) Seim, and son Scott Forbes Seim.

Lawrence H. Seim (known as “Larry"), the son of Lawrence Helge and Florence (Nelson) Seim, was born in the Smith Memorial Hospital, Decorah. He was the 9th and last child in the family. He was educated in Decorah Schools attending the East Side School and Decorah Senior High School. He then attended and graduated from Luther College and later received a Master’s Degree from the State College of Iowa, Cedar Falls (now the University of Northern Iowa). Larry married Arlyne Forbes from Prairie du Chien, Wl on 2 Jul 1952. Arlyne attended rural school (grades 1-8) in Bridgeport, Wl; high school in Prairie du Chien; and graduated from Luther College. After a 2 year tour of duty in the Armed Forces and one year in Osage, IA, Larry returned to Decorah to teach 35 years in the Decorah School Systems. Arlyne taught all 8 grades in the Locust School in 1952 and 1953 and then taught 32 years in the Howard-Winneshiek School in Ridgeway, IA in the lower elementary grades.

Larry and Arlyne had 2 boys - Jeffrey L. and Scott F.. Both were educated in the Decorah Schools and received extended schooling. Jeff is an airline pilot and resides in Ft. Wayne, IN. He married Holly Hoffman of Medaryville, IN on 26 Jul 1987. Scott has been employed with IBM in Rochester, MN since graduating from Northwest Electronics Institute in Minneapolis, MN.

Selness, Carl and Ida (Josvanger) Family

(Lowell V. Selness)

Carl Martin Selness, son of John N. and Anna (Aasum) Selness, was born 30 May 1890 in HesperTwp. On 1 Jan 1918 at the Decorah Lutheran parsonage he married Ida Otilda Josvanger (b. 27 May 1887), daughter of Hans O. and Isabel Gustine (Bakken) Josvanger. In March 1918 they moved to a farm adjoining Carl’s father’s farm east of Hesper. They moved Ida's belongings with horses and wagon from the Josvanger farm four miles west of Decorah in spring mud to Hesper.

Prior to her marriage, Ida had graduated from Valdres with a teacher’s certificate and had taught in Ridgeway as well as at her home school. She was both sister and teacher to several of her younger brothers and sisters. Ida and Carl had four children: Norman James (30 Jan 1919-15 May 1995), Alice Irene (31 Mar 1920-29 Mar 1996), and Lowell Valdemar and Lois Valberg - twins.

Tragedy occurred 20 Nov 1931 when Carl was struck by a falling tree and was killed. His brother Olaf and son Lowell were with him when the accident happened. Ida and the four young children carried on, keeping the farm going through the Depression of the 1930’s. Butcher hogs were but $2.30 per 100 pounds at one time.

Norman, Alice and Lois graduated from college and followed teaching careers. Lowell took over the operation of the farm with his mother’s help. Ida Selness died 5 May 1969 at her daughter's home in Washington, IA. Both Carl and Ida were buried in the Hesper Lutheran Cemetery.

Norman J. Selness and Joyce Delores Jacobson (b. in Elderon, Wl) were married 5 Jun 1948 in Wittenberg, Wl. Norman graduated from Luther College


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.

Please, contact the County Coordinator to submit additions or corrections.

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this page was last updated on Monday, 29 March 2021