Melberg Carrie Mrs.
Meistad Anna Mrs.
Melberg Carrie Mrs.
Melby Amund J.
Melby Anton L.
Melby Anton L. Mrs.
Melby Anton O.
Melby Anton O. 2
Melby Charles B.
Melby George Mrs.
Melby Halvor Mrs.
Melby John O.
Melby John O. 2
Melby Ludwig Mrs.
Messingstad Andrew Halversen
Messingstad Olivia Mrs.
MRS. CARRIE MELBERG: (NORWAY)
"Mrs. Carrie (Karen) Melberg, 73, died Sunday (August 18, 1963) at Luther Hospital, Eau Claire. She had been ill four months.
She was born in Norway December 6, 1887 to Erick and Martha Tormen and came to this country with her parents when only a few months. She was married to Amund Melberg in 1913. They were to South Dakota and homesteaded. He died in 1918. Following her husband's death, she returned to the area with her two-month-old son. She moved to Blair about 15 years ago. She was a lifelong member of the Trempealeau Valley Lutheran church and it's Ladies Aid.
Survivors include one son, Elroy, Augusta, Wis.; three grandchildren and one brother, Carl, of Minneapolis. Two sisters have died.
Funeral services were held Wednesday at 2 p.m at te Trempealeau Valley church, the Rev. W.H. Winkler officiating. Burial was in the church cemetery." THE BLAIR PRESS - August 22, 1963
LUDWIG MELBY: (BIRI)
"Death came peacefully to Ludwig Melby, 81, at the home of his son Marvin of Osseo on Monday, January 24, 1949. He had been in failing health for some time.
Funeral services were held at Pigeon Falls, January 27, the Rev. C.K. Malmin of the U.L. church and the Rev. H.H. Knudsvig of Osseo officiating. Rev. and Mrs. Malmin contributed vocal music. Pall bearers were Carl Klomsten, Edward Erickson, Clarence Kaas, Owen Larson, Robert Tomten and Chester Thompson, all of Pigeo Falls, and the flowers were carried by his granddaughters, Dorothy and Donna Melby. Mr. Melby was laid to rest at the side of his wife in the U.L. cemetery.
A large delegation of friends and relatives attended the funeral services, and lunch was served to the family following the services.
Mr. Melby was born in Biri, Norway, June 13, 1867. At the age of 13 years he came to America with his mother and two brothers, his father having died in Norway. They settled on a farm near Osseo where they resided for a short time. Then with his brothers he worked out for others and for a time before his marriage, he was employed on the P. Ekern farm near Pigeon Falls.
On December 25, 1896, he was united in marriage to Gurena Haugen of Osseo, who had a dressmaking shop at Pigeon Falls. A few years later they purchased a farm one mile east of Pigeon Falls known as the old Lundahl place. They remained here 40 years.
Four children were born to this union, Roland, Maurice, Sidney and Marvin. Mrs. Melby died just eight years before her husband to the day. Roland passed away in 1925. Maurice died in infancy, one grandson, Leonard Melby, two brothers, Anton and Martin, and one sister, Mrs. Anderia Morterud of Duluth, Minn., preceded him in death. Surviving are his two sons, Sidney of Bemidji, Minn; and Marvin of Osseo; and four grandchildren, Ardell Melby of Independence, Dorothy, Donna and Wallen Melby of Osseo." THE WHITEHALL TIMES - February 10, 1949.
MRS. GEORGE MELBY (TOWN OF PRESTON, WISCONSIN)
Mrs. George (Manda) Melby, 78, rural Ettrick, died Sunday at a LaCrosse, Wisconsin hospital. The former Manda Jahr, she was born in the Town of Preston, Trempealeau County, June 26, 1895, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Martinus Jahr. On October 21, 1922, she married George Melby. They have farmed in the area. She was a member of Faith Lutheran American Church Women and was organist 11 years at Fagernes Lutheran Church. Survivors are: her husband; two sons, George M., Decorah, Iowa and Gerald, rural Ettrick; four grandchildren; her mother, Mrs. Selma Jahr, Whitehall, Wisconsin and one sister, Miss Stella Jahr, St. Paul, Minnesota. Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Thursday at Faith Lutheran Church, North Beaver Creek, the Rev. Herman Madland officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Fossum Funeral Home, Ettrick, was in charge of the arrangements. SOURCE - FAMILY SCRAPBOOK Researching this family is Cindi Anderson
“GRANDMA” MEISTAD (SOLAR)
Grandma Meistad of Welch Coulee died at the home of her daughter-in-law, Mrs. Anna Meistad, Wednesday morning, March 5, at the age of 84 years, 3 months and 5 days. She was born in Solar, Norway and with her husband came to this country fifty-one years ago and settled on government land in Welch Coulee, which place has been her home up until her death. Her husband died about 21 years ago, since which time she has made her home with her daughter-in-law. There also survives a stepson, P.G. Gunderson of Welch Coulee, and a brother, John B. Haugen of Minneapolis, also a sister in Norway. The funeral services will be held at the Fagernes church Saturday afternoon at 2:00 o’clock. THE BLAIR PRESS - MARCH 7, 1918
MRS. ANNA MEISTAD (NORWAY)
Mrs. Anna Meistad, 79, of Welch coulee near Blair, died at the home of her son, Arnold Meistad, on the Arneson ridge west of Blair at 11 p.m. Monday following a short illness. Funeral services were held Friday at 1:30 p.m. at the Rhode funeral home in Whitehall and at 2 p.m. at the Fagernes Lutheran church, the Rev. H.O. Aassen of Ettrick officiating. Burial was in the church cemetery. As Anna Green she was born November 23, 1865, in Norway, the daughter of Gunder Green and his wife, Lilly Gunderson Green. When she was 21 years old she came to America with her parents who settled on a farm in Welch coulee. Here she spent the remainder of her life. Later she married Berger Meistad, who preceded her in death in 1909. Survivors are three sons, Harry Meistad of Arcadia; Arcadia and William of Blair; one daughter, Sadie Meistad, Detroit, Michigan; and three granddaughters. Mrs. Meistad had been residing alone on her home farm until a few days before her death, when she went to visit at the home of her son Arnold. THE BLAIR PRESS - MAY 3, 1945
AMUND J. MELBY (N. FRON)
Under circumstances, unique in this community, Amund J. Melby passed away the 17th of this month. He had near his home a single beehive around which, during our recent warm and rainy weather, weeds and grasses had grown up. Noticing this he took a hoe to remove these obstructions. While engaged in this effort he was attacked by the bees. How he happened to excite the bees to make the attack no one know. When first seen, after he was attacked, he was coming towards the house hoe in hand and a garment which he had grabbed from a clothes line around his head. He at once called for water to be poured over him. His son, who first saw him, carried him into the house and set him in a chair. He asked if he wanted anyone to help him or needed a doctor. He smiled and said it was nothing, for he had been stung only around his hands and head. His son next asked him if he wanted to go to bed. His answer was “I am not able”. These were his last words, and in less than half an hour from the time he was stung, he passed, seemingly painlessly, from life to death. Armund J. Melby was born in Nordre Fron, Gulbrandsdalen, Norway, January 2, 1849. His father’s name was Johannes Hognehaugen and his mother’s name was Anna. In 1871 he obtained a loan from a friend in this country, which enabled him to come to Coon Valley, Vernon county, Wisconsin. There he worked for almost two years. In the spring of 1873 he came to this county and bought a hundred and sixty acres from Hans Nerhagen, familiarly known as “Hans Pegleg.” Soon thereafter he was joined by his brother, Hans, who stayed with him until his death and materially contributed to his success. Later on he sent for his sister, Berit. Still later for his father and a sister named Marit. Altogether he helped more than twenty of his relatives and friends to come to this country. On September 3, 1895, at the age of forty-six he married Sophia Bonderud. From this union eleven children were born, among them three pair of twins. Three of these children died in infancy. The surviving children are George, Joseph, Ellen Thorpe, Esther Nelson, Alma, Clifford, Harry and Samuel. All his children live on or within a few miles of their birthplace. His wife died January 18, 1906. Her death occurred after giving birth to twins, when roads and other means of communications were difficult, and doctors could not be obtained in time to assist her. The twins survived, one of whom is still living. Square Bluff, known far and wide as one of the highest hills in Treapealeau County, is the culmination of one of the roughest areas in the county from a topographical standpoint. Steep ridges, deep, narrow ravines, radiate from it in all directions. It was on one of these ridges about a mile southwesterly from the Bluff that Melby fifty-two years ago established his home in the “dugout” which Nerhagen had made. He was man of small stature, had little book-learning, was poor and had no family prestige to back his efforts and ambitions to get on in the world. But by industry, economy and a careful following of the elementary laws that almost inevitably lead to success, he overcame all his handicaps. From year to year he saw the boundaries of his fields extended. And as the returns from his diligence and prudence came in, he bought more land, built better houses and added appointments for comfort to his home. Among his papers will be found notes and other evidences showing that during his early struggles, he paid from ten to eighteen per cent interest on money that he had to borrow from time to time. During the last thirty years Melby has been regarded as a man “well-off” and frequently called on to help others less fortunately circumstanced. This he has often done to his own damage from a financial view. Every man, entitled to be called a “man,” in his earlier years dreams of being the owner of a home and of economic independency in some future time. But many, as the years roll by, find they are not willing to pay the price, and give themselves up to dreaming of something turning up that will give them wealth and ease without hard work and economy. The result usually is that when old age comes on they have realized none of the golden hopes of their young manhood. Such people are not to be pitied or even criticized so long as they do not burden society nor grumble and whine because they have been out of luck, or didn’t have a chance. But even if they accept their lot with commendable cheer and resignation, the supreme satisfaction of achievement is wanting. Mr. Melby did achieve, probably far beyond his early expectations, and left a beautiful and enduring monument of his prudence and diligence. He belonged to the old type of men who believed in hard work and a careful husbanding of the fruits of labor. Lived the extremely plain, simple life until he could pay for the ornamental and luxurious. His character was unblemished by vices and his word as good as his bond. From his hill-top home he must have, during his later years, often looked down on green and golden slopes, billowing with rains and grasses, with a deep thrill of pleasure as he reflected on the wonderful transformation which he and other men of his type had wrought. They had truly made the wilderness blossom as the rose. And down on the curving ridge where he lived rose a fair temple of worship reminding him of his highest aspirations and final destiny; for around it are clustered a host of men and women whose lives had been intimately interwoven with his during years of toil, privations and adversities. And to this sacred place he was carried June 20 to enter his chamber of rest and silence. To the many who gathered to bid him a final “fare thee well,” Rev. Bestul touchingly administered words of hope and comfort. All the children of the departed were to learn the impressive lesson that “Our life is scarce the twinkling of a star, In God’s eternal day.” Written by H.A. Anderson, June 21, 1925 THE WHITEHALL TIMES - JUNE 25, 1925
ANTON L. MELBY (NORWAY)
Anton L. Melby, 92, Whitehall, passed away Monday, March 13, 1978 in the Tri-County Memorial Nursing Home, Whitehall, where he had lived the past twelve years. He was a retired Whitehall area farmer. He was born in Norway November 19, 1885 to Agaton and Laura Melby. He came to this country in 1903 and married Karen Iverson in January 1911. She died in March 1953. Survivors are one daughter, Mrs. Gerald (Lillian) Callihan of Black River Falls and two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Funeral services will be held on Thursday, March 15, 1978, 1:30 p.m. at the Fagernes Lutheran Church, rural Blair. Rev. Erling Carlsen will officiate. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Johnson and Jack Funeral Home, Whitehall, is in charge of arrangements. THE BLAIR PRESS - MARCH 16, 1978
MRS. ANTON L. MELBY (NORWAY)
Mrs. Anton L. Melby, 73, passed away at the Whitehall Community Hospital Wednesday, March 25, 1953, following a stroke suffered on Friday of the previous week. Funeral services were held at the Melby home and at the Fagernes Lutheran church on Saturday afternoon with the Rev. K.M. Urberg officiating. Burial was in the church cemetery with George, Clifford, Joseph, Sammy and Harry Melby and Carrol Thorpe serving as casket bearers. Flowers girls were Mrs. Marcus Larson and Shelvy Melby. Mrs. Urberg sang accompanied by Mrs. Sam Hanson at the organ. Mrs. Melby, the former Carrie Amundson, was born February 3, 1880 in Norway. At the age of three years, she came to this country. Later she and her father homesteaded land in South Dakota and then came to Wisconsin. She was married in 1911 to Anton Melby and they established their home near the Fagnernes church. She is survived by her husband and one daughter, Lillian, Mrs. Gerald Callihan of Black River Falls; two grandchildren, Kenneth and Gerry Callihan and a brother, Emil, of Rapelje, Minnesota. Following interment, lunch was served by the Ladies Aid to relatives and friends in the church parlors. THE BLAIR PRESS - APRIL 2, 1953
NELS MEIKKELSON (LILLEHAMMER)
Nels Meickkelson, the oldest settler in Schimmerhorn coulee died last week from a stroke of paraylsis. He was born January 8, 1837 and passed away at the home of his daughter, Mrs. John Rogstad, October 9, 1925. He was born in Lillehammer, Norway. In 1870 he was married to Olavo Lein. Fifteen children were born to them, nine of whom survive him in death. Those living are: Martin, Albert, John, Melvin, Lyle, Mandius, Mrs. John Rogstad, Mrs. John Peterson and Tena. Mr. Meikkelson was a blacksmith and conducted a shop at York for a time along with his farm work. During the Civil war he was in blacksmith work at St. Paul. He has lived on the farm now owned by his daughter and son-in-law about sixty years. Of a quiet nature, he lived a quiet life and is remembered by all the older settlers. He was laid to rest at the S.L. church Monday, Rev. Christophersen officiating. Six of his children and grandchildren were present, the others were unable to attend. THE WHITEHALL TIMES - OCTOBER 15, 1925
ANTON MELBY (BIRI) “And We know not what the Morrow May bring,” is an adage so often used and Saturday morning when Mr. Anton Melby entered the bank here to pay his taxes, smiling as usual, no one would have believed that it could have been said of him, for within a few minutes, he had passed away, leaving his children, relatives and friends in deepest sorrow. Mr. Melby was born in Biri, Norway, in 1865. His parents were Andrew and Syverine Melby, He immigrated to America in 1880. On March 31, 1892 he was united in marriage to Inga Olson and they settled on the Olson farm in Schimmerhorn, which was his home until a few years ago, when he came to Pigeon to take a well earned rest from hard labor. Six children remain to mourn his death: Arthur of Schimmerhorn; Ragna, Mrs. Ole Johnson of Northfield; Alma, Mrs. Capper of Black River Falls; Edry of Kalispell, Montana; Lloyd and Viola, Mrs. Elmer Larson, of Pigeon; also 10 grandchildren and one brother, Ludwig Melby. Funeral services were held Wednesday at the home and at the U.L. church and interment was made in the Northfield cemetery, Rev. Orke officiating. Mr. Melby was a quiet man, respected by all and will be sadly missed by his children, who have the deepest sympathy of the community in their unexpected sorrow. THE WHITEHALL TIMES - JANUARY 15, 1931
HALVOR MELBY (AASNES, SOLAR)
Halvor Melby was born August 4, 1862 in Aasness, Solar, Norway. He was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran church of his native parish. He learned the carpenter and stone mason trade in Norway and also served for a while as “skydagut” and “post bud.” In 1884 he emigrated to America. His first home in America was with an uncle, Arne Austad in Tappen Coulee. He worked for him during the summer months and also for Peter Peterson and Ebert Everson. In the winter season he was engaged many years in the great timber industry of early Wisconsin. Most of this time for the firm of Bright and Wittee on the People River in Clark County. One winter he served as cook and one summer, he was engaged as watchman of the camp. His last winter was in a camp near Neillsville. He purchased the present home farm from T.I. Gilbert before his marriage. He was united in marriage to Karen Sather by Rev. Ole Waldeland at the parsonage in Blair, October 11, 1893. The attendants at their wedding were Tollef Sather and Lena Melby. Besides the work on the farm he was busied many years in the carpenter trade. He erected all the splendid buildings of the home place and many houses and barns in the surrounding community, among them the Ebert Everson home across the valley. Mr. Melby was a man of robust health. He had not been sick before his last illness with the exception of rheumatism, which had bothered him in the later years. He was taken sick about ten days ago with a bad cold. This developed into pneumonia. When this seemingly had been checked, a failing heart hastened the end which came at 4 p.m. Thursday February 16, 1939. Mrs. Melby died at a hospital in LaCrosse June 22, 1929. A son, Onell, died Christmas Day, 1935. The following children survive: Henry, French Creek; Haakon, Blair; Cornelia (Mrs. Julius Engelien), French Creek; Victor and Goodwin on the home farm. There are three grandchildren. A sister, Lena (Mrs. Ed. Olafson) lives at Mondovi. Another sister, Anna (Mars. Martin Berg) died at Thief River Falls, Minnesota in 1936. Mr. Melby sold his farm to his son, Victor, four years ago. Funeral services were held Saturday, February 18th at 1:30 at the home and 2 p.m. at the Zion Lutheran church, Rev. T.E Sweger officiating. Mrs. Angus Sather sang “Jesu, du min sjael har kjaer” and “Rock of Ages.” Two memory wreaths were given to the Organ fund amounting to $15.25. The pallbearers were Elmer and Tony Anderson, Omar and Sebert Austad, and Thomas and Lynn Toraason. The flower bearers were Mrs. Elmer Anderson and Mrs. Albert Toraason. Interment was in Zion cemetery. THE BLAIR PRESS - FEBRUARY 23, 1939 - Researching this family is Cindi Anderson
MRS. HALVOR MELBY (ELVERUM, HEDMARK)
Karen Henriksdatter Sather was born in Elverum, Norway, February 2, 1872. She was baptized in the Elverum church. The family emigrated to America in 1879 and made their home on a farm which they purchased on the ridge adjoining Salve Coulee. With the other members of the family, she became a member of the Zion Lutheran church, in which she held membership until her death. She was confirmed by Rev. Brynjolf Hovde. October 12, 1893, she was united in marriage by Rev. O. Waldeland to Halvor Melby. The following children were born to this union: Henry, Onil, Goodwin, Haakon, Cornelia and Victor. They moved onto their present farm the year after their marriage, in the spring of 1894. Here they established and built up one of the fine farm homes of the community and here the deceased resided over 35 years. Mrs. Melby’s heath began to fail several years ago. She sought medical aid for some time and finally underwent an operation for gallstones in the LaCrosse Lutheran Hospital Monday, June 17th. Saturday, June 22, 1929, death came to release her from suffering. Besides the bereaved husband and children, she leaves to mourn her loss a brother, Ole, of Canby, Oregon. A sister, Olena, died some years ago in Oregon, and a brother, Tollef, lies beside his father in the Zion cemetery at Blair. Her mother is buried at Canby, Oregon. Mrs. Melby was an earnest industrious woman who fulfilled her housewifely duties in patience and love. She was an affectionate wife and mother who will be deeply missed at home. She was a highly respected member f the congregation and active member of the Ladies Aid of which she was vice president for a number of years. The sympathy of the community goes out to the bereaved family. Funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon, June 15, Rev. T.E. Sweger officiating. THE BLAIR PRESS - JUNE 27, 1929
JOHN O. MELBY (ASKIM)
John O. Melby was born October 15, 1845, at Askim, Smaalenenes Amt., Norway. He received a common school education in Norway and was employed for a period of five years in a clerical position in Christiania before emigrating to America. He came to America in 1869, locating in Omaha, Nebraska, where he remained for a short time, and thence went to LaCrosse, Wisconsin, where he was employed for a short time in the saw mills. In 1870 he came to Ettrick, in this county, and secured work as a clerk in Iver Pederson’s general merchandise store, in whose employment he remained for five years. While a resident of that town he was elected to the office of town treasurer and held that office for a period of four years, and in 1874 was elected register of deeds of Trempealeau county, which office he held continuously until 1887. From 1887 to 1888 he was cashier of the Bank of Galesville, but near the end of the latter year, he began the operation of a private bank at Whitehall, which he conducted as such until 1894. In 1894 he organized a stock company and incorporated this as a state bank under the name of John O. Melby & Co. Bank. In 1906 the charter of this bank was extended and the capital stock increased to $50,000. He was president of this institution from its creation to the date of his death. In 1875 he was married to Jennie L. Beach at Ettrick, Wisconsin, and to this union five children were born, two of whom died in early infancy. He leaves surviving him, his wife, Jennie L. Melby, and three children, Mrs. Kathryn F. Cowie, Charles B. Melby and Marie A. Melby, and one brother, Anton O. Melby, cashier of the Whitehall bank, all of whom were at his bedside when he died. In 1906 Mr. Melby was afflicted with cancer of the stomach and at that time was operated on by the Drs. Mayo of Rochester and was greatly relieved by the operation, and for a period of about three years enjoyed fairly good health, and his family and friends began to feel encouraged and to think that his old trouble would not recur. In this they were doomed to disappointment, for in the early winter last past he began to decline, and a number of diagnoses by eminent physicians and surgeons gave but little hope of recovery. He passed away peacefully at ten o’clock Saturday forenoon, June 12, 1909. In the death of Mr. Melby, Trempealeau County loses one of its leading citizens and Whitehall its most lofty type of a Christian gentleman. For almost a quarter of a century he had been identified with the business, political and social life of the county, and perhaps no man in all its history has enjoyed such a wide circle of personal friends as he. From every section of the county people came to him with their problems and troubles and this is especially true of those of his own nativity whose inability to speak the English language of whose lack of knowledge concerning our laws made them hesitate to confide in others. To those he gave his time and the benefit of his intimate business knowledge with a patience and kindly interest that early in life endeared him to all who knew him. Hw much of his time he has thus devoted gratuitously to others will never be known, nor can we ever estimate what his advice and help thus taken from his busy life has done for the peace of communities; the tranquility of homes, and the up-building of characters in the county and even beyond its borders. With a modesty becoming his generous nature, these are all closed incidents for which he made no charge and kept no record. Only once has he held public office, that of register of deeds of Trempealeau County, and his services in that capacity were so highly appreciated that it was with difficulty that he could retire at the end of twelve years of continuous service. Time and again in later life, he refused the offers of high political honors to devote his time to his business and his family. Perhaps no stronger testimonial of his clean and rugged character could be written than the record of the birth and steady growth of the banking institution that bears his name. For twenty-one years this institution has been almost the sole depository for the wealth of the county seat and the surrounding territory. During all those years it has stood with the strength of a Gibraltar. Whether the financial tide ran high or low, the people’s faith in this bank never faltered chiefly because of their unquestioned faith in the man at its head. He died possessed of a comfortable fortune, and always gave with a liberal hand to every worthy charity and to every cause looking to the improvement of the social and educational conditions in the village of Whitehall. In his boyhood he joined the United Lutheran church in Norway and has always been an earnest Christian worker, giving liberally to the aid of church work, regardless of denominations. The best epitome of the life and character of John O. Melby was his request, as the end drew near, for simple Christian burial, and his acceptance without fear and with quiet resignation of the infinite decree. “He giveth His beloved sleep.” The funeral services were held Monday afternoon beginning at the home of the deceased at 2:30 o’clock. After a brief prayer and song service conducted by Rev. A. Chaifant, and Rev. F.W. Straw of Eau Claire, the casket was carried to the courthouse by active pallbearers Dr. J.M. Sithe and Messers W.J. Webb, L.L Solsrud, James Larson, L.D. Parsons and M.E. Ladd. The circuit court chambers were beautifully decorated for the occasion by the ladies of the village, and an immense throng of friends of the deceased had gathered there, filling the large apartment to overflowing. Never in the history of the village has there been such a profusion of beautiful flowers and plants as was arranged there by people of all classes within the village and from distant places, even outside of the county, as symbolic not only of the beautiful life of a departed friend, but also of the regard and esteem in which he was held by all who new him. The services were conducted by Rev. A. Chalfant, pastor of the Wisconsin M.E. church, who offered the prayer and spoke briefly and feelingly of the departed friend. The principal discourse was delivered by District Superintendent F.W. Straw of the Eau Claire district of the M.E. church, a long time personal friend of Mr. Melby and former pastor at this place. Rev. Straw and Mr. Melby have been close and although visibly affected by the task before him, the reverend gentleman delivered a most touching yet inspiring and instructive sermon. Having in mind the well known modesty of the deceased and his oft expressed wish that words of broad eulogy should not be indulged in regarding him and that the service should be simple, Rev. Straw referred to the life of his departed friend in words more pertinent to the future life than that so recently closed. Rev. Straw has a host of friends and admirers in Whitehall who always delighted to hear him, but on this occasion event they were surprised and greatly impressed with the plain eloquence of the gifted gentleman and the strength of his simple plea for a Christian life. During the services at the home the choir, consisting of Misses Myrtle Whitney and Vera Ingalls and Messers J.C. Southworth and Fred Speerstra, with Mrs. C. F. Huleatt as organist, sang “Jesus, Lover of My Soul,” and at the court house, “In the Sweet By and By,” “Shall we meet beyond the river,” and “Nearer My God to Thee.” Tributes of flowers were offered as follows: Lyre within the crescent - Whitehall Businessmen Masonic emblem - Whitehall Lodge No. 27 F.F. and M. Five point star - Ivy Chapter, No. 115, O. E.W. Bouquet - Whitehall Literary Board Roses and ferns - M.E. Church and Sunday School White carnations - Whitehall W.C.T.U. Red carnations - .A.M.P.C. Club Elaborate gifts of flowers were also made by friends from Chicago, Winona, LaCrosse, Viroqua, Eleva and Whitehall. After the services at the court house the body was conveyed to Lincoln cemetery, where it was laid to rest, overlooking deceased’s gift of a park and public driveway to the village of Whitehall. It is impossible to give in detail the names of those who came from a distance to attend the funeral of the deceased. From every section and hamlet of the county, and even beyond its borders came those who knew John O. Melby to take a last look at his peaceful face and pay a tribute of respect to his memory. THE WHITEHALL TIMES AND BLAIR BANNER - JUNE 17, 1909
ANTON O. MELBY (ASKIM, NORWAY)
Anton O. Melby, 81, president of the John O. Melby & Company bank at Whitehall since 1911, died at his home there at 3 p.m. last Friday, June 9, 1939, following a month of illness. He had suffered a stroke a month ago while at his cabin on a fishing trip in northern Wisconsin. He was born in Norway on January 1, 1858 and came to America in 1873. He first worked in a store in Ettrick. In January 1888 he came to Whitehall and that year John O. Melby, his brother opened the John O. Melby & Company bank there. Anton was made assistant cashier and became cashier in 1894 and for many years had been president, actively participating in the bank’s affairs until his illness a month ago. He was married twice, first to Delia E. Hazard on July 25, 1893 and then to Mrs. Mary Shane of Modena on June 11, 1908. Survivors are his wife, a daughter Sylvia who is Mrs. P.M. Paulson of Whitehall, and two sons, Edward of Andover, New Jersey and William H. Of Blair. Funeral services were conducted at the Methodist church Monday at 2 p.m. with the Rev. A.N. Ivey officiating. Burial was in Lincoln cemetery. THE BLAIR PRESS - JUNE 15, 1939
CHRISTIAN MELBY (AASNES, SOLAR)
Christian Melby was born in Aasnes, Solar, Norway, February 2, 1855. He was the son of Hans Gunderson Melby and wife, Karen. He was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran church of his native parish. At the age of 25 years, he followed the westward trek of his many fellow countrymen and arrived in America March 25, 1881. He came to the G. Engen home in Whitehall where he was employed for some time. He worked many years in the pineries and on the spring drives. He helped also in railroad construction near Merrillan for the Chicago and Northwestern. In 1884 he was united in marriage to Mrs. Hannah Salverson. To this union three children were born, two of them dying in infancy. The other, Hans, lives on the Melby farm east of Blair. This farm he purchased from his father in 1918. After his marriage he lived on the present Arthur Oldendorf farm until 1905 when he bought the farm 1 ½ miles east of Blair. In 1919 he purchased the home in the east end of Blair, where he resided until a year ago, when he went back to the home farm to make his home with his son, Hans and wife. His first wife died in 1890. In 1894 he was married to Mrs. Carrie Holte. She passed away July 7, 1905. October 28, 1940 he broke his leg just below the hip. He was taken to the Community hospital where he remained until his death. The immediate cause of death was pneumonia. He died February 6, 1941 at the age of 86 years and four days. Besides his son, Hans, he is survived by a brother, Ole Melby of Cohasset, Minnesota. Mr. Melby had traveled a great deal in Sweden, Finland and Norway in his youth. He possessed a retentive memory and could relate many interesting things that he had experienced in his travels. His heart lingered fondly on the scenes of his childhood. He was saddened by the fact that this part of Norway had suffered much in the invasion. The prayers and hymns taught him in early childhood remained with him to the end and brought comfort to his soul. Through the long years he never failed to pray the evening prayer taught him by his mother. Funeral services were conducted by Rev. T.E. Sweger Saturday, February 8th at 1:15 at the Hans Melby home, and at 2 p.m. at the Zion Lutheran church. Mrs. Angus Sather sang “Hvilken Ven vi har I Jesus” and “Jesus Lover of My Soul.” The pallbearers were Ole Storley, Fred Anderegg, Albert Tenneson, Elmer Thurston, Alvin Steffenson and Thomas Tenneson. Two memory wreaths were given to the Home for the Aged at Wittenbeg by relatives, friends and neighbors. Interment was in the Zion cemetery. THE BLAIR PRESS - FEBRUARY 13, 1941
MRS. LUDWIG MELBY (GULBRANDSDALEN)
Funeral services for Mrs. Ludwig Melby, 74, were conducted at the United Lutheran church at Pigeon Falls Thursday afternoon with services from the home preceding the church services. Interment was in the church cemetery. The services were conducted by the Rev. C.K. Malmin, with sermonettes by the Rev. A.J. Oerke, who spoke in Norwegian, and the Rev. H.H. Knudsvig of Audubon, Minnesota, a brother-in-law of the deceased. The Rev. and Mrs. Malmin sang “Den Store Hvide Flok,” in Norwegian, accompanied by Mrs. A.J. Solboe, and Mrs. Sidney Melby sang, “A Mile of the Way,” with Miss Theola Waller accompanying. Pallbearers were Edward Erickson, Carl Klomsten, Ludwig Thompson, Robert Tomten, Clarence Kaas and Melvin Ackley. Four nieces, Gilma and Theola Waller and Julia and Gladys Holmen, carried flowers. Among those who came from a distance for the funeral were the Rev. and Mrs. H. H. Knudsvig of Audubon, Minnesota; Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Melby of Argyle, Minnesota, and Mr. and Mrs. A.M. Hendrickson and sons, Leonard and Ardell of Independence, Mrs. Melby, as Gurine Haugen, a daughter of Matheas and Guliana Haugen, was born in Gulbransdalen, Norway, February 15, 1866. When she was four years of age she came with her parents to the United States. The family lived for a short time in Dane county before settling in King’s Valley south of Osseo on the farm now occupied by Malcolm Haugen. She was married December 26, 1896, and has since her marriage, lived in the Town of Pigeon. She and her husband established their home in Pigeon Falls before moving to their present farm a short distance east of Pigeon Falls. A family of four sons were born to Mr. and Mrs. Melby. The eldest son, Roland Andrew, and Maurice John, who died in infancy, preceded her in death. Surviving are Sidney Monroe of Argyle, Minnesota and Marvin Gilbert at home. She is also survived by her husband; four sisters, Mr. Christina Waller of Osseo, Mrs. Albert (Clara) Fremstad of Pigeon Falls, Mrs. Rudolph (Jeanette) Holmen of the Town of Hale and Mrs. H.H. (Mollie) Knudsvig of Audubon, Minnesota; and two brothers, Anton and Malcomb Haugen of Osseo. She also leaves five grandchildren, Donna, Dorothy and Wallen Melby and Leonard and Ardell Hendrickson. THE WHITEHALL TIMES - FEBRUARY 6, 1941
ANDREW HALVERSEN MESSINGSTAD (VAALER, SOLAR)
Andrew Halversen Messingstad was born December 29, 1840 at Vaaler, Solar, Norway and died March 10, 1922 at the old home in Lakes Coulee. He was the third child of the family of Halvor and Olea Knudsen Messingstad. He was born in Norway and grew to manhood there. October 29, 1868, he was united in marriage to Olivia Mathia Skarderud by Rev. Sorenson. April 26, 1869 he and his wife and a number of friends left their homes and sailed for this country. They arrived May 28, at the home of Martin Hanson. Mr. Messingstad took up a homestead in Lakes Coulee a few weeks later. Being one of the first settlers he was forced to endure many of the pioneer hardships. Mr. Messingstad was a hard working ambitious man for home and church; having been a member of the First Lutheran Church for nearly 53 years. Mr. Messingstad had been failing in health for some time but was confined to his bed only a few days with the attack of appendicitis which caused his death. The funeral was held Wednesday March 15 from the home and the First Lutheran church with Rev. Urberg assisted by Rev. Boe officiating. His grandsons were pallbearers and five granddaughters carried the flowers. Those left to mourn the loss of a loving father and husband are his wife and the following children: Mrs. Marie Evenson of Eleva; Mrs. Anna Hancon, Olava, Oscar, Emma and Clara all of Blair. Three brothers and two sisters survive him, besides 18 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren and a large number of other relatives and other friends. THE BLAIR PRESS - MARCH 23, 1922
MRS. OLIVIA MESSINGSTAD (VAALER, SOLAR)
Olivia Marthea Skarderud, daughter of Ole Skarderud and Marthae Bergerson was born in Skaderud, Vaaler, Solar, Norway April 9, 1840. When about 20 years of age, she came to Rev. Sorenson’s in Vaaler to work and worked there until the time of her marriage to Andrew H. Messingstad of the Vaaler church on October 29th, 1868. She had three brothers and four sisters, one sister Mrs. Carrie Peterson of Portland, Oregon being the only other member of her family living. In April 1869 they came to America and stayed with Martin Hanson Skyrud for about six months before they located on the homestead in Lakes Coulee which has been their home since. Oscar, the only son, has charge of this farm now. Seven children were born to this union, five of whom live to mourn the loss of a good Christian mother. The children are: Mrs. Halver Evenson of Eleva; Mrs. M.O. Christopherson who died years ago; Mrs. Torval Hanson of Blair; Emma who died March 12, 1923 and Oscar, Clara and Olivia at home. She also leaves 18 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren to mourn her death. Mrs. Messingstad died March 17, 1923, and was buried in the First Lutheran church cemetery March 21 with Rev. Urberg in charge. Mrs. Messingstad had always been a faithful member of the Lutheran church and her influence upon her family made them all devout Christians. THE BLAIR PRESS - MARCH 29, 1923
ANTON O. MELBY (ASKIM, NORWAY) (2)
Anton O. Melby, president of the John O. Melby & Co. Bank, Whitehall, is one of the substantial figures in the financial stability of Trempealeau County. Connected with his present institution since 1888, he has worked his way to the top, and his personality and ability have been important factors in its success. He was born in Askim, Norway, January 1, 1858, the son of Ole Christianson and his good wife, Maria Olson, farming people, the former of whom died in 1871 and the latter in 1896. Of the six children in the family, three came to the United States and found their way directly to Ettrick in Trempealeau County, John O. arriving in 1869, Edward in 1871 and Anton O. in 1873. Upon reaching Ettrick Anton O. secured employment in the store of Iver Pederson, with whom he remained nearly six years. Then he spent nine years traveling. In January 1888, he came to Whitehall. In the fall of that year, when his brother, John O. opened his bank, Anton O. became assistant cashier. In 1894 he was made cashier, and in 1911 he was elevated to the duties of his present position. With all his busy life, he has found time for considerable public work, and has given excellent service as a member of the village council since 1894. He has been a member of the Odd Fellows since 1888. His religious affiliation is with the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he is a member of the official board as a trustee. Mr. Melby was married July 26, 1893, to Della E. Hazard, a school teacher of North Ferrisburg, Vermont who was born in 1865 and died in 1899, the daughter of Ezra and Caroline (Williams) Hazard. This union was blessed with three children: William H. who is engaged in the lumber business at De Smet, South Dakota; Sylvia M., who was graduated from the LaCrosse normal school in 1916 and is now teaching at Norwalk, Wisconsin and Edward C., who lives at North Ferrisburg, Vermont. June 11, 1903, Mr. Melby married Mrs. Mary E. (McKay) Shane of Modena, Wisconsin. HISTORY OF TREMPEALEAU COUNTY - 1917
CHARLES B. MELBY (WHITEHALL, WISCONSIN)
Charles B. Melby, financier and man of affairs, is one of the leading citizens of Trempealeau County. His wide experience has admirably fitted him for the onerous duties of the position he occupies in the community, and his influence has ever been used in behalf of progress of development. Every movement that has for its object the betterment of the county finds in him a warm friend, and busy though he is with his numerous business activities, he is finding time for considerable public service. Born in the village where he now lives, March 1, 1883, only son of John O. and Jennie L. (Beach) Melby, he was reared with the special end in view of some time assuming control of the extensive Melby holdings. He passed through the graded schools, and was graduated from the Whitehall high school with the Class of 1899 at the age of sixteen years. Then he attended Lawrence University at Appleton, Wisconsin for three years. In 1905 he became chief page in the House of Representatives at Washington, D.C., in which capacity he met nearly all of the men prominent in American public life. In the meantime he studied law at the George Washington University, graduating in 1907 with the degree of LL.B. Upon being admitted to the bar he took up the practice of his profession at Washington. April 1, 1909, he was called home to take the position of assistant cashier in his father’s bank. In July 1911, he was promoted to the office of cashier, which he still retains. In addition to his work in this connection, he is vice-president of the Bank of Eleva, and treasurer of the Central Trading Association of Whitehall. His financial holdings include stock in the new Ettrick & Northern Railroad Company, of which he has been an enthusiastic and loyal supporter. His public work has included service as a member of the school board and of the library board. War activities in the county have given him an unusual opportunity for effective help. The sale of the first Liberty Bond issue found in him an enthusiastic promotor, and the Defense League counts him among its most useful members. His decisions as a member of the exemption board have been marked by a discretion which has realized the full need of the government, and yet which has taken into due consideration all angles of local needs and local conditions. Of a fraternal disposition, he was a popular member of the Phi Delta Phi while at college and in the Masonic order he has passed through the chairs of the local lodge and has also joined the Chapter. Mr. Melby was married April 25, 1809 to Frances Gunby Bethune of Washington, D.C., born in Warrentown, Virginia, May 1, 1887, daughter of James A. Bethune, a Washington pharmacist, and of Narcissa Garrett Bethune. Mr. and Mrs. Melby have two children: John Bethune, born April 5, 1912, and Natalie Grayson, born January 15, 1915. HISTORY OF TREMPEALEAU COUNTY - 1917
JOHN O. MELBY (ASKIM, SMAALENENES AMT, NORWAY) (2)
John O. Melby, for many years a leader in the business, political and financial integrity of Trempealeau County, was born October 15, 1845, at Askim, Smaalesnenes Amt, Norway. He was reared to farm pursuits and received a common school education. As a young man he was employed for five years in a clerical position in Christiania and during this period attracted the favorable attention of several prominent citizens. But at the advice of his friends, who saw in the young clerk those talents which in after years were to be the foundation of his success, he determined to seek the wider opportunities of the new world. Accordingly farewell to his old associates, he embarked for America in 1869, and found his way to Omaha, Nebraska where he remained but a short time. Thence he came to LaCrosse, Wisconsin, where he was employed for a short time in the sawmills. It was in 1870 that he came to Ettrick, in this county, and secured work as a clerk in the general store of Iver Pederson, in whose employment he remained for five years. While a resident of that town he was elected to the office of town treasurer, a position he held for four years. His character as a man, his ability as an official, and his willingness to render services to his fellowmen whenever needed made him well known throughout the county, and in 1874 he was elected Registrar of Deeds of Trempealeau County, which office he held continuously until 1887. He was a conscientious official, and discharged the duties of his office with dignity and ability. Especially was his influence marked among his fellow countrymen, who, finding themselves in a new land with new laws and customs, constantly sought his competent advice. From 1887 to 1888 he was cashier of the Bank of Galesville, and it was upon retiring from this office that he entered upon his notable career as near the end of the latter year he began the operation of a private bank at Whitehall, which he conducted as such until 1894. In 1894 he organized a stock company and incorporated this as a state bank under the name of John O. Melby & Co. Bank. In 1906 the charter of this bank was extended and the capital stock increased to $50,000. He was president of this institution from its creation to the date of his death, June 12, 1909. The Time Banner, in summing up his life and work after his death said of him: (See obituary) Such encomiums but brief skim the surface of the real depths of his character, his worth and the meaning his life had on the community. He furnished backing for several financial and business institutions throughout the county; he encouraged many a worthy business enterprise that had a part in the up-building of Trempealeau County villages. In Whitehall there was scarcely any phase of the village’s activity in which he did not have a part. His benefactions were widespread, his hand was ever open. The blessing which the people of Whitehall will receive from the park which he and his wife presented to the village will increase yearly. Mr. Melby was especially happy in his domestic life, and in his home and family he took his greatest pride. At the beginning of his career November 3, 1875, he married Jennie L. Beach, at Ettrick, and her influence and encouragement were important factors in his success. Their home was brightened by five children. Two died in infancy. Kathryn F. is the wife of Judge Robert S. Cowie of Whitehall, Charles B. is cashier of the John O. Melby & Co. Bank of Whitehall, Marie A. is the wife of Harold W. Dawdy of Onalaska, Wisconsin. HISTORY OF TREMPEALEAU COUNTY - 1917
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