beginning with the Decorah Journal and eventually spending 36 years in Cedar Rapids, IA with the Cedar Rapids Gazette.
He married Vernell Stephens 26 Aug 1962 at the Decorah Lutheran Church. She was the daughter of Melvin and Josephine (Buer) Stephens. Vernell graduated from Decorah High School in 1946 and Luther College in 1950. Following 6 years as a social worker, she graduated from the University of MN in 1958 with a Master’s Degree in social work. She continued work in her field until her marriage and then joined her husband in Cedar Rapids where they resided for 32 years.
Merlin and Vernell have 2 children: Eric and Julie. Eric and his wife Susan have one daughter, Alexandra Lauren. Merlin and Vernell retired to Decorah in Aug 1994.
Nels O. and Mary Haugen family
Nels O. Haugen was born in Vestre Slindre, Valders, Norway 20 May 1855. He was the son of Ole (1826-1898) and Marit (Neste) Haugen (1827-1914) of Norway. They came to America in 1865 when Nels was 10 years old. In Norway they were known as Hjellehaugen but when they came to America they shortened their name to Haugen.
The Ole Haugen family settled in Springfield Twp. where they lived for 3 years. Eventually they bought 40 acres of land in Madison Twp. and later added a quarter section and then another 80 acres.
Nels attended rural school in Winneshiek Co., and on 6 Nov 1884 married Mary 0. Tollefson (1866-1953), daughter of Ole and Berit Tollefson, natives of Norway. The Tollefsons farmed in Springfield Twp. for a number of years. Nels met his death through asphyxiation in a cistern in 1893.
After their marriage, Nels bought 80 acres of land on Section 35, Madison Twp. to which he later added 36 adjoining acres. Nels died in 1939. He was a member of the Lutheran Church, a stockholder in the Farmer's Creamery Co. and Farmer's Cooperative Hog Buying Co. Mary lived on the farm all her married life and died there. She was the matriarch of the family.
They had 6 children: Ole N. (1885-1973) married Clara H. Grindeland (1888-1962): Bertha M (1886-19681 married Julius O. Claussen (1884-1951); Lettie T (1888-1967); Inaa P (1890-1983); Theodore (Ted) N. (1893-1972) married Alma Twenge (1898-1938) and married a second time to Grace L. Flaskerud (1900-1976); and Pete N. (1896-1978) married Anna K. Jacobson (1903-1991).
Theodore N. (Ted) Haugen was born in Winneshiek Co. on 10 Dec 1893 and died 5 Sep 1972. He was the son of Nels O. and Mary Haugen. His father was born in Norway in 1855 and his mother in Winneshiek Co. in 1866. He had 2 brothers and 3 sisters who lived in Winneshiek Co. Ted grew up on the family farm in Sec. 35 in Madison Twp. and attended rural schools.
On 25 Apr 1923 Ted married Alma Twenge born in Decorah 9 May 1898 and passed away 10 Apr 1938 at age 39. They had one son: Merlin (1925 —).
Alma, daughter of Tosten Twenge (1863-1913) and Mary Evenson (1870-1949), had two brothers: Paul (1896-1966) and Oscar (Tony) (1900-1955); two sisters: Selma Wheatman (1901-1989) and Mildred Moen (1913—): and one half-sister Della Amundson (1889-1971).
Ted and his brother-in-law, Paul Twenge, ran the Handyman Shop in Decorah for a number of years. In 1934 he moved his family to Lime Springs and then to Cresco where he worked as an auto mechanic until his wife died in 1938. Later he moved back to Decorah and worked as an auto mechanic at the Gust E. Haugen Garage for a number of years. Then he operated a small repair shop called Ted’s Garage located on John St. where he worked until he died.
He enjoyed fishing and telling stones to his buddies. He also told stories how he and his brothers hauled stone in a wagon pulled by horses to build the foundation for the barn on the home place. This barn is still in good condition.
Alma attended schools in Decorah and was a talented pianist. She worked at Marsh Music Store demonstrating sheet music to customers. She also played piano at the local theater during silent movies. She was very active in the Lutheran Church.
On 22 Feb 1943 Ted married Grace L. Flaskerud Naley (1900-1976). She was a homemaker who enjoyed crocheting and her family of brothers and sisters.
(Mrs. Donna Bahr)
Thomas Edgar Haugen was born 14 Oct 1900 in Spring-field Twp., Winneshiek Co. IA the son of Thomas G. and Emma (Helgeson) Haugen. Thomas G. was born 16 May 1865 in Springfield Twp. and Emma was born 2 Nov 1871 in Green Bay, Brown Co., Wl. They were married 5 Feb 1891 at Luther College, Decorah, IA by Rev. Paul Koren. Thomas’s grandparents were Gjermund Olson Hjellehaugen born 11 Feb 1824, died in 1886 and Marit Ulen born 1822 in Norway and died 3 Mar 1912. Gjermund was born on the Hjelle farm in Vestre Slidre, Oppland, Norway. He arrived in
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