Tuesday, July 31, 2007

July 31~~The Anniversary of Stanley Ranum's Birth

On this day, in 1914, Stanley was born with midwife help to Julia and Benhard Ranum in New Solum Township, Marshall County, Minnesota.
Light a candle for the influence he may have had on your life.
House ablaze in Fargo, North Dakota.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Was that Really 80 years ago?

MARCH 1927
3 27 about forty persons attended the invitation progressive whist party, sponsored by the Rosewood Farmers Club at the hall on Saturday night. Mrs. Peter Mellem won high honors for the women and Benhard Ranum of the men.

JUNE 1927
6 16 Ladies Aid will meet at the home of Mrs. Benhard Ranum this week

JULY 1927
7 21 Benhard Ranum is employed by Hanson * ...Farm. He is erecting a 34 x 60 dairy barn.

8 18 several of the Benhard Ranum ........motored to Wannaska on Saturday to Pick blueberries and visit at the Carl Nelson home.


Olof Opseth last week purchased the residence of the late Steiner Johnson in the eastern part of the village at a price of $300.00 The deal was closed through John Stone of a brother to Mr. Johnson.


A brushing contract has been let by the local school board to Benhard Ranum to clean approximately a 60' enlargement to the Rose bank school playground. This will give the children more freedom and more space in playing outdoor games. A well may also be drilled on the school grounds this fall.

9 01 Olaf and Gust Opseth are employed in the northwestern corner of this township erecting an addition to the home.

9 8 reunion of relatives took place at the village park Sunday afternoon when Mr. and Mrs. Christ Eggen and Mr. Ingvall Eggen of Kelliher, Mr. and Mrs. Benhard Ranum and family, Mr. and Mrs. AM Gulseth, Mr. and Mrs. Olof Nordhagen and children, GJ Norhagen and Andrew Opseth of this place spent the afternoon there and enjoyed both a picnic dinner and supper in the green.

9 8 Benhard Ranum and Victor Axelson have left for Argyle where they will be employed during threshing.

9 25 Newell Anderson dies in Warren following surgery on his appendix.

11 24 Benhard Ranum is employed at the Eckland farm south of town remodeling the inside of their house........."

Washington School memories

Although the picture is stamped HIGH SCHOOL, this is about the building as Washington Grade School and early high school grades.
For those of you who attended the school as K-6, you will remember the first floor was K-3 and 4-6 was upstairs along with the library and the principals office. In the basement was the boiler room, the lunch room, and the boy's and girl's bathrooms.
I remember going to kindergarten there, after a switch from Northrop. The floor was tile; near the edge were tiles which said one, two, three, A,B, C. The Dairy Queen opened that year. That tile was still there when Mr. Folger had his math class there later.
The first grade room, where we learned to count and read was on the corner. Roger Aaker counted to 100; I counted to 200. The teacher slapped my hands with a ruler because I didn't have a handkerchief, I had tissue. Although Kleenex brand was basically still advertised as facial tissue, our family had switched away from handkerchiefs because of the germs they harbored. It became the Latin room later; the teacher wore a black skirt and tapped the board with her chalk and wiped her hands on her clothes.
The second grade room had a teacher named Miss Norell. She was a wonderful teacher. A classmate failed the class but said, "I want to have her again so I am staying in her class." I went home in a funk, I wanted to have her again too, and asked if I could stay also. Obviously I had taken him at his word. Weekly Readers were the thing; we were supposed to know what was happening in the world. One day, we were a Reader short, one of the cute guys didn't have one. He was to buddy up. Two of us had a crush on him. She had a big desk and I had a little one. BUT HE CHOOSE ME! This room later became an eighth grade math room, the walls were bright orange. The teacher worked most of the year trying to get us to spell angle instead of angel.
The last room on the first floor was the third grade room. Since smacking kid's with a ruler was still punishment, once again I got smacked, this time for not doing my handwriting skills in the standards of the day. Filling one's Christmas seal book was the goal. I LIKE IKE was the slogan. Later, the room became the Algebra room.
I remember the library upstairs more than anything as a child. That is where they gave the TB prick tests. I kept telling them I wasn't supposed to have one but they insisted. When I was next in line, I told the doctor who I was and he set me aside and told the teacher I was not to have the test. WHEW!
Grades four through six were upstairs. I did not attend Washington at this time. Later, I would have ninth grade English with Miss Johnson in one of the rooms. Miss Clark, who taught seventh grade English, had moved to one of the rooms. I am thinking Mr. Boyer taught Social Studies in the remodeled Washington.
If you look at the picture again, you can see there is an outcrop above the door, this was the principals office, later it was the copy room. Actually, it was where the ditto machine was.
In the basement, in the lunch room, we sat at desks and ate out lunch out of tin boxes or paper bags. The room smelled of waxed paper and stale bread. As a third grader, I was to walk to Lincoln and have hot lunch. I didn't like that very much because none of my friends did it. I suppose I had complained about the odor and my parents found a solution. It also was more to carry to school, as we had moved and I was to finish third grade at Washington.
I may have had a say in where I wanted to go after we moved in the fall of third grade. I may have decided I didn't want to leave the brownie troop I was in. She was the best, even if we did meet in the state bread room.
The move to north Arnold meant a 10 block walk to and from school. Parents didn't take kids to school then, nor did they pick them up. I would stop at Jeannie Sandvig's house at 503 Duluth to pick her up for school in the morning. Mrs. Sandvig called me the 'weatherman' and gave me sliced oranges with powdered sugar on them. On a few very cold days, Mr. Wilson would pick us up in his old green Studebaker pick up and take us to school; he worked downtown and was going anyway.
Later, the basement would be the locker area. How could the locker room still smell like stale bread OR was it something else all along?
When they added the new lunchroom and kitchen to the high school it was attached to old Washington. I think the old building was demolished and a new library and additional class rooms were added.
What do you remember about your school? Can you close your eyes and remember the faces of favorite teachers? Teachers that frightened you? Ones that had the gift to make you want to learn? Subjects that were fun? Or, when you had several teachers, is there someone you truly respected as either a person or a teacher?
ABC 123

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Lincoln High School

In this picture, you can see how far back on the lot the school sits. You can also see the sidewalk between the schools. This part of the school faces east. We only know that because the Washington School front faces north, (although we all entered the building on the south side after recess). On the east side of Washington, we can see a white spot, in an enlargement, we know that is a child on a swing. Look how young the trees are!Thi
This photograph is from 1930.
This is Lincoln as I knew it. We know the front, (east wing) had granite floors, as did the entry way and the rooms upstairs. We know the part of the school that faces north also had granite floors. That has to mean that within what we can not see is old Lincoln. We know that French and American History was taught in this old part on second floor. We know seventh grade Social Studies was on first floor before all seventh and eighth grade classes were move to 'old Washington' after the remodel. We know there were lockers and down more steps was science and Art with Miss Gregory. We know the lowest level had a cafeteria and the 'old gym' where we used to dance during lunch hour. Well, we had to dance with the boys in junior high grades, cha, cha, cha!


Washington and Lincoln schools, Thief River Falls, MN

The top picture was taken in 1904 during the land sale. The side where the horses are faces north.

The second picture is of old Washington, now Washington Grade School and Lincoln. See how far back from the street Lincoln sits? In the middle of the picture, just behind Lincoln is a railroad car. This is the Great Northern track.

Between Washington and Lincoln, there was a sidewalk.

Thief River Falls had two Washington Schools; one that was the old high school and a new one, built on Third Street, which became a church. The first Washington School was the high school first and a grade school second. For those of us who attended Lincoln, we know it had additions. We know that some of the floors were granite and other parts were creaky wooded floors.

In 1892 we learn....

Annual school meeting was held on both sides of the river Saturday evening and considerable business transacted. The matter of consolidating the two districts was not taken up and it would seem that such a scheme is not practical, at least at the present time. On the East Side, $2500 bonds were voted for the purpose of increasing the building accommodations and the directors were instructed to take steps to bring the grades up to the standard which will put the school on the high school list. It was decided to employ the best teachers obtainable and to that end other present salaries were greatly increased.

We know that in 1895, five people graduated from high school.

We do know the high school was a building in 1904. The 93,000 land sale took place there.

We know that talk of a new high school was on the docket in 1910. (This would be Lincoln High School, 'part one').


The children of the former Masonic Block School will start going to school at the old high school building. No picture available, and no idea were this was. This is the time line that shows the older students starting at Lincoln. January, 1911

Governor Eberhart to deliver dedication address of Lincoln High School on February 20. Later: Date changed to the 27th of February

MARCH 1911
The dedication of Lincoln High School 1,500 people attended

JUNE 1911
Commencement exercises for Lincoln High School’s 35 graduates will be held in the auditorium, no admission will be charged.

Library at high school converted to class rooms

72 to graduate from Lincoln High School. Only one boy on the honor roll.

Boys drink moon and say farmer sold it to them. The boys appeared at Lincoln High School on Friday while intoxicated and were placed in jail by the police.

High School Commencement Friday night
One hundred students graduate from High School and Normal School

Normal school graduated teachers, for example.

More pictures to follow.


Friday, July 27, 2007

Northrop School, Thief River Falls, MN

Northrop school opens this week of 11 -7


When Northrop was built two years ago, rooms were left unfinished thinking they wouldn’t be needed for a long time

Northrop too, has been demolished. It isn't place is an apartment building.

My mother and her sister attended school there. Mother had Miss Tanberg as a teacher, I had her as a principal.

The second picture shows the front of Northrop where you can see the addition of a gym, including a stage, and a kitchen. Students ate hot lunch on tables in the gym. There was also an addition on second floor which included Mr. Beadle's sixth grade room and a library, which was across the hall.

I was fortunate enough to have a new class room and Mr. Beadle! He was a wonderful teacher who complimented his students and some how got across to them to think and be who they could be. Recently a former sixth grader and I talked about our time in Mr. Beadle's class. It was a blast to giggle and to remember having a sixth grade party at her house at the end of the year.

On the top picture we can imagine playing jacks, jumping rope, a soft ball game, and Fox and Geese when the snow was fresh. What I remember most, because I loved to ice skate, was the outdoor rink on the north and west corner of the block. How many of you skated there?

It was a great school with great teachers and for all of you who were cheerleaders, how fun it must have been to dress up in your green skirt, white blouse, and green kerchief to chant,

"Green and white, fight fight!

In the 1962 year book of Lincoln High School, there are class pictures of the fifth or sixth and sometimes both, class groups. It seems to me the pictures of Northrop were taken on a game day, as the girls were dressed in green and white--go Indians! I will see if I can scan those pictures and share them here at some random time.

Central, Northrop, Knox.

Yet to cover, Washington and Lincoln High.

Happy learning!


Knox School, Thief River Falls, MN, Part Three

1906 Knox School is mentioned as being on the east side.

Janitor Bailey, of Knox School, has been suffering from ‘felon on his tumb’

It takes 32 seconds to evacuate Knox during a fire drill.

Knox 337 students, 8 rooms, 42 per room

Knox was a different school district. Consolidating of District 57 and District 107 happened in 1900. Now all schools were in District 18.

1918 No room for kindergarten at Knox, a church is rented.

1920 Plan for new school accepted by board. The old Knox School will be wrecked and a 14 room school will be built from brick. No name has been selected for the new building. See what they have done? Built a school, sold it to the Catholics, built another school in 1908, now they are tearing THAT down and making the school that was demolished in 1996.

EDITORIAL Keep the name Knox for the school being built on the east side. After all, Knox gave the land to the city for the school building attaching no strings. Knox raffled off another lot and the money earned was used to buy a bell for the school.

East side residents declare against the name change; want new school building called Knox.

The building of the new Knox School will be started on Monday. The new structure will be forty feet east of present site. The old brick walls of the present building will be used in the new structure. Cost to build $71,000.

Knox School will be ready to use on January 1, 1921

Charlie Knox, for whom the Knox School is named, was married in Minneapolis. The old timers will recall his bride was a school teacher in this city when Knox was a resident here.

Knox School in Thief River Falls, MN, Part Two

This is the 'new' Knox School. Obviously it was built in front of the 'old' Knox School. But wait, you say, "That isn't the Knox I went to!" No, it isn't the one I went to either, there must have been a third school. As you can see, the part with the steeple and the bell is the part that was sold to the Catholics in the first of this segment.

Recently, while driving with friends, I was looking for the house one of the ladies lived in. I knew it was right across the street from the school, but couldn't get my bearings. That was because they demolished the school and the block is now a housing development. Well, at least it isn't a parking lot!

In the third and last segment of Knox School, we will learn about its name and see a picture of the playground where many of us played on the swings and giant strides. For those of you who were hockey buffs, the out door rink was in front of the school.

Knox School in Thief River Falls, MN

The most fun I had with this picture is sending it to Frank. He is a Catholic and attended Catholic School. I did not ask him if he was in this building when it went threw the ice!

It seems that after the 'new' Knox school was built, the Catholics bought the 'old' school for their school. For those of you with memories in Thief River Falls, we know the Catholic School was on Knight Avenue between First and Second Street.

What happened was they tried to move the school across the river before the river was frozen. What they did was drill pilings into the river bottom to keep it jacked up until the river froze and they could continue moving it.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Central School, Thief River Falls, MN

Before we go back and talk about Rosebank in Rosewood, Minnesota, let's take a look at the educational faculties in Thief River Falls.

We do know that school started very early, although no records were kept until 1891, school was in session shortly after the town was founded. The school started with eight students, six of which where the LaBree children. There is information regarding where the school was. It seems everything took place around what we know as the First Street Bridge. Actually First Street was known as Bridge Street.

Think about the area the Regional Hospital covers now. This is where the school was; the pupils sat on boards which sat on nail kegs. The shanty was a little log house. School was three months long.

The newspapers include information regarding East Side School, (Knox) and West Side School, (Central). Previously there was an advertisement stating 12 lots, (in a group), were being sought to build a school. In the beginning the schools were in different districts.

For those of you who lived in Thief River Falls, you may remember ice skating on a out door rink north of Trinity Lutheran Church. This is where Central was located. It was where my mother went to school.
As you can see by the picture, it was a big school. The town mushroomed and grew so quickly it was hard not to have over crowding. The photograph is of Central, which was built in 1893. It started as an eight room school; the east addition was added later. In the one picture one can see the trees which line the sidewalk. The school faced 4th Street. It was between Horace and LaBree Avenue.
The location means that it WAS facing the north side of Trinity Lutheran Church. It means it WAS where the Johnson Funeral Home is today. It was ALL school ground. As a sixty something person, I don't remember the school. Perhaps someone out there in history land remembers it.

Orphans and Widows regarding New Solum Schools

I did find information which stated that consolidation of Busy Bee, Willowdale, Pritchard, and Rosebank was approved by the state. This was in September of 1920.

The petition to consolidate lacked enough signatures.

Then when it finally came to vote, it was 2 for and 4 against. October 22, 1920

That it was Willowdale that burned and was replaced in 1931 BUT the school was in Norden Township, which was district two in Pennington County.

Rosewood was district 41. Benhard Ranum was Clerk of the School. Rosewood will be addressed separately.

Now, this is where we need to get busy and research. We all know that Lloyd Anderson went to school at Columbus. He may have started school as early as 1911+5=1916 or 1917. We do know that it was District 134 or 34. We know it was not named Columbus until later. We know it may have been Pritchard or West.

But what is exciting is that Carl Bloom was on the school board and Nina visited Rosebank as a representative of District 34.

That means that Carl would have had to live in that area. Which means Lloyd would NOT have been living near the Opseths or on the T Mellem property AFTER Carl and Nina were married.

We do know that Lloyd and Ella bought Carl Bloom's land. We just don't know where it was. Once we find that, we will have a better feel for why Lloyd went to Columbus School.

Let's do a little math. Lloyd started school at six, (born 9 2 11), that makes him starting in the fall of 1917. If he went to school and graduated eighth grade, then he should have done so the same year Harry Ranum graduated which is about 1925. I think Nina and Carl were married in 1920; Carl owned land. This has to be were he went to school from.

Any ideas?


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

New Solum Schools with map

It is not helpful that the map prepared for the sections of New Solum Township does not match the description of where the schools were located. According to the description in a previous post, District 34 school was to have been in section 34 where the Soo Line tracks crossed the Lilac Ridge Road. This was to serve as the school house for sections, 28-33 and 4-9. That certainly was possible.

I did look at other plat maps and found four of the schools. In sections 17, 11, 32, and 35. On the map below it shows TOWN HALL, that is Columbus School. Rosebank School is located in section 35.

Hope this helps.

New Solum School District

We know from pieces of information that the New Solum Township had five schools. Let's try to piece these scraps of information together to get a better feel for what they were like. We know that Columbus School as we know it, still stands and is used as a town hall.


New Solum District 34 was organized in 1886. The first building was located near where the Soo Line Railroad track and the Lilac Ridge Road are now, this became known as Columbus School. Half of the school year was held in this building and the other half was held in the Tollof Groseth homestead cabin in Section 28 . . District 34 was comprised of Sections 28,29,30,31, 32, 33 and 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 in the Strip. As you can see, we really DO need a map!

A new school was built in the southwest corner of Section 28 in the summer of 1896 at a cost of about $200.00, with several donations of material and labor. The new building was located to the west of the present building and served until the summer of 1923, when it was sold to a man named Carlson for $173.75. He moved it to Section 1, Viking Strip, where it was used as a living house for a while. No sign of this building remains, the stone foundation was found when the land was cleaned up in the late 1970's.

The present building was built in 1923 by Benhard Ranum and Ted Thompson at the total cost of $2,800.00. It was financed with State Bonds for $2,400.00 and the remaining $400.00 was borrowed from John Halvorson. (according to the newspaper, it was in 1931).

The original West School House was used until 1907, when a new building was built in the northeast corner of Section 31. This origin of the first building is not known to author. A 10' x 10' shanty
and new chimney were added in 1892. The school was torn down in 1907, as Thomas Eide was paid for hauling used lumber to the new site.
The new West School was built by Ole P. and Jens Johnson with the total cost of lumber and labor around $600.00. This building was sold to Gordon Elseth in 1945 for $425.00. He moved it to Newfolden and it is now the home of Keith Rud.

The school name, Columbus, was chosen by the students in the 1920's. District 34 operated continuously with half the term in each school building from 1886 until 1943, when the school board couldn't find a teacher. This was partly due to World War II. They then paid tuition and transportation to Newfolden School, until the spring of 1951, when they joined the Newfolden and Viking District.

At a special meeting on April 4,1951, John Thompson made a motion to sell the East building to New Solum Township for $150.00. Since the vote was unanimous, we still have it for the town hall. Does this seem to mean the school was called East, West, AND Columbus?

Mike Johnson states, "The records for District 34 are complete and in good shape. They are kept in the township fireproof file and anyone needing information is welcome to inspect them, as they are public property."
For those of you on a search for information regarding schools, take this information into consideration. Let's hope the school records for the ancestor's you search for are, indeed, preserved.
And I bid each of you good old golden rule days.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


This is one of the earliest pictures of Ella Deloris Lundberg. She is sitting on her father's lap with Mae on the other side of the chair. Obviously it is taken outside, it could have been mother's birthday which was in March. She may be as old as five. It was before they moved to Chicago and before Mae and Phil were married.

Mother had enough hair for the entire neighborhood on Chief Coolee near the Northrop School. I am thinking Viola, the older sister may have taken the picture.

Mother stated that early in her life one of her jobs was to clean and polish the black wood stove on Saturdays. I was mortified to learn she had to take out the ashes as well. That was her job, and as we have learned in an earlier post, children had jobs early and they weren't always safe for them to be doing.

She said she had very few clothes. One set for school, and one set for play. Her school clothes were changed right after school. They were hung up for the next day and the next day. They were washed on the weekend and made ready for the next Monday.

Children who attended private school, like Jaeme may not think anything about wearing the same TYPE of clothes to school each day but what I am talking about is wearing the same garments each day.

What would happen if you got your clothes soiled and you couldn't wear them? Then, you had to wear your play clothes unless school clothes could be washed, dried, and pressed before the next day. Remember what that meant? Lots of work to get the wash kettle out, heat the water, hope they dried and in the winter, it wasn't that easy. It was common for children to have few clothes. She wasn't the only one, I am certain that helped. Her dress looks like tucks, and some smocking. Most likely made from cotton. And of course, always black stockings. Take into consideration that everything was air dried. That helps us understand ironing.

Mother wore black stockings held up by a garter belt; I wore white long stockings, held up by a garter belt, Rachel wore leotards or when it was cold, she wore pants. Even in private school there is a variety of pieces that mix and match 'leggings'. Try this as an experiment: After a day of wearing, take off your socks/stockings. Look at them, aren't they somewhat amiss? Now when you wash and dry them, don't they re-shape themselves? When one wears cotton stockings, like mother's black socks, you have knee pooches. My white cotton stockings had their own knees too.

Mother always said she had big feet. They do look a little ski like in the picture I assure you they weren't huge, they were narrow. When she bought shoes later in life, she needed a double A toe and a triple A heel. She walked pigeon toed when she and Stan were married. He bought her a pair of high heels and taught her how to walk. And she walked like a model with her head up and her shoulders back in those 3 + inch shoes.

I am trying to remember what kind of shoes she wore when I was young. I know she didn't wear heels at home. I do know that she bought tennis shoes, always white and wore them from the mid fifities and on. Ked's at the Fashion Shop were $5.95.

I do know that in the winter, she had boots and carried her shoes in a bag, changing at her destination. Once, while visiting at the hospital on a very, very cold night, someone took her boots and she was concerned about getting home without falling.

I always remember mother dressing up and putting on high heels. I remember her as being much taller than I. When you aren't around your parents in their transtional years, you are a little shocked when you see your long legged, maxi striding mother wearing low heeled orthapedic tie shoes. Did she have a lot of shoes? A conservative estimate over a lifetime? 500 pair. Clothes? Well, we took 39 bags full out of her house when she died and they were all size six or eight. Came a long way from one for school and one for play, don't you think?

Our Own Little Pippi LongStockings

She is not Swedish

Her father was not a sea captain

She did not have a monkey as a pet

She was not an only child

But she is strong and courageous

And has had a lot of adventures

And told a lot of stories

To children who knew of her magic bag.

She is an important person in the lives of many.

She loves her family and has good memories of her grandparents, her parents, and her brothers and sisters. She was born in Riener Township, MN on her parent's homestead. She attended school in that area as well as North Dakota, then again Minnesota.
Like Pippi, Ella is very intelligent in a common-sense fashion, and has a well-honed sense of justice and fair play. She will show respect to those who deserve it. I am thinking she was like that her entire life.

This grand lady has my respect.

Her name is Ella.

She is special.


Stan the little man

I am happy to offer a group picture of Julia Clara Opseth and Benhard Ranum, doing business of course, as Mr. and Mrs. Benhard Ranum and their children, Harry Arthur, standing, and Stanley Kenneth Ranum.

Harry was born in 1911 and Stanley in late July of 1914. I would guess this picture is taken around the time Stan was one. It is another in studio picture.

For those of you who want to look closely at the details. Look at that cute little man, Stan with his pudgy little body and pug nose. Noses like that generally flattened down and aren't as cute but they are nice noses. I wonder why in the name of heaven grandma dressed him in lace underwear!? I do think he offered facial expression and their is depth in his eyes? Do you see that, or is it just because I knew him so well. I am happy to see he has expression; no one could make him NOT have expression.

Harry looks dubious. Harry was dubious. He, like Newell in the Anderson portrait, is wearing a suit like top, short pants, and leggings. LOOK AT HIS SHOES! Stan is wearing a sandal like shoes too.

I am proud of Julia for having at least a little smile. When enlarging the picture for the purpose of detail, I noticed she had something around her neck and that she was wearing a dress with a smocked waist. The dress makes me wonder if she wore that sort of garment during, "her time or when she was in a family way".

It appears Benhard is making room for daddy. Couldn't help the punishment. For those of you who watched Danny Thomas with his family in the fifties, you will remember a sitcom called, "Make room for Daddy".

And so it was that Harry, the oldest and a graduate from Lincoln High School in Thief River Falls, MN, (class of 1929 and taking classes in Latin), we was the dubious one. Stan graduated eighth grade from Rosebank Country School in New Solum Township. The best way to explain the difference between these two brothers would be to say what Daddy said, "Harry thinks a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush AND I think two in the bush is better than one in the hand." Harry wanted security; Stanley wanted to speculate.

In checking the recorded births in Warren, MN, Stanley was registered at Kenneth and Stanley was added later. Stanley is written in the margin in red.

We have met Lloyd Anderson and Stanley Ranum as babies.

The two grandmothers are both ELLA. Oh this is fun!


Lloyd Paul Anderson as a baby

As we remember, Lloyd Paul Anderson was born in 1911. He is the baby sitting in his mother, Nina's lap. Reverend Olaf Anderson, his father, is standing, and Newell, his brother in the light curls stands.
In this photo, Lloyd is dressed in a dress like garment which was very common for babies during that era. His brother, Newell, is wearing short pants,leggings and a sailor collared coat like garment.
Although Newell is light haired in this photograph, I assure you his hair would turn dark. Obviously they both have dark eyes like their parents.
It is hard to get a real good feel for pictures taken in this era. Most subjects sat stone still. It always made me wonder if these 'old' people never had anything to laugh or smile about. It wasn't just the people in New Solum that were stoic in the pictures, other areas were the same way. Photographs were more 'portrait' like, don't you think?
In my quest to find pictures of this era 1911-1912, I keyed in Winston Churchill as a subject. Well, that was a bust; do you remember how grumpy he looks? Taft was president during this time, I found a picture of him with a little grin but it was a head shot only and maybe he wasn't grinning maybe it was his mustache!
I like to think that Nina had a warm, sweet smile. In posts to come, I will share one of her where she is smiling for the camera. I like to think that although a minister, Olaf had a sense of humor. I like to think that Newell and Lloyd were typical little boys. I like to think Nina rocked her babies, hugged them, and cleaned off their faces with a little spit and the corner of her apron.
And hugs to you!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Midwifes in New Solum Township

It occurred to me before I can talk about some of the grandparents as children, like Lloyd Anderson and Newell Anderson, we need to talk about Andrew Anderson, the first born of Nina and Reverend Olaf. There was no doctor in attendance at his birth; only a midwife. Although most babies were birthed without complications and could be delivered and the mother cared for by a midwife, sometimes, like in Andrew's case it was not so.

Let's look at child birth in New Solum in the 1890's.

Most of the homesteaders were young couples, with a child or two, and possibly another on the way. Children represented one of the biggest and most dependable crops. And after the age of seven or eight, they were often one of the most valuable: cleaning barns, watering horses, herding cattle, hoeing, picking potatoes, making evening smudges against mosquitoes and many other chores.

Sometimes at night a buggy or wagon could be heard moving at high speed on some urgent errand. Someone living near a main road, might remark, "Sounds like someone's going for Ingeborg. Wonder who it is this time?" And his wife, Bridt, might remark, "Likely Marit. It's near her time, the way she looks."

Ingeborg was Mrs. Halvor Hellem, wife of a Civil War Veteran. Some foolish person might ask, "Are you going to have a doctor?" What a stupid question! No, thank you. The women would take Ingeborg every time. After all, she'd had nine children herself, hadn't she?

Besides, look what a doctor charged, compared with the modest $2.00 Ingeborg expected. Anyway, no doctor was available on short notice. It was years later that a doctor set up practice in the village of Thief River Falls, about twelve-fifteen miles away.

When Berger Sevalson, husband of Marit, arrived with Ingeborg, the latter didn't wait to be helped down. With her little black bag in her hand, she climbed down over the wagon wheel, and hurried into the house. She changed into her "work clothes" and immediately took command.

Ingeborg could not stop the rising waves of pain, as they grew worse and closer together, but her presence was an assurance that all would shortly be well.

Berger's buildings were like those of most neighbors — a two-room cabin, single story, the logs hewn flat inside and outside, then whitewashed. The stable, too, was made of logs, likewise the granary. All his buildings had sod roofs.

Years passed and the population grew. Pole fences gave way to barbed wire, log cabins and stables were replaced by frame buildings, patches of cleared land became fewer, and finally ceased. The trading post became a busy town.

And there was a doctor with a light buggy and a fast team. He responded when called, and he delivered babies, even miles out in the countryside. Thus an era ended.


New Solum was blessed with many pioneer women who had the confidence and compassion to help other women in childbirth and were the midwives of the frontier. They were intelligent, sympathetic, supportive, inventive, and willing to go day or night, winter or summer. They were strong, physically and emotionally, to take the stress of raising their own families and still help and often bear the burdens of the neighboring women as new lives were brought into the world. Most of the midwives learned their art from an older relative or friend and were prepared to be teachers of the next generation of young wives. Until the early 1920's, almost all of the children in New Solum had been born at home with the help of a midwife. It seemed as if each of the four corners of the township usually had some dedicated midwife the other women trusted to help them.

Marie Anderson, no relation to the family tree was delivering babies into the 1940's. The oldest midwife known in the area was Christina Olson who was still bringing babies into the world in her seventies.


Friday, July 20, 2007

The Farmer's Club of Rosewood

The Farmer's Club was a big social event as well as an organzation In New Solum Township. Although sources state it was at its peak in about 1915, there is no documentation about the date. We do know that after the First World War, when the co op was reorganized, young veteran's would come to the club, looking for a social acceptable way to dance with young women. Here are a few notes on the club

1917 The Farmer's Club was hosted by Mr. and Mrs. B Ranum

That meant they were responsible for getting a speaker, appointing someone to find entertainment, music, and lunch. Later they would split the assignments.

Rosewood News An emergency meeting of the Farmer’s Club was called to form a potato grower’s association.

1927 Rosewood News the farmer’s coop, which has been dormant for several years, is reorganizing. The first meeting is to be held at the store/hall. The club’s purpose is to be of education, socializing and amusement. The membership dues are 25 cents. The club will meet every other Saturday evening. Emil Mellem has been chosen as entertainment committee head.

3 27 about forty persons attended the invitation progressive whist party, sponsored by the Rosewood Farmers Club at the hall on Saturday night. Mrs. Peter Mellem won high honors for the women and Benhard Ranum of the men.

Rosewood News Rosewood Farmer’s Club elects officers
Mrs. Benhard Ranum elected head of lunch committee

Rosewood News 200 people attending the Farmers Club Meeting. A vote to buy an organ for their club passed. Benhard Ranum headed a committee to find and buy an organ using their best judgment.

Rosewood News Male Quartet sang, Benhard Ranum was one of the singers.
Debate: Should marriage be for love or money.

Rosewood News After the program, the floor was opened for various amusements. At midnight, a lunch was sold netting $25.50.

Rosewood News Some one stole Emil Hellquist’s fur lined coat and hat at the Farmer’s Club meeting last week. It was valued at $50

Rosewood News Farmer’s Club meeting opened by Benhard Ranum. Attendance was 100 people. It was extremely cold weather, most of the members attending, where from the local area.

Rosewood News Farmer’s Club to change meeting to Friday evenings. It was learned that it was illegal to be in session at midnight Saturday night. It was also brought to the attention that no one under sixteen was allowed at the meetings unless with an adult. The meetings would now close at 3A.

Rosewood News Farmer’s Club. Ted Thompson elected deputy sheriff and will attend meetings of the club to be sure there are no minors there without a chaperone.

Rosewood News Farmer’s Club meets to decide on a territory from which to except members. Boundaries stated are south: Jefferson Highway. West up to the boundary line between township of New Solum and Viking, North is the section line between sections 10 and 15, and east to the State road number 32.

Rosewood News Farmers Club has a large meet at the hall last Saturday evening and entertained the largest audience this season. They voted to get an official star for the deputy officer and required he carry it at all meetings.

Farmer’s Club meeting held at the Hall of Saturday night.

Rosewood News The song, Minnesota’s Wonderland was sung by Mesdames Benhard Ranum and Charles Sagmoen.

Rosewood News At the Farmer’s Club a skit was given called, “The Hired Girl”


The Bustle and Bust of Rosewood

This is an exciting find for us! It is a picture of Rosewood taken from the water tower showing the depot that burned, the side walk that was built from the depot, the dance hall were the Farmer's Club met, and in the far right hand corner in the top, you can just barely see the Opseth Boys two houses.

The town was alive! It had phones, as you can see in the lower left hand corner. it had a shipping association, it had clubs and a library and a baseball team!

We know today there is little left of this proud community which started with a handful of men organizing it in 1884. On a recent trip through the village, the only movement I saw was a dog laying in the doorway of the bank, which became a store, which became living quarters. My grandfather built that bank and in its day was a fine stucco building. The bank closed in 1924 and had numerous owners and businesses after that.

The Mission Church became a carpenter shop. An Anderson started the church, and his son locked the door on the worship building and handed the keys to someone who made it a carpenter's shop. The building remains. There are a few houses left but the house that Anderson's bought has been gone for some time. Across the road, were Olaf's house stood, it a big warehouse like building. One lone cedar tree, planted by Gust still stands.

I listened for laughter from the dance hall, prayer from the church, and men talking in the hardware store. Alas, the town was silent. In its day it serviced its community and the community took care of it. A reminder to all of us what friendship and outreach is all about. Long gone is the clamour of cream cans on the dock at the depot, the beller of cattle waiting to be shipped, the peep of the little chicks who came to Rosewood via the mail in those days, and the orders for rail cars to load green poplar trees waiting to be shipped. Gone are the people that milked those cows and separated that cream so they might have money for necessities and taxes. Gone is the depot were the shipping association shipped cattle to St. Paul on a weekly basis; the cattle taken by a manager to be certain the beef was cared for and the proper cash payment was received. Gone too, are the people with worked hard cutting wood by hand for a few dollars. It is a different live than we know. Although we work hard, we are not working hard labor, we are not freezing a few feet from our stoves in the winter. But then, neither do we drop everything to help our neighbor; do we even know are neighbors?

Joy to all.


On a trip to Warren, the county seat of Marshall County, I was looking for the ownership of the Gust and Olaf houses. The hand drawn map and the books of deeds listed that area as swamp land.

The picture was taken in the spring, as you can see clearly that the area near the depot looks very wet and just beyond there is snow.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A Watched watch never Ticks

Good Afternoon!

The sun told me that, not a watch.

The more I wrote about clocks and more I giggled about watches.

I have to tell on my child. It was Christmas, a great time to receive a watch as a gift, don't you think? Do you remember those major ugly men's digital watches with the silver dollar size face that had alarms? Well, Bud got one for Christmas one year. Remember now, I am telling the story as I REMEMBER it.

It was a few days before Christmas when he gift was wrapped and put under the tree. Somehow the watch got set to alarm about supper time. Imagine his sister and I talking really loud when we heard it to distract Bud. He looked like he never had a clue; but did he? I don't remember it going off the first couple of days..........

Anyway, I was a real stickler for children learning how to tell him on a regular clock before they had something digital. I suppose Bud was saying, "The big hand is on the four and the little hand is on the six" when he got this watch. IF he was telling time, I will assure you it was something like, "about 4:30" but with a digital it was 4:31 and 12 seconds....wait, 4:31 and 15 seconds. Did he have a concept of time? Who knows, he was nearly always home for supper, which was an about time.

Rachel was eleven and Bud was seven in February of 1977 when my grandfather died. Everything he owned was in Daddy's name but Dad thought I should have a piece of what was left. He sent me a check for what he thought was fair. I asked the kids what their hearts desires were. Bud wanted a 'green machine' which was a plastic three wheeler you motivated with your feet. He had worn out two Hot Wheels already. Although he had been riding a bike since four, he still liked the power and the spin out. We met his heart's desire.

Rachel wanted a watch. A digital watch with a black band and a black face with red numbers. Her wish was also met. Now, to know her, is to know someone who appreciates gifts. She was proud of her watch and liked to look at it. It was special. It happened that about the time she got it, the scout troop went on a field trip to the ambulance service. The EMT was telling us what each item was for and how the ambulance helped ill people. Now, Rachel was not avoiding his speech, she was just admiring her watch more. He asked her if she had somewhere to be at a certain time. She was embarrassed because she didn't think she was being rude; just looking at her fine watch.

Daddy had an old Hamilton that kept great time. It was in the era where you wound your watch. When it slowed up, he would take it to the jewelers for cleaning. That is what people did. Well, my mother was one who liked to dress to the nines to go out for dinner or a movie, or even the market for that matter. She liked to be seen with her family spit shined. As I might say to Tom, you need to put on your town shoes, verses stained lawn mowing shoes, mother would say to Daddy, put on your good watch. It had a leather band, no numbers, just slashes, and a diamond for 12. Heaven forbid someone might see a grimy work watch under those starched white French cuff sleeves!

I was six when I got my first watch. I may even still have it. It was silver with a expansion band. Mother was in the San and Daddy did the shopping. He took a piece of white tissue paper and sort of wrapped it like old fish bones and put it under the tree. I said, "Daddy! You didn't wrap that very well"! And he answered that it didn't matter how it was wrapped it was what was inside that counted. Like a typical Lutheran child, I was hot with shame. The box was creme colored with a piece of light aqua velvet fabric on the top. Oh it was so pretty, that is, until my brother Greg thought it would look better if his name was written in the velvet.

The other watch I received was for confirmation. It was gold with a gold band. I wore in daily until one night while in high school, I was really late coming home. I was walking and thought how am I going to explain this tardiness. So I broke the band and told them I had been looking for my watch in the grass in front of Kneale Avenue Grocery. I don't know if they bought the story but that was the end of the watch.

My family bought me a watch when I completed a year at trade school OR was that for my birthday? That part runs together. It had a gold face and a pigskin band. It was a great watch and it in the box of treasures. No, it had to be for my 44th birthday because it was my golden birthday.

Time is an interesting concept.

There is time
to get up
go to bed
go to work
go to school.
make appointments
Air travel
how long to cook something
Unless of course you prefer to just throw it against the wall.

And some families are really set on meals. Ours was breakfast at 7:30, dinner at 12:05, and supper at 5:30. Miss them and you ate cold food. Mother was a stickler about it. And I looked at the clock when she died and the song, "Suppertime" came to mind. She was "home" by 5:30. And the song goes,

"When I was but a boy in days of childhood
I used to play till evening shadows come.
Then winding down an old familiar pathway
I heard my mother call at set of sun

Come home, come home
it's supper time
the shadows lengthen fast.
Come home, come home,
it's supper time
we're going home at last.

One day beside her bedside I was kneeling,
and angel wings were winnowing through the air.
She heard her call for supper time in heaven
and now I know she's waiting for me there.

Speaking of mother. Once, when Rachel and I were visiting, it was time for crazy days in our town. We all went to Inga's Cafe for breakfast, then went to shop. We got home just before noon and she told daddy she didn't have time to cook and we went to Inga's again. Rachel napped and we rested then off again to Crazy daze. We got home about 4 and when Daddy got home, Mother said, "I have been so busy, I forgot to take meat out for supper." Where do you think we ate supper?

And now it is TIME for a nap. That is because at 4 this morning, I was stumbling into my clothes to go bass fishing. Funny thing about catching bass in the slop and pulling them through the weeds and cranking like your life depended on it, time stands still. And like anything worth remembering, you have mental play back. Rewind, unwind, reel it up, live it up.



Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Hickory, Dickory, Dock

There is much to be said about time. I am going to take a tick-tock at time pieces. Before we begin, I want you to hop back into your childhood and listen to a time piece in your mind. Before my kids knew how to tell time, they were calling 842-5115 which was time and temperature.

Personally, I like a clock chiming in the house. It must have started with the clock my grandparents had. To modernize it, it was painted over many, many times. I don't what happened to it, I do know I wound up with the key and the pendulum. Look at the picture with the blue tassel laying next to it.

But the clock they had later was one of those illustrated in the poem, Hickory, Dickery, Dock. And it struck on the hour, half past, and on the quarter hour. I only remember waking up on their blue 'horse hair' sofa covered with moth ball smelling quilts and wondering it it was 12:30, 1:00, 1:15, 1:30, or 1:45. But I couldn't get up because not only was I tucked in but there were chairs by the sofa so I wouldn't fall off. It had Roman numerals and I still think about the clock when I write the numbers 1-12.

The pocket watches belonged to Philip Lundberg. I remember looking at them when I was little and liked when he let me twist on the knob to wind it. I have never had them cleaned, they have always been in a jewelry box along with little trinkets turned treasures. Obviously I took the pictures without looking at the background and now see how many special items are in the drawer. There is a story in each, to be announced.

My parents had a cuckoo clock and when my grand parents lived with us during mother's 23 month bout with TB, it cuckooed faithfully because Grandpa always pulled the chains and kept it running. The weights looked like pine cones and were heavy. It may have been a good weapon against my brother during a Monopoly fight but we weren't allowed to touch the clock, except of course when they weren't there and we had cuckoomania.

When mother came home, the clock stopped. It hung on a wall somewhere but was never set. As a gift, it was given to us shortly after we were married. The only nail in our apartment at 503 North Duluth was in the bedroom. About three hours worth and the clock was stopped. I have no clue what happened to it.

The Seth Thomas in the first picture came from my parent's house after mother died in 2002. Although mother said it wouldn't run, it did after Tom figured out it was hanging a bubble off a level. As you can see, the level has become part of the decor. Occasionally it will stop and he readjusts it. Funny thing about clocks with weights, you always wonder what time they will stop when you go away for several days. It chimes on the full and half hour.

Now, the other clock, which I call the Cherub clock was a gift to mother from Daddy while in the san. It is a beautiful china clock with lots of little places for dust to gather. As you can see, it is very, very feminine and has matching candle holders. I don't ever remember having the clock as a centerpiece nor do I remember the candle holders being used. It makes a little growl but does not run. It sits in the north bedroom with numerous music boxes. (This is the room where my cousin Judy was afraid all the "crap" was going to fall on her during her sleep~~Judy visited last summer and stated if we ever moved to a nursing home we would have a lot of stuff to get rid of. Judy died last November and it was not from being buried in a room full of 'crap').

We do have an anniversary clock. It is in the craft room--notice, I didn't say "crap" room. It chimes on the quarter hour. One can play two different tunes. When it was first set, it was playing something we didn't know so we didn't know what time it was by listening to that clock. It is now set on "Westminster" Dong, dong, dong dong, dong, dong, dong, dong. (I need a video for this. Bud, help me out here. Nevertheless, each quarter hour has another line so you know where you are in time because of the tune.

Now, at our house in Fargo, when we have a power failure, we have a lot of PF! Power failure.

I don't know just how it happened but suddenly or not so suddenly, we had five clocks in a kitchen, which not counting the size of the room which houses cabinets, appliances, etc, the space in the middle is maybe eight feet. Now why would anyone want five clocks in a room that size? It is technology. Everything you buy now has a clock: stove, under cabinet radio, under cabinet coffee maker, microwave. Are you with me? The only clock that doesn't get PF is the battery operated one, which is the official clock of the kitchen, the king pin. So, I run around in an 8 x8 space trying to get all digital clocks operating at the same moment.

There was a man who made clocks before he came to the nursing home. It keeps great time and is battery operated. It is hidden in the plants in the dining room because one is not to have a clock where you eat, it is bad karma.

The living room has the Seth Thomas and of course any electronics have their own digital in red.

The sun room was only the computer clock, which is official for ME.

Let's go up stairs.

Bathroom. Battery operated wall clock. Shower radio with clock. This makes sense because you need to know what time it is in the shower AND out of the shower.

The CRAFT room. The anniversary clock

The north bedroom, kindly called Max room by Jaeme. One small brass Boliva alarm clock and the cherub clock.

Our bedroom. Now you have to stop and do this so you know what I am talking about. When I first came to Fargo, already in multi lensed glasses, I didn't think much about what time it was. But Tom wakes up at night, just like Daddy did, and needs to know what time it is. WHY? Well, I don't know except that is one of the quirks I have allowed myself to learn. Here is what the problem was: The numbers on the clock waaaaaaaaaaaaaay across the room were too small for me to read without my glasses. So Tom says, " Make a fist and look through the opening with the thumb next to your nose and you will be able to read it." DO THAT. Of course it works but then you are awake!!!

Now I am the kind of person who says good night and means it. I go to sleep. But the thing with the clock had me thinking, "Okay, it is 2 am, I am getting up at 4:30, if I can go back to sleep, I can get x much more rest." THEN I AM REALLY AWAKE.

So I prayed for the old digital to malfunction. And I prayed hard. And it worked. That is, the clock got this growl and Tom couldn't sleep to it. We bought a new clock with numbers as big as the kitchen floor and I can see it across the room without putting my thumb up to my nose!

The only other one in the room is part of the stereo system which I do not reset. If a squirrel flicks his tail two blocks away, the clock goes out.

No time to waste!

Alas! in Wonderland.