ley on the Leikvold farm where all the young people would get together to play.

Four children were born to Knut and Mildred. Betty (m. Norman Theis), Norma (m. Max Schaffer), Wilbur (m. Eunice Hexom) and Eugene. After Knut sold the farm to Eugene, they bought a small acreage about seven miles west of our farm and later moved to the house on my west farm. We moved my mother to the hospital and my father to the care facility the same day, so that was traumatic for all of us. Knut was born in 1891 and died in 1978. My mother was born in 1893 and died in 1977.

As my mother was a nurse, she would help out in the neighborhood where she could and when my father would get a cut or other injury she would use a common needle and thread and sew up or perform what needed to be done. Knut would give himself electrical shocks which he felt would help too. One story Euny likes is when my mother was over at church serving something and they were short of silverware, so she called home for him to bring some over, but to mark it first. Of course, she probably thought he would us colored string or tape. Knut proceeded to carve or rather scratch a KMS initial on each piece of silver with the end of a sharp nail. You can imagine what my mother said when she saw that. At the time we gave out their possessions to the family members, a young granddaughter with a new apartment asked for the silverware, but Euny kept a dinner knife back for us as a souvenir.

Thea Sando was always grateful to the Leikvolds for raising her. She went on to college, never married, but had a varied career. She was instrumental in starting a co-op for the people of a small town in Illinois, worked at the University of Iowa in the health service, did lots of writing and traveling and eventually came back to the Aase Haugen Home in Decorah to be closer to her family.

Stoen, Walter and Thea (Amundson)

(Ronald Stoen)

Bio Photo

Thea and Walter Stoen taken for their Golden Wedding Anniversary in 1978.

Walter Oliver Stoen was born in Highland Twp., Winneshiek Co. on 30 Aug 1900. He was the youngest son of Halsten and Josephine (Nordheim) Stoen. His father, Halsten Stoen, the oldest son of Harold H. Stoen, was born 20 Feb 1853. His mother, Josephine Nordheim, the daughter of Knut and Martha (Bidne) Nordheim, was born 21 Jul 1865 in Pleasant Twp, Winneshiek Co. Walter's parents were married 29 Sep 1887. Walter had one sister, Cora (Stoen) Orvella (b. 23 Feb 1897) and two brothers, Henry “Clarence” (b. 25 Oct 1888) and Knut Melvin (b. 24 Mar 1891). Walter married Thea G. Amundson on 10 May 1928 with the wedding taking place at the Big Canoe parsonage. Thea was born 17 May 1906 in Pleasant Twp. She was the daughter of Albert and Anna (Traaen) Amundson. Thea had three brothers: Alvin (b. 1 Aug 1908), James (b. 9 Aug 1910) and Alfred (b. 18 May 1914) and a sister, Gida (23 Apr 1904-22 Dec 1905). Anna died 31 May 1914 and Albert married Ella Helgeson on 17 Mar 1915. This union brought four children: Norman (b. 4 Jan 1916), Ellen (Amundson) Ellingson (b. 16 Feb 1918), Thelma (Amundson) Overholt and Lester.

The Stoen family, Halsten, his wife Ingebor, their two sons, Ole and Harold, and a daughter Kari came to America sometime in 1851 and made their way to Iowa by covered wagon. They arrived in Highland Twp. in 1851 and decided that is where they wanted to settle. They found the perfect spot for themselves and settled the family in the covered wagon, where they spent their first winter. Ingebor died that winter in the covered wagon and is buried on the homestead. Harold and Ole left for Wisconsin to find work as loggers to earn enough money to homestead. Walter was born and raised on the land that was homesteaded by his grandfather, Harold H. Stoen in 1852. Thea taught in a country school in Pleasant Twp. before her marriage to Walter.

Harold, the oldest living son of Walter and Thea, was born in Spring Grove, MN. He attended grade school in Highlandville, IA and graduated from Decorah High School in 1952. After two years in the Army, stationed in Germany, he returned home and worked on road construction before getting married to Celia Lien on 13 Sep 1958 in the Springfield Lutheran Church. After their marriage Harold and Celia started farming and still farm in Highland Twp. Harold and Celia have three children Elayne (Stoen) Werges, Edward and Laurel and three grandsons: Kristopher, Kevin and Marcus Werges.

Ronald, the second son of Walter and Thea, was born in Spring Grove. He attended grade school in Highlandville, graduated from Decorah High School in 1955 and Luther College in 1959. He married Ann E. Fuller at the First Congregational Church in Decorah on 24 Jul 1959. They have two children Tracy and Richard, four grandchildren Hannah Parker, Kathryn, Jared and Emily Stoen. In 1960 they moved to Des Moines, IA and Ronald is currently employed by Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.

Darrel, the youngest son of Walter and Thea, was born in Spring Grove. He attended grade school in Highlandville and graduated from Decorah High School in 1958. On 2 Sep 1961 Darrel married Carol Nelson at Big Canoe Lutheran Church. They have four children:


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