by Lavonne 2021
posted by Gary Gauer Jan 30 2021
Written by LaVonne Bomsta Hookom with information from Lake Lillian “First 100 Years,’” 1905 Kandiyohi County History, Janelle Higdem, Farolyn Erickson Havir, Laurel Havir Porter, Arlan Johnson, Inger Giæver, newspaper clippings, church & census records. Records show her name spelled as Marith and Marit –son - Lars and Louis – husband -William and Wilhelm.
This story is about another of our Lake Lillian pioneer women who showed amazing strength, courage and perseverance in a new land. Marit was born September 7, 1836 in Breivik, Ullsfjord, Karlsøy, Norway. She married Guttorm Nilsen from the same area on October 14, 1855. They had one child, Lars Christian born in 1861, before they decided to immigrate to America. They were dissenters from the state church. They arrived in Chicago, Illinois, on July 6th, 1863. Her husband, Guttorm enrolled in the Army to serve during the Indian Uprising. He was enrolled on December 7, 1863 and mustered on December 24, 1863 while residing in Lake Prairie, Nicollet County, Minnesota. This indicates that they came from Chicago to Minnesota as a family and he and several other young men from north Norway enlisted. These young men who signed up to be a soldier were promised good homestead land choices. He was eventually stationed at Fort Rice in North Dakota where he died April 20, 1865, evidently from scurvy. He served in the Indian and Civil wars. Guttorm Nelson, PVT CO B 2nd Minnesota Calvary was buried at Custer National Cemetery, Crow Agency, Big Horn County, Montana. Plot: Sec A Site #208. (Fort Rice was established in 1864 by General Alfred Sully) Marit received a widow’s pension and Lars a minor’s pension as a death benefit after Guttorm died. He was one of the few men lost from his regiment.
While in St. Peter Marit joined the group of Norwegians who traveled with J.A.J. Bomsta and under his leadership many settled at Lake Lillian in 1864. This young woman and her little boy found land in Section 2, Lake Lillian Township near the south east shore of Kandiyohi Lake. Marit received her homestead choice as a war widow. She filed for homestead on September 4, 1866. She had family and friends from Karlsøy, Norway living close by. In the early years she would walk to Greenleaf Village for provisions. (Around 15 miles.) Somehow she and her little boy managed to keep her homestead.
In 1870 a young man from Norway, Wilhelm Lund arrived at Lake Lillian. He grew up at Hofsund, Gimsøy, Lofoten Islands. His father was a shoemaker. Wilhelm worked on fishing boats out of Tromsø.
My husband, Bob Hookom was asked to translate this document from Norwegian to English by Mona Nelson at the Historical Society. It was written prior to William Lund leaving the parish:
|Wilhelm Lund Hofsund here of the parish, who is planning to emigrate to North America, is known to me as a respectable and honorable young man and I can in every respect aspire for him the best testimonial and recommendation for every concerned person’s courtesy to him.|
|Gimsøy in Lofoten, 12 April 1870.|
|B. Olhen, Lensmann (Administrative Official for the area similar to a sheriff or bailiff)|
portion of lofoton map
Wilhelm Lund left Trondheim, Norway on April 21, 1870 and he must have gone directly to Minnesota. He worked for Marit Nelson on her farm and they were soon married on June 27, 1870 by Justice of Peace Andrew P. Quist, witnesses were Emil Hanson and Andrew Ellison (Anderson.) This was listed as the first marriage in Lake Lillian Township. (They might have known each other back in Norway being they were married so soon after his arrival.)
Lars Nelson also known as Louis, left home at an early age to go the the west coast or Canada and was never heard from again. This was a great sorrow for Marit and after he had not been heard from in 35 years she had to file a death report being he had been missing so many years in order to settle an estate matter.
After Wilhelm’s death and as she grew older and needed care, she lived with her son, Nels and wife Sofie. Nels and Sophie lived on the farm until the fall of 1938 when he could no longer do the work. Daughter, Marion and Franklin Erickson moved on the place and lived there until Clarence and Selma were married.
Today Marit’s homestead is known as a Century Farm occupied by her great grandson, Niles Lund.
The place is located at the west end of a mile long driveway starting from the intersection of county road #8 and 154th Ave SE and is about a half mile SE of Kandiyohi Lake.
Marit was alone with her son at the Lake Lillian homestead and she used to hide him under the floor boards when Indians would come on the property. She threw a chair or some other object to scare the Indians away. Marit was a pipe smoker and used to smoke on the way to church and this upset her family. This was when I first suspected Marit was of Sami heritage. My mother died young and had not passed this information on to me.
My memories are "visual." My Grandmother, Sophie Johnson Lund, and Grandfather, Nels, were very special to me, as were my Dad's parents, Annie and Ole Erickson. I do not ever remember missing my mom and dad when I stayed with either couple as a special "guest,” even at bedtime.
Grandma Lund had the feather stuffed mattress fluffed up especially for me. I remember the quilt that topped the bedding in the winter. Each piece in the quilt was made with squares and rectangles of wool from men's suits and overcoats edged with embroidered stitches. There were so many textures to run my fingers over. Even though the room was on second floor and Grandma and Grandpa's bedroom was on first floor, far from where I was sleeping, I felt so very safe and loved.
When my Grandma and Aunts, Gert and Lorraine and my mom canned food grown in the garden on the Lund farm, all the conversations were in Norwegian. They never spoke Norwegian at other times when I was in the house. It was like they were enjoying another time in their lives, they laughed and seemed so joy filled. Even though I was not able to understand any words, I never felt "alone," it was almost as if I, too, was in another "place in time."
Another fun memory was when my grandparents had company. One of their good friends and neighbor, James Hanson would ride over on his horse to visit Grandpa Nels. Grandma would pour coffee for them. I would sit with the two men and listen. They would pour a saucer full of coffee (with cream), blow in the saucer to make certain it was cool enough, coffee was always kept hot on the back of the stove, ready for guests or the men coming in for a coffee break, always with sandwiches and cake and cookies. I sat with my cup of coffee with cream in it and all the sugar lumps it took to finish my coffee. Grandma Lund had more than likely poured me some coffee in a cup, and I could soak "lump sugar", as long as my coffee lasted, sucking the coffee from the end of the "lump." Grandma never said, "That is enough, now!" I did not get hugs and kisses, but I knew she loved me!
I was there one time when I was maybe 8 years old, or younger. I sat with Grandpa Nels and James Hanson at the table, listening to every word, watched them pour some of their coffee from the cup in their saucer and drink from the saucer. James Hanson could recall every winter storm, its ferocity and cite the exact day it had occurred. He probably remembered many other occurrences in the same way. That day the conversation centered on snow storms. I know that the Lunds held the Hanson family in "high regard." I never heard the Lunds speak of anyone in any other way. Or, maybe, if they did, it was in Norwegian!!
Grandma Lund loved to run. She would run with Roger and I down the driveway just past the fence of the lawn. I think about her running, Janelle's girls running, our son Eric's running on the soccer field, Eric's daughter (age 10) her stride on the soccer field is just like Eric's, high and long.
We inherit so much from our ancestors. Sami! I treasure who I am.
After a residence I the county of nearly fifty years, William Lund passed to the Great Beyond last Sunday night at his home in Lake Lillian. Death came after a several months illness.
In the death of this old pioneer resident the community loses one of the best citizens, a man who was held in high esteem by all who knew him. Coming to America at the age of 22, he was among the early settlers who endured all of the hardships of a frontier life and who helped build up the community in which so long resided.
Deceased was a native of Gimsøy, Norway and was born at Bergen 71 years ago the 20th of last May. Besides the widow who survives him he will be missed from the family circle by a son and a daughter as follows: Nels J. who lives on the old family homestead, and Mrs. Elling Johnson of Minneapolis.
Funeral services were held yesterday from the home at 12 o’clock and from the Tromso Norwegian Lutheran church later. Rev. J.O. Hoyum preached the funeral sermon in the presence of the many old friends and neighbors who had come to pay their sad respects to the deceased. The internment was in the church cemetery.
Mrs. Marit Lund, one of the last of the first pioneers of Lake Lillian, passed away at her home on Tuesday evening, June 10. She was born in Brevikdalen, Tromsø, Norway, August 24, 1835, having attained the age of 88 years, 9 months and 16 days. She was baptized and confirmed in her local church in Norway. In 1853, she was married to Guttorm Neilson. One son was born to this union. The family left their native land and on July 4, 1863, arrived in Chicago. Here her husband enlisted in the Federal army to fight against the Indians. Her husband died in the army. She moved from Chicago and came to Lake Lillian in the fall of 1864 and has lived the rest of her life on her homestead in Lake Lillian.
She is survived by two children, Mr. Nels Lund and Mrs. Elling Johnson, fifteen grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
The funeral took place Friday the 13th at 1:00 o’clock at the house and 2:00 at the Lake Lillian Norwegian Lutheran church. The officiating clergyman was Rev. A.M. Arntzen and Olaf Oie also spoke at the church. Mrs. Harry Hawkins sang.
The pallbearers were Mr. A.H. Vick, Mr. James Hanson, Mr. Anton Larson, Mr. Hemming Nelson, Mr. Joseph Nielson and Elmer Johnson.
1900s Sofie and Nels Lund
Nels J. Lund was born April 5, 1871 to William and Marit Lund of Lake Lillian Township on the farm homesteaded by the couple.
On July 10, 1896, he was united in marriage to Sophie Johnson of Lake Elizabeth Township. They were members of Grace Lutheran Church in Lake Lillian. They farmed on his home place until 1938 when they moved to Willmar to live at 610 Ann Street. It the summer of 1954 they had been married 58 years.
Mr. Lund was active in community affairs before retiring from farming. He served as a member of the schoolboard of District 43 at several different times, being treasurer for 25 years. He was also a member of the Lake Lillian Farmers Elevator Board when it was organized.
Mr. Lund died from pneumonia on Tuesday, November 16, 1954 at 8:10 a.m. at the Rice Memorial hospital at the age of 83 years, 7 months and 11 days.
He leaves to mourn his death his wife; one son, Clarence Lund of Lake Lillian; two daughters, Lorraine (Mrs. Sherman Kerr) of Bemidji, and Gertrude Lund of Minneapolis: one sister, Mrs. Elling Johnson of Willmar;
nine grandchildren, Roger, Farolyn, Orin, Mary Ann and Allan Erickson, James and Gerald Kerr, Niles and Janelle Lund; 3 nephews and 6 nieces.
He was preceded in death by one son, Harry, three daughters, Irene, Elvina and Marion (Mrs. Franklin Erickson); and one grandson, Laurel Erickson.
Funeral services were held Friday afternoon, November 19, at 2 p.m. in Grace Lutheran Church, Lake Lillian, with the Rev. Joseph Melby officiating. Burial was in the Tromso Memorial Cemetery.
Vocal selections were rendered by Mrs. Ralph Stanford, Mrs. Glen Boll and Mrs. Burton Flann. The organist was Mrs. Oliver Riedel.
Serving as pallbearers were Henning Bomsta, August Carlson, John Larson, James Hanson, Maurice Nelson, and Nels Nelson.
Relatives and friends attending from a distance were Kenneth Elling, Martin Olson, Minneapolis; Dr. Martin Quanbeck, Lucy Bergman, and LaVonne Peterson, Augsburg College, Minneapolis; Edward Flann, Hutchinson; Mrs. Marvin Sletten, Darwin; Mrs. Earl Pagel, Diamond Lake; Mrs. Elling Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. Ray Iverson, Mr. and Mrs. Guy Nielson, Rolland Nielson, Marcus Elling and a number of other friends from Willmar
Mrs. Sophie Lund was born July 24, 1877 to Hans and Solveig Johnson in Lake Elizabeth Township. She was educated in the rural school of Lake Elizabeth. On July 10, 1896 she was united in marriage to Nels J. Lund of Lake Lillian where they farmed until 1938 when they moved to Willmar. At the time of her husband’s death in 1954, they had been married 58 years. In 1955 Mrs. Lund moved to Minneapolis to make her home with her daughter, Gertrude.
Mrs. Lund was active in church affairs, being secretary of the Ladies Aid of Grace Lutheran Church for 25 years; and in Willmar she was a member of a circle of the Calvary Lutheran Church. Church membership, however, was maintained at Lake Lillian.
On Thursday evening, December 20, at 11:05 p.m., Mrs. Lund passed away at the Deaconess Hospital in Minneapolis at the age of 85 years, 4 months and 26 days.
She leaves to mourn her death: one son, Clarence A. of Lake Lillian; two daughters, Lorraine (Mrs. James Kerr) of Bemidji and Gertrude of Minneapolis; nine grandchildren, Roger, Faralyn (Mrs. Darrell Havir), Orin, Mary Ann (Mrs. Robert Lockwood) and Allan Erickson; James and Gerald Kerr; Niles and Janelle Lund; 3 nephews, 6 nieces, and 13 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband; one son, Harry; three daughters, Alvina, Marion and Irene; one grandson’ and five sisters.
Funeral services were held Sunday afternoon, December 20, at 2 p.m. in Grace Lutheran Church, Lake Lillian, with Pastor M.A. Thompson officiating. Burial was in the Tromso Memorial Cemetery. Vocal selections were rendered by a trio; Mrs. Glenn Boll, Mrs. Burton Flann and Mrs. M.A. Thompson; and a solo by W.A. Helland. The organist was Mrs. Art Klevos.
Serving as pallbearers were Wilton Bomsta, Russell Hanson, Andrew Larson, Maurice Nelson, Harry Nordin and Lester Swenson.
Relatives and friends attending from a distance were; Kenneth Elling, Darrell Havir, Orin Erickson, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Lockwood, Mr. and Mrs. Ludwig Ask, and Gordon Ask, all of Minneapolis; Cpl. Allen Erickson of Ft. Carson, Colorado; Mr. and Mrs. Earl Pagel, Diamond Lake; Mr. and Mrs. Ray Iverson, Kerkhoven; Mearl Nielson, Atwater; Mr. and Mrs. Marcus Elling, Mr. and Mrs. Everett Anderson, Mrs. Guy Nielson, Mrs. L.J. Duke, Mr. and Mrs. A. Brede, and Mrs. M. Scott, all from Willmar.
Photos are of Sophie’s father and sisters.
Hans Abraham Johnson one of the old and well-known resident of the town of Lake Elizabeth passed away at his home in that township on Thursday March 26, 1914 at 10:30 p.m. The end came very suddenly and the news of his death came as a great surprise to the community. Although he had not been in good health the past year, he however was able to be up and around and this was his condition even on the day of his death. He had been ailing for some time with heart trouble.
Deceased was born in Tromso, Norway, December 26, 1840. Coming to this country in 1867 he located at St. Peter and later moved to Kandiyohi County, where the family have now made their home for the past 45 years, so deceased was one on the pioneer residents of the community where he passed away. His wife preceded him in death about 19 years ago. He is survived by the following daughters: Mrs. Mathias Johnson, Fahlun; Mrs. N.J. Lund, Lake Lillian; Hannah and Christine, Minneapolis, and Ella who resides in the family home.
The funeral was held last Monday afternoon. Following a brief service at the home the remains were taken to the Tromso Lutheran Free church where many old neighbors and friend paid their last sad respects to the deceased. The service, which was held at 2:30 o’clock, was conducted by Rev. J.O. Hoyum, and the burial took place in the church cemetery.