Welcome to the Rasmussen History

(To look at all the 20,000 photos click on the photo tab at the top)

This site is dedicated to the visual and written history of the Rasmus and Stine Rasmussen family.  Rasmussen1889 is used because that is the year the Rasmussens moved to America from Denmark because they were hungry.

 We mark our history like shallow footprints left in snow, and what little trace we leave, quickly melts away…unless you have the Internet, photos, and a scanner….Lloyd Smith

“A birth certificate proves you were born, a death certificate proves you died, photos prove you lived.”

“Family stories & photos preserve precious links between our past and our future, events where the heritage of our ancestors is instilled within the hearts of our children.” 

How are we all connected?
To explain the relationship and to review Rasmussen…Once upon a time there were seven Rasmussen boys, and six Rasmussen boys came to America with their parents in 1889. Rasmus & Mettie Rasmussen had seven sons while in Denmark. One of their sons, Peter, was born in 1875 and died September 16, 1888, and was buried September 21, 1888 in Denmark. Peter was the son between the birth of R.S. Rasmussen and C. H. Rasmussen or the second son in the family. One family story says that Peter came downstairs at breakfast and announced to his mother that he was going to die that day, and he did. (Story from Carol DeKorte, who was told this by her mother, “Many times”. collected, May, 2004.)  (Peter 1875 died in Denmark.). We Rasmussens descend from four of the six boys…Carl 1887 (no kids), Will 1884 (8 kids: Vernon Vaughan 1910, Wallace “Wally” 1912, Herman “Hermie” Hubert 1913, Evan Edmund 1916, Leona Leatta 1918, James Jonathan 1920 , Miriam”Marie” 1923, Norma Naomi 1929), Maurice/Morris 1882  (5 kids: Harry 1907, Evelyn 1908, Thelma “Sally” 1910, Mildred 1916, Grace 1917), Jim/James 1879 (3 kids, no grand kids: Eva 1903, Joy 1904, Ervin 1907), Christian 1877 (6 kids, my grandfather: Lydia Mabel 1902, Esther 1905, Iva 1906, Pearl 1910, Ruby Helen Lucille 1917, Arthur Donald “Don”: 1921), and Rasmus/Ras 1873 
(5 kids: Elena 1898, Mae 1900, Ernest Lloyd 1903, Walter 1906, Agnes 1910).

Wheelwright Rasmus Rasmussen, born in Ringe, Denmark, near Svedborg (on the isle of Funen) was 50 years old when he, together with his wife Mette Kirstine who was 40 years old, and their six sons: Rasmus (Ras S.) 16 years, Hans Kristjan (Christian Hans) 11 years, Jens Elo (James E.) 9 years, Marius Alexander (Maurice “Morse”) 7 years, Frederik Vilhelm (William “Will” Fredrick) 4 years old, and Kristian Frederik Karl (Carl) 1 year, left for Alden, Minnesota on May 23, 1889, and eventually homesteaded in Egeland, North Dakota. Mads Peter/Hans Peder (Peter) Born July 9, 1875 – died September 16, 1888 – age 13. The family moved to America because they were looking for a new way of life. They were tired of the heavy taxes imposed by the King of Denmark and they were hungry.

What People are saying about the Rasmussen1889 Website:

From Carlene Severson: Once again, Thank you Lloyd.  Every time you send pixs I stop everything to look.  This is a very busy day and here I am looking at pix.  It’s really not your fault, but I can’t stop myself.  There’s one of Lorin’s dad standing by old iron wheeled tractor with 2 ladies on tractor.  I just love it.  I’ll probably be making some identifications for you.

From Judy RasmussenOh, Lloyd, these are wonderful!  I am SO excited to see them up.  Priceless, just priceless.  Very fun for the family to be interacting as pictures come up and are identified. Makes us all feel connected and part of this huge, magnificent family tree. Our family is eating these photos up like decadent chocolate!  What you have done for all of us can’t be defined, really.  It’s just become one huge gift that keeps on giving. Love and thanks again from Idaho! Judy and family

From Susan Levitte – Cavalier County Museum, Dresden, ND: Lloyd/Larry, first off what a beautiful job you have done on the Rasmus Rasmussen Family History Blog. I wanted to share with you that I posted a link to your blog on the Cavalier County Museum at Dresden Facebook page this afternoon. http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Cavalier-County-Museum-Dresden-ND/121968634508285. I am always looking for quality history links to post on our facebook and your blog is really a joy to share with our followers.  Having the Calio/Egeland ND ties make it even more exciting to share. Nice Job! Susan Levitte

From Carlene Severson – From the Ras line: This is just amazing. I’m so grateful for all of you who are making an effort of pass on this amazing family heritage to future generations. Don’t know if I told you before, but a few weeks ago God put a scripture in neon for me.

“Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.” Psalm 71:17-18

I feel you are all doing just this by preserving so much of your(our) family history. God’s been good to me to allow me to be part of this bunch of people. Carlene Severson


122 years after the Rasmussen family arrived on these shores from Denmark, Rasmus Rasmussen’s great great grandson, U.S.N. Lt. Jason Harrel, flew his F-18 over the Reagan Presidential Library, on February 6, 2011, in honor of President Reagan’s 100th birthday. Lt. Harrel is stationed on the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan.

Norma Rasmussen Harrel’s grandson: Lt. Jason Harrel in front of his F-18.

Then…about 80 years earlier we have a photo of Jason’s great uncle Vernon and great aunt Nellie Rasmussen standing in front of an OX-5 powered Travel Air 2000 airplane that probably landed at Egeland.

Vernon & Nellie Rasmussen standing in front of the prop. On the left are Earl and Francis Severson. On the right are Agnes and Lloyd Thornton


Army Cpl Justin Ross stands with his parents Pastor Ron & Debbie Ross, is the grandson of Pastor Robert Ross from Kalispell, MT, and the great great grandson of Christian Hans & Dagny Rasmussen – Killed in action in Afghanistan by a sniper in March of 2011. To see more of the story: http://www.fox11online.com/dpp/news/Father-of-fallen-soldier-discusses-son


South Medford grad shot in Afghanistan

Cody Smith  

The Rasmussen tie-in: Rasmus Rasmussen (ggg grandfather)- Ras Rasmussen (gg grandfather) – Elna Rasmussen Severson (g grandmother)– Jerry Severson (grandfather) – Vicki Severson Smith (mother)– Wounded warrior Cody Smith

South Medford grad shot in Afghanistan

Cody Smith, a former All-Conference football lineman, has undergone two emergency surgeries
February 19, 2011

A recent South Medford High School graduate has endured two emergency surgeries after he was shot this week while serving in Afghanistan.

Cody Smith, who graduated in 2009 and played on the football team, is able to communicate with nurses at a hospital near Bagram, an ancient city about 60 miles north of Kabul, according to his father, Chris Smith.

Smith was shot in the abdomen by insurgents while taking part in an operation in the northern section of Afghanistan, his father said.

Smith was scheduled to leave the war zone and head to Germany, but doctors in Afghanistan determined he was unfit to travel until after the second surgery.

Smith joined the Army immediately after graduating from South Medford and has served in the 101st Airborne Division since 2009.

“He left for the Army three days after graduation,” his father said. “He felt the Army gave him a good chance for success in life.”

Smith has been in Afghanistan since May 2010 and was scheduled to come home in April this year.

His family received word of his wounds Thursday. Chris Smith knew something was gravely wrong when he answered his cell phone and saw the area code was from Smith’s Army base in Fort Campbell, Ky.

“It was hard to answer that call,” he said.

The family operates the Wilderness Trails youth ministry camp based in Medford.

As a child, Smith loved the outdoors and participated in the camp. He has been a member of the Applegate Christian Fellowship in Ruch since he was a child, his father said.

Smith is the youngest of three siblings.

Chris Smith said the family has been received overwhelming support from friends and the community.

June 04, 2011

When Army Pfc. Cody Smith returns home this summer for the first time since a rifle bullet struck his lower back in Afghanistan, instantly paralyzing his legs, the former South Medford High School standout football player will know the community hasn’t forgotten him.

Volunteers plan to build a handsome new studio apartment with wheelchair access and other amenities added to the classic 1913 Craftsman-style home in Ruch where he spent his childhood.

“We feel Cody Smith is in the same class of people who stormed the beaches of Normandy,” explained Rush Behnke of Medford, one of the local contractors helping to organize the builders, carpenters and others in the effort. Normandy was the site of the D-Day invasion by the Allies on June 6, 1944, during World War II.

“He is a hero,” added Behnke, an Army veteran. “We love him for what he has done and respect him so much.”

Cody Smith, 20, the son of Chris and Vicki Smith of Ruch, is currently at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Palo Alto, Calif., where he has been undergoing physical therapy and other medical treatment for the past two months.

Nearly two dozen contractors and suppliers already have volunteered their services and materials.

“We have an army of men and women ready to help,” Behnke said.

Members of the soldier’s family say they are overjoyed with the show of support for their son by friends and strangers alike.

In addition to two older siblings and his parents, the soldier’s local family includes grandparents Jack and Pat Smith of Jacksonville.

“It’s awesome — we’re very excited about it,” his grandmother said of the community effort. “Cody has lived in that house all his life.”

The well-liked Smith family operates the Wilderness Trails youth ministry camp in the Applegate Valley. Cody participated in the camp and has been a member of the Applegate Christian Fellowship in Ruch since he was a youngster.

A soldier in the 101st Airborne Division, he was shot in the lower back on Feb. 17 of this year, the bullet shattering a vertebrae.

Cody Smith underwent surgery twice in military hospitals in Afghanistan before he was sent to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., where he spent six weeks. He was transferred to California two months ago.

“He wants so bad to make it home before his 21st birthday (on Aug. 9),” his father said. “We don’t know if he will be able to come home and stay at that point, but we’re anticipating he will be released for visits by then.”

Noting that his son was in top shape when he was shot, his father said Cody has some movement in his thigh muscles.

“For his condition, he is doing awesome with his spirit and attitude,” he said, adding that Cody’s positive attitude makes it easier on the rest of the family.

“There is always hope,” he said of Cody’s ability to regain his ability to walk.

While the VA will provide $6,800 to the family for the renovation, the amount falls well short of what is needed,

Plans call for the existing family room, bath and dining area in the home to be remodeled to create a one-bedroom studio apartment. It will include a new bathroom with wheel-in shower and a bedroom with a sitting area and a closet accessible by wheelchair, Behnke said.

“We’re hoping we can go further to buy things that will make his life better,” Behnke said.

March 02, 2011

Army Pfc. Cody Smith of Medford is battling back after being wounded in Afghanistan.

The 20-year-old, now in Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., has begun eating his meals instead of being fed through tubes, according to his father, Chris Smith.

“Right now he’s sitting up in bed and working on his second meal of the day,” his father said early Tuesday afternoon while visiting his son in Walter Reed. “He’s not eating steak and burgers yet, but he is able to have chicken noodle soup and Jell-O.”

A standout football player at South Medford High School, the soldier in the 101st Airborne Division was shot in the stomach on Feb. 17 during Operation Northern Avalanche in Kunar Province in northern Afghanistan. The bullet also nicked or bruised his spine, family members said.

“It’s too early to tell,” his father said of his son’s prognosis. “He is only 12 days out from laying in the dirt from Afghanistan.

“His spirits are better, but he probably still has a long road of rehabilitation to go, and we haven’t gotten into rehab yet,” he added.

Noting that he has seen soldiers with worse injuries in the medical center, Chris Smith said he remains optimistic about his son’s future.

“The perspective a guy has to take is that you are just fortunate your child has all of his limbs,” he said. “Here in Walter Reed you see a lot of double amputees and triple amputees.”

“Cody Smith was operated on twice in military hospitals in Afghanistan before he was sent to Walter Reed.

South Medford football coach and teacher Bill Singler said he remembers Smith’s positive influence in high school.

“He is a very likeable young man who always seemed to have a smile on his face,” Singler said. “He enjoyed life and playing football.”

Cody Smith joined the Army immediately after graduating from South Medford and has served in the 101st Airborne Division since 2009. He has been in Afghanistan since May 2010 and was scheduled to return home next month.

In addition to two older siblings, and his parents, Chris and Vicki Smith, the soldier’s local family members include grandparents Jack and Pat Smith of Jacksonville.

“His spirits are up,” said his grandmother who spoke with him Monday evening. “As a grandparent, I’m so grateful that he is getting better, that he is alive.”

“People need to realize there are kids fighting for our country, and some of them are from our home towns,” Chris Smith observed.

The Smith family operates the Wilderness Trails youth ministry camp in the Applegate Valley. Cody participated in the camp and has been a member of the Applegate Christian Fellowship in Ruch since he was a youngster.

Chris Smith indicated the family has received lots of support from friends and the community since their son was wounded.

“A lot of people are praying for him, rooting for him,” he said.


The Rasmussen Story 

RASMUS RASMUSSEN was born December 10, 1837, in Fyen, Denmark. He died April 28, 1924 in Kalispell, Montana – age 85 years.METTE KIRSTINE “STINE” MADSON and Rasmus Rasmussen were married in Denmark – 1871. She died October 1910 in Kalispell, Montana – age 61 years.The family arrived in Minnesota in 1889; homesteaded near Egeland, North Dakota in 1895; moved to Kalispell, Montana in 1902.Rasmus and Mette “Stine” Rasmussen’s 7 sons were all born in Sødinge, Fyn, Denmark. In the  photo from left to right starting with the youngest. Kristian Frederik Karl (Carl) – March 27, 1887 – December 18, 1959Frederick Vilhelm (Will) – August 16, 1884 – June 18, 1965Marius Alexander (Maurice “Morse”) – March 18, 1882 – Nov. 30, 1954Jens Elo (James) – August 23, 1879 – August 24, 1968Hans Kristjan (Christian Hans) – May 22, 1877 – April 15, 1952Rasmus (Ras S.) –  May 15, 1873 – Jan. 8, 1952Number two son Mads Peter/Hans Peder (Peter) – b. July 9, 1875 – died September 16, 1888 – at the age of 13 in Denmark.  Cause of death unknown. Father Rasmus Rasmussen – December 10, 1837  to April 28, 1924 Mother Mette Kirstine  “Stine” Madsen August 2, 1849 to October 19, 1910The family photo was taken about 1902 as some of the family prepared to move from Egeland, North Dakota to Kalispell, Montana in 1902-1903. Obituary of Rasmus Rasmussen – April 29, 1924 from an Egland, ND newspaper. Found in the papers of W.F. Rasmussen, his youngest son, in 2010, now held by g. granddaughter Carol DeKorte. Rasmus Rasmussen, aged 85 years, died of old age at the home of his son (Christian H. Rasmussen) in Kalispell, Montana, on April 28th. 1924.Mr. Rasmussen was born in Denmark on July 10, 1838 and at the age of 33 years he married and to this union were born seven sons. He came to the United States in 1889 settling in Minnesota where he lived for six years, then moving here (Egeland) and homesteading on what is known now as the A.G. Campbell farm and part of their land being where Egeland now stands. In 1902 he moved to Flathead, Montana and has made his home in that state since.The deceased leaves to morn his death six sons who are: Will and Rasmus of this city; James of Spokane, Washington; Maurice of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Carl of Big Fork, Montana and Chris of Kalispell, Montana.Funeral services were held on May 2nd and the remains were laid to rest in the Conrad Memorial Cemetery at Kalispell, Montana. Five of his sons attended the funeral. Will being the one who was unable to attend.He was a man of generous impulses and never forgot the hospitalble ways of the pioneer. The stranger, even though 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 enjoyed properity quietly. He had filled the various relations of life, as son, husband, father, brother, friend, and filled them well. Who can do more?

Let us introduce ourselves. My twin brother, Larry Smith and I (Lloyd Smith) are from the Christian Hans Rasmussen line. The relatives I am contacting are from either the Ras, Christian, Will, or Maurice’s (pronounced “Morris”) lines since Peter and Carl had no descendants. Jim and Annie Rasmussen had three children, but no grandchildren.


Giving an insight into the Rasmussen Family’s Spiritual Heritage… Whenever we see photos of the Rasmussens, they were either eating or dressed for church. Church was a large part of the Rasmussen life. Here is one example of their spiritual grit. The True Testimony of Lena Paulsen Rasmussen (1878 – 1969) January 1, 1960

We saw many wonderful healings.  The following is the testimony of my healings. Has the Lord lost his power to heal? No, and again I say no. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.  See Hebrews 13:7-8.  Praise and glory to His dear name. I feel impressed to write this to the glory of God that it might help someone else, for he said in Acts 1:8, “Ye shall be witnesses unto me.”  So therefore I speak what I know and testify to what I have seen. I was just a young girl, nearly 15 years old when I had my first epileptic fit in the summer of 1893.  I dropped without warning to anyone.  I was carried to bed all stiffened with cramps. A fit lasted from two to four hours.  I was part of the time unconscious, and if not, then suffering intensely.  I was afflicted with this dreadful disease for nearly twenty-two years.  There was never a year passed that I did not have those fits.  I have had them as often as five times in a day. My mind was greatly weakened, and my strength failing.  I sought five different physicians but all in vain.  I grew worse instead of better.  I was a Christian all of those years and believed somewhat in Diving Healing.  Some of my friends urged me to seek the Lord for healing, but I thought maybe it was the Lord’s will that I should suffer that way for a while and then He would take me home.  But praise God, in the spring of 1915 some Pentecostal people came to our town preaching a full salvation in Christ Jesus, and Baptism in the Holy Ghost according to Acts 2:4; and Diving Healing showing how Jesus had atoned for our healing as well as for our salvation. This Teaching of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost was new to me, but as God proved it by his Word, I was convinced it was for us all today, as well as in the apostles’ time.  One day as we were waiting on the Lord in prayer, He poured out His Spirit upon me in a wonderful way.  Praise His precious name, thus proving his promises are true which God gave unto the prophet Joel and confirmed by the Apostle Peter on the Day of Pentecost.  (Joel 2:28, Acts 2:16-18)  Peter further states in Acts 2:39; “For the promise is to as many as the Lord our God shall call.”  I praise the Lord I am one of them, and the Lord proved it, for I came through, speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gave utterance.  (See Acts 2:4.)  I can only urge you to come and taste and see for yourself. But while the Lord thus blessed me, I was still sick in my body, the same as before, but then he Lord made it plain to me that I should be healed for He Himself took our infirmities and our sickness. (Matt. 8:17)  If he had borne our sicknesses, why should I carry them? The morning of February 26, 1915, three days after I received the Baptism of the Spirit, I took one of those fits. I was then prayed over and anointed and then I went to sleep.  I was awakened by an electric shock from God, and I said, “I am healed.” I went to sleep again, and was awakened in the same way; and from that day to this, which is over 45 years ago, I have never had an epileptic fit.  Praise the dear Lord forever. So you see what a wonderful change the Lord has wrought in me, and He has not done any more for me than He will do for others. May this little testimony encourage someone to press on with real earnestness toward the mark for the Prize of the High Calling of God in Christ Jesus, all to His own Glory.  Lena Paulsen Rasmussen – Jacksonville, Oregon – age: 82


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