Bio Photo

Anna (Aasum) and John Selness, son of Nicolai and Maren Selness.

Twenty-four years later, Lowell's son, Terry Selness, bought the farm and is the present owner. Lowell and his wife, Bette, continue to live on the farm and help Terry with the farm work.

Sersland, Carl and Julia (Anderson)

(Myrtle (Sersland) Ellingson)

Carl Alfred Sersland was born 10 Sep 1886 on a farm in Frankville Twp., the 6th child of Harold and Bergit (Haugen) Sersland. Carl attended Breckenridge Institute in Decorah for a while. He then had a cream route from Moneek to Nordness, IA. The big topic of conversation was usually who had the best and the most customers. Carl was known for his fine voice and always could be heard singing “Red Wing” as he approached the Fred Anderson farm where he met Julia Anderson.

Carl and Julia were married at Washington Prairie Lutheran Church 23 Oct 1911 by Rev. Paul Koren. The reception was held at the Fred and Serena Anderson home near Frankville. Carl bought the Hyde farm in Sec. 19, Frankville Twp., before he was married. The barn burned so for a few years the couple was busy cutting trees and sawing lumber. A new barn was built in 1915,4 years after they were married.

A daughter, Myrtle Elizabeth, was born to Carl and Julia 14 Jun 1916 at their home in Frankville Twp. This was followed by the births of Lloyd Edwin 30 Nov 1918 and Herbert Fremont 30 Sep 1920. Myrtle was 4 years old when Herbie was born. She remembers coming downstairs and finding 3 ladies busy at the stove fixing breakfast. She asked what was going on and remembers being very happy when told she had a new baby brother.

All the aunts and uncles on the Sersland side lived on adjoining farms. This made for a very close extended family. The newspaper article announcing the 50th Wedding Anniversary of Carl and Julia described them as “happy, prosperous family farmers; their home radiating loyalty, kindness and a helping hand to all their friends, neighbor, church and community.”

Julia had a few chickens. The hens (known as “old clucks”) would sit on eggs and soon there would be little chicks running everywhere with the hen looking for food. Julia later acquired an incubator to hatch the eggs in. The eggs had to be turned periodically. The incubator gave everyone more chickens and more chickens meant more eggs.

The children always got a hearty laugh when one certain aunt visited. No matter how many eggs Julia had gathered that day, the aunt had gathered more. Carl and Julia taught their children not to be greedy, so this was hard for the children to understand.

Carl and Julia had a number of heated debates about whether school and church services should be switched from Norwegian to English. Julia was in favor of changing to English; Carl was against it. In the end Julia won. The children were delighted - no more reading the Bible in Norwegian. Also, about this time it was decided families should sit together in church rather than men on one side and women and children on the other side.

Lloyd was very mischievous and received a lot of “lickings.” He was always saying “Myrtle and Blanche are mean to me.” They did not want him with them constantly so were always hiding from him. Lloyd often would say “I hope Pa uses the razor strap." He was so used to the strap, it did not hurt much anymore. The other children thought this was funny.

Blanche Rose had a lovely doll house - a brooder house with all her dolls, doll clothes, tea sets, etc. It was such fun going over and playing with her many dolls. She and Myrtle were like sisters even if Blanche was 3 years older.

Carl and Julia's children trod the same route to church and confirmation as Carl had when he was that age. The children remember many cold rides to church with teams of horses. Later when the Eidsvik boys came from Norway, one worked for Carl. He let Myrtle drive his old Ford to confirmation on Saturdays. She was very proud to be only 13 and allowed to drive - and drive a car with a clutch!

The children had many chores after school and on Saturdays, such as: filling the wood box, filling the reservoir on the stove, filling the water pail, getting corn cobs to build a fire to bake bread, picking eggs and many other things. They even had to refill the mattress with new straw and fluff it up.

The children were members of the 4-H Club in Frankville Twp. Myrtle won a record book contest in 1936 and received a free trip to Washington, D.C. The topic was “Rural Electrification.” This was the beginning of electricity for farmers and was a great step forward for the farming community. Franklin D. Roosevelt was President. Carl was a Republican but changed parties just to vote for F.D.R. because he believed he was the greatest President of his time because he bought the country out of the Depression to prosperity. Myrtle also was Winneshiek Co. Health Champion and went to the State Fair in Des Moines. There she won the Iowa Health Championship and a trip to Chicago. In Chicago she placed 4th in the U.S, and received a red ribbon.


Complete OCR transcription

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this page was last updated on Monday, 29 March 2021