Friday, June 8, 2007

Childen of Thorenus and Pauline Mellem

Thorinus and Pauline, Mellem's thirteen children

1. Peter who was born and died on January 10, 1876

2. Petronella who was born and died on May 1, 1879. There is no information regarding why these two infants died. I do know, in talking to people who have had children decease that it is forever painful to the parents; especially the mother.

3. Karen was born in Norway on February 2, 1877. She came to the states with her parents and after a time in North Dakota, settled with her family in New Solum Township. She later married Nick Bergvall. The information trail is cold.

4. The other child who was born in Norway was Thea, August 14, 1881-April 26, 1926 As you recall, Thea’s obituary, as well as her husband, Enoch, and their daughter, Myrtle has been previously posted on the blog. Thea is buried in lot one at Rindal Cemetery and Enoch is buried at Wildwood Cemetery. Other children include:, Ted, Carrie, and Eleanor.

Census shows us that in 1895, The Mellem’s were living in Ramsey County, MN, in 1900; in Rocksbury Township of Red Lake County, (later to be called Pennington after the split), by 1910 the family had moved to New Solum Township and according to the census, Thorinus and Pauline, and their children, remained in the area up to and including the 1930 census.

5. the next child, Carl Mellem was born while the family lived in North Dakota on September 04, 1883 and died April 04, 1938. Carl married Minnie Holson, sister of Lilly Holson Rafeseth of Rosewood. Together, Minnie and Carl had four children: Alice, Fern, Sylvia, and Chester on the 1930 census.

Also on the 1930 census, Thorinus Mellem was living close by. Carl was farming on farm 60 and Thorinus was living on 61. We remember that Pauline had died in 1927.

In the 1920 census, Carl at 36 and Minnie at 28, had one child, Alice. Thorinus and Pauline were living close by.

In 1900, all the children born until that date were living at home as well as Thea who was married to Enoch Nelson and their twins Mrytle and Carrie. Thea was 18 and Enoch was 36. Pauline was now 43. If the numbers are right, she had her last child just two years before.

6. Theoline; August 14, 1885, married SS Norgaard of Viking. Although information regarding their deaths is not known, the Rosewood News states several visits by other members of the family. LaVerne Bloom was said to be visiting his friends!

7. Next on the birth order is Peter, March 21, 1897 to September 22, 1966. He married Caroline Lappagaard, a sister in law to Hazel Rye Lappagaard. Peter is buried in Rindal, lot 59, along with the Mellem twins and another baby and Caroline.

Before I go on to the next person in the order, I want to stop and reflect on this couple. Pete owned land in the Rosewood area, he worked to get drainage ditches in this marshy county and he worked to grade the roads. After he moved to Thief River Falls, he worked at the golf course keeping the grounds in A+ condition.

His wife, Caroline, was a wonderful soul. All who knew her loved her. The two of them were known as Pete and Lena, OR Mrs. Lena Pete. Shirley told me they lived near them on the 1200 block on Knight Avenue and loved to visit with her. Mrs. Pete was a big tease!

My grandparents, Julia and Benhard Ranum and Pete and Lena played cards together over the decades, first at Rosewood, then later, in town. They played cards until near midnight, and then would have a lunch before they went home.

I know there are stories out there about this couple. I think the one that is the most sensitive to me is this: Peter Mellem died in September 1966 and my grandmother, died in November of 1966. It was disturbing to my grandfather to loose a great wife and a good friend in just a couple of months. Mrs. Pete and Grandpa spent some time together after that. When Grandpa had his half brother, Otto and his wife live with him that winter, the four of them would play cards until midnight, but it was never the same.

8. Another child was Emil Mellem: April 16, 1889-January 28, 1971. Emil was in the service during WWI.

Rosewood News Emil Mellem was home from Langdon, ND last Sunday to bid good bye to his friends and relatives before leaving for the military training camp, where he has enlisted as a carpenter.

May 1918 Rosewood News Nina Anderson received a letter from her brother, Emil Mellem, that morning stating that he had arrived safely in France. Mr. Mellem enlisted last summer.

Emil returned from the service and married Hilda Hanson; January 6, 1895-May 29, 1988. Their children were/are: Ervin, Harlan, and Enid.

3 21 1940
Rosewood News Ervin Mellem entertained a number of friends at his home Saturday evening. Games were played and at midnight, Mrs. Emil Mellem served a delicious lunch to the group. Those attending were; Adrian, Alton, and Audrey Nelson, Chester Engelstad, Ina and Elna Crown, Alice, Fern, and Chester Mellem, Oliver Rye, Arnold Harvey and Donald Hanson, Wallace and Mavis Anderson, Vernon and Joyce Mellem, Helen, Jean, Betty, and Dorothy Wood, Florence and Victor Hellquist, Gene Hallin, Leona Asasby (sp), LaVerne Bloom, Clifford Rye, Bob Wood and Mrs. Emma Hanson

Harlan told me at an all class reunion about how Stan and Harry Ranum would help them with money for shoes. He also shared that once a bull was after my grandfather and he, Harlan, ‘ran interference'!

Enid married Rolland Sande. They were married on the Sande farm west of town on MN HWY one. Rolland and Enid took over the farm and raised milk cows. They had a beautiful herd of Holsteins. Before changed and demanded the milk go from the milking machine to the big tank, I used to ride my bike to their farm and get raw milk. I liked to watch when they fed the barn cats. The kittens learned early to wait for a squirt of milk.

Sande’s had four children: Gary, the oldest, liked to grab the cows tail and have her run while he slid along behind. Lynnelle was next, followed by Gail then Carol.

The farm was auction off in 2004.

9. Nina ; July 29, 1891- November 03, 1963,
Olaf A. Anderson; December 03, 1871-October 01, 1917
Married on March 11, 1907.

Andrew Anderson; August 15, 1908-August 15, 1908

Newell Emanuel Anderson; December 05, 1909-September 25, 1927

Lloyd Paul Anderson; September 02, 1911-October 05, 1967

Ella Elvina Rye; Ella Elvina Rye; December 3, 1915

Married on March 17, 1934.

10. Tina; August 1893 married Alfred Carlson

11. Ella; December 1, 1895-August, 1971 is buried in Roseau. She married Henning Backlund. After Pauline’s death, Thorinus visited all of his children often. The Backlund’s are mentioned frequently.

12. Mabel Rosalie; August 1, 1898 married John Bergland. I did not find information on either of them in the three sources I use; Pennington County Historical Society, Minnesota Historical Society, and the SSDI on


Unknown said...

OMG..I have lots of comments!
Emil Mellem was such a jolly soul! Hilda much the same. Even as a young kid I used to love to visit their house in TR. They lived on the corner of 1st St. and Crocker?..a little square house, set back from Crocker Ave. Emil (as far as I know) was the inventer of the WAHOO GAME. It was made from a piece of plywood, with holes drilled into it. The holes were almost in the shape of a cross, 5 holes across the top..7 holes to the bottom corner, 7 holes to the top corner 5 across..I can see it in my "mind's eye", maybe can't quite describe it? It was the same shape as a parchisi board, only you played it with 4 marbles for each of 4 players. I wish I could draw the board here for each of you to see. You needed 1 dice to play.
Enough of my rambling on about WAHOO! I learned to count, add and multiply on that homemade gameboard. I learned strategy and what # I'd need to shake to send an opponent "home" only to have to start that marble trip around the board, all over again. Such fond memories!
Rolland Sande told me at Mom and Walt's 10th ann. party at the Holt church, that they had a reel of audio tape of Dad talking into a tape recorder..taped at their farm in the mid 60's. He offered to play it for me someday if I'd like. It might sound kinda weird, but I have Dad's voice and mannerisms in my memory..I never felt the need to hear the tape that he and Enid had. Maybe I should've? I could've made copies for any other descendants that might be interested? Maybe I could still get the tape from Enid if she has it?
I'll quit for now..but I might come back to comment on other aspects of this entry..or am I going too far with all my "rememberances"?

Unknown said...

In the 3-21-40 entry, among a list of people are Wallace and Mavis Anderson (no relation to us) Wallace and Mavis were brother and sister..the way it's stated almost sounds like a husband and wife. Their father was Emil Anderson. I can remember when I was about 4, Mom, Grandma Rye and I were in our kitchen, I was looking out the kitchen window and I saw an old pick-up driving through the same time a daily freight train was. I saw Emil Anderson's pick-up get hit by the train. I made Mom and Grandma come to the window and see what happened. They didn't quite believe me, but came to look.
I can still hear the train's extra long whistle blowing..trying to warn Emil..they collided. Emil wasn't killed in the accident, but was hurt quite severely.
Grandma Rye had Parkinson's Disease, her hands shook all the time, that day was the last time I ever saw her drink coffee. After that I can only remember her drinking water using a straw.
Isn't it funny how the mention of 2 names..can bring back such a flood of memories? I can even remember the color of the cup that Grandma was drinking out of..
I can also remember Mom talking about that accident many years later, that I almost had to testify in court because I had seen the accident happen. I guess the lawyers thought I was too young to testify...