Sedevart and Sarah Nelson Family

2019 By LaVonne Bomsta Hookom

February 2019 posted here by Gary Gauer

April 2019 added photos

Sedevart was born on March 28, 1833 to Niels Eliassen and Solvie Hansdatter on a farm at Storsteinnes, Balsfjord, Troms, Norway. He was baptized and confirmed at the church in Tromsø. The people out in Balsfjord needed to travel to Tromsø to get married, baptize their children and for funeral services. They traveled by boat on the fjords to Tromsø.

The Balsfjord Church was finally built out in their neighborhood at Tennes about the same time many people started following the teachings of Johan Andreas Bomstad and left the state church of Norway. Sedevart was one of the first to dissent from the Balsfjord Church in 1856. Sedevart, age 30 was also among the first group traveling with J.A. J. Bomstad to America in 1862 aboard the Sleipner arriving in Chicago, Illinois.

They purchased provisions, gear, carts and oxen. Many are said to have traveled the ridge northward, then to head west to find land to settle on. The party of immigrants arrived during the Civil War and just as the Sioux Uprising flared up, and they could go only as far as the Norwegian camp at St. Peter, Minnesota. They remained there for close to two years. He became impatient with the long stay at the fort in St. Peter and started walking northwest looking for a piece of land. He was stopped by soldiers who were patrolling the area and was told to go back to St. Peter because of the danger of the Native Americans. On his return he met up with Lars Olson another impatient Balsfjord immigrant out on the prairie. Earlier that year, Lars Olson had a narrow escape from the Indians near St. Peter. The horse that he was riding was hit in the neck by an arrow.

With no place to go, some of the young men in the party enlisted in the military service of their new country in the fall of 1863. Soldiers were needed for the end of the Civil War and the Indian Uprising. They served in the Second Regiment Minnesota Cavalry, Company “B.” Two sons of J.A.J. enlisted, Henrick Johanson Bomstad and John Adolph Johanson Bomstad. His brother, Albert Johannesson Bomstad enlisted, also. Elias Anderson’s son Andrew Eliason Anderson was with them as they went into the Lake Lillian area on some of their patrols. These young men were struck by the beauty of the area and on returning to St. Peter, gave glowing reports of what they considered an ideal location for a future home to the leader of the group, J.A.J. Bomstad. When the frontier was reopened J.A.J. lost no time before investigating. Mounting his little gray mare, and with a gun on his shoulder, he started alone across a wild country, finally reached Lake Lillian in May of 1864 and found it to be everything the boys had represented. He decided to locate here at once. As impressed with what he saw as the young scouts had been, he returned to St.Peter to bring his entire party to the Lake Lillian area in Kandiyohi County, Minnesota.

Several families arrived at Lake Lillian

on June 3, 1864: They were Rev. J.A.J. Bomsta, Elias Anderson, Sedevart Nelson, Mrs. Marit Nielsen (a war widow), and John Vick. A few of the families who came

in the next four years: were: Iver Aspaas, Gustav Bjornberg, Peter Felt, Hans Hanson Gaard, John Gabrielson, Nick Gabrielson, Emil Hanson Sr., Erick Hogmo, Elias Johnson, John Klint, Erick J. Larson, Ris Lars Larson, Erick Livin, Ole A. Larson, Hans A. Johnson, Andrew Haakensen, Erick Westling, Nels Nelson, Andrew Quist, Thomas Signal and Erick Wicklund

Some family members believe Sedevart came to Lake Lillian in 1862 and remained there however other sources provide different information. (Lake Lillian-First 100 Years states this version of when Sedevart came to Lake Lillian). Sedevart Nelson walked from St. Peter in the fall of 1862 and started a dugout on the East Shore of Big Kandiyohi Lake. He was discovered by the soldiers who patrolled this area and was told to leave because of the dangers of the Indians. Lars Olson had ridden horseback to this area the same fall, and on the way back met Sedevart Nelson somewhere out on the prairie. Obituary states - Sedevart Nelson was born in Balsfjord, Tromso Amt. Norway, March 28, 1833, thus being 74 years 6 months and 7 days of age at the time of his death. He emigrated to America in 1862 and settled at St. Peter, Minn. Two years later he came to Fahlun, where he has lived ever since. He was one of the earliest settlers of this town.

Sedevart settled in Section 35, Fahlun Township in the Lake Lillian area.

He filed Homestead papers, September 28, 1864. Most of the early settlers lived in a dugout until they were able to build a log cabin. Before the Lake Lillian community had regular stores, a few of the pioneers, Sedevart Nelson, Andrew E. Anderson and L. P. Owre would have a small supply of salt, sugar and molasses to sell to their neighbors. They would often walk all the way to St. Peter to get their supplies and carry them back. He served as president of the Farm Alliance group. He crocheted bed spreads, probably from his knowledge of making fish nets. He would pick berries out in the berry patch and sleep in a shack there.

Sedevart married Sarah Hanson,

a widow with six children on October 18, 1866. Sarah’s husband, Jens Wilhelm Hanson drowned in the Mississippi River near Prescott, Wisconsin where the group of immigrants from Karlsøy, Norway was traveling aboard a small steamboat when it ran aground on a sandbar. The weather was hot and being dressed in homespun woolen clothing, Jens W. Hanson waded into the shallow water to cool off while the crew was trying to dislodge the boat. The sand was loose and treacherous and he was suddenly swept away, never to be seen again. Sarah gave birth to her sixth child a couple of days later. She gathered up her children and continued with the group to St. Peter, Minnesota and eventually to Lake Lillian. A brother of Jens, Hans Hansen and his family accompanied her on the journey. She showed amazing strength and courage to do this. Sarah had a cousin, Magdalena Fredrickson Hansen who had settled in Fahlun Township earlier. Sedevart and Sarah lived across the road from their son Ninus. Ninus and his wife, Augusta took care of them in their old age.

Sarah was born June 11, 1827

on the farm Sjursnes, Ullsfjord to Nils Johannesen and his wife Maren Marie Olsdatter. She was baptized at the Karlsøy Church, Troms, Norway. Sarah’s mother and Magdalena Fredrickson Hanson’s mother were sisters. They descend from Sami folk. She married Jens Wilhelm Hansen on November 3, 1851.


Caroline born 1853, Jens Nicolai born 1856, Simon Peder born 1857, Morten Jeremias born 1859, Christina born 1861 all born in Norway. James W. born shortly after his father drowned in the Mississippi River in 1864 aboard the steamboat.

Four more children were born.

Sena 1867-1905 – married to Paul Fredrickson

Ninus 1867-1938 – married to Augusta Mattson

Marie 1869 - married to Swan Anderson

Hemming 1872-1965 – married to Emma Hawkinson on November 30, 1892.

Most of the Nelson children and the youngest Hanson son, James W. remained around Lake Lillian.

Sedevart Nelson Sarah Hanson Nelson

Fahlun Pioneer Dead –Willmar Republican Gazette – October 10, 1907

Sedevart Nelson, aged 74, a highly respected pioneer resident of the town of Fahlun and well known through the southern part of the county, died at the home of his son, Ninus Nelson, in Fahlun, last Friday night. A widow and three grown-up children survive. The funeral was held from the East Lake Lillian Methodist church Monday


Honored Member of Early Tromso Colony at Lake Lillian Gone to His Reward.

Fahlun, Oct. 8—Last Saturday morning, Oct. 5, at two o’clock at the home of his son, Ninus Nelson, occurred the death of Sedevart Nelson, an old and respected citizen of the town of Fahlun. Death was due to cerebral hemorrhage and old age.

Sedevart Nelson was born in Balsfjord, Tromso Amt. Norway, March 28, 1933, thus being 74 years 6 months and 7 days of age at the time of his death. He emigrated to America in 1862 and settled at St. Peter, Minn. Two years later he came to Fahlun, where he has lived ever since. He was one of the earliest settlers of this town.

He was united in marriage in 1866, to Mrs. Sarah Hanson, who survives him. Four children were born to them, namely, Hemming S. of Atwater, Ninus E. of Fahlun, Mrs. Sena Frederickson of Harrison who died two years ago, and Mrs. Swan Anderson of Hackensack, Minn. Besides these he leaves five step-children and other relatives.

Mr. Nelson was a man of Christian principles, a kind neighbor, and was respected by all, who were acquainted with him. The surviving members of the family have the sympathy of all in their bereavement.

The funeral occurred on Monday at the Lake Lillian Methodist church of which the deceased was a devout member. The funeral sermon was delivered by Rev. B. Oakland. The internment took place in the cemetery by the church. The pallbearers were Ole A. Larson, John S. Anderson, Mathias Mathiason, William Lund, Hans P. Hanson and Asle Halvorson.

  1. Obituary Atwater Herald – June 14, 1912

Mrs. Sarah H. Nelson

One of the pioneer women of this county passed away on Friday, June 7, when Mrs. Sarah Helena Nelson died at the home of her son, Ninus E. Nelson, in the town of Fahlun, having been a resident of the part of the county formerly known as the Lake Lillian country since 1866.

Death came peacefully and was due to old age, deceased lacking only five days of being 85 years old. As she had lived, so she died—a true Christian woman.

Mrs. Sarah Helena Nelson was born in Sjursnes, Norway, June 12, 1827, where she resided until her marriage to James Hanson, her first husband. The couple moved to Lyngen, Norway living there about twelve years. They came to America in 1864, and while coming up the Mississippi river to make their home in Minnesota. Mr. Hanson was drowned. The family arrived in St. Peter in July, 1864, living there nearly two years, when they moved to Fahlun, Kandiyohi County. In the fall of 1866 the widow was married to Sedevart Nelson, who had a homestead in that township, being one of the very first settlers of that part of the territory. Mr. Nelson passed away only a few years ago.

Six children were born to the first union –John and Simon Hanson, now deceased. Mrs. Henry Martin, Harrison, Martin J. Hanson, Belle Plain, Mrs. C.H. Michaelson, Appleton, and James W. Hanson, Lake Lillian. The children by her second husband are Mrs. Sena (Paul) Fredrickson, now deceased, Hemming S. Nelson, Lake Elizabeth, Ninus E. Nelson, Fahlun, and Mrs. Swan Anderson, Akeley. Besides the surviving children deceased is survived by 59 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.

The funeral was held on Monday afternoon at 1 o’clock from the Ninus Nelson residence, where the deceased had make her home for the past 20 years. The remains were taken to the Norwegian Methodist Church in the town of East Lake Lillian for burial in that cemetery beside the remains of her second husband. The funeral sermon was preached by the pastor, Rev. A. Gulbransen, who conducted the last sad rites in the presence of a large number of sorrowing relatives and friends. The floral tributes were numerous and beautiful. All of the surviving children were present at the funeral.

Sedevart and Sarah are buried at the Methodist Cemetery now called East Lake Lillian Cemetery.

Sedevart was the youngest brother of Kirsten married to Hans Henrick Johnson. Kirsten and her family came to America in 1867 and they joined Sedevart at Lake Lillian. He was an uncle to their daughters, Nicolina married to Ole Andreas Larsen, Anna Johanna married to Andrew Anderson and Solvie married to Hans Andreas Johnson who lived near Lake Lillian.

Sena Nelson Fredrickson

Paul, Sena and William Fredrickson

*note that the photo below was cropped from the above family photo

Willmar Tribune – 12 April, 1905

A Sad Death

Last Friday (April 7), in the township of Irving, occurred the death of (Sena) Mrs. P. W. Fredrickson, at the age of 37 years. Death was due to blood poisoning brought about thru the effects of childbirth. Deceased was sick only a few days, but in spite of the best efforts on the part of the attending physician she rapidly failed and she met the cruel reaper. Death came and removed her from the midst of her loved ones.

The funeral took place on Sunday afternoon. Short services were held at the house, after which the funeral sermon was preached at the Harrison Presbyterian Church, Rev. Drysdale of New London officiating. The interment was made in Oakside Cemetery. Among those who attended the funeral were the parents of the deceased (Sedevart and Sarah Nelson), of the town of Fahlun, her brothers Simon Hanson of Renville, N.E. Nelson, James Hanson of Lake Lillian, Hemming S. Nelson of Atwater, and a sister Mrs. Henry Martin of Harrison and brother-in-law, Prof. W.D. Fredrickson of this city. (Willmar)

It is always a sad duty to record a death and especially in a case of this kind where death occurs under most distressing circumstances. Mrs. Fredrickson was the mother of eight children, the oldest of which is 18 years and the youngest only about three weeks. May God in his infinite mercy and goodness grant them and the sorrowing husband strength to bear their affliction and the courage to say, “God’s Will, not ours, be Done.”

Ninus Nelson Family

Ninus and Augusta Nelson Family

BR-LR – Martin, Ninus, Florence, Irving, Augusta and Gladys

FR-LR – Emma, Johnny and Alice

Ninus Nelson Family; Johnny, Alice, Florence, unknown woman, Gladys, Newell, Emma, Augusta

Martin and Gladys Nelson

Willmar Tribune – February 14, 1938


Ninus E. Nelson Served for Many Years on Town Board

Funeral services for the late Ninus E. Nelson were held February 10 at the East Lake Lillian M.E. Church. Rev. Paulson and Rev. E.E. Krogstad conducting the rites. A duet “In the Morning” was sung by Rev. and Mrs. Krogstad. Mrs. Alfred Anderson sang a solo and Rev. and Mrs. Paulson sang “Meet Me There.” Burial was in the church cemetery. Pallbearers were August Carlson, Henning Bomsta, Emil Hanson, Hilmer Swenson, Andreas Peterson and Alfred Anderson.

Ninus E. Nelson was born on August 18, 1867, in Fahlun Township and there he spent practically his entire life. His youth was spent on his father’s farm in Fahlun and he attended the common school. He farmed on the home place until 1927, and then spent two winters with his son, Martin in California. The last eight years he had spent with his daughter, Mrs. Gerald Bomstad near Kandiyohi Lake. He served for 30 years as a member of the town board of Fahlun and he held various offices of trust in his church.

In 1892 he was married to Augusta Mattson in Willmar. Mrs. Nelson passing away January 31, 1919.

The following children survive: Irving, Florence (Mrs. Floyd Summerlet), Virgil, Gladys (Mrs. Gerald Bomstad) all of Lake Lillian, John and Alice (Mrs. Leo Baker) of Willmar; Martin of Los Angeles, California, and Emma (Mrs. Gerald Hill) of Hancock, Michigan. A son, Newell, died in infancy. All of the children, except the son Martin were in attendance at the funeral. Brothers and sisters who survive are Mrs. Carrie (Henry) Martin of Spicer; Mrs. Christine Mickelson of Minneapolis; Mrs. Mary (Swan) Anderson of St. Paul; Hemming S. Nelson (Emma) of Duluth and James Hanson (Ida) of Lake Lillian.

Mr. Nelson passed away at a hospital in Willmar on February 7 following an illness of several weeks.

Hemming and Emma Nelson Family

The First 100 Years – page 23 - Hemming S. Nelson told about a time back in 1883, he and Hans Larson sailed from Big Kandiyohi Lake to Willmar. They tied their boat to the pasture fence on the Glarum farm. There was only one place where they had to drag their boat across, which was the road by the southeast shore of Lake Wagonga. (Name has been changed back to the original Lake Wakanda)

Nels Lund and Hemming Nelson

Emma Christine Hawkinson Nelson married Hemming Syvert Nelson on November 30, 1892

BR-LR – Roy, Helen, Sylvia, wife of Ernest and Ernest

FR-LR- Emma, Maurice and Hemming

Emma Christine Hawkinson Nelson

20 April 1873–7 July 1958

Hemming S. Nelson

Notes written by Clarence Lund, the Master of Ceremonies for

Hemming Nelson’s 90th Birthday Celebration --1962

Transcribed by LaVonne Bomsta Hookom

Devotions and Prayer by Wellington Nelson. (Son of Ernest and Sylvia)

This afternoon we are honoring our good friend Hemming S. Nelson, one of our outstanding personalities of this community. During his nearly 90 years he has spent a very active and useful life. It has been said, “The world is blessed most by men who do things, and not by those who merely talk about them.” Hemming has had an unusual career, a pioneer son, cattle herder, hunter, fur buyer, cattle buyer, machinery sales, hardware business, grain dealer, ditcher, civic and community leader, politician, farm leader, cooperative builder and a thrifty farmer.

At the age of 9 or 11, he worked for a cattle buyer, cattle herder who drove his cattle to the Dakotas. As a young lad he loved to hunt. He and a neighbor friend would do commercial hunting for the Eastern Markets. From this he drifted to fur buying and later cattle buying.

It seems like Hemming always started early in life in more than one thing. At 17 years, he was a partner in the first steam engine in their neighborhood. The partners were all young men under 21 years. For security to buy the threshing outfit they mortgaged all their ponies. Rumor has it that some of the boys mortgaged their dad’s horses. The first year none of their neighbors dared to have them thresh. Wilhelm Lund and Sedevart Nelson were the only two and they probably were more or less forced to do so. However, they moved south to the brave Dal people of Lake Lillian Township who were not afraid of these young Norwegians boys and let them thresh their grain for many seasons. I have heard that the boys and the Dal folks got along very nicely. (Dal – means valley people.)

At age 19, he started farming in Lake Elizabeth Township. The following year he was elected to his first public office as supervisor of the Township. Later he held positions as treasurer and director of old school District #43. As a patron of the Lake Elizabeth Cooperative Creamery he soon became a member on the board and served for a time as its president.

About 1910, he operated a farmer’s hardware store in Atwater and had the first machinery business in Lake Lillian. He was along to build the first farmers elevator at Atwater. He served on the board and for a time its president. He was the president for many years of the Kandiyohi Telephone Co., (a cooperative.) He was active in helping the First District Land O Lakes get started. He was an incorporator and director of the large and successful elevator at Lake Lillian.

In the Lake Lillian community or area we should be thankful to Mr. Nelson for the drainage system. He did not give up the fight, and year after year he led the fight and carried the brunt of many court trials to have the Judicial Ditch No. 1 established. This training, no doubt helped to make him a leader in Farm organization. He helped to establish the Farmers Union and served as an early Vice President of that organization.

One who was close to Hemming during those early days and worked together in so many ways found it possible to be here and will now give a greeting.

The Honorable Nels Pederson of Milan.

During the hectic days of the early 30s the economic conditions gave rise to the Mighty Farm Holiday movement and here again we find our honored guest a leader for the welfare of his farmer friends. He served as Vice President of the organization. The President of the Farm Holiday was also a local man and he is here to probably relate some of their experiences. We all know John Bosch.

Mr. Bosch.

Politics is another field where he gave his talents of leadership. He helped to organize the Non Partisan League movement throughout Minnesota. This movement developed into the Farmer Labor Party. He has continued to take an active interest in government whether it is local, state or national.

Representing the movement locally today we wish to call on George Hulstrand of Willmar Chairman of the County DFL Party.

Mr. Hulstrand.

Mr. Nelson was elected to the state legislature in 1922 and served with distinction for 4 terms. During his time a young man from Grant County was a member of the legislature and has been there continuously ever since. He is truly a veteran law maker, who knows all the angles of the workings of the legislature. We are happy that this distinguished person could be here. It gives me great pleasure to introduce to you the

Honorable Carl Iverson

Like all good cooperatives they know they must go beyond the local level to accomplish their end. Hemming was no different and so we find him as a leader in forming the mighty Farmers Union Central Exchange. He was one of the incorporators and first board member. This was a venture of hope and vision. From a few hundred dollars of business to several millions shows the foresight that these men had. We are fortunate to have a representative from the Farmers Union Central Exchange.

Norman Tallakson

Other activities that can be mentioned are promoter of the Willmar Tribune Building Association; President and member of the Kandiyohi Old Settler Association; Minnesota Western Railway. This spring he was along to help preserve a historic log cabin for future generations to see how the early settlers lived.

Agriculture has been Mr. Nelsons chief interest and knowledge of grain his specialty. Being connected with Farmers Elevators and also a partner in the Atwater Grain Co., and his knowledge of grain led Gov. Floyd B. Olson to appoint him to the Duluth Board of Grain appeals where he served for many years as member and chairman.

It is with pleasure that it has been possible for one of our courageous governors of the past to be here today. It is with great joy to call on former Governor Elmer A. Benson for a short greeting

With all these many activities that Hemming has taken part in he really must have been in a continual race. I have to relate another type of race he took a leading part. When the Methodist parsonage was to be moved from the west side of Lake Lillian across the lake to its present location, the house was loaded on two sets of bob sleighs. Hemming was driving one team and Ben Johnson the other. Andrew Anderson came along and always enjoyed some fun challenged them in a race across the lake. You can imagine the house going across the lake at top speed. Who won the race we are not able to find out.

Another time he and the late Summer Glader of Atwater were out in North Dakota to buy cattle. They were out in a large pasture when a number of large steers came dashing toward them. They were out in the open so there was no place to go for safety. Hemming decided the only thing to do to prevent from being run over was to make the steers turn. With lots of action and noise they were able to do so. However they decided they better get out when going is good. They hurried toward a river and had barely gotten there when they heard a thundering noise and in the distance they could see the heavy could of dust! This time a race for life and luckily a cottonwood tree was there to climb to safety as the thundering herd of hundreds passed on below.

I would like to call on Alfred Larson who served in the Legislature from Swift County at the same time to bring a greeting.

Read Telegrams -----------------Darlene Nelson (Rohne) (daughter of Roy and Olga Nelson)

Harris Johnson and others who may like to bring a greeting.

It would seem that one who has taken such active part from early boyhood to old age hasn’t had much time for good wholesome fun. But we find that in all the mischievous escapades of youth, and must add; later in life Hemming was there present. Being a big man he had lots of strength. It came in handy to settle fights and get into ones. We shall tell about one. It seems that he and a friend had been in Atwater and from there they found their way to Kandiyohi Village. While Hemming was doing his shopping his friend had gone over to the hall where a party and dance was going on. When Hemming was ready to go home he couldn’t find his partner and so he went over to the hall to see if he was there. He was there alright having an argument with the men at the party. He advised him to leave because he had no business there. Just then someone from behind hit over the face with a sharp article. In a movement the raccoon coat was off and a big fight going. One after the other was knocked down and it wasn’t long before there was no one left in the hall. His friend had disappeared and later found him under the platform at the depot.

We have purposely left our next speaker to the last. He has been around here a long time and probably knows all the good and otherwise, better than anyone. He belongs to a later generation but the Bomstas came around early so we call on Henning Bomsta for a few remarks

We conclude with the words of Oliver Wendell Holmes who said, “To be ninety years young is sometimes far more cheerful and hopeful than to be forty years old.

A song by two granddaughters – Darlene Nelson (Rohne) (daughter of Roy and Olga Nelson) and Kathryn Linn (Clark) (daughter of Helen and Kermit Linn)

Table Prayer

Late Hemming Nelson Was Early, Long time Rural Area Builder (1965)

Funeral services for Hemming S. Nelson, lifelong resident of the Lake Lillian area, were conducted Saturday, May 22 at 1:30 p.m. at the Lake Lillian Methodist church with Pastors Gerald Domonoske of Cosmos and Glen Bettenhausen of Willmar officiating. Mr. Nelson died May 17 at the Rice Hospital in Willmar at the age of 93.

Special music included duets sung by Lester and Vernon Lundquist and Mrs. Glen boll and Mrs. Kenneth Yarmon. Mrs. Stancie Swenson was the organist.

Honorary pallbearers were Clarence Lund, James Hanson, Milton Oslund, John Larson, Nels Nelson and Henning Bomsta with active pallbearers being Wellington Nelson, Evan Rohne, David Dick, George Clarke, LeRoy Vangen and Delphin Linn. Burial was at the Lake Lillian Methodist Cemetery.

Hemming S. Nelson was born March 6, 1872 in Fahlun Township where he grew to manhood’s estate. On November 30, 1892 he was united in marriage to Emma Hokanson of the Tripolis community who has since preceded him in death as have all of his brothers and sisters.

Surviving are his four children, Mrs. Kermit Linn (Helen), Ernest of New London, Roy of Svea, Maurice of Willmar, and a foster son, LeRoy Vangen of Loretto, who was reared by the Nelsons. There are also 8 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren.

A former member of the State legislature, Mr. Nelson represented Kandiyohi County from 1921 to 1929. He also served for several years on the Board of Grain Appeal in Duluth. A farmer in the Lake Elizabeth area for several years, he served on the Town Board of Lake Elizabeth, on the Creamery Board of Lake Elizabeth and as a member of Dist. 43 School Board. For a number of years he was an implement dealer in Lake Lillian where he served on the board of the Lake Lillian Elevator.

Tribute to Nelson (Attached to his obituary)

Being that Hemming Nelson played such a major role in the rural affairs of Kandiyohi County he is worthy of the following tribute written by Mr. Clarence A. Lund of Lake Lillian.

Sunday, May 30, was Memorial Day, a special day for us to pay our respect to our many friends and loved ones who have passed on. In a special way a flag was placed at the veteran’s grave of past wars.

Only a few short days before, we paid our last tribute to a valiant citizen of our community, Hemming S. Nelson. In his passing at more than 93 years, the last link between the first settlement of our community and the present is no more. For nearly ten decades he observed the happenings and growth of our community and the nation. He had an unusually keen memory, so what he observed or heard he always retained. Hemming was a self-made man, one of courage, conviction and determination. He was an individualist and one that could not be easily swayed. What he believed in, you would have to have sound logical reason to alter his ideas.

Mr. Nelson was a man of varied interest and activities. Before he was twenty, he was part owner of a threshing machine. At twenty he started farming on his own. He held many local positions, supervisor of Lake Elizabeth township, director and president of Lake Elizabeth creamery, member of the school board of old Dist. 43. He was one of the incorporators of the Lake Lillian elevator Farmers Union Central Exchange, South St. Paul and Farmers Union Oil Company, Willmar. Also, he helped promote Land O’Lakes Creameries.

In farm organizations he served as one of the first vice presidents of Minnesota Farmers Union and during the depression years of the early thirties organized the Farm Holiday movement, and he was its first vice president of Minnesota. Mr. Nelson served in the Minnesota state legislature for four terms, 1921-1929. For a number of years he was a member of Duluth Grain Board of Appeals.

Even with the long life on ninety some years, besides the above mentioned activities, which would be more than enough for the average person, he found time to be an implement dealer, cattle buyer, fur buyer and no doubt a few more.

It has been my good fortune to have had the rare privilege from early boyhood, until the day before his passing, to listen to his experiences in life. The many humorous and rugged events that he has taken part in and observed has been very entertaining and enlightening.

In Hemming’s passing it is like the great oak in the forest when it fell, it left a vacant place.

Clarence A. Lund

Information from Balsfjord/Malangen History, Tromso Parish book, Balsfjord Parish Book, Lake Lillian - The First 100 Years, 1905 Kandiyohi County History, Kandiyohi County Historical Society, newspaper clippings, Inger Giæver, Linda Bomstad Fortin and Jack Huisinga, and Clarence Lund’s Scrapbook shared by Janelle Higdem and scanned by Laurel Porter.

Jack Huisinga at the Sleipner Plaque in Bergen, Norway - 2014

Jack Huisinga at the Sleipner Plaque on the State Street Bridge, Chicago, Illinois.