Olstad Martha Lena Mrs.
Olstad Ole O. Mrs.
Omlie Anna Mrs.
Omlie Ole F. Mrs.
Onsrud Andrine Mrs.
Onsrud Frank Mrs.
Onsrud Henry Mrs.
Onsrud Martin A.
Onsrud M.A. Mrs.
Onsrud Ole O.
Oppegaard John Mrs.
Oppengaard/Oppegaard John 2
Orke A.J. Rev.
Osley Anna Mrs.
Otterson Hans Magnus
Otterson Hans (Anna) Mrs.
Otterson Martin Mrs.
Otterson Oluf J.
Otterson Olaf Mrs.
Overby Halvor Helgeson
Overby Peter Mr. & Mrs.
MARY OTTERSON (JACKSON COUNTY, WISCONSIN)
Mrs. Mary Otterson, who would have been 100 years old January 1, died on October 27, 1962 at 12:15 am. Saturday at Tri-County Memorial Hospital, Whitehall, where she had been a patient since Thursday. Mrs. Otterson, the former Mary Oakland, was born January 1, 1863 in Jackson county, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Osmund Oakland. She married Olaf Otterson April 7, 1881 in Back River Falls, and following their marriage they lived for a time at Elbow Lake, Minnesota. In 1893 they returned to Wisconsin and farmed near Melrose, where they were living when Mr. Otterson died in 1909. In 1918 Mrs. Otterson purchased a home in Blair and made her home with a daughter, Mrs. Nettie Anderson, who is 82. She worked eighteen successive seasons in the former Blair Canning Co., plant. She remained in Blair until a year ago, when she moved to Minneapolis to live with another daughter, Mrs. Amanda Larkin. She was hospitalized in Minneapolis from February to May, when she was transferred to Krohn Hospital in Black River Falls. Since August, she had been residing at the Golden Age Home in Whitehall. She had been a patient only several days in the Whitehall hospital when death came. She was the last survivor of a family of nine children. Mrs. Otterson is survived by 95 descendants - three daughters, Mrs. Anderson, Blair; Mrs. Larkin, Minneapolis; and Mrs. Carl (Mabel) Peterson, LaCrosse; and 15 grandchildren, 54 great-grandchildren and 23 great-great-grandchildren. Funeral services were held 2 p.m. Tuesday at Faith Lutheran church, North Beaver Creek, the Rev. E.E. Olson officiating. Burial was in the church cemetery. Frederixon Funeral Chapel was in charge of the arrangements. Pallbearers were six grandson: Julian and Harold Larkin, Black River Falls; and Richard, Arland, Robert and Wallace Peterson, LaCrosse. SOURCE - FAMILY SCRAP BOOK - Researching this family is Cindi Anderson
OLUF J. OTTERSON (ELVERUM)
Oluf J. Otterson was born in Elverum, Norway, March 13, 1853, and died at his farm home in Shake Hollow on Friday, August 20th, 1909, aged 51 years, 5 months and 7 days. He had been an invalid for nearly eleven years, but his condition did not becoming alarming until last September since which time he has been confined to his bed, and gradually failed until death came as a relief to his suffering. The cause of death was diabetes. He was married Aril 8, 1881, at Black River Falls, Wisconsin, to Mary Oakland To this union six children were born, two dying in infancy, the remaining four, Mrs. Eddie Anderson, Mrs. Andrew Larkin, Misses Mabel and Agnes Otterson, are left with the sorrowing widow to mourn the loss of a kind, loving husband and father. The funeral services were held on Monday, August 23rd with a brief prayer service at his late home, at the North Beaver Creek church at 2 pm., Rev. Gulbrandson, of Blair officiating. Burial took place in the cemetery near the church. F.H.Smith, of this village, had charge of funeral arrangements. SOURCE - FAMILY SCRAP BOOK - Researching this family Cindi Anderson
TALLA ONSTOTT (BLAIR, WISCONSIN)
Talla (Tillie) Emelia (Dahl) (Bullis) Onstott, daughter of Torval and Emma Dahl, passed away at a Dallas, Texas hospital on December 23rd, 1973. She was born in rural Blair, Wisconsin on September 16, 1901. She married James A. Bullis whom she later divorced. She married Byron C. (“B.C.”) Onstott in October 1937 in Kanasas. Mr. Onstott was born March 15, 1893 in Wichita, Kansas. A Dallas resident 30 years, she was a member of Oak Cliff Lutheran Church. Survivors include her husband, B.C. Onstott; daughter, Mrs. Ralph Coleman of Fort Smith, Arkansas and three brothers, Clarence Dahl of Tacoma, Washington and Edward T. of LaCrosse and Palmer of Taylor. Her parents, one sister and one brother preceded her in death. Funeral services were held December 26th at Oak Cliff Lutheran Church in Dallas, Texas. Burial was in Laurel Land Cemetery. SOURCE - FAMILY RECORDS
Researching this family - Ellen Rigsby
MRS. OLE F. OMLIE (TELEMARK)
Mrs. Ole F. Omlie of Larkin Valley died June 8 at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Morris Grasberg. Mrs. Omlie was born in Telemarken, Norway April 8, 1836. She was 84 years and two months of age at the time of her death. She is survived by her husband, one daughter, Mrs. Morris Grasberg, and four sons: Tom, Gilbert, Alex and Ole. Funeral services were held Saturday from the First Lutheran church, Rev. Urberg officiating. THE BLAIR PRESS - JUNE 16, 1921
MRS. OLE O. OLSTAD (NESS)
In Ness Paa, Hedemarken, Norway, February 9, 1851, a daughter Elise was born to the parents Johan Hanson Lottemyren and Severeine Pedersdatter. Six months later the young father died, leaving the 19-year-old mother and babe alone. At the age of six the child went to live with her maternal grandparents, Peder and Anna Erickson. Here she received an excellent education and religious training which enriched her whole lifetime. She was baptized by the Reverend Borkvin and confirmed by him in 1865 in Ness kirke. With her grandparents, she earned efficiency in all household duties, including spinning, weaving and knitting. She also learned to help with outdoor tasks and to row a boat across the Mjosen to Hamar. Their home, Skvora, was on the Greffsing gaard. Often she spoke of the beautify of the large trees and her grandmother’s flower garden seen from the hillside, was a colorful sight. The subject of this sketch, when she got her own home, had gardens and flowers that called forth the admiration of all who saw them. When 16 years old, she left this happy home to go to Oslo (then Christiania) to make her own living. Four years later, more at the wish of her mother than her own, she joined her and her children to come to America, whither her stepfather, Bulbran Boreson Brown had gone some time before. They came by sailing boat to Quebec, then by railroad to LaCrosse, where they were met by Mr. Brown and his sister, Mrs. Karen Mathison. Soon the young Elise found work in LaCrosse. While on a boat trip with her employers near Dubuque, Iowa, the boiler on the boat exploded. Her employer and several other persons were killed. She was saved from drowning but was badly burned, leaving large scars for life. At LaCrosse she met Ole O. Olstad, who was born December 17, 1842, at Nordre Olstadgard, Gausdal, Gulbransdalen, Norway. She was married to him November 16, 1873. For more than a year they lived at LaCrosse, coming to Trempealeau County in February 1875. For a part of a year, they lived on what is now the Lunde farm, after which they bought the farm across the road from John Klungseth. There they lived out their lives, or more than 64 years. They found contentment and happiess here but also the many cares that greeted the early pioneers. Only their courage and their faith carried them ever forward. Not all crops that they planted were harvested. Hailstorms and chinch bugs caused many losses. Their first corn crop was planted the year that had frost in every month. In the winter months the mother would help out with her spinning and knitting. Her fine hand sewing was always in demand. In the year 1888, after crop failures and the loss of their first team, the father bade his wife and young son be brave and one New Year’s Eve walked to Fairchild to work through the winter months in the woods. This turned out to be the winter of the most snow and cold known to this country. Often she spoke of the winter Ole was in the woods. They were among the charter members of the West Beef River church, with whose activities, Mrs. Olstad was very active in earlier years. When her daughter-in-law, Ida Kenyon Olstad, passed away, she took her step-granddaughter and reared her. Ole Olstad died suddenly February 17, 1906 and after this she led a very secluded life. Her only son, Peter, who was ready to leave the following day to return to Alaska, gave up his plans, took up the farm duties, and remained with his mother in fulfillment of her great wish not to live apart and not to move from the farm. Mrs. Olstad had nine half-brothers and sisters younger than herself, all of whom preceded her in death. Karen, Gunda and Johanes died in childhood in Norway; the three youngest, Sofie, Caroline and Gulbran, in the diphtheria epidemic in this country; Beatah (Mrs. Olous Anderson); Agnette (Mrs. Bernt Mathsion), in young womanhood; and Peter Brown of Osseo, who passed away May 25, 1940 at the age of 82 years and six months. The friends Elise Olstad made were friends for life; those who had known her the longest loved her the most which was demonstrated by all the kindness shown her in her declining years by those nearest and those that were far away. She appreciated greatly these loyal friends. In 1928 after an attack of the flu, followed by severe ear complications, her health gradually failed and from year to year she had to give up some of her ambitious work. At the age of 85 she still had the vitality to recover from a hard siege of pneumonia and was able to sit up for short intervals until a year and four months ago, when she became helpless. But as sight, hearing and strength failed, she gained patience accordingly. Nevertheless, she grew more and more tired and longed to go home. On June 11, as the sun sank low in the west, she folded her hands and passed quietly away at the age of 89 years, four months and two days. Funeral services were held June 15 at 1:30 p.m. at the home and 2 o’clock at the West Beef River church, conducted by the Rev. N.A. Berntson. At the home service, the pastor sang “Beautiful Saviour” and gave the Lord’s Prayer in Norwegian, as he had done so many times for her in life. At the church Ovid Berg sang “Abide With Me” and Mmes. J.G. and Alvin Strand sang “Den Store Hvide Flok.” There were hymns by those gathered for the last rites and the Rev. Berntson read the words of “Bedere kan jek ikke fare, end at fare til men Gud” one of her favorite hymns. Many memorials and beautiful flowers were given by her many friends and relatives. The pallbearers were Harry Peterson, George Isom, Martin Myhers, Gustav Johnson, Iver Peterson and Edwin Anderson, all sons of her old friends. She was laid to rest in the church cemetery by the side of her husband after more than 34 years of widowhood. Peacefully sleeping, resting at last, Earth’s weary trials and suffering past.” THE WHITEHALL TIMES - JUNE 27, 1940
MRS. MARTHA LENA OLSTAD (STAVANGER)
Martha Lena Johnson was born in Stavanger, Norway, on August 10, 1866. She came with her parents John and Helga Johnson to America when she was one year old. They established their home in Curran Valley. In 1885 she was united in marriage to Lars Olstad, who preceded her in death in 1932. She died February 7, 1945 at the age of 79, at her home in Curran Valley. Eight children mourn her loss, namely, Amanda, Mrs. Martin Hagen; Nettie, Mrs. Andrew Lien; Lillie, Mrs. Severe Eide; Myrtle, Mrs. Henry Eide; Esther, Mrs. Juel Nelson, and Norman, Joseph and Henry Olstad. They all live in this vicinity. Two daughters died in infancy. She leaves 21 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. Two grandsons, Orville Olstad and James Lien are in the services. Three sisters also survive, Mrs. Julia Knutson, Centerville, South Dakota; Mrs. Minnie Mortvedt, Vermillion, South Dakota; and Mrs. Fred Iverson, Irene, South Dakota; and two brothers, Oscar and Joseph Johnson of Irene, South Dakota. Four brothers and one sister have preceded her in death. Funeral services were held Saturday afternoon February 10 at 1:00 at the home and at 2:00 at the Curran Valley church, Rev. Hatlem of Taylor officiating. The pallbearers were six grandsons, Lester Hagen, Sherman, Ardell and Merlin Eide, Arnold Lien and Woodroof Lokken. Two granddaughters, Evangeline Olstad and Doris Eide carried flowers. THE BLAIR PRESS - FEBRUARY 15, 1945
MRS. ANNA OMLIE (NORWAY)
Funeral services were held Saturday afternoon at the Methodist church in Melrose for Mrs. Anna Omlie, 89, who died May 14, 1963 at a nursing home in Black River Falls. The Rev. K.M. Urberg of Blair officiated and burial was in the Melrose cemetery. Mrs. Omlie was born in Norway July 24, 1874 and came to the United States as a child. She married Tom Omlie at Winchester, Wisconsin in 1890 and they lived for some time in Blair. Survivors include two sons, Gilbert of Havre, Montana; and Arnold of Milwaukee; three daughters, Mrs. Edna Anderson of Fergus Falls, Minnesota; Mrs. Ida Cody and Mrs. Alice Kiedrowski, both of Milwaukee; 22 grandchildren and 52 great-grandchildren. Preceding her in death were her husband, who died in 1949 and four children, Oscar and Agnes, who died as infants, Henry, who died in 1958 and Evelyn, who died March 14, of this year. Pallbearers were Dudley Spaulding, Royce Mibright, Selmer Nelson, Merlin Olson, Glenn Button and Clarence Roseland, all of Melrose. Mrs. Spencer Sacia was soloist, accompanied by Mrs. Francis Heller. THE BLAIR PRESS - MAY 23, 1963
MRS. ANDRINE ONSRUD (BIRI)
Mrs. Andrine Onsrud was born in Biri, Norway, December 22, 1839. In 1857, she with her parents, Amon and Agnetta Amundson, came to America. In 1862 she was married to Ole Onsrud. This union was blessed with five children: Alfred, residing in Spokane, Washington; Amos, dead 1907; Henry and Frank, residing in the Town of Arcadia and Orin, dead 1904. Mrs. Onsrud has been a resident of the French Creek settlement and congregation since 1865. She was an intelligent woman, a devoted wife, a kind mother and a helpful neighbor. The adversities of life she bore with Christian fortitude. The last six years of her life she made her home with her son, Frank, where she received the best of care. She was practically helpless the last year or so. Mrs. Frank Onsrud proved an indispensable nurse. Mrs. Andrine Onsrud breathed her last on Monday, the 27th of last month. She was buried beside her husband in the French Creek cemetery on Wednesday, September 29. All who knew Mrs. Onsrud unite in saying: Blessed be her memory. Reprinted from the Ettrick Advance. THE WHITEHALL TIMES - OCTOBER 14, 1926
MRS. FRANK ONSRUD (EISVALD)
As briefly announced in our last week’s issue, the death of Mrs. Frank Onsrud occurred at her home on Oak Ridge, Town of Arcadia, Saturday morning, May 31, after an illness of several months. Ragna Stefina Lund, the daughter of Christian and Martha Lund, was born at Eisvald, Norway, January 27, 1874. While yet quite young, she came to this country with her family, who located in the French Creek Valley, Trempealeau County, Wisconsin. Here she grew to womanhood and on December 7, 1898, was united in marriage with Mr. Frank Onsrud. They at once went to housekeeping on the latter’s farm on Oak Ridge where she has resided ever since. Deceased was a woman of a kindly disposition making friends wherever she went. She was an efficient home community worker and took a leading part in all of the social activities in the Oak Ridge community as long as her health permitted. She was a true and loving wife and mother and an exemplary neighbor. Her home was ever open to the stranger who might come her way and her hospitable nature made her home the popular gathering place of the community. She endeavored to practice the noble virtues of love and righteousness and set a splendid example in these virtues to her children. That such a noble life should be cut short when her friends had hoped that she should have been spared for a ripe old age, is a great loss not only to the family but to the community in which she lived. Besides her sorrowing husband, Mrs. Onsrud, leaves three children, Joseph, Myrtle and Ruth, and two grandchildren, Bobby and Betty Onsrud, all at home. She also leaves an aged mother, Mrs. Christian Lund in French Creek; two sisters, Helga, at home, and Mrs. O. Peterson of Black River Falls, and one brother, Alec of French Creek, to mourn her demise. The funeral was held at the French Creek Lutheran church, of which she was a devout member on Tuesday, June 3rd. Rev. Olson conducted the last sad rites and a large concourse of friends and relatives attended. Interment of the remains was made in the French Creek cemetery. To the bereaved husband, children and other relatives, we express our sincere sympathy in their hour of bereavement. May the deceased rest in peace. Among those from a distance who attended the funeral were Hulda Skundberg of St. Paul; Mr. and Mrs. Milan Skundberg, William Skundberg, Mr. and Mrs. Orrin Onsrud, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Onsrud, Mr. and Mrs. C.B. Lund and Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Gilberg of LaCrosse; Mr. and Mrs. George Berger, Mrs. Anton Berger, Mr. and Mrs. Christ Carlson, Minnie Carlson and Christ Olson of Melrose; Mr. and Mrs. O. Peterson of Black River Falls; Mr. and Mrs. Ellis Amundson and Mrs. George Amundson of Bloomer; Mrs. Ada Emberson of Eau Claire; Mr. and Mrs. O.B. Tollefson, Mr. and Mrs. Ed Emerson, Mrs. Ella Tollefson, Mrs. John Thompson, John Emerson and Mr. and Mrs. Braatberg of Eleva. THE WHITEHALL TIMES - JUNE 19, 1930
MARTIN A. ONSRUD (BIRI)
Funeral services were held Friday for Martin A. Onsrud, 75, who died at his home in French Creek Tuesday morning following a long illness. He was born June 24, 1860 in Biri, Norway. He came to America with his pioneer parents, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Onsrud, at the age of two. The family settled first near Westby, and three years later came to the French Creek valley. For seventy years he had been a resident of the Ettrick community where he was occupied with farming. On May 25, 1886, he was united in marriage to Kristine Anderson. He is survived by two sons, Alfred and Emil; three daughters, Mrs. Albert Hogden, Mrs. Julius Johnson and Mrs. William Hardie of North Bend and 18 grandchildren. Two sisters preceded him in death. His wife died in 1933. Funeral services were held Friday at the home and at the French Creek Lutheran church, Rev. Johan Olsen officiating. Burial was made in the French Creek cemetery. THE BLAIR PRESS - JUNE 25, 1936
MRS. HENRY ONSRUD (NORWAY)
Funeral services were held Saturday for Mrs. Henry Onsrud, 77, of Oak Ridge, who died Tuesday at her home, after an illness of one week’s duration. As Elsie Mattison, she was born October 2, 1876 in Norway, the daughter of Johan and Johanna Mattison. She was married in 1896 to Henry Onsrud, and the couple farmed on Oak Ridge, between Ettrick and Arcadia. Survivors include her husband; four sons, Orrin of West Salem; Melvin who operates the home farm; Clarence at the veterans hospital in St. Cloud, Minnesota; and Amund of Galesville; four daughters, Mrs. George Gilbertson of Indianapolis, Indiana; Mrs. Clyde Hoover of Grove Port, Ohio; Mrs. Gilbert Rich of Venice, California; and Mrs. Christian Lebakken of Brandon, Wisconsin; 19 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Four sons preceded her in death. Services were held at French Creek Lutheran church at 2 pm. Saturday with the Rev. Luther Keay officiating. Burial was in the French Creek cemetery. THE BLAIR PRESS - APRIL 8, 1954
MRS. M.A. ONSRUD (SONDRE LAND)
Funeral services were held Friday for Mrs. M.A. Onsrud, who died at her home at French Creek, Tuesday evening, October 17, 1933 of heart trouble. Mrs. Onsrud had been a sufferer with heart disease for the past six years, but was seriously ill only a few weeks. Kristine Anderson was born February 19, 1860 at Sondre Land, Norway, the daughter of Anders Iverson and Marit Gjierde Iverson, both of Sondre Land. She was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith. She came to America at the age of 23 and has lived in the vicinity of Ettrick for fifty years. On May 25, 1886, she was united in marriage to Martin A. Onsrud, by the late Rev. G.A. Lunde at the French Creek Lutheran church. All of her married life has been spent on the Onsrud homestead. She is survived by her husband; two sisters, Mrs. Anna Brenengan of Norway and Mrs. Nekolina Anderson of Pigeon Falls; five children, Nora (Mrs. Albert Hogden), Alfred, Emil, Mabel (Mrs. Julius Johnson), all of Ettrick and Alice (Mrs. William Hardie) of North Bend; 18 grandchildren. Four sisters and six brothers in Norway preceded her in death. Mrs. Onsrud was a devout Christian, active in church work and faithful to her belief until death. Shortly before she left this earth she expressed a wish to depart for the Heavenly Home prepared by her Saviour, for faithful believers. She was of kindly disposition, quiet and unassuming, a loving wife and mother, always considerate of her many friends. Funeral services were held Friday afternoon, at 1:30 from the French Creek Lutheran church, the Rev. Johan Olsen officiating. Pallbearers were Martin Nelsestuen, Julius Nelsestuen, Hans Syverson, Louis Hogden and Hans Iverson. Honorary pallbearers were John Iverson of Pleasantville and Andrew Michaelson. Burial took place in the French Creek cemetery. Among out of town people who were here for the funeral were: Mr. and Mrs. Christian Anderson and John Anderson of Pigeon Falls, John Iverson and five daughters, Christian Iverson and Helmer Iverson, all of Pleasantville, and Mr. and Mrs. A.P. Ofsdahl and Mrs. T.P. Nelsestuen of Whitehall. THE BLAIR PRESS - OCTOBER 25, 1933
JOHN OPPEGAARD (GULBRANDSDALEN)
John Oppegaard, 85, died last Wednesday at his home here. Funeral services were held Saturday at Living Hope Lutheran church. The Rev. Mark M. Ronning officiated and burial was in the Ettrick cemetery. Oppegaard was born May 14, 1887 in Gulbrandsdal, Norway, and came to the United States in 1901. He returned to Norway after two years and then came here in 1905. He married Annette Christianson in Norway August 17, 1903. For many years he was a blacksmith and implement dealer here. Surviving are one son, Kolbjorn, Blair; a daughter, Mrs. Lewis (Gerda) Sander, Ettrick three grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. THE BLAIR PRESS - NOVEMBER 8, 1962
MRS. JOHN OPPEGAARD (LEIR)
Mrs. Jon Oppegaard passed away at the Lutheran hospital at LaCrosse, March 15th, after suffering a long period with internal goiter. Annetta Christianson was born in Leir, Norway, October 9, 1873, and in the vicinity of her birthplace she was reared to womanhood. The deceased was united in marriage to John Oppegaard August 7, 1904 in Norway and the following year they came to this village to make their future home. Two children were born to this union namely, Kolbjorn 17 years and Gerda 15 years, both to mourn the loss of a kind mother. The deceased was a model mother and wife. Aside from her family interests, she was an ardent worker in all social affairs. She was active in all Red Cross roll calls and the local Lutheran Ladies Aid Society will greatly feel the loss of an efficient helper. Her glory and honors were in her own home and the helping of others less fortunate. She was a firm believer in the Lutheran church and the basis of this was the Golden Rule by which she daily conducted herself. Funeral services were held Tuesday and after a few consoling words well expressed by the Rev. Urberg, the remains were quietly laid to rest in the Ettrick cemetery. THE ETTRICK ADVANCE - MARCH 23, 1923
THOMAS OSLIE (NORWAY)
Funeral services were held Saturday for Tobias Oslie, 75, who died Wednesday, September 26, 1934, following an operation at a LaCrosse hospital. Mr. Oslie was born in Norway, January 15, 1859, the son of Lars and Toneta Oslie. He came with his parents to America before he was two years of age, and had lived in the South Beaver Creek community ever since, where he had been engaged in farming. In 1881 he was married at New Amsterdam to Anna Severson of Council Bay. He is survived by his wife; a son, Louis, on the home farm; a daughter, Mrs. Helmer Christianson, of Stensven Coulee; five sisters, Mrs. O.E. Peterson, Mrs. Peter Peterson, Mrs. Sever Sagen, all of Onalaska, Mrs. Gerald Ingelstad of LaCrosse and Mrs. Anton Herstad of Pensacola, Florida. There are three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Four sisters and a brother preceded him in death. Funeral services were held last Saturday afternoon at the South Beaver Creek church, the Rev. Johan Olsen officiating. Burial was made in the South Beaver Creek cemetery. THE ETTRICK ADVANCE - OCTOBER 5, 1934
MRS. ANNA OSLEY (NORWAY)
Mrs. Anna Osley, 83, died Monday evening at the home of her son, Lewis in South Beaver Creek. She had been in failing health for some time. She was born in Norway, February 11, 1863, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Iver Severson. At the age of eight, she came to America with her parents who settled first in Minnesota and then at Council Bay near Holmen. In 1881 she was married to Tobias Osley and the couple took up farming, first in Hardies Creek and then at Council Bay. Fifty-three years ago they came to the present Lewis Osley home in the South Beaver Creek Valley. Mr. Osley died September 25, 1934. Survivors include two brothers, Carl Severson of Holmen and Samuel of Onalaska; two sisters, Mrs. Tillie Osley and Mrs. Alfred Berger of LaCrosse; a son, Lewis on the home farm; a daughter, Mrs. Helmer Christianson of Stensven Coulee; three grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Funeral services were held Wednesday at the home and at South Beaver Creek Lutheran church with the Rev. H.O. Aasen officiating. Burial was in South Beaver Creek cemetery. THE BLAIR PRESS - JUNE 13, 1946
HANS MAGNUS OTTERSON (ELVERUM)
Hans Magnus Otterson, an old and highly respected pioneer of the vicinity, passed away at his old home in the Town of Curran last week, the cause of his sudden death being apoplexy. Mr. Otterson was born in Elverum, Norway, May 3, 1833. He died January 13, 1920, at the home of his daughter, Miss Hilda Hanson, to whom he willed the old homestead some years ago. On December 27, 1858 he was united in marriage to Miss Anna Olson. This marriage took place in Norway where they remained until April 25th, 1868, when they left Norway to seek their home and fortune in the United States. They resided one year in Vosse Coulee after which they took up the homestead which has been their home. Reprinted from the Taylor Herald. THE BLAIR PRESS - JANUARY 29, 1920
This family is being researched by Cindi Anderson
OSTEN OSTENSON (KVINHERRED, HARDANGER)
One of the oldest residents of the community passed away at the home of his son, Theodore Austin in Larkin Valley, early Friday morning, September 24, 1926. He has passed his 88th milestone in June. A man of sterling character, an asset to the community of whom it was said that he was a true Israelite in whom there was no guile. Osten Ostenson was born in the Kvinherred Parish, Hardanger, Norway, June 6, 1835. He emigrated to America in 1866. The first ten years were spent at Black River Falls. Here he met and married Maren Gunderson in 1873. Their happy married life covered a period of 39 years. His wife while out driving was thrown from the buggy on a bad stretch of road in such manner that she met instant death the 28th of July 1912. In 1876 a farm was purchased in Reynolds Coulee which was his home up to three years ago when he moved with his son, Theodore to the farm in Larkin Valley. The first years of his residence here he was employed the time he could spare from the farm as a cooper in Blair. He was man of strong vitality and in possession of unimpaired mental faculties up to the hour of his death. He was a member of the Zion Lutheran church during his long residence in the county, an earnest professing Christian, industrious and upright in every way and well beloved by all who came in contact with him. Of his children two have passed away, one in infancy and the other, the oldest of the family died at 20 years of age. Those who survive are Gunder, Havelock, North Dakota Theodore at home Martin, North Dakota; Mrs. Lena Lund, Davenport, North Dakota; Mrs. Tillie Broom, Ingomar, Montana; Mrs. Stena Kennedy, California; Oscar, Audubon, Minnesota and Albert, Hill City, Minnesota. Funeral services were held Monday, September 27th at the home at 2 p.m. and at Zion church. The pastor Rev. Sweger officiated. THE BLAIR PRESS - SEPTEMBER 30, 1926
MRS. HANS (ANNA) OTTERSON (ELVERUM)
Mrs. Anna Otterson, an aged and respected pioneer of Curran Valley, passed away at the home of her daughter, Hilda Hanson, early Friday morning, January 2, 1925. Deceased recently celebrated her 88th birthday and for a person of such advanced age has been enjoying fairly good health. Death came quietly and was the result of the infirmities of old age. During her declining years, she has been tenderly cared for by her daughter, Hilda, to whom the old homestead was willed a few year prior to the death of Mr. Otterson, which occurred January 13, 1920. Mrs. Otterson, whose maiden name was Miss Anna Olson, was born at Elverum, Norway, November 24, 1836. She was united in marriage to Hans Magnus Otterson, December 27, 1858, in Norway. They remained in Norway until April 26, 1868 when they left their fatherland to seek their home and fortune in the United States. When first arriving here, they settled in what is now Vosse Coulee but a year later took up a homestead in Curran Valley which was their home until they passed away. By hard work and self-sacrifice, they built up a fine home. Ten children were born to them, three of whom are now living, namely: Mrs. Augusta Hanson of Appleton, Minnesota; Martin Hanson of Taylor and Miss Hilda Hanson of Curran Valley, who now resides on the old homestead. She is also survived by nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. In the death of Mrs. Otterson we again see the passing away of one of the pioneers and builders of this community. Their early life here was spent in struggle and privations but by their undaunted spirit and hard labor the present generation is enjoying the privilege of living in a progressive community. After a long, busy and useful life she died as she had lived - honored, trusted and loved. She reared her own monument while she lived, in the hearts of all who knew her. Her life was completed if work all done and well done constitutes completion. She had a true Christian life from beginning to end, and through all the visitudes and sorrows that she met in the way, her faith in God never wavered. But she had left us and today the winter snows fall upon another grave that hides from our sight all that is mortal of a true and noble woman. None ever entered her home without a warm welcome nor left without feeling the warmth of a genuine hospitality, so characteristic of the early pioneers and people of her ancestry. Disease did not destroy the charm of a kind indulgent disposition, nor old age diminish her unselfish solicitude for her friends and loved ones. Adhering to the faith of her fathers, she united with the Lutheran church in early life and loved to attend services when health permitted. While she has continued to enjoy the society of friends and children, she has for several years realized that her active life was over and with resignation awaited the Divine from death unto life. Funeral services were held Monday afternoon. SOURCE AND DATE UNKNOWN
This family is being researched by Cindi Anderson
OLUF OTTERSON (ELVERUM)
Oluf Otterson was born Elverum, Norway, March 23, 1864. He emigrated with parents Otter and Johanna Olson in 1875 to America. Their first home was with a brother on the present T.B. Thompson farm in Lakes Coulee, where they remained two years. They purchased the present Ed Otterson farm which has passed from father to son for three generations. Oluf was baptized by Rev. Gloerson in the Elverum church and confirmed in the Trempealeau Valley church by Rev. Anders Lobber in the fall of 1878. He was united in marriage at the Fenny church by the Rev. Thorstein Himle to Bertha Benson September 7, 1892. They took up their residence on the Otterson farm on the ridge between Trump Coulee and Beaver Creek where they farmed until 1925. Before and after marriage, Oluf worked a total of sixteen winters in the lumber camps of the Wisconsin woods. In 1925 the family moved to Blair and took up residence in the house now owned by Martin Mikkelson. After two years the present home was purchased where they have resided ever since. Mrs. Otterson’s health had begun to fail on the farm and March 15, 1928, she passed away, a loss that was mostly keenly felt. Mr. Otterson had suffered from some years but was unusually active and energetic for his age and continued about his daily tasks until the Friday morning before his death. He passed into the Beyond early Tuesday morning, January 28, 1936 at 5:40 lacking two months of 72 years of age, the cause of death was pneumonia with a heart complication. He leaves to mourn his departure the following children, whose best interests lay strong upon his heart even to the end: Oscar, Blair; Edwin, on the home farm; John on the farm adjoining; Mrs. Lee Mathson (Alma), Blair; Omer, Agnes and Berthilda at the home in Blair. Besides the above mentioned, Tillman Arneson was taken into the home upon his mothers death and raised by the Ottersons. There are 20 grandchildren. Only one sister of a family of nine survive, Mrs. Sever Severson (Thea) of Independence. Mr. Otterson has been a member of the Beaver Creek congregation for 40 years, serving several years as trustee and district treasurer. He had also served as treasurer of the local school district many years. He was a man of untiring industry, faithful in the discharge of every business dealing, a valuable asset to his community. He dearly loved his home and children and by his passing leaves a large and empty place. Funeral services were conducted at the home at 1:30 and at the Zion Lutheran church at 2 p.m. by his pastor, Rev. T.E. Sweger, Friday, January 31. Interment was made beside his wife in the Trempealeau Valley cemetery. THE BLAIR PRESS - FEBRUARY 6, 1936
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CARSTEN OTTERSON (ELVERUM)
Carsten Otterson was born in Elverum, Norway, January 15, 1863. He emigrated with his parents to America in 1866. The family made their home in Lakes Coulee, Trempealeau County, Wisconsin until 1879 when they moved to Elbow Lake, Minnesota. Thirty years ago Mr. Otterson came back to Trempealeau County and had resided in this village ever sine. The past ten years he had made his home with Mr. and Mrs. Will Johnson in Shake Hallow. He died of heart failure Friday morning, May 31, 1929. Funeral services were held Monday, June 3rd at the Beaver Creek church, Rev. Sweger officiating Mr. Otterson never married. He leaves a brother, John Otterson in California; two sisters, Mrs. Swen Olson, Elbow Lake, Minnesota and Theodore Rogne, Brandon, Minnesota. THE BLAIR PRESS - JUNE 6, 1929
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HALVOR HELGESON OVERBY (KVITESEID)
Halvor Helgeson Overby was born on December 10, 1821 in Kvidesa Prestyel Telemarken, Norway, and died at the home of his son, Knute, near Blair, Wisconsin on November 10, 1915, aged 93 years and 11 months. In 1848 he was married to Miss Asloug Knutson, with whom he lived happily until her death about thirty years ago. This union was blessed with four children - two sons and two daughters, all of whom survive. They are Henry of Kratka, Minnesota; Mrs. Tilda Christianson, Mrs. Sarah Drangstveit and Knute, all of this county. In 1858 they came to America aboard a sail ship, putting in nine weeks on the water. Arriving in this country they first located in Racine County where they resided for two years, moving from there to this county, locating on the place now owned by his son, Knute. In 1864 he enlisted in the Infantry of Wisconsin Volunteers, 12th Regiment, Company I., serving until the close of the war. Mr. Helgeson, coming here in the early days, was instrumental in building up the community and always worked for the betterment of things, not only to his personal gain, but for the good of the community in general. He was instrumental in having the church at Trempealeau Valley erected, that being the only church in this county at that time. Prior to the erection of the church there, services were held in Sever Johson’s barn. Funeral services were held from the Trempealeau Valley church last Friday, Rev. Boe officiating. A large number of friends and relatives were present to pay their last tribute of respect to one of Trempealeau County’s oldest and highly respected citizens. THE BLAIR PRESS - NOVEMBER 18, 1915
PETER OTTESTAD (STANGE, HEDMARK)
Peter Ottestad was born the 15th of July, 1850, in Stange, Hedmarken, Norway. He was married to Ingeborg Johannsdatter September 22 1875 and came to America in 1880, lived in Eau Claire until 1883, when he bought a farm in the Town of Hale. Mr. Ottestad was one of the strong and sturdy Vikings that was not afraid to work. He cleaned and built up the farm and made a nice and comfortable home for his family. Eight years ago he moved to Osseo and built a nice home and lived there until his death. He died April 27, 1926, from a stroke. He lived about two hours after the stroke. He leaves to mourn his death his wife and four children, Carl and Peter of Hale, Even of Springfield, Idaho and Mrs. R.A. Nelson of Minneapolis; and eight grandchildren. He was a kind and loving husband and father. Mrs. Ottestad has been an invalid for several years and he cared for her in a remarkable manner. He will be sorely missed by her, also by his children and many friends and neighbors. The funeral was held Saturday, May 1, from the home and Hale church. The remains were laid to rest in the Hale cemetery, Rev. O.C. Aune officiating. Many beautiful floral offerings were given, which proved that he was highly esteemed by many. A large number of people followed him to his last resting place. THE WHITEHALL TIMES - MAY 5, 1926
MRS. MARTIN OTTERSON (ELVERUM)
Mrs. Martin Otterson passed away very suddenly and peacefully at her home in Beaver Creek on Friday evening, November 11th, 1921 after an illness of only four days duration. She was 76 years and 10 months old. She leaves to mourn four children: Mrs. W.H. Andrues of Toledo, Ohio; Mrs. R.W. Kniss of Rock Rapids, Iowa; Mrs. Julius Iverson of Minot, North Dakota; and Mrs. J. Miller of Minneapolis. Five children and her husband preceded her to the Great Beyond, Mr. Otterson having died four years before. She leaves to mourn her death one grandson, Henry Svenson, who was left motherless when a little child of six months, who made his home with his grandparents. Mrs. Otterson was born in Elverum, Norway, January17, 1845. She became the bride of Martin Otterson in 1866. They came to America in 1880 and resided in our community up to the time of her death. She is greatly mourned by many relatives and friends. She was patient and contented. Her remains were laid to rest in the Beaver Creek Lutheran cemetery. THE BLAIR PRESS - NOVEMBER 17, 1921
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MR. AND MRS. PETER OVERBY (VAALER, SOLAR)
Two long time residents of Blair were brought home for interment in the Zion cemetery Tuesday. Peter Oveby and his wife, Johanna, passed away at the home of their niece, Mrs. John A. Dale, Forest Lake, Minnesota, five months apart. Peter died November 13, 1943 and his wife Johanna, April 29, 1944. Peter Overby was born in Solar, Norway, January 1, 1863. He was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran church of Norway. In early manhood he came to America and lived his whole life in Jackson and Trempealeau counties. His first wife, Marie Peterson, died in childbirth together with their son, Darwin, September 12, 1895. (FROM ANOTHER OBITUARY: Peter P. Overby, 80, for many years a tinsmith at the Herreid Brothers Hardware Store passed away at the home of his niece, Mrs. John I. Dale at Forest Lake, Minnesota, Saturday morning. Funeral services were held at Forest Lake, Wednesday. Mr. Overby was born in Solar, Norway January 1, 1863. He spent more than 46 years in Blair, leaving here about three years ago to reside with their niece. His first wife, Marie Peterson, died September 12, 1895, as did a little son born the day before. Both are buried here in the Zion cemetery. On November 1, 1896 he was married to Johanna Peterson, sister of his first wife, who survives him. She has been an invalid for several years. Always a liberal support of his church, he was chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Zion church for many years. THE BLAIR PRESS - NOVEMBER 18, 1943) Johanne Peterson was also born in Solar, March 27, 1858, the daughter of Peter and Ingeborg Rostneberg The whole family emigrated to America and farmed the present Sydney Steffenson farm in Larkin Valley. November 1st, 1896 she was united in marriage to Peter Overby by Rev. Ole Gulbrandson at the Blair parsonage. She was a sister of his first wife. Their first home in Blair was later sold to the congregation of Rev. S.S. Urberg and remodeled by them into the present parsonage. The present Carl Dahl residence on Main Street was their home for some time and their third and last home was purchased from Lars Hanson at the rear of the Town Hall. Three years ago, due to illness and old age they sold their property at Blair and have since made their home with their niece, Mrs. John A. Dale, first at Wanamingo, Minnesota and later at Forest Lake. Mrs. Overby was 86 years of age at the time of her death. Mr. Overby was engaged in farm labor and carpentry in early manhood. Later and the greatest share of his life he was an expert tinsmith. He was musically inclined, a member of the first band in Blair and of many church choirs. January 9, 1897 his wife and he became members of the Zion Lutheran congregation. They were conscientious, faithful and devoted members and liberal supporters of every church project. Mr. Overby served many years as chairman of the Zion Board of Trustees. They will long be remembered as upright citizens, genial neighbors and valued members of the community. Funeral services were held at the Zion Lutheran church Tuesday, May 2nd at 2 p.m., Rev. T.E. Sweger officiating. Mrs. A. J. Sather sang “Lead Kindly Light” and “Jeg ved Mig en Sovn.” The pallbearers were Iver Johnson, Edwin Mattison, Dr. Goodwin Toraason, Oswald Slette, Art Beaty and Lawrence Hoganson. THE BLAIR PRESS - MAY 4, 1944
NELS OVERBY (NORWAY)
Nels Overby died January 15, at the home of Mrs. Ingvold Overby from pneumonia. He had been ill about a week. Mr. Overby was born in Norway July 30, 1855. His parents were Syverne Hanson and Nels Olson. The funeral services were held at the U.L. church Saturday , January 19, Rev. Orke officiating. His wife and one daughter, Inga, preceded him in death. He leaves to mourn his death five children, Nora, Mrs. Elmer Johnson, Selmer, Albert and John, all of Pigeon and Nettie, Mrs. Robert Dean, of Osseo. THE WHITEHALL TIMES - JANUARY 24, 1929
MAGNUS OYNES (NORWAY)
Magnus Oynes, 80, rural Ettrick, died Saturday, August 11, 1973 in a LaCrosse hospital. Born in 1893 in Norway to Mr. and Mrs. Edbard Larsen, he came to the United States at the age of 28 and began farming in the Ettrick area. He married Mathea Olsen in 1914. He is survived by his wife, four sons, Magner and Joseph, Ettrick; Einar, Lombard, Illinois and Joseph, Galesville and five grandchildren. Funeral services were Tuesday at 2 p.m in the Berean Baptist Church, Galesville, with burial in Pine Cliff Cemetery, The Rev. Rodell Bledshe officiated. Smith Mortuary was in charge of the arrangements. THE BLAIR PRESS - AUGUST 15, 1973
SIMEN OVERBY (TYLDALEN, OSTERDALEN)
Simen Overby, one of the early settlers of Trempealeau Valley and one of the oldest businessmen of the Valley and Taylor passed away at his home in Taylor on Tuesday, February 23, 1925, after a long suffering of infirmities of old age complicated by a severe case of kidney trouble. Deceased had been gradually failing for the past several years but not until three weeks prior to his death was it necessary for him to be confined to his bed. During his last few days of life, he suffered intense pain, but like the staunch old pioneer and Christian that he was, he bore the suffering without a murmur. His age was 83 years, 3 months and 14 days. Mr. Overby was born at Tyldalen, Osterdalen, Norway on November 9, 1843, the son of Ole and Sigrid Arneson Overby. His youth was spent in Norway. In 1866 the urge to settle in America took root and he came here, settling first at Racine. A few months later he came to the Town of Springfield in Jackson County settling at Mound Spring which at that time was thriving settlement near where the Trempealeau Valley Lutheran church now stands. This settlement had been established for about ten years. His ambition lay in a business career and he secured employment for a man who was conducting a shoemaking shop in the settlement. He later opened a shop of his own, making boots and shoes for the early setters. He was also appointed postmaster at Mound Springs and continued to serve in that capacity until he moved to Taylor. When the Green Bay and Western was completed through Trempealeau Valley and Taylor in 1873, he was quick to see the advantage of locating at Taylor and consequently moved his shoemaking shop here, constructing a small building for this purpose on the site where now stands his large apartment residence. He continued as postmaster here and in the meantime he purchased a building owned by a Mr. Fenny adjoining his shoemaker shop. He then added a line of general merchandise to his shoe business, adding to his stock of goods and store building as the necessity warranted. In 1905 he retired from active business life, having built up a large and thriving business. He had also engaged in the feed business, running a mill and elevator where he bought grain. This latter business, was later purchased by a farmers stock company, Mr. Overby retaining an interest in the concern until his death. His name is still connected with the firm name and will no doubt go down in the history as a memory to this thriving and hustling businessman of Taylor, whose activities no doubt helped to make the business life of Taylor what it is today. Aside from his business activities he still found time to serve the community in an official capacity. He was assessor of the Town of Springfield for many years and also Town Treasurer for a number of years. He was also a director of the school board for several terms. On February 20, 1872 he was married at Taylor to Miss Ellen Fenny. She died on February 20, 1885. He is survived by two sons, Theodore S. Overby of Finley, North Dakota and Olaf Overby of Taylor. He was again married on November 13, 1890 at Taylor to Miss Nikoline Simenson of Chicago. He is survived by his widow and three children were born to their union - Miss Ruth Overby of Haines City, Florida; Miss Judith Overby of Boscobel, Wisconsin and Martin Overby of Fairmont, Minnesota. He also leaves as the last survivor of his father’s family, one sister, Mrs. Barbro Tofte of Albert Lea, Minnesota. Of sterling character and strict integrity in all acts of life he early associated himself with the Lutheran church of which he was a faithful member until death. He was a man of generous impulses, and never forgot his hospitable ways of the pioneer. The stranger, even tho a beggar, never failed to find food and shelter if he sought it at his hands, and he was at home by the bedside of the sick and delighted in all kinds of neighborly offices. He had borne adversity bravely and various relations of life, as son, husband, father, brother, friend and filled them well. Who can do more? At all times under all circumstances he walked in the path of righteousness and when fully conscious that he was nearing the last of earth, appeared to be fully impressed with the idea that at the end of time eternity began, and that the bright faith which sustained him during those trying hours of suffering would only grow brighter and brighter as he journeyed toward the Infinite, and the final gloom of death he dispelled by the radiance of God’s love. Could all live the just and upright life Mr. Overby lived, and die in his trusting faith, death could no longer be called “The King of Terrors” for he inspired no terror there. The dying man and sorrowing family looked forward with the same eye of faith to the brighter future where this temporary separation would end in an eternal reunion. The funeral services were held Monday, March 1st at the new Lutheran church. Rev. Blaness of South Haven, Minnesota, officiating in Norwegian and Rev. O.O. Lovaas in English. Both paid a glowing tribute to the memory of the departed. Interment was made at the Hjerleid cemetery. The funeral services were largely attended, but on account of the stormy weather many who had wished to attend were no doubt forced to remain at home. Thus another of the first settler in this valley has passed into the Great Beyond. There are now only a few of the very first settlers left. THE TAYLOR HERALD -MARCH 12, 1926
MRS. OLAF OTTERSON (ELVERUM)
Bertha Bergerson was born in Elveru, Norway, March 20, 1864. Her parents were Bernt and Johanna Bergerson. She was baptized in the Elverum Church by Rev. Gloerson and confirmed in the Skog church by Rev. Sorenson. She emigrated t America in 1891, arriving in October of that year in Trempealeau County. On September 7, 1892 she was united in marriage to Olaf Otterson by Rev. Himle in the Upper Beaver Creek church. They settled on a farm between Trump Coulee and Beaver Creek which became their home for 33 years. In 1925 they moved to Blair and have resided here since. The children born to their union are: Oscar, of Blair; John, of Taylor; Edwin and Omer on the home farm; Berthilda, at home; Alma, Mrs. Lee Mathsin of Blair; Agnes, at the Whitehall hospital There are 15 grandchildren. Besides their family they reared another boy, Tillman Arneson, whom they took into their home when he was only one year of age. Mrs. Otterson was a member of the Beaver Creek congregation over 30 years. She dearly loved her church and was sure to be in attendant at Divine service as long as her health permitted. In spite of the ravages of the dread disease that undermined her strength and her great weakness, she managed even this fall to come to the Mission Festival, the Communion Service and the Christmas festivities. She was a true helpmate in her husband in every true sense a mother who had the best interests of her children at heart. The last three years her health has declined. She was confined to her bed the past five weeks. She bore all her suffering with Christian fortitude. She died Thursday, March 15, 1928 at 5:30 a.m. Besides her husband children, she is survived by two sisters, Elina and Martha, in Norway and three brothers: Andrew Benson of Blair; Julius Benson in Canada and Olaf Benson of Barlow, Oregon. Two of her brothers died in Norway. Another brother, B. Benson, died in Vosse Coulee in 1920. Her brother, Peter Benson, died at Medford, Wisconsin in 1926. Funeral services were held Saturday, March 17th, 1:30 at the home and 2:00 at the Zion Lutheran church, with Rev. Sweger in charge of the services. Interment was made on the family lot in Trempealeau Valley. THE BLAIR PRESS - MARCH 22, 1928
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OLE O. ONSRUD (BIRI, NORWAY)
Ole O. Onsrud, who died on the old Onsrud farm in Section 28, Ettrick Township, was an early settler in this county and township, coming here immediately or soon after the close of the Civil War, in which he carried arms as a soldier of the Union. He was born in Biri, Norway, December 26, 1835, son of Ole and Marie Onsrud, the father being a well-to-do farmer. Neither of Mr. Onsrud’s parents came to this country, both dying in their native land. Ole O. Onsrud was educated in Norway and was there confirmed in the Lutheran church. From the time he was 18 until he was 22 years old, he worked on a farm. In 1857 he took passage on a sailing vessel for the United States, among the members of the party being the family of Amon Amundson, whose daughter Andrine subsequently became his wife. The voyage was long and tedious, lasting seven weeks and three days, and all were glad when they foot on the Land of Promise. Mr. Onsrud at once proceeded to the home of his brother Lars at Westby, Vernon County, which place he made his home until he came to Trempealeau County in 1866. During the last year of the war, while in Monroe County, he was drafted and served nine months in Company B of the Sixth Wisconsin Infantry as a private. Though not wounded, he had many narrow escapes and participated in some heavy fighting, including seven pitched battles, which ended with Appomattox, after which he took part in the Grand Review at Washington and was honorably discharged. He then returned to Westby, but soon came from that town to Trempealeau County, purchasing a farm in Section 28, Ettrick Township, on which he settled and began the work of improvement. It could hardly be called a farm at that time, however, as it was all wild land and he had all a pioneer’s work to do in clearing it. This work took him many years, but was finally accomplished, and not only was the land well cultivated, but good buildings erected and enlarged or rebuilt from time to time. The size of the farm was increased from 160 to 240 acres and the crops indigenous to this region were raised and an excellent grade of stock kept. Mr. Onsrud was also a stockholder in the Ettrick Creamery, which he assisted organizing. He also aided in the organization of the Lutheran Church, of which he was for many years a prominent member and trustee. He also served on the school board a number of years. Mr. Onsrud’s marriage to Andrine Amundson took place February 4, 1862. She was born in Biri, Norway, December 22, 1839, daughter of Amon and Agnetta Amundson, who were natives of the same district or province of Norway. As already narrated, they and their family came to America in 1857 on the same ship with the subject of this sketch. On reaching Wisconsin, they located at Halfway Creek, LaCrosse County, where they made their home for a number of years. They then came to Ettrick Township, this county, settling on French Creek, where they developed a farm, on which Mr. Amundson died in 1890. After his death his wife took up her residence with her daughter, Mrs. Onsrud, at whose home she died in 1897. The latter was the second born of five children, of whom three are now living, and was educated both in Norway and in Trempealeau County. Five children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Onsrud: Alfred Oscar, Amos Marion, Henry, Frank A., and Orrin Melvin. Alfred Oscar, who is now residing in Spokane, Washington, is a retired railroad contractor and is interested as a stockholder in range properties. He married Etta Harris of Trempealeau County. Amos Marion died in 1907. Henry, who resides in Arcadia Township, this county, with his wife Elizabeth, a native of Norway. Frank A., who is a farmer in Arcadia Township married Josephine Lund of Trempealeau County. Orrin Melvin died in California while on the way home from Alaska. Mrs. Onsrud, who survives her husband, still resides on the old homestead, the farm being rented and operated by E. Anderson. She is a lady highly respected throughout this part of the county, having made many friends since she arrived in the township over half a century ago. HISTORY OF TREMPEALEAU COUNTY - 1917
JOHN OPPENGAARD (FAUBERG, NORWAY) (John Oppegaard 2)
John Oppengaard, proprietor of a blacksmith and repair shop, and also a dealer in plows in Ettrick Village, is, like so many of the enterprising citizens in this pat of Trempealeau County, a native of Norway, his birth having taken place in Fauberg, in the northern part of that country, May 14, 1877. His parents were Christ Johnson and Carrie Amundson Johnson, who were born in Biri, Norway, the father being a farmer and blacksmith. They died in their native land, Christ Johnson in 1910 and his wife in 1886. John Oppengaard was the younger of two children born to his parents. He attended school in Norway and afterwards served an apprenticeship to the blacksmith's trade at Lillehammer, being thus occupied for four years. Subsequently until 1901, he worked as a journeyman in Christiania, and then, desirous of advancing his fortunes, took passage for the United States, coming direct to Galesville. Here he found employment in the blacksmith shop of Sever Johnson, for whom he worked until the fall of the same year. The next three winters were spent in Ettrick, where he followed his trade. Having now saved some money, he went back to Norway, where he was married August 7, 1904 to Anneta Christenson, who was born in Lier, Norway, daughter of Christ Gulickson and Gunild Anderson, both native of Lier, now deceased. Her father was a sailor many years and also for some time a watchman on a railroad bridge. He died in 1893 and his wife in 1905. In the latter year Mr. Oppengaard returned to America with his wife. On arriving here he engaged in business in Ettrick for one year as blacksmith, after which he established himself at his present location. His shop is 24 by 50 feet in ground dimensions and is well equipped with a stock of gas engines, trip hammers and various kinds of machinery, being adapted to repair work of all kinds. He also engaged in horseshoeing and sells the Gale plow, having built up a good trade in the various departments of his business. In 1906 he purchased a lot in Ettrick, on which in the following year he erected his present residence, a good, substantial building, and in addition to this he owns other property in the village. The Ettrick & Northern Railroad also numbers him among its stockholders. He is a member of the board of directors of the Norwegian school at Ettrick, and in politics is a Republican. He and his wife are the parents of two children: Kalbyarn and Garta Amelia Josephina. The family are members of the Lutheran church, while Mr. Oppengaard's lodge affiliations are with the Order of Beavers. HISTORY OF TREMPEALEAU COUNTY - 1917
REV. A. J. ORKE (SKJOLD, STAVANGER, NORWAY)
Rev. A. J. Orke, a clergyman of the Norwegian Lutheran faith, and pastor of four congregations with headquarters at Pigeon Falls, is a splendid representative of that faithful body of clergy who have made his faith so highly honored throughout the civilized world. Fulfilling the old ideal as a father of his people, he combines a deep and sympathetic understanding of human nature with much scholarly ability, and his work has resulted in a most decided uplift to the community. Modest as to his personal achievements, he places his church and the welfare of his congregations as above everything else in his life, and the results he has achieved, with the assistance of his Divine Master, have been far-reaching and permanent. At Northfield and at Whitehall churches have been built under his leadership and the spiritual life of all his congregations has been greatly quickened. Rev. Orke was born in Skjold, Stavanger, Norway, September 25, 1857, of a long line of God-fearing people who had lived on the same place for several generations. The father, John Orke, and the mother, Anna Roaldsvik, are both dead, the former having died in 1897 and the mother in 1899. They were the parents of 11 children. The subject of this sketch, as a youth attended the common schools, and in 181 was graduated with honors from the Koppervik Normal School. In 1882 he came to America and secured employment as teacher in a parochial school at Kenyon, Minnesota, while perfecting himself in the English language. In 1883 he entered the Breckenridge Institute at Decorah, Iowa. Then in 1884, having decided to devote his life to the service of the church, he took up his studies at the Augsburg College, and in 1886 entered the Theological Seminary. Graduating in 1889, he was ordained to the ministry by the Rev. G. Hoyme. His first charge was at Chetek, in Barron County, this state, where he had charge of five congregations. In 1895 he came to Pigeon Falls, taking charge of the congregations at Pigeon Falls and Smithfield, organizing the one at Whitehall in 1899 and taking charge of the one at Independence in 1913. Of these, the one at Pigeon Falls is the largest, having about 900 members. Rev. Orke was married May 6, 1891, to Olga Peterson, born in Colfax, Wisconsin, daughter of Peter and Olava Peterson. This union has been blessed with seven children: Agnes O., Mildred P., Selma, Hazel R., Hjelmar A., Beatrice S. and Gerhard. The Pigeon Falls Norwegian Lutheran Congregation was organized in 1878 by Rev. C.J. Helsem of Strum, with about 60 members, a number which has since increased to a bout 830. Early services were held in the schoolhouse for several years. In 1888 a church edifice was started and in 1893 completed. Rev. Helsem served until 1892, then Rev. M. Gulbrandson took charge and moved to Pigeon Falls. He was an energetic and successful worker, and the congregation prospered. About this time Our Savour’s Congregation was united with it, and it became a strong organization. Rev. A.J. Orke took charge in 1895. The congregation has considerable valuable property. The church and cemetery are valued at $10,000. The parsonage, built in 1892, and rebuilt and enlarged in 1907, has a value of about $6,000. A Young People’s Hall, built in 1896 and rebuilt and enlarged in 1914, has a value of about $4,000. There is no indebtedness on the property, and the congregation has contributed liberally to missions, schools and different charitable institutions. There are two Ladies’ Aid Societies, a Young Ladies’ Aid Society and large and active Young People’s Society, Sunday school and choir. The Immanuel Norwegian Lutheran Congregation at Whitehall was organized in 1899 by Rev. A.J. Orke, with the membership of 50, which has since been increased to 200. The church, having a value of about $5,000, was built in 1901. The congregation has one Ladies’ Aid Society, a Sunday school and choir. The Independence Norwegian Lutheran Congregation was organized in 1879, with a membership of 80, now increased to 150. The church, valued at $5,000, was built in 1883. There is also a fine cemetery. The congregation has supported missions and schools. The pastors have been: Rev. H.A. Meyer, 1879 – 1884; Rev. A. Hauge, 1884 – 1898; Rev. Halbert Rasmussen, 1899 – 1913; Rev. A.J. Orke, 1913. The Northfield Norwegian Lutheran Congregation at Northfield, in Jackson County, was organized in 1889 by Rev. C.J Helsem of Strum, with a membership of 50, which has since been increased to 370. The original officials were: Knut Olson, L. Johnson, Sam. Thompson, trustees; L.E. Larson, secretary; C.A. Severeide, treasurer. The first pastor, Rev. Helsem, served until 1892, followed by Rev. M. Gulbrandson, who in 1895 was succeeded by Rev. A. J. Orke. In 1896, with a membership of only about 70, a church was built, having a value of $5,000. In 1914 the church was struck by lightning and destroyed. In 1915 a larger and modern church was built, having a value of $12,000, absolutely without indebtedness. There is a Ladies’ Aid Society and a Young People’s Society, very active. The congregation has contributed to missions, schools and different charitable institutions. HISTORY OF TREMPEALEAU COUNTY - 1917
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