Thursday, May 31, 2007

Four & Seven Equal Eleven



Long ago in Norway, before any of us were even thought of, Nils Knudson met Anne Arnesdottir and decided to marry. As far as we know, they were living in Norway farming, as their parents had done. Two this union were born Ragnhild, Anne, and Knut. Ragnhild and Knut both ended up coming to America to settle, while Anne Stayed in Norway and inherited the home farm.

When Knut Nilsen came to America, the name was changed to Ranum by taking the name of the home farm, which was Ranum. Knut was born in Valdres, Fagerness, (north of Oslo), Norway on March 15, 1852. He came to the United States at 16 or 17 years old and settled in Mower County. Siri Dicken was born somewhere in Norway in 1851 (or 1857). She came to America when she was only two years old and also settled in Mower County. Knut and Siri were married in Lanesboro, Minnesota in 1874. There are no details on how they met. While living in Mower County as a married couple, they had four sons join their family; Carl, Alfred, Benhard, and Edward.
In 1880, Knut came to Northern Minnesota and North Dakota to check out land to farm. He found a piece of land somewhere near St. Thomas for the family to move and farm. The following year, 1881, Knut and Siri and their four sons, plus three of the children's uncles, traveled by two covered wagons with two horses for each wagon and two cows tied behind the wagons from Mower County to Minneapolis. Along the way they would camp and sleep in tents that they had brought along with them in the covered wagons. When arriving in Minneapolis, they camped by a big iron bridge that they would have to cross to get to Minneapolis. After arriving in Minneapolis the first night, one of the uncle's horses got sick and died. The next day, they tried to find another horse in Minneapolis to purchase, but they were asking $300 per horse and they could not afford that. They were offered $300 for the remaining horse and so they decided to sell this horse. Then they could purchase passage on the immigrant railroad car with the money. The took the covered wagons apart and put all the materials and their supplies into the railroad car and traveled to Crookston. They brought food along to eat while they traveled on the train.
When they arrived in Crookston, they had to unload everything right away. They put up their tents and stayed there for a day. The next day they decided they would not travel much further and so they traveled one day by covered wagon from Crookston and stopped. They came east off of the Pembina trail and decided this was where they would stop. Knut took a pre emption on a homestead in Strip, Polk County. Strip was a narrow strip of land between Polk and Marshall Counties, which resulted as an error in surveying, it later became a part of Marshall County and the area to the south became Pennington County. Strip was later renamed Rosewood.
Knut and Siri built a sod house to live in on this property in New Solum Township. They had a small cook stove in the sod house that was used for cooking and heating. They used a blanket for a door and made the roof out of tar paper and trees stretched across the top. The sod strips that they cut were then laid across this to make the roof. Benny, Cora, Casper, Oscar, John, Sanfred, Freeman were all born while living in the sod house. Seven plus four equals eleven.

Early Life of Benhard Ranum

Benhard Ranum was born in southern Minnesota in 1879 to Knute Neilson Ranum and Siri Dicken Ranum. He is listed in the 1880 census of Mower County, although his story always was that he came with his parents from Fillmore County to Polk County when he was two and a half years old.




His parent's met in Fillmore County and married in 1874. Siri had a brother named Andrew, the men decided to go land hunting. Knute and Siri already had four children, the youngest was three weeks old. There was Carl, (1876), Alfred, (1878), Benhard, (1879), and Edward who was the baby. The stories vary according to who is telling it. The name spellings vary according to who is writing it.




The families' went by covered wagon as far as Minneapolis. Keep in mind that Fillmore County is nearly the most southeastern county in the state. Minneapolis is about 125 miles north and west. We are traveling up covered wagon. How long do you think it would take? Most historians consider 2-3 miles an hour a good pace. Figuring 10 hours a day; it could be done in 4 days.





Let's talk about what a covered wagon is. The wagons was usually a wooden wagon made of hickory, oak, or maple. A wooden piece made from hickory stuck out from the front of the wagon. This piece called a tongue was connected to the yoke of the horses. Although mules and oxen were often used.



It had big wooden hoops, called bows that were bent from side to side. There would be 4 to 7 wooden hoops on one wagon. There was a canvas pulled across the hoops that would keep out the rain, wind, and the hot sunshine. Knute would rub oil on the canvas to make it waterproof. Inside the wagon there were many hooks that hung from the wooden hoops. They could hang weapons, clothes, milk cans, and anything there was room for. The front wheels of the wagon were smaller than the back wheels. This helped the wagon turn. Underneath the back wheels there was a bucket full of grease hanging from the axle. This was used to make the wheels run smoothly. The Conestoga wagons were called prairie schooners because from a distance the Conestoga wagon looked like a ship sailing slowly across the green prairie. Traveling in a wagon was not an easy trip. There were many things that could go wrong. For example some wagon wheels would break or there would be no water. If they ran out of food they would need to hunt. When they were on the trail it was very noisy because all the pots and pans hanging off the wagons were clanging against each other.





For the Ranum and Dicken families, the hardship was one of the horses died. Instead of buying a horse for $300, Andrew Dicken sold the remaining horse for $300. It is not clear in Benhard's story if they loaded the other horses and Conestoga on the train to Crookston where all of them continued on in one wagon.





In 1882, they had a pre emption on land in Polk County proving up in three years. (Proving up meant families homesteading had to live on the land and improve it, after three years they owned it). This land was north and east of Crookston on an Indian trail which they followed until they reached a wooded area. They cut sod and made the walls, layered poles and put sod on the roof.



They did not prove up the land; they moved again, this time to Marshall County, New Solum Township, section 29. This is where they made their home. Benhard was two and a half when the family reached what would be there homestead. Once again, they would build a sod house for their ever expanding family.


It is remembered that Siri had an accordion that she brought with her or was given later that was stored in those rafters made out of trees which stretched across the top of the sod house. The roof leaked some and one time when Siri was going to play her accordion, she had to clean it out to make it work because of the rain that had leaked on it. One day the kids begged and begged her to play the accordion. So she finally took it down to play and set it on her lap. A snake crawled out of it and unto her lap. She dropped the accordion and jumped up to get away from the snake. Alfred said he didn't think she played the accordion again!

The family lived in the sod house for about a year and then built a small log cabin which they lived in for about five years. It had a wood floor which was a nice change from the dirt floor of the sod house. The land was in sections 16 and 21 of New Solum Township, Marshall County. Try to imagine two adults and eleven kids in a cabin the size of your bedroom.

Grandpa Benhard told me there were about 20 kids in the family. Of course I believed him! Today, thirty years after his death, I am going to count them. Will he be right? Well, he was not always right but he was never wrong.

This was his thought process:

Knute and Siri had:

Karl, Alfred, Benhard, Edward, Bennie, Karina, Casper, Oscar, John, Sanfred, Freeman. (11)

Knute and Kari had:

Fredrick, Otto, Ruth, and Clarence (4) Now we have 15.

Kari and Fredrick Greenly

Olaf, Martin, Dorthea, and Charlotte (4) That is 19! That is what about is about

In June of 1896, Knute married Karen, (Kari), a widow who had come from Norway and was left with four children.

Benhard stated he grew up with his many brothers. He remembers how the brush rabbits were the main source of food to the family on the farm. They could be snared and there was no money to buy shells for the gun to hunt partridge or prairie chickens. When he was about ten years old, he started working out by herding cattle. This would have been in 1889. Working out meant living with another family as a hired hand; today it means going to the gym. It is possible that Karl and Alfred were already working out. When reading censuses, it isn't uncommon to have children missing; it was common to 'farm' out children. Yes, even young girls were hired out as servants. Jaeme, you are nine. Do you think you are big enough and strong enough to do the work of a servant?

Think about it.

e













Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Hilda's son, Harvey Skinner sent this to me a few years ago. He had cropped the two out of a wedding picture in which both women were attendants. Harvey was experimenting with cropping people out and putting them together; although the original photograph, the two of them were not standing near one another. I am proud of Harvey for his talent and happy to receive the picture of the two women, again with their marvelous hair dos.
As previously stated, Hilda went to Minneapolis to work and I recently found on in a city directory that Grandma Julia, (the lady in the front of the picture), had gone to Thief River Falls to work. The city directory was from 1909 and she was living on Horace Avenue in the five hundred block.
In searching the Minnesota Census of 1905 for the Opseth family, Julia was not in New Solum Township as I had previously thought. She was listed as a boarder in Thief River Falls and her occupation was that of a servant. The only outside job I knew about was much later when she baked pies and washed dishes at the NuWay Cafe which was on LaBree Avenue.
There isn't a lot of information about it except what I heard when the adults were talking. It is like Shirley says, "It is something I heard". The story was always the same, I think I waited until I heard the phrase before leaving the kitchen at family dinners hosted by my parents. The phrase was: I will wash, I learned how to do it fast when I washed dishes at the NuWay Cafe."
Mother always tried to get to the washing sink first. She had a set of Westvale Syracuse China, made in America, which she had received as a 10Th anniversary gift. It was a full service set to include a coffee pot, serving bowls, platters, and a gravy boat. No doubt it came from Wangenstein's Jewelry Store. It was only used on holidays or very special occasions.
I can still see the serving bowl with riced potatoes with a little paprika and a dab of butter in the middle. The little serving plates had a square of green jello with shredded carrots setting on a lettuce leaf and a dollop of Miracle Whip on the top. When summoned to the table, the salad was on the top of the dinner plate. Daddy always set his salad aside saying "Why would I want to eat THAT when there is meat and potatoes." Dessert was served after the main meal was finished. Grandpa always said, "In the old days, we used to turn our plate over and put our dessert there." But then grandpa also would say that it wasn't unusual to be eating in a house with pigs and chickens running around.
Mother tried to protect her investment. It got so that when she hosted there would be a little discussion before the guests arrived. It went something like this:
Mother: Your relatives are like animals they have no manners.
Daddy: Let Ma wash the dishes, if anything gets broken, I will replace it.
Mother: There shouldn't be any breakage, and does Benhard have to talk about the pigs?
Daddy: He is just talking about what it was like. Don't listen.
Mother: All I can say is, if anything gets broken, you better replace it!
And then, it happened. It was not Grandma breaking a dish or goblet while washing them, rather it was two 'relatives like animals'. I remember it clearly. It happened on two different occasions.
His name was Otto. He looked at the plate. He held it up to the light. He could see through it. He said in his Norwegian brogue, "Dis is so tin I tink I could take a bite out of it". And he did. And as promised, Daddy ordered a new plate.
His name was Harry, he was Daddy's older brother. He looked at the stemmed glass ware and was certain he could take a bite out of it. And he did. And as promised, Daddy ordered a new plate.
The gold trimmed dishes are in the buffet. The silver is wrapped and put away. The Fostoria is on the top shelf in the kitchen. If you wish to eat in this grand style, let me know, everything will need to be hand washed first. The biggest question is, do you want lime Jell-o with carrots or ribbon salad?
e

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Auction


When I found this flyer in a newspaper from March of 1920, I couldn't help but feel really sad for the family. We know that Hannah had been diagnosed with a stroke several months before. It must have been painful to think about selling your land and all your furnishings and moving.
Auction sales took a while to be set up so it wasn't as if Andreas and Olaf figured that Hannah would perish just a few days days before the sale. She died on the 11th and the auction was on the 23rd.
I wonder who played the piano that was sold. Did Hannah use the sewing machine often? How about the carpet loom? Full size flyer available by request.
e

Sina & Tina or maybe....a rena bena!




















The picture with the casket is of Siri Nordhagen's funeral. She died on April 10, 1922.

The people in the picture are: Anton Gulseth, Ida Nordhagen Gulseth, Olaf Nordhagen, Anna Nordhagen, Mr. Remmem, Sina Nordhagen Eggen, Christ Eggen, and Tina Nordhaugen Eggen.

Look at the picture in the back ground. It is the log cabin in the second picture with an addition. The house looks so much like the house Lloyd, Ella, and Dorothy Anderson lived in before they bought Gust Opseth's house. The two people in the second picture are Siri and John Nordhagen, 1899.

The last picture is a picture of Siri and John's children: Sina, Olaf, Tina, Gjermund, and Inga.

Mrs. Andreas Opseth At Rest

Hannah Nordhagen
December 11, 1841 to March 11, 1920


Mrs. Andreas Opseth died at 6 o'clock last Thursday evening following a stroke of
apoplexy, (Paralysis from stroke), six days duration. Mrs. Opseth has been the subject to this disease for the last half year and late last Friday evening encountered a new attack which left her in a state of lethargy and in which she remained for six days until her demise on Thursday. Mrs. Opseth whose maiden name was Hannah Nordhagen was born in Trysil, Norway, on December 11, 1841, and at her death was 79 years and three months old.


On January 2, 1875, she was married to Andreas Opseth, her remaining husband, and to which union was born four children, Olaf and Gust, Mrs. Benhard Ranum all of this place and Mrs. Roy Skinner, of Minneapolis. With her family she emigrated to the United States 38 years ago, coming first to Fargo, where they remained for three years before moving to Rosewood.

Tempted by the governments offer of free lands to new settlers, they took up their present homestead on which they have resided ever since..

Mrs. Opseth was a kind, loving Christian natured woman, whose chief alm in life was the welfare of her family, and to which attainment she sacredly devoted her entire time and energy. She will for always be remembered as a faithful wife and mother and a noble and generous friend and neighbor. The funeral was held at Rindal Church and cemetery last Saturday afternoon, conducted by Reverend G Larson. Peace to your memory, long will thou be remembered!

Hilda and Roy came from Minneapolis for the funeral with their two month old baby, Harvey. Olaf, Gust, and Julia, of course lived in the area. I wonder if Harry at nine, and Stanley at almost six went to the funeral.

Two things I started thinking about because of this post:

1. Why was I not able to find her death certificate when I ordered Andreas' in 2004. The Minnesota Historical Society has such great records, I couldn't believe it wasn't there in plain type, that is, HANNAH OPSETH. I took another look today,using the death date as my search instead of her name. She is listed under MRS HANSON OPSETH. Ordered.

2. The next thing I started to think about was her last name was Nordhagen. I found a picture of Sena and Tina at the Pennington County Historical Site of Siri Nordhagen's funeral which included Sena and Tina. I know these two women both married Eggen boys and lived in Kelliher, MN. When my family went to Washkish to fish, we would visit Eddie and Arnie Eggen and their adopted children. If we were there on Sunday, I was expected to go to Sunday School with their daughter, Janet. We would see Sena and Tina. One of them smelled good, had blue hair, and a big natural smile.

I wrote to a post asking about Gjermund, a son of Siri and John Nordhagen and a brother to Sena and Tina. Gjermund, as the story goes, came to the Rosewood area in 1885 from Cass County, North Dakota by ox cart with 20 head of stock.

I also searched the land patents and found John, Siri, and Martin all had land in the Marshall and Pennington County area. John got his in 1893, Siri in 1914, and Martin in 1890. Was John Nordhagen Hannah's sister?

Let's hope the posted question gets results.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Portrait of Andreas and Hannah


Help me date this picture of Andreas and Hannah Opseth. It is hard to do, isn't it? The clothes are not specific to period nor are the hair styles. I can only tell you this is the only known picture of the two of them together in later years.
Look closely at Andreas' hands. The hand directly on his lap is gloved. It is said that during the fall harvest, Andreas got a wire in his finger. Rather than take the time to clean it out, he put a glove over it and, in a short time, it was infected. This picture was taken while his hand was infected; shortly after, it was amputated at the wrist in Warren.
I kept asking Grandma Julia why didn't he do something about it? She had no answers. "He was harvesting" was all she would say.
I didn't give much thought about his beard until I laid three pictures of him side by side and looked specifically for facial hair. He had a beard on all three. My I surmise he wore a beard all is adult life?
Mother always said men who have facial hair are hiding something. There was a man with a mustache who worked for Ranum Construction, he had been in the war, did he have an injury hiding? Consider I was five when I decided he was injured above his lip.
Neither Grandpa or Daddy had beards. I am smiling because maybe Mother would not let Daddy hide anything! Brother Greg had facial hair off and on. He looked good in it.
I have seen Ryen in a full beard and mustache and Bud in a goatee, which is on a recent photo. What do you call that little patch of hair under the lower lip? Both Ryen and Bud have had that.
What is your take on beards?
And do you take your glasses off for pictures? Why do you think Hannah did?
Shave and a hair cut, six bits!
e

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Hair Stories Part Six



Ryen wrote about his rainbow of hair colors during his college days. Ryen, did you do that between visits to Fargo? I only remember the cranberry and tell tale grow outs. I did see you in hot pink but I thought it was a wig. Oops.



Rachel writes answers in her blog today about her extensions. I was reading out loud to my sweet Thomas about how she had lost some of the hair and would have that reattached; as a bald on top guy, he wished he could do that.



I have another story for you. Do you remember what the curlers looked like that Julia used? Well, she gave me some. I took them home and one Friday night, I washed my hair and set it in Grandma style . Keep in mind that five rollers went a long way for her and if she needed five then I needed ten positioned randomly throughout my thick strong, straight hair.



I did not, in my youth, know how to set my hair nor did I understand the consquences of not carefully tucking in the ends. I would learn this much later from a guy who went to beauty school.



After a little labor and ten curlers in, I credited myself for the first time I had done my own hair! Morning came and Mother called me for breakfast. I took out the curlers and sort of fluffed it up like grandma did. But there was something really wrong! Instead of cute little bumps combed out to a fluffy look, I had chunky bumps with what looked like little pieces of barbs from wire with-a-go-where-I-want-to-go look. It was pretty bad. There wasn't anything I could do about it except come downstairs.



Daddy was sitting at the dining room table eating his breakfast as I descended. He choked on his eggs because he was laughing so hard. I turned on a dime and ran up the stairs. I knew how bad it looked but I never expected him to laugh at me. I thought my new do would be invisible to him.



Mother hollered, "STAN" from the kitchen. That meant he needed to hush.



He hollered up the stairs, "I'm sorry, Poke, I promise I won't laugh". Once again I came down stairs and once again he giggled. And, once again I stomped up the stair way.



Mother came to the stairs next. She said Daddy would eat in the kitchen. "Come down, she said, your breakfast is getting cold".



I was pretty choked up as I sat at the table eating breakfast and listening to Daddy snicker in the kitchen.



I can not go back and find the anger nor can I find how hurt I was. What I can do, is find the humor in it. I can now giggle about it. The beauty of it is I can hear Daddy's giggle, as well.



Wishing you memories of laughter and great rejoicing



e

Hair Stories, Part Five

Hair colors I have been:
1. Red
2. Black
3. Blond
4. Frosted
5. Green

After the ordeal with the peroxide, I laid low for a few year. It was more fun to color Soozi's hair pink than meet Mother in the kitchen with her look. But then, one day, the hair dye isle at the drug store beckoned me. This was beyond the henna rinse capsules at the dime store. This was big time!
It took twenty minutes for the coloring. I think I was on the eighteenth minute when mother flung open the door to my bed room. Oh my, it is unprintable. It was a very subtle change in colored. After Mother settled down, she too was dying her hair. The colored photographs from the wedding show the red ends and the dark roots. Hair color has come a long way since then.
I had a friend in Kansas and one night we decided to become blonds for the summer. We did it at home. She had black hair with red tones and I had brown hair with red tones, both equaled carrot colored hair. She dyed hers black and I just kept on bleaching mine until I got it light.
Now, that would have been okay, except fall came and I wanted to go back to natural. I bought brown dye, not thinking about whether or not it was blue or green base and certainly not giving my badly damaged hair any consideration. Of course it came out green. So I bought some more stuff and got that out and dyed it again and got the most beautiful shade of auburn one would ever want. Okay, I have the color I want, now, let's do a permanent.
When you have multiple processes on your hair and then you perm it at home you get...you guessed it, slim and straw. I called in to work telling my supervisor what I had done and that I would be in at half time. I struggled threw the evening. The next morning I went to the shop. She cut off all that she could and gave my wimpy hair a hot treatment and sold me products to make it look healthy until it grew out. And I was no longer going to be a blond, except in a wig.
About ten years ago, I bought a FloBee. I cut bed ridden people's hair with it both in Lawrence and in Fargo. I am NOT bed ridden but I use it myself.
For you see, I am much like my grandmother when she redid her hair after I had done it for her. I go to the shop and come home and finish what they missed.
Is it not true that if Grandma Julia wore rats, and mother used color from the beauty shop, and I colored and permed at home, the next generation is to have extended hair? What will Jaeme do?

Joy to all of you on this marvelous rainy day. Kick back your chair and dream of the perfect hair--which by the way--always seems to be on someone else's head.

e
And for those of you who have never cut your own, colored your own, or permed your own, please wear gloves during coloring, your nails stay much nicer.

Hair Stories, Part Four


Remember us talking about Grandma Julia and how she never colored her hair? Did you?

Daddy went to the drugstore and got brown hair color. He told the clerk that I had dyed my hair and it was for me. It was for my brother Greg, who had bleached his blond. Daddy had a pony about it.
Shirley and I were talking recently. She told me that her father, Lloyd Anderson told her that thinking something and doing something were the same thing. Well, I didn't know Lloyd's advice at the time but certainly could see if I was going to be blamed for something I could just as well carry it out. Fourteen year olds are rockets on the way to happen.
And so it was that Anita Youngblood and I went to town and bought a bottle of peroxide. She wanted to experiment with one little part of hair color change in the front. Me? I washed my hair in it, did not rinse it out, set it, and went to bed. The next morning I had this abrasive colored hair. Oh, I thought it was wonderful.
Mother was in the sanatorium in Crookston, I would have to face her wrath if I didn't go to see her. I did not know daddy was going to have a problem with it. He asked me if I dyed my hair, and I told him no. Sunday came too soon and we were off to Crookston to see Mother. She asked me what had I done to my hair. Of course I told her every detail. Daddy said I asked you if you dyed your hair and you said no. I reminded him I did not dye it but bleached it with peroxide. That was when I learned that when backed into a corner; I am very literal. :)
Mother came home from the hospital after a six month stay. By now I had major dark roots and copper penny ends. I will tell you I was sent to the beauty salon post haste and it was cut as short as was dared in those days. But fall, I would have all brown hair again, just in time for my yearly permanent.
Anita, on the other hand simply told her parents she was helping me and must have gotten some on her hair. Like her mother, the ruler of the universe and all knowing didn't know that story? Anita was required to tell the truth, if she didn't she was punished. She could say because I thought it would be neat and that was excuse enough; even when she carved her boyfriends initials in her leg with a razor blade.

Hair Stories, Part Five coming up. Jump right in, folks!

e

Hair Stories, Part Three

Behold! It is Hilda and Grandma Julia Opseth Julia Ranum. We are working, once again, on hair. How do you think Hilda did that tuck and roll look with the hair commonly thought of as the bangs area? What do you think was hidden behind that massive bow in the back?
To learn the answers, think about some of the movies which depict this era of time. "Good Old Summer Time" . starring Judy Garland is a good example.
We already know the answer; a form and also called a rat was laid under the up lifted hair. The hair was combed over it, and pinned in place. The bow may tie the rest of the hair back.
Let's talk about Hilda. Hilda was born in Georgetown, ND in 1883. After she was educated, she moved to Minneapolis to work. While there, she met Ray Skinner. They married. How dry is that?
Hilda and her husband were best man and matron of honor for Julia and Benhard in 1911. In the old newspapers, Hilda and her husband were mentioned as visiting her parents, Mr. and Mrs. A Opseth and Mr. and Mrs. Benhard Ranum.
I always liked this hair style. There is something about an illusion of a high forehead that gives a person a image of intelligence. ME? Bangs! Always. Except once.
My hair was long on my 50th birthday and wanted to do my hair like the picture of Julia above. I teased and snarled, and sprayed and sprayed, and pinned and pinned, and poofed and poofed. Dah Dah! It was piled, pinned, poofed, and then.......as the day wore on, it plopped. I did not think about trying to find a form to put the hair over. By the end of the day, in was flopping from side to side like Marjorie Main in the old Ma and Pa Kettle movies.
I had tried a form once before, in was in my wig days. Bud was little. He was sick. The doctor's office was downtown in the bank building. The closest parking spot was a block away. It was March. It was windy. I was wearing a page boy wig. I had used a massive amount of toilet paper which was wadded up and pinned to my hair under the wig which was not pinned.
Half way across the downtown street, Bud grabbed the wig. Off it flew, down the street being carried by the wind. All that was left was the mass of tissue. I was wearing a slippery coat, I hung on to Bud and let the wig roll. When I got to the elevator, I took the paper off and stuffed it in my pocket.
Sometime after that, I looked in my pride and joy drawer. Was it time to give up the wigs?
1. The blond wig I liked to wear while riding the motorcycle?
2. The salt and pepper wig that made me look like a really young old lady?
3. The fall that had a head band that if you bend over showed your short hair underneath?
4. The curly one that looked almost like my own, almost?
5. The red wig tucked way in back
6. The pieces of frosted add ons

NO! I shut the drawer and dealt with it later.

Have a great hair day!

e

Friday, May 25, 2007

Hair Stories, Part Two


Ryen wrote a post in Old Trunks and Worn Shoes this morning about how things have changed, especially in New York! He goes on to say," With such a chaotic schedule, people get one good hair cut every few months. They get up at 7, go to work, have a dinner meeting, then have some event they have to attend but don't have time to get home to change or style their hair again. At BEST, they'll rub a little pomade through their fingers and fluff their hair a bit with their fingertips. It's so common, that it's considered chic to have "easy" hair for both men and women."
I have a feeling that the gent in the picture did a little pomade too. The story is that he had head lice. The method for getting rid of head lice was to rub kerosene in one's hair. He did that and he still had the lice. Then he soaked it in kerosene and he still had lice. What I am about to tell you could only be done by a hearty pioneer, he lit his hair on fire! He got rid of the lice! He stated that when his hair started to grow back, it was dark and wiry. True? His sober expression made one think he was telling the truth. He did not allow me to examine his scalp for scars.
Kerosene, as we all know one time the fuel was widely used in lamps and lanterns. These were superseded by the electric light bulb. Its use as a cooking fuel is mostly restricted to some portable stoves. As a heating fuel, it is often used in portable stoves, and is sold in some gas stations and hardware stores. The use of portable kerosene heaters is not recommended for closed indoor areas without a chimney due to the danger of buildup of gas.
And that, folks is the hairettes of fire!
e

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Hair Stories, Part One





















Hello again, Hello!

For those of you who have posted, thank you so much for being part of this process! Your in put is the key to this blog.

The opportunity of hair came up when Rachel talked about the snarls in her long blond hair in grade school. Every Girl Scout in the troop that played on the bars and had long hair had a big ol snarl at the base of her neck. Those that didn't have the tangle, chewed on their hair. Those that didn't play on bars OR chew on their hair, twisted it around their finger. And for those who don't know, the battle of the tangle was solved one day when we went to the T G & Y discount store and the clerk gave us a magic combination. She told Rachel to wash her hair in Ivory Liquid and rinse it in Downy Fabric softener. They are cherished memories to me, doesn't every mother love to untangle?

Let's get back to the hair. As we know from looking at Hannah Opseth in the picture previously provided that she wore her hair back in a severe bun. I suspect it was practical. I would like to have known how long it was. Imagine, a grandmother with long, flowing white hair out in the wind and heat and it swirling around her head and her holding parts of it down with her hands and her husband asking her to help and she says, "I CAN'T MY HAIR IS FLYING AWAY!" Good Luck Grandma!

Look at the pictures at the top of this note. The one to the left is of the Opseth sister, Julia and Hilda. I don't know who the guys are and when viewing the photographs with Julia years ago, she did not tell me. But I want you to look at those poodle bumps. Grandma Julia obviously did some major snarling and hot curling to get those ridges in her hair. She had fine hair; don't you think she has some sort of form under them? Hilda, I HOPE, has a bow in her hair. The other picture is pretty tame. They had hats on so one couldn't see how their hair was styled. Julia is the one in the light colored dress. I do not know who the other two are. Think about the pictures you have of yourself. Have you ever posed with both hands behind your back? I do like the clothes; the ladies may have made them. The picture is taken near the edge of a poplar grove.

Now I want to tell you about Julia. Grandma had fine hair and she didn't have a lot of it. You must remember that my grandparents raised me from age 5-7 and again in my fourteenth year. In between I spent a lot of time with them because I really loved my grandparents. I have a host of day to day memories. Some of them are hair memories.

When grandma wanted her hair curled, she used about 5 metal curlers. They were small, like a permanent wave roller. They had a wire which came over the wound hair and clamped shut. I don't remember her having anything but yellow tinted gray hair. It didn't help that she washed it with bar soap or Tide. It was sort of slimy to the touch. She always wore a hair net, always. After her curlers were removed, she would brush it in a fashion to make it puffy before she put the hair net on to flatten it down. I am just now remembering something called wave set and that was the slimy stuff she put on her hair before she rolled it. One of her best friends from New Solum had gone to beauty school. It affected all the women in the group except Grandma. One with furrow deep wrinkles name Lena always had her hair dyed black, another was a red head, and then, there were those who had their hair blue. Most of them wore hair nets. Too bad Hannah didn't have one when she was outside in the wind!

Many years passed and Julia asked me to help her with her hair. She was sick then but wanted to get dressed up to go to a whist party. We washed it and I set it with Get Set and rolled it up in my rollers using at least a dozen +. When it was dry we combed it out and teased it. I have to tell you it really looked good. Before Grandma left for the party, she had rerolled it and put on her hair net because that is what she liked best.
e

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Men of the Olde Stone Age


Here are the stones which were part of the foundation of Gust Opseth's house in Rosewood. If you wish a larger version, just give me a shout.

When I went to the Marshall County museum to see the stones, I told the man who was the caretaker of the grounds that they were not in order. He told me I could rearrange them if I wished. Neither of us wanted a hernia; they remain as they were placed.

Some of us saw the carvings in place in the house and have the image to arrange them in our minds. Stone cutting is a rigid art form. It is not known if Gust actually cut these stones or placed them with a flat side to the inside. Considering other places he worked as a stone mason it is my opinion that he cut them.

I am wondering if Marshall County was full of rocks. We know it was full of Norwegians and Swedes; they are rock-hard stubborn. Does that count?

I want to go back to a dropped stitch. We talked a little about the land that Gust bought. It was questioned just why this land wasn't picked up earlier, as it was a portion of the Act of Congress of April 1820. The land, as you remember, was acquired in 1903.

To make it clear, let's first review how a township is laid out.

First, let's identify Marshall County, which is 1, 675 square miles. There are forty-nine townships in the county. The Township identifies a major subdivision of the public lands under the rectangular system of surveys. Most Townships measure approximately 6 miles on each side and contain approximately 23,040 acres. The sections are numbered to identify a tract of land, usually 1 mile square, within a township. Most townships contain 36 sections. Standard sections contain 640 acres. A section number identifies each section within a township.

A section contains 640 acres,- a half section contains 320 acres,- a quarter section contains 160 acres,- a half of a quarter contains 80 acres, and a quarter of a quarter contains 40 acres.

The plat map of New Solum Township, Township 155 includes part of Township 154; Gust's land was on 154 which was Pennington County.
NENE 15/ 154-N 44-W No 5th PM MN Pennington

The land which he owned was in Pennington County, not Marshall as first thought. The map shows us that his land was not marsh like land and had an intermittent stream running through it. On an up to date map, the land shows Federal Highway 75 running through the land. In viewing a US map, we see the "king of Trails" highway is border to border. The highway runs through Warren, Marshall County. Marshall County and Pennington County butt up to each other. This is where the land is. It is not known if he farmed it, cut timber, or just owned it. We do know that he owned 40 acres. We also know 40 acres is a quarter of a quarter.

Are we confused yet? Come! Jump in the truck with me! We will set the GPS for the perimeters listed and go to Gust's land.

The house that Gust built

Left to right: Gust wearing bib over alls, Andreas Opseth, Olaf with his hand on his hip, and Benhard Ranum with both hands on his hips wearing a tie.

Before we go inside, let's look at the structure itself. Look at the foundation of stone while you remind yourself the same stone work were the walls of the basement. The house was stucco. Look at the chimney. Why do you think it was extended?

The picture was taken in late spring, look for the blossoms on the lilac bush in the foreground. Lilacs typically bloomed in mid to late May in Northern Minnesota. Gust planted cedar seedlings he had purchased at New Maine Township, MN on the front side near the door. It is possible the lumberjack part of Gust cut down most of the poplar trees we are seeing in the picture.

The rooms that Gust built would have been called a three room house. The room in the front was of good size. The two rooms at the back of the house were a small room which may have served as a bedroom and the other room may have served as a pantry.

One entered the house through an oak door which had a large oval window. Stand in the doorway just a moment to get your bearings. The bedroom door and the pantry door are accessible from the main room. Can't see the door? That is because this picture is taken from the back of the house. There has been some discussion about just what angle it was taken but look where the chimney is. After the house was remodeled, the heating system was in the same place. The addition was to the west. That makes the chimney on the west side of the present house.

Think about old wooden cook stoves with a water reservoir. Try to imagine with me what kind of furnishings there may have been. We know there was a table and chairs because that is where most people of this time sat to eat, visit, read, and play cards. Considering the lighting of the time, I would put the table near the window on the same wall as the door. The bedroom would have had an iron bed with open springs. For all of you who like to jump on beds, this bed would have made a host of squeaking noises. The house would have smelled of wood burning and bachelors.

Bachelors had a special odor. Mother called in PHEW. They didn't bathe often and worked up lather. Uncle Bennie was a bachelor too. He also had a three room house. When a house is sparsely furnished, it looks bigger than it really is. In his kitchen he had a stove and a table with an oil cloth on the table. The bedroom had a open spring bed and a chair. When uncle Bennie came to my grand parent’s house for Christmas, one hoped the aroma of the Christmas feast would over power the bachelor smell. Remind yourself they probably fried everything they ate. You get enough grease on the walls it also smells rancid. Yes, Mother, it was PHEW!


Let's review:
North side of house. Front door and one window
West side of house. Two windows and a chimney.
South side of house. Two windows
East side of house. Later there was one window, it may have always been there but is not visible in this photo

May your lilacs bloom!

e




Was Gust just Gust?


Gustav, as we remember, was born in Norway and came to the United States with his parents, Andreas and Hannah, and his older brother, Olaff. In clippings and other articles mentioning his name, he is referred to as Gust.

When I used to look at his pictures as a child, he scared me. Now, when I look at him, I see how my brother, Greg resembles him in some way. My uncle Harry resembles him too. Except for that marvelous head of hair, which in all his pictures look rich and full. It may have just been dirty and he took his cap off and finger combed it.

Of the two boys, Gust was the go getter. He often was off farming somewhere and would have Olaf join him. Although he never held any offices like Olaf, he managed to get work, keep work, keep busy, and get a 16 Horsepower Rumely Engine tractor to be the "first man with the tractor" at harvest time. It is also mentioned he spent time cutting train loads of green cord wood north of town. The poplar trees were plentiful. He started a saw mill and would move it from place to place and plane wood for others for a price. According to the snippets in the newspaper, he was always going some where and doing something, including trips to Minneapolis to see his sister, Hilda.

Gust is best known for his stone masonry work. He built a granite wall at the Tourist Park in Thief River Falls. It was close to were out family lived; I liked telling people my great uncle built it. The care taker of the cemetery book for Rindal wrote a note stating several buildings he had built.

I think my favorite story is about Gust and his sister, Julia. The summer before her oldest child was born; she was driving a team for Gust loaded with stone for the Rosebank School. In a time when pregnancy was a delicate matter, she was doing a man's work!

Gust built a house on the east end of Rosewood in the twenties. He went to a village called New Maine to get cedar saplings to plant near his house. The foundation and the basement were building out of stone.

It wasn't unusual for people to work spring to fall and then do nothing in the winter. Such as it was with Gust and Olaf; they spent their days in his house in Rosewood. In the basement they carved, "Men of the olde stone age" on the wall along with a bubbling beer glass, grape vines, and the year, 1933. The house would later be sold to the children's grandparents. Olaf's house was sold to the other set of the children's grandparents; that house was moved to town. Mrs. Anderson sold the house in the spring of 1968, some years later it was torn down and the stones were donated to the Marshall County Historical Society in Warren, Minnesota. Yes! I found them and will share that picture with you.

Gust did own land. He had a certificate of the Register of the Land Office at Crookston, Minnesota. His land was according to the Act of Congress on the 24th of April, 1820. Andreas, Hilda, and Olaf's land were all from The Homestead Act of 1862. The issue date was May of 1903 it was a patent for 40 acres. It makes me wonder just how poor the land was. Where is that plat map from 1909?

When I imagine Gust, I see him as a hard working, rough and rowdy person. I didn't know him but my grandmother told me he was good to her. In the security of her lap, while looking at the picture, I could believe her.
Would you like to see his house?
e

Monday, May 21, 2007

Olaff Andreassen Opseth

We are all aware when searching for our family members, a variety of spellings and pronunciations are observed. On death certificates and news clippings the first child of Andreas and Hannah is known as Olof OR Olaf. The only place his name is written as Olaff is in the family Bible. Even, Olaf, an avid reader, stamped his books with Olaf Opseth.
I want you to look at his middle name and think about how the Norwegians were named. Cock your head to the side and look at it again. Do you see it!!! Yes, it is ANDREAS SEN, which of course, means, Andreas son! I blush when I think about how many times I looked at that before I realized it!
Olaf was the reader of the family. He collected leather bound books, many of them published at the turn of the century. He also had National Geographic’s magazines bound in leather. He gave them to his sister, Julia and she gave them to me, I am his grand niece.
What did he do for a living? He was a farm laborer and a carpenter, and a stone mason. The best example of his stone work is the Rosebank School near Rosewood, MN.
The best story of all was told recently. Olaf was a surveyor for the New Solum Township in Marshall County. It was related that everyone loved when Olaf did the surveying because he had big feet and the documentation always showed the people had more land! The story goes on to say the land owners DIDN'T like him when it came time to pay the taxes on that extra land! Olaf owned a small house in Rosewood, years later there was still a dip in the land. It is stated that people used to go dig around where his house stood. They thought since he was a surveyor, he would have money buried. No money was ever found. As well as surveying, he was Justice of the Peace.
The comparison I am thinking about today is about reading.
Hannah and Andreas, according to census, both could read. How many books or what kind of books beyond the Bible is not known.
Olaf gave only a very small portion of his reading material to his sister. When the house was cleaned out before it was moved to town, hundreds of pieces of reading material were found. The books were moldy; they had been stored in the basement. There was no choice but to destroy them.
It isn't known if Julia read the books; they were stored in an oak and glass case. Her grandchildren were allowed to look at them whenever they visited but they must be very careful. They were and always have been called "Olaf's books".
The next generation which is my dad, read everything he could get his hands on. Daddy always contributed his love for reading to Olaf. When the time is right, I will share a picture of him sitting in field with a book in his hands. Vacationing with him was fun; he had read the history of every place we went. He liked westerns, all magazines, and newspapers. As a child, I remember him having dinner, reading, and taking a nap before going back to work. When I was little, I pestered him to read the Sunday funnies to me. Mother discouraged it, as I was always covered with news print after our session!
I loved to take volume 35 of the bound National Geographic out of the oak and glass cabinet and look at the paintings of the breeds of dogs. As an elementary school student, I read books about dogs and horses. The first informational magazine I ever opened was The American Shetland Pony Journal. I was a subscriber to American Girl and Little Lulu comics. I read according to my present interest and still do. My friend, Dixie, said I read five books on how to plant a tulip bulb, I am grinning because it is true.
To know Rachel is to know someone who read the books before we got home from the library, had to be forced to lay her book down and look at the mountains, and who had peach crates full of books under her bed. She is the sort of person, which while working in a book store probably read every best seller that came in the door. If my memory serves me right, she was told her eyes had abrasions on them from reading too fast! And then there is Ryen, who can read a pattern for sewing a garment or make a quilt and say, "Okay, I can do that". He didn't get that from me!
Where is my grand daughter in the scheme of things? We certainly like the dog books! I have a feeling she reads well and understands but would rather be creating or moving about.
Thank you for thinking about Olaf and reading with me.
I wish you joy for the day.

e

Friday, May 18, 2007

Just what is YOUR dit, dit, dit?

Part of my inner monologue is to remind all of us about day to day happenings in each person's life becoming precious memories for the next generation. Genealogy is not just names, places, and dates. All of it comes together when we look deeper into our ancestor's life not just as BORN...DIED. It is the dit,dit,dit which gives all of us an opportunity to know them by sharing and researching ideals and ideals. I encourage you to contemplate how they would feel if they were a forgotten relative. Try to find connections with simple examples.

When Hannah Opseth (Jaeme’s third great grandmother), made oatmeal, it may have meant growing the grain, milling it, and then cooking it on a stove made from clay covered sod cooked in a black pot. It may have been served on a tin plate with molasses as sweetener. If they were lucky enough to have a cow, milk was often drunk out of tin cup. The tin cup may have been a can they found in town and made a handle for it.

When Julia, (Jaeme’s second great grandmother), cooked oatmeal, she may have gotten it at the local mercantile. She would scoop it out of the bulk wooden barrel or box. She would cook it on a kitchen stove heated with wood which she may have cut herself. She would serve it in their Sunday best dishes because Grandma believed in using them daily. If the wooden crate was empty, someone would get it and make something else out of it.

When Ella (Jaeme’s great grand mother) made oatmeal, she bought it in the store in small quantities in a box with a little string that you pulled on to open it and made it on her electric range with controlled heat settings. It would be served in Melmac© bowls. She never said INSTANT and OATMEAL in the same sentence. And Elodee would beg for the oatmeal box to make something out of it.

When Elodee, (Jaeme’s grandmother), thought about oatmeal, she made refrigerator oatmeal cookies from her aunt's recipe in the Zion Lutheran Cookbook 1951 edition.

Perhaps when Rachel, (Jaeme’s mother), thinks about oatmeal, it is instant and a minute in the microwave seems too long.

And Jaeme at nine may just eat an oatmeal bar.

The similarities on the simplest day to day tasks helps us find a way to thank them for their contribution.


When one reads the old newspapers, one gets a sense that social life was to visit and to go visit with people who lived close. It didn't matter if you were Norwegian, Swede, or any other nationality. It didn't matter which church you belonged to or what political party. They were just men and women of a human family put into a melting pot. They helped in sickness and in health; in sorrow and tragedy.

Obituaries were often written by people in the community. The person who wrote them knew them. Here are a couple of examples. Be mindful of all the information they provide.

Mrs. Martin Alby

Again the grim reaper has visited our midst, this time his summons being for Mrs. Martin Alby, a young woman and a wife of not yet a year. Mrs. Alby, whose maiden name was Myrtle Nelson, was born at Rosewood on October 17, 1905, being the twin sister of Carrie Nelson and a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. E Nelson. Myrtle grew to woman hood at this place and at Viking. She was educated at local schools, won a large number of true friends, who admired her gentle and loving nature and her untimely demise is keenly felt.

She was married at Warren to Mr. Alby, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Ole Alby of this place and the newlyweds left immediately for Max, North Dakota where Mr. Alby was employed at railroad work at that place they have resided since and until about five weeks ago when Myrtle became ill from an attack of influenza, which set into pneumonia and complications. She was removed to the Trinity Hospital at Minot, North Dakota where she peacefully passed away at midnight on April 4. Nearest to mourn are her husband, her mother, Mrs. Thea Nelson, her sisters Carrie of Winnipeg, Manitoba and Eleanor of this place and her brother, Ted Nelson besides a large number of other relatives and a host of friends and neighbors.

Myrtle was one of those quiet meditative and home loving characters who pass through life without a ripple or murmur. Their existence appears to be predestined of short duration. A wider sphere seems to call them, they exist as a tropic flower in an Arctic zone, their duration is sweet, much admired but--short. Peace to Myrtle’s memory!

The funeral took place at the Rindal Church on Saturday afternoon and interment was made in the Rindal Cemetery. Reverend Werner Drotts of Viking officiated and two English duets were sung by Misses Delma Dole and Lilly Holson. About fifty autos and 200 persons attended.


Mrs. Thea Nelson is dead

Mrs. Thea Nelson, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. T Mellem of this place was born in Trysil, Norway on August 14, 1881. When a mere child, she came to America together with her parents and for a short time was a resident of Fargo, North Dakota. When she was four years old she came to this place where her parents became homesteaders south of Rosewood. She grew to maidenhood where she has spent practically her entire life. In the fall of 1898, Thea was married to Mr. Enoch Nelson and they resided for short intervals at St. Hilaire and Viking but always maintained interests at this place and for several years since Mr. Nelson’s death in the winter of 1922,she resided on a farm about five miles north of Rosewood. To the marriage union was born six children, three of whom are living and three dead, a daughter, Mrs. Martin Alby, who died on Easter Sunday and was buried here about two weeks ago. Mrs. Nelson became ill with influenza while staying with Mrs. Alby during her illness and death at Minot, North Dakota and was able to attend the funeral but the following day collapsed and has been under constant medical care since. A severe attack of influenza set in and worked toward the heart and was the direct cause of death. Nearest to mourn Mrs. Nelson are her children, Ted and Eleanor of this place and Carrie Nelson of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. T Mellem, and the following brothers and sisters. Mrs. Alfred Carlson of New York City, Mrs. Nick Bergvall of Texas, Mrs. John Bergland of Bemidji, Mrs. SS Nordhagen of Viking, Mrs. Henning Backlund of Strathcona, Mrs. Carl Bloom, Carl, Peter, and Emil Mellem of Rosewood.

Mrs. Nelson passed away peacefully on Monday morning, April 26. She had been suffering intensely during the illness but the last days had been in a lethargic state without pain and seemingly away from her senses. Mrs. Nelson leaves a large number of friends and she will be missed by all who know her. It will be another empty chair, a vacant space, once state fully filled by a faithful wife, a loving mother, and a kind and true friend, and neighbor but now, no more, it is the unfailing law of the universe, and it has always been and always will be. Peace to Mrs. Nelson’s memory!



Thursday, May 17, 2007

Write away!!!


Study the out take from the family Bible image. What do you think Andreas used in 1875 to make this message?
Let's spend some time today thinking about writing implements.
The metal nib had replaced the crow quills by the time he wrote in the Bible. The signature clearly shows a drag on the "A" and a stop on the "O". How many times did Andreas dip his pen to write his signature? Simple pens and nibs or points are still available at good office supply houses for calligraphy. The birth year was written in pencil, which was invented in independently in France and Australia in 1790.
In remembering my own grandparents, I am remembering pencils. My grandparents played cards each evening to see who had to get up and make coffee in the morning; serving their mate coffee in bed. There was no waste of paper, Julia carefully opened a used envelope where she wrote the scores of each round of 500 rummy. The headings were Pa and Ma. They would lick the lead of the pencil before writing. I asked her why and she told me it was to make it permanent.
When I was little, I would sit on her lap and watch her convert English recipes into Norwegian in a spiral notebook. It is how I learned to write; I would have my hands smacked with a ruler often in the lower grades for not writing just how the teacher wanted. I did not budge.
Mother's handwriting lessons were submitted to the County Fair. She won ribbons for her excellent skills. In her era, special lessons were written with a fountain pen. When she would talk about writing, she would say they made row after row of circles as she made the motion on the table. We were not allowed to use her pen, or Daddy's for that matter. The nib grooved according to how you wrote. Mother had a white pen with gold lines, she used blue ink. I loved to watch her dip the point into the ink and close the lever on the side to fill it. Daddy used black ink, he had a broad tip on his and when he signed his name it made scratching noises. Listen! Can you hear it?
Mother's penmanship was even, calculated, always the same. Same from the time she won ribbons at the fair until she died. Always! Daddy's was a running some print some "longhand". He made a funny "a" and mother made a funny "t" at the end of her words. Fascinated by both they were incorporated into my own style. A friend in third grade showed me how to make a small "r".
In 1945, the Gimbel's department store sold 10,000 ball point pens in one day. I would not know about ball point pens until a gross, (144) of pens with RANUM CONSTRUCTION were ordered as a promotion for my Dad's business. They were orange and black and dragged when you wrote with them. I liked the ink well and pen! Triggered by a recent blog post from my daughter's site, I found myself back in time thinking about the Sheaffer ink jar sliding down my desk.
Here is that story:
The first major crush a boy had on me was in sixth grade. His name was Richard; he worked for the post office after graduation from high school. He had become a widow by the 40Th class reunion. When I saw him I asked him if he wanted to play marbles; even his white hair blushed.
In the spring of 1956, he was either passing me notes or looking in my desk to see if his "puree" was there.
He taught me to play marbles instead of spending recess jumping rope.
I didn't have any marbles so he gave me some to **use**. One of them was a deep red pure shooter. I didn't know it was a rental, I thought it was a gift. Although he asked for it back, I had put it in my ink well where he would never find it.
I spent my allowance on marbles and a shooter made out of lead. It could knock anything out of the marble ring.
The better I got the more of his marbles I won. The more I won, the more he whined about his precious dark red puree.
Although we had a gross of ball point pens with Ranum Construction written on the side, I was still fascinated with pens one fills with ink. I can still see that jar of Sheaffer ink sitting in the ink well indent in my desk.
I was wearing a wool watch plaid skirt and a white blouse when that jar of ink slid down my desk. It spilled red ink on my skirt and the jar hit the floor. The jar broke, and the red pure shooter rolled away leaving a red trail. Richard jumped up from his desk and retrieved the shooter shooting, "Finders Keepers!" I went to the bathroom to press the ink out of my skirt.
The Bic Stix was followed by the Papermate Flair.
The felt tips were the pen of choice to doodle with when my daughter was in grade school. The point was soft and didn't stand up well. It needed the light touch of someone trained to write in the twenties. Mother used them and her tip was never broken down, it simply ran out of ink.
Next came the roller balls, rubber grips, and now there is a pen on the market designed to write without gripping the pens with 3 fingers. How does one hold that?
School supplies for Julia were a slate and pencil. Mother's was a Big Chief Tablet and pencil. My supplies were crayons, a Big Chief Tablet, and a pencil. My children required a list so long it came in a box including pencils, Magic Markers, paper, ruler, and of course, a box of tissue.
What are the must haves for children in grade school, now?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


A little village popped up in New Solum Township to meet the needs of the families in the area. Although this picture was taken after 1912, it gives you an idea of the trees available for lumber. The village had a store, a black smith shop, a dance hall, and a church in town. the church was built under the supervision of Reverend Olaf Anderson. Up the road at the top of the picture, then east, was another church and a cemetery. Most of the ancestors mentioned in this blog are buried in the Rindal Cemetery or the Wildwood Cemetery.
The land where the village formed was a strip of land between two counties. When the area was surveyed, the land was missed. In discovering the error, the land was "a strip of land between....", then, shortened to strip. Everyone knew what it meant, it was a piece of unsurveyed land that no one had bothered to add to or subtract from a county. When it was added to Marshall County, the town retained the name.
My grandfather told the story about how when the train approached the strip of land, he would announce "STRIP! Don't forget your parcels. When the children's grandfather told the story, he would blush.
The gold mine was in an article in the Rosewood News, which is a gossip column in the Thief River Falls Times.
"A writer on the Warren Sheaf in their last issue asks if we remember back in our piping days when our name was Strip and when the passenger brakeman announced the proverbial “Strip! Don’t forget your parcels“Now the daughters of Eve would blush and look out of the window and feel embarrassed.

Yes, brother, we remember the good and pre-war days, when most of us wished we could have “Stripped” in the blazing July and August sun and taken a shower bath instead of as in the year 1924 when winter coats are worn during mid-summer. In those were the piping days with a free corn cob pipe with every quarter purchased of “The Smoke”. There is the Camel and Chesterfield day when the emblem of honor is a round cardboard with a cotton cord dangling down from the breast pocket of a khaki shirt. It is twelve years this month since we “Stripped out of Strip” and went into the “The woods of the Roses” and the credit for the change of the name we believe must rightfully be given to Herbert Carlson and Enoch Nelson, two of the “Strip Progressives” in those days. Both of these men have now left the good old burg. Herbert is now located somewhere on the Pacific Coast, busy saving up on his first million and eventually eyeing the kind that blushed at the brakeman, “Strip” And Enoch, good old soul, peace to you."
And peace to all who enter into the Old Trunk and Worn Shoes blog.
e