the blacksmith shop in his bare feet and accidentally stepping on a red hot plowshare.

Life was sometimes tough, but Daniel survived. Except for a stint in the Army (1951-1953) during which he served in Korea, Elmer has always farmed. His wife, the former Elsie Reicks, is of German descent. Elsie was born in Fayette Co. at St. Lucas, IA.

Swehla, James and Clara (Fisher)

(Clara Swehla)

James 'Jim" Swehla was born 27 Aug 1919 at Spillville, IA, the son of John and Albina (Ondrashek) Swehla. John and Albina Swehla were born in Winneshiek Co. They were married at Spillville. Their children are: George (deceased), Ben (deceased), Etta (lives in Cedar Rapids, IA), Dan and Jim (served in the U.S. Navy during World War II).

Clara Fisher was born at Spillville, the daughter of John and Emma (Klimesh) Fisher. John Fisher were born on a farm north of Spillville 12 Sep 1888. John and Emma Fisher were the parents of Louise (Fisher) Silhacek; Martha (Fisher) Falada, Milwaukee, Wl; Edith (Fisher) Cekal; and Julian Fisher, M.D., Sacramento, CA. Clara graduated from South Winneshiek High School at Calmar.

Jim Swehla and Clara Fisher were married 2 Jun 1947 at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church, Spillville. Jim owned and operated a bulk plant. He also owned a gas station which he rented out. He is now retired. He loves fishing and visiting. Jim is a member of American Legion Post #467. Clara is kept busy at her home. They are members of the St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church.

Jim and Clara Swehla are the parents of a son, Gregory, born at Smith Memorial Hospital, Decorah. Gregory attended school at South Winneshiek in Calmar. He received a B.A. degree from Norwich University at Northfield, VT It is the oldest military university in the nation. He received his M.A. degree from Notre Dame, South Bend, IN. Gregory served in the U.S. Army from 1972-1974. On 21 Sep 1974 he married Marcia Deitzenbach. Gregory and Marcia are the parents of one son, Nathaniel who is a third year student at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio. They make their home in Alexandria, KY Gregory works as a Financial Planner and Marcia is an Administrator at the University of Cincinnati. She is a lawyer and has passed both the state and federal bar exams. She is licensed in Ohio, Kentucky and plans to become licensed in Iowa. They enjoy the time they have to work on their farm.

Swenson, Alvin and Edna (Casterton)

(Myrtle Noecker)

Edna Margaret was the first of nine children born to Josiah and Augusta Casterton, and the only one not born on the J.R. Casterton farm. She was born at the Louis Larson farm in Highland Twp. This farm later was purchased by Luther and Julia Groth and is now the residence of Duane and Shirley Groth.

Edna moved with her parents to the Casterton farm north of Highland Lutheran Church in 1918 when her father, a carpenter, had completed a granary which served as a home for this little family until the house was completed enough for them to move into it. The buildings were located in much timber and wolves were plentiful at that time. Edna’s parents were most attentive to their two little girls for fear they might be attacked by these wolves.

Edna graduated from the Highland #2 Elementary School and did housework and chores for neighbors for a number of years before being employed at the Heales’ Cafe in Mabel, MN and at the Jensen Bakery in Spring Grove, MN.

On 12 Jun 1937 at the Highland Lutheran Church, Edna became the bride of Alvin Swenson, also of Highland Twp, but who lived on a farm near Waterloo Ridge Church. There really was need for the wedding to be postponed as Edna woke up on 12 Jun with the mumps. Since it seemed too late to change the date, the wedding went on as scheduled.

The couple lived at the Swenson farm for a few years before renting the Halverson farm near Blackhammer, MN. In 1945 they purchased the Austin farm north of Mabel where Alvin still resides.

Bio Photo

Sally, Garry, Alvin, Edna and Jeffrey.

In the spring of 1962 they became the adoptive parents of Jeffrey Wayne and Garry Paul following the auto accident and deaths of their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Louis Overhaug. Jeffrey graduated from Mabel High School in 1978 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1982. He served for four years in active duty and six years in the reserves. Jeffrey married Debra Heintz 27 Dec 1994 and has a step-daughter, Amanda and two step-sons, John and Kelly. Garry graduated from Mabel High School in 1979. He and Sally Corcoran were married in 1983 and live on one of the three farms formerly owned by his father and mother. Garry and Sally have three daughters: Laura Marie, Jaclyn Ann and Stephanie Lynn.

Edna, a most devoted wife and mother, now resides at the Green Lea Manor in Mabel where she looks forward to the visits of her children and grandchildren.


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.

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this page was last updated on Monday, 29 March 2021