Category Archives: Rasmussen

Rasmussen Family in 1900 Norway Census

These are entries for the brothers of my great-great-grandfather Jens Rasmussen in the 1900 census of Norway. By this time the Rasmussen family had taken to using Østrem [the name of the farm they had lived on in Lindås] as the family name. They were living on Ryum farm (some family members then used the last name Ryum) on the island of Vikna, near the town of Rørvik, Norway.

The first entry is for Andreas Rasmussen Østrem.  You can see him listed as a farmer and fisherman, along with his wife Martine and three of their children.  “Randi Østrem” was probably not a family member, but someone who had also lived on Østrem farm with them and moved to Vikna.  Another son, Torleif, can be found in another census entry which I will show later.

Census year: 1900
Municipality: Vikna
Municipality number: 1750
Name of domicile: Ryum
Number of persons in this domicile: 7

Name                  Status   Married Occupation        Birth-year  Birthplace
Andreas Østrem        Head     M farmer & fisherman      1840        Lindaas 
Martine Østrem        Wife     M farmer's wife & housewife 1846      Lindaas 
Olaf Martinus Østrem  Son      U farmhand                1881        Vikten NT 
Henry Østrem          Son      U farmhand, fisherman     1883        Vikten NT 
Gustav Martens Østrem Son      U farmhand, fisherman     1889        Vikten NT 
Randi Østrem          tj       U maid                    1859        Vikten NT 
Paul Julius Johnsen   tj       U shepherd boy            1889        Vikten NT

The next entry is for Rasmus Rasmussen Østrem.  You can see Rasmus and his wife Gjertrud Nilsdatter along with five of their children and a farm hand.   The census does not show three other children who died young, all in 1892.  “Hanna Olina” listed here (other records show her as Nanna Oliva) died in 1909.  Another girl, Dagny Østrem, would be born in 1902:

Census year: 1900
Municipality: Vikna
Municipality number: 1750
Name of domicile: Ryum
Number of persons in this domicile: 8

Name                    Status   Married Occupation            Birth-year  Birthplace
Rasmus Østrem           Head     M       farmer & fisherman    1852  Lindås
Gjertrud Østrem         Wife     M       farm wife & housework 1855  Lindås
Konrad Johan Østrem     Son      U       farmer's son          1891  Vikten NT 
Sigrid Marie Østrem     Daughter U       farmer's daughter     1893  Vikten NT 
Hanna Olina Østrem      Daughter U       farmer's daughter     1895  Vikten NT 
Ragna Geline Østrem     Daughter U       farmer's daughter     1897  Vikten NT 
Nelly Charlotte Østrem  Daughter U       farmer's daughter     1899  Vikten NT 
Edvard Kristian Kristiansen tj   U       shepherd boy          1888  Vikten NT

This entry is for the Rasmus Olai Hansen, who was the son of Hans Rasmussen Østrem, brother of the above two. You can see Rasmus and his wife Anna, along with his mother Gurine Martinusdatter. Torleif Østrem, listed with them, was the son Andreas Rasmussen Østrem (above).  The younger Hans Østrem seems to have been the son of Paul Nilssen (also listed), and had the last name because his parents had lived on Østrem farm prior to moving to Vikna.

Census year: 1900
Municipality: Vikna
Municipality number: 1750
Name of domicile: Lian
Number of persons in this domicile: 9

Name                    Status Married Occupation            Birth-year  Birthplace
Rasmus Olai Hanssen     Head   M       farmer                1866        Lindaas 
Anna Oline Wibe Hanssen Wife   M       farmer's wife & housework 1870    Vikten NT 
Eilert Jacobsen         tj     U       farmer's son & shepherd 1888      Vikten NT 
Torleif Østrem          fl     U       lodger                1899.02.07  Vikten NT 
Gurine Martine Østrem   Mother W       pensioner's widow     1842        Vikten NT 
Berge Paulsen           fl     M       lodger                1890        Vikten NT 
Paul Nicolai Nilssen    Head   M       lodger & fisherman    1869        Vikten NT 
Othelie Kathinka        Wife   M       lodger's wife, housework  1879    Vikten NT 
Hans Østrem             Son    U       lodger's son, no trade 1899.07.21 Vikten NT

Rasmussen Family in 1910 Norway Census

These are entries for the brothers of my great-great-grandfather Jens Rasmussen in the 1910 census of Norway.  By this time the Rasmussen family had taken to using Østrem [the name of the farm they had lived on in Lindås] as the family name.  They were living on Ryum farm (some family members then used the last name Ryum) on the island of Vikna, near the town of Rørvik, Norway.

The first entry is for the family of Rasmus Rasmussen (Østrem)

Census year: 1910
Municipality: Vikna
Municipality number: 1750
Name of domicile: Ryum (gaard)

Number of persons in this domicile: 7

Name              Status   Married Occupation  Birth-year  Birthplace
Rasmus R. Østrem  Head     M       Fisherman   20.11.1852  Lindaas 
Gjertrud Østrem   Wife     M       housewife   10.05.1856  Lindaas 
Konrad Østrem     Son      S       provided for by parents 11.02.1891 Lindaas
Sigrid Østrem     Daughter S       housemaid   11.07.1893  Lindaas 
Ragna Østrem      Daughter S       daughter    06.09.1897  Lindaas 
Nelly Østrem      Daughter S       daughter    31.08.1899  Lindaas 
Dagny Østrem      Daughter S       daughter    06.06.1902  Lindaas

Next is the record for the family of Andreas Rasmussen Østrem. Andreas had passed away and his wife Martine is listed as a Widow. Three of his sons are living on the farm.

Census year: 1910
Municipality: Vikna
Municipality number: 1750
Name of domicile: Ryum (gaard)

Number of persons in this domicile: 7

Name             Status   Married Occupation             Birth-year  Birthplace
Martine Østrem   Head     W       farm-worker, housewife 12.05.1847  Lindaas 
Olaf Østrem      Son      U       farm-worker, fisherman ??          Lindaas   
Torleif Østrem   Son      U       son                    07.02.1899  Lindaas 
Gustav Østrem    Son      U       supported by parents   23.01.1891  Lindaas 
Lotte Beniamins. tj       U       stableboy              24.11.1891  Lindaas 
Iver Randulfs.   el       U       farm-worker, fisherman 10.07.1893  Lindaas
Ole Ryum         el       U       farm-worker, fisherman 28.02.1878  Lindaas

And an entry for Rasmus Hansen Ostrem, son of the late Hans Rasmussen Ostrem:

Census year: 1910
Municipality: Vikna
Municipality number: 1750
Name of domicile: Lian (gaard)
Number of persons in this domicile: 5

Name              Status     Married Occupation         Birth       Birthplace
Rasmus H. Østrem  Head       M       farmer & fisherman 31.05.1867  Lindaas 
Anna Østrem       Wife       M       housewife          01.02.1869  Lindaas 
Hans Nils.        foster son U       foster son         21.08.1899  Lindaas 
Reidar Nils.      foster son U       foster son         13.05.1902  Lindaas 
Berge Nils.       el         U       fisherman          23.05.1891  Lindaas 

Rasmussen Family in 1865 Norway Census

A fantastic find today. This is the 1865 Census for Norway. Who knew there was such a thing? It shows the family of my great-great-grandfather Jens Rasmussen [John Hanson] living in Lindås, Hordaland, Norway. Lots of great detail here about Jens’ mother, brothers, and niece.

Hans Rasmussen was the eldest son of the family.  He is in the census with his wife Guri and his daughter Anna.  The rest of the people living with him are his brothers and sisters with the exception of Siri Andersdatter, who was their mother.  Jens’ father, Rasmus Hansen, had died by 1865.

Census year: 1865
Municipality: Lindås
Municipality number: 1263
Name of domicile: Østreim
Number of persons in this domicile: 9

Name                Status   Married Occupation    Birth year Place of birth
Hans Rasmussen	    Head     M	     Farmer        1840       Lindaas	
Guri Martinusdatter Wife     M                     1841       Lindaas	
Anna M. Hansdatter  Daughter U		           1860       Lindaas	
Gullak Rasmussen    Brother  U	     Farm lab.	   1851       Lindaas	
Rasmus Rasmussen    Brother  U	     Farm Lab.	   1853       Lindaas	
Sirina Rasmusdatter Sister   U	     Farm maid	   1854       Lindaas	
Andreas Rasmussen   Lodger   U	     Sailor	   1843       Lindaas	
Siri Andersdatter   Mother   W	     Farmer's wife 1816       Lindaas	
Ivar Rasmussen	    Brother  U                     1858       Lindaas	

My Grandfather Jens is in the same Census working as a laborer and living in the home of a Lasse A. Knudsen on the same farm:

Census year: 1865
Municipality: Lindås
Municipality number: 1263
Name of domicile: Østreim
Number of persons in this domicile: 6

Name                    Status   Married Occupation    Birth year Place of birth
Lasse A. Knudsen        Head     M	 Farmer        1833       Lindaas	
Britha Larsdatter       Wife     M                     1829       Lindaas	
Lars Lassesen           Son      U		       1864       Lindaas	
Ingeborg O. Lassedatter Daughter U	               1861       Lindaas	
Jens Rasmussen                   U	 Farm Lab.     1847       Lindaas	
Anna Johannesdatter              U	 Farm maid     1842       Lindaas	

Rasmussen Family Records from Norway

As I stated in another article, it seems that Norway is getting more of its parish records online.  I recently was able to find the birth and baptism record for my great-great-grandfather Jens Rasmussen, a/k/a “John Hanson”.

Name:            Jens Rasmusen
Gender:          Male
Birth Date:      26 Jan 1847
Baptism Date:    31 Jan 1847
Baptism Place:   Lindaas, Hordaland, Norway
Father:          Rasmus Hansen
Mother:          Siri Andersdr
FHL Film Number: 278073

I also found records for several siblings of the same family.

Name: 	        Hans Rasmusen
Gender: 	Male
Birth Date: 	6 Jan 1840
Baptism Date: 	20 Jan 1840
Baptism Place: 	Lindaas, Hordaland, Norway
Father: 	Rasmus Hansen
Mother: 	Siri Andersdr
FHL Film Number: 124587	
Name: 	        Andreas Rasmusen
Gender: 	Male
Birth Date: 	11 Mar 1843
Baptism Date: 	12 Mar 1843
Baptism Place: 	Manger, Hordaland, Norway
Father: 	Rasmus Hansen
Mother: 	Sigrid Andersdr
FHL Film Number: 124591

Another record for Andreas being baptized at home:

Name: 	Andreas Rasmusen
Gender: 	Male
Birth Date: 	23 Feb 1843
Baptism Date: 	12 Mar 1843
Baptism Place: 	Lindaas,Hordaland,Norway
Father: 	Rasmus Hansen
Mother: 	Sigri Andersdr
FHL Film Number: 	278073
Name: 	        Ole Rasmusen
Gender: 	Male
Birth Date: 	8 Feb 1845
Baptism Date: 	16 Feb 1845
Baptism Place: 	Lindaas,Hordaland,Norway
Father: 	Rasmus Hansen
Mother: 	Siri Andersdr
FHL Film Number: 278073
Name: 	        Carl Rasmusen
Gender: 	Male
Birth Date: 	20 Jun 1849
Baptism Date: 	1 Jul 1849
Baptism Place: 	Lindaas,Hordaland,Norway
Father: 	Rasmus Hansen
Mother: 	Siri Andersdr
FHL Film Number: 278073
Name: 	        Gullak Rasmusen
Gender: 	Male
Birth Date: 	12 Jan 1851
Baptism Date: 	2 Feb 1851
Baptism Place: 	Lindaas,Hordaland,Norway
Father: 	Rasmus Hansen
Mother: 	Siri Andersdr
FHL Film Number: 278073
Name: 	        Rasmus Rasmusen
Gender: 	Male
Birth Date: 	20 Nov 1852
Baptism Date: 	28 Nov 1852
Baptism Place: 	Lindaas,Hordaland,Norway
Father: 	Rasmus Hansen
Mother: 	Siri Andersdr
FHL Film Number: 278073
Name: 	        Iver Rasmusen
Gender: 	Male
Birth Date: 	22 Jan 1858
Baptism Date: 	24 Jan 1858
Baptism Place: 	Austrheim,Hordaland,Norway
Father: 	Rasmus Hansen
Mother: 	Sigrid Andersdr
FHL Film Number: 124589
Name: 	        [Stillborn Son] Rasmusen
Gender: 	Male
Birth Date: 	12 Jul 1862
Birth Place: 	Lindaas,Hordaland,Norway
Death Date: 	12 Jul 1862
Father: 	Rasmus Hansen
Mother: 	Siri Andersdr
FHL Film Number: 278074

This map shows the towns mentioned in the baptism records and their proximity to Bergen.  Austrheim to Manger is about 10 miles and Manger to Lindaas is about 8 miles.

Rasmussen Family Locations

Rasmussen Family Locations

My great-grandmother Olga Hanson Schmidt said that Jens came from a family of eleven children, ten boys and one girl [Sirina, who Olga called “Olivia” in her recounting of family history]. With these records we know of 10 of the eleven children. The 11th, I believe, is Peder Rasmussen, who I found in the 1871 census for Northumberland, England with his brother Gullak on board a ship called the “Thor”.  Apparently the census-taker visited the harbor, and the Rasmussen brothers were on board at the time.  Peder is listed as the ship’s carpenter:

1871 Census for Northumberland, England

1871 Census for Northumberland, England

Based on the information from the 1865 Norwegian Census I posted elsewhere, I also believe this is the birth/baptism record for Sigrid/Siri:

Name: 	Siri Andersen [Siri Hansen, Siri Andersdatter] 
Gender: 	Female
Baptism Date: 	17 Feb 1816
Baptism Place: 	Lindaas,Hordaland,Norway
Father: 	Anders Hansen
Mother: 	Martha Nilsdatter
FHL Film Number: 	124586

Based on the other baptism records, I believe there is a good chance this is the baptism record for Jen’s father Rasmus Hansen:

Name: 	        Rasmus Hansen
Gender: 	Male
Birth Date: 	27 May 1816
Baptism Date: 	2 Jun 1816
Baptism Place: 	Manger, Hordaland, Norway
Father: 	Hans Johannesen
Mother: 	Jetlau Andersdatter
FHL Film Number: 124590

Jens Rasmussen a/k/a John Hanson (1847-1923)

On July 27, 1981 my mother’s first-cousin Gloria Johnson sat down with her grandmother Olga Johanna Hanson Schmidt (1891-1990) and took notes while my great-grandmother recounted the life story of her parents (my great-great-grandparents) Jens Rasmussen (1847-1923) and Ovidia Kristine Olesdatter (1866-1956).  I’m going to present the story as it came from my great-grandmother: in two parts.  The first part is mostly about her father, and the second part is mostly about her mother.  I’ll interject in square brackets if there are parts that need explaining or expanding in some way.

First, a word about Norwegian names.  Up to about 1900, it was common to use the name of the father’s first name + sen [son] for men and name of the father’s first name + datter [daughter] for women.  So a son of Hans would become Hansen.  A daughter of Ole would became Olesdatter.  This is confusing to Americans.  We’re used to the last name being invariant for men, and only changing at marriage for women.  With Norwegians, it changes every generation, and siblings of different sexes have different last names.  Also, just because someone has the same last name as you doesn’t imply anything about your relationship to them.  It just means their father has the same first name as your father.

After 1900, Norwegians often took the name of the farm they lived on as their last name.  If you lived on Østrem farm you’d be Jens Østrem.  So my great-great-grandfather was actually born Jens Rasmussen, and his wife was Ovidia Kristine Olesdatter.  After 1900 many of his family members took the name Østrem.  Ovidia’s family took the name Ryum.  In America, Jens Rasmussen took the last name “Hansen”, which was his father’s last name, and Americanized this name to “John Hanson”.  His wife became Ovidia Kristine Olson.

Ovidia Olson and Jens Hanson around the time of their arrival in the US, about 1885. She was 18, he was 37.


“Grandpa Hanson” – John R. Hanson and His Life With Ovidia Olson Hanson – as told by his daughter Olga Hanson Schmidt, to her granddaughter, Gloria Johnson, on July 27, 1981

My father’s name was Jens Rasmussen.  Later he [Americanized his name to] John, rather than Jens.  His last name Hanson he took from his Grandfather whose name was Hans.  He was born January 26, 1847 in Bergen, Norway [he was actually born in nearby Lindås] and died December 14, 1923 in the town of Rib Mountain, Marathon County, Wisconsin.  My father was one of eleven children.  All were boys, except for one sister, whose name was Olivia.  [The sister’s name was actually Sirina.  The brothers were Hans, Peder, Andreas, Ole, Carl, Gullak, Rasmus, Ivar, and a stillborn son who was born in 1862.]

Map showing Rørvik (northern marker), birthplace of Ovidia Olesdatter, and Lindås (southern marker), birthplace of Jens Rasmussen.

As a teenager, Jens worked as a seaman, first on smaller boats that carried freight from village to village, then on the large three-masted schooners which traveled the open ocean.  One of his most interesting trips was to go to Peking, China to bring home a load of rice.  A round trip took three years.  It started out from Portugal, with loads of bananas, trading from city to city.  Then proceeded down the west coast of Africa and around Cape Good Hope, up the East coast of Africa to Calcutta, India.  He did not like some of the poverty and sights he saw there.  When they reached Peking they loaded the ship with rice.  Dad explained much of the trip to his grandson, Edwin Jr. [Edwin Friedrich Schmidt Jr (1914-2002)], when Edwin was about three or four years old.  He told him “it took three Chinamen to lift a bag of rice!”.  Many of these stories stayed with Edwin and gave him an appreciation for the life of adventure – especially sailing. On the way home along the east coast of Africa the pirates would often rob the ships, so they stayed close to the mainland.  When they were near Cape Good Hope they spotted two pirate ships and they pulled into Cape Good Hope to stay a few days until the pirates left.  It was just a very small village at the time.  Then they went up the African coast back to Norway.  Another trip he talked about was going around Cape Horn.  He mentioned Buenos Aires, Montevideo and Valparaiso and the Golden Gate, (Norwegian – Gul Gata), the first name of San Francisco.  He always said he crossed the Atlantic seven times.

My father’s last trip as a sailor was when they stopped in New Orleans.  There they heard about the timber up in the northern part of the US.  So, as he said, he and a friend “jumped ship” and got a job on a river boat up the Mississippi River to Prairie du Chien, then got up the Wisconsin River to Portage, to Stevens Point, and up to Wausau, arriving in Wausau the year after the railroad came in, about 1872.  Walter Alexander Stewart, owner of the sawmill business, owned a forty acre plot of land right across from where the Grandfather Falls is today.  Dad’s first job was to clear an acre of that land.

When winter came, dad was in charge of the logging camp as cook.  He also had a “cookie” [an assistant] to do chores and help the lumberjacks.  In summer, he cooked in the boarding house for the sawmill crew.  The boarding house stood where the Post Office is now [in Wausau].  The west side of Wausau and all of Marathon County were woods.  While he “had his job in his pocket”, he thought he’d better go to Norway and get married.  So he did.  His girlfriend lived in Bergen, as did his mother.  But, rather than go to Bergen directly, he first decided to go visit his three brothers who lived north in Rørvik [Rasmus, Andreas, & Hans].  One day he was sent over to the farm of the big landowner, Gundbjørne, to borrow an item.  He saw Ovidia Hanson there but they did not get to talk.  Later, when he brought back the borrowed item, he did talk to her and she invited him to a harvest party.  He accepted the invitation, and three weeks later they were married and on their way to America!

RasmussenOlsdatterMarriage1884

Rasmussen / Olesdatter marriage record, 12 Sept 1884, Vikna, Nærøy, Nord-Trondelag, Norway.

JensRasmussen&OvidiaOlesdatter1884_enh

Jens Rasmussen & Ovidia Olesdatter  during a visit to Bergen, Norway in October, 1884. They left for America shortly after.

While crossing the North Sea, they stopped at Seaport Hull, Scotland [Hull, Great Britain on England’s East coast].  Ovidia had never seen such a sight as she saw there.  There were rugged coasts, rocky ledges and people old and young moving around.  The people had long hair and ragged clothes.  It took about two good weeks to cross the ocean.  Ovidia was sea sick all the way over.  She was proud to say she walked across the Brooklyn Bridge [completed in 1883] – there was so much to see.  Dad would just keep walking, bachelor that he was.  All at once the bridge started to raise up.  She was so frightened when she saw it open – she just jumped and made it!

In Wausau they must have stayed with a friend until time for dad to go to the logging camp.  Mother had her board and room at that camp.  The walls of her room were wall-papered with English language newspapers.  She said she stood day after day and studied, and before long she could read English.  They spent four years on that job – four summers cooking for the sawmill crew and four winters in the logging camps cooking for the lumberjacks.  During those years, a baby boy was born and lived for eighteen months [Roger Hanson 1887-1888].  he died of a fever.  It was a sad and lonely time for mother during those years.  The Walter Alexander’s had a pair of twin girls that died of diphtheria.  Mother said she spent some time with Mrs. Alexander.

At that time they had saved money enough to buy four forty-acre plots of land on the west side of Mosinee Hill.  Their first housekeeping was upstairs in the Ole Wick House on the corner of 1st Street and Fulton Street in Wausau.   Later they moved to live on the land.  A house had been built by a homesteader.  He had left.  The house was on a very good foundation with a good cellar.  Later an addition was built on.

Dad hired out to cook for a camp in Rhinelander, so mother went to live with a family named Larson who were friends.  In mid-February she was six months pregnant.  The weather was warm and dad sent for her to come up to Rhinelander for a while at the logging camp.  She thought it was a good idea, and there was a freight train running between Rhinelander and Wausau.  She took her dog, Billy, a revolver, and a big homespun shawl with her.  She got on the train heading toward the camp in northern Wisconsin.  Early the next morning, around 5:00am, the train stopped and left her off.  She got down in the darkness, the train went on, and she stood there getting her bearings.  Luckily, it was a moonlit night.  All she saw was a large pile of railroad ties, and she quickly realized she had been let off in the wrong spot; this was not her destination at all!   She could hear wolves howling in the darkness nearby, and Billy was wild with fright.  She climbed up on the piles of ties and Billy climbed up also.  He did a lot of barking.  She often got down to walk to keep warm.  It must have been almost two hours later when she heard a train whistle blow.  She got down onto the track and waved her shawl.  The train picked her up and in a very short time she was at the station.  Dad picked her up and on they went to the camp.

Later, when the snow was gone, they returned home to Wausau.  Then problems developed.  My birthday was to be the end of May.  Instead I was born March 25, 1891, two months premature.  I had no toenails or fingernails.  I was wrapped in a wool bat and bathed in oil for six weeks.  My father sued the railroad.  The trial was held in Rhinelander when I was two years old.  A Wausau lawyer, Neil Brown, won the case, and Dad received some money.

When I was born, our neighbors by the name of Gross lived in a log house across the forty.  They were grandparents of Leonard Wolf, Town of Weston.  Dad had Mrs. Gross stay with mother while he went for the doctor.  Mr. Gross came along since Mrs. was there.  He delivered me.  Later, when I was two years old, father was hired to cook for a log drive which started early in spring as soon as the ice was out of the river.  They started up in Merrill (then known as Jenny), and Tomahawk.  The entire river was open then.  Logs were floated down to Prairie du Chien to go down the Mississippi.  Mother said she sat up all night.  The Mat Rhyners (brother to Robert Rhyner, Louis’s father), lived across the forty from where the Gross family lived.  Mat Rhyner was a teamster – he hauled logs to Wausau.  His light would go on at four o’clock in the morning.  Then mother and I, knowing that daylight had arrived, would go to bed.  The dark nights were long when she was alone in such wilderness.

Many of the men who were woodsmen were out of work during the summer, so they hired out to the people that were starting farms – clearing land, blasting out stumps, etc.  Dad had plenty of help clearing one forty for building.  Dad generally had two men helping him to cut hay and to cradle grain.  Hay was cut by hand and raked by hand and piled in heaps to dry.  I can remember carrying water down for them to drink mid-morning and mid-afternoon.  Then came potato fields.  Potatoes were dug.  My brother John Hanson and I came home after recess to pick potatoes.

Ovidia Hanson in her garden, about 1942.

I clearly remember the first cream separator – the LaValle.  It separated the cream from the milk.  The milk was used for the calves, and the cream for butter.  There were generally five or six calves.  Then came the hay mower and the hay rake.  Later, corn was raised rather than wheat and oats.  Then, of course, came silos.  Next were added purebred Gurnsey cattle.  Their milk has a high percent of butterfat.  There were four herds of Gurnseys in the neighborhood – the Hanson’s, Thomson’s, Bandy’s, and the Beans’s.  Soon a neighbor came across the forty – named Wright.  They had purebred Holsteins.  Everybody in the county went to Holsteins.  They had perfect milk for cheese-making.  The milk was hauled to the cheese factory in Marathon City by truck.

Dad and mother had five children: Roger Hanson ( who died at the age of 18 months), Olga Johanna Hanson (Schmidt), John Albert Hanson, Mabel Esther Hanson (Hummel), and Roy Sigvard Hanson.

We were all at the farm until we married except for John who went to college.  Roy continued to farm.  My sister, Mabel, married and settled in the Town of Weston.  I married and settled also in the Town of Weston, until later it became Rothschild.

Ovida Olson, John A. Hanson (standing) Jens Hanson (l to r). Mabel Hanson, Roy Hanson (seated), on the family farm about 1921.

Being the oldest in the family, I was the one who had the most responsibility.  The folks had to drive to Wausau at times.  But mother really did all the business and delivered butter, cream, etc. to customers.  Once, Roy had surgery in Merrill.  Mother had to stay in Merrill for two weeks.  Dad had hired a man to work in the woods.  Of the three other forties, two especially were well-stocked with timber.  I was thirteen years old.  I did the cooking and took care of the butter-making with the help of brother John.  One day the butter was churned and washed and worked.  There was twenty-five pounds of butter.  It was weighed and one ounce of salt had to be added to each pound.  I waited until supper was over and then we were ready to salt the butter and form it into pounds.  Dad always bought one hundred pounds of sugar and one hundred pounds of salt in the fall.  I sent John upstairs to weigh twenty-five ounces of salt.  Well, we worked it in and I happened to taste it, and it was sweet!  I nearly died!  How terrible!  I finally got back to normal, so I said to John, “you go up and weigh twenty-five ounces of salt.”  He did and we worked and worked to get all of the whey out and put the butter in pounds.  The butter was delivered to customers.  I told mother when she got home.  So, the next trip to Wausau with butter she asked a couple of customers how the butter had been the week before.  They replied that it was the “best they ever had!”  That and many other times did I have problems with my help.

I, for one, loved the animals and everything on the farm – the beautiful woods, the wildflowers, the wild strawberries, the wonderful blackberry patches, and raspberry patches.  Many of dad and mother’s Norwegian friends came out on bicycles to pick berries. My father, born and raised with European ideals, worshipped the trees and the good soil.  On a rainy day father would go down into the trees and thoroughly enjoy working in the woods.  He died the year that Olga’s daughter, Norma, was born, December, 1923, of angina.  He was seventy-seven years old.

Mother lived for many years after dad’s death on the farm.  Roy worked the farm, and with Clara, raised his family.  Mother developed circulatory problems and eventually one leg had to be amputated.  She lived to the age of ninety, and died in August of 1956.

Four Generations: Ovidia Olson Hanson, Olga Hanson Schmidt, Edwin Schmidt Jr. and Edwin Schmidt III taken about 1948.

We grew up in a most wonderful neighborhood of farmers.  We had wonderful parents.  They were well-liked by everyone.  When mother was ninety years old and an invalid, many of the young people would buy her birthday gifts and a birthday cake.  At the hospital where she died, one of the young men came to see her and he said, “Mrs. Hanson, I don’t think you know me.”  “Oh yes,” she said.  “You’re Hibby Tesch.”

Ovidia Hanson, about 1956, shortly before her death.

Save

Save

Save