Bio Photo

Norman, Lowell, Alice and Lois Selness. Children of Carl and Ida Selness. circa 1969

and earned an M.A. degree in music from the University of Wisconsin. He served in the 3rd Army, 3rd Armored Division during World War II. Norman taught string music at Bloomington-Jefferson High School, Golden Valley, MN as well as at the Lutheran College and St. Paul Bible College there. After retirement he gave music lessons and repaired instruments in his home. For ten years he coordinated the music camp. Norman died 15 May 1995 and was buried in Ft. Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis, MN. His wife Joyce taught school and clerked for many years. She and six of their seven children survive. Daughter Jean Elizabeth died along with her fiance in a car accident in 1971. Their other children are: Carolyn Joanne married Richard Eugene Lee 27 Nov 1982; Marie Louise married Allen Richard Cecka 3 Aug 1991; Carl Malcolm is single; Ruth Renee  married Gary Dean Gervais 21 Aug 1981; Delores Jane married Gregory Dean Grunwald 16 Aug 1986; and Pamela Kaye also single.

Bio Photo

Ida (Josvanger) and Carl M. Selness

Alice Irene Selness and Gene Allen Anderson were married 28 Dec 1952 at Hesper Lutheran Church. Alice, a pianist, taught music for many years as well as played for church and other community events. They are the parents of two children: Jan Suzanne married Robert Dean Ellingson 25 Jun 1977 at Hesper Lutheran Church and Ross Alan married Janee Lynn Eckhart 2 Jun 1984 at Decorah Lutheran Church.

Lowell Valdemar Selness and Bette Jane Walhus were married 31 Aug 1949 in Spring Grove, MN. They have three sons: Dennis Dean ; Scott Alan married Becky Renee Austin on 3 Dec 1944; and Terry Lee married Mary Beth Soukup on 10 Dec 1988 at the Henrytown, MN Lutheran Church. They are the parents of Kirby, Samantha and Travis. Terry is presently farming the original Nicolai Selness farm - the fifth generation to own the farm.

Finally, Lowell’s twin sister, Lois Valbera Selness and Glen Everett Williams were married at Hesper Lutheran Church on 23 Mar 1947. They are the parents of five children: Elaine Alice, Russell Lee, Ray Everett, Lorraine Kay and Randall Wayne. Both Lois and Glen taught school and presently live in Washington, IA. (Information from Frances M. Jeffers)

Selness, Nicolai and Maren (Flak)

(Lowell Selness)

Bio Photo

Nicolai and Maren Aasum Selness

In 1873 Nicolai Selness, born 3 Oct 1824 in Namsos, Norway, and his wife, Maren Sofie Flak sold a century farm in Namdal, Norway. They came to America with five children (ages 8 to 18): Ellen, Thor Martin, Nicolina, John and Elsie. One son had died in Norway prior to their departure. They first resided in Highland Twp for a year, then bought a farm one mile east of Hesper, IA. Five generations later, the farm is now owned by Terry Selness and Mary (Soukup).

Nicolai and Maren lived in a log cabin until about 1900 when a frame house was built on the farm. About that time, their son John N. Selness (1861-17 Dec 1938) and his wife, Anna Aasum (6 Apr 1870-24 Feb 1952) bought the farm. Nicolai died 31 Jan 1916. Maren was born in 1824 and died in 1886.

John N. Selness and Anna had three sons: Carl Martin (1890-1931), Olaf Norris (1898-1966), and Alfred James (1904-1986). Son Olaf bought the farm from his parents in about 1940. When he passed away in 1966, his nephew, Lowell, a son of Carl Martin Selness, bought the farm in 1967 and the same year built a new house.


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.

Winneshiek IAGenWeb Home

Copyright statement

Please read the IAGenWeb Terms, Conditions & Disclaimer
~all of which applies to the Winneshiek Co. website. ~
this page was last updated on Monday, 29 March 2021