Cemetery - Effie in Lot #12 and Phillip in Lot #114. Effie and Phillip had one son, Joseph Phillip Carolan. Joseph was born 23 Oct 1899 in Canoe Twp. and died 16 Nov 1978 in Decorah. He too is buried in St. Bridget’s Cemetery. Frank (30 May 1881-8 Apr 1966) married Sarah Welsh (27 Jan 1883 or 84-4 Nov 1925). Frank and Sarah had 5 children: Paul (m. Irene), Robert (m. Dorothy Roth), Gerti (m. Raepheal Carolan), Florence (m. Steve Carolan) and Ann (m. Harold Aschim). After Sarah died, Frank married Grace B. Malli (8 Jul 1896-26 Jan 1985) on 8 Oct 1927. Frank and Grace had 4 children: Margaret “Peggy” (m. Leonard Graves), Loretta (m. Leo Broghammer; he died, then m. Pat Owens), Charles (m. Arlene Vick) and James (m. Marilyn Timp). Emmett Clinton (5 May 1884-4 Dec 1964) never married. He is buried in St. Bridget’s Cemetery. Hallev Elizabeth (5 Jul 1893-28 Dec 1894) died of spinal meningitis when 18 months old. She is buried in St. Bridget’s Cemetery. Lot #12. Grace Agnes (5 Aug 1896-4 Apr 1990) married Leonard Gossman (birth and death unknown). They had 6 children: Naomi (m. John Dettman; 3 daughters), Alward (married and had children), Loras (m. Cal Harpster; 3 children), Phyllis (m. John Sale; 6 children), Arlene (married and had children) and Jerry (married and had children), Grace died in Renton, WA. Leo (13 Oct 1903-19 Sep 1988) married Mary Hyberger (b. 4 Apr 1906) on 27 Apr 1926. Leo and Mary had 7 children. Mary is a resident of the Ossian Senior Hospice, Ossian, IA.

Willson, Gordon & Dorothy (Farnsworth)

(Gordon Willson)

Gordon F. Willson was born in Howard Co., IA. His parents were Leo and Mary (Hyberger) Willson. He has 5 sisters and 1 brother: Rita (Lansing); Madelyn (Wise); Gretchen (Bucheit); Martha (Samuelson); Marian (Schissel); and Dennis Willson. The family lived on farms in Canoe and Hesper Twps. Gordon received his elementary education in one-room rural schools.

Some of Gordon’s early memories were of going to Mass at St. Benedict’s Catholic Church in Decorah where he was an altar boy and then having relatives in for Sunday dinner. The Willson’s farmed with horses and it seemed to Gordon they cultivated corn and hayed all summer long. In about 1937-38 Gordon’s parents acquired a Shetland pony by bartering with their neighbor Paul Headington. Gordon's best friend Jack Headington also had a Shetland pony and together they roamed the hills along the Upper Iowa River. Gordon’s second pony was a cross between a small work horse and his Shetland mare. This pony was named “Tony.” One time Gordon and his friends rode their ponies up through Kendallville all the way to the Cresco city limits. They never told their parents. About this time the Willson’s moved to Hesper Twp. None of the kids in the new neighborhood had ponies, so they spent their time squirrel hunting and trapping gophers. In May 1945 Gordon came down with undulant fever (caused by drinking unpasteurized milk) and was hospitalized in LaCrosse, Wl. He was sick most of the summer.

Gordon married Dorothy Farnsworth 23 Aug 1950 at St. Agnes Catholic Church, Plymouth Rock. Dorothy was the daughter of Lyle and Helen (Richardson) Farnsworth of Canton, MN. Helen had died in 1941; Lyle died in 1967.

Gordon was drafted into the Army 28 Aug 1951. He received his basic training at Camp Chaffee, AR and then was shipped out to Korea in Jan 1952. Gordon served as an artillerist in Firing Battery 155, Howitzer Battalion. Later because of his agricultural background, Gordon was transferred to a tank battalion taking supplies to the front line and returning the wounded and dead. He received a shrapnel wound in the shoulder and was transferred to a hospital in Mt. Fuji, Japan to recuperate. Gordon was awarded the Korean Service Metal with 2 Bronze Service Stars, the Purple Heart, the United Nations Service Metal and one Overseas Bar. His company battalion was Battery B, 999th Firing Battery, APO 301. Gordon was released from active duty 3 Jul 1954.

After he was discharged from the service Gordon and his wife returned to Decorah from Colorado Springs, CO. He worked for Vince Lerdall Construction during the summer and Andrew Thornton and Elmer Matter in the winter.

In July 1955 Gordon and Dorothy moved to Appleton, Wl. Gordon owned and operated his own construction company from 1957 to 1970. At that time he and Dorothy moved to Rice Lake, Wl where he and his brother-in-law, Alvin Schissel, started a plastic recycling business. The business grew rapidly and they expanded into the blown film industry (plastic bags).

Gordon and Dorothy have 5 daughters: Janet (Ward); Mary Therese (Romportt); Wendy (Dostal); Patrica (Willges); and Amy (m. Peter Willson). They have 11 grandchildren at this time (1995).

After their children were born Gordon and Dorothy bought a 54 passenger school bus and converted it into a mobile home. They and their children traveled throughout Wisconsin and the United States in this mobile home. They once were stranded by a blizzard atop Look-out Mountain, TN. Gordon retired in 1985 after having 3 shoulder replacements. He now does volunteer work and is active in the local Golden Kiwanis International. Gordon and Dorothy are active members of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Rice Lake.

Willson, John and Lucinda (Stewart)

(Regina Carolan Wilkens)

John ’Justice” Willson was born in 1816 in New York state, died 1857 of diphtheria at about the age of 40 and was buried inside the fence line to the east on the Willson homestead. (The farm is now known as the Leo McConnell farm — no marker.) He married Lucinda “Lucy" Stewart. Lucinda was born 18 Dec 1825 in County Donegal, Ireland and died in Everly, IA. They had a son, DeWitt Clinton, and a daughter, Clara. John and Lucy lived for a time in Freeport, IL before homesteading in Canoe Twp., Winneshiek Co. in 1850. He died in 1857 of diphtheria.

John's parents walked from Freeport, IL to Iowa to visit and were met at the door by Lucy who would not let them


Partial OCR transcription, some sensitive personal information such as birth dates of people that maybe living is not included.

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