Family Narrative


of Ringe, Island of Fynn (Fyen, Fyn, Fin), Denmark

As of October 2010.

Emigrated to the United States in June of 1889

Rasmussen ancestral Denmark house located at:

Sødingevej 39, Sødinge, Denmark, in the parish of Ringe

Assembled by his Great-Grandson Larry Smith from 1973 – 2010

315 Laurelwood Drive

Jacksonville, Oregon 97530


November 2010


Everybody needs his memories. They keep the wolf of insignificance from the door.

As of October 2010

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 16 years, Hans Christian 11 years, Jens Elo 9 years, Marius Alexander 7 years, Frederik Vilhelm 4 years and Christian Frederik 1 year, left for Alden, Minnesota on May 23, 1889, and eventually homesteaded in Egeland, North Dakota.

All of the boys eventually “Americanized” their names. Rasmus added a middle initial, Hans Kristian became Christian Hans, Jens Elo became James, etc.


From: Lloyd Smith []
Thursday, October 28, 2010 9:29 PM


Everybody needs his memories. They keep the wolf of insignificance from the door.

I am Lloyd Smith and I have not met many of you in my “Rasmussen” distribution list but I am trying to gather as many of the relatives’ e-mails or those interested in the Rasmussen family photo history into an e-mail list so I can send out the photos I am collecting. Look at the top of the page and if you see any e-mails of interested family missing, please send them to me. We have thousands of relatives out there from these 6 men. I have about 52 in my group.

Let me introduce myself. My twin brother, Larry Smith and I are from the Chris Rasmussen line. Most of the relatives I am contacting are from the Carl, Chris, Will, Morris (Maurice), Jim, Peter and Ras line. Our grandfather, Chris, is second from the right.
The first album I am sending out is the one I call “Ernie Rasmussen’s album – Rasmussen’s & Paulsen’s

Click on: <>

to see all 708 photos I have scanned from Ernie’s album. (Just finished last night) Some of the photos came down from Ras and Lena Rasmussen to Ernie.

There are some real classics in this album.

The photos really cover a lot of the Rasmussen’s history and their expanding family.

So, I need names and I.D. of any of the photos you would like to help me with. Many of our relatives have helped. Many of you are only related to us through wedding cake, as my brother would say, but still connected to the Rasmussens.

I need e-mails of anybody that you know that would be interested in seeing this project.

Then I am always looking for more photos. If you have a box or an album in a chest or attic that might interest me please send them to me and I will scan them, place them on a DVD for you and upload the album on Picasa so we can all enjoy them.

Right now I have two more albums sitting here that I have yet to scan. I have already scanned in about 7,000 photos from the Smiths and all the relatives.

If this works I will be sending out several more albums that I have already scanned from the Will line (from Carol Southwick Dekorte).

Feel free to pass this e-mail on to your e-mail list of interested parties.


Lloyd Smith
Photo albums: <>
146 West Beacon Hill Drive
Longview WA 98632
Cell: 360-749-2037
Hm: 360-636-7343 <>

Hundreds of original Rasmussen photos are available from Lloyd Smith’s web site at:


From: Carlene Wall Severson []
Sent: Sunday, October 31, 2010 6:34 AM
To: Lloyd Smith

Once again, Lloyd, your efforts are much appreciated.  I am such a collector of family memorabilia that this means soooo much to me.  Because of the way Lorin (Severson) was raised I had no hopes of obtaining many family photos to pass on to our children and now, thanks to you, Larry, and Marsha being tenacious and doing what it takes to get things available to the family we are reaping the benefits.


Rasmussen/Paulsen Connection Blog Spot assembled by Marsha Ann Paulsen Peters (MAPP) July 2010 – the best web site on the seven Rasmussen brothers.

A note to anyone who is new to this or has forgotten:
Mary Olsen Paulsen (1853 Denmark–1940 NDak) and Albert Paulsen (1853 Denmark–1904 Montana)  came to USA to MN 1872-’73 then NDak then MT then NDak.  Married 1873 in MN, they had 13 kids over the next 20 yrs, 11 of whom survived to adulthood.  Those kids’ tree branches grew into the Midwest and the Plains and CA and the Northwest, esp.;  now we’re a vast number, spread to all directions of the compass and map. The blog narration is about the family circa 1860-1920; sometimes earlier,  a touch later if it relates to 1910.

This project is to share MaryOP’s diary’ed life as a widowed mother of many  a century ago in northern NDak.  It’s ‘just’ her day-to-day record of life and times which is likely boring to some;  to others it can be a look at a family’s roots  through a lens 100 yrs old.  She wrote a diary entry/ record every day for decades.
I’m not trying to “sell” the blog project to anyone  ! — just restating what this project is about.
At end of the 1910 diary I’ll stop  inasmuch as we don’t have her 1911 or 1912 diaries  And I might be burned out by then anyway.
Cheerio,   Marsha


Ringe lokalhistoriske Arkiv (local history archive)

Arkivet er flyttet til midletidige lokaler

Floravej 17 C

5750 Ringe, Denmark

E-mail –

Arkivleder: Jacob Bang Jensen

Address after April: 2004:

Algade 40 2

DU5250 Ringe, Denmark

The Smith Family Connection:

Rasmus Rasmussen (1838 – 1924)

Christian Rasmussen (1877 – 1952)

Dagny Marie Jørgensen Rasmussen (1882 – 1963)

Ruby Helen Rasmussen Smith (1917 – 2008 )

Larry and Lloyd Smith (1940 – )

Rasmus Rasmussen’s seven sons were all born in Sødinge, Fyn, Denmark

Rasmus (Ras S.) –  May 15, 1873 – January 8, 1952

Mads Peter/Hans Peder (Peter) – July 9, 1875 – died September 16, 1888 – age 13

Hans Kristjan (Christian Hans) – May 22, 1877 – April 15, 1952

Jens Elo (James) – August 23, 1879 – August 24, 1968

Marius Alexander (Maurice “Morse”) – March 18, 1882 – November 30, 1954

Frederick Vilhelm (Will) – August 16, 1884 – June 18, 1965

Kristian Frederik Karl (Carl) – March 27, 1887 – December 18, 1959

1). Rasmus Rasmussen [senior], farmer in Ferritslev, died on 26.11.1826, aged 64, Ferritslev, Rolfsted. His wife Karen Rasmusdatter + aged 84 on 30.3.1830 there
(they married on March 6 1795, Rolfsted; Karen [had been widowed] [before] then – lost her 1st husband. So many of the wives lost their husbands. Tradition and custom and necessity required that a widow lady marry quickly for economic security. A widower, if he had children, immediately began looking for a new wife. (from Danish family researcher Kenneth Jørgensen)

Your 3d great-grandfather, wheeler in Sønderskov, Rasmus Rasmussen (+ aged 70, 30.8.1834 there) lost his wife Dorthea Pedersdatter on May 26 1831 (she was 66).
As you see, your great-great-grandfather & great-great-great-grandfather, both named Rasmus Rasmussen, were both wheelers [wheelwrights!] in Sønderskov in Ferritslev.

[Traditions/rules decreed: death of husband/wife at an early age: re-marry as soon as possible to get a new supervisor attending of your property or a new mum for your children – then, you may imagine, people did not always marry because of a great love 🙂 but often as a practical act].

A Short Summary of the Rasmussen Family History

Most of the following narrative was written by Wallace Rasmussen (1912 – 2003) in an August, 1995 letter to Larry Smith.  Some dates and details have been added by Larry.

Some interesting facts of the Rasmussen family are a summary of happenings as they occurred starting with the birth of Rasmus Rasmussen in 1838 in Ringe, Denmark.

He was an adventurous young man leaving Denmark and coming to the United States when he was a young man in his early twenties. He worked on the railroad between Chicago and San Francisco while he was here.  Supposedly, he was present when the Golden Spike was driven in 1869 in Utah.

There is reason to believe that Ras entered the United States through New Orleans and worked on railroad bridges crossing the Mississippi before working on the Transcontinental Railroad.

His thoughts were of his family and a girl he left behind in Denmark.  Some time, date unknown, in his early work and travels he went back to Denmark and married his girlfriend Mette Kerstine Madsen, (b. 1849), on May 4, 1872.

They 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.)

The story is also told about the year 1888 or 1889 R. S. Rasmussen told his mother that after hearing stories from his father about his two years working in the United States, that he wanted to go to America from Denmark. The story is she said, “No! We will all go.” Another version says that she was against coming to the U.S. and that it was Rasmus sr. who made the decision.) This started a complete family movement or departure from Denmark to the United States around 1889.  The crossing took one month.  The family brought along cheese for their meals.

The family first had to register at the Copenhagen police station giving their intention of leaving the country.  Basically it was a promise that they would not seek any further services from Denmark and that they would not return.  Ras Rasmussen did eventually qualify for a war pension while in Montana.

They settled in Albert Lea, Minnesota where they had some relatives and lived there for a short period of time.  It was so cold in Albert Lea that their bread froze in the breadbox.

“The Danish Lutherans of Albert Lea are about to commence the erection of a new church.”  St. Paul Daily Globe, March 18, 1878.

“A number of Danish citizens of Albert Lea have taken the preliminary steps for the foundation of a Danish church.”  St. Paul Daily Globe, October 13, 1879.

“A Danish Society, styled Diana, has been organized in Albert Lee, the object of which is the improvement of its members, mentally and morally and to render aid to Danish immigrants and to provide a charity fund.”  St. Paul Daily Globe, Dec. 8. 1879.

The Rasmussens heard about the possibility of owning a quarter section of land from the U.S. government as a homestead in North Dakota if they would live on the land and prove it up for at least seven years.  This land would be given to them without cost.

So they moved as a family to Towner County. Cando, North Dakota was the county seat and the only town nearby was about 14 miles from their land.

This was a new venture for the family out here in the open prairie with no definite roads or highways.  At this time unimproved roads ran along the edge of each quarter section of land.  So it was possible to travel by horse and buggy or lumber wagon from one place to another during the spring and summer months.  In winter, they used a sleigh with four ski-like runners underneath to go over or through the snow when they wanted to travel to Cando, N.D. or any place nearby.

The family by now was growing up with some of the older boys getting married and starting their own families living on nearby farms.  However, the Rasmus and Mette Rasmussen family felt that it was getting too crowded with other people living on farms nearby; so, they decided to move to a new area near Kalispell, Montana sometime during the 1890’s.  About half of the brothers stayed on their farms in North Dakota while the rest of the family moved to Kalispell, Montana.

William F. Rasmussen and a younger brother Carl F. C. Rasmussen were two of the boys that moved to Kalispell.  They were both in their teens and had not obtained property of their own.  William F. Rasmussen went back to North Dakota in his early twenties, but Carl stayed in Kalispell.

Ras S. and Lena Rasmussen moved to Kalispell for only two or three years, and then they moved back to North Dakota where they farmed for 40 years.

Christian Hans and Dagny Marie “Mary” Rasmussen moved to Kalispell in 1904, where they remained until their deaths.

About 1905, a man who was a banker in Bisbee, North Dakota by the name of Egeland decided that it would be a good idea to start a new town on Rasmus Rasmussen’s home place, (the homestead that he had developed earlier).  So, Mr. Egeland bought the land and started a town.  He had Will Rasmussen use a mower and team of horses to mow the outline for the streets in a grain field from a beginning of city blocks and future development.  That was the beginning of the town of Egeland, North Dakota.

“The town site of Egeland, ND was from the quarter owned by the homesteader Rasmus Rasmussen.  Lots of the townsite were sold in August, 1905.”  from the Egeland, North Dakota Bicentennial Cook Book.

It was soon a flourishing small town with the Soo Line railroad going through it.  There was a depot, a coalloading shed for the steam locomotives and a big water tank to fill the engine with water.

Hotels, houses and business places were soon started such as a bakery, a studio for taking pictures and family photos, bank, grocery store, and auto garages as soon as cars came along and needed servicing.  Then there were two hotels built to accommodate the necessary people who traveled.

Back to the Rasmussen family now located in Kalispell.  Mette Rasmussen died in 1910 at the age of 61.  Rasmus died in 1924 at the age of 86 years.  They are both buried in the Conrad Cemetery at Kalispell, Montana.

The oldest son, Rasmus Rasmussen, decided that since both his dad and he had the same name and their mail was getting mixed up, that he would add the letter “S” to his name and he became Rasmus S. Rasmussen or R. S. Rasmussen with no middle name just an “S”.

The fifth living boy in the family changed his name from Wilhelm to William F. Rasmussen.  Evidently changes like that could be made rather easily.

Hans Kristian changed his name to: Christian Hans, after arriving in America.  Most of the other boys also changed their names.

Here is a listing of the original families, dates of birth, and times of deaths:

Father Rasmussen                 December 10, 1837          April 28, 1924

Mother Rasmussen                August 2, 1849                  October 19, 1910

R.S. R. S. Rasmussen           May 15, 1873                     January 8, 1952

Mads Peter Rasmussen        July 9, 1875                       September 16, 1888

aka – Hans Peder in the February 1, 1880 census

Christian Hans Rasmussen  May 22, 1877                    April 15, 1952

James E. Rasmussen            August 23, 1880                August 24, 1968

Maurice A. Rasmussen         March 18, 1882                 November 30, 1954

William F. Rasmussen           August 16, 1884                June 18, 1965

Carl F. C. Rasmussen           March 27, 1887                  December 18, 1959

This may help you in your study of the Rasmussen family.  It is, however, a summary of hearsay information and much could be said by your mother and others who were better acquainted with the brothers and their families.

Grandpa Rasmus Rasmussen, it is said, was a wagon maker and skilled at woodwork in Denmark. He was a farmer in the U.S.A.  They lived at Ringe Fyen, Denmark.  Your mother may be able to fill in information of the people who lived in the west.

Written by Wallace Rasmussen, August 1, 1995 – Portland, Oregon


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 Untited States in 1889 settling in Minnesota where he lived for six years, then moving here ((Egland) and homesteading on what is known now as the A.G. Campbell farm and part of thie 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 remaines 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 and 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?


Memorandum (found among the papers of W. F. Rasmussen, November 2010, in the possession of Carol DeKorte – R. Rasmussen’s g. granddaughter.)

We, the undersighned sons of Rasmus Rasmussen, being all present in Kalispell either in person or by Attorney-in-Fact, having been called together in order to adust matters of importance affecting Rasmus Rasmussen, our father, herin set forth a memorandum of facts in relation to the property of Rasmus Rasmussen and the amounts received from him, to-wit:

On or about March 25, 1922, we, each one of us, namely: Rasmus S. Rasmussen, C.H. Rasmussen, J. E. Rasmussen, M. A. Rasmussen, W. F. Rasmussen, and C. F. C. Rasmusse

n, respectively, received in cash or in the equivalent $1,000. In explanation of the above statement be it known that about fifteen years ago Rasmus Rasmussen loaned or advanced to M. A. Rasmussen and W. F. Rasmussen $800 each for which each respectively gave his note. That up to March 25, 1922, no interest had been paid on said notes. That on said date Rasmus Rasmussen gave to said two sons $200 each in addition to what he had already given or loaned them fifteen years ago. That at various times during the first half of 1921 said Rasmus Rasmussen advanced to C. F. C. Rasmussen $1,000, @200, and $30 aggregating in all $1230. That it was mutually understood between Rasmus Rasmussen and C. F. C. Rasmussen that said Rasmus Rasmussen should live and make his home with said C. F. C. Rasmussen for the remainder of his life and that said $1230 was an advance payment for his board and keep. For various reasons said Rasmus Rasmussen ceased to make his home with C. F. C. Rasmussen after having lived with him for eighteen months and it was actually understood and agreed that $25 per month or $450 in the aggregate, was a reasonable price for board and keep. There remains, therefore, of said last named advance $780 in the hands of said C. F. C. Rasmussen, but it is mutually agreed and understood that the interest on the $800 advanced to M. A. Rasmussen and W. F. Rasmussen fifteen years ago and upon which amount no interest was paid, shall be an offset to the $780 of the aforesaid advance to C. F. C. Rasmussen and all the parties thereto waive repayment of these amounts to the estate of Rasmus Rasmussen when the time comes that he will die which time we all hope awill not be in the near future.

Rasmus Rasmussen gave a warrenty deed to C. F. C. Rasmussen for fifteen acres of land which deed has therefore been recorded. In consideration of deeding this land said C. F. C. Ramussen has heretofore signed a promissory note for $1125 payable to C. H. Ramussen or J. E. Ramussen in trust.

To recapitulate: We, each one of the brothers, hereby acknowledge a net gift of this date from Rasmus Rasmussen of $1000.

The prupose of making this memorandum is to have a perfect agreement and understanding between all the brothers when the time inevitably will come when our beloved father will depart from among us and this also being a time when all the brothers are present either in person or by Attorneys-in-Fact.

Signed in seven copies this 24th day of May, 1922.

Winessed: (two signatures – not readable)

R. S. Ramsmussen

M. A. Rasmussen by R. S. Rasmussen

W. F. Rasmussen by R. S. Rasmussen

C. H. Rasmussen

J. E. Rasmussen

C. J. C. Rasmussen

I have heard/read and the contents of the above memoradum has been fully explained to me, and it has my approval.

Signed this 22nd day of May, 1922

Rasmus Rasmussen

Witnessed. ( Signatures not readable)

Paulsen Land

PAULSEN ALBERT 05 159 N 066 W 013 80 272002 PA 2461 10/04/1889

PAULSEN ALBERT 05 159 N 066 W 024 80 272002 PA 2461 10/04/1889

PAULSEN ALBERT 05 159 N 066 W 013 160 251105 PA 1665 11/28/1900

PAULSEN ALBERT 05 159 N 066 W 024 160 251101 PA 3789 12/17/1900

RASMUSSEN CHRISTIAN H 05 159 N 065 W 004 160 251101 PA 8372 12/01/1904

RASMUSSEN RASMUS 05 159 N 065 W 006 80 251101 PA 4798 06/09/1902

RASMUSSEN RASMUS 05 159 N 065 W 006 34.66 251101 PA 4798 06/09/1902

RASMUSSEN RASMUS 05 159 N 065 W 006 34.92 251101 PA 4798 06/09/1902

RASMUSSON RASMUS 05 159 N 065 W 008 160 251101 PA 5606 07/21/1903

On 6/7/07, Beverly Pinelli > wrote: 1900 Census


I sent the census images in a seperate email.

It was interesting that Albert Paulson household # 106 Family # 96 was next to;

Rasmus Rasmussen household # 103 Family # 97

This Rasmus Rasmusen was 28 years old,  Immigration year 1889  In U S 11 years -born  Denmark  Father born Denmark  Mother born Denmark was a farmer and owned his farm in full

Wife was Lena, age 21  with 1 child, still living  born Minnesota  Father born Denmark  Mother born Denmark Child was Daughter Elma age 8 born N Dakota
This seems to be the older brother of Christian Hans Rasmussen.

Thanks, again, Bev.

Ya– the Rasmus you mention below is married to Lena, 4thborn (of 13) to Albert & Mary Paulsen (my great-grands; my grandpa is Henry Paulsen, then 14),  next door.    The next year, they’d haul the family out to Kalispell MT  where, tragically, Albert was killed in 1904 while pulling out a tree-stump.  Mary soon returned to Towner Co., settling in Cando town, instead of the Egeland area, and was a widow the remaining 36 yrs of her life.  Luckily — or fortunately, I should say –several of her married children lived nearby and helped her with the heavy loads of widowhood w/ large family,  etc.   We are e-mail sharing with many dozens of Paulsenoid cousins, this year, Mary’s 1907 diary … a century later, in weekly installments.  Amazing life and times.
These records and images will help me share ‘Color commentaries’  with the diaries.     Truly, Marsha Paulsen Peters

The following bios are from:


Sponsored by the History Book Committee of the Towner County State Centennial Committee.

Ras Rasmussen Family

Ras Rasmussen and Mette Kristian Madsen were married in Denmark in 1871.  They came to the Egeland, North Dakota area in 1893 and homesteaded the land on which Egeland and Olmstead were built, the buildings located between the two towns.

The Rasmussen’s had six sons, (actually seven sons), all born in Denmark; and all came to the United States, namely: Rasmus, Christian, James, Maurice, William and Carl.  Rasmus and James homesteaded in Victor Township; William was in business and the mayor of Egeland for several years.

Rasmus S. Rasmussen homesteaded the SE1/4 of Sec. 8 in Victor Twp. in 1894.  He married Lena Paulsen from Paulson Twp. in 1896.  They had five children: Elna, Mae, Agnes, Ernest and Walter.  They built and operated what was known as a Bonanza Farm, with purebred imported horses and many hired workers.

In 1910, a large, modern house was built, complete with a light plant and running water in the house and barn. The farm was the site of community and church gatherings, such as Fourth of July picnics, with homemade ice cream.

Rasmus was a pastor of the Assembly of God Church for several years.  Lena was a midwife in the community and assisted in 75 baby deliveries.  In 1945, they moved to (Jacksonville) Oregon where Rasmus died in 1952 and Lena in 1969.

Direct descendants living in Victor Twp. are Ralph Rasmussen, son of Walter, son of Rasmus; and Todd Johnson, son of Doris Odegaard Johnson, daughter of Mae Rasmussen Odegaard, daughter of Rasmus.

Today, Art and Phyllis Rinas own and operate the farm.  They have five children: Gilbert (deceased), Loa, Michael, Mary and Bradley.

Odegaard Family

Edward Odegaard, of Norwegian heritage, came from Minnesota and filed a homestead claim on Sec. 8 in 1890.  Two years later, he acquired another quarter in Sec. 8 that was a tree claim.

In 1895, he and Laura (Stokke) from Norway were married. Their children were: Bertha, Peter, Harry, Ella (all deceased) and Elmer, living in Kalispell, Mont.

The farmhouse was built in 1910.  Ed died of cancer in 1916, leaving Laura and her family to operate the farm.  In 1921, Harry and Mary (Krile) Odegaard took over the operation until 1948, when it was sold to Leonard Martin.

It is now owned and operated by the Dennis Price family.


The Following Generational Lists Are From Diane Guthrie –

January, 2004


Wow, this is very interesting.  Our research back from

the Rasmus Rasmussen and Mette Kirstine Madsen family

is completely different (from what Larry located in 1977).

(It turns out that Larry’s researcher was wrong.)

When I found the family in the 1880 census taken in Lodinge, Ringe

I discovered that Rasmus was born in Rolsted, Odense.  Tracing back

through census, birth, christening and marriage records in that area I have gone back two generations to a Rasmus Rasmussen born in 1764.

Attached find two word documents.  The “rasmback” document begins with Rasmus born 1838 and goes back two generations.  The “Rasmus3” begins with Rasmus born in 1764 and goes forward and outlines more

information – all children of the family.

I have parents for Mette Kirstine Madsen who was born in Svendborg, Denmark.

The Rasmus Rasmussen born 10 Jul 1838 In Rolsted, Odense, Denmark was christened on 2 Sep 1838.

What evidence do you have for Rasmus Rasmussen born in 1837 in Ringe being part of our lineage?  Have you checked census records?


Hi Larry,

Wow, you have been very busy.  I noticed that you cut

and pasted in my Walter Rasmussen descendants into your

information. I’ve collected more info and am waiting for even more.  When I get that would you like me to send the new set which you can just cut and paste in again or just the updated information?

Every source I’ve looked at lists Rasmus Rasmussen’s

birthdate  as 1838 not 1837.  Book Towner County North

Dakota Families by Mabel Hadler, Publ. 1958, 6 vol.

shows “July 10, 1838 Fyen, Denmark” for birth.  Death

certificate from State of Montana Vital Statistics

bureau shows July 10, 1838, born in Denmark.

Are you planning to have any photos in your book?  I

now have a scanner and can send photos via e-mail or CD

to you if you are interested.  It would especially be

great to have the photo of Rasmus Rasmussen and Mette

Kirstine Madsen with their sons.

Let me know if there is anything that I can help you

with.  You mentioned an interest in stories.  I can

type-up something that Lena wrote about her first

impressions  of North Dakota which is very fascinating.

Ida, Walt’s wife, wrote some things too.



OBIT for Diane’s mother, Arlene Rasmussen

Arlene Ruth (McKenzie) Rasmussen

Arlene departed this life on August 18, 2007, at the age of 80. 

Arlene was born March 6, 1927, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to Margrethe (Peterson) and Frederick McKenzie. She was the 2nd born of 12 children. 

Arlene married Kenneth Rasmussen on July 26, 1948. They met in Minneapolis and married in Egeland, North Dakota, where they had a 640 acre crop and dairy farm. Their union was blessed with three children: Kathleen, Gerald and Diane. In 1966, the family immigrated to Perth, Australia. They moved back to the United States in 1967 and settled in Lacey, Washington. Kenneth and Arlene, along with their son, Gerald, owned and operated a subcontracting company called “R & R Construction.” Arlene was the phone answering and income tax preparer wizard. 

Arlene had, in her own words, oodles of bolts of fabric. She enjoyed sewing, singing, reading, writing, doodling, bargain shopping and taking scenic day trips to the Pacific Coast and the Olympic and Cascade Mountains. She was frugal with her money but generous in giving gifts and her time to her family and people in need. 

Arlene will be remembered for many things; her devotion to God and her family, her quiet, caring personality, her warm smile, her love of nature, and her frequent advice during difficult times, “You’ll be alright.” 

She was preceded in death by her husband of 52 years, Kenneth (February 27, 2001), her parents Margrethe and Frederick, and her brothers Russell and James. 

Grateful for having shared her life are her daughters Kathleen (Gordon) Bowman and Diane (John) Guthrie and son Gerald Rasmussen; 6 grandchildren, Silas (Cindy) Bowman, Elisabeth (Matt) Carlson, Obadiah (Jennifer) Bowman, Shane (Rebecca) Guthrie, Colin Guthrie and Devin Guthrie; 4 grandchildren, Andrew, Sarah and Nathaniel Bowman, and Claire Carlson; her sisters Elaine (Larry) Larson, Marty (LaValle) Gravning, Jeanette (Willis) Brenner, Virginia (Robert) Guse, Rose (David) Baldwin; her brothers Kenneth, Frederick, John (Linda) and Allen; her sister-in-laws, Margaret Axmark, Esther (Roland) Brandt, Doris (Hubert) Haugen, brother-in-law Ralph (Lois) Rasmussen, and numerous other relatives and friends. 

A Celebration of her Life will be held at 4:00 pm on Saturday, August 25, at Woodlawn Funeral Home, 5930 Mullen Road, Lacey, Washington. The family asks that memorials be sent to support Alzheimer’s research. 



1. Rasmus RASMUSSEN was born in 1764 in Denmark [S1].  Died before 1840 in Rolsted, Odense, Denmark [S2].  Rasmus Rasmussen, 37, owns cottage with small plot of land, wheelwright and weaver, Dorthe Pedersdatter, 37, Ellen Rasmusdatter, 4, Mette Rasmusdatter, 3.    LDS microfilm 0039033:  1801 census for Rolfsted, Odense, Denmark.

He married Dorthe PETERSDATTER about 1795 in Denmark.  Dorthe PETERSDATTER was born in 1764 in Denmark [S3].  Died before 1834 in Rolsted, Odense, Denmark [S4].

They had the following children:

2         i. Ellen RASMUSSEN was born in 1797 in Rolsted, Odense, Denmark [S5].

3        ii. Mette RASMUSSEN was born in 1798 in Rolsted, Odense, Denmark [S6].

+4       iii. Rasmus RASMUSSEN


4. Rasmus RASMUSSEN was born about 1802 in Rolsted, Odense, Denmark [S7].  Died in 1870/1880 in Rolsted, Odense, Denmark [S8].  Rasmus Rasmussen, 33, Marie Larsdatter, 30, Peder, 7, Anders, 4, Lars Chr., 2, Maren, 1, Rasmus Rasmussen, 70, a widower,retired, allowing use of land to son. LDS microfilm 0039072:  1834 census for Rolsted, Odense, Denmark.

Rasmus Rasmussen, 39, Anne M. Larsdatter, 36, Peter, 12, Lars Chr., 8, Maren, 6, Anne Marie, 3, Rasmus, 1.   LDS microfilm 0039148:  1840 census for Rolsted, Odense, Denmark

Rasmus Rasmussen, 44, Anne Marie Larsdatter, 41, Peder, 17, Lars, 13, Maren, 12, Anne Marie, 8, Rasmus, 7, Karen, 5, Anders, 2, Dorthea, 2.  LDS microfilm 0039239: 1845 census for Rolsted, Odense, Denmark

Rasmus Rasmussen, 49, Anne Marie Larsdatter, 46, Peter, 22, Lars Christian, 18, Maren, 17, Anne Marie, 13, Rasmus, 12, Karen Sophia, 10, Andreas Jacob, 7, Dorthea Kirstine, 7, Laurentine, 3.     LDS microfilm 003943:  1850 census for Rolsted, Odense, Denmark, page 19.

Rasmus Rasmussen, 54, Anne Marie Larsdatter, 51, Children: Rasmus, 16, Karen, 14, Anders, 12, Dorthea, 12, Laurentine, 8.  LDS microfilm 0039420:  1855 census for Rolsted, Odense, Denmark, family # 89.

Rasmus Rasmussen, 59, Anna Marie Lardatter, 56, Rasmussen children: Rasmus, 22, Dorthea Kristine, 17, Laurentine, 14, in census.  LDS microfilm 0039561:  1860 census for Rolsted, Odense, Denmark, family # 77.

Rasmus Rasmussen, 68, Wheel wright, Anne Marie Larsdatter, 65, Laurentine Rasmussen, 23 in census.  LDS microfilm reel 0262986: 1870 census for Rolsted, Odense, Denmark, page 352, #104-106.

He married Anne Marie LARSDATTER.  Anne Marie LARSDATTER was born about 1805 in Odense, Denmark [S9].  Died after 1 Feb 1880 in Rolsted, Odense, Denmark [S10].

They had the following children:

5         i. Peter RASMUSSEN was born in 1828 in Rolsted, Odense, Denmark [S11].

6        ii. Anders RASMUSSEN was born in 1830 in Rolsted, Odense, Denmark [S12].  Died before 1840 in Rolsted, Odense, Denmark [S13].

7       iii. Lars Christian RASMUSSEN was born in 1832 in Rolsted, Odense, Denmark [S14].

8        iv. Maren RASMUSSEN was born in 1833 in Rolsted, Odense, Denmark [S15].

9         v. Anne Marie RASMUSSEN was born on 20 Feb 1837 in Rolsted, Odense, Denmark [S16].

+10       vi. Rasmus RASMUSSEN

11      vii. Karen Sophia RASMUSSEN was born on 20 Oct 1840 in Rolsted, Odense, Denmark [S17].

12     viii. Anders Jacob RASMUSSEN a twin was born on 22 Mar 1843 in Rolsted, Odense, Denmark [S18].

13       ix. Dorthea Kirstine RASMUSSEN a twin was born on 22 Mar 1843 in Rolsted, Odense, Denmark [S19].

14        x. Laurentine RASMUSSEN was born in 1847 in Rolsted, Odense, Denmark [S20].


10. Rasmus RASMUSSEN [S21] was born on 10 Jul 1838 in Rolsted, Odense, Denmark [S22,S23].  Christened on 2 Sep 1838 in Rolsted, Odense, Denmark [S24].  Died on 21 Apr 1924 in Kalispell, Flathead, Montana [S25].  No will was found at time of death.  Probate had following information: he owned half a quarter of land worth $1200 and 7.4 acres worth $300. This money was split evenly between the sons.  As of March 11, 1932: Rasmus S. Rasmussen, 58, Egeland, ND; Christian H. Rasmussen, 54, Kalispell, MT; James E. Rasmussen, 52, Spokane, WA; Maurice A. Rasmussen, 50, East Wenatchee, WA; William F. Rasmussen, 48, Egeland, ND; Carl F. C. Rasmussen, 46, Bigfork, MT.  Buried on 30 Apr 1924 in Conrad Cemetery, Kalispell, Flathead, Montana [S26].  Danish census taken 1 Feb 1880, Lodinge, Ringe, Gudine, Svendborg LDS microfilm 0263417:

Rasmus Rasmussen, age 40, born Rolsted, Odense, wheelmaker, tenant farmer who rents from mother-in-law. Remaining people born in Espe, Svendborg:  Mette Kirstine Madsen, age 30, Rasmus Rasmussen, age 6, Hans Peder Rasmussen, age 4, Hans Kristian Rasmussen, age 2, Jens Elo Rasmussen, age ?, Ellen Larsdatter, age 72, enjoys a pension of the house.

Came to Minnesota 1889; homesteaded near Egeland 1895; 1902, Flathead, Montana.  Book Towner County North Dakota Families by Mabel Hadler, Publ. 1958, 6 vol.

Signature shows on marriage certificate of Rasmus and Lena dated 24 Dec 1896 witnessed by Rasmus Rasmussen and A. Paulsen.

9 June 1902 Filed 24 Oct 1902 Land office at Devils Lake,Ramsey County, N.D.  Land in Egeland,Towner,ND. Rasmus Rasmussen received 149 acres and 58 hundreds of an acre at South west quarter of the north east quarter the southeast quarter of the north west quarter and the lost numbered four and five of section six in township one hundred and fifty-nine north of range sixty five. Homestead Patent cert # 4798, application 6250, document 10113.

1910 U.S. Census, Montana, Flathead County, Kalispell township, Dist 25, Sheet 5, Line 51-52, age 71, National Archive Microfilm T624, Roll 832.  Rasmus immigrated 1889 and was naturalized.

He married Mette Kirstine MADSEN on 4 May 1872 in Lodinge, Ringe, Svendborg, Denmark [S27].  Mette Kirstine MADSEN [S28] was born on 2 Aug 1849 in Svendborg, Denmark [S29].  Died on 19 Oct 1910 in Kalispell, Flathead, Montana [S30,S31].  Buried on 22 Oct 1910 in Conrad Cemetery, Kalispell, Flathead, Montana [S32].  Came to Minnesota 1889; homesteaded near Egeland 1895; 1902, Flathead, Montana.  Book Towner County North Dakota Families by Mabel Hadler, Publ. 1958, 6 vol.

1910 U.S. Census, Montana, Flathead County, Kalispell township, Dist 25, Sheet 5, Line 51-52, age 71, National Archive Microfilm T624, Roll 832.  Name “Stine”, mother of 7 children 6 living, immigrated 1889.

They had the following children:

+15        i. Rasmus S. RASMUSSEN

16       ii. Peter RASMUSSEN [S33] was born on 9 Jul 1875 in Lodinge, Ringe, Svendborg, Denmark [S34].  Died after 1880 in Denmark [S35].

+17      iii. Christian “Chris” H. RASMUSSEN

+18       iv. James E. RASMUSSEN Rev.

+19        v. Maurice R. RASMUSSEN

+20       vi. William Frederick RASMUSSEN

+21      vii. Carl E. RASMUSSEN


1. Rasmus Rasmussen, 33, Marie Larsdatter, 30, Peder, 7, Anders, 4, Lars Chr., 2, Maren, 1, Rasmus Rasmussen, 70, a widower,retired, allowing use of land to son.  LDS microfilm 0039072:  1834 census for Rolsted, Odense, Denmark.

2. Not found living with son in 1840 census.

3. Dorthe Pedersdatter, 37, LDS microfilm 0039033:  1801 census for Rolfsted, Odense, Denmark.

4. LDS microfilm 0039072:  1834 census for Rolsted, Odense, Denmark shows husband as a widower.

5. LDS microfilm 0039033:  1801 census for Rolfsted, Odense, Denmark. Shows age 4.

6. LDS microfilm 0039033:  1801 census for Rolfsted, Odense, Denmark. Shows age 3.

7. LDS microfilm reel 0262986: 1870 census for Rolsted, Odense, Denmark, page 352, #104-106.

8. Was in 1870 census.  His wife was a widow in 1880 census.

9. LDS microfilm reel 0262986: 1870 census for Rolsted, Odense, Denmark, page 352, #104-106.

10. Was in 1880 census, age 75, living with dau Laurentine Rasmussen, 33. LDS microfilm 0263335 for Rolsted, Odense, Denmark, family 6.

11. LDS microfilm 003943:  1850 census for Rolsted, Odense, Denmark, page 19.

12. LDS microfilm 0039072:  1834 census for Rolsted, Odense, Denmark

13. Was not listed in 1840 or 1845 census with parents.

14. LDS microfilm 003943:  1850 census for Rolsted, Odense, Denmark, page 19.

15. LDS microfilm 003943:  1850 census for Rolsted, Odense, Denmark, page 19.

16. LDS microfilm 003943:  1850 census for Rolsted, Odense, Denmark, page 19. LDS microfilm 0050437, 1843 births.

17. LDS microfilm 003943:  1850 census for Rolsted, Odense, Denmark, page 19. LDS microfilm 0050437, 1843 births.

18. LDS microfilm 003943:  1850 census for Rolsted, Odense, Denmark, page 19. LDS microfilm 0050437, 1843 births

19. LDS microfilm 003943:  1850 census for Rolsted, Odense, Denmark, page 19.

LDS microfilm 0050437, 1843 births

20. LDS microfilm 003943:  1850 census for Rolsted, Odense, Denmark, page 19.

21. Death certificate for son Rasmus S. lists father as Rasmus Rasmussen

22. Back of photo owned by Esther Brandt shows born 1839 in Ringe Fyn, Denmark.

Book Towner County North Dakota Families by Mabel Hadler, Publ. 1958, 6 vol. shows “July 10, 1838 Fyen, Denmark” for birth.

Death certificate from State of Montana Vital Statistics bureau shows July 10, 1838, born in Denmark.

23. LDS microfilm 0050437:  Births in Rolsted,Odense,Denmark.

24. Found in LDS microfilm 0050437:  Births in Rolsted,Odense,Denmark.

25. Death certificate from State of Montana Vital Statistics bureau shows death date 21 April 1924.  Cause of death arterio sclerosis (paralysis). Other sources say 28 April 1924.  Check probate – it is at work now.

Probate from Flathead County Courthouse, Kalispell, Montana.

26. Death certificate from State of Montana Vital Statistics bureau.

27. Marriage of Rasmus Rasmussen, bachelor, wheelmaker, 33, to Mette Kirstine Madsen, 22 both of Lodinge.  Married without banns.  Birth, marriage, death and confirmation records for Ringe, LDS microfilm reel 0312373, page 243.

28. Certified Death certificate owned by Diane Guthrie for son Rasmus S. lists mother as Christina Mason.

Book Towner County North Dakota Families by Mabel Hadler, Publ. 1958, 6 vol. lists name as Mette Kristine Madsen.

29. Back of photo owned by Esther Brandt

30. Back of photo owned by Esther Brandt shows 19 Oct 1910.

Death certificate from State of Montana Vital Statistics bureau shows 19 Oct 1910.  Death cause apoplexy (stroke).

“The Olden Days” by Mae Odegaard shows 1905 as death date.

31. Sent for cost of copy of will and probate 7/25. Clerk of District Court, Flathead County replied that they do not have one.

32. Death certificate from State of Montana Vital Statistics bureau.

33. Back of photo owned by Esther Brandt

34. Birth, marriage, death and confirmation records for Ringe, LDS microfilm reel 0312373, page 22.

35. Danish census taken 1 Feb 1880, Lodinge, Ringe, Gudine, Svendborg:

Rasmus Rasmussen, age 40, Mette Kirstine Madsen, age 30, Rasmus Rasmussen, age 6, Hans Peder Rasmussen, age 4, Hans Kristian Rasmussen, age 2, Jens Eli Rasmussen, age ?,Ellen Larsdatter,age 72.


RASMUSSEN, Anders  6

RASMUSSEN, Anders Jacob a twin  12

RASMUSSEN, Anne Marie  9

RASMUSSEN, Carl E.  21

RASMUSSEN, Christian “Chris” H.  17

RASMUSSEN, Dorthea Kirstine a twin  13


RASMUSSEN, James E. Rev.  18

RASMUSSEN, Karen Sophia  11

RASMUSSEN, Lars Christian  7

RASMUSSEN, Laurentine  14


RASMUSSEN, Maurice R.  19


RASMUSSEN, Peter  16


RASMUSSEN, Rasmus  10

RASMUSSEN, Rasmus  1

RASMUSSEN, Rasmus  4

RASMUSSEN, Rasmus S.  15

RASMUSSEN, William Frederick  20

The following document is similar to the above information. It starts numbering with Rasmus RASMUSSEN’S generation in 1838.

1. Rasmus RASMUSSEN [S1] was born on 10 Jul 1838 in Rolsted, Odense, Denmark [S2,S3].  Christened on 2 Sep 1838 in Rolsted, Odense, Denmark [S4].  Died on 21 Apr 1924 in Kalispell, Flathead, Montana [S5].  No will was found at time of death.  Probate had following information: he owned half a quarter of land worth $1200 and 7.4 acres worth $300. This money was split evenly between the sons.  As of March 11, 1932: Rasmus S. Rasmussen, 58, Egeland, ND; Christian H. Rasmussen, 54, Kalispell, MT; James E. Rasmussen, 52, Spokane, WA; Maurice A. Rasmussen, 50, East Wenatchee, WA; William F. Rasmussen, 48, Egeland, ND; Carl F. C. Rasmussen, 46, Bigfork, MT.  Buried on 30 Apr 1924 in Conrad Cemetery, Kalispell, Flathead, Montana [S6].  Danish census taken 1 Feb 1880, Lodinge, Ringe, Gudine, Svendborg LDS microfilm 0263417:

Rasmus Rasmussen, age 40, born Rolsted, Odense, wheelmaker, tenant farmer who rents from mother-in-law. Remaining people born in Espe, Svendborg:  Mette Kirstine Madsen, age 30, Rasmus Rasmussen, age 6, Hans Peder Rasmussen, age 4, Hans Kristian Rasmussen, age 2, Jens Eli Rasmussen, age ?, Ellen Larsdatter, age 72, enjoys a pension of the house.

Came to Minnesota 1889; homesteaded near Egeland 1895; 1902, Flathead, Montana.  Book Towner County North Dakota Families by Mabel Hadler, Publ. 1958, 6 vol.

Signature shows on marriage certificate of Rasmus and Lena dated 24 Dec 1896 witnessed by Rasmus Rasmussen and A. Paulsen.

9 June 1902 Filed 24 Oct 1902 Land office at Devils Lake,Ramsey County, N.D.  Land in Egeland,Towner, ND. Rasmus Rasmussen received 149 acres and 58 hundreds of an acre at South west quarter of the north east quarter the southeast quarter of the north west quarter and the last numbered four and five of section six in township one hundred and fifty-nine north of range sixty five. Homestead Patent cert # 4798, application 6250, document 10113.

1910 U.S. Census, Montana, Flathead County, Kalispell township, Dist 25, Sheet 5, Line 51-52, age 71, National Archive Microfilm T624, Roll 832.  Rasmus immigrated 1889 and was naturalized.


2. Rasmus RASMUSSEN was born about 1802 in Rolsted, Odense, Denmark [S7].  Died in 1870/1880 in Rolsted, Odense, Denmark [S8].  Rasmus Rasmussen, 33, Marie Larsdatter, 30, Peder, 7, Anders, 4, Lars Chr., 2, Maren, 1, Rasmus Rasmussen, 70, a widower,retired, allowing use of land to son. LDS microfilm 0039072:  1834 census for Rolsted, Odense, Denmark.

Rasmus Rasmussen, 39, Anne M. Larsdatter, 36, Peter, 12, Lars Chr., 8, Maren, 6, Anne Marie, 3, Rasmus, 1.   LDS microfilm 0039148:  1840 census for Rolsted, Odense, Denmark

Rasmus Rasmussen, 44, Anne Marie Larsdatter, 41, Peder, 17, Lars, 13, Maren, 12, Anne Marie, 8, Rasmus, 7, Karen, 5, Anders, 2, Dorthea, 2.  LDS microfilm 0039239: 1845 census for Rolsted, Odense, Denmark

Rasmus Rasmussen, 49, Anne Marie Larsdatter, 46, Peter, 22, Lars Christian, 18, Maren, 17, Anne Marie, 13, Rasmus, 12, Karen Sophia, 10, Andreas Jacob, 7, Dorthea Kirstine, 7, Laurentine, 3.     LDS microfilm 003943:  1850 census for Rolsted, Odense, Denmark, page 19.

Rasmus Rasmussen, 54, Anne Marie Larsdatter, 51, Children: Rasmus, 16, Karen, 14, Anders, 12, Dorthea, 12, Laurentine, 8.  LDS microfilm 0039420:  1855 census for Rolsted, Odense, Denmark, family # 89.

Rasmus Rasmussen, 59, Anna Marie Lardatter, 56, Rasmussen children: Rasmus, 22, Dorthea Kristine, 17, Laurentine, 14, in census.  LDS microfilm 0039561:  1860 census for Rolsted, Odense, Denmark, family # 77.

Rasmus Rasmussen, 68, Wheel wright, Anne Marie Larsdatter, 65, Laurentine Rasmussen, 23 in census.  LDS microfilm reel 0262986: 1870 census for Rolsted, Odense, Denmark, page 352, #104-106.

3. Anne Marie LARSDATTER was born about 1805 in Odense, Denmark [S9].  Died after 1 Feb 1880 in Rolsted, Odense, Denmark [S10].


4. Rasmus RASMUSSEN was born in 1764 in Denmark [S11].  Died before 1840 in Rolsted, Odense, Denmark [S12].  Rasmus Rasmussen, 37, owns cottage with small plot of land, wheelwright and weaver, Dorthe Pedersdatter, 37, Ellen Rasmusdatter, 4, Mette Rasmusdatter, 3.   LDS microfilm 0039033:  1801 census for Rolfsted, Odense, Denmark.

5. Dorthe PETERSDATTER was born in 1764 in Denmark [S13].  Died before 1834 in Rolsted, Odense, Denmark [S14].


1. Death certificate for son Rasmus S. lists father as Rasmus Rasmussen. Add period

2. Back of photo owned by Esther Brandt shows born 1839 in Ringe Fyn, Denmark.

Book Towner County North Dakota Families by Mabel Hadler, Publ. 1958, 6 vol. shows “July 10, 1838 Fyen, Denmark” for birth.

Death certificate from State of Montana Vital Statistics bureau shows July 10, 1838, born in Denmark.

3. LDS microfilm 0050437:  Births in Rolsted,Odense,Denmark.

4. Found in LDS microfilm 0050437:  Births in Rolsted,Odense,Denmark.

5. Death certificate from State of Montana Vital Statistics bureau shows death date 21 April 1924.  Cause of death arterio sclerosis (paralysis). Other sources say 28 April 1924.  Check probate – it is at work now.

Probate from Flathead County Courthouse, Kalispell, Montana.

6. Death certificate from State of Montana Vital Statistics bureau.

7. LDS microfilm reel 0262986: 1870 census for Rolsted, Odense, Denmark, page 352, #104-106.

8. Was in 1870 census.  His wife was a widow in 1880 census.

9. LDS microfilm reel 0262986: 1870 census for Rolsted, Odense, Denmark, page 352, #104-106.

10. Was in 1880 census, age 75, living with dau Laurentine Rasmussen, 33. LDS microfilm 0263335 for Rolsted, Odense, Denmark, family 6.

11. Rasmus Rasmussen, 33, Marie Larsdatter, 30, Peder, 7, Anders, 4, Lars Chr., 2, Maren, 1, Rasmus Rasmussen, 70, a widower,retired, allowing use of land to son.  LDS microfilm 0039072:  1834 census for Rolsted, Odense, Denmark.

12. Not found living with son in 1840 census.

13. Dorthe Pedersdatter, 37, LDS microfilm 0039033:  1801 census for Rolfsted, Odense, Denmark.

14. LDS microfilm 0039072:  1834 census for Rolsted, Odense, Denmark shows husband as a widower.


LARSDATTER, Anne Marie (second generation)  3

PETERSDATTER, Dorthe  (third generation)  5

RASMUSSEN, Rasmus (first generation)  1

RASMUSSEN, Rasmus (third generation)  4

RASMUSSEN, Rasmus (second generation)  2



From Diane Guthrie – December, 2003


1. Mads PEDERSEN was born about 1804 in Kirkeby, Svendborg, Denmark [S1].  Mads Pedersen, 51, born Kirkeby, day laborer, Ellen Larsen, 48, born Espe?, Jens Madsen, 13, Rasmus Madsen, 8, Mette Kirstine Madsen, 6, Rasmus Larson, 75, widower, church pays for support. (nNot a relative).  LDS microfilm 0039440:  1855 census for Ringe,Svendborg, Denmark.

Mads Pedersen, 56, born in Kirdeby, day laborer, Ellen Larsen, 53, born Espe(?), Rasmus Madsen, 13, Mette Kirstine Madsen, 11, Rasmus Larsen, 75, a boarder who is on charity. LDS microfilm 0039580:  1860 census for Ringe,Svendborg, Denmark, p. 198.

Mads Pedersen, 65, Lutheran, day laborer, born Kirkeby, Svendborg, Ellen Larsdatter, 62, born Espe, Svendborg, Mette Kirstine Madsen, 20, single, born Ringe, Svendborg, Lars Madsen, 35, married, born Espe, Svendborg.      LDS microfilm 0263047:  1870 census for Ringe, Svendborg, Denmark.

He married Ellen LARSDATTER.  Ellen LARSDATTER was born about 1808 in Espe, Svendborg, Denmark [S2].

They had the following children:

2         i. Lars MADSEN was born about 1835 in Svendborg, Denmark [S3].

3        ii. Jens MADSEN was born about 1842 in Svendborg, Denmark [S4].

4       iii. Rasmus MADSEN was born about 1847 in Svendborg, Denmark [S5].

+5        iv. Mette Kirstine MADSEN


5. Mette Kirstine MADSEN [S6] was born on 2 Aug 1849 in Svendborg, Denmark [S7].  Died on 19 Oct 1910 in Kalispell, Flathead, Montana [S8,S9].  Buried on 22 Oct 1910 in Conrad Cemetery, Kalispell, Flathead, Montana [S10].  Came to Minnesota 1889;  homesteaded near Egeland 1895; 1902, Flathead, Montana.  Book Towner County North Dakota Families by Mabel Hadler, Publ. 1958, 6 vol.

1910 U.S. Census, Montana, Flathead County, Kalispell township, Dist 25, Sheet 5, Line 51-52, age 71, National Archive Microfilm T624, Roll 832.  Name “Stine”, mother of 7 children 6 living,  immigrated 1889.

She married Rasmus RASMUSSEN on 4 May 1872 in Lodinge, Ringe, Svendborg, Denmark [S11].  Rasmus RASMUSSEN [S12] was born on 10 Jul 1838 in Rolsted, Odense, Denmark [S13,S14].  Christened on 2 Sep 1838 in Rolsted, Odense, Denmark [S15].  Died on 21 Apr 1924 in Kalispell, Flathead, Montana [S16].  No will was found at time of death.  Probate had following information: he owned half a quarter of land worth $1200 and 7.4 acres worth $300. This money was split evenly between the sons.  As of March 11, 1932: Rasmus S. Rasmussen, 58, Egeland, ND; Christian H. Rasmussen, 54, Kalispell, MT; James E. Rasmussen, 52, Spokane, WA; Maurice A. Rasmussen, 50, East Wenatchee, WA;William F. Rasmussen, 48, Egeland, ND; Carl F. C. Rasmussen, 46, Bigfork, MT.  Buried on 30 Apr 1924 in Conrad Cemetery, Kalispell, Flathead, Montana [S17].  Danish census taken 1 Feb 1880, Lodinge, Ringe, Gudine, Svendborg LDS microfilm 0263417.

Rasmus Rasmussen, age 40, born Rolsted, Odense, wheelmaker, tenant farmer who rents from mother-in-law. Remaining people born in Espe, Svendborg:  Mette Kirstine Madsen, age 30, Rasmus Rasmussen, age 6, Hans Peder Rasmussen, age 4, Hans Kristian Rasmussen, age 2, Jens Eli Rasmussen, age ?, Ellen Larsdatter, age 72, enjoys a pension of the house.

Came to Minnesota 1889; homesteaded near Egeland 1895; 1902, Flathead, Montana.  Book Towner County North Dakota Families by Mabel Hadler, Publ. 1958, 6 vol.

Signature shows on marriage certificate of Rasmus and Lena dated 24 Dec 1896 witnessed by Rasmus Rasmussen and A. Paulsen.

9 June 1902 Filed 24 Oct 1902 Land office at Devils Lake,Ramsey, N.D.  Land in Egeland,Towner, ND. Rasmus Rasmussen received 149 acres and 58 hundreds of an acre at South west quarter of the north east quarter the southeast quarter of the north west quarter and the lost numbered four and five of section six in township one hundred and fifty-nine north of range sixty five. Homestead Patent cert # 4798, application 6250, document 10113.

1910 U.S. Census, Montana, Flathead County, Kalispell township, Dist 25, Sheet 5, Line 51-52, age 71, National Archive Microfilm T624, Roll 832.  Rasmus immigrated 1889 and was naturalized.

They had the following children:

+6         i. Rasmus S. RASMUSSEN

7        ii. Peter RASMUSSEN [S18] was born on 9 Jul 1875 in Lodinge, Ringe, Svendborg, Denmark [S19].  Died after 1880 in Denmark [S20].

+8       iii. Christian “Chris” H. RASMUSSEN

+9        iv. James E. RASMUSSEN Rev.

+10        v. Maurice R. RASMUSSEN

+11       vi. William Frederick RASMUSSEN

+12      vii. Carl E. RASMUSSEN


1. LDS microfilm 0039440:  1855 census for Ringe,Svendborg, Denmark. Shows age 51.

LDS microfilm 0039580:  1860 census for Ringe,Svendborg, Denmark, p. 198. Shows age 56.

2. Danish census taken 1 Feb 1880, Lodinge, Ringe, Gudine, Svendborg LDS microfilm 0263417: Ellen Larsdatter, age 72, enjoys a pension of the house. (Living with son-in-law Rasmus Rasmussen and daughter, Mette Kirstine.)

3. LDS microfilm 0263047:  1870 census for Ringe, Svendborg, Denmark. Add period

4.  LDS microfilm 0039440:  1855 census for Ringe,Svendborg, Denmark.

5.  LDS microfilm 0039440:  1855 census for Ringe,Svendborg, Denmark.

6. Certified Death certificate owned by Diane Guthrie for son Rasmus S. lists mother as Christina Mason.

Book Towner County North Dakota Families by Mabel Hadler, Publ. 1958, 6 vol. lists name as Mette Kristine Madsen.

7. Back of photo owned by Esther Brandt.

8. Back of photo owned by Esther Brandt shows 19 Oct 1910.

Death certificate from State of Montana Vital Statistics bureau shows 19 Oct 1910.  Death cause apoplexy (stroke).

“The Olden Days” by Mae Odegaard shows 1905 as death date.

9. Sent for cost of copy of will and probate 7/25. Clerk of District Court, Flathead County replied that they do not have one.

10. Death certificate from State of Montana Vital Statistics bureau.

11. Marriage of Rasmus Rasmussen, bachelor, wheelmaker, 33, to Mette Kirstine Madsen, 22 both of Lodinge.  Married without banns.  Birth, marriage, death and confirmation records for Ringe, LDS microfilm reel 0312373, page 243.

12. Death certificate for son Rasmus S. lists father as Rasmus Rasmussen. Add period

13. Back of photo owned by Esther Brandt shows born 1839 in Ringe Fyn, Denmark.

*Book Towner County North Dakota Families by Mabel Hadler, Publ. 1958, 6 vol. shows “July 10, 1838 Fyen, Denmark” for birth.

*Death certificate from State of Montana Vital Statistics bureau shows July 10, 1838, born in Denmark.

14. LDS microfilm 0050437:  Births in Rolsted, Odense, Denmark.

15. Found in LDS microfilm 0050437:  Births in Rolsted, Odense, Denmark.

16. Death certificate from State of Montana Vital Statistics bureau shows death date 21 April 1924.  Cause of death arterio sclerosis (paralysis). Other sources say 28 April 1924.  Check probate – it is at work now.

Probate from Flathead County Courthouse, Kalispell, Montana.

17. Death certificate from State of Montana Vital Statistics bureau.

18. Back of photo owned by Esther Brandt.

19. Birth, marriage, death and confirmation records for Ringe, LDS microfilm reel 0312373, page 22.

20. Danish census taken 1 Feb 1880, Lodinge, Ringe, Gudine, Svendborg:

Rasmus Rasmussen, age 40, Mette Kirstine Madsen, age 30, Rasmus Rasmussen, age 6, Hans Peder Rasmussen, age 4, Hans Kristian Rasmussen, age 2, Jens Eli Rasmussen, age ?, Ellen Larsdatter, age 72.


MADSEN, Jens  3

MADSEN, Lars  2

MADSEN, Mette Kirstine   5

MADSEN, Rasmus  4


RASMUSSEN, Carl E.  12

RASMUSSEN, Christian “Chris” H.  8

RASMUSSEN, James E. Rev.  9

RASMUSSEN, Maurice R.  10


RASMUSSEN, Rasmus S.  6

RASMUSSEN, William Frederick  11


From the Maurice (Morris) Rasmussen family

From: roger mehl []
Sent: Friday, July 02, 2010 3:38 PM
To: Lloyd Smith
Subject: Re: What I have been up to…scanning Rasmussen photos


I was delighted to receive your note and photos.  Yes, Marsha, Paulsen, Peters spoke with my wife several days ago by phone and I later talked with her and sent some photos of my grandfather Maurice Rasmussen’s children and grandchildren.  My grandfather is the 3rd son, from the left, in the family photo taken before the family left Denmark. (Were you ever told that the Danish king gave the family a monetary award, because  they had 7 male births)  As there are only 6 children in the photo, one must have died.  I remember visiting with Maurice’s brother, Rev. James  Rasmussen and wife several times in Spokane.  Also Karl lived next door to Maurice and wife Annie, in Wenatchee where I was born and lived  till I left for college in 1952.  I also remember both of his wives – the first, and later her granddaughter.  Yes, the 2nd was a strange marriage,  All of Maurice’s children have passed away, but their grandchildren are still living.  I’ll sent you a family tree of these folk, by mail later.

Anne, my wife, and I received our first degrees at the U of Washington and one very good friend was not only my roommate for a year, but in our wedding as well.  After completing college, he returned to Longview where he’d been raised.  His degree was in engineering and he worked until retirement at the Longview mill.  I believe that was the company name.  Maybe you know him.  His name is Tom Vaught and his wife is Judy.  Anne  and I attended a reunion and dinner with them, about a year ago in Seattle.  Also, we lived in Eugene, OR from 1971 till 1982, then told the neighbors that we’d be gone for a year – maybe two – and stayed away for 25 years, returning 4 years ago to the same house that we’d left.  We’ve driven down to San Francisco several times since returning, and one time we stopped
in Medford and looked in the telephone book for Rasmussens, because I remember that my grandparents use to go there to visit relatives when I was young.  And, did we find a lot of of them listed – about 25-30, in Medford and Jacksonville.  So, were you born in that area, or are some of these
Rasmussens related to you?  Should you venture down our way, plan to visit and stay with us – we have lots of room and would love to meet you.

Anne & Roger Mehl

On Jul 1, 2010, at 8:51 PM, Lloyd Smith wrote:

Roger, I just found out from Marsha Paulsen Peters that you exist and that you are the link to my great uncle, Maurice Rasmussen. She forwarded the scanned photo of your grandparent’s wedding. Have you been forwarded this e-mail with the Rasmussen and family Picasa albums? The albums basically deal with Chris, Will and a little of Ras’ families. Have you kept up with the Rasmussen family? My twin brother, Larry, has written a very complete Rasmussen history. We would love to find out more about you guys. This is the e-mail I sent out to my family so they can figure some of the links.
Lloyd Smith

To my family,

For the past two months I have been scanning Carol Dekorte’s Rasmussen photo albums. They span the years from the early 1900’s up through the 1960’s. I have scanned 488 photos from the albums. There were several Smith photos in several of the albums. The Rasmussens got together a lot after church to eat and they took photos. Dad and Mom would take us by for visits so we were able to share in this rich Rasmussen heritage. My Grandfather, Christian, had 5 brothers. Carol’s family comes out of one of the brothers, Will; our family comes out of Chris. That makes you guys 3rd cousins, once removed or 3rd cousins to their cousins/siblings. You share the same great great grandfather. Most of these photos will not make much sense to you but they are your heritage. I loved many of the photos just because of the clothing and car styles. They were so full of hopes and dreams. As I scanned I watched them get married and have kids and now most of them are now gone. There is something to be said of the old b/w photos. Some of the photos are real classics. I hope you take time just to take a look at them. They mean a lot of me because I knew many of them as a youth. There is Jim Rasmussen, Carol’s uncle, that Dad and Harland bought the saw mill with and cut the timber and built three houses. This week Dad told me the story of how they met in CA and came to Oregon to cut the timber and to build the three houses.

I am sending this out to other cousins so please pass this e-mail onto other interested parties. There are many I missed in this e-mail.

My grandparents, Dagny & Chris Rasmussen               The Rasmussen family about 1900.

To begin with I have been dumping family type photos in: <>  (This is just a general bunch of family type photos – 173)

Now I have a new Picasa album for Carol’s photos. There are some photos found in both because they shared photos amongst the family.

To take a look at Carol’s albums (488 photos): <>

If any of you guys know of any other family photo out there please let me know.


For years I had heard stories about Rasmus “winning” an award from the King of Denmark for having issued seven boys of live birth.  So I wrote the Danish Rigsarkivet in 1975 asking about the award. They replied:

“In reply to your letter of July 6, 1975 the National Archives must inform you that it – even knowing your great-grandfather’s profession – was impossible to find any information as to which kind of award might be in question.  Furthermore the National Archives has no knowledge of such a prize existing as the one mentioned by you.

There is some reason to believe that it was in fact some kind of public relief.”

Sincerely, Nils G. Bartholdy, archivist.


Rasmus Rasmussen’s 1864 War Information

Don Rasmussen has in his possession:

WAR MEDAL – presented to Rasmus Rasmussen in 1864 for service in armed forces in the war between Denmark and Germany.  He served in the Danish Army.

ROCK RELIC from Denmark – brought to America when the family came in May, 1889.  Could be coral.

Clippings from Spokane Spokesman Review – May 10, 1969 about the GOLDEN SPIKE and the Transcontinental Railroad.  I don’t know if these articles are related.


Subject:  Military information concerning

Rasmus Rasmussen, Ringe

Ref:                 Your letter of 4th May 1977

Enclosure:     Photostat concerning campaign Medal for 1864

In reference to the above the Rigs Archives 3rd Department, Army Archives advise that under Section 3, 1, L.M.N. 1-56, 1861 have found Rasmus Rasmussen under K.256 as son of Ane Katrine Rasmusdatter born 1837 with a height in inches of 58 1/4.

Also it is stated that he was posted to 2nd Train attendant depot on the 4th December 1863.

Later in 1863 the Archives found him in the Roll No. 46 for Svendborg County, Tvede Parish under K. 265 where furthermore it is stated that in 1870 he was transferred to reinforcements under the Army Military Works Depot. He was discharged in 1876.

Whether the campaign Medal dispatched is the right one, can be doubted, but others cannot be found.

Kind regards.

(Larry’s note: This information does not completely align with what the family knows about R. R. May be another individual. The location is correct, but the dates are off a bit.   Supposedly, R. R. was in the U.S. in 1869 at the driving of the Golden Spike.  This memo says he was not discharged until 1870.  His birth dates have been given in various documents as “1838 and 1839”.)

June 19, 2004

Rasmus Rasmussen’s 1864 Army Enlistment Application

Translated by archivist Kenneth Vejgaard Jørgensen, of Odense, Denmark (

QUESTIONS.                                                               ANSWERS.

What is your full name?                                             Rasmus Rasmussen Sønderskov

On what day and in what year were

you born?                                                                 On July 10 1838

In which year did you take part in war?                        1864

In which sector (institution) did you serve

by then?                                                                   19th Regiment

At which company, squadron or battery

were you?                                                                  7th Company

You had which number?                                              558

From & until what day were you at

service?                                                                     >From 28th of January until October 3.

Was your service as a private or as

non-commissioned officer?                                          A private

Were you wounded during the war?                               No


Were you at camp hospital?                                         No

Which one?

Were you caught/captured during the war?                     No

When and where?

Are you granted with retirement or

invalid people’s support? What number has

your retirement letter?                                                  No

Are you a member of “The Company of

Danish Brothers of Weapons”?                                     Yes

In what section of this and in which number are you?      The Ringe Section. No. 29416.

What profession have you at present? Smallholder & wheelwright

Where is your present residence?

(If you do not live in a city, please notify County,             Svendborg County, Sunds-Gudme

Districts, Ringe parish, Sødinge village.

District, Parish and Town)

What is your present address?                                   At) Wheelwright Rasmus Rasmussen(‘s)

Sødinge Village, Ringe Parish ) via Aarslev


(signed:) Ole (?)/de (?) Friedrich (?)

Larry – this was about it. Hope that all of it might be useful.

In a moment, I will forward my bill of work to you. Also, I understood that the war record forwarded is a photo copy which I am allowed to keep (correctly understood?).

Till then,



The term Smallholder explained

Danes had three reasons to emigrate to the United States. They wanted land, They wanted to live under an elected president and they wanted to live in a place where all people were treated fairly.

There was neither land nor opportunity for us. We were slaves to the government, the nobility and to the authorities, both temporal and religious. Our rewards were miserable food and poor wages. Whether or not a man enjoyed his legal rights depended entirely on the question of wealth. The squires demolished our fathers’ houses and farms, and the small plots were added to the large estate fields. These same men accumulated houses and fields until there was no more available land in the country. Thus the squires alone could remain there, bringing God’s woe upon themselves“.

Denmark was a patriarchal society with a rigid class structure, the king, of course, being at the top. Below him the nobility, squires, vicars and civil servants ruled over shopkeepers, farmers and workmen, while smallholders, people without land and laborers served at the very bottom of society.

(Found on the Internet.)

Most of our Danish and Norwegian families were Smallholders.


Landsarkivet for Sjaelland mm

Jagtvej 10. 2200 København

February 23, 1977

Mr. Larry B. Smith

P.O. Box 252

Jacksonville, Oregon

97530  U.S.A.

In reply to your letter of February 7, we can give you following information:

Wheelwright Rasmus Rasmussen, born in Ringe near Svedborg (at 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 16 years, Hans Christian 11 years, Jens Eli 9 years, Marius Alexander 7 years, Frederik Vilhelm 4 years and Christian Frederik 1 year left for Alden, Minnesota at May 23, 1889.  The name of the vessel is not mentioned.

The informations are in the Police-Register over indirect emigrants 1889.

In order to obtain their correct birth dates you might try to write to Landsarkivet for Fyn (= The Provincial Archive of Funen) Jernbanegade 36, 5000 Odense.


Grethe Ilsøe


Lisbeth Aarenstrup

assistant archivist


I wrote to Mr. Tornøe and included $20 asking for a photo of the Rasmussen house in Sødinge.  He became a bit confused over what I was asking.  After a couple of letters he did send a roll of negatives of the Rasmussen Hhouse and the surrounding countryside.


15 th  May, 1977

Dear Mr. L. Smith,

You have asked me to do a favour.  I would like to, but it seems extremely difficult.

I need more information.

Birth-, christening and deathdates and places????????

Neither the vicar nor the churchgardener remember a stone in the Ringe churchyard with the name Chr. Hans Rasmussen.  (Chr. Hans is unusual – better Hans Chr. as Hans Christian Andersen.)

Are you sure it is the record book in Ringe.

At the moment Ringe Church is being restored.

I have spoken to an elderly lady in Sødinge near Ringe.  She had a visitor from America in 1959.  (Most likely Vernon Rasmussen, son of William Rasmussen)  It might have been a son of Christian Hans Rasmussen.  She wasn’t sure.

Before I return your money I will wait to hear whether you are able to give me more information or not.

Yours sincerely,

CC Tornø





900 Aalborg, Denmark

October 7th, 1977

Mr. Larry Smith

Dear Sir:

Following the death of the curator of the archive, your letter of February 7th, 1977 was delayed.  However, we have forwarded your letter to Landsarkivet in Copenhagen hoping this archive can be of assistance in the research of tracing your ancestors.

In answer to the other questions I can inform you that the main reason for the emigration was the bad social conditions.

Salesman and housewife were used to indicate the work.

The numbers of people who emigrated (from Denmark) to USA during the years 1990 – 1920 was about 300,000.

As soon as we have news, we will write you again.  Excuse the delay and thank you for patience in the matter


Inger Bladt, Mrs.

(The following document has been typed, “as is” from the original arkive document)

Ringe lokalhistoriske Arkive

Hans Kristian Rasmussen

Born (født)                 22. may 1877, Sødinge, parkish of Ringe (Ringe sogn)

Christened (døbt)     1. july 1877 Ringe Church

Parents (foraelder)   Small holder (Husmand) Rasmus Rasmussen and

wife (hustru) Mette Kirstine Madsen, Sødinge.

Census (Folketaellingen) 1870, Sødinge, Ringe parish (sogn).

Mads Pedersen, day labourer )daglejer), 65 year old, born (født) in Ringe

Ellen Larsdatter, his wife (kone), 62 year old, born in Espe

Mette Kirstine Madsen, daughter (datter), born in Ringe Parish

Lars Madsen, son (søn), weaver (vaever), 35, born in Espe.


Census (Folketaellingen) 1880:

Land register (Matrikel) 10 b, Sødinge, Ringe parish

Rasmus Rasmussen, smallholder (husmuand) 40 year old, born in Rolfsted parkish

Mette Kirstine Madsen, 30, his wife

Rasmus Rasmussen, 6 year, child

Mads Peter Rasmussen, 4, child

Hans Chr. Rasmussen, 2, child

Jens Elo Rasmussen, under 1 year, child

Ellen (Knuddatter??) may be: Larsdatter, 72, born in Espe, lever på aftaegt.

Aftaegt = accommodation and support provided by the new owner of land property for its former owner, especially by a son for his parents.


Wheel write (Hjulmand) Rasmus Rasmussen, 33 married (viet) d. 4. May 1872

to Mette Kirstine Rasmussen, 22 years, in Sødinge

Mette Kirstine Madsen, born 2. august 1849 in Sødinge, christened (døbt)

3. september 1849 in Ringe Church

Parent (Foraeldre): Mads Pedersen and Ellen Larsdatter in Sødinge

Ellen Larsdatter died (dødº d. 3. november 1886, 79 years in Sødinge

To day the “Wheelwright” house (“Hjulmandhuset”) belongs under land register (matrikel)  10 d: Sødingevej 39, Sødinge in the parish of Ringe.

“Hjulmandhuset” is mentioned in the book “Sødinge fra før til nu” page 55


Searching for our Rasmussen Danish Roots

In 1977, after talking with Vernon Rasmussen to locate where the Rasmussen family emigrated from in Denmark, I took a chance and addressed a letter to the local Lutheran Church in Ringe on the island of Fyn and also to a local history archive in Ørbak. At an archives meeting, following the arrival of my letter, the parson held it up and asked for a volunteer to answer my questions. Hans Larsen, a government chicken inspector, volunteered to do the research.  These are his letters.  Linda and I had hoped to meet him when we visited Denmark in 1994, but, unfortunately, we learned that Hans had been killed in a car accident several years earlier.  We did have an opportunity to meet his widow and daughter.

Hans Larsen

Bakkevej 5



May 5, 1977

(What Hans Larsen found on Rasmus Rasmussen conflicts with what other family members have found out about the man.   Looks like this is another Ramus Rasmussen.)

Mr. Larry B. Smith,

Dear Sir, Thank you very much for your letter to the local history archives in Ørbak.  We were very happy to receive your letter and casually it arrived at our office on the very same day as we had our annual meeting; the Archives Parson Erick Andersen began the evening with opening and reading your letter, about 100 persons were present, and we were all very happy to have post as far as from America.

Mr. Andersen has asked me to answer your questions.  I have visited the Archives in Odense (Odense is the “capital” of our island Fyn; Hans Christian Andersen was born there 1805) – where all Parish Registers more than 50 years old are deposited.  And I am sure that I have found your great-grandfather and your great-grandmother!

In 1838 no Rasmus Rasmussen was born in Ringe.  Neither in 1839.  But in 1837 the 10th of December Rasmus Rasmussen was born, and on the Christmas Evening he was christened in the church of Ringe by the parson Munck – Godparents were : 1) The child’s mother: the girl Anne Catrine Rasmusdatter (datter = daughter – your great-great-grandfather’s first name was also Rasmus!)  She has told the parson that the child’s father is the bachelor Rasmus Christiansen in the village of Sodinge, near Ringe.  (“sen” – really: søn = son; your 2nd great-great-grand father’s first name was Christian.)

2) Rasmus Jensen (probably Anne Catrine’s father.  Your great-great-great grandfather’s first name was Jens.)

3) Jens Madsen (Maybe Rasmus Jensen’s father? If yes, your great-great-great-great grandfather’s first name was Mads.)

4) Rasmus Jorgensen –  All from the village of Sodinge.

Note to the christening: The child was born illegitimate.

On the 4th of May 1872 (the second marriage in that year) in the church of Ringe, were married: The bachelor and wheelwright Rasmus Rasmussen,  33 years old, of Sodine and the young maiden Mette Kirsktine Madsen of Sodine 22 years old.  (Your 3rd great great grandfather’s first name was also Mads.

If you want an official record from the Parish Register, you have to write to the Land’s Record Office yourself.  You have in the connection to pay a fee for the informations and postage.  I don’t know how much but it might be rather expensive, I think. And what I have written to you about your ancestor are the same informations that the Lands Record Office can give you. I have word by word written what is in the official old Parish Register.  Anyway, the address of the Land’s Record Office is: Landsarkivet for Fyn, Fernbanegade 36, DK 5000, Odense, Denmark.

The information above, I have sent to the Archives of the Royal Danish Army in Copenhagen, asking for what they can tell about Rasmus Rasmussen and his serving at war 1864.  As soon as I have an answer from there I write to you again.

Many, many Danes went at the ending of the 19th century to America.  The reason was that there were very bad times in Europe, especially Denmark and the people here had heard about the opportunities in the large rich America.

About the War in 1864.  Germany was the enemy.  There had already 1848 – 51 been a war between Denmark and Germany and Denmark was the victor!  In 1864 Denmark was beaten and lost great territories.  I asked at the Royal Danish Army’s Archives for further informations in English – Preliminary:  The king of Denmark was also Duke of Schleswig and Holstein. But these duchies belonged in a way also to Germany.  At any rate they had their dejnilies (sic) in the German Congress, and the order of succession was the controversial question.

And I asked the Danish Emigration’s Archives in Copenhagen for possible informations about your great-grandfather Rasmus Rasmussen.

I really hope that I very soon can write to you again.  I also hope that you will excuse and forgive my mistakes and my writing.

My father’s mother’s father and my father’s father’s father both fought at war in 1864.  The first was wounded in his right foot and became the same year, “Knight of the Danish Flag;”

Please tell us: How did you get the address of the Local History Archives in Ørbak?  I send from your old ancestral country many greetings!

Sincerely yours

Hans Larsen VS..


The Danish Three Year War Which Lead Up to the War of 1864

1848-1850 The Three Year War

24th of March 1848: Schleswig-Holstein insurgents capture the fortress of Rendsburg and thereby trigger the Three Year War.

24th of April 1848: The German forces are stopped at Oeversee.

28th of May 1848: 14.000 Danish soldiers cross the Als Sound, and attack the German forces by Dybbol. The Germans are forced back to Graasten and Adsboel.

25th of July 1850: After a day of heavy fighting, the Danish Army defeats the Schleswig-Holstein Army at the Battle of Idstedt.

31st of December 1850: The last battle of the Three Year War takes place outside Mysunde.

The Danish/German War of 1864:

1st of February 1864: War breaks out between Denmark and Germany-Austria.

5th of February 1864: The Danish army retreats from the Dannevirke positions, and pull northwards.

18th of April 1864: The Danish army is defeated by Dybbol by the Prussian Army.

9th of May 1864: A Danish naval squadron defeats a combined Austrian-Prussian squadron at the Battle off Helgoland.  The same day a truce takes place between Denmark and Prussia-Austria.

European Royalty: Danish War

Although now a little known historical footnote, the consequences of the Danish War were incalculable.  It was the first step in the organization of a future Germany under the most militaristic and conservative state in the German Confederation.  There were German states with more liberal, democratic institutions (Bavaria, Hanover, and others) and less bellicose, militaristic outlooks.  The Danish War was the first step in Prussia’s absorption of some of the more liberal German states such as Hannover and Hesse and the end of their constitutional monarchies.  If there had been a more democratic, less militaristic approach taken to German unification, the history of the 20th century may have been quite different.  The Danish War was also an important step in changing the British perception of Prussia and Germany from a potential ally against their historical enemy France to a dangerous enemy.


The status of the Duchies of Schleswig-Holstein was an issue between the Danish Crown and various German monarchs for centuries.  Many European royals were the sovereign of more than one kingdom or principality.  Often these territories were not united and were separated physically and by different laws, customs, and even language.  Such was the case of Schleswig-Holstein, which in the 15th century had asked for the protection of the then powerful Danish Crown.  Danish King Friedrich VII tried in 1848 to formally unite the Duchies with Denmark which resulted in hostilities with Prussia, although the Prussians later abandoned the cause and Frederic did not peruse his hope of formal union. Friedrich VII died in 1864.  When Friedrich died, the personal union of Schleswig-Holstein with the Danish crown had to end, because his successor Christian IX was not a direct descendant and, as a result, not entitled to inherit the principalities of Schleswig-Holstein.

Aborted Union with Denmark

King Christian IX attempted to formally unite Schleswig-Holstein with the Danish Kingdom. Schleswig-Holstein had no military forces of its own. One wonders why the King would have attempted such a provocative step, knowing the propensity of neighboring Prussia to expand its territory. The King may have been willing to have attempted to unite only Schleswig which was predominately Danish in language and culture and not Holstein which was predominately German.  Unfortunately, a decree dating back to 1481 declared that the two provinces had to remain united, “up ewig ungedeelt”.  It was not just Christian IX, the Danish people had seen their country decline from an important European power to almost a non-entity in European affairs.  The losses from the Napoleon Wars were particularly grievous.  The Danes were determined to resist the cession of any further territory.

The German Federation

Agitation for separation from Denmark grew, especially in Holstein and southern Schleswig. The Schleswig-Holstein Parliament decided it wanted to formally separate all ties with the Danish Crown and asked the German Federation for assistance. The Federation was a loose association of the independent German states led by Prussia and Austria. Prussian Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, who advised Wilhem IV/I IVII???, saw this as an opportunity to strengthen Prussia’s position within the German Confederation.


The Prussians were not motivated primarily by Schleswig – Holstein, largely agricultural duchies of minor significance. More importantly, Prince Otto von Bismarck and King Wilhelm I saw an opportunity to expand Prussia’s influence within the German Confederation.  By the 1860’s, it was clear that Germany would be unified, but the basis of the future union was not yet determined.

The War (1864)

With Austria as its ally, Prussia declared war on Denmark and an Austro-Prussian army quickly occupied the duchies.  King Christian faced the two great German powers alone. Most of Europe agreed with Danish cause, but no other country wanted to risk war by interfering.  The small Danish Army was defeated at the battle of Duppel.  The entire Jutland peninsula was occupied by the combined German Army. The Germans imposed the humiliating Treaty of Vienna on Denmark in 1864. Both duchies as well as Gastien were ceded to the German Confederation and put under Prussian and Austrian administration. Schleswig was administered by Prussia and Hostein by Austria.

The Great Powers

The Great Powers of Europe did not intervene in the Danish War beyond diplomatic representations. They do not seem to have been especially interested in a small, now unimportant country that was viewed as falling out of the mainstream of European affairs.

Peace Settlement

The Treaty of Gastein which ended the War placed Schleswig under Prussian and Holstein under Austrian administration within the German Federation. Austria was not pleased with this compromise and preferred the suggestion of the Schleswig-Holstein Parliament that wanted Friedrich v. Augustenburg to become dDuke of an independent principality.


Although now a little known historical footnote, the consequences of the Danish War were incalculable.

German uUnification

The Danish War was the first step in the organization of a future Germany under the most militaristic and conservative state in the German Confederation. There were German states with more liberal, democratic institutions (Bavaria, Hanover and others) and less bellicose, militaristic outlooks.  If there had been a more democratic, less militaristic approach taken to German unification, the history of the 20th century may have been quite different. The end of World War I is now seen as the end of the German royal houses.  In fact, the Danish War was to lead to the Austro Prussian or German Civil War after which Prussia annexed several neighboring states which insisted in remaining independent, ending the royal dynasties in Hannover, Hesse and several smaller states.

British Public Opinion

Another important consequence of the War was the impact on British opinion. Prussia, up until the Danish war, had been seen in Britain as a continental ally against their mortal enemy–France. It was the Prussians under Blutcher that had come to Wellington’s aid at Waterloo.   Prince Albert had hoped that Prussia would unite Germany under a democratic constitution.  In support of that aimed, he had promoted the marriage of his beloved oldest daughter Vicky to Prince Frederick.  Prussia’s antidemocratic policies and the failure to support the British and French in the Crimea had disturbed Albert. The action against Denmark had disturbed Queen Victoria and her daughter-in-law, Alix—Christian’s daughter. Slowly British attitudes toward Prussia and Germany were changing.

Letter Number Two From Hans Larsen:

1st July 1977

Dear Larry B. Smith

Thank you very much for your letter.  I have some thing to tell you today.  I am sure that you have been wishing for further information about it took long time to collect them.

From the Archives of the Royal Danish Army I have information, I enclose the letter from the colonel Army-Archivar E. Weigaard Jorgensen.  The Colonel charged a cooperator with the task to find Rasmus Rasmussen.  The man worked two days with the assignment.  The colonel told us by telephone that he was sorry that they had not found anymore about RR, but please write to the Royal Army’s Archives in Copenhagen and tell Mr. W.J what you know about your great-grandfather’s life in U.S.A.  I am sure he will appreciate post from you. They want information about old Danish soldiers who left Denmark for America.  I promised to ask you for information for the Army Archives.

NB. R.R’s height is in Danish inches.  He was 162 cm tall. The translation of the papers from the Army Archives is done by a friend of mine, an Englishman, who was a lieutenant in the staff of General Montgomery and came to Denmark after the Great War in 1945.  He married a Danish girl and lives still in Odense.  Naturally we speak Danish together, but I have learned a great deal of English from him – Writing to you I use a Danish-English dictionary.

I have visited Ringe twice since I got your letter. I friend of mine is a school teacher there.  He knows the photographer Mr. Tornoe very well and he told me that he is an honest man.  The money you sent him ($20) is safe, but Mr. Tornoe is rather old and he does not understand English well.  The school teacher promised to speak with him about the case.  We went to Sodinge where Rasmus Rasmussen was born.  We visited with an old lady (88 years old).  She is the widow of the chairman of Sodine’s parish council.  She has written a book about Sødine and she gave me a copy.  In the book it told about the houses and the farms of Sodinge.  I enclose a copy of the page on which the wheelwright’s house is described.  You see RR’s name about 1890.  I took a photo of the house.  Sødinge is a nice tiny village 3 km from Ringe.  I also enclose a photo of the village ponds with a duck-mother and her little ducklings. On the 3rd photo taken at the road from Ringe to Sødinge showing the name of RR’s village you see your Danish colleague.

The local historical archives of Ørbak is an institution within the compliance of the council of the municipality, working together with the municipal library.  In Ringe, there is not yet a local archive.  That is the reason why Ringsarkivet, in Copenhagen has given you our address.  We work in our spare time, without any payment, quite free, only by interest.

To your two questions: You are right, the God Parents are the parent’s best friends.  But the wife was in these old days not mentioned.  The husband was head of the family!!  The mother carried RR to the christening.

About note to the wedding.  When a couple wished to be married in Denmark  (up to January 1970!!) they approached the parson of the church in which the man was registered.  The parson would then call the names two times from the pulpit to hear if anyone had any objections to the marriage.  Deviation from this rule could be given by the King of Denmark; and was given in the letter of 22nd April in this case.

About Ringe.  Ringe is the main town in the Ringe Municipality.  In the whole municipality, to which also Sodinge belongs, live 11,120 inhabitants.  Ringe itself has 3587.  There is a good deal of trade in Ringe. An iron foundry, a cider factory, many workmen, 1 free and supplementary school, one boarding school (one of the oldest in Denmark), a very modern state prison where the male and female prisoners live together in the day.  A young couple was married as prisoners this year!

I have been at the cemetery of Ringe (there is no church in Sødinge).  I took a photo of the Ringe Kirke, but it was the first of 36 at the film.  And I found a tombstone with 4 names.  Maybe it is your relatives!  There there are many Rasmussens buried in Ringe and I am not sure.  Later I will send you the pictures.  The names were:

Rasmus Rasmussen 1870 -1944

Peder Rasmussen 1842 – 1926

Eva Pedersen 1914 – 1968

Kristine Rasmussen 1843 – 1891

In Denmark we have to pay for the grave.  The grave is by law sacred only 20 years and if decedents or relatives do not pay again, the stone is taken away and a new funeral can take place.  The Ringe church is very beautiful and the cemetery is large and very fine.

About myself.  I am 53 years old, my wife Erna (in English: Ernestine) is 49.  We were married in 1947 and have two sons 1) Kai Werner 29 years old.  He is an electrician.  He is not married. 2) Hans Erick 26 years old.  He is a businessman.  His wife Susanne is 24 years.  They married 2 years ago.  They have no children.

No I am not a minister. I am not even a member of the church.  Although the parson Erick Andersen (his brother is the Danish Foreign Minister = Secretary of State, KB Anersen) and I work fine together in the local archives.  I am a chief veterinary surgeon at a slaughterhouse for poultry.  Every day are slaughtered 33,000 chickens.  I have a staff of 4 veterinary surgeons, we are all 5 employed full-time by the Danish Ministry of Agriculture.  Every chicken is inspected.  4,000 per hour.

In Denmark we are very fond of titles.  The profession is often mentioned and written, anyway not so much as earlier, and not so often as in Germany.  At the Veterinary High School in Copenhagen, we learned to write in English, “VS” after the signature.

English is the best known foreign language in Denmark, I think.  German is also rather common because many people can watch German TV.  But Germany is still the old enemy, although we joined the EEC.  Many Danes have not forgotten the German occupation of Denmark 1940 – 45.

The June 25 I had an answer from Landsarkivet for Sjalland, including Emigrant archives from the Danish Police.  After that you see that RR should have had 6 sons and one daughter!!  I thought that Christina and Hans were twins.  However it is not correct.  I think that the Policemen who wrote about it in 1889 made a great mistake, instead of Kristjan.  I went June 26 again to Odense and found Rasmus Rasmussen’s seven sons and here they are:

Rasmus (Ras S) –  May 15, 1873

Mads Peter (Peter) – July 9, 1875 – died age 13

Hans Kristjan (Christian Hans) – May 22, 1877

Jens Eli (James) – August 23, 1879

Marius Alexander (Maurice) – March 18, 1882

Frederick Vilhelm (Will) – (August 16, 1884

Kristian Frederik Karl (Carl) – March 27, 1887

I am glad that I have been able to help you a little, don’t think of doing anything for me in that connection.  I appreciate that you have interest in your old Danish relatives and family.  It was pleasant to help you and you and your family are welcome in Denmark.

From Denmark many greetings

Hans Larsen

Early Danish Immigrants to Minnesota and Dakota Territory *

Origins in the ‘Old Country’

Life in Scandinavia had changed.

In Denmark, as in other countries, the changes were economic, social, and political, and life for the young adult of Scandinavia had become insufferably bleak. Conditions were similar in Norway, for a not dissimilar mixture of reasons – though on a different scale.

Among Scandinavian lands of frugal and frequently spare existence, Denmark had lost all of Schleswig-Holstein to the Prussians in 1864 – not only an economic loss, but a real blow to national pride (1). Geographic overcrowding significantly limited personal and professional options for Danish youth; to plod out a living on a small tract of land held minimal interest to many of them, and although in time Danish ingenuity would prove anew the truism that invention is the child of necessity (2), wholesale migration of young adults to the cities depleted rural agriculture of their most prized resource – their progeny.

Scandinavians, by the thousands, looked west.

For a commonly expressed sentiment from the established social status quo of the time, hear the stolid pathos of Bishop Jacob Neumann of Bergen, Norway (as early as 1837), regarding with dismay their sons’ and daughters’ exodus from the land:

“Here in Norway rest the ashes of your forefathers; here you first saw the

light of day; here you enjoyed many childhood pleasures; here you received

your first impression of God and His love; here you are still surrounded by

relatives and friends who share your joy and your sorrow, while there, when

you are far away from all that has been dear to you, who shall close your

eyes in the last hour of life? A stranger’s hand! And who shall weep at your

grave? Perhaps–no one!” (3)

Many young men and women of Europe were

“…spurred to leave by a spirit of revolt and independence. In Sweden and

Norway…young people felt frustrated by the small privileged classes, who

often controlled both church and government and resisted demands for

change and greater opportunity. Many a young Norwegian seconded the

passionate cry of their national poet, Bjornson: Forth will I! Forth! I will be

crushed if I stay.” (4)

In defense of humane sensibility, Bjornson’s representative expression, common

to Scandinavian youth of the day, eloquently expressed the social unrest of this   tempestuous and complex time. In the mid-nineteenth century only the famine-stricken Irish emigrated at a rate exceeding that of the Norwegians. Among Scandinavians, Norway had experienced “wrenching economic changes and a doubling of its population from 1815 to 1865”. (5) The mid-1860’s witnessed massive emigration, when a combination of overpopulation, food shortages, mechanization, and changing market structures led to farm foreclosures. Even worse, poor crops, coupled with the “disappearance of the fickle spring herring run from the Norwegian coasts, resulted in actual starvation.” (6) Displaced farm laborers migrated to the slowly industrializing cities, where information about America and the abundant farmland in the American Midwest led them to consider emigrating. (7)

Coterminous with the social and economic instability of the times was a growing divergence of religious movements, both culturally rooted and pietistic, standing in reformative protest to the centuries-ensconced state churches of Scandinavia. If to be a Scandinavian meant to be a Lutheran tied to the faithful-in-words-only state-led church of the aristocracy, then to be a Lutheran in Scandinavia would require ecclesiastical leadership less arbitrarily associated with the state church. A mixture of religious movements emerged, from the laity-led pietistic movement inspired by Hans Nielsen Hauge, of Norway, among others, to the more liberal, rationalistic reform movement led by Bishop Nicolai F. S. Grundtvig of Denmark. (8) Tensions between church leaders struggling to maintain control – with guidance by the formally educated clergy instead of the less educated laity – produced a religious and social environment conducive to the proliferation of sects. Among the sectarians were such groups as Baptists, Methodists, and Adventists. Lay preachers giving leadership to these groups, Bible in hand, disputed with the more traditional religious groups – and with each other. One history source lists seventeen prominent preacher-leaders of the1840’s and 1850’s, sixteen of whom were lay preachers. (9), (10)

To protect the reader from the erroneous notion that these hardy lay preachers,   lay-oriented and low-churchly (sometimes of rough appearance and often speaking at meetings and settlements in America with an unction reminiscent of Old Testament prophets – ridiculed by adversaries for their opposition to formalistic chanting and clerical robes) were lacking in intellectual capacity (11), a visit to the world famous Kierkegaard Library at Minnesota’s St. Olaf College will give credence to the cause of the sectarians of the time. (12) There were sectarians of all sorts, to be sure, and opportunistic charlatans in ample supply – nevertheless, churches then considered sectarian soon became the main-line American denominations of our day.

Early Danish Settlements in the Midwest

If life for many Scandinavians had become insufferable in the ‘old country’, their slavery in Egypt soon gave way to a new and better life in the promised land of the American Midwest. Old Testament imagery frequently prevailed among the American revivalists of the day, and if their preachers bellowed like prophets in their camp-meeting tents and log-built churches, the un-tamed social ethos of the western frontier gave plenty of cause for their pietistic oratory. Temperance was not the hall-mark of every westward-ho settler, and the acquisitive efficiency of the sectioned platting of the land by the United States Land Survey – frequently with little or no  thought towards responsible stewardship – and the rapid decimation of vast herds of buffalo, and any species deemed useful for economic gain (deer, antelope, and elk, in addition to fur-bearing animals, were all fair game for meat and hide merchants shipping their cargo east by the train-load) are examples of the at times thoughtless plundering of the natural resources of the west. The Minnesota legislature, after the dreadful Hinkley fire of 1894 (due to brush piling after wholesale clear-cutting of old growth timber in northern Minnesota), set an admirable precedent for other states by enacting comprehensive legislation to protect the environment from slash-and-burn greedy speculation.

True to the principles of our early Scandinavian settlers, the education of youth was given pre-eminent priority (the establishment of Scandinavian-Lutheran colleges and Danish-speaking High Schools was as important to pioneer families as the formation of agricultural and commercial cooperatives and the propagation of conservationist diversified farming). To Minnesota’s early credit, when national land-survey teams were treating the western frontier predominantly as commercial real-estate – and political territory to be claimed for the building of the empire – one entire section of each platted township was set aside as ‘college scrip’. All proceeds from the rent and subsequent sale of these lands went exclusively for the building of and operational funding for the University of Minnesota. (13)

Among the Danes immigrating to Minnesota between 1868 and 1900, 70% were from rural Denmark – however, Danes immigrated to the United States later and in smaller numbers than people of other Scandinavian countries. Kristian Hvidt, a Danish historian, cites two major reasons for this: 1) Danish communities were more numerous and more industrialized than those of Norway and Sweden, offering employment to Danes migrating from rural areas, and 2) a massive land reclamation effort in Jutland between 1860 and 1880 provided new soils for agriculture. (14)

When Danes did arrive in the States in larger numbers – after the American Civil War, and their own involvement in the Prussian wars – they were less visible numerically for reasons other than simple comparison of aggregate totals to those of other immigrants. Concentrated ‘magnet settlements’ in the states were fewer for Danish immigrants compared to those of other Scandinavians, and Danes frequently disappeared among the more numerous Norwegians – because there were two Danish immigrant males to each Danish female. Additionally, the Danish and Norwegian written languages were almost identical, and their spoken languages were similar.

Due to earlier dissatisfaction with the state-run Danish Lutheran Church, Danes were less likely than other Scandinavians to retain membership in the Lutheran church, and in Norway the Haugean-led reform movement retained a Lutheran identity, although differentiated from the state church of Norway. Only 25% of all immigrant Danes were Lutherans in 1906, in comparison to 75% of the Norwegians. Less ethnically identified churches continued to attract Danes in this country, as did they previously in Denmark. (15)

Three major rural Danish settlements were closely identified with their churches in America. Danish Baptists founded the first in 1863 in Freeborn County, near Geneva Lake, a locality later to become Clarks Grove, Minnesota. (16) The thrift and hard work of the Clark’s Grove Danish Baptists produced economic success for the community and for their congregation. Their fourth church, built in 1915 for $22,574 was debt-free at its dedication, and their success grew from practices and theories imported from Denmark. (18) One Minnesota Danish immigrant, Hans Peter Jensen, upon returning to Denmark for a visit, “was struck by the changes he saw in Danish agriculture. Impoverished farmers, who had been working exhausted soils when he emigrated, were now enjoying the advantages of the newly invented cream separator and good herds of pure bred cattle. Co-operatives, which enabled farmers to combine their resources, had produced these startling improvements, and Denmark had begun to export fine butter”. (19) Jensen publicized the success of the Danish co-operatives to all immigrant neighbors who would listen. Many were interested, although six years passed before they acted. By then, the opening of the prairies farther west was flooding the market with frontier wheat, and farmers were hard pressed to compete.

One retrospective view of the success brought about by cooperative efforts of the Danish Baptists of Clarks Grove is characterized by Kathy Jensen in an historical account written for the village’s centennial, 1990: Clarks Grove, A Place We Call Home. (23)

…These people were described as big, kindhearted, social, generous and

accommodating folks, in spite of their meager means. It was a healthy outlook

which existed among these early settlers. A lot of hard work was ahead of

them in clearing the land. These early farmers would hitch up four to five

pairs of oxen to a primitive clearing plow and after much hard work, a field

was ready. It took also a lot of patience and grateful hearts for they always

had put God in front to lead them. They believed in Him who blessed them and

in the labor their hands.

Farming was the main occupation of the early settlers. Improved land was

selling from five to ten dollars an acre. Wheat was the first main crop that was

planted. At that time there was no railroad near the community, so it was

necessary for the farmer to haul their crop to Winona, some 120 miles to the

East to sell it for a dollar a bushel. By the time the expense of the seed, land

costs and transportation were subtracted from the profits, there was little left

for the settler and his family to live on. In 1869, the Southern Minnesota Rail-

road Company reached Freeborn County. It then provided an outlet for the

farmers wheat, making Albert Lea the wheat center.

The farmers had many difficulties to overcome. Gophers, prairie chickens

and blackbirds were deadly enemies of the farmers. Insects were not a big

problem in those earlier days except for the Colorado Beetle which was also

known as the potato bug. It appeared in 1865 and continued to be a problem

until 1870. In 1866, rats became numerous. They were thought to be brought

through immigration. In 1873, the grasshopper plague presented a big problem

to area farmers in Freeborn County.

For ten years wheat growing was a profitable business. But during this

time the most wasteful methods of agriculture were followed. Wheat was grown

on the same field year after year. In the fall the skies would be ablaze with

burning strawpiles. These wasteful methods soon resulted in poorer yields.

Meanwhile, larger wheat farms started further west and the price of the

product dropped. The settlers were hard pressed to making ends meet.

The farmers had very little money to buy the necessary machinery they

needed. In addition, practical farm machinery was scarce. The result was

that all available laborers, including men, women and children worked long

hard hours to produce a meager crop.

Later the farmers turned their efforts to raising short horn cattle and many

of the fields were turned into pastures. But the land was too valuable to be

used to raise beef. Soon these herds were shipped west in large numbers

every year to stock Western farm ranches.

They also tried raising horses for profit to mark in larger cities. This also

proved useless. (see Floyd Sorenson – “Cooperative Movement in Clarks Grove”,

Albert Lea Tribune, 15 June, 1934)

During this time dairying was pursued on a small scale on many farms.

After milking, the milk was allowed to stand for about 24 hours until the cream

gathered to the top. The butter was then churned and many a farmer

established a reputation for his wife’s butter in Albert Lea. This brought a fair

price. “With the farmers’ going into dairying meant questionable income, almost

slavery for the wives of the farmers, and seemingly a lot of wasted time to the

farmer.” (Freeborn County Times, 6 February, 1900)

Six years after Hans Peter Jensen’s visit to Denmark, Danish immigrants formed the Clarks Grove Co-operative Creamery Association in 1890. (20) Although the Danish co-operative at Clarks Grove is often referred to as the first in Minnesota, three other co-ops were started a few months earlier in 1889 by German and Norwegian farmers at Biscay, Vernon, and Zumbro. The Clarks Grove co-op, however, was the most successful, paying off its building debt in three years time and building a new and larger creamery in 1905. Non-Danes and non-Baptists were welcome to join, and they did, though language and religious affiliation commonly united the Clarks Grove farmers. The prosperity of the co-operative creamery preceded the formation of mercantile, lumber, fuel, and hardware co-ops over the course of the next twenty years. (21)

The Danish Baptist’s Clark’s Grove dairy co-operative set a model for some 630 co-operative creameries in Minnesota by 1918, many of them fashioned from a pamphlet which included a constitution and by-laws patterned after those of the Clark’s Grove dairy co-op, written by University of Minnesota professor of dairy and husbandry, Theophilus L. Haecker – on how to organize a co-operative. (22)


(1) Qualey, Carlton C., and Gjerde, Jon A., ‘The Danes’ (from They Chose Minnesota, June D. Holmquist, ed., Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1981, p. 277)

(2) Witness the geo-global phenomenon of Vestas wind turbines, now a Danish and American company (Vestas – NEG Micon), leading the industry in large scale wind electric turbine production and innovation. Vestas, a growing mid-to-late twentieth century industry – now accounting for thirty percent of electrical production in the country of Denmark – is only one example of what seems to have been a characteristic Danish ability to make the most of limited resources. Nearly a century and a half later, vast fields of off-shore wind turbines now supply a steady, reliable source of electrical energy to the region. This, a modern example of how within limited resources necessity can give rise to an ethic of peaceful, cooperative creativity and invention, so also the Danes’ massive land reclamation effort in Jutland between 1860 and 1880 made space for life, hope, and productivity – for themselves, and for others. During the late nineteenth century (when Scandinavians were emigrating west by the thousands), refusing contentment with the distressingly en-mired status quo, rather than perpetuate fractious warfare with acquisitive neighbors, those who stayed built agricultural cooperatives to survive a time characterized by regional warfare, domestic class conflict, hunger, poverty, and wholesale deprivation. One notable Danish invention from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century was the cream separator, a labor saving innovation first employed in the Danish cooperatives (the non-political ‘grass roots’ initiative among the Danish agricultural community enabling economic survival and the diversification of agriculture, saving the land from previously short-sighted and exploitative practices – intrepidly rebuilding their impoverished, faltering economy). Every time you see a Cenex sign on the prairies of the recent frontier of the American Midwest, you witness a reminder that the farmers’ cooperative in our country was ‘invented in Scandinavia’. Their jointly managed cooperatives saved Danish agriculture from the short-sightedness of subsistence farming – and from the opportunistic practices of greedy exploitation (whether that be from the monopolizing landed nobility or from the hand-to-mouth day to day existence of the growing peasant population). By example, their ‘imported practices’ helped to save frontier American society from the ravages of imprudent and intemperate political and economic practices. Though not necessarily tendentious, nor arbitrarily political (though populist), commonly non-aggressive (though sometimes hotly debating) Lincolnian Republicans of late nineteenth century southeast Minnesota were proud to be the anti-slavery party, and in time the party of Teddy Roosevelt – a conservationist, and a champion of fair government.

(3) Andersen, Arlow W., The Norwegian-Americans, Boston: 1975, Twayne Publishers, p. 103

(4) McKay, John P., Hill, Bennett D., Buckler, John, A History of World Societies, Boston: 1984, Houghton Mifflin Company, p. 1145

(5) Qualey, Carlton C., and Gjerde, Jon A., ‘The Norwegians’, op. cit., p. 220

(6) ibid., p. 220

(7) ibid., p. 220

(8) Andersen, Arlow W., The Norwegian-Americans, Boston: 1975, Twayne Publishers, pp. 101-102

(9) ibid., p. 103

(10) One such lay-minister, Elling Eielsen, a Danish follower of Hans Nielsen Hauge, is “credited with the organizing in 1846 of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.” The popular Eielsen’s Synod, formally known as Hauge’s Synod, operated a college and seminary at Red Wing, Minnesota in 1879, merging in 1917 with St. Olaf College of Northfield, Minnesota. (from Andersen, Arlow W., The Norwegian-Americans, Boston: 1975, Twayne Publishers, p. 104)

(11) Andersen, Arlow W., The Norwegian-Americans, Boston: 1975, Twayne Publishers, pp. 103-104

(12) Critiquing the social and ecclesiastical environment of his day and time, Soren Kierkegaard (the now famous Danish philosopher) wrote in his daily journal, 18 July, 1837: ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself,’ say the Philistine bourgeois, whereby the well-raised children and now useful members of the state…mean, partly, that if someone asks for a pair of snuffers, even though they be quite far from that person, they shall say ‘certainly’, get up, and hand the snuffers to the person assuring same that ‘it is a pleasure’; partly, that one must remember to pay the obligatory calls of condolence. But they have never known what it means that the whole world turns its back on them, as of course the shoal of society-herring among which they live never will permit such a contingency to arise, and when a time comes when serious help is required from them, common sense of course will tell them that the person who needs them sorely, but presumably never will be in a position to help them in return, is not their ‘neighbor’. (from The Diary of Soren Kierkegaard, New York: Philosophical Library, Inc., 1960, p. 16)

(13) My family’s Danish immigrant ancestors (my great-great-grandparents) first farm site was a section of ‘college scrip’, farmed with a Danish partner then privately owned. My great-grandfather was born on a half-section of this college scrip land in 1880 – near Albert Lea, Minnesota.

(14) Qualey, Carlton C., and Gjerde, Jon A., ‘The Danes’, op. cit., p. 277

(15) ibid., pp. 277-278

(16) ibid., p. 278 (Clarks Grove, Albert Lea, Tyler)

(17) ibid., p. 281

(18) ibid., p. 281

(19) Floyd Sorensen, “The Development of a Cooperative Community: Clarks Grove, 1863-1912”, in the Albert Lea Evening Tribune, 6 July, 1934, p. 7; 7, p. 6; 9, p. 10, p. 12; 11, p. 12; Freeborn County Times (Albert Lea), 9 February, 1900, p. 1. (see also F. E. Balmer, “The cooperative Movement in the Minnesota Dairy Industry,” 1913; typescripts in Minnesota Historical Society)

(20) Qualey, Carlton C., and Gjerde, Jon A., ‘The Danes’, op. cit., p.281

(21) ibid., p. 281

(22) ibid., p. 281; Everett E. Edwards, “T. L. Haeckers, the Father of Dairying in Minnesota” in Minnesota History, 19: pp. 152, 155-157 (June, 1938)

(23) Jensen, Kathy, Clarks Grove, A Place We Call Home, written for the 1990 Clarks Grove Centennial, privately published, pp. 6 – 8 (shelved at the Albert Lea Public Library)

*  *  *  *  *

* This short introductory essay, written by Dale E. Paulsen, reviews the early history of Danish immigrants to the State of Minnesota and Dakota Territory. My ancestors emigrated from their native land of Denmark to the United States in 1872 and 1873 – five and six generations ago. Neither implicitly complete nor authoritative, this is my own writing – and it is merely the beginning of a first draft of sorts. Thematic paragraphing, logic sequencing, and foot-noted commentary are subject to revision at the author’s discretion previous to formal publication.

To all readers of this preliminary draft: questions and comments are welcome though not solicited, for clarification and authenticity’s sake.

Page 63

State of North Dakota                                                       IN District Court

COUNTY OF TOWNER  – SS.                                           SECOND JUDICIAL DISTRICT

October 29th, Term, 1900

In the matter of the application of C. H. RASMUSSEN to become a citizen of the United States. William Robertson and W. E. Gibbens (hand written) being several sworn, do depose and say, each for himself, that he is well aquaitinted with the above named C.H RASMUSSEN, that he has resided within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the Unitied States for five years last past, and for one year last past within the State of North Dakota; and that during the same period he has behaved himself as a man of good moral character, attached to the principles of the constitution of the United States, and well-disposed to the good order and happiness of the same.

Subscribed and Sworn to in open Court this                             signed: WILLIAM ROBERTSON

29 day of Oct 1900                                                                                           W. E. GIBBENS

W H MCGEE, clerk

STATE OF NORTH DAKOTA                                            IN DISTRICT COURT

COUNTY OF TOWNER                                                      Second Judicial District

I, C.H. RASMUSSEN do swear that I will support the constitution of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and that I do absolutely and entirely Renounce and Abjure Forever, all Allegiance and Fidelity to every Foreign Power, Prince, Potentate, State or Sovereignty whatever; and particularly to the King of Norway whose subject I was. And further, that I never have borne any hereditary title, or been of any of the degrees of nobility of the country whereof I have been a subject and that I have resided within the United Sates States for five years last past, and in this state for one year last past.

Subscribed and Sworn to in open Court this

29 day of Oct 1900                                                   signed: C.H. Rasmussen

W H McGee clerk

STATE OF NORTH DAKOTA                                          IN DISTRICT COURT

COUNTY OF TOWNER Second Judicial District

And Now, to-wit: At a Term of said Court, now being held at Cando in and for the County of Towner, in said State, upon the forgoing oath and affidavits, and upon further proof having been made by the production of a certificate that the said C.H. Rasmussen, before the Clerk of District Court of Towner County North Dakota the same being a Court of Record, having common law jurisdiction, make the requisite declaration of his intention to become a citizen of the United States, to renounce all other allegiance, as required by the laws of the United States.

It is Ordered by the Court, that the said C.H. Rasmussen

be, and he is herby admitted to be,  A CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES.

By the Court:  D.E. Morgan… Judge

A True Record Attest.

Signed: W.H. McGee, clerk

Naturalization Records of North Dakota

Towner County

Volume 7 – 12

May 8, 1886 – January 3, 1920

Roll No. 12664

P. 63


R.  S.  Rasmussen was born as “Rasmus Rasmussen” in 1873, the oldest of seven sons, near Ringe, next to Søllinge and Sødinge, Denmark.  After coming to the the U.S. in 1889, Uncle Ras added an “S” to be used as a middle initial to cut down on being confused with his father who shared the same name.

In 1945 Lena and Ras sold their farm in North Dakota and moved to Jacksonville, Oregon. After moving to Jacksonville, he and son Ernest started “Rasmussen’s Super Serve” a combination gas station and car repair.  The gas station portion has long been shut down, but as of the year 2004 Steve Rasmussen, son of Lloyd Rasmussen, son of Earnest, son of Ras S., is still operating the business as a car repair service located on the corner of 4th and California streets in Jacksonville.

I remember Aunt Lena telling of how after Uncle Ras had suffered a stroke in 1952, she was sitting next to his bed at the hospital reading letters and cards to him.  After a bit he became tired and asked Aunt Lena to please read them some other time. She turned around and placed the cards on a nightstand. “When I turned around he was gone.”  (From Larry Smith, 2003)

Certificate of Ordination

By the General Council of the

Assemblies of God

This is to Certify:

That Rasmus S. Rasmussen of Egeland, State of North Dakota

Being a member of the general ASSEMBLY OF GOD (HEB. 12:23), having proven his Divine Gift and Calling to the Ministry of the Gospel of Christ and having Consecrated himself to said Calling, according to the Word of God in the United States of America, Canada and Foreign Lands, has been regularly ordained on the 15th day of May 1919.

We, the EXECUTIVE PRESBYTERY of the General Council, by earnest prayer, invoke the Divine Presence with blessing and power upon him and herby recognize his Divine Ordination to the ministry of the Gospel, conferring upon him the right to preach the Word, administer the ordinances of the church, perform the right of marriage, bury the dead and exercise all other functions pertaining to the Christian ministry, in compliance with the laws and customs of the State and Country in which he resides, so long as in fellowship with said ASSEMBLIES OF GOD, and while maintaining a Godly life and a Scriptural standard in teaching.

Given this 23rd day of April 1919

J. W. Welch


Stanley W. Frodsham



SAT.  OCT.  24, 1908

“Dear Rasmus got one of he’s Eyes hurt to day,  a peace of Rock strock it.” (A diary entry from Lena’s mother, Mary Olsen Paulsen. “MOP” was from the “Old Country” and spelled the way she heard the words.)

A very bad injury.  He’d been catching up  (after the trip to St. Paul, MN with Henry and Will to have bro. in law’s (Henry’s) broken ankle operated on and broken pieces of bone removed) and, as his daughter Mae (Rasmussen) Odegaard would recall in her 1965 writing,”The Olden Days” telling of the large and successful farm they’d built up.

“(Dad) … built a three room chicken house, too.  This was built on the south of the machine shed.  While breaking up rock for the foundation he got a piece of rock in his eye.  His eye had to be removed and was replaced with a glass eye.”

Elsewhere I recall reading a narrative of someone’s memories about Ras S.  VERY MUCH later in his life :::  that he’d occasionally come downstairs in the morning for breakfast  and his wife Lena would remind him to ‘Get back upstairs and put your eye and teeth in.’     Luckily, losing the eye didn’t keep Ras S. from being a very successful farmer.

MON.   OCT. 26,  1908

“Will toke Rasmus to Fargo to an Eye Dr.”    (MOP)

Two days have passed since Ras’ eye injury —  Will and Ras again travel south together,  as they did last week with Henry, but this time to Fargo —  to Norgaard Hospital there.  It no longer exists, but here’s what Beth Postema in a Fargo History website has to say about it:    “The Norgaard Hospital was located at 1505 Fifth Street South. It was in operation from 1909 to 1922.  According to a Fargo Forum article at that time, the Hospital was described as taking medical and surgical cases and open to the public. Ragnhild Norgaard was listed as the proprietor. According to census records, she was 70 in 1920, and the widow of Torgus Norgaard. Her daughter Sondrine, who was 43 in 1920, is listed either as a nurse at Norgaard Hospital, or as the superintendent. The building is no longer there. In its place is a 1950’s vintage building that houses Luther Hall, a facility for troubled teens” –

TUES.  OCT.  27,

“We had two Letters from Henry to Night.  Lord bless dear Henry” (MOP)

He must be recuperating well enough in the St. Paul MN hospital that he’s “up to” writing — Good news!  (MAPP)

“bless dear Rasmus and Lina.  help us all for Jesus sake   Amen.” (MOP)

Here again Mary uses an endearing spelling, hearkening back to Lena’s birth name, Olina — we know that Mary now is hurting for Lena as well as Ras,  as such an eye injury for him will surely effect her life too. (MAPP)

(Entries from Marsha Ann Paulsen Peters, a granddattr of Ras’ wife LENA’s brother, Henry.. And-Or, great-granddatr of Alb & Mary (Lena’s parents) Paulsen I’m only related via “in-laws” to the Rasmussen tribes   in that two of my grandpa Henry’s sisters [Lena and Anna] were married to Ras, and James —   and both dudes are brothers of Larry’s grandpa, Christian Rasm’sn.   Hence, I refer to Larry as my “shirt-tail cousin-in-law.” Oct. 21, 2008)  (MAPP)

Greetings ! from Iowa,

and some “Color commentary” re: selections from

Mary’s diary  this week – –

A Century ago in Cando ND,

Mary O. Paulsen wrote:

WED.   OCT. 28,   1908

“Will came back from Fargo this morning and dear Lena had to go dovn to Fargo to Rasmus.”

Lena, Ras’ wife, and this large extended family of siblings will take turns looking after Ras in Fargo  and of Lena & Ras’ children  in Egeland, when needed.   For a while, Ras (and sometimes Lena) stayed at the Elliott Hotel in Fargo  to have better access to the doctoring—  See the first postcard at this site re: Fargo’s historic street scenes —  the Elliott Hotel is the tall pointed building on the left (west)  side.  Proprietor P. Elliott charged $1.25–1.50 per room per day.

“Rasmus is pretty bad.  the [y] are afraid he will loose hi’s Eye,  dear Father help them.  and help dear Rasmus,  Henry and us all.   Be Thou with us all true the Night for Jesus sake.   Amen.”

Yikes —  so much — too much.

“Wills phoned for me to go out to Rasmus.  Elna is sick.  I was very sick tru the Night this Night.”

NOT a big complainer, altho’ she’s sick herself, she is heading out by Stagecoach the next day to help.

THURS.  OCT.  29,  1908

“I went whit the Stage  out to Wills, and from there to Rasmusses.

Elna was up,  and is better,  praise to the Lord !”

(( Did I mention lately that ‘Elna’ is a respelling of her Mom’s name, Lena? ))

Wednesday, November 18, 1908

“Rasmus and Lena came home to day from Fargo.” (Mary Paulsen)

Ras Rasmussen is now fitted with a glass eye to fill the void of the eye he lost  when breaking rock to build a foundation in Summer of this year. He’s long been doctoring at Norgaard hospital in Fargo, and staying at Elliott Hotel in Fargo with wife Lena (Mary’s 2nd oldest daughter);   I don’t know who cared for their 4 young children during the past 3 weeks Lena was away helping her husband. MaryOP didn’t mention the children traveling with them – – – (Marsha Paulsen Peters)

An RR Story from Larry Smith – related October 21, 2008.

I remember my parents visiting Lena and Ras in Jacksonville in 1949. We often visited on Sunday afternoons because we lived in Phoenix, Oregon only 10 miles away. RR took very kindly to Lloyd and me. He was so friendly. One afternoon he took us out into his garden along the north side of his JV house. He showed us how he was grafting fruit trees. We were amazed at the different kinds of fruit that could grow on one tree. He was amused by our wonderment. He showed us how he would cut a slice in the tree branch, and then force a branch cut from another fruit tree into the slot and and then cover the junction with some type of tar.

We then walked on through the garden to his tool shed. As he unlocked the shed door, he told us the story of him losing his eye and having to wear a glass eye. We did not realize that it had happened 41 years earlier.

An Interesting Rasmussen/Severson Family Parallel.

Ras S. and Lena Rasmussen had five children, 36 grandchildren, and 136 great- grandchildren, evenly divided between boys and girls.  Ole and Nietta Severson, whose children married into the Rasmussen family, also had five children, 36 grandchildren, and 136 great grandchildren, and they were also evenly divided between boys and girls at 68 boys and 68 girls.  (Story from Joyce Jordan)

From: Loyal Severson <>
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2007

Subject: Laverne, Amy asked about Laverne`s name how, to spell it,

Remember my mom wanted another daughter after Ramona (2nd born) each child was planned to have a girl name Norman (Norma) , Paul (Paulene), Laverne, Page ? Gerold (geroldine, (bad spelling), We had pictures of Gerry standing on a seaman chest with a Prince Valient hair style , finanally she had his hair cut (I spell like great Grandma Mary but she didnt have spell check, mine doesnt work when I do email unless I first write it on another area then send it to my email , too much trouble. I could look the word up in my dictionary, Some times I ask Paula If she is near.) My name no one seems to know how I was named although I read in the Rasmussen booklets by Larry Smith there was a Loyal Listed.  Lorin was lucky. Of course my mother was happy when the 10th child-Sharon  came on the scene. I wrote this before when we drove to N.Dakota in the summer of 1941 in our new Plymouth 4 door, imagine! Paul (16) drove, Laverne sat next to him then mom holding Sharon, knitting the 3 day trip and made her a dress.  In the back seat was Page, Jerry, me & Lorin.  We took turns standing up, We cooked along the road or ate sandwitches. We spent the summer in Egeland, Dad had to work at Lockheed. My typeing is slow as I use my middle finger on my left hand. That way I have the mouse in my right hand. The key board was not set to alphabetical order as the first typewritters would jam when the keys would lock up, But now without mechanical keys they could try to do it alphabetical, but people are used to the way it is. I never typed until I bought a computor.

From Loyal 2010 – My dad had a fainting spell helping Ernie on His roof and fell but later in the hospital they said He had a clogged corroted artery, and died at hospital and body flown to Burbank and was buried next to my mother and his parents( about 1965) at Valhalla,,Yes Marsha it left a void in my life , but I believe death sometimes bring us to salvation , as my brother Norman in 1952 ,He was killed deer hunting. Thanks again for your hard work . Dads main work after the war was with a business across from RKO with a gas station, used car lot, body shop  ,paint shop, front end alingment and upholstering, Later he was a car salesman. I am thanking theLord for helping us to turn out as good as we did. tough years did a lot of living in different places.for about 2 months my dad was out of work about 1944? and Page and Jerry sold evening news papers on Riverside drive and Los Feliz standing out in the middle of the blvd.and the only money coming into the house was what they brought home each night , they would treat us to a Boston Creme Pie.  P.S. Harold did the front end alinement and Ray did the body work and paint.

From: Carlene []
September 12, 2010
To: Lloyd Smith
Subject: Re: Two questions


Lorin lived with his grandpa and grandma during those years because his family had scattered after his mothers death in 1942.  His dad, Si, went from being an executive with Lockheed to being a very discouraged man.  He had bought a race horse named At-A-Boy who ran at Santa Anita.  Unknown to Si the trainer was drugging the horse because it was too old to race.  The drugs caused the horse to push itself to the point that it fell and broke its leg.  They had to put it down and all of this put a heavy financial strain on the family.  At that time Ray, Ramona, Norman and Paul were married so the younger children were raised by various relatives including their older brothers and sister.  During the time Lorin lived with grandpa and grandma Sharon was with him for a while and Loyal also lived with them for a while.

Lorin says he sure remembers how much he enjoyed your family coming to spend time in Jacksonville with grandpa and grandma on Sunday afternoons.  I guess you would take mom and I home from church then go on over to visit with them.  — Sure wish I had known you had such a great cousin at that time (ha-ha).

Norman was killed in a hunting accident in about 1952.  Maybe your dad is remembering Si falling off a roof in Jacksonville in 1965.  He did die a few weeks later, but the Doctors said the fall was caused from lack of blood to his brain.  He died of hardening of the arteries in his neck which restricted the flow of blood to his brain.           SHALOM – Carlene

From Carlene Severson 2010 – For what it’s worth, Simon Severson had hardening of the arteries which restricted the blood flow to his brain.  This caused him to be light headed and he lost balance and fell from the small building at Marie & Ernie Rasmussen’s home.  While in the hospital the doctor told Lorin that his dad’s arteries were so restricted he could not operate.  So our understanding was that he died from lack of proper blood flow instead of from the fall.



by Carlene Severson

August 2, 2010

A couple of days ago I was sitting on a dock overlooking the beautiful Lake Norman here in North Carolina telling friends of our plans to take a few days drive in Lorin’s gorgeous Custom 1951 Ford F-1 Pickup that he has just completed building.  We had decided to go up into West Virginia in hopes of seeing a few real mountains, some clear water mountain streams, and even meet some local people.  Thoughts of the Appalachians ran through my mind and I knew that was where I wanted to go.  I had wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail back when I graduated high school, but never made it this far into the Southeast until a few years ago.

When I asked our friends what beautiful things could we see on a drive in West Virginia their daughter asked why we would want to go there where there were only redneck hillbillies?  Then in seconds the life I have lived flashed through my mind.


– I don’t remember too much of these years, but I do know most of the time we had electricity and running water, but no indoor plumbing.

I can remember my big brother, Russ, hitting the outside walls of the outhouse to scare me, baths in the galvanized tub sitting by the wood cook stove with a wall of blankets hung on chairs around me for privacy.  I especially remember grandma’s front door which fascinated me because it had a “latch string”.


– We moved to a ranch on Sterling Creek Road, a gravel road in the hills above Jacksonville, Oregon.  We now had indoor plumbing but no electricity.   I remember plowing the fields with our World War II army surplus jeep then giving it a wash job on Saturday afternoons so our “family car” would be clean for church, logging with an old horse named Bell, heating the iron on a wood cook stove to press my clothes for school, doing homework by kerosene lamp light, butchering and putting into cold storage as many as 100 chickens at a time and growing gardens big enough to feed an army.  After canning all of it there was just the right amount to keep us through the winter.  Most everything we did outside was done as a family.  Mom and I didn’t stay in the house “knitting” while the men worked in the fields or logged.  I became an excellent choker setter.  And after Russ joined the Navy my mom drove the family logging truck.  She was a very petite beautiful woman but my dad always told her she could do more than any woman and as much as most men and she did just that.

We had neighbors who spent so much time at our house it seemed like they lived there and the kids seemed more like cousins than neighbors.  A young man who lived with us for several months killed a raccoon and the neighbor lady said she knew how to cook it, so we had raccoon for dinner that night (naturally at our house). At about age 15 electricity was finally brought up from the valley to our road.  Dad strung the wire so we had one light bulb in the center of each room with a string hanging from it to turn the light off and on.  Gradually he added wall plugs.  Then the neighbor brought in her electric mangle that she had been keeping for several years in hopes of getting electricity and we ironed with it sitting in the corner of the dining room.  The neighbors lived a mile from us further off the main road so they didn’t get electricity at that time.  Then TV came about a year later and we were the first on our road to have one so our living room became the local theatre for all the neighbors.  Friday nights were the best.  The men were in the living room watching boxing while the women were in the dining room talking and all us kids were upstairs playing Monopoly, Sorry or some other board game.   I remember a horse back ride through the mountains with 2 six shooters strapped to my hips looking for the wild horse herd that had been there and finding only one old mare left from the notorious herd.   Wonderful times – wonderful memories.

1960’s – YOUNG MARRIED –

I had married this amazing very young man who was an Oregon country boy (at heart) who happened to be born in Los Angeles, California.  We rented a little house in town, but after 3 months we decided town was not for us.  We bought 25 acres from mom and built our first home back up on Sterling Creek Rd. We moved in when it was still a one room cabin with no electricity or plumbing because it seemed senseless to rent a home in town and spend all our time at our country property.  Lorin built a 2 bedroom house with a hand saw — as in man power only.

During this time we both had full time jobs.  His was as a sheet metal worker and mine as the Business Secretary of the Medford Y.M.C.A.  Mine was a professional job where I wore suits, heels and nylons with my hair being “styled” every day.  No jumping in the shower and heading for work in a frazil hoping your hair dries before you get there.  Every evening after work, except Church nights and Sundays, we worked on the house until we were exhausted then Lorin went down to the creek to bring in enough water to heat on the wood cook stove for us to take baths while I cooked our dinner on that same stove.  I was so thankful I married a man who couldn’t stand to go one day without a bath.

After less than a year we did have both electricity and plumbing which made trips to the creek for wash water and trips to the spring for drinking water unnecessary.


“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.”  Psalm 121:1

– We had moved to Ruch, Oregon (an intersection with a gas station, a church and a store and you could also see your neighbors) and I felt town crowding in on me.   An opportunity came to buy a ranch with a log cabin up near Copper, Oregon.  It was so far out in the mountains that the very last power pole from the electric company was on our property.  I would hope for the roads to wash out so we could get stuck there and be unable to leave.

We were completely self-sufficient (with God’s help) and once again had the wonderful wood cook stove, a gravity fed spring supplying pure water for our home and the pond in front with plenty more for a marvelous big garden.  Now I was the one canning enough food for the winter with my daughter’s help, and loving every minute of it.

Then my response to this beautiful young lady who probably would think roughing it was handwashing dishes or drying clothes on a line was….



The following articles were typed by Carlene Severson from documents preserved in the Rasmussen Scrapbooks assembled by Ernie Rasmussen. Mostly they concern the Ras S.  and Lena F. Paulsen Rasmussen branch of the family.

R. S. Rasmussen born at Fyen Denmark May 15th 1873 came to America together with his parents and 5 brothers in June 1889 to near Albert Lea Minn. Stayed there until March 1893 when he came to Cando filed on homestead May 16th 1894. His home place was S E of Egeland, North Dakota. Married Lena Paulson Dec. 24, 1896 raised our 5 children then retired from farming fall of 1945 when we came to Oregon and settled at our present home in Jacksonville.

My father Rasmus Rasmussen came to Cando late in 1894 filed on his homestead moved up with the family early in 1895 lived in a tarpaper shack which stood on the present site of the school house, build same year the buildings and planted the grove where Irish Johnson lives broke up all the tillable land on the homestead raised a large crop of wheat 1895.

Father sold the farm in the fall of 1902 to Eawn(?) Olmstead and moved to Kalispell, Mont.

Copied in part from a handwritten copy by R. S. Rasmussen.        .



Father Rasmussen, age 86                   Dec. 10, 1837              April 28, 1924

Mother, Rasmussen, age 61                Aug. 2, 1849               Oct. 19, 1910

R. S. Rasmussen                                 May 15, 1873              Jan. 8, 1952

Peter Rasmussen                                 July 9, 1875                Sept. 16, 1888

C. H. Rasmussen                                 May 22, 1877              Apr. 15, 1952

James E. Rasmussen, 89 yrs                Aug. 23, 1880             Aug. 24, 1968

Maurice A. Rasmussen                       Mar. 18, 1882              Nov. 30, 1954

William F. Rasmussen             Aug. 16, 1884             June 18, 1965

Carl F. C. Rasmussen                          Mar. 27, 1887              Dec. 18, 1959

(Will said Mother Rasmussen’s name was Mette Kerstine Lars Datter Maason.  Maurice said her name was Kerstine Madson.  Her brother’s name is Madson.)

My Dobs attest (Baptism certificate) shows Mother’s name Maason.

Father’s name (Salesman Rasmussen) or wagon maker

Mother’s name (Housewife Rasmussen)

There is a little difference in my mother’s name on certificate.


For our family tree record.


January 6, 2004


Attached find a two-page document in Word of what Walt

dictated to his daughter Doris in 1959.

Diane Guthrie


Spinal Meningitis


On the morning of July 24th, 1959 a happy, healthy man was I, on my way to work at the Great Plains Lumber Yard in Church’s Ferry, North Dakota.  Feeling fine I started work, but at 11 A.M. I became dizzy and had to lay down on the ground, to stop me from fainting.  When I felt better I drove home and went to bed.

I stayed in bed until Monday, during this time I ran a temperature of 100 to 104.  Monday night Dr. Hilts was called and when he came he gave me a shot of penicillin and made no diagnoses.  I then felt somewhat better and was up and around enough to supervise the packing of my belongings, and moved to Motley, Minn. on August 1, Saturday.

On August 4th I was getting discouraged because I was not gaining strength.  So I went to Staples, Minn. and saw Dr. Nord.  He examined me and thought I had a virus flu.  I was put on Chloromycetin and sent home to recuperate, and was to come back in a week.

On August 12th I became quite sick at noon and vomited my dinner, so went back to see Dr. Nord.  This time he took one look at me and said, “You’re going to the hospital.”

During the night my temperature went up to 104, and I became delirious, my neck became stiff and nothing registered.  But, by the next morning the 13th I was feeling somewhat better.  Doris came in by bus and stayed with me the next night in the hospital. I was in isolation so could not have company, but I did not know whether anyone was there or not.  I could talk, but later I did not know what went on during this period.  On Sunday the 23rd I was released from the hospital, apparently in good condition.  I was home from Sunday the 23rd to Tuesday the 25th.  On Tuesday I began running a temperature and by 10 P.M. my neck became stiff again.  Back to the hospital for me!!  This time I knew nothing of my midnight ride.  I was admitted in the same bed and back in isolation.  Dr. Nord came in, and just shook his head!  I stayed in this hospital (Staples) until Saturday, August 29th.  My special nurse (Doris) and Dr. Nord talked over my case and decided to send me to the University of Minnesota Hospital in Minneapolis.  Dr. Nord had done all he could for me by injecting penicillin into my spine, and giving me the best of treatment, but was afraid there may be an abscess on my brain.

So, by noon August 29th I was in the Belling ambulance on my way to the University Hospital.  I had my special nurse with me.  We entered the hospital at 3 P.M. Two doctors came into my room as soon as I was put to bed, this was the head neurologist of Minn. Dr. Baker and his assistant Dr. Pederson.  After examining me thoroughly I was turned over to Dr. Bradley.  He began running lab tests immediately.  During that night my son Ralph and wife and my two daughters, Margaret and Esther, came.  I did not know them.  My wife had been by my side and leaning on the Lord for strength.  This night I took the Lord as my Savior.

More tests and examinations followed day after day.  One day my brain was dyed in order to X-ray it, another time I was taken into the operating room, had the back of my head shaved and had two holes drilled through my skull, and air was injected into my brain, thus the cells were blown up and were easily seen on X-ray.  Nothing was found!  No abscess could be located, but I didn’t seem to be improving and the pressure in my head remained.

On Tuesday, September the 1st I was very low, the doctor advised the family to call anyone that would or should be called.  During this time however, my wife’s sister, Mrs. Tony Moline (Sis) and her brother, Ralph (Chiz) Thornton, flew in from Salt Lake City, Utah.

Chiz and Doris stayed with me the night of September 1st.  At 8 P.M. I was very low and the doctor gave me three hours.  Much prayer went up for me, and by 10 A.M. I could talk a little to my oldest son, Kenneth, when he came into my room.  My sister, Mrs. Peter Odegaard flew in with all my children from North Dakota.  This night Sept. 2nd Ralph, my son and Doris stayed with me again.  But, by the next day I could talk more plain and recognized some voices.

I had called for Hubert Haugen in Germany, and Dr. Bradley thought he should be notified and we should try to get him home, this was not possible.

The doctor had me on every antibiotic there was, but I was not responding as they thought I should, so as a last resort they tried cortisone.  This cornered the bug and with the Lords help began gaining strength day-by-day.

On Monday September 21st I was taken out of isolation, and began sitting up in a chair for short periods.

From August 29th to September 24th I was fed through the veins and when my veins collapsed they put a tube down my nose and fed me formula milk and vitamins this way.

On September 25th, Friday, was the first day I really began to realize what happened and what was going on.  I remember very little of what happened during this past month, although, there are things I do remember, and they aren’t too pleasant!

At this time they (the doctors) wanted permission to blow up my brain again, but, by Sunday, they began to see that a higher power had taken over, so, they just were going to sit back and see what would happen.

Each day God gave me strength, and I improved steadily, before the doctor’s eyes.  So there were no more dyes and air x-rays, but, on Wednesday, October 7th, they took 14 flat plates of my skull and chest, also ran other tests, and found the scar where the infection had been, but, all was healed now!

I was now able to get up with help and be around in a wheel chair.  And with my orderly’s help, I took tub baths each morning.

On September the 10th Dr. Baker told me I could go home on Wednesday the 14th.  This was good news!!!

On September the 11th I was taken down to the auditorium.  Here all the doctors were gathered, my case was brought before the floor.  The final diagnosis was:

Two forms of spinal meningitis, numecocus and Bacilicua

Also a possible form of oriental flu and a partial paralytic polio.

But praise God I am healed!  And on the morning of Wednesday the 14th day of October at 10 A.M. I was discharged to the care of my wife and daughter, and was able to go home by car to Motley, Minn.

I went from 180 lbs. down to 130 lbs. but, have gained back my appetite and am gaining strength each day.

I also was given six pints of blood, donated by:

Kenneth Rasmussen    Ralph Rasmussen

Peter Odegaard           Cecil McCann

Vernon Johnson          Sam Nikoliason

Margaret Axmark

October 21, 1959

Endured by:

Walter Rasmussen

Written by:

DGR (Doris Rasmussen)

Retyped by Diane (Rasmussen) Guthrie in 2004 who corrected spelling errors.

Note from Diane: after doing some research on meningitis I was unable to locate the forms mentioned above.  Meningitis is either viral (less serious) or bacterial.  There are two main types of bacterial meningitis which cause most of the reported bacterial cases.  They are meningococcal and pneumococcal.


This is the true testimony of

1019 West Main Street

Medford, Oregon

January 1, 1960

(The above was the title page.  The address was later crossed out and changed to read Jacksonville P.O. Box 97 – This document was originally typed by Carlene Severson, wife of Lorin Severson)

“I will gladly talk to anyone of these experiences.”

I was born in Albert Lee, Minnesota, October 31, 1878.  My folks moved to North Dakota in the Spring of 1887 with their family of eight children where we homesteaded about thirty miles north-east of Churches Ferry.  That was our nearest railroad.  Father had to haul wood and coal 30 to 40 miles.  A great life it was, there on the frontier, for it was far between neighbors.  Father got a free homestead of three quarters – 160 acres each (tree claim and pre-emption).  No trees, but everyone had to plant trees on tree claims, so a lot of trees were planted.  Buffalo bones lay all over the prairies.  Indians and half-breeds lived around there.  Four more children were born there.  Lena, and my brother, Will, would herd cattle, ours and a neighbors.  We did not have many months of school, but had church about once a week.

I got saved, a real born again experience, at the age of 11 years.  Oh how I could see the Lord in everything as I was out there on the open prairies.  I was so happy in the Lord and could see Him in nature and in the skies.  There were many flowers on the prairie.  When I would get out in the morning I would say, “How this has grown.  Man can imitate, but he cannot make them grow.”

By the time I was 14 years old I wanted people to know my Jesus, so I took the leaves of an old Bible that was falling to pieces and went out one day when the wind was blowing hard (we had plenty of wind).  I took some of the Bible leaves, prayed that someone would get them and get saved this way, and threw them to the wind.  This was in haying time.  I expect to meet someone in Heaven who read those leaves, for it is the Word of God.  He said, “Cast your bread upon the waters, and ye shall find it after many days.  And in the morning sow your seed, in the evening withhold not your hand, for who knows which will prosper this or that, or whether they will both be alike, good.”

Shortly after this I took very sick with the epileptic fits.  They thought I would die.  Mother went out one morning and came in with a leaf of the Bible.  She came to my bedside and said, “Oh dear, I found this leaf in my path this morning.  It did me so much good I will read it to you.”  It was John 14: 1-3 “Let not your heart be troubled:  ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father’s house are many mansions:  if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”  (Read the whole chapter.)  Mother said, “Dear I don’t know how that came to lay there.”  And I said, “I threw the leaves to the wind, and God put that in your path.”  I would to God that more of these leaves, The Work of God, will fall in someone’s path to save and comfort.

Oh I loved the Lord, and one day I was in my room reading my Bible and I read Mark 1:9-11 where we read of the baptism of Jesus, saying “straightway coming up out of the water.”  I ran to my mother and said, “Mother, I want to be baptized like Jesus was.”  She said, “Child, how was Jesus baptized?”  I said, “I read in the Bible he came up out of the water, and you said you sprinkled me when a baby.”  She said, “You cannot be baptized like that, as there is no one here who will do it.”  I was the third oldest of the children, and the last one to be sprinkled.  I would cry at night until my pillow was wet with tears.  I would read the Christian Secret of a happy life, and would go to the organ and play and sing “Take Time to be Holy,” “Speak Oft with Thy Lord.”  I would stand on a hill looking up to Jesus and say, “I want more of you Jesus.”

My folks now believed in immersing or dip under, and that was hard on their folks who believed in sprinkling, but I could not be baptized like Jesus was as there was no one there at that time who would do it.  I was very grieved and was never real happy after I had the light on that until one day someone came along who would baptize me that way.  Around 25 of us were baptized, and oh what a glorious time we had there.  I was satisfied now.

I was married in 1896, and when our first little girl was born I read in the Bible in Mark 10:16 “And he took them up in his arms, and put his hands upon them, and blessed them.”  We said, “That is what we want for our little girl.”  But no one we knew in 1898 was practicing that; so my husband and I took our baby and kneeled down and put our hands on her, and gave her to the Lord.  I want all of the Bible way.  Then when our girl was married and had ten children, God called her home.  I was complaining to the Lord for taking her from all of those children so he said to me, “Did you not give her to me?”  And I said, “Oh yes, Jesus, I thank you for letting us have her that long.  You only took your own.”  We felt better.

Heaven is a real place, yes, Heaven is a glorious place.  On August 27, 1900 just 10 days from my second little girl was born; I say as Paul said in II Cor. 12:2, “Whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell:  God knoweth.”  This is my experience.  I entered the dark valley of death, but it was not long dark, for as I traveled on, it became brighter and more glorious.  And there Jesus came to meet me to welcome me home.  I walked with him on the streets of pure gold, and the Glory of God was all around.  We need no light there, for Jesus is the light.  Jesus took me into a large place.  Oh, the Glory was all around there.  There was a large table with a transparent glistening white tablecloth on, with seats all around.  A few were seated there.  I looked this way and that way, and could see no end to that table.  There is room for all, for whosoever will.  Praise God, Jesus was with me all the time; as I stood there I thought my work on earth was done, so I said, “Jesus permit me to go back for people do not know what heaven is like.”  And to the surprise of the doctor and my folks, I came back.  The doctor said he did not understand it.  But dear ones, I found when I came back, tongue cannot tell of the things that are prepared for us in Heaven.  Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us.  Let us be faithful to tell sinners of the love of God.  Jesus has left us here to be His witnesses.  Come and taste and see that the Lord is precious.

Some time after that I had an operation and quit breathing as the doctor was operating.  The doctors, they say, slung their instruments and said, “Oh God, help.”  My husband and mother were there and they prayed so I started to breathe again.  When I was well enough to sit up I was told I could go home the next day.  When I was put back to bed a blood vein burst and I nearly lost all the blood in my body before anyone noticed.  I could hardly move even a little finger, and lay in a coma.  When I was able to go home I said, “I almost went again, and have not told people much about what Heaven is like.”

Then my husband and I, together with others, started community prayer meetings in a small town of around three hundred.  Sixty some came out for prayer meetings, but we felt our lack of telling others about Jesus, so we would pray for God to give us Power. I walked the floor and prayed for Power, not knowing how it would come.

Some Pentecostal people wrote and wanted to come to our town to hold meetings.  We did not care to have them come as we stood as Free Mission people, but they came anyway.  One Sunday morning they came into our Sunday school, four of them.  I asked, “Who are these people?”  They said, “They are people who speak in tongues like on the day of Pentecost.”  We had been taught that it is not for us today, but I thought to myself, “Would not that be wonderful if we could have that experience.”  They rented a hall and held a meeting in the afternoon, but we did not go.  That night I could not sleep, and the Lord told me to take these people into our home.  I said, “Oh Lord, you know I have these epileptic fits, and am not able to work, and so nervous when anyone is around.  I am the weakest of all of our folks.”  He said, “Who has given you the strength you have got?”  But I could not sleep, so the next day we got together to see if we should go to the meetings.  The majority thought we should go and find out what it was.  So that evening (Monday) my husband and I went, but they had no meeting.  We said, “We have come to your meeting, and wanted you to go home with us just for one night as I have epileptic fits and it makes me nervous to have anyone around.”  They said, “You come tomorrow evening and we will go home with you.  We went, and they came home with us.  As they were reading the Bible and talking about it, they would laugh and so enjoy it.  I thought, “I know I am a Christian, but they seem to have something I don’t have.”

When it came time to go to the meeting, they took their suitcases, and we said, “Stay another night.”  But they said, “No, we can see that you are not able to have anyone around, and we have not come to be a burden to anyone.  We have rented a place in town.”  We said, “Stay one more night.”  They stayed and were with us most of the time for three weeks.

After we went to 9 meetings, I came home burdened and thinking maybe this was not of God.  My husband was also burdened.  I could not sleep, but when I did go to sleep, I awoke singing “Victory.”  Again I went to sleep and awoke singing “Victory.”  I said, “Lord, why do I sing ‘Victory’ the way things went last night (as I did not understand God’s ways).”  Jesus said, “Victory, believe me, there is Victory Ahead.”  So the next morning the burden was gone, and our first meeting was set for that afternoon.  The evening before I said, “I will not go to any more meetings.”  The tarrying meeting was set at James Rasmussen’s home (my brother-in-law) and the workers went to their home that evening.

The next morning after breakfast I went to my bedroom and closed the door and said, “I want all that is of you, and if this is for us today, show me from your Word.”  My Bible opened at Acts 2:15-18.  I said, “Lord give me another witness, and again opening my Bible at random and here was Joel 2:28, 29.  I said, “It is enough Lord, it is for us all today.”  I got on my knees and prayed under the mighty power of God – got up and walked the floor.  I said, “Give me this Power, I need it Jesus.”

My husband could not eat; God put a fast on us.  We went to the tarrying meeting, and Sister Vangelder, the evangelist, met me at the door and said, “The Lord showed me He has something good for you today.”  I said, “I know it.”  Then one of the brethren took the Bible, and read it to show us it is for us today.  But I did not hear anything he said as I fell under the Power of God.  When I came to, one of the sisters said, “Praise the Lord, Sister Rasmussen, and He will fill you with the Spirit.”  But I paid no attention to anyone for I was lost in the Lord, and had my all on the Altar.  I had been seeking Him so long for Power, not knowing how it would come.  Then the clouds parted and I got a glimpse into Heaven; and oh I saw an abundance of Power for every occasion.  Then I started praising the Lord and saw a big ball of fire.  I fell backwards on the floor.  When I saw the ball of fire, I began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave utterance.  I said, “Lord what will you have me to do?”  And he said, “Go and pray with your brothers and sisters.”  I went to my sister, Mrs. James Rasmussen.  My older sister, Mrs. Carl Fredlund went over and kneeled down where I got the baptism.  She said, “That is Holy Ground.”  They both came through speaking in other tongues.  Some did not kneel, thinking a storm had come up, but it was quiet outdoors.  No wind.  Oh, it was as the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2:2 a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  It was wonderful.

Then we went home.  I went to lie down and said, “This is glorious, but I am so tired I cannot go to the meeting tonight as I had the epileptic fits.  But when it came time to go to the meeting, I got up and went to the meeting for I was so happy.  Then Clara Vangelder said, “Now if anyone feels like praying, pray.”  And I prayed, then my sister, Mary Fredlund, prayed.  I then broke out in tongues and spoke in the Norwegian language (in their dialect), and as we were in the Lutheran Church (we had rented their Church for our meetings) they did not kneel, but we knelt.  I faced a whole seat full of Norwegians.  One was my own sister-in-law and how it troubled them.  One of them came to me the next day and said, “I could not sleep last night for you spoke in my language, and it was so perfect.  I know you cannot speak like that, and oh how you told us about Jesus and the Comforter He has sent, and that Jesus is coming soon.”  “Oh” she said, “what is it?”  I said, “Mrs. Johnson, it was not me, but the Holy Spirit has come in and it was He who spoke.”  She said, “I cannot understand it.”

That evening I was so tired, and I told the Lord in the night that He must heal my body if I would be any good in His service.  And he revealed to me that He would heal me.  The next day we gathered again, but there was no chance to ask for prayer for my body for the Power of God was there so mightily to baptize in the Spirit.  Nine came through speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gave utterance.  My husband, my mother, James Rasmussen, and many others.  In three months seventy came through speaking in other tongues.

The third day after I was baptized in the Spirit I had a terrible fit in the morning before I got up.  The devil told me I was going to die.  I said, “If I do Jesus will raise me from the dead as he told me he was going to heal me.”  Some of the messengers who brought us the message of Pentecost were staying with us so they and my husband came and anointed me according to James 5:14-15 and prayed for me.  I fell asleep.  The Doctors did all they could for me and told my husband they could do no more and that I could not live long.  He said for my husband to give me as good a time as he could for I would not be here long.  But the Lord healed me.

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.

Before I was healed from epilepsy I would also swell so through the night that I could hardly bend my hands to dress in the morning.  That also went at the same time, and I have not felt it since.  I also had for many years a chronic cough, so that I would have to sit up at night coughing until my chest was so sore that it seemed I could not stand it any longer.  It would not yield to medicine or treatment, but it yielded to prayer.  It also is gone.

I also had a running sore in 1905 caused by an abscess which was opened by the doctor but remained running.  I had it operated on again, but it still kept on running.  When we took it to the Lord in prayer it dried up immediately, and it still remains healed.

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.

We saw many wonderful healings through faith in God, James 5:15-16.  Our daughter, Mrs. Peter O’degaard, had a daughter born with a lump on the back of her head.  The doctor said it could not be removed, as it would kill her.  She was prayed for and it was gone.

Our daughter had a tumor.  The doctor said she should be operated on at once.  Prayer was offered and the tumor was gone, never to come back.

They had a son (about six years old) who had T.B. in his leg.  They had several X-Ray’s taken.  The doctors said he would have to be taken to the sanitarium away from the other children.  His leg was shriveled and smaller than the other leg.  Prayer again was offered and he was healed.  Yes, Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.

I could tell of many other wonderful healings.  In the time of that terrible epidemic (1918) of flu my husband and I went night and day praying and caring for the sick.  Not one of our Assembly died with it, and we did not take the flu.  People died all around us.  At first the doctors thought it was terrible that we did not call for them, but soon they noticed there was a power beyond theirs.  Some of them said so.  When they saw God’s results, sometimes they would call and say, “That was a miracle.”  Many of the doctors who were against us to start realized it was the power of God.

One time on New Year’s Day we got a telegram from Dodson, Montana.  We were living in Egeland, North Dakota.  They stated my husband’s brother was dying, and for us to come at once.  Just fifteen minutes from the time we got our call we were on the train.  We called the depot and asked if they would hold the train.  They said they could not do that, but they would stop at our crossing.  In the night I saw the house where the sick brother lived.  I had never seen it, nor had I even been there.  I saw him lying covered with a white spread, as one dead.  I saw his wife standing at the foot of the bed weeping.  I saw him get out of the bed and sit at the table with us.  I asked my husband if he thought we would find things as I saw them in the night.  He said, “I don’t know.”  My husband asked the conductor if they would stop at Dodson as his brother was dying.  He said, “No, the ‘Flyer’ does not stop there.”  My husband said, “I know it does not stop, but my brother is dying, and I want to see him.”  He said, “I will go and see what the engineer says.”  He went.  We both prayed asking God that they would stop.   He came back and told us the engineer said, “HE WILL STOP.”  We did praise God.  When we got to the house I told my husband, “There is the house I saw.”  When we came to the door we could hear her weeping and wailing.  She opened the door and said, “It is as though Jesus came, but you are too late.”  We had prayer.  The doctor came and said, “He has been lying this way all of the time and I cannot get him to come to.”  We went into another room and talked to the sister-in-law.  Soon there came a voice calling, “Who is here?”  We stepped into the room and he asked how we came to be there.  We said,  “We were called because you were sick.”  He both laughed and cried and said, “Why did you call me back, it was so sweet, and I was traveling on and on home to heaven.  Oh, it was wonderful.”  The next morning the doctor came in and found the sick man, Maurice Rasmussen, lying on his bed talking to us.  The doctor said, “Things look different this morning.”  There were only two rooms in the house, and the second morning Maurice spoke in tongues and I interpreted.  Then he said, “This is enough, I am getting up.”  He did get up and ate dinner with us, and was up all day.  We left at midnight.  He stood in the door and said for us to tell them Jesus did it.  He was well from then on.  Everything went as I saw it on the train, and two trains stopped to get us there.

Another time God showed me my son-in-law’s father was dying.  He was with him in California.  I prayed, and God spared his life.

Another time we had just gotten home from a prayer meeting.  At midnight I awoke and saw an awful accident, a truck and a car.  One of our folks was sick, but the Lord said, “It is not your folks, but pray.”  Our folks were back of the accident.  When they came from California to us in North Dakota I asked them about it.  They said, “That is what happened and at that time.”

One time our daughter was teaching school and she lost her check on the way home in the bus that was driven with horses.  She felt bad and so did I, so I prayed about it.  In the night the Lord told me it was in the bus under the seat.  They had looked, but I went out as soon as I got up and started on one side of the bus.  It was not there, so I looked on the other side.  I said that the Lord said it is here so it is here.  It was at the very last place near the door.  I praised the Lord.  Then I went in and told my daughter after I had awakened her, and was she glad.

Another time one of our grandson’s lost his check.  It was a very windy day (plenty of them in North Dakota).  He had put his check in his pocket.  I prayed about it and went out along the side of the road in the long grass, and there lay his check.  Praise God.

I could tell of many more wonderful answers to prayers.  I had 70 confinement cases without the doctor, and was with a number of doctors in confinement cases and other sicknesses.

One time my sister-in-law was expecting a baby, and I was to be there but it was a stormy night and I did not hear the call.  So they called the doctor.  The next morning I heard that the doctor was there so my husband and I went there and found the doctor standing at the foot of the bed holding his head.  When I came in he said, “Mrs. Rasmussen, take care of this case.”  I said, “Doctor, I can’t stay for I have another case on now.”  He said, “Take care of this case, it means her life.”  You see the baby was born O.K. but the mother was dying.  When the brother-in-law saw she was dying he stepped into another room and prayed.  The doctor was surprised at what took place.  He left the case with me, then the next day he called the father into his office and said, “Your wife was dying, why did she not die?”  He said, “I knew she was dying and I stepped into another room to pray.  The doctor said, “I have never in all of my practice seen anything like this.  She was dying.”

On January 8, 1952, my beloved Husband died, and around three weeks later I again was passing over to the other side.  I was stepping over a beautiful Crystal River on to the other side.  I saw my husband.  He was so young looking, and was dressed in a white flowing garment. And oh, the Glory of God was upon him, and all around him.  He stood with outstretched arms to welcome me.  Then Brother Manchester and my children prayed me back.  I was disappointed, for it was so glorious.  I sometimes grow homesick for heaven.  Oh, that I could win souls for Him.  Jesus is coming soon.  Are you ready to meet Him and go to that place he is preparing for whosoever will?  That can be you — will you accept the invitation?

# # #

(In 1969 shortly before her death, Lena Rasmussen called us to her home in Jacksonville and told us she would be going to meet the Lord soon.  She said she had been to Heaven and knew what it was like and didn’t want to go to the hospital and opened her eyes to see us standing over her praying.  She made sure we understood that she had been called back from death on other occasions and was now anxious to go home to be with the Lord, and please let her go. – Lorin & Carlene Severson)


Newlyweds In South Written in Ink by Helen Paulsen, No Date

Taking an extended trip in southern California and Arizona after their wedding February 6 are Mr. And Mrs. Everett Hotchkiss.  Mrs. Hotchkiss is the former Mrs. Helen Paulsen.

Dr. George Roseberry Presided at the ceremony held at 11 o’clock in the Meeker cChapel of First Methodist cChurch.

For her wedding the bride chose a jacket dress of orchid colored brocade silk with white accessories.  Her corsage was a white orchid.

Mrs. Madge Gates attended the bride.  She wore a navy blue suit with white accessories, and a lavender orchid.

Walter Cool, Klamath Falls, a son-in-law of the bridegroom, was best man.

Arrangements of orchid colored gladioli and white chrysanthemums decorated the altar.  Mrs. Lester Boardman played the wedding music, and Mrs. Donald Kahl was at the guest book.

Following the wedding a luncheon was given for the newlywed couple at North’s Chuck Wagon.

For traveling the bride wore a grey  wool dress with rose accessories.

Out-of-town guests included Mrs. Walter Col, Klamath Falls, a daughter of the bridegroom, and Mr. And Mrs. Donald Nielson, Darcy and Merri, Portand.  Mrs. Nielson is also a daughter of the bridegroom.  Mr. And Mrs. Duane Johnson, Roseburg, were also present.  Mr. Johnson is a grandson of the bride.

On their return the couple will be at home at 504 Hamilton Street.

Court Records

Circuit Court

Everett Hotchkiss vs. Helen Hotchkiss, divorce complaint.


Hi Larry,

Thank you for sending me Mae’s “The Olden Days.”  Am I correct in assuming that Carlene Severson typed this  up from the original?  I added “Typed on computer by Carlene Severson, 2003” after “By Mae (Rasmussen) Odegaard, 1965” so that I can trace back to who did this.

The typed up copy that has been circulated among Walt’s descendants is somewhat different and  of course is not the original.  I do believe that the thoroughbred  horses are called “Percheron.”

I appreciate the work that Carlene did and her notes about things added in ink preserves the original writing and I would like to pass my thanks on to her.  Do you have an e-mail address or other way that I can be in contact with  her?

Thanks again,

Diane  Guthrie



(To Ernie & Marie written in ink)

By Mae (Rasmussen) Odegaard, 1965

In 1903 my parents moved from the Egeland, ND Territory to Kalispell, Montana.  Where they stayed for two years.  They still kept their farm here in North Dakota, which they rented out.  We lived in a log one-room cabin, until our new home was built.  There were my older sister, Elna, and a brother, Earnest, who was then a baby, and myself besides our parents.  Both of our grandparents, the Paulsen’s and the Rasmussen’s lived there too.  We, girls enjoyed very much to visit in their homes.  Grandpa Paulsen would go to the basement for apples for us, but he told us not to come down or the bogeyman would get us.

In 1904 he was killed by a stump puller.  There was great sorrow in our family.  He was buried in the beautiful cemetery there.  Grandma Paulsen, Grandma Rasmussen, and Grandpa Rasmussen were also buried here.  Our family and several other relatives soon moved back to North Dakota, as they didn’t want to live there after Grandpa Paulsen died.

Our first home here in North Dakota had burnt while we were out in Montana.  They were just cleaning up all the rubbish from the basement when we came back.  The house we built then was later sold to Hans Johnson and is now owned by Ralph Putman.  My brother, Walter, was born in 1905, and at this time Grandma Rasmussen died in Kalispell.

In 1908 (corrected in ink to read 1907) Dad built a large machine shed.  It held a lot of different pieces of machinery including the threshing machines.  He also built a shop.  It had a forge and he done a lot of repairing here.  He also had a harness horse on which he sewed lots of pieces of harness.  He built a three room chicken house, too.  This was built on the south of the machine shed.  While breaking up rock for the foundation he got a piece of rock in his eye.  His eye had to be removed and was replaced with a glass eye.

Many relatives lived here and we always had lots of company.  We, children would often tour the elevators (in ink the s was crossed out and built in 1908 was added); up the many wooden steps to the very top we would go.  There was a cupola at the top with four windows so it was possible for us to look all around the country.  We would climb in the different bins, both on the ground floor and in the upper ones.  We also went into the pit where the grain was dumped and elevated into the separate bins.  A large gasoline engine elevated the grain into the bins.

In 1909 a large (written in ink 60 X 100) foot barn was built with rows of mangers on both sides, east and west, a huge loft above.  There was a full basement under the entire length of the barn through the center.  There were bins on both sides, which were used to store our vegetables and potatoes.  A cart installed on a cable (the word cable was crossed out and 2 X 4 tracks was added) ran through the entire length and we kids had many rides on it and enjoyed playing hide and seek here.  The stairway went down near the center on the east side of the barn.  There were feed carriers in front of the mangers, too.  This was also on a large cable (the word cable was once again crossed out and changed to track) and could be hauled from one stall to another.  We also rode in this and what fun we had!  There was water piped into troughs in front of all the mangers.  This could be filled by pulling on chains which hung near by.  There were two feed bins and an alleyway between the two sides of the barn.  The horses were on the west side and the cattle were on the east side.  One time Dad offered to buy quite a herd of cattle if my sister and I would milk them.  We would get half the profit in cream and calves.  But we didn’t want to be tied down to this steady job.  Dad and my two brothers didn’t want to milk either.  More often, the cow would kick over the milk they did manage to get.

Dad got a liking for thoroughbred Percheron horses.  He bought some very expensive and beautiful horses.  He had some nice stallions and colts.  They were his pride and joy – for a short time.  One night they broke out of the fence and ate some treated grain at the neighbors.  The next day they lay dead or dying all over the pasture.  We were all pretty sick that day.  And a few more died later.  He lost thirteen horses in all.  Maybe, some could have been saved if he had not spent so much time with his beautiful stallion.  Several lived but became floundered and stiff in the legs.  So we wrapped their legs in wet flax seed for some time.  One two year old stallion died and when the boys came to the house to tell us mother had an epileptic fit – so Dad had more worry.  Mother was healed from this through prayers in 1915 and never had another fit after this.  He sold the two horses he had left and lost interest in horses.

A large two-car garage was built and in it were held many picnics.  Relatives and old friends from miles around came.  We had the 4th of July picnic and with it home made ice cream and lemonade.  Games were played in the afternoon and also a short service of singing, and talks about the Bible and prayer were held.

At Christmas time we had all the relatives for a big turkey and goose dinner.  There were 75 or 80 one year.  Mother spent weeks baking and preparing.  She baked pies, cakes, and many kinds of cookies which were stored on the floor in the attic which was well covered when she finished.  She also baked brown and white bread, sweet bread with cardamom seed in them and rolls.  Oh!  What eats.  There were two long tables in the dining room full-length, and a table in the kitchen for the children and yet not all could sit at one time.  What a big time we all had tho.  The upstairs hallway and stair steps were pretty well covered with peanut shell and popcorn.  We had candy and apples, too.  Nothing was said about the mess for it was easily swept up.  And the folks didn’t even scold about all the noise we made, and I know it sounded like the ceiling was coming down.

There was a well house with a windmill over it a short distance from the house.  There were two pumps in it.  One was used for cooking and drinking (added in ink – drilled in a dry well) and one (dug) was for pumping water into a large wooden water tank for the horses and cattle. (added in ink – a large cement tank was made later 12’ X 12’ X 2’?2”) There was a room built with a pit dug down in it and cemented on the sides.  Water was put into this in the wintertime so it became one huge slab of ice.  Many things could be kept in here until July.  There was no refrigeration or electricity here.  We often enjoyed homemade ice cream and what fun to lick the dasher.  There was a wood and coal house near the house.  Dad also smoked meat here.

My Dad, two brothers, and older sister, myself, and a hired hand or two would walk through the fields several feet apart and pick all (? Added in pen) the mustard.  We carried them in our arms to some slough or the end of the field and left them in piles, or sometimes we had a low wagon with a team of horses which were driven close to us so we could unload oftener.  The only thing we enjoyed about this was the lunch we had along and would sit down somewhere and enjoy it.  It wasn’t long until the mustard would be so thick we couldn’t pull it.  Now in the 1960’s fields are sprayed for all kinds of weeds and insects.  They do this with airplanes or behind tractors.

In 1910 my sister Agnes was born in November.  We also built a new home.  This house was built on the same place where the two others had been built.  This is a large house, with four large bedrooms upstairs and clothes closets in each one.  One room was double size; the closet was also double size.  There was a storeroom and a bathroom with real tile floors.  A long hallway ran through the middle.  There was a full attic overhead and we spent lots of time playing here.  One time mother had a huge pile of those old-fashioned dresses and clothing.  My sister and I enjoyed dressing up in these and one day we decided we wanted to braid rugs.  We cut a lot of strips, but they didn’t seem to want to lay right so we gave it up.  There was a steeple in the southeast corner where we played a lot.  This was rounded off (written in ink – Bay windows first and second floor) so there were three large windows with a smaller one on each side.  These windows were both on the lower and upper floors.  Downstairs was a large kitchen with a very large pantry with many cupboards and drawers.  The dining room was large, too.  Our table had sixteen leaves so we could sit twenty or twenty-four when it was opened out.  These rooms and a washroom and the front entry all had tile floors.  The living room had a hard wood floor covered with a wool rug.  In the windows mother always had many pretty plants.

The bedroom downstairs was a very large size one, it had a large closet with a table and a large storage space, the floor was covered with linoleum. – In 1910 there was a crop failure.  This made it hard to pay bills after doing so much building and it took a few years to catch up.  We cooked over a coal or wooden stove and had a large wooden wood box which everyone enjoyed perching on and putting their feet up on the oven door.  We also had a three-burner oil stove which we used in the summer.  The whole house was heated by steam (the word steam crossed out and changed to hot water in pen). There were radiators in every room so the heat was even and there was no draft.  There were also three rooms in the basement.  One was for the furnace and coal, one for washing clothes, one for fruit jar shelves and a carbide light plant. (added in pen – changed to farm (32 volt) light plant in 1920) There were two large cisterns.  One was for well water and the other was for rainwater which ran into the cistern through large eaves troughs.  The other cistern was filled through pipes (added in pen – 6’ underground) going out to the well.  In the utility room there was a coal stove to heat the boilers of water for washing and beside the washer there were two large tubs for rinsing.  The water from washing was all piped outside into a cesspool.  A gas engine was used to run the washer and wringer.  The rinse tubs were filled from a hose (added in pen – cistern pump) that was connected to the cistern.  We had no electricity but enjoyed many conveniences.  We had lovely light fixtures everywhere in the house so we didn’t have to use kerosene lamps.  The carbide lights gave very good lights and we enjoyed them everywhere just like the electric lights today.  All you had to do was push a button and they would light up the house, barn, and even the yard.  Water was piped into both the house and barn from the well outside so we had running water and two sinks on the main floor and water in the bath room upstairs.  Outside Dad built a cement walk (added in pen – 10’) all around the house and a narrow walk out to each gate and to the cottage nearby and to the well house and barn so we young

folks all had roller skates and enjoyed these walks very much.  He also fixed up a very nice place to play croquet and everyone enjoyed this a lot, too.

We had a picnic and recreation place in the grove where we could enjoy life.  Two long telephone poles were put up and a sturdy rope put on it for a swing, teeter-totter, and a merry-go-round.  The school picnic was held here a couple of years and the children roamed and explored everywhere and enjoyed a good time.  The house had a big porch around the east and south sides on both the ground and the upper floors.  These had rails around them and the down stairs ones were covered with screens which could be taken off.  The southwest corner was covered with vines.

At Christmas time after having the whole group at home we went to the different homes nearly every day through our two weeks of vacation from school.  Some said when they saw the Rasmussen’s coming they put on an extra kettle of potatoes as we all enjoyed spuds.  We had a team hitched to a bus on a sleigh and enjoyed these rides.  We heated soap stones in the oven or used charcoal heaters to keep our feet warm, and also had heavy fur lap robes and lots of warm clothes on.  We often came home after dark and we kids would sing songs or close our eyes and tell what we saw.  (What days!)

In 1912 we got a Cadillac.  This was our first car.  There weren’t many cars in the country yet.  We had used a two-seated surrey with fenders and a running board to step up on and two headlights.  Then we got (added in pen – spring wagon) a three seater, two seats could be taken off to haul things in the back something like a pickup of today.  Two horses would be hooked to these surreys.  We also had a single buggy which had one seat and was driven (the word driven crossed out and changed to pulled) by one horse.  They were very nice in that day.

We canned a lot of meat and cured the hams, shoulders, and bacons and later smoked them.  We canned over 100 quarts of rhubarb each year besides lots of other fruits and vegetables.  Some pork chops and sausage were fried brown and then put in one, two, or three gallon crock jars and covered with lard.  This would keep well for a few weeks.

We churned our cream in a barrel churn, worked it in a wooden bowl with the wooden paddles.  Some of this was put down in _ or 1 gallon crock jars and covered with cheesecloth and one inch of salt.  This would be used for harvest as it kept well for weeks.  Dad sometimes ground wheat and we’d enjoy whole wheat for a change.  Boy, was it good!

Dad planted a large grove of trees to the north and west and also south of the buildings and also many evergreens.  These grew to be big trees and Dad and Mom enjoyed them very much as we all did.  They had a couple of birch trees and lovely rose bushes and several flower beds in the front yard.  It had a picket fence all around.  We also enjoyed berries from the currant and gooseberry bushes, plum trees, and pin cherries and sometimes lots of strawberries.  Shortly before Mom and Dad left the farm they had a shelterbelt planted one-half mile west of the buildings.  They were brown and they spent many hours out in the heat hoeing and cultivating them.  (It is now 1965 and a lovely grove of trees)  Added in pen – In 1923 he bought a Rumley (oil pull) tractor speed 2 mile per hour.  Also a 32” threshing or grain separator.  He used this tractor for threshing only until 1940 – he used a 15-30 McCormick Deering Tractor in 41 and 42 and then went to combine)

In 1914 my Dad bought a Rumley (Rumley crossed out and changed to Pioneer) tractor.  It was a rather clumsy thing and traveled very slow, but we’d always had horses for farm work so this seemed quite a change for the better.  It could only travel about two (two crossed out and changed to three) miles per hour but pulled a plow that made eight (eight crossed out and changed to ten – 5 sets of 2 bottom gauges) furrows at a time.  We were used to a gang plow and from four to eight horses pulling it.  The horses ran four abreast or four in the lead and four behind.  The horses could only putt a plow that plowed three or four (three or four crossed out and changed to 1 sulky – 2 or 3 gang) furrows at a time.  (added in pen – sulky – 2 horses – 2 bottom 4 horses abreast or 3 behind an 2 in lead or 4 behind an 2 in lead or 3 behind an 3 in lead)

At harvest time we had three binders to cut the grain and had four horses on each one.  The grain was tied in bundles with twine.  The twine came in big balls and was put in a container for it on the binder.  These bundles were left in rows through the entire field.  There were from one to several men called shockers who were hired to shock the bundles into shocks of from twelve to eighteen bundles or even more.

They were topped with a bundle or two to keep the rain from soaking into the shocks.  Some folks took lunch to the men in the harvest fields both morning and afternoon but we took lunch only in the afternoons.  They put in long hours of ten or eleven hours in the field a day.  Some people also worked on Sunday but Dad never did and he didn’t want his men to work then either.  Dad farmed five quarters of land.  One year the barley was shelling on the ground real bad and it was a big temptation to cut it on Sunday, but Dad said, “No, I’ll not work on Sunday.”  He seemed to have just as good a crop as the neighbors did.  During the summer every spare minute was spent in repairing the separator so it would be ready for thrashing when the grain was ready.  We had a steam engine and it was fired up with straw mostly although some coal was used.  A man called the fireman was hired to keep the fire going so there was power to thrash.  Usually he was up at 4:00 or 4:30 a.m. so as to have the engine steamed up when the crew came.  There was also a large water tank (8 X 4 _) it was made of wood and founded at the bottom and mounted on a strong wagon with four sturdy wheels.  There was a pump on the top and a big hose long enough to reach into the stock tanks, which were used to fill the tank with water for the steam engine.  The “tankey” as the driver was called could do some of the flunking work between time.

There was a long 120 foot belt that was ten inches wide which was fastened to a pulley on the separator and also on the engine.  The belt had to have one twist in it to keep it from slipping off. (added in pen – The Rumley used a straight belt and would wipe very bad in the wind.) There were seven bundle wagons with hayracks and two horses were hitched to each wagon.  There was one picher (I’m not sure, but maybe this is supposed to be pitcher in view of the added statement following) in the field to help load the wagons.  They were piles real high—once again as high as the wagons and one could drive up on each side of the separator, but they had to be careful in pitching the bundles so that they didn’t put two (?) many in and plug up the machine.  (added in pen – 10 to 12 wagons were used ? th steam rigs when they pitched into the machine – 8 on the Rumley.  Dad put on wing feeders on his steam rig and used 7 D? racks so they would pull in to the separator and dump their load and go after another load – This was very hard on horses as they had to go on the run to keep the bundles to the machine 4 spike pitches fed the bundles with the wing feeders.)

This would take a long time to get un-plugged again.  There was a man hired just to repair, oil, and keep up the separator so it would always be ready to go.  The straw was chopped up and went through a long blower or pipe and made large piles of straw which were used for bedding (added in pen – and feed) for the horses and cattle through the winter.  The men had to be very careful, too, so that they didn’t slip off the high load into the feeder.  I heard of one man that did and he was caught in the large teeth of the feeder (feeder crossed out and changed to cylinder) and was chopped into small pieces in a few minutes, as there was no chance to get the separator stopped in time to save his life.  No one ever lost his life on Dad’s outfit tho – but one time a fork slipped out of the man’s hand and into the feeder.  It broke up the inside of the separator and it took a couple of days to repair it before they could thrash again.

There were some rainy spells and the whole crew and all the horses had to be fed during this time.  One year it lasted three weeks without being able to thrash any so the crew, cooks, and the owner were quite disgusted.  Sometimes a few men would leave and new ones had to be hired.

The grain was hauled in lumber wagons again using these sturdy four-wheel wagons with high wooden boxes and two or four horses (two ahead and two behind) were hitched to these.  There were three or four of these and a grain hauler for each one.  The grain was hauled to the home granaries or into the town elevators.  What a change from today with the combines and trucks and not much hired help.  There were no cars then either.

There were eighteen men hired and several of these came back year after year.  They slept in the haymows in the hay.  Blankets were furnished for them.  A week or so before thrashing began was a busy life for the women folks.  Besides cooking for the many harvestmen….we had a cook car – 10 X 24 feet.  It had a coal and wood range at one end and the one side was cupboards and table space.  A table that was fourteen feet long was on the other side with wooden benches on each side.  This was covered with a new oilcloth every year.  Two ladies were usually hired, but one year we had a Negro man cook for awhile.  Tin dishes were used even a tin dipper and cups.  These had to be brought from the attic in the house and all washed and cleaned so they could be used again.  Many loaves of bread were baked every day or at least every other day as there were eighteen or twenty men and they had to have sandwiches every afternoon, too.  Pies were baked for dinner and hundreds of cookies, doughnuts, and cakes.  The beef or pork had to be butchered near the time also because there were no freezers or refrigerators (no electricity yet).  Dad built an icehouse, but it (it crossed out and changed to ice) was melted by harvest.  Many chickens were raised and used during this time.  Just enough chickens were butchered as would be used for that day.  The water was all pumped and carried from the well which was always near by.  The cook car was on four wheels and could be moved from one farm to another.  On moving days all dishes and pots and pans etc. were put on the floor in boxes, so they wouldn’t fall down in the moving.  Usually the cooks were taken with a team and a buggy but sometimes they rode on the back porch and this was quite a slow and rough ride.

A wash basin was put on a bench or box on the outside of the cook car and a pail of water and a bar of soap were placed there and towels hung on nails. This is where the men washed.  The cooks washed out the hand and dish towels a couple of times a week with a tub and rub board.

My two sisters, two brothers, myself, and Mother also enjoyed eating in the cook car when it was on our place.  Usually we ate after the men were through, but once and awhile we ate first.

Mother always had a hired girl and several were from Norway and the folks had paid their fare here so they would work to pay this off.  Some could not talk English yet and had to be shown many things about our way of cooking.  Lots of men were hired to help with the farm work too, so we were always a big happy family.


‘It made you strong’


Daily Inter Lake      Kalispell, Montanaa

Published: Saturday, January 3, 2009 10:40 PM CST

Survivor of the Great Depression learned self-reliance during lean years

An interview of Pauline “Polly” Evelyn Odegaard Nikoliaisen, b. December 3, 1920. Married Edmond Nikoliaisen, 1949. At the time of this interview, Polly is 88 years old.

Polly Nikolaisen, 88, spent most of the Great Depression years living as one of 13 children on a ranch near Devils Lake, N.D.

Along with dire economic times, the family toiled on land intermittently scoured by dust storms, buried in blizzards, then savaged by great clouds of grasshoppers. But Nikolaisen, of Kalispell, said those days prepared her to weather tough times like these.

“I’m not sorry I lived through it. I learned a lot,” she said. “It made you strong. Instead of expecting government to do for us, we just worked.”

She recalled that nobody talked about their lack of cash but it was obvious that “everyone was in the same boat.” Nikolaisen recalls one family’s children with only lard sandwiches in their school lunches and a little girl who wore the same sweater and skirt every day.

Her own large family made do with hand-me-downs.

“Our clothes were very, very limited,” she said. “But we always had coats, mittens and overshoes. Mom was organized and always a step ahead of us.”

Hard work kept their table filled with produce and eggs and meat from chickens, cows and pigs. Nikolaisen’s brothers had animal-related chores while she, as the eldest daughter, took care of younger children and helped in the kitchen with duties such as making the same school lunch every day.

“I made more peanut-butter sandwiches,” she said with a laugh.

At harvest time, Nikolaisen worked on a “cook car” that was used to prepare and take food to the threshing crews going from ranch to ranch. It involved getting up at the crack of dawn and laboring until dark.

“That was really hard work,” she said. “It was a rough time but we didn’t think it was rough.”

Nikolaisen remembers a happy childhood with close family ties that many people no longer experience. She and her sisters and brothers created their own fun with almost no store-bought toys.

“We didn’t have a big Christmas,” she said. “Mom would find something for a nickel or a dime.”

In that time, youngsters became creative, making games like tipping over a barrel on its side and walking on it. They also spent hours playing with farm animals such as pet goats and lambs.

She recalled half the fun was building things like a sled out of old boards and then playing with it. She also learned skills such as sewing while having fun making clothes for her doll from leftover scraps of fabric.

“Kids today have all this electronic stuff and they’re soon bored with them,” Nikolaisen said. “We made our own playthings.”

With so many energetic children, her father sometimes had to step in when the ruckus got too loud inside the house. Nikolaisen remembered his standard edict of “OK, kids go out to the barn.”

None of them minded getting the boot out to the barn.

“We would jump out of the haymow,” she said with a laugh.

Parents made a point of shielding their children from the harsh realities facing the family.

But Nikolaisen recalled one time when her folks couldn’t hide that they were behind on their loan payments. Federal Land Bank officials showed up to inventory their farm in preparation for foreclosure.

Her mother boiled over when they counted the children’s pets as ranch assets.

“I remember her stamping her size 6 shoe and saying ‘They’re not taking you kids’ pet lambs,'” she said.

Her family fended off that foreclosure but ranch auctions were sadly common. According to Nikolaisen, federal, state and local governments struggled along with all the citizens.

“At school they cut home economics, music and vo-ag,” she said.

But children learned those skills through other venues like 4-H. Nikolaisen became a leader, putting the skills she learned from her mother to use teaching other children.

She said her 4-H students excelled, with one even going on to make some of the gowns worn by actresses at the Academy Awards.

The Great Depression eventually eased for her family and the rest of the nation. Nikolaisen said tough times drew her family closer and grew a sense of confidence in their own self-reliance.

“We managed and it made us grow strong and tough,” she said. “I feel like I could go without easily. I’ve done it.”

Life — So Long But So Short!

April 1967

Written by Ida Mae Thornton Rasmussen, April 1967

In the year l905, on a cold and stormy tenth of December, a daughter, Ida Mae was born to Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Thornton. This took place on a farm 4 miles west and 3/4 miles north of Egeland, North Dakota, now owned and farmed by Lewis Kock. This was the third daughter born to this couple, the other two being, Pearl and Feriba. There were two brothers born after me; Lloyd in 1907, and Samuel in 1910.

We were a happy family and like all kids, we did a lot of things that we shouldn’t have done. When I started to school I was frequently troubled with headaches and as a result of bad eyes, wore glasses by the time I was eight years old.

Lloyd had spinal meningitis at the same time I had pneumonia but we both recovered although neither of us went to the hospital. Lloyd did spend a couple of days in a private home in Cando though.

One of our favorite pastimes was riding our pony. There was only one pony and, as human nature is, when one decided to ride we all wanted to ride. One day my two sisters were riding and they told me I had to ride backwards facing the tail. I obeyed and everything went well until we went around a corner. I slid off onto the ground, landed on my wrist, and broke it very badly. I wore a cast nearly all that summer.

Late in the fall one year we were playing in the hay loft. On this particular day we decided to play that we were a train. I was the engine and the other kids were the cars. We came running down the hay too fast; I hit the barn door which flew open, and I followed it out, landing on the frozen ground. My father was in the barn at the time and heard me fall. He came out and picked me up for dead. I came to shortly, having only had the wind knocked out of me. But suffice it to say, we never did that again.

We lived on this farm until the fall of 1918 when we moved to a farm 1 mile east and 1/2 mile south. The place now belongs to Mrs. Shoemaker. There were two more brothers born; Charles and Cecil. My grandfather had lived there and while we still lived on the other farm I frequently rode horseback over there to spend time with him. He was a Civil War Veteran and could tell many interesting stories about his many experiences. He had been a drummer boy for President Lincoln, and every year he would go back to Gettysburg for a reunion. When he returned he would always bring each of us something.

Frequently the roads would wash out and we would have to walk to school. There were four families with school-age children and we would walk to school together on the railroad tracks. We became very good at running the tracks and something we enjoyed immensely was racing on them.

One yearly event which we enjoyed was picking the strawberries when they ripened. Of course we liked to eat some of them as do all normal children.

Another yearly event which we thought to be the highlight of the year was harvest. The thrash rig and cook car came to our place and harvest got under way; shocking and hauling grain.

The farm would not have been the same without the animals. We always had some cows that had to be milked and water to pump for them.

In 1919 another daughter was born but she was met with a different state of affairs than the rest of us. At that time we all had the mumps and whooping cough including mother. When Evelyn was born my Aunt Annie came and took her home with her until we had all recovered from our bout with illness.

The next year Dad sold the farm and we moved into Egeland into what was known as the “Black Restaurant,” which is now owned by Ben Bumgardener. My father was a contractor and moved buildings. This was very different from the present-day occupation. He was away from home so frequently that he felt it would be better if we lived in town.

By this time us three older girls were old enough to work. We each made enough money to buy our own clothes and other necessities. My two older sisters were away from home all the time and I started working in Mylo in 1920. Consequently I didn’t get to visit home very often either.

That fall my parents had another daughter, Gladyce.

In the following spring we bought a house across the road from the school which is now owned by Sheldon Swank. At this time I returned home and worked for Mrs. Bill Rance all summer and fall, only going to school for the winter term, thus being able to work later in the fall and begin again earlier in the spring.

In the fall of 1923 my brother Ralph, nicknamed Chiz, was born. Although he was the youngest he certainly was not the littlest! I only worked away from home part of that year because mother needed me to help her. Then I did work it was for Mrs. Swanson, our school superintendent.

I was married to Walter Rasmussen on June tenth, 1925. 1 worked for his brother Ernest for the rest of that summer but in the fall we moved to the farm known as the Henry Fredrich place, which is now owned by our youngest son, Ralph.

In l927 we built a large barn. We farmed with horses for many years and this barn came in very handy.

Every year at thrashing time we had 16 to 18 men on the crew. Walter’s father owned the rig and his brother Ernest ran the engine. During the first few years we hired cooks but later on I did the cooking myself. I got up at 4:00 in the morning to start a wood fire and get breakfast so that the men could begin thrashing by 7:00. Then the children had to be wakened and the chores had to be done, milking as many as 10 cows and feeding the calves. Then the bread, pies, cookies, and doughnuts had to be made. This was a very big job and had to be done every day. Soup was a must for dinner and there was always plenty of chickens for supper. To help feed everyone each family raised a large garden, pigs and beef. Of course the vegetables had to be canned for the winter season and we smoked a lot of meat at Walter’s parents.

In June of 1926 our first child was born. Margaret started her life out with colic for the first three months and cried day and night. We couldn’t get any hired help as none could stand to hear her cry day and night. I had to rock her almost constantly to keep her crying to a minimum. We had a hard time finding milk that would agree with her. When the 3 months were up she just quit crying and slept all the time. She was a perfect baby from then on.

In February of 1928 Kenneth was born. He was a good baby and we were able to get enough help. Evelyn Hall worked for us then and in the fall when we needed extra help we had Gladyce Hummery.

We always had plenty of work to do in the summer besides harvesting. There was rock to pick, summer fallowing to do, fences to build or repair, a big garden to keep clean and an acre of potatoes to weed.

In July of 1930 our son Ralph was born. He was a real bouncing baby. In the fall he had pneumonia and was frequently bothered with earache. That fall I had a felon on my thumb which was about the most painful thing that I ever had happen to me.

One day during the days when we never went to a doctor for anything Ken jumped out of the grain bin and cut his head wide open. We had no way to go to a doctor even if we had wanted to so we took care of it ourselves. We put iodine on it and pulled it together with tape. It healed very well and he only has a small scar today.

In October of 1932 Esther was born. We had a sleet storm at the time and Walter went for his mother in a wagon drawn by a team of mules.

In 1934 Doris was born in May. She was our biggest baby.

During the dust storm years we took a trip (our first) to Idaho to see my parents. My brother Lloyd also went with us. At that time Doris was 1 and 1/2 years old.  Altogether there were eight of us. We pulled a 2-wheel trailer and did our own cooking in the mornings and evenings. We always fixed a lunch and ate that along the way. Lloyd bought himself a car while we were in Idaho so some of the children rode with him on the way back. We filled all empty space with potatoes, beans and onions.

While we were in Idaho Walt worked in the potato fields and also did some carpentry work for my Dad.

In the fall of 1939 1 went to Fargo to the hospital for an operation on my shoulder. I was in a cast from my hips to my neck and my right arm was held in position by a cast and some wooden slats. I wore this from September to March. I had had a bone removed because it was infected with tuberculosis of the bone.

We had a house moved from Newville in the fall of 1929. Ernest pulled it with his tractor and my Dad did the moving. We then tore off all the old plaster, remodeled the inside, and added 2 rooms on the west. I helped Walt’s Dad with the building. We tore the old plaster off and put most of the lath on for it to be replastered In 1939 we had built a large enclosed porch on the east. . In 1940 we stuccoed the outside of it.

In thrashing time our sixth child was born; a 14 pound boy. He did not live.

Then in November of 1940 the young boy that drove the school bus upset it going around a corner in Olmstead. Margaret and Esther were burned as the stove which wasn’t bolted to the floor landed in Margaret’s lap, the door fell open and hot coals landed all over her and some hit Esther who was sitting next to her. She was never out of bed except to be set in a chair until March. She lay on 8 pillows for the first weeks and I washed the bedding every day. We give God all the credit for her recovery as even the doctor said it was a miracle.

We had many good times when the young people from the church would gather at our place on Sunday afternoons and play ball in the summer or play in the snow in the winter. Then after lunch they would have a time of singing and preparing for C.A.s and the evening service.

In April of 1945 Margaret married Leonard Axmark in our home and then began the scattering of our flock. In August of 1946 we became grandparents when Marlen was born to Margaret and Leonard.

Ken graduated from High School and went to Minneapolis to study refrigeration but only went the winter term of 1947. He met Arlene in Minneapolis and they were married at our home in July of 1948. Ken and Arlene stayed with us the first year. Then in August of 1949 we had another granddaughter; Kathy.

In March of 1951 Esther married Ronald Brandt. They had a beautiful church wedding. In June of that same year we gained another daughter. Ralph married Lois Perch. Ralph and Ronald were called into the service that same year. Esther came home to stay with us while Ronald was in camp except when he was in training in Maryland. She went to Washington D. C. and worked until he was through training. Then both Ralph and Ronald went overseas so Esther came home and Joyce was born on July 5th, 1952.

In the spring of 1953 the boys came home and Ralph wanted to farm so, we moved to Cando, North Dakota where we built ourselves a lovely home there. Walt worked in the John Deere for a while and then at the lumberyard in Churches Ferry. Doris was now working at the hospital in Mayville. We lived in Cando for 5 years. In the fall of 1954 Doris went with us to Oregon, Washington, and Idaho to visit the relation.

In July of 1959 we sold our house in Cando and while Walt was working at the lumberyard he became sick. He blacked out at work and so had to come home. He was still sick when we moved to Minnesota. Ken and Ronald took their trucks and hauled our furniture and other belongings to the farm that we had bought near Motley, Minnesota.

I had been sick quite a lot so in December of 1957 I went to an optometrist in Grand Forks and he discovered that I had sugar diabetes. I had to stay in the city for a couple of days to learn how to take shots and how to care for myself. Then I had to have all of my teeth pulled. I went to the hospital and had all 22 pulled at once.

We had moved to the farm that we bought near Motley on August 2, 1959 and on the 11th Walt was so sick that I took him to Dr. Nord. He ordered him to the hospital immediately. He had spinal meningitis and was in the hospital for a week. They sent him home and he was home two days before he had to go back. They rushed him to the University Hospital in Minneapolis where he stayed for six weeks. Doris and I stayed at Harry Nelson’s during that time. The other children came down also. God answered prayer and he got well.

In April of l960 Doris married Hubert Haugen. They had a lovely wedding at, the Casino church.

We moved into our new house which we had built in 1962. In March of 1963 I was in Grand Forks Hospital for 4 days as my heart was affected from diabetes.

In June of 1963 Walt had a heart attack. I came home from church and found him lying at the gate. He is now unable to walk much or do any work.

This brings us up to date — April 1967. We both feel good but aren’t able to do much work at a time so take life easy as they say.

We now have 18 grandchildren and are very proud of each one of them.

Ronald’s and Ken’s now live in Australia. This too was almost too much of a shock but God his taken them there and is using them in his vineyard so we praise him for his leading and his guiding each day.


Ida Mae Rasmussen

Typed by Joyce Brandt. Retyped for computer entry by Diane (Rasmussen) Guthrie, January 2004



Eighty or more friends and relatives of Mr. and Mrs. R. S. Rasmussen gathered at the old home place last Sunday in honor of their 43rd Wedding anniversary.  It was a grand surprise for them.  After a delightful dinner, a program was presented which consisted of singing by the adults and also songs by the children.

A dialogue of a wedding ceremony was given by the children after which Mrs. C. R. Norman sang “I Love you Truly.”  Then a child representing different years brought in a doll to represent the different children that were born to Mr. and Mrs. Rasmussen after which Mrs. Albert Paulsen, Sheril Paulsen and Mrs. Norman sang “Silver threads among the Gold.”

Rev. C. R. Norman gave a short talk and presented Mr. and Mrs. Rasmussen with a silver offering from their many friends.  Rev. Norman mentioned that the fortieth anniversary is symbolized by the ruby, the stone of friendliness and the forty-fifth by the sapphire which stands for wisdom and understanding.  He told that many gems are formed by chemical action on certain substances which later crystallize and by cutting and polishing bring out the exquisite beauty of the gem, so in life’s experiences and problems crystallize to character.  Then, by rubbing elbows and taking hard knocks the beauty of a mature Christian life is brought out.  Matrimony was sanctioned by  Christ in his presence at the marriage of Cana.  Rev. Norman also brought out the thought of marriage as a sacred ordinance of God and used the marriage of Mr. And Mrs. Rasmussen as an example of old fashioned matrimony in contrast to the looseness of marriage vows and divorces of today.  The blessing of children as God’s gift to mankind was also touched upon.

A chorus sang “Savior Lead Me Lest I Stray.”  Mr. Rasmussen gave a response of thanks and gratitude on being remembered and also told of the many spiritual and temporal blessings of the sacred bond of marriage.  He also mentioned that he thought he was the only one left in Victor tTownship that lived on their old homestead.  Mrs. Rasmussen also recounted many past experiences, especially spiritual blessings.

The program was concluded with the song “When I Have Gone The Last Mile Of the Way.”  Congratulations were extended to the worthy couple and best wishes for many more years of wedded life.  Mr. And Mrs. Rasmussen now have thirty-six grandchildren and one great grandchild.  Their children present at the occasion Sunday were Ernest and Walter Rasmussen, Mrs. Loyd  (Agnes) Thornton and Mrs. Peter (Mae) Odegaard.  Mrs. Simon (Elna) Severson of Los Angeles was un-

able to be present.

Mr. and Mrs. Rasmussen were married on December 24, 1896.


(What follows could be a description of the same party.)

“Our Surprise Party”

“Alice R.”

Last Sunday about 80 old friends and relatives came to help Grandma and Grandpa’s wedding anniversary.  Those who were here were the family, including Walt’s, Loyd’s, Pete’s and us.  Others were O. Johnson’s, A. Paulson’s, Brubakus, some of Hall’s, Mrs. Brown, Chas. Ranie’s, Norman’s, Adolph’s, H. Thomas’s, Hanson’s, Pool’s, and some of the Petruch children.

Mae and Ida made the wedding cake.  It was a large three layer cake, made in kettles, etc.  On top were bride and groom dolls.  Everyone brought lunch. We had baked beans, scalloped potatoes, meat loaf, sandwiches of all kinds, and many different cakes and fruit salads.  We decorated the table for some of the older folks.  It had a white crepe paper tablecloth trimmed in green and yellow.  The wedding cake was on it.  The font room was decorated to match. Albert’s came over Sat. night to help decorate it.  All the plants were in the big window.  Where the windows all end we had a string with strips of green and yellow paper twisted to drape back like curtains.  After dishes were done we all gathered in and around the front room where a program was presented.  The group sang a couple songs then Agnes played the wedding march and in came the groom (Loyd) and best man (Dean) next came the bride (Luella) and bridesmaid (Margaret).  Freadie O. was the preacher.  Mrs. Norman sang “I Love You Truly.” Lois Rae then brought in a doll to represent Elna. The doll had the name on it and Lois the year.  Mrs. Norman and Agnes then sang “Count Your Blessings” after dolls had been brought in to represent each child.  They sang “Dwelling Together”.  Next, Mr. Norman, Grandpa and Grandma each gave a little talk.

Norman’s had a song dedicated to them over Devils Lake.  Then in the afternoon they had a song from Minot by Edwin N.



Assembly of God

Egeland, N. Dak.

Rev. C. R. Norman, Pastor

“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish, foolishness; but unto us who are saved, it is the power of God.”

1915 1940

Day of Pentecost was fully come – Acts 2:4

With this issue of the Bulletin we present a brief history of the church.  We praise God for His blessings on many souls through the years.  Our prayer is that this church may be a Lighthouse to guide and direct souls to the Christ until He comes.

Pentecost is a experience every normal Christian should have.  Jesus admonished the Disciples to TARRY UNTIL they were endued with power from on high.  Luke 24:49; Then again in Acts 1:8, Jesus said “They would receive power after the Holy Ghost was come upon them.”  Then on the Day of Pentecost these promises were fulfilled.  “Suddenly there came a sound from heaven. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.  Acts 2:2-4.

1914 – 1940

(This was a hand written date with corrections)

Larry:  At the bottom of this article, there was a note that typing errors were included.  I read this after review of this part.  Perhaps this just hasn’t been formatted yet, but paragraphs are needed and I am not sure that was on the original?  There are some obvious errors in here as well but I am not sure if they are supposed to be here or are actually typos.  If this is how it is supposed to be and how you want it, then you may want to leave it as is.  I haven’t corrected everything to keep the flavor of it intact.  —Wanda


Egeland, North Dakota


In 1896 a Sunday School was started in the Lewis school, three miles southwest of Egeland and after a time moved into the Presbyterian church.

Christian Missionary Alliance evangelists by the name of Rev. G. L. Morgan and Mrs. Anderson held services here.  About 26 were converted.  Sometime after this they organized as the Egeland Free Mission, March 24, 1914 and moved into the Norwegian Lutheran church for awhile.

In February 1915 Mrs. Clara McKeen together with John and Albert Mosied, came from Thief River Falls, preaching the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  A great number were saved and about seventy received the infilling of the Holy Spirit.  This was the beginning of the Pentecostal group in Egeland.

There were other Pentecostal evangelists that held services after this.  Some of the early evangelists were Mrs. Knutson and a railroad evangelist by the name of Rev. Greenman.

In May 1915 a temporary building was erected.  This building was used until the fall of 1916 when the present church was built.  Erland Johnson, Carly Fredlundand H. J. Paulson were the trustees at that time.

Pastors that have served this congregation are Rev. R.  S. Rasmussen, who had active charge for many years.  Rev. O. A. Severson also pastored for a short time.  Rev. Thure Johnson took charge as pastor in 1934.  Rev. C. R. Norman came in June 1936 and is serving at the present time.

Many Evangelistic services have been held these years and some of the evangelists are:

Rev. F. J. Lindquist                                        Morris Ness

Mrs. Reekley                                                   E. N. Daley

R. K. Reed                                                      J. R. Buckley

Morris Laudahl                                               J. V. Trankina

Henry Laudahl                                                R. R. Nichols

R. S. Peterson                                                 J. J. Selness

E. E. Krogstad                                                            Alice Produchney

C. H. Jenson                                                    Fern Duffy

Blanche Brittian                                              Harry Yeager

Johnsons Sisters Trio

During the intervening years many changes have taken place.  Many are happy changes that we like to think of.  Rev. and Mrs. Fersgren of Egeland started preaching and became missionaries to Lapland.  They have now returned to America and are still active in the ministry.

Rev. and Mrs. James Rasmussen went from here out into the ministry and started a church in Spokane, Washington, where they have pastored for many years.

Many have gone out west from Egeland, and while not in active ministry, are serving the Lord where they are.  There are no doubt some that were in the original group that have been shipwrecked in their faith.

On February 24, 1924 the church was incorporated and it was decided to adopt the Fundamental Truths and Constitution of the General Council of the Assemblies of God at Springfield, Mo.  The officers of the church when it was incorporated were:  Fred Paulson, J. R. Hanson, Simon Severson, beside a board of Elders.

In November 1924 the North Central District Convention was held here in Egeland.  This was the second convention held in the District.

One of the features has been the prayer meetings in the homes during the years which have been blessed of God.  In the winter of 1927 there was a real revival in the home prayer meetings.  A large group came from Cando each evening, seeking the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  Many received the experience and among that number was Rev. J.D. Kessler of Cando

On January 16, 1933 a church roster was added to the organization.  In February 1933, 24 charter members signed the roster.

On February 28, 1933 all present voted to accept the by-laws for local churches, and to change the name from Pentecostal Free Mission to Pentecostal Assembly of God, by a petition signed by twenty two members of the twenty four members, and at that time became affiliated with the North Central District Council.

Of the many pioneers workers which are too numerous to mention, one of the oldest and best knownn Saints of God is Mrs. Mary Paulson who is now residing at Minot with her daughter, Mrs. E. Nelson.  She is now 87 years old but with a steadfast faith in the Lord, whose life still radiates the sweet presence of Christ.

In the last few years the church has passed through some trying times.  The Depression, dry years, and other factors have added to the problems.  In 1938 twelve voting members withdrew from the church.  This proved to be a real crisis in the church.  The remaining members stayed firm and the work was carried on.  By staying sweet in the Spirit, God has given us the victory.

The Sunday School is on the increase the last year has had an average attendance of 51.  The Sunday School has undertaken the support of a native worker in Africa of $1.50 per month.  The Sunday School also sent $15 to start a new Sunday School in Indiana.  Also Missionary offerings are received each month for World Missions.

The last three years a Vacation Bible School has been conducted.  In 1937, the first year 22 were enrolled and in 1939, 55 were enrolled.  A great work is being done for the children and many were saved and some were baptized in water and some were filled with the Spirit.

If Jesus tarries our prayer is “Send us a revival and revive thy work in the midst of the years.”

By Rev. C. R. Norman


Taken from the clippings file of the Egeland Enterprise of the early church.

June 3, 1915.

The Free Mission People are erecting a building this week to be used temporarily for a church.  They contemplate erecting a new church this fall.

December 2, 1915

The Egeland Free Mission will have their meetings at private atehomes during the winter months and a cordial invitation is extended to the public to attend these meetings.

July 6, 1916

The Free Mission people have commenced the excavation of the basement for their new church which will be erected this season.  The New church will furnish ample room for the worship of the Free Mission congregation and others who will attend.

March 17, 1918

Egeland Free Mission Sunday School at 10:30 A.M. Young Peoples Meeting 7:30 P.M.  All are welcome.


Take my life, and let it be

Consecrated, Lord to thee.

Take my moments and my days

Let them flow in ceaseless praise.


Easter Sunrise Service at the Presbyterian Church at 6:00 A. M. with several local churches taking part.  One feature will be a combined mixed chorus.  Beside many other fine vocal numbers, followed by a short Easter message.

S. School ——————————10:30 A.M.

Preaching ——————————11:30 A.M.

Easter program and message at—— 8:00 P. M.

Good Friday service ——————-8:00 P. M.

Christ is Risen

The last page was glued to the scrap book.  I have tried to include grammar and typing errors as they were in the document.


From Fern Hagler Garwick:  The Family of Ernest and Marie Rasmussen,

February, 2004

Ernest Rasmussen and Marie Severson Graduated from Egeland High School in 1923; they were married July 7, 1923.  Farmed the land with his father Rasmus Rasmussen, and did some teaching of welding.

They moved to Los Angles in 1941.  Ernie worked as a mechanic for a while, then it was as though the Lord had a plan for them moving to Los Angeles.  The war broke out, Ernie and Marie both worked in the airplane factories.  They had the ration books, blackouts, and air raids at school; our milk was delivered on the porch instead of from the barn.  This was quite a change for all of us after living on a farm all of our lives.  Alice changed from the 11th grade in the little Egeland School for a large high Sschool in Los Angeles.  14,000 Japanese students were taken out of the school.  It was a change for the rest of us but not quite as severe as Alice.  In 1945 the war ended.  We took a trip to Oregon to visit Loyd and Agnes (Rasmussen) Thornton.  We all loved it so much Ernie, Marie and baby Bea went back to Los Angeles, leaving Dave, Joyce and Fern with the Thornton’s, sold the house and most of our things.  We moved to Oregon, were on a cattle ranch in Eagle Point for six weeks when Ernie realized this was not his dream anymore.  We moved to Medford.  Ernie worked for Ford garage.  Then he and Loyd built a service station in Jacksonville, where Ernie worked until his bad heart caused him to retire.  He died November 13, 1973, but was active to the end. He died with nut stains on his hands.

Loyd was in the Navy for two years.  Inducted on his 18th birthday, he came home and met Theresa Chester and they were married November 1, 1946 in Medford, Oregon.  After Ernest retired, Loyd stayed on at the station until he and his wife Theresa (Chester) retired and became snowbirds for several years.  They now have a home in Arizona, but still have a trailer and travel alot.  Their son Steve still runs the garage.  Another son Jerry is an insurance adjuster.  Their oldest daughter Gloria, married to Greg Crawfo, lives in Seattle.  The younger daughter Phyllis married Dan Ferguson, and are pastors of the Foursquare church in Boise, Idaho.  They have seven grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Alice married Paul Beck on June 1, 1946.  Paul was in the navy and brought Alice Pparachute silk of which she fashioned her wedding gown.  They had a hog ranch for a while, then owned a large paving firm.  Their three sons, David, Daniel, and Kenneth still run the business in Salinas, Calif.  Alice went to be with Jesus on October 21, 2001.  Alice left eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Joyce married Marvin Jordan on January 1, 1947.  Grandpa Rasmus Rasmussen performed the wedding ceremony.  Marvin and their 2 two sons worked in the oilfield.  Marvin went to be with Jesus on October 22, 1999.  Joyce lives in Bakersfield.  The two boys, Tim and Donald, are still in the oilfield business.  Her daughter, Janice, is married to Jack Smith, and all reside in Bakersfieid.  Joyce has seven grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Fern married Chris Hagler on August 23, 1951.  They operated the Jackson County Animal Control and shelter for 34 years.  They had four sons.  James and Joseph are teachers and coaches.  John is owner of  “Classic Trolley”.  Most of the trolley cars in Hawaii and San Francisco were built by them.  Joshua is a true Oregon mill worker.  Chris had a sudden heart attack and was taken home to be with Jesus on November 7, 1990. Marie had taken very sick in 1989 and came to live with Fern and Chris.  Shje was there for 2 years.  The National Animal Control was giving Chris an award for his many years of service.  Joe and Fern went to Chicago to receive the award.  Marie was put in a nursing home while Fern was gone.  It proved to be a better thing for her.  Marie was in the nursing home for one year.  She died on in June of 1992.  On February 14, 1998, Fern married Bill Garwick, a retired National Cash Register employee.  They live in Medford, Oregon.  Fern has 16 grandchildren and four great- grandchildren.

Dave worked for United Airlines for several years.  Marie and Ernie were able to take many trips because of David’s employment with United. Now Dave has his own travel agency with wife, Glena (Hobbs).  They were married on June 14 of 1959.  Son Kelly and daughter Trina are working with him at Jackson Travel Agency in Medford.  Another daughter, Holly, is living in Portland.  A foster son, Juan Aguilar, came to them through Campus Life.  Their son Kelly is very active in that program. They also have three grandchildren.

Beatrice (Rasmussen Croucher) married Jim Pool on November 11, 1942.  They were both in real estate.  She has retired after being “Realtor of the Year” in Washington.  He is still in Real Estate.  They have a home in Rocklin, Calififornia.   And they have one child in Vancouver, Washington where most of their children live.  Together they have six children.  She has two boys, Robert and Randy, and two girls Rebecca and Rene.  He has a son Rob and a daughter Stacy.  They also boast 13 grandchildren.


December 29, 1946


A 50th year anniversary was celebrated in honor of Mr. and Mrs. R. S. Rasmussen in remembrance of their wedding day on December 24, 1896.  Open house was held at the home of their son, E. L. Rasmussen, 501 Beatty Street, Medford, Oregon.  From 2:00 to 5:00 in the afternoon 55 relatives and guests attended.  Many valuable gifts were received, and a very enjoyable time was had.  Mr. and Mrs. Rasmussen are among the early pioneers of Towner Country.  Mrs. Rasmussen came to Cando with her parents in 1887.  Mr. Rasmussen came to Cando in the spring of 1893 and filed on a homestead three miles southeast of Egeland.  They still own this home and other land in the community.  They have lived there nearly all the time and built up one of the nicest farm homes in the country.  They are still enjoying good health but on account of age have established residence at Jacksonville, Oregon, five miles from Medford.

They have four living children – a daughter, Mae Odegaard, and a son, Walter Rasmussen living near Egeland and a daughter – Agnes Thorton, and a son Ernest Rasmussen living in Medford.  They also have 39 grandchildren and ten great grand-children.


(1959) A surprise birthday party was given for Mrs. Lena F. Rasmussen honoring her 80th birthday. The party was held at the home of Mr. And Mrs. Harold Keezer, 2344 Thorn Oak Dr., Medford, Oregon.  Three decorated sheet cakes were served.  The cakes were made and decorated by Mrs. Ernest Rasmussen, daughter-in-law of Mrs. Rasmussen, and Mrs. Chris Hagler, granddaughter.  One cake listed the names of her children and one the names of her 38 grandchildren.  Due to the amount of great grand- children, their cake just said “Happy Birthday from your 58 great-grandchildren..”  Mrs. Rasmussen received $21.00 and many beautiful cards and gifts.  There were eightynine people present.


Mr. and Mrs. Fred Nelson

Mr. and Mrs. Loyd Thornton, Mick and Ronnie

Mrs. Amanda Cherry

Peggy Jackson

Mr. and Mrs. Fred Paulsen

Mr. and Mrs. Page Severson, Mike and Kathy

Mrs. Pat Graham

Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Rasmussen and Bea

Mr. and Mrs. Loyd Rasmussen, Gloria, Phillys, Jerry and Steve

Mr. and Mrs. Jack Thornton, Sherry, Barbie, Dolly and Vicki

Ruby and Rosalie Twedell

Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Nelson

Mr. and Mrs. Don Jacobs

Mr. and Mrs. Will Rasmussen

Mr. and Mrs. Evan Rasmussen, Linda and Lorin

Mr. and Mrs. Delbert Johnson, Nanette and David

Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Rasmussen and Lois

Mr. and Mrs. Al Bendickson

Mr. and Mrs. Chris Hagler, Jimmy, Joe Dee and Johnny

Mrs. Helen Paulson

Mrs. Margie Gates and Rita

Rev. and Mrs. Cull

Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Smith

Mr.and Mrs. Rolland Meyers

Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Rasmussen

Hazel Hansen

Rosie Rasmussen

Lorin Severson

Carlene Wall

Lois Kezer, Mike and Cindy

Mr. and Mrs. Gerry Leslie, Danny and Susan



I sure had a surprise on my ninetieth birthday!  When I stepped into the dining room of the “Pioneer Village” (Jacksonville, Oregon) I saw many decorated tables.  On one, I saw a large pumpkin fixed like a shoe and many dolls representing my family.  The others were decorated with Jack-o-lanterns, fall leaves, and grapes.

There were 68 relatives awaiting me there.  All my children, grandchildren, and great grand-children that live here were there.  My sister, Lily and husband Edwin, Helen, Nildur Heft (sp?), Nellie and Vernon also joined us in a delicious potluck chicken dinner.

There were many pictures taken of me after which Mr. McCune, owner of the village took Ernest and I for a stagecoach ride.  Agnes reached up and shook hands with us as the driver started the horses and away we went with our heads out the window.

All of my nieces and nephews but two and many friends came in the afternoon, 128 in all who had cake, punch and coffee with me.  They took another picture as I cut into the beautiful big birthday cake.

Agnes, Ruby and Eva Twedell sang “Each Step I Take.”  The children sang “Happy Birthday” and “Jesus Loves Me.”

I received many gifts, letters and cards.  I am still receiving gifts every week.

It sure was a wonderful day.  One I will never forget.

The following Sunday, I was honored at the church.  Agnes, Ruby and Eva again sang for me.  They sang “Across the Bridge.”  The pastor had the elders and me come to the front. They prayed for me and shook my hand.  Then Pastor Stephens presented me with a beautiful floral arrangement.

I now have:       38 grandchildren

122 great-grandchildren 61 boys and 61 girls

18 great-great-grandchildren, nine of each.

Lena Rasmussen

(Lena was born 31 October 1878.  She wrote this in November of 1968.)

Typed for computer by Diane (Rasmussen) Guthrie in January 2004.




Funeral Service for Mrs. Lena Fredericka Rasmussen – 90 years old of 415 N. Sixth St., Jacksonville, Oregon, who passed away Friday, February 14, 1969 were held at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday in Conger-Morris downtown chapel, Medford.  Rev. William L. Stephens of First Assembly of God Church, Rev. W. D. Turnbull of Calvary Church of Jacksonville, and Rev. Vandevender of the Four Square Church of Medford officiated.  Committal was in Siskiyou Memorial Park.  Songs were “Beyond the Sunset” sung by Mrs. Lorin (Carlene) Severson, and Mrs. Don (Doris Wall) Hayes; and “The Eastern Gate” by Gerald Smith.  The audience sang “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”.  The Organist was Mrs. Gregg (Gloria Rasmussen) Crawford.  A telegram was read from Mrs. Rasmussen’s cousin, Rev. E. E. Krogstead of Springfield Mo.

Mrs. Rasmussen was born October 31, 1878 at Albert Lea, Minnesota.  She was married to Rasmus S. Rasmussen at Cando N. Dakota, December 24, 1896.  He preceded her in death on January 8, 1952.  They farmed until 1945 at Egeland, N. Dakota and spent the rest of their lives in Oregon.

Survivors include two sons, Ernest Rasmussen of Jacksonville, Oregon, Walter Rasmussen of Motley, Minnesota; two daughters, Mrs. Peter Odegaard (Mae) of Egeland, North Dakota, Mrs. Lloyd (Agnes) Thornton of Jacksonville, Oregon; three sisters, Mrs. Mary Fredlund, Yakima, Washington, Mrs. Anna Rasmussen, Spokane, Washington, and Mrs. Emma Chagnon, Havle, Montana:  38 grandchildren, 127 great grandchildren and 20 great great grandchildren.  One daughter, Mrs. Simon (Elna) Severson of N. Hollywood, California, and 3 grandchildren preceded her in death.

Active casket bearers were Robert Thornton, Ronald Thornton, David Rasmussen, Lloyd Rasmussen, Lorin Severson and Gerald Severson.

Honorary bearers were, Al Odegaard, LaVerne Severson, Page Severson, Jack Thornton, Lloyd Allen Thornton, Robert Croucher, Chris Hagler, Denis Hagler, Paul Beck and Harold Keizer.

The body laid in state Sunday and Monday at Conger-Morris Chapel, Medford, Oregon



Services for Edward L. Paulsen, 70, who died Sunday, will be held in Conger-Morris chapel Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. with Dr. Raymond E. Balcomb of the First Methodist church officiating.  Interment will be in Siskiyou Memorial park.

Pall bearers will be Lloyd Thornton, Fred Nelson, Earl E. Nill, Vernon Rasmussen, Ernie Rasmussen and Ted Weixel.

The deceased was born Aug. 26, 1883, in Albert Lee, Minn., and had lived in Medford since 1945, coming from Egeland, N.D.  He purchased Anderson’s Thrift Market No. 2 in Central Point, in 1946.  He owned and operated this as the Paulsen Thrift Market until ill health forced his retirement a year later, the business being continued by his son and son-in-law.  On Dec. 24, 1907 in Grand Forks, N.D., he was married to Helen Sand who survives.

Other survivors include a son, Donald W., Medford; three daughters, Mrs. A.O. Johnson, Egeland; Mrs. Martin Gates, Medford; and Mrs. Fred Loy, Centralia, Wash.; three brothers, William W., Portland; Henry J., Sherwood, Ore.; and Fred C., Medford; five sisters, Mrs. Mary Fredlund, Cowick, Wash.; Mrs. Lena Rasmussen, Medford; Mrs. Edwin N. Nelson, Medford; Mrs. Leon Chagnon, Havre, Mont.; and Mrs. J. E. Rasmussen, Spokane, Wash.; and eight grandchildren


In Remembrance

Reverend James E. Rasmussen

August 23, 1879                                                                     August 24, 1968

Casket Bearers

Reverend Richard J. Lanphear

Reverend Eldred L. Nelson  (written in ink Ridge View Assembly of God)

Reverend Ronald R. Nichols

Reverend William L. Papan

Reverend Harris E. Shane

Reverend James P. Terry

Funeral Services

Tuesday, August 27, 1968                                                                  1:00 p.m.

First Assembly of God Church


The Reverend R. J. Carlson

The Reverend Kenneth R. Wall

Pastor Glen N. Rich


Roberta Solem

“Sweet By and By”

“Until Then”

Congregational Hymn

“God Be With You”


Sam Solem

Burial Services

Riverside Memorial Park

# # # #

(Newspaper clipping)


(written in ink August 24, 1968)

The Rev. James E. Rasmussen, one of the leaders in developing the policies of the Northwest District of the Assemblies of God, died today at the age of 89.

Born in Ringe, Fyn, Denmark, he came to the United States with his family in May 1888 at the age of 9.  In 1890 his family moved from Minnesota to a homestead in North Dakota.

He married the former Anna C. Paulsen in Kalispell, Mont. On Dec. 24, 1902, and farmed there in North Dakota until 1915.

He was ordained a minister with the Assemblies of God and pioneered and pastored a church in Kalispell for four years prior to moving to Spokane in 1919.

In 1944 he resigned the pastorate of the First Assembly of God here after 24 years of ministry.

Presbyter Post Held

From 1923 until his retirement he served as district presbyter.  For seven years he was district secretary-treasurer and also was a general presbyter of the General Council of the Assemblies of God headquartered in Springfield, Mo., for 20 years.

Survivors include his wife, at the home, N4609 Wall; two daughters, Mrs. Sam B. (Eva) Turnbow, and Mrs. Archie F. (Joy) Bursch, Spokane.  He was preceded in death by a son, Ervin.

Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday at First Assembly of God, W828 Indiana, with burial at Riverside.  The body is at Hazen & Jaeger’s.

# # # # #

Another newspaper clipping with 1968 written in ink.  Age changed from 88 to 89.


Word was received that Rev. James Rasmussen of Spokane passed away August 24 in a hospital there.  He was 88 years old.  He was Pastor of the Assembly of God Church in Spokane for 25 years.

He is survived by his wife and two daughters, Mrs. Sam (Eva) Turnbow and Mrs. Archie (Joyce) Bursh of Spokane.  The Rasmussens lived on the farm near Egeland now owned by Elmer Jorgeson for many years.

# # # # #

Another newspaper clipping with 1959 written in ink.


A retired Spokane minister, the Rev. J. E. Rasmussen, was honored Sunday by his former congregation, First Assembly of God church on his 80th birthday.

Mr. Rasmussen and his wife came to Spokane in 1919 and he was pastor of First Assembly of God church 25 years, retiring in 1944.

He served for 12 years as a general presbyter of the General Council of the Assemblies of God.

The open house and reception Sunday were at the home of his son-in-law and daughter, Mr. And Mrs. Sam B. Turnbow, N4603 Wall.  Another son-in-law and daughter, the Rev. and Mrs. Archie F. Bursch, live at W1117 Shannon.  Mr. Bursch is pastor of the North Hill Assembly of God church.

Assisting at the reception were Mrs. Hal C. O’Neel, Mrs. H. G. Sandeno, Mrs. Richard Wells, Mrs. R. D. Van Dorn, Mrs. Charles Eide, Mrs. John Christman, Mrs. Wesley Grose, Mrs. Richard Miller, Mrs. Carl Radanovsky, Mrs. Wayne Meyers and Elizabeth Paulson.

The family of

Rev. J. E. Rasmussen

Gratefully acknowledges your kind

Expression of sympathy

(handwritten note)

We were so pleased to have some of our relatives with us.  The memorial service was lovely – Ernest, Marie and Uncle Edwin have told you, no doubt.

Mother remains about the same – is reconciled and sweet – bless her!                              May God bless and keep you, Aunt Lena.

Our love —                                                                              —————————–


Feb. 8, 1966

Dear Edwin and Lillie and Fred and Lena –

I’m sorry but Dorothy asked me to write and tell you all about Will’s funeral but I’ve just been putting it off………..

About the funeral.  Dorothy said it was a beautiful service and they honored him highly.  Lots of flowers and there were ministers there from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tacoma, Chehalis, about 10 ministers from out of town.  The male quartet sang “The Lights of Home” and “When They Ring Those Golden Bells.”  Art and Sylvia Hiatt sang a lovely song accompanied by the organ and one of Will’s violins (that he made).  Audry Wallace gave the obituary and he called him Uncle Bill and his voice broke as he said there was only one Uncle Bill and there will never be another.  All of Nina’s family were with her and her grandchildren loved him too.  He was their Grandpa.  I guess they really were his family.  Dorothy was the only one of his own family there (I thought maybe Marie would come down that day so she couldn’t come) and she felt very much alone.  Jim was pallbearer so he couldn’t even be with her.  She said Will looked so nice – looked more like 70 than 89.  That droop was gone from his mouth and just like a smile on his face.  She said Nina included her as the family.  She said she seemed more like a daughter than a niece.  Will always felt that way too.  Dorothy said Nina was very pleased to hear from all of you.  Sorry that you were away Edwin.  I knew you would go if you had been at home.

I know Will loved you all, even if he didn’t show it too much.  I always was his little sister too and I will sure miss him when I get back there as he always seemed like Henry when he came walking in to church and he was always there, but Dorothy says everyone understood that no one was able to come.  They had a ham dinner for the family.  They expected about 40 but only 18 were there so you see they had a lot of extra food and Nina’s whole family stayed with her so it was nice for her.  Dorothy’s family were invited to her dinner the next night but she had been on a hospital trip and had to go to practice so couldn’t go.  (James’s planned to go to the funeral but I guess when it came down to go they couldn’t quite make it so soon after losing Darrel.)  It was a very large funeral.  Brother Loyce Carver said Uncle Bill gave everything for the Lord, his intelligence, business experience, musical talents, etc.  He said Will had taught him so much.  Of course, Will knew all about everything and Carver was quite young to take on such a large undertaking.  He said no one knew how much he was responsible for in that church and how much he had given.  He said he was so glad he had him for a year and a half.  He is buried in the Rose City Cemetery.                Love – Tillie

William Paulsen Passes Away (hand written in ink – 1966)

Mrs. Othilda Paulsen has had word that her brother-in-law, William Paulson, 89, passed away on November 11 in Portland, Oregon of a heart attack.

He was born in Albert Lea, Minn. in 1877, coming with his parents to the Egeland community in 1887.  He was married to Olga Nelson in 1902 and was engaged in farming in the Egeland-Cando area until 1910 when they moved to Bisbee and operated a garage.

In 1915 they moved to Portland, Oregon where she passed away in 1918.  In 1949 he was married to Mrs. Nina Janeway who survives him.

Also surviving him are a brother, Fred of Medford, Ore.; five sisters, Mrs. Lena Rasmussen and Mrs. Edwin Nelson (Lillian) of Medford, Mrs. Mary Fredlund of Yakima, Mrs. Jim Rasmussen (Annie) of Spokane and Mrs. Leo Chagnon (Emma) of Hamilton, Montana.

One sister and five brothers preceded him in death.



(Written in pen – Williston Herald – Williston, N.D. – Friday, Nov. 14, 1958 – Lena Rasmussen was in this wreck.)

Thirteen people were injured and nine of them hospitalized in Williston after the Great Northern’s crack “Western Star” was derailed five miles west of Culbertson about 7:45 (CST) this morning.

An estimated 100 passengers were on the 18-car train.  Evidence found by trainmen and investigating officers point to a broken rail as the cause of the accident.  However, no official information has yet been released for publication.

All of the nine hospitalized men in Williston are reported in “good condition.”  A doctor said most of their injuries are bruises, cuts and lacerations, although two had back injuries.

Four other people were treated at a Culbertson hospital and released.

The engine and nine cars went over the reported broken rail without mishap, however the 10th car, a dome car, was partially derailed.  Seven other cars in back of it overturned into a steep embankment bordering the track, spilling passengers from their berths.  The last car also left the track but didn’t overturn.

Those hospitalized in Williston include eight Great Northern employees and a passenger.  The employees are Ben Stone, St. Paul, dining room waiter; Burton Schuck, Chicago, conductor; Carl Griffin, St. Paul; Royal Gorder, St. Paul; William Riley, Chicago; James Gleason, Deerfield, Ill., Pullman conductor; W. Dickson, Chicago, porter; and Lothol Haerle, no hone address listed.

The injured passenger is Leonard Culp of Texas.

The engineer was reported to be Mr. Lumpkin of Havre, who was quoted as saying, “It was a good thing I was going slow.  I had just slowed up for a bridge over Muddy creek.”  Lumpkin was quoted as saying he believed a broken rail caused the wreck.

Several doctors, nurses and ambulances went to the scene from Williston and other communities.

Treated at the Roosevelt Memorial hospital in Culbertson were Mrs. G. E. Cole of Whitefish, Mont., who received a cut on the head.  Mr. And Mrs. Arthur Casarelli, Portland, Ore., and Mrs. William Zahrndt, Mansfield, Wash., were only shaken up in the crash and were released by hospital authorities.  The derailed cars ?????? included a coffee shop-dormitory car, one diner, two sleeping cars and two small cars.

Two other cars , a dome cart and mail-crew car were off the tracks but were not overturned.

Location of the accident was pinpointed to within a few hundred feet of Blair, a railroad siding five miles west of Culbertson.  The track borders the Missouri river within 100 yards of the bank.

Flag man Grant Benson who at the time of the derailment was riding the rear car of the domed train, stated they were traveling an estimated 55 miles per hour when he felt the emergency graces grab and he was thrown through an open door into the mail sacks.

The car was tipped and wobbling and I was scared it was going all the way over.” He said.  “I got up and looked out the car but all I could see were dust and steam.  There wasn’t a sound anywhere, no one yelling, nothing, just deathly quiet.

“I knew I had to get down and I started walking toward the front of the train,” he said.  “It didn’t take long before porters and train crewmen started helping passengers crawl out the end of the cars.  There wasn’t much noise and I thought there must be a dozen people killed.”

Benson continued.  “The passengers were in their berths laying relaxed or sleeping.  I guess that’s what saved them, that and good steel and equipment in the cars.”

Although cars were overturned, slight damage was noticeable from the outside.  Interiors of the cars were a jumble of detached equipment but few windows were broken.

Between 200 and 300 feet of the track were torn up.  The last car stopped at the point of the track where the first car derailed.

The cars were lying in a position which made it almost impossible for passengers to climb out and they had to be helped by the crewmen.  Railroad investigators clambered through he length of the train several times checking for any possible injured persons who might have been missed during rescue operations.

Passengers, luggage and mail were moved from the derailed cars into the remaining section of the train, (engine, nine cars, mail, baggage and one coach) and brought into Williston.

Ambulances and assistant vehicles stood by the wreck after being called from Culbertson and Williston.  Section workmen were already repairing track and ties with the exception train traffic could be resumed by “supper time.”

None of the trains through Williston will be rerouted due to the immediate repair of the damage.  Passengers from the wrecked Seattle to Chicago train continued on their trip out of Williston at 1:05 P.M., four hours and 12 minutes later than the usual 8:50 departure from here.  Another car was added to the train here and more were expected to be added in Minot, if necessary.



(caption under wedding photo)

Miss Joy Rasmussen recently became the bride of Rev. Archie F. Bursch at the home of her parents, the Rev. and Mrs. J. E. Rasmussen, N4609 Wall.  The bride’s father officiated at the ceremony.  The bridegroom is the son of Mrs. Mina Bursch, N1311 Monroe.  (Burchett.)


The Rev. J. E. Rasmussen officiated at the wedding of his daughter, Miss Joy Rasmussen, to the Rev. Archie F. Bursch recently.  Mr. And Mrs. Rasmussen’s home at N4609 Wall was the setting for the rites.  The bridegroom is the son of Mrs. Mina Bursch, N1311 Monroe.

Sam Turnbow, the bride’s brother-in-law, gave her away.  She wore a street-length dress of ashes-of-roses faille and carried pink roses and lilies of the valley.

Mrs. Turnbow was matron of honor for her sister.  She wore aqua and carried pink carnations and white rosebuds.  Cecil Bursch was best man.  The couple left for the Coast after the ceremony.




JACKSONVILLE – A Jacksonville woman who has 38 grandchildren, 117 great-grandchildren and 11 great-great-grandchildren, recently was honored at a family party celebrating her 88th birthday anniversary.

She is Mrs. Lena F. Rasmussen, who lives here at 415 North Sixth Street.

Thirty-five members of the family participated in the event, held at the home of a grandson and his family, Mr. and Mrs. E. L. Rasmussen Jr., 184 Clover Lane, Medford.  Included in the family party were the honored guest’s sister, Mrs. E. N. Nelson, Medford; a daughter, Mrs. L. A. Thornton, and a son, E. L. Rasmussen both of the community.  Not able to be present were a daughter, Mrs. Peter Odegaard, Egeland, N.D., and a son, Walter Rasmussen, Motley, Minn.

Mrs. Rasmussen was born at Albert Lea, Minn., October 31, 1878.  In 1945 she and her husband, the late R. S. Rasmussen, an Assembly of God minister, came to southern Oregon and eventually to Jacksonville to make their home at 400 North Fifth Street, now the residence of the E. L. Rasmussens .  In addition to her two sons and two daughters and her many other descendants, seven of Mrs. Rasmussen’s 12 brothers and sisters are living.

For the birthday party two birthday cakes were served, one being decorated with 88 candles and red roses.  The cakes were made by Mrs. E. L. Rasmussen, the honored woman’s daughter-in-law, and a granddaughter, Mrs. J. C. Hagler, Talent.

Mrs. Rasmussen continues alert and in good health and maintains her own home at the Sixth Street address.



JACKSONVILLE – Mrs. Lena Rasmussen, 401 North Sixth Street, her two daughters and two sons were together for the first time in 25 years, during the holiday season.  Her daughters are Mrs. Peter Odegaard, Egeland, N.D., and Mrs. Loyd Thornton, 490 G Street, Jacksonville.

The sons are Walter Rasmussen, Motley, Minn., and Ernest L. Rasmussen, 410 North Fifth Street, Jacksonville.

The Ernest Rasmussens were hosts for an open house attended by some 60 relatives and friends.

Also from out of town were Mrs. Walter Rasmussen, Loyd Thornton, Mr. And Mrs. Hubie Haugen and children, Charlotte Javayne and Kenneth, Mayville, N. D.; Charles, Sam and Ralph Thornton, all Burley.

The Ernest Rasmussens were hosts for another family gathering and annual Christmas party on December 26. (added in pen 1966)



(Added in pen “1966”)

Sunday afternoon, October 30, was the occasion of a family gathering celebrating the 88th birthday of Mrs. Lena F. Rasmussen, 415 N. 6th St.

The event was held at the home of a grandson, the E. L. Rasmussen, Jr. family 184 Clover Lane, Medford.

Thirty five members of the family participated in this event including Mrs. E. N. Nelson, Medford, a sister of the honored guest; Mrs. L. A. Thornton, a daughter and E. L. Rasmussen, Sr., a son, both living in the community.  Not able to be present for the occasion were Mrs. Pete Odegaard, Egeland, North Dakota and Walter Rasmussen, Motley, Minnesota, daughter and son of the honored one.

Mrs. Rasmussen was born at Albert Lea, Minnesota on October 31, 1878.  In 1945, Mrs. Rasmussen and her husband, the late R. S. Rasmussen – an Assembly of God minister came to make their home in southern Oregon.  This octogenarian plus lady has thirty-eight grandchildren, one-hundred-seventeen great grandchildren and eleven great, great grandchildren.  She also has seven of twelve brothers and sisters still living whose ages are between 72 and 90.

Festivities wee aided by two large birthday cakes.  One made by a daughter-in-law, Mrs. E. L. Rasmussen, Sr., the other by a granddaughter, Mrs. J. C. Hagler, Talent.  One cake consisting of five tiers was decorated with red roses and 88 candles which the honored guest succeeded in blowing out all except six in one breath.

Mrs. Rasmussen continues to be alert and in good health and maintains her own home at 415 N. 6th, a duplex unit at the rear of the family home now the residence of Mr. And Mrs. E. L. Rasmussen  ???  of her son Ernest L. Rasmussen and Mrs. Rasmussen on North Fifth Street.



(Added in pen “December 1966”)

Mrs. Peter Odegaard returned home Sunday from a trip visiting relatives in the west.  She spent two weeks in Jacksonville, Oregon, visiting her mother, Mrs. Lena Rasmussen, Mr. And Mrs. Ernest Rasmussen, Mr. And Mrs. Lloyd Thornton.  She also spent some time with her aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Nelson and visited her uncle, Fred Paulson, who is a patient in the Medford Hospital and with Mrs. Jeanette Shively, who is with her father, Fred Paulson, during his illness.

Mr. and Mrs.Walter Rasmussen of Motley, Minn., Mr. and Mrs. Hubert Haugen and family of Mayville, Sam, Ralph and Chuck Thornton from Idaho joined the family group.

There was open house at the home of Mr. And Mrs.Ernest Rasmussen on December 11 and 60 relatives were present.

Mrs. Odegaard left on Monday for Lake Bay, Washington and visited several days at the Alvin Odegaard home.  On Thursday, the Alvin Odegaards and Mrs. Peter Odegaard went to Seattle by ferry and enjoyed riding on the Monarail and went up in the Space Needle.

From Seattle, Mrs. Odegaard went by train to Whitefish, Montana and visited the Don Odegaards and in Kalispell, she visited the Ed Nikolaisens and Harry Odegaards.

Mrs. Peter Odegaard accompanied Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Odegaard from Kalispell to Lake Bay, Washington.  After visiting at Alvins a few days she went on the Medford Oregon to visit her mother Mrs. Lena Rasmussen and other relatives

(This article was glued in the scrapbook in such a fragmented way that it doesn’t make sense.


(Added in pen 1968)

JACKSONVILLE – Mrs. Lena F. Rasmussen, 415 North Sixth Street, Jacksonville, was honored at a party October 27 in observance of her 90th birthday.

The event was held in the Pioneer Village and a potluck dinner, attended by 68 relatives, preceded the reception.  The reception, held from 3 to 5 p.m., was attendee by 128 friends and relatives.

Decorations for the event followed the Halloween theme and a large pumpkin was decorated as a shoe, with dolls representing her family.

Mrs. Rasmussen was born Lena F. Paulsen on December 31, 1878, in Albert Lea, Minn.  She married Rasmus S. Rasmussen in Cando, N.D., in the late 1800’s (changed to 1896 in pen) and the couple moved to the Rogue Valley in 1945.  Mr. Rasmussen preceded her in death in 1952.

The birthday observance was planned by her children, Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Thornton (Agnes Rasmussen), her son-in-law and daughter, and Mr. and Mrs. E. L. Rasmussen, her son and daughter-in-law both of Jacksonville.  Unable to attend were two other children, Mrs. Mae Rasmussen Odegaard, Egeland, N.D., and Walter Rasmussen, Motley, Minn. One daughter, Mrs. Elna Rasmussen Severson, died in 1942.

Mrs. Rasmussen has 38 grandchildren; 128 great-grandchildren of which 64 are boys and 64 are girls and 18 great-great grandchildren of which include 9 girls and 9 boys.


Nelsons Honored Guests on Fiftieth Anniversary.

(Written in ink January 18, 1961)

Mr. and Mrs. Edwin N. Nelson, 2488 Jacksonville Highway, were honored at an open house held Saturday, January 14, at the Assembly of God annex.  The event, attended by over 100 friends and relatives, marked the couple’s 50th wedding anniversary.

Hosts for the event were the couple’s sons, Kenneth, Frederick, Donald and Wesley and their daughter, Mrs. Rolland Myers.  Assisting in the serving of refreshments and receiving guests were the children’s families and friends.

Relatives and friends entertained throughout the afternoon with vocal and instrumental numbers.  Of special interest was a song by Mrs. Wallace Nylander, the words of which she wrote for the honored guests; and a poem that was written for them by Rev. J. E. Rasmussen, Spokane, Wash.

Among the messages received was a telegram from the Rev. Wildon Colbaugh, former pastor of the Medford Assembly of God church, and Mrs. Colbaugh.  They now live in Springfield, Mo.

The hall was decorated in the traditional gold motif.  Refreshment tables were covered with two, gold-embroidered, damask table cloths brought from the Holy Land by Dr. and Mrs. Bert (last name smudged so it was unreadable) Fred and John Nelson, sons of the honored couple, decorated the wedding cake.

Edwin Nelson and Lillian Paulsen were married in a double wedding ceremony, January 18, 1911, in the home of Mrs. Nelson’s mother at Cando, N.D.; the Rev. Mr. Quigley officiated.  The other couple was Mrs. Nelson’s sister, Hannah and Evan Jones.

The couple lived for a short time at Fargo, N.D., later moved to Minot, N.D., where they resided until coming to Medford in 1945.  Mr. Nelson was in the building contracting and construction business until retirement in 1956.

Both of the Nelsons are active members of the Assembly of God church.  Mrs. Nelson, Women’s Bible class teacher, has been teaching Bible classes since she was 12 years old.  Mr. Nelson, Men’s Bible class teacher, started teaching Sunday school classes at the age of 17.  In the early days of the Assembly’s church in North Dakota, the couple helped organize churches in Egeland and Minot.

In addition to the Assembly’s work, Mr. Nelson is a charter member of the Gideons in Medford, having served as president and in other official capacities.  Mrs. Nelson is a member of the Gideons Auxiliary.

Out of town guests were Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Nelson, Seattle, Wash., and Mr. and Mrs. James Nelson, Kent, Wash., son and grandson of the couple.  Also Mrs. Emily Wheeler, Live Oak, Calif.

Later in the evening 21 close relatives and the honored couple had supper together at a local restaurant.


NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS from the Rasmussen scrapbook – probably from Medford Mail Tribune

(Caption under photo shown cutting cake)

Mr. and Mrs. R. S. Rasmussen, Jacksonville, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at an open house held December 29 at the home of their son, Ernest L. Rasmussen, 501 Beatty St.  More than 50 friends and relatives called to extend their felicitations to the honored couple.




PR.MF A248 NL PD=MEDFORD ORG 8=     1952 JAN 9 AM 8 18






Services for Rasmus S. Rasmussen, 78, of Jacksonville, who died Tuesday, will be held in Conger-Morris Chapel Monday at 1:30 p.m. with Rev. J. S. Manchester of the Assembly of God church officiating.  Committal will be at Siskiyou Memorial park.

Mr. Rasmussen was born in Fyen, Denmark, May 15, 1873, came to the United States 60 years ago, and to southern Oregon six years ago from Egeland, N.D.  He was a retired minister of the Assembly of God church.

Survivors include his widow, Lena; two sons, Ernest, Jacksonville; and Walter, Egeland, N.D.;  two daughters, Mrs. Agnes Thornton, Medford; and Mrs. Mae Odegaard, Egeland;  five brothers, James E., Spokane; William F., Medford;  Chris, Kalispell, Mont.;  and Maurice and Carl, Wenatchee, Wash.;  38 grandchildren and 34 great-grandchildren.


Jacksonville – One of the largest family reunions held for several years in this vicinity took place last week when more than 100 relatives of the late Rev. R. S. Rasmussen gathered here to attend funeral services for the retired Assembly of God church minister.  He was 78 years old at the time of his death and was born in Fyen, Denmark.

Relatives were here from various parts of the United States including North Dakota, California, Montana, Washington, Oregon and the Rogue valley.  The large group met for two evenings at the Jacksonville Royal Neighbors of America hall for family dinners.


(Caption under picture of Lena Rasmussen holding Mark Seversen as an infant – probably taken from an Egeland or Cando newspaper. No source noted.)

MRS. LENA RASMUSSEN, 84, pioneer Egeland woman, is shown holding her 100th great grandchild, Mark Severson.  Mrs. Rasmussen now makes her home at Jacksonville, Oregon and the picture on the table shows Mrs. Rasmussen and her late husband, R. S. Rasmussen, on their 50th wedding anniversary.  Mr. and Mrs. Rasmussen homesteaded in the Egeland community.

The mother of five children, four of whom are still living, she has 38 grandchildren and 100 great-grandchildren.  There are also three great great-grandchildren.  Twenty-five of her grandchildren reside in Oregon, the rest are in North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, California and New Mexico.  Her son, Ernest lives at Jacksonville, Walter in Minnesota, and her daughters, Mrs. L. A. Thornton is in Medford and Mrs. P. (Mae) Agaard (crossed out and changed to Odegaard) in North Dakota.  Mrs. S. P. Severson is deceased.

Mrs. Rasmussen served as a midwife for many years, a service of which she is proud.  She attended 70 mothers without the presence of a doctor and assisted as many other births.  She is still active in gardening and helping her children.  (Handwritten 1963)


Note:  This picture appeared in the Assemblies of God pastors’ magazine “Caring” with the following story.

This is Mrs. Lena Rasmussen, at eighty-four holding her 100th great-grandchild. The photograph on the table is a fiftieth anniversary photo of Mrs. Rasmussen and her late husband, Assemblies of God pioneer-minister, R. S. Rasmussen, who died in 1952.  Mrs. Rasmussen now makes her home in Jacksonville, Oregon.  She has five children, and thirty-eight grandchildren.

During her lifetime Mrs. Rasmussen has seen miraculous healings, and was herself healed of various illnesses, including epilepsy.  She rejoices in the fact that her 100 great-grandchildren are all healthy.

(Medford Mail Tribune)


JACKSONVILLE – Mrs. Lena Rasmussen, 401 North Sixth Street, was honored November 1 at a party celebrating her 86th birthday.  The event, attended by 60 relatives and friends was held at the home of a son, Ernest Rasmussen, Jacksonville.

Mrs. Robert Croucher, Jacksonville, cut and served the birthday cake and Mrs. Chris Hagler, Talent, presided at the punch bowl.  Mrs. Page Severson, Jacksonville, a granddaughter poured coffee.

Mrs. Rasmussen was presented a portable television set from her relatives, including a number in North Dakota, Minnesota, California and New Mexico, who were unable to attend.

The honored woman was also presented a birthday cake with 86 candles, which she blew out in one breath in the traditional ceremony.

Among the persons attending the birthday party were two of the honored woman’s children, Ernest Rasmussen and Mrs. Lloyd Thornton, Jacksonville.  Two other children are Mrs. Peter Odegaard, Egeland, N.D., and Walter Rasmussen, Montley, Minn.  The party was given by her grandchildren with Mrs. Harold Kezer, Jacksonville, in charge.  Mrs. Rasmussen has 38 grandchildren, 105 (crossed out and changed to 107) great-grandchildren and 7 great-great grandchildren.

Also attending were Mrs. E. N. Nelson, Medford, a sister, and Fred Paulson, Medford, a brother.  Members of her Sunday school class at the First Assembly of God Church in Medford also attended.

Mrs. Rasmussen was born in Albert Lea, Minn.  Oct. 31, 1878.  She and her husband, the late R. S. Rasmussen an Assembly of God minister, moved to North Dakota where they homesteaded for many years before moving to the Rogue Valley 18 years ago.


(Medford Mail Tribune, May 15, 1986)



Died June 18, 1965

Funeral services for William Frederick Rasmussen, 80, of Route 3, Box 222, Medford, who died Friday, will be conducted at 2:30 p.m. Monday in the Chapel in the Trees Mortuary in Siskiyou Memorial Park.  The Rev. Ralph E. Baker, retired missionary of the Assembly of God Church, assisted by the Rev. Richard L. Hatton, assistant minister of the First Assembly of God Church, Medford, will officiate.  Interment will follow in Siskiyou Memorial Park.

Mr. Rasmussen was born August 16, 1884, in Ringe, Fyn, Denmark.  He came to the United States as a boy, 76 years ago.

On Nov. 25, 1909, at Egeland, N.D., he was married to Hilda N. Jensen, who survives. He had been a resident of Oregon and of this community for the past 20 years.

Prior to his retirement 12 years ago, he was employed by Bear Creek Orchards.

He was a member of the First Assembly of god Church, Medford.

Survivors besides his wife include five sons, Vernon V. Rasmussen, Wallace W. Rasmussen, and Evan E. Rasmussen, Medford, Herman H. Rasmussen, Los Angeles, Calf, and James J. Rasmussen, Sepulveda, Calif; three daughters, Mrs. George (Leona) Southwick, Granada Hills, Calif., Mrs. Delbert E. (Meriam) Johnson, Talent, and Mrs. Jonathan (Norma) Harrel, Jr., Reseda, Calif; one brother, the Rev. James E. Rasmussen, Spokane, Wash; 23 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren.

Active pallbearers will include Ernest Rasmussen, Lloyd Thornton, Loyd Rasmussen, Elmer Smith, Fred Nelson and Simon Severson.

Honorary pallbearers, all from his Sunday School class, will include E.N. Nelson, C.D. Colbaugh, Earl Heft, Howard Morris, W.H. Clemens, Fred Paulsen, William Kaamberg and Alva Stafford.

Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Siskiyou Funeral Service directors of Chapel in the Trees Mortuary.



Died June 17, 1968

Graveside funeral services for Mrs. Hilda N. Rasmussen, 79, Reseda, Calif., who died Monday, will be conducted at 10 a.m. Friday at Siskiyou Memorial Park.  The Rev. Jonathan Harrel Jr., of the Calvary Assembly of God Church, Reseda, will officiate.  Interment will follow in Siskiyou memorial Park.

Mrs. Rasmussen was born Feb. 19, 18899 1889, at Tonsberg, Norway.  On Nov. 25, 1909, at Egeland, N.D., she was married to William F. Rasmussen, who preceded her in death June 18, 1965.

Mrs. Rasmussen had been a resident of Oregon, and of the Fern Valley area, for 20 years prior to moving to Reseda, Calif., in October, 1965.

She was a member of the First Assembly of god God Church, Medford.

Survivors include five sons, Vernon V. Rasmussen, Wallace W. Rasmussen, and Even E. Rasmussen, all of Medford; Herman H. Rasmussen, Fullerton, Calif., and James J Rasmussen, Sepulveda, Calif.; three daughters, Mrs. Leona L. Southwick, Santa Maria, Calif., Mrs. Miriam M. John, Eugene, and Mrs. Norma N. Harrel, Reseda, Calif.; one sister, Mrs. Alvilda Hansen Tonberg, Norway; 23 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren.  A brother in Norway, preceded her in death in 1959.

The body will lie in state from 4 until 8:30 p.m. Thursday at the Chapel in the Trees Mortuary in Siskiyou Memorial Park.

Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Siskiyou Funeral Service, directors of Chapel in the Tress Trees Mortuary.

NELLY AND  VERNON RASMUSSEN – son of Will and Hilda Rasmussen

1930                              1980

To the friends and relatives of

Nellie and Vernon Rasmussen

We are happy to announce the

observance of the Fiftieth Anniversary

of their wedding which united them on

October 22, 1930

Mother and Dad would like to see

and talk to you, but due to their health

we are not having a celebration

However, they would very much enjoy

hearing from you. Their address is:

Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Rasmussen

1540 South Ivy

Medford, Oregon 97501

They have especially requested no gifts.                        Sincerely,     Their Children

Former City Councilman Dies at 70

A funeral for Vernon V. Rasmussen, 70, of Medford, a former city councilman who died Friday evening in a local hospital, will be at 2:30 p.m. Monday in the Perl with Siskiyou Chapel.

The Rev. Marion Ravan and the Rev. William Turnbull, pastors of the First Assembly of God Church, will officiate.

Burial will be in Siskiyou Memorial Park.

Mr. Rasmussen was born Oct. 8, 1910, in Egeland, N.D.  On Oct. 22, 1930, in Noonan, N.D. he married the former Nellie Severson, who survives.

The couple lived in Medford since 1945.  They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last month.

Mr. Rasmussen represented Ward 2 on the Medford City Council for eight years beginning in 1965.

As a councilman, he carried petitions to widen Barnett and Biddle roads from two-lane roads to divided, four-lane city streets.  He helped secure a deed allowing development of a curve on McAndrews Road at Crater lake Avenue.

He helped secure land for a street north of the Big Y Shopping Center, improving the traffic pattern on Table Rock Ras Road??.  He served on the Armory board and raided money for the Girls’ Community Club.

Survivors, in addition to his wife, include three sons, Vern Rasmussen Jr., Glendale, Calif., Bob Rasmussen, Salem, and Don Rasmussen, Canby; a daughter, Dolly Leslie, Redmond, Washington; four brothers, Wallace Rasmussen and Even Rasmussen, Medford, Herman Rasmussen, Fullerton, Calif., and James Rasmussen, Boise; three sisters, Mrs. Jonathan (NOrma Norma) Harrel, Canoga Park, Calif., Mrs. George (Leona) Southwick, Santa Maria, Calif., and Mrs. Delbert (Miriam) Johnson, Eugene; 12 grandchildren, two great grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.

Memorials in his memory may be made to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 698, Medford, or to the First Assembly of God Church’s Memorial Fund, for the sound system, 1108 W. Main Street, Medford.  (From the Medford Mail Tribune – November 9, 1980.)

Evan E. Rasmussen

The memorial service fro Evan E. Rasmussen 70, of Medford, who died Tuesday, will be 11 a.m. Saturday at First Assembly of God, 1108 W. Main St., with the Rev. Marion Ravan officiating.  Private interment will be in Siskiyou Memorial Park.  Perl Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.

Mr. Rasmussen was killed when the tractor he was using to clear a path to firewood overturned, pinning him underneath.  The accident occurred off of Townsend Creek Road near the Jackson-Josephine county line.

Memorial contributions may be made to First Assembly of God.

Mr. Rasmussen was born Jan. 11, 1916, in Egeland, N.D.  He served with the Civilian Conservation Corps for three years during the 1930s.  On June 5, 1938, in Wasco, Calif. he married the former Eileen M. Nylander, who survives.

For five years he worked for Douglas Aircraft, Santa Monica, Calif.  They moved to Medford in 1943 where he was a rancher until retiring.

He was a member of First Assembly of God, Medford.

For 17 years he served on boards of the Farm Bureau and Talent Irrigation District.

Survivors, in addition to his wife, include one daughter, Linda Rickert, Portland; three brothers, Wallace Rasmussen, Medford, Herman Rasmussen, Fullerton, Calif., and James Rasmussen, Boise, Idaho; three sisters, Leona Southwick, Santa Maria, Calif., Miriam Johnson, Eugene, and Norma Harrel, Ventura, Calif. One son, Lorin Jay Rasmussen, died in 1972 and one brother, Vernon Rasmussen, in 1980.

February 22, 2003 – From Ruby Smith, Wally Rasmussen’s cousin: Early afternoon I rec. a call from Lois Rasmussen Fortunato–daughter of my cousin, Wally.  (They live in So. Ca.)  Wally passed away this morning at age 90–91 in May.  In Nov. he had several strokes and since then has been in a wheelchair–as is Margaret.  Lois, Joe  and one son at least and her sis. Jean and Irv will come up to Wilsonville for the funeral which I think is on Tues. and then most of the family up there will drive to Medford on Wed. –stay all night–and he will be buried in the family plot but there will be no service.  Then they will drive back up there and fly home but first they plan to move Margaret to a smaller apt. in the home and she is hoping there is one available.  Lois said if there is time she will give me a call but they are going to be rushed.  She said her Dad had taken care of all the funeral arrangements quite some time ago (like we have).

Wallace W. Rasmussen

The funeral for Wallace W. Rasmussen will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Neighborhood Church, 21065 S.W. Stafford Road, Tualatin.

Mr. Rasmussen, 90, of Wilsonville, formerly of the Rogue Valley, died Saturday (Feb. 22, 2003) in Wilsonville.

Memorial contributions may be made to Neighborhood Church, 21065 S.W. Stafford Road, Tualatin, OR 97062.

He was born May 19, 1912, in Towner County, N.D. He received a master’s degree from Washington State University in Pullman, Wash. On June 7, 1933, he married Margaret Evelyn Wilson, who survives. They moved to the Rogue Valley in 1952. They moved to the Portland area 10 years ago.

Mr. Rasmussen was the principal at Phoenix Elementary School from 1960 to 1975.

He was a member of the Rotary, Knights of Pythias and Phi Beta Kappa.

Survivors, in addition to his wife, include a son, William, Wilsonville; two daughters, Jean Wek, Laguna Niguel, Calif., and Lois Fortunato, Torrance, Calif.; two sisters, Norma Harrel, Sherman Oaks, Calif.; and Marie Miller, Tualatin; a brother, James, Boise, Idaho; nine grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.

Arrangements: Cornwell Colonial Chapel, Wilsonville.

The Christian Hans Rasmussen Family

Written by Ruby H. Rasmussen Smith

I wish I had asked my parents more questions.  I only knew one grandparent – Grandpa Rasmussen. I was about seven when he died in April 28, 1924.  My dad, Christian Hans Rasmussen was born May 22, 1877 in Denmark and came to America through Ellis Island when he was 12.  Can you imagine his mother with six young boys on the boat for one month and they ate mostly bread and cheese.  I wonder if they were bored?

They went to Minnesota and then on to North Dakota.  They had hard times and cold weather.  I remember my Ddad saying the bread would freeze in the bread drawer.  Perhaps that is why all the time I was growing up he kept our house so warm and cozy.

My mother was Dagny Marie “Mary” Jorgensen.  My mother’s mother worked in a factory in Norway (where my mother was born) and she died young of T.B. when mother was 9.  Mother had one sister and when they were young teens (Mother 14) they came to America through Ellis Island.  Mother was born October 19, 1882.  They ended up in North Dakota.  My parents worked for a family by the name of Paulsen. My mother also worked for Lena Rasmussen for 25 cents a week. One time she borrowed two – one-cent stamps from Lena and was docked two cents from her weekly wages. They fell in love and were married Christmas Day 1900.  That was the only day they had off.  They later lived on a farm and were farmers.

The following summary is based on Jørgensen family research conducted by Larry Smith in 2003.

Dagny  Marie “Mary” Jorgensen also had a half brother, Christ Eugen Hansen Jorgensen who came to the United States about 1900, at age 15, several years after his sisters arrived in North Dakota. He was born November 4, 1885 at Oslo, Norway as Christ Eugen Hansen. After arriving in the United States he changed his name to Chris Eugene Jorgenson. He died on March 22, 1936 in Cavalier County, Starkweather, North Dakota with burial at Trinity Lutheran Cemetery, Starkweather, North Dakota.  Children: Ruth, Harold, Carl, Melvin, and George. Christ married Elida Smette on April 1, 1919 at Hillsboro, North Dakota. After Elida and Christ were married they started farming.  About 1928 they moved to their farm located nine miles northwest of Starkweather.  Elida died on September 28, 1938 in Cavalier County, Starkweather, North Dakota.  After the death of Christ, Elida and her young family continued to farm. She was respected and admired by all who knew her.  Elida passed away after having a stroke.  Elida died only two years after her husband’s death.  Her death left four young orphan boys. The four Jorgenson sons stayed on the farm and with the help of friends they continued to farm and milk cows.  Ingel Smette, their cousin, stayed with them for a time.  One family story says that Elida fell off a ladder a day or two before her death and struck her head on the corner of the wood stove.  Her head injury may have contributed to her death. “Jorgenson story includes Information from Sharon Jorgenson Pearl of Seabeck, Washington

Ruby Rasmussen Smith continues her part of the story…..

Rasmus Rasmussen borrowed money from my dad (Christian) for his farm in Cando, North Dakota.  When he tried to borrow more later, my dad wouldn’t loan anymore because he hadn’t paid back the first loan.

I know my sister, Lydia, was born in North Dakota on in July 1902.  They spoke Danish/Norwegian until she started school.  I cannot say where Esther (May 9, 1905) and Iva (Oct. 11, 1905) and Perl (Jan. 15, 1910) were born, but I came along seven years after Pearl on January 7, 1917 on a farm four miles north of Kalispell, Montana. (Evergreen District)  My parents said we lived across from a country school and all the kids dropped in to see me.  Mother always told me the lady doctor, Dr. Bottorf, said I was a perfect baby.

As reported by the 1918 Kalispell Bee, Dr. Phoebe Bottorf was asked to stop and tend to a woman on the way to the hospital. The physician was returning from seeing another patient in Whitefish when disaster struck. The newspaper reported that she was making up a prescription in the headlights between cars when she was hit and pinned against the Packard’s spring cross bar by another vehicle. “Dr. Phoebe was caught against the bar, both legs being broken, the left leg just above the knee, and the right knee and lower end of the thighbone crushed,” the Bee reported. The doctor refused opiates and directed a man on the scene to apply a tourniquet to stop the bleeding. About 40 minutes later, her husband, another physician, arrived on the scene to take her to Kalispell General Hospital.

Brassett, along with a Dr. Monroe and Dr. Frances Houston performed the surgery. Greer learned from interviews that “Dr. Phoebe” recovered, received an artificial leg and went on to practice in the Flathead for 50 years.

About 1920 – 1921 we moved to town.  I remember moving.  Don was born May 29, 1921.  I remember the day he was born.  He had dark hair.  Grandpa Rasmussen gave him $5 because he was the first boy in the family.  My sisters seemed so much older.  Don and I were more or less raised alone. I was two when Lydia was married and 10 when Pearl was married.  My parents learned the 3 R’s on their own.  No special privileges in those days.  My dad loved to read.  The Bible most of all plus my school books.  I could hardly get them away from him in the A.M. when I left for school.  They were surely self-educated. I also remember after we moved to town that every Sunday A.M. Sunday School and church were held in our home for several years until my dad paid the rent on a building to hold services.  I remember getting the chairs ready every Sunday and my mother would have dinner cooking for us and people would “snoop” in the kitchen.  —Written by Ruby Rasmussen Smith

Learning to Ride a Bike by Ruby Rasmussen Smith

—written to Grandson, Keith Smith, April 27, 2004

I am so glad Kaity is learning to ride a bicycle.  Be very careful, she is so sweet you just can’t let her fall.  Such a sweet personality that little girl has.  Little old Buba (sp?), he will just get up and cross his arms and he might even ask you why you let him fall.  I surely do remember when I learned to ride.  I didn’t have a bicycle.  My neighbor girlfriend had a brother who worked for Western Union delivering messages.  It was a BIG bicycle.  So, when he came home for lunch at noon (that is what people did in those days), Florence and I would take his bike.  I was the oldest, so away we went with me at the pedals and steering.  Florence was on the bars because she was the sister of the owner of the bike.  Try that when you are learning to ride!!!!!!!!!  I think of those learning noon hours, not to mention when “we” ran into a telephone pole.

My parents were such hard workers for their family and always doing for others.  I have nothing but kind memories of my parents.

I remember when I was about 10 (1927), my dad did heavy lifting at the grain elevator and a large artery/vein broke in his neck.  They wanted to take him to the hospital but he refused to go even when he could not talk because of the injury.  My parents were never in a hospital except when my mother died in a hospital.  (The last five days of her life.)  The doctor didn’t think my dad would be alive the next morning after the injury.  His entire chest was blue.  Much prayer went up for him and he recovered and lived another 25 years.

I remember the day of the accident.  So much commotion was going on at home — people coming and going.  My mother sent my brother and me to a neighborhood store to get a pound of butter.  My dad sat in a darkened room for months with hot compresses until the swelling and pain receded.

My dad bought a brand new car — 1906?.  They were one of the first ones with a Model T out in the country, and paid $500 for it.  My mother would drive it to Stand Pipe Hill at the Kalispell city limits and let my dad take over for the drive into town.  Apparently there was too much traffic for her.

I am thankful my parents did not suffer for a long time at the end.  My dad had a stroke at age 75 and lived only 10 days. My mother at age 82 suffered a stroke while visiting my sister, Iva, near Seattle at Black Diamond.  She died five days later in a hospital in Emunclaw, Washington.

From: “Ruby Smith” <>

Date: Sat, 29 May 2004 09:33:42 -0700

Last early evening Suzanne (Don’s daughter-in-law) called from Kalispell.  I always wonder when she calls just what the news will be.  But she had bought Don a phone card for his birthday (he had given up his tel. in his room because he didn’t use it much anymore) and he wanted to call his only sister.  We talked for about one half hour.  He is practically wheelchair bound and is on lots of medications.  We talked about old times.  So today he turns 83.  He is not happy in the N. home and he misses his Doris so much.  His oldest g.son is getting married in August.  She just graduated from College down in Ca.  Aaron still works for the Fish and Wild Life but his duties are in a different area.  The middle g.son is in College and the youngest is in Hi-school.  Don is VERY proud of his three g.sons.  Don’s son, Lamar and their Dad drowned at the age of 42. (Don and Doris didn’t ever get over this–their only off-spring)  Sue has done a wonderful job of raising her three sons.  Don has been very good to them down through the years and he gave them each a pickup etc.  Sue teaches at a Lutheran School. Oh, Sue said for his Don wanted a hamburger and she brought a huge cake for lots of people.  Rose, we talked about you also and he mentioned that he misses the Sat. calls from you.  I told him that you are still a GOOD KID.

Ruby Helen Lucille Rasmussen

Born: January 7, 1917, Kalispell, Montana.

Daughter of:

Christian Hans Rasmussen, b. May 22, 1877, Ringe, Denmark, d. April 15, 1952, Kalispell, Montana, of a stroke. Immigrated to the U.S. in 1889, settling first in North Dakota.

Dagny Marie “Mary” Jorgensen, b. October 19, 1882, Oslo, Norway, d. October 3, 1963, age 81, stroke, Emunclaw, Washington.  Immigrated to the U.S. in 1897, and rejoined her father in North Dakota who had come on ahead.

Christian and Dagney “Mary” were married on December 25, 1900, North Dakota.

Christian and Dagny “Mary” Rasmussen Children:

Lydia Mabel – born in North Dakota in 1902, d. December 1, 1957, Kalispell, Montana

Esther Minnie – b. 1905, d. May 29, 1992

Iva Gladys – b. October 11, 1906, d. February 22, 1995

Pearl Agnes – b. January 15, 1910, d. February 21, 1979

Ruby Helen Lucille – b. January 7, 1917, b. Kalispell, Montana, on the farm.

Arthur Donald “Don” – b. 1921 – b. Kalispell

Ruby Helen Lucille Rasmussen Smith

Born: January 7, 1917, Kalispell, Montana.  Died: February 4, 2008, Phoenix, Oregon

Ruby Helen Lucille Rasmussen Smith

On February 4, at the age of 91, Ruby Helen Lucille Smith was united with her Lord.  She leaves behind her husband of 72 years, Elmer Smith, of Phoenix, Oregon; her brother Don Rasmussen, of Kalispell, Montana; twin sons, Larry Smith of Jacksonville, Oregon, and Lloyd Smith of Longview, Washington; six grandchildren, and eleven great-grandchildren.

Ruby Rasmussen was born on January 7, 1917, on the family farm in Kalispell, Montana, to Christian Hans Rasmussen of Denmark, and Dagny Marie Rasmussen of Norway.  In 1933, when she was sixteen years old, she met Elmer Smith at church.  His request to walk her home was the beginning of a love affair that was to span 75 years.  They eloped two weeks after her graduation and were married in Salmon City, Idaho, on June 10, 1935; but they returned to Kalispell, and in the stuff of family legend, told no-one for six months.

Ruby and Elmer moved to the Rogue Valley from Southern California in 1946, and purchased twelve acres on the outskirts of Phoenix, Oregon.  There they built three houses, raised their children, and educated and entertained their grandchildren and great-grandchildren for the next six decades.
Ruby faced her final illness with grace, courage and humor, presiding from her bed, and welcoming many dozens of visitors, friends and family.  She will be remembered as her husband’s most precious jewel, a warm and loving mother and grandmother, a faithful friend, a gracious hostess, an avid emailer, and an enthusiastic blogger (

A memorial service will be held Saturday, February 9, at 2:00 pm at Calvary Church Assembly of God in Jacksonville, 525 North 5th Street (541-899-1015). There will be a visitation on Friday from 4:00 – 8:00 pm, and on Saturday from 9:00 – 11:00 am, at Conger Morris in Medford, 715 West Main Street (541-772-7111).

My Wife

If there was a Jewel, Ruby has been everything her name

implies. She has been a perfect model for a teen-age

lover, a young bride, a dutiful and industrious house

wife, a caring and devoted mother, and a loving and

doting grandmother. Immaculate housekeeper to the

point of my having to search through the trash for things

I wanted to keep a little longer, well prepared and

planned meals, always on time and patient if you could not

be on time. Very possessive with enough jealousy to

prevent a ligitimate reason for it, always keeping my faults

a secret, and defending her loved ones with the tenacity of a she-bear.

If I have to be here another fifty, I want it to be with my sweetheart.

Elmer Smith June 10, 1985 for their 50th anniversary

Ruby Helen Lucille Rasmussen Smith

Born: January 7, 1917, Kalispell, Montana.  Died: February 4, 2008, Phoenix, Oregon

Epitaph for Ruby Rasmussen Smith

Given by Kenneth Smith, February 9, 2008 – Calvary Church, Jacksonville, Oregon

In the days since my grandmother died, I’ve been meditating on a poem by C. S. Lewis, written after the death of his wife, and now carved on her gravestone in Oxford, England.  C. S. Lewis writes,

Here the whole world (stars, water, air
Reflected in a single mind)
Like cast-off clothes was left behind
In ashes, yet with hope that she
Re-born from holy poverty,
In Lenten lands, hereafter may,
Resume them on her easter day.

Early in the morning of February 4th, Ruby Helen Lucille Smith left behind, like cast-off clothes, the mortal body she had carried with grace since 1917.  The husband with whom she had shared a bed and a life for 72 years was with her, and held her hand, and felt the Holy Spirit fill the room even as her own spirit departed.  Several hours later, as our family gathered around her deathbed to say one last good-bye, my mind was flooded with the memories of how that mortal body had served her over those years, and how she had used that body to serve others.  So many meals: so many wounds bandaged, tears dried, cookies baked, diapers changed, grandchildren hugged, emails sent and demanded.  How one quiet woman could represent so much activity and goodness is one of the mysteries of love.

We are gathered here today to celebrate the life, mourn the death, and rejoice in the homecoming of an extraordinary woman.  Whether we knew her as friend, aunt, grandmother, mother or loving wife, I can think of no better way to honor her than to take a few moments to look through her eyes, to see the whole world as it was reflected in the single mind of Ruby Smith.

Her Friends

Deep and lasting friendships formed a constant background to my grandmother’s world.  Ruby Smith did not establish temporary relationships, or make friends out of convenience.  The friends she made when she worked at Harry and David’s in the 1940’s, or when she attended Ashland Christian Center in the 1950’s, or when she worked at the orthopedic clinic in the 60’s and 70’s, remained her friends for life.  The number of these friendships necessarily diminished over the years, as she and Elmer remained healthy and vigorous, while more and more of their friends passed on.  But as anyone who was a recipient of her emails can testify, her days, and Elmer’s, were passed in frequent communication with old friends, visiting those who had grown sick, and helping those no longer able to fend for themselves.

I do not believe that any friend of Ruby’s could ever have complained of neglect or inattention; and a great many people in Ruby’s world had cause to be thankful for her consistent hospitality and quiet kindness.

Her Twins

My grandmother’s world revolved around her family.  When my grandfather rushed her to the hospital on a warm July day in 1940, the two of them had little idea what was in store.  The labor drugs knocked her out, and when she awoke, the nurse asked, “Did you know that you had twins?”  Still groggy, Ruby responded, “I didn’t know I had any.”

Ruby assumed her new role as the mother of twin boys with gusto.  For the next 18 years, she cooked, cleaned, mended, kissed, coddled, scolded, and chased her boys into adulthood.   In 1957, my famously frugal grandparents splurged on a brand-new ’57 Chevy for their two sons, and this was typical: they rarely bought anything for themselves, but nothing was too good for their boys.

Her Family

When Larry and Lloyd left home, married and had families of their own, Ruby found her world expanding once again. As the decades passed, through marriages, births, adoptions and virtual adoptions, she found herself the matriarch of a substantial and growing tribe.  And again, although they rarely bought anything for themselves, they helped their grandchildren in any way that they could.  Numerous house down payments, new cars, new computers, or college tuition payments had their origin in the bank account of a retired couple who never made more than $8 / hour.

Her Email

As the years passed, keeping the scattered and sundry members of her family connected became a substantial challenge.  But many decades ago, she had instituted a tradition of regular letters to all and sundry, a tradition which she maintained until her 91st birthday.  They started as hand-written letters, copied at the local post office, and sent out manually. About 15 years ago, we bought her an electric typewriter; her letters were perhaps longer after that, and of course typewritten, but otherwise unchanged.

It was probably 10 years ago that we pitched in and bought her first computer. She was horrified at the thought, and even called Larry in a panic: “They’ve bought me a computer, and they’re bringing it over, and I need you to make them stop!” Nevertheless, we set it up for her, and walked her through turning it on. We showed her how to point and click with a mouse, showed her how to use a word processor, and how to access the Internet with a browser. She remained unimpressed.

Then we showed her email.

We had no idea we were about to create a monster. We should have known by the way her breath quickened when she saw us adding email addresses to the “To:” line. She watched us change fonts, and then email backgrounds, her eyes narrowing. She sat down. We showed her how easy it was to reply to her emails, and how easily she could reply to ours. The look on her face grew sharp, and hungry. She wanted this.

The monster was born.

Ten years, three computers, two printers, and many thousands of emails later, we learned that the monster must be fed. If Grandma didn’t get twenty or thirty emails a day, she felt neglected. She forwarded emails like a fiend.  She kept track of who had sent her emails recently and who hadn’t.  Woe betide the grandson who neglected to email his grandmother, for his neglect should be broadcast to the entire family, and then some.

As to the letters: they were just the daily life of a woman who had seen 90 summers in her lifetime, and 90 winters; who had watched three generations grow up in her house; who had cooked more meals than I know how to count and fed more hungry descendants than I care to; who watched the husband she loved dearly for 75 years grow old alongside her. It was just life; but it was life.

Her Husband

Ruby’s world held nothing of greater worth than a skinny red-haired refugee from the Depression, fresh off the Salmon River, with an empty wallet and few prospects for filling it.  Since their first walk home, and their first kiss under a Montana sky, Ruby had eyes for little else in this world.  Most of you know that two weeks after she graduated from high school, Ruby and Elmer eloped – and that when they returned to Kalispell, they kept their marriage a secret for six months.  It is the stuff of family legend that Ruby’s mother began to suspect something amiss only when Elmer began coming down from Ruby’s bedroom for breakfast.

Ruby and her husband were inseparable.  One story of many will suffice. Until this week, I believe that the last time my grandparents spent a night apart was twelve years ago, in 1996.  I was moving up to Oregon from Southern California, and it seemed entirely natural to me to ask my blind 83-year old grandfather to come down and help me pack.  We left Los Angeles late, after many delays, and my grandfather kept me company as I drove the moving van through the night.  We arrived in Phoenix early the next morning, and were both exhausted as we drove up to their house, parked and climbed out.

As the eldest grandchild, I had grown used to my grandmother rushing out of the house to hug me whenever I came to visit, so I wasn’t surprised to see the door fly open and Ruby run down the driveway.  But this time she ran right past me and practically leaped into her husband’s waiting arms.  Only after some minutes of fussing over him did she manage a quick hug for me; and then immediately returned to Elmer’s arm, hardly to be shook off.  An eldest grandchild was a poor substitute for the husband she had missed so badly.

These stories are typical of their relationship: they loved each other passionately, unreasonably, completely.  The Great Depression, wars and rumors of wars, social revolutions and real ones, passed by in the outside world, leaving their love untouched.  Children were born, then grandchildren, and great-grandchildren; even age itself began to take its toll, but the strength of their love was renewed like the eagle’s.

Her Death

For the Christian, death will always have two faces.  It is true – it is blessedly true – that we rejoice, because Ruby is now with her Lord; and so long as the Lord tarries, the beatific vision which Ruby is now experiencing can be achieved in no other way than by walking the lonely valley of death.  But make no mistake: death is an enemy, and we fool ourselves if we think otherwise, or belittle its importance.  If death is not important, neither is birth.  Death rips us apart from the world which God made good, and in which God placed us.

And Ruby’s death was in this respect no exception.  My grandmother did not want to die.  “I never expected this,” I heard her say repeatedly during her final weeks.  “This is so sudden.”  Until three weeks ago, she had not seen a doctor for six years, and had never so much as taken an antibiotic.  Her perpetual good health made the sudden weakness that took her all the more alarming.  She worried about her dumpy, her house, the sudden flood of guests.  Ruby’s world was full of friends, family, and a husband whom she loved dearly, and it was not a world that she wished to leave behind.

Even so, even as her weakness grew and her own death grew more imminent, my grandmother revealed a grace that we had always suspected, and a sense of humor that we had not.  She kept us laughing through our tears as she retold old stories, and a few new ones.  She harangued her eldest great-grandchild into getting his hair cut.  She refused to put to rest the rumor that she had actually proposed to Elmer.  She revealed the existence of a stash of coffee she had long kept secret from my grandfather.

When her husband was being stubborn about something, she turned to him, wagged her finger, and said, “In a few days, you’ll be the boss, but for right now, it’s still me!”

At one point, as her illness dragged on, and her family refused to budge from her bedside, she said, “I can just imagine the headline on my obituary: ‘FINALLY’.”

My grandmother’s death came three weeks after her diagnosis, and it was a blessing; but after 91 years, it was too soon.  She died as she lived: much loved, surrounded by family, and fussing just a little.

Her New World

The whole world, as reflected in the single mind of Ruby Helen Lucille Smith, was as clear as daybreak, as simple as a stream, profound as the stars.  If you had looked through her eyes, you would have seen a world as broad as a lifetime of friendship, as narrow and focused as her family, and as plain as the ten acres of earth on which she and her husband built a lifetime together.  This is the world that Ruby Smith has cast off; but she cast it off in hope, with the faith that one day, when the world is made new, she will clothe herself with it anew: when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality.

In that reborn world, we know that God will wipe every tear from our eyes.  But that world is not this world, and in this world, our tears are appropriate.  So let us grieve for our loss; but Lord, do not let us grieve as those who have no hope.  “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God.  And the dead in Christ shall rise first; and then, we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Therefore, comfort one another with these words.”




FEBRUARY 9, 2008

This is the last day after a month that I will be at Dad’s house and at  Mother’s computer at . Larry will check it from time to time when he stops by but there will not be anybody here to  respond. I will be back at tonight if you want to respond.

Before I leave I wanted to send out Keith’s and Kenneth’s remarks from Mother’s memorial service yesterday to all of Mother’s address book. Kenneth then read a short paragraph by Dad that I have included. Dad handwrote this under this under his magnifier Saturday  morning. In this e-mail are Keith’s and Dad’ remarks. I will follow with  Kenneth’s.

It was an emotional day yesterday seeing our beloved mother in a casket and following the coach to Hillcrest Cemetery where she was  placed to rest in the mos. We had so much support from our family and friends that is was almost over whelming. So many pitched in to make it an easier day for us. Mother would be pleased. One of the last things she mentioned to me that with all the people coming by and calling and e-mailing, “Will there be a  lot of people at the church?” There were 150 people at Calvary Church…followed by a dinner…she should have been pleased. We had two wonderful pastors, Pastor Brian Steller and Pastor Bob Gass that came by to  visit Mom during the three weeks and helped put on a wonderful service. Our pastors, Pastor Kent and Pam Doehne drove all the way down from Longview to be with us at the service. It was so appreciated the people that put their lives on hold to be with us.

This e-mail will be going to people that were at the service yesterday so we want to thank you for coming, some from long distances.

As we sat in the chairs at the cemetery for the committal facing Mother’s casket, Dad said, “It cannot be any better than this, I am with my two boys and I am with my sweetheart“.

Thanks for all support, cards, letters and flowers over the past four weeks.

Lloyd and Helen Smith    Larry and Linda Smith


Grandson Keith Smith’s tribute: Read at his grandmother’s memorial

I’LL BE WAITING   February 9, 2009

A flowing dress. Hair combed just right. Lipstick applied quickly but perfectly. High heel shoes running through the gravel. And there she waits, at the end of the drive, expectantly for her Dear. Why wait in the house, I suppose the thinking goes, when one can be a few feet closer, a few moments sooner to seeing the  one she loves. Her husband. Her other half. Since the age of 16 she has been in one of two states; either by his side, or waiting to be by his side. And so was the scene every day of my Grandfather’s working life. Grandma always there, always helping, always waiting.

It has been more than three decades since this scene has been repeated, but oh what glorious decades they were. During which there was very little need for waiting because she rarely left his side. Doting. Caring. Loving. Always there.

As she lay in her bed, breathing the final breaths that God gave her on this earth she grasped his hand and whispered in his ear, “I’ll be waiting for you…by the gates.”

My Grandfather once told me that the best thing he ever did on this earth was to fall in love with my Grandmother. She was his helpmate, his lover and his perfect companion in every way. Yet now Grandpa is the one waiting. Waiting to once again be reunited with his other half. He told me that losing Grandma would rip him in half. And it did. But along with tragedy  something miraculous took place.  The moment she slipped her earthly bonds and went on to meet the Lord my Grandfather was washed over by the Holy  Spirit and this half-a-man again became whole. His eternal Savior has replaced his 75- year helpmate.

Nothing can fill the void this amazing woman left behind. She simultaneously played the role of wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother as well as many others – and did so effortlessly and nearly perfectly. But know that you are witnessing a miracle  in front of your very eyes. A man that was briefly ripped in two has been made whole, and that is a truly fitting legacy left behind by a truly amazing woman.


Dad’s final remarks read by grandson Kenneth:

Even though this has been by far the most heart-crushing experience I have ever had to go through, if it will help my loved ones to remember their promises that they will meet my darling and me in heaven, it will be worth any temporary pain that I have to endure. If my blessed Lord Jesus will get any glory from it all, I can only say, “Thank you Jesus.”

And though the best half of me has been taken away, I know that my Redeemer lives  and I will see my sweetheart again. She promised me that she would meet me at the gate and we would worship Him together.

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