Threshing was a big event. I can still hear the steam engine whistle as the engine came down the road; the air was charged with excitement! Neighboring men came with their horses and hay wagons. Mother and we girls extended the kitchen table as far as it would go and a real feast was provided at noon.
Gerhard, especially, developed an intense interest in steam engines and owned as many as 3. He sold 2 of them and one is now owned by his daughters, Connie and Carol, and operated by their husbands, Joe Pearce and Michael Bergan. The first “Steam Engine Day” (now the Mabel, MN “Steam Engine Days”) was held on the Clauson farm in 1953.
The John R and Christine Clauson family farm
No matter how busy we were on the farm, Sunday was a day to rest, go to church, go visiting or have company. Waterloo Ridge Lutheran Church was 3 miles away and everyone in our family was baptized and confirmed there. My sisters, Selma and Jarla, and my husband, Kenneth and I are current members there.
I have warm feelings about the kitchen at home. Here we all sat down together for meals 3 times a day. At night I can still see Dad in Grandpa Clauson's arm chair reading the Norwegian Posten. We read by lamplight using either a kerosene lamp on the wall or an Aladdin, or gas lamp, on the table. Often we played games such as Rook, checkers or crokinole or enjoyed the player piano in the living room. Other times mother crocheted and we girls embroidered or studied. Also at our home we operated a telephone switch which connected Highlandville, IA and
The John P and Christine Clauson family home
Spring Grove, MN. In the kitchen there was always a lot of activity.
When rural electrification came, life on the farm changed.
I believe my dad was a good farmer. He worked hard and managed to survive the Depression of the 1930's without losing the farm. He and Mother sacrificed to provide additional education for those who wanted it. All 5 of us attended the rural Kjome school. Gerhard attended Luther Preparatory for a while, but remained on the farm. He was also a hobbyist interested in flying and steam engines. Peter, after marrying Odella Stigen, moved to a nearby farm and also did some road construction. Selma chose to be at home all her life, a tremendous help at home, and thanks to her and Gerhard the farm is still in the family. After Gerhard married, his wife. Wilma, also was very helpful on the farm. Jarla went on through college and became a teacher and elementary supervisor. I, Julie, graduated from Luther College, taught school, married and raised a family.
Mother and Dad are no longer living, nor are Gerhard and Peter. My sister, Jarla, is retired and lives in Decorah. At this time the barn on the farm is being torn down, but the house is in good repair and is a lovely home for my sister, Selma, and sister-in-law, Wilma. Kenneth and I live on a small acreage adjoining my maternal grandparents’ land, about 1 1/2 mile from the Clauson farm.
(Julie (Clauson) Boots)
Grandparents Peder and Mina Clauson behind fence at their home.
My paternal grandparents were Peder and Mina (Rud) Clauson. Peder was the son of my great grandfather, Klaus Olson Stene (b. 1811), who came to America from rural Roros in Norway. Peder was 6 when the family came from Norway in 1855 and settled near the Waterloo Ridge Lutheran Church in Allamakee Co., IA.
Grandpa Peder was born in 1849. Grandma Mina was born 18 Jul 1844 in Muscado, Wl. Since Grandpa was 5 years younger than Grandma, that explains why
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this page was last updated on Sunday, 28 March 2021