where Elsie grew up. She was baptized by Pastor Knut Seehuus and also confirmed by him at St. John’s Lutheran Church at Locust, IA. Her sister Gertrude was confirmed at the same time.

Bio Photo

Elsie (Young) Smalley, age 95. Her grandson Joseph Sheridan and family. Back: Joseph and Beverly. Front, left to right: Jared and Jordan Sheridan.

Elsie attended school at Hesper Twp. No. 3 and then helped her parents on the farm. On 2 Sep 1918 she married Ray Oliver Smalley, son of James and Sarah (Kenyon) Smalley of Hesper Twp. The wedding took place at the home of Pastor Knut Seehuus at 904 5th Ave., Decorah. Weston Stoskopf and Elsie’s younger sister Gertrude were the attendants.

Ray served in the Army for awhile during World War I. Ray and Elsie lived with his parents after their marriage and then began farming on the Koppen farm about 10 miles north of Decorah on the Middle Hesper Road. They farmed the Koppen farm for 4 years. Their daughter Sydell was born on the farm 18 Aug 1922. On that same day the neighborhood farmers came to thresh the Smalley’s grain. The family next moved to a farm near Canoe Creek where they lived 3 years. The farm was owned by the Frank Young family. Mr. Young was a cattle buyer. His daughter was married to Bert Porter who owned what is now the Porter House Museum on Broadway in Decorah. Ray had a cream route. He cracked his wrist a couple of times cranking his Model T Ford truck. When cranking, if the spark lever on the steering post was not shoved up those Model T's would “kick." The Smalleys next moved to the Tillapaugh place about 200 feet up the road and on the other side from the present North Winneshiek School. After 4 years they moved a few hundred feet down the road to the Sam Barth place directly across from the present North Winneshiek School. They lived there one year.

They then moved a couple miles further down the road to a 40 acre farm where they lived 2 years. Ray was a handy man and the neighborhood kids (the Peter Danielsons and Fred Fishers) enjoyed being around him. Ray had a sorghum mill which was an attraction. Cooking sorghum is almost a 24 hour a day operation. After about 2 years on this farm they moved to Decorah, lived from fall to the following summer with Mrs. Smalley’s sister and family, the L.C. Bolsons. Ray worked for Bolson’s Hatchery and Feeds. They bought a house on 211 Ohio Street from the Meyrick family. Eventually they sold the house to Mervin Ellingson and built 2 houses on lots to the west. They lived in one house and their daughter Sydell and her 3 sons lived in the other. Ray worked as a carpenter, painter and plumber and also did some electrical work. He was an all-round handyman.

For many years Ray and Elsie were the custodians of the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church next door to their home. Wherever they lived the Smalleys always had an excellent garden. On the afternoon of 7 Oct 1985 Ray was working the garden behind the house. He felt a little tired, stuck the garden fork into the ground, walked into the house, sat down in his favorite chair by the window facing the street and quietly passed away. Ray was born 8 Mar 1897. Elsie still lives in their home on Iowa Avenue. She still gardens and during the month of Oct 1995 spent many hours cleaning up her garden and raking leaves. Her maiden name was Young and she is still young at age 95. She enjoys activities at Good Shepherd Church where she has been a member since its beginning.

Smedsrud, Walter Gordon and Helena Marie (Prestemon)

(Marie Smedsrud)

W. Gordon Smedsrud was born in Waukon, IA on 13 Dec 1920, the son of Carl Gerhart Smedsrud and Pearl Huffman. Carl was born 30 Aug 1894 east of Waukon and west of Old West Paint Creek Church. Pearl was born 22 Aug 1897 at Rossville, IA. Carl and Pearl were married 20 Apr 1920. Gordon’s brother and sisters were: Arden Marvin, Clarice Lorraine and Alyce Marie.

Gordon married H. Marie Prestemon on 9 Aug 1945 at Old West Paint Creek Church, Allamakee Co. Marie was born 23 Feb 1922 at her parents’ home east of Waukon. She was the daughter of Alvin Prestemon and Idelia Agatha Grangaard. Alvin was born 31 Dec 1887 and Idelia was born 13 May 1887, both in Allamakee Co. Alvin and Idelia were married 25 Aug 1920 at Old West Paint Creek Church. Marie’s sister is Gwendolyn Mae Prestemon-Haugen.

Gordon and Marie have two children: Rick Gerhart and Rachel Maren. Rick was born in Sioux City, IA. He attended school at Mankato State University (BS) and University of Iowa, Iowa City (MBA). He married Barbi Lund on 18 Jul 1970. Rick served in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam Conflict. Rick and Barbi’s children are: Christopher Todd and Karin Marie. Rick married Virginia Lee on 15 Sep 1984. Rick and Virginia have a daughter, Ashley Celeste. Rick is treasurer of Henkel Construction,


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