the pulpit in the Stavanger (Norway) cathedral. In direct lineage after Andrew were included two merchants, a ship’s captain and a governmental office holder.

Going back to Dr. Axel, he received his medical degree in Oslo and came to the United State in 1873, establishing a medical practice in Decorah and also serving as the Luther College physician from 1876 to 1905. He lived in a hotel and boarding house for five years, until 19 Jun 1878, when he married a school teacher, Gertrude Christopher, known as Jane (7 Oct 1849-2 Jun 1904), who was one of seven children of Norwegian immigrants, Jens and Gertrude Christopher.

Bio Photo

Dr. Axel Christian Smith October 20, 1844 - October 28,1917

Axel and Jane had four children, two of whom died in childhood. Surviving were Carsten Christopher (21 Apr 1880-19 Jan 1962) and Anna (17 Apr 1889-29 Apr 1977) who married Julian Holkesvik. She was a teacher, postmistress and mother of two children.

Carsten Smith attended preparatory school and three years at Luther College, received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa, and a medical degree from Northwestern University in 1903.

On 23 Aug 1906 he married Gyda Mathilda Holkesvik (13 Mar 1879-5 Jun 1974), born in Canoe Twp., whom he had met while practicing in Merrill, Wl, where Gyda was employed as a nurse, having graduated from a two-year nursing program. Carsten joined his father's practice for a year or two before moving with Gyda to Scandinavia, Wl, in 1906 to set up a practice. They had three children, Helen Gertrude (2 Jun 1909-29 Apr 1914), Ruth Eleanor (13 May 1913), and Lawrence Frederick (4 Jun 1917).

Essential wartime requirements brought the family to Hibbing, MN in 1918, where Carsten was a physician in two iron-mining communities. After developing Parkinson’s disease following a severe illness of encephalitis, Carsten retired from medical practice in 1926 and moved the family to Decorah.

Lawrence earned a bachelor’s degree from Luther College in 1939 and a master’s degree from Iowa State College in Ames in 1941. Under the aegis of a navy program, he received a medical degree from the University of Chicago in 1946. On 30 Aug 1947 he married Marie Uncapher, a native of California, who was a social worker. They were transferred by the Navy to Guam. In 1949 he established a general medical practice in El Cajon and La Mesa, CA.

Lawrence and Marie had three children: Stephanie married Dale Osborn and was employed for a number of years as a controller; Montgomery Samuel established a small manufacturing business and married Jeanette Hawley. Their children are Samuel, Maxwell, and Anna. Lawrence’s third child is Andrew Carsten, an agronomist, married to Sara Repollabo. Their child is Sarah Marie

Ruth Eleanor Smith, daughter of Carsten and Gyda, was born 13 May 1913. She spent one year at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN and then in 1932 as a sophomore entered the Decorah Junior College for Girls, which was established in that year. She received a diploma from the Kahler Hospitals School of Nursing in Rochester, MN, acquired a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, and served in various nursing positions at the Kahler and Methodist hospitals, retiring as director of the Methodist-Kahler School of Nursing in 1970 when the school closed. She returned to Decorah to be with her mother.

Smith, George and Harriet (Shear)

(Jeanne W. Smith)

Bio Photo

Harriet Matilda (Shear) and George William Smith

George William Smith came to Winneshiek Co. about 1851 from Bugthorpe, Yorkshire, England and homesteaded property on the Upper Iowa River in Bluffton Twp. On 7 Mar 1860 he was married to Harriet Mathilda Shear, daughter of Rollin Letts Shear and May Ann Hull. Harriet had been born in Skaneateles, New York 2 Mar 1831, the oldest in a family of nine children, including two sets of twins. After her family left New York, they remained for several years in Winfield (Lake Co.), IN before moving on to Winneshiek Co. about 1856. George died 30 Sep 1882 and Harriet died suddenly 14 Aug 1902. Both are buried


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