From Siljord, Norway

to Glendorado, Minnesota


From Siljord, Norway to Glendorado, Minnesota, by Lillian Aleckson Nelson

Chapter III

Glendorado names that are mentioned in this transcription include: A'Bear, Abrahamson, Almlie, Anderson, Bornholt, Carlson, Elveru, Engebretson, Fingbogson, Fohrman, Ford, Gilbertson, Halvorson, Hanson, Herbert, Hermanson, Indrehus, Johnson, Kittleson, Kruger, Larson, Lawson, Michaelson, Nelson, Rathbun, Rovang, Scherer, Severson, Shirkey, Spangrud, Stay, and Thompson.

Glendorado

I lived in Glendorado Township in Benton County. Foley is the county seat and also the nearest town; but because Foley is located ten miles from our home and because nearly all necessities could be purchased at the General Store in Glendorado, we seldom went to Foley.

The general store and the creamery were the centers of community activities. I will start by explaining what I mean by community activities.

Nearly every family received a big part of its income from dairy cattle. It was what one might call a "sow, cow, hen” or mixed farming practice. Each farm has some cows, pigs, and chickens.

In most cases the milk was separated (with a cream separator) into milk and cream. The milk was used to feed the calves, pigs, chickens or other livestock; and the cream was hauled in cans to the creamery. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday were cream days. On these days, some farmers — especially those nearby — hauled the cream to the creamery. Other farmers preferred to have the cream picked up by a cream hauler, who had a big truck with a covered box.

Tuesdays and Thursdays were churning days. The Glendorado Creamery was a farmers' cooperative creamery affiliated with the Land'O'Lakes Cooperative. On churning days, the buttermaker churned, blocked, and wrapped butter. Our creamery never made cheese; however, patrons were able to purchase butter, cheese, flour, salt, and feed at the creamery. These commodities were available to other people, also.

The cream hauler delivered the cream to the creamery and picked up patron's purchases; then went to the general store. If any of the patrons had a grocery order, he would call the store and place the order. It would then be delivered by the cream hauler when he returned the empty cans from the creamery.

Near the creamery was the creamery house, a residence owned by the cooperative and made available to the buttermaker and his family. They rented the house for a fair rental charge, which was then used to maintain the dwelling. The first "buttermaker family" I remember was the Wayne Lawsons. He was an excellent buttermaker. He lived in Glendorado with his wife Mary and two children, Irene and William (Buddy). Buddy started school when I did, so we were always good friends. Irene was about four years older. I don't recall just how many years they were there, but I know Bud started school in Glendorado and was still there when he was in high school. The next buttermaker family was the John Bornholt family. This buttermaker was also in Glendorado for many years.

Between the creamery and the store was a big brick house. This house was the residence of the storekeeper and his family. The first "storekeeper" I remember is Ole Johnson. He owned the house and the store. Ole, his wife Alma, and two children, Doris and Conrad (when Connie was about seven years old, a baby girl, Phyllis was born) lived in the "store house", as we called it. Elliot Hermanson worked in the store with them. Some years later, Elliot and his wife Stella purchased an interest in the store and built a nice white house across the street from the brick house. The Ole Johnson's owned the store until the summer of 1935. This I remember clearly because Doris and I were very good friends. We started school together and were together every day for eight years. We both cried the evening she told me, in secret, that her father had sold the store and that the family would be moving to Monticello.

To this store was the most exciting and intriguing place a child could go. I never tired of going into this store, even to the day it closed. It closed because the owners wished to retire, not because of lack of business or local interest.

The building itself was a long building with two stories. Later, they added the "side room" along the north side. Behind the building was an open stairs with a side railing that led to a huge hall. Before the present Glendorado Hall was built (during the P.W.A. Days — Public Works Administration during the New Deal administered by President Roosevelt in 1936), this upstairs hall was used for the town hall.

The hall was used for town meetings, elections, and by the local V.F.W. Post 806 who all had their meetings here. Sometimes community plays or socials were held here.

I remember this hall was where I saw my first "show." There were notices well in advance advertising the coming attraction, "Uncle Tom's Cabin — Admission 10¢". It was the first time I had seen the word admission. Needless to say, we all learned what the word meant. The 10¢ loomed mighty big. After much family discussion, it was decided that we three girls, Hazel, Pearl and I could go. Mother and Dad didn't really look favorably on "shows and the theater," but Mother , being a reader, had read the story and thought we should be able to see the show.

There never was much cash at our house. Eggs were traded at the store in exchange for groceries. Most of the time, the grocery order cost more than the price for the eggs. If, however, there was money over, it was applied to the grocery bill. This time I clearly remember Mother counting out the eggs and making only a small grocery order. We then were told we could have the "thirty cents over."

It was silent filmstrip with written words below. This caused Hazel much consternation because she had an elbow poking her on each side. I couldn't read fast enough to keep up between flashes, and Pearl couldn't read at all. As I remember, the picture flashed on a portable screen that stood on a tripod on top of the raised platform or stage in front of the hall. I may be referring to this hall again before my story is over.

Now back to the store. There were two large front windows. There was a cupboard top about two feet wide in front of these windows (below was storage space). These window displays were always attractive, but at Christmas the display was a child's delight.

When you opened the door, the first thing you saw was a glass showcase. Inside were the most beautiful items you can imagine. These we could look at but "not touch." Sometimes the case displayed shiny glass dishes, sometimes custom jewelry, sometimes cameras or alarm clocks, but always eye-catching and fascinating.

Down the center of the store were tables with gondolas (shelves or tables over the top). There were enough tables to reach way to the back of the store, all full displays of dry goods. There was one table for baby clothes and clothes for small children, another for older children, one for linens (towels, tablecloths, etc.), one for men's clothes, and still another for notions.

These tables were also used to divide the store, for the left side was the dry goods section and the right side, the grocery part.

All along the north side of the building were shelves and shelves. Some held bolts of material , from muslins, cottons, silks, organdy, flannel, denim, and any material that anyone would need — it was there. There were threads of all kinds — mercerized cotton, linen threads, embroidery threads, crocheting cotton, woolen yarns, and tatting threads — all were there.

Some of the shelves held boxes and boxes. In some of these boxes , out of sight, were unmentionables such as corsets, garter belts, bras, panties, slips, nighties, and ladies hose.

Towards the back were the shoes — men's work shoes and dress shoes, ladies' slippers, work shoes, high-heeled, low-heeled or whatever was in style, children's shoes and rubbers and overshoes to fit all. Shoe laces, shoe creams or polishes were all available.

Then way to the back was the hardware department. Here one could select everything — nails, hammers, saws, shovels, hoes, forks, pots, pans, tubs, boilers, milk pails, water pails, dippers. If you asked for it, it was there.

I often wondered at the ingenuity it took to remodel, reconstruct, reorganize, and rearrange the inventories to get all these items in a place where they could be procured at at a moment's notice.

I haven't yet told you about the right side of the store. This was the grocery section. The first glass showcase displayed the candy. The corn candies, jelly beans, jaw breakers, peanut-shaped hard candies, peppermints, lemon drops, and haystack chocolates were all in bins. A nickel bought a brown paper half full. Of course, pennies bought suckers, licorice penny candy bars, and bubble gum. Nickel candy bars were all available, too. These bars were larger than the ones that are purchased today for thirty cents.

On the south side of the store were even more shelves than the north side. On these were the groceries. I think you could buy almost all the things you can today except, of course, the convenience foods.

Next to the candy showcase was the check-out counter. That is the one you leaned over when you gave your order. Yes, you gave your order and the clerk trotted around and picked up each item as you asked for it. Many items were in bulk, so you could purchase the amount you needed. Very few items were packaged. The clerks had to count out or weigh the amount you needed.

Halfway to the back was another check-out counter. Here were cigars, snuff, cigarettes, lotions, first aid items, and such. The men usually congregated in this area while waiting for the women to make their purchases.

The back of the grocery section was the meat section. The meat was cut from the beef quarter or pork half, or ground into hamburger, bacon or sliced pork, all to the order of the customer.

All you needed or wished to purchase could be obtained at this store. If they didn't have it, they could order it — or better yet, would go to the wholesale house and select it personally for you.

This store was open Monday through Saturday from seven a.m. to six p.m. On Wednesday and Saturday evenings the store was open until nine o'clock. By the dry goods counter were three high stools where the ladies sat and visited after their purchases were made. The women seldom had time to go to the store during the day, except special occasions. Some women, though, made a practice of going to the store in the evening. If there were no other ladies in attendance, the "lady in the store" was the patient listener.

There was always a "lady in the store." She was the storekeeper's wife such as Alma, Ole Johnson's wife, or Stella, Elliott Hermanson's wife, or she could have been a young lady clerk hired to be there when the storekeepers' wives were taking care of their households.

The clerk I associate with the Glendorado Store was "Amelia." She came to Glendorado in probably the year 1930. She was one of the most pleasant people I have ever known. She was a German girl from near Clear Lake. Her hair was dark (most of us were white-headed Norwegians). I thought she was just beautiful!

She wore bright pretty-colored smocks over her pretty dresses. I'm sure, as I think it over, her jobs — from meat cutting (if the men weren't around) to dusting and cleaning shelves — would well warrant the use of these smocks. Amelia showed such kindness and patience to all the children. These kindnesses will always live in the hearts of all Glendorado children. I can remember talking to Amelia about early childhood problems to teen-age boyfriend spats. She always listened patiently and had a word or two of advice.

Once I came to the store to buy a notebook that I needed for school. I told her that I needed the notebook for a geography project. Amelia asked, "Lillian, do you know how to spell geography?" I had to admit that I could not. She said, "It will always be easy to spell if you remember — George Ellen's oldest grandmother rode a pig home yesterday." Never have I misspelled geography.

After the Ole Johnson family moved to Monticello, the store was sold to a young couple from Milaca, Bill and Myrtle Fohrman. The Fohrmans and the Hermansons were "the people in the store" until their retirement.

During the next forty or so years that they had the store, we all learned to love them dearly. They accepted us as we were and worked with us and for us. There was never a baby born, a neighbor sick or in the hospital, a funeral, a shower, wedding, or even a party but what they made their presence known in some kind, loving , and interested way. If I were to do justice to the ways in which these kind people made our lives more comfortable and happy, it would take another chapter.

We were all happy when they decided to retire and continue living in our midst.

Yes, the creamery and the store were the two places of activity. There was a garage a little to the north of the creamery. It was burned down. I think it is the only case of arson that is vivid in my mind.

Some years later, the Glendorado Insurance Company built a small office in Glendorado, and Lester Thompson built a co-op filling station. These were the only businesses in Glendorado. The total population, I don't believe, ever exceeded twenty people.

The People

One of the more important ingredients in any story is the list of characters. In this case the characters are the people who were members of the families around us. You need some background information to appreciate the closely knit relationship between our family and our neighbors.

I started by telling you I intended this to be a story about growing up in the "thirties". Therefore I'll begin in Glendorado. Only a few families south of Glendorado were important to me, as a little girl.

The most important of these was Tante and Uncle (the Marcus Larsons, Mother's aunt and uncle, with whom she made her home when she first came from Norway). Their bachelor son, Lars, lived with them. The Larsons lived about a mile south of the store. Martha (Mrs. Obert Anderson) and Inga (Mrs. John Thompson) were Mother's twin cousins. Both the Obert Andersons and John Thompson families lived "down south”. Carrie (Mrs. Otto Gilbertson) and Nels and their families lived south of Glendorado too. We visited these families regularly because these were Mother's only family ties.

The J. K. Nelsons and the L. D. Larson families I knew quite well because they were residents of our school district, and some of their children went to school in District 13 when I did.

I also remember the nice old people. Pete and Johanna Abrahamson. They were retired people who had lived on their farm in Greenbush Township. Johanna used to come and visit Grandma. Near them across the road lived Helmer Fingbogson and his sister, Hannah. Everybody knew them. They were friendly and fun-loving and thus equally popular with the "old folks" and the young.

Near the store, to the south, was Uncle Sven Kittleson's farm (Grandma's brother). The Kittlesons had moved out West and this farm was now owned by Tom Elveru and his wife Olga. Tom was involved in civic affairs in our community. He was on the school board, so this made him important to me. The Elveru's had a daughter who was married to cousin, Joe Kittleson. Joe and Mae lived out West, however they did move back here with their two little girls and live with the Elveru's for a year or so during "the depression." The Elveru's had two sons Milton and Paul. Milton was older than I. (I remember when he was married during the late twenties. He married, Hazel, a pretty little dark girl from Foley.) Paul, was in the seventh grade when I started school. I remember him especially because he was "so smart" in school. He always knew the answers. Both Milton and Paul were good friends of mine later in life too. It happened that I taught school in the districts where they lived. It seems as if they followed their father's footsteps in being active in civic matters. They were also school board members.

The Ole Johnsons lived in the big brick "store house". Their children were Doris, my age, Conrad a year older than my brother, Bobby and a little girl, Phyllis. Across the road were the Elliot Hermansons. They had one son, Sheldon and two little girls Kathrine and Ramona. None of these children went to school when I did. I was more interested in them later when I was a teacher in Glendorado.

Across the road from the creamery was a little white house. Olaf and Beata Anderson lived here. They were retired farmers and had built this little house on the corner of the farm. Here Olaf was able to sit on the front steps and watch all the activity at the creamery each morning. A common sight was to see him sitting here smoking his pipe and visiting with his small grandson, Burton. Burton once told me that a highlight of his summer was when he and his Grandpa walked the two miles south to visit Olaf's two sons Obert and Herman. Beata, Olaf's wife, was one of the sweetest old ladies I have ever known. She often walked over and spent the afternoon with "Besta". Because I was there so often, I think I ate almost as much of the "suft suppe", fruit soup, that she brought, as Besta and Thorval did. Whenever I see "suft suppe" I think of Beata.

Going west of Glendorado the first drive way led to Norval Anderson and his wife, Della. They had purchased the Olaf Anderson farm. Norval and Della had two little boys Burton, Bobby's age and Sherman about four years younger. (Much later they had a little girl, Joanne. Joanne was much more important later too because she attended school in Glendorado when I taught there). Norval and Uncle Thorval were about the same age and had always been good friends. Della was a friendly out-going person. One of our favorite teachers, Ann Olson, boarded at Norval and Della's, so Della always took an active interest in school affairs, even before their children attended.

On that same road lived the Ole Rogers. They were also old retired people, of whom we saw very little. I knew one of the daughters well. Mabel was the Glendorado organist. Everyone envied her and her ability to play the piano and the big pipe organ in the Glendorado Church. Mabel too always had time to stop and smilingly greet "the kids around".

The next important stop on the west road was "our school". The Glendorado parsonage was near the school house. Just to the north of the church lived the Engebretsons. Mrs. Engebretson lived there with her two sons Oscar and Albert. When I was little, I thought about the Engebretsons like a fairy tale. Maybe because I got only snatches of family history. Someone, I don't recall now who said it, said that the only limousine that had been in Glendorado, driven by a chauffeur, was the one that came to the Engebretsons. The big black car had two important occupants. The two gentlemen were from New York and were brothers of Mrs. Engebretson (I guess if I had been a member of the family I would have pursued this story further). Also Mrs. Engebretson was an artist, at one time she painted. Once when I made a big textile drawing of a peacock perched on a branch, with a big orange moon background, Mother gave me permission to visit Mrs. Engebretson. The Engebretsons had once raised peacocks and Mother knew about the old ladies interest in color. When I was puzzled about the coloring Mother suggested I go there. Up to that time I had been a little afraid of this little old lady of we knew so little. She was a very gracious lady. She said she had no colors or paints any more but if I came again the next evening and brought my crayons she would help me. I remember I thought this was very sad. The next day I went from desk to desk and asked each of the children if I could have a crayon or two or pieces of crayon for Mrs. Engebretson. Some of the kids even broke their crayons and gave me half. My friend, Virgil, also gave me his match box to put the crayons into. The next night I proudly brought the match box and about a dozen pieces of paper to Mrs. Engebretson. She then helped me color the peacock she so skillfully drew on the paper. Her son Oscar never married, but Albert married quite late in life. He had two sons Emery and Harris.

Now back to the store and we'll travel north on the gravel road, County Road #9. The first place was the very important place "Grandpa and Grandma and Uncle Thorval". The house was close to the road. I hardly ever walked by without stopping, even if it was for only a few minutes. Coming from school, if we went across, making the distance about a half a mile shorter, we missed Grandma's.

Going north one fourth of a mile was Amanda Stay. She and her son, Kenneth, lived together in this neat little light yellow house. Amanda was a widow and a very good friend of our family. She had her own car a Model T Ford, about a 1927 model. Amanda always had her car in working order and always had money for gas. This was important to our family because when our car wouldn't start, we often rode with Amanda to church. After church she would then come to our house for Sunday dinner. She visited at our house at least once a week, in the evening or on a Sunday.

Another thing I remember is Mother and Amanda's annual fishing trip. They left early in the morning with their bamboo poles and "spoon hooks". Sometimes to Lake Sullivan, up by Hillman or other times just down to Elk Lake to Inger Halvorson's (Pa's cousin). I don't seem to remember that they ever came home with many fish.

Amanda's retirement home had been built on acreage belonging to the Pete Stay farm. This farm was built on a hill commonly called "Indian Mound". It seemed years ago Indians camped there on their way north to Mille Lacs Lake. Pete was Amanda's husband, so when he died , Amanda, Kenneth, and another unmarried son, Norman, moved to the little house. An older son, Arthur, and his wife, Bertha, lived on the hill. As children, Pearl, Bobby, and I often played up at Art's. Mildred, the oldest daughter was a year older than I and Beatrice was my age. Leo, the boy was a twin, I remember how sad we felt when the other twin, Paul, died. He only lived a short time. Some years later they had a little girl, Eula Fern. Isn't that a lovely name? Now when I hear people refer to her as Ferny, I think, how sad, when she has such a pretty name. Art's place was really a popular place in the winter time. It was the only hill in the whole neighborhood.

Now we have come far enough north so we cross the State Highway #95. In the thirties this highway was also gravel, but it was a little wider and had more gravel then "our road". One fourth mile east on the highway lived George Rovang and his wife Amanda. George and Amanda only had one child, Marilyn. We all envied Marilyn because of all the advantages the only child in a family has. Marilyn was a year younger than I was. One of the things that comes to mind when I think of Marilyn is her good lunch, in her lunch bucket. She was always so congenial. Marilyn never did fight with any one for any reason. She would just smile and bear it. Since, I have thought she probably didn't dare because she had no one to go "to bat" for her. Yes, I also remember the many times we go rides home from school. In bad weather George always came to get Marilyn, and he piled as many of the rest of us as he could get in his nice Model A Ford.

Back to the corner, always called "Rovang's Corner". Here was a big three story white house, and many large unusual looking outside buildings. One of these buildings was a "round house", I think it was used for "young stock" and open housing. Another was a granary with a dinner bell in a belfry. The large barn, chicken house, machine sheds, and several other buildings stood on this large farm. This farm was built by Ole Stay, Pete's brother. Aunt Anna once told me that Mrs. Ole Stay was from a "socially elite" family in Norway and lived equally as fine here in America. There was a large front yard with many fruit trees, and grape vines grew around the front porch.

The inside of this house was equally as fine with large rooms, open stair case, large front hallway and six bedrooms upstairs. This house was so unique in many ways, but one thing I remember was the buttons on the wall in the kitchen. These buttons rang bells in each bedroom upstairs to awaken the occupant. This farm had electricity. The power was produced by a gasoline motor that generated electricity. This motor was in the basement.

The Clarence Rovang's lived here. Clarence and Josie had six children. Orville, Grace, Eileen, Stanley and the two little girls Bernice and Corine. I think there was about eight years between Stanley's age and Bernice's. Stanley and I started school together and were good friends as little children. We often played together in the pasture. When Stanley went to get the cows, the pasture was just across the road from our house, he would whistle and I would run over and help him round up the cows.

The first place north of Rovang's was ours, so we will proceed north. Here lived our bachelor friend, Martin Nelson. I think I was about nine years old when he died, but I remember him well. Martin's brother Halvor and his wife, Anna, lived on the adjoining farm. After Martin's death, Anna's brother, John Ford and his family from Minneapolis, moved on to his farm. The day they moved up to our neighborhood is vivid even yet. Pearl and I made several trips up the road walking a little closer to the mailboxes each time. Coming from the east, up the drive-way were some of the Carlson girls. They checked the mailboxes several times that day.

Finally our efforts paid off, out came a little, short red haired girl wearing glasses. None of us had glasses, so this alone was a new experience. None of us said much but that meeting was the beginning of fine friendships that have lasted through these fifty years.

In the Ford family there were John and Aletta and the children. Selma, the older sophisticated city girl, Oscar, the gangly teen-ager, I think he was about thirteen when they came. (At least not too old to go picking pussy-willows with me the next day.) Then Edna, the youngest girl, she was a year older than I.

Down the long crooked drive-way east from Fords lived the Knute Carlson family. The Carlson place had been homesteaded by Knute's grandfather. When I first recollect the Carlson place (as far back as I remember) the brick house with two nice porches, was a place where everyone was welcome — young and old.

Knute and Elisa lived here with their children, Otto, Ellen and Ellevina — twins, Nellie, Margeret, and Elliot. Elsa Maria, Besta (Knute's mother) lived in a pretty little gray stucco house placed among the apple trees behind the big brick house. Yes, and a hired man. Carlson's always had a young man working for them.

Elisa was a Norwegian girl. After she came to America, she was instrumental in getting four of her neighborhood boys to America. Knute sent passage money to each of the boys. When the first had labored long enough to pay his passage, he found work elsewhere and Knute would send for the next one. Thus he enabled four of the Spangrud boys to come to America. They were Harold, Oscar, Sigrud, and Ludvig. Even after they had left Carlsons, they were always welcome visitors when they came back from time to time. These young men seemed to play an important role during the time I grew up. I remember them all so vividly.

After the Spangrud boys had worked there, there were several other hired men that we learned to know well like Bill Abrahamson, Alfred Johnson, and Hubert Rathbun. (Elisa even painted and fixed up Besta's house so Hubert could live there with his wife, Rose and little girl, Gladys.) My brother, Arnold, worked at Carlson's often too.

I remember Knute well, he died about two months after Grandpa in the spring of 1932. Elisa was left with a large farm and house full of little children to take care of. She did an exceptional job. I think Elliot was about four years and Otto, the oldest was about fifteen when Knute died. Yet Elisa managed the farm and enabled the children to go on to school, high school, and college, if they wished.

I went into a great detail when telling about this family, because I doubt if there was a day in the first twenty years of my life that our family was not in contact with some member of their family.

Just north of Carlsons were two bachelor neighbors, Albert Stay and Pete Nelson, (and way up in the woods lived the little Frenchman, Johnny A'Bear. I'm not sure of that spelling because I never did see it in print. We called him "Johnny Bear".). Pete had had a wife once, but she left him, which we thought was very sad. Albert got married late in life and had five children, but that was after I was in high school.

Around the bend after our road had turned west lived Frank Scherer. Frank and his wife Ethel were German. Perhaps that was the reason we didn't neighbor as much with them. After I was grown-up, I learned to know and appreciate these people. But as a child, I was afraid of Frank Scherer. I can't think why. I rather liked the oldest boy, Howard, and when he occasionally walked by our house on his way to the store I always ran down to the road and walked with him a ways. Frank Scherers also had two daughters, Lois and Elaine and several years later a little boy, Harold.

Going further west lived the Herbert Stay family. Herbert was Amanda's oldest son. He was married to Pearl Shirkey (Mrs. Arthur Stay, Bertha and Pearl were sisters). These two young ladies were not Norwegian either, so I'm sure they had unhappy times at neighborhood gatherings when all the ladies carried on the main conversations in Norwegian. Once I asked Clara what nationality her mother was and she answered, "She is a blue-bellied Yankee." The only Yankees I had heard of were the Irish and Germans living across the St. Francis River in Santiago when Dad was little. He always talked about the "Norwegians fighting the Yankees".

Herbert Stay and his wife, Pearl, lived in a nice new house. (I just barely remember when their house burned and then they built this one) It had nice cupboards in the kitchen and pretty varnished floors. Clara, Virgil, Lucille, Helen, Wayne were the children I remembered best as children. Later Phyllis, Bonnie, Donald, and Mary Joyce came. I think Pearl must have been the best natured and kindest of woman in the country. Both Hazel and I were there often.

I remember once I had permission to go home with Virgil and Helen after school to stay over night. (This was during the depression and Herberts did not have a telephone for a short time. We probably would have had our telephone disconnected too if it would not have been for "Besta". She wouldn't let the folks disconnect the telephone.) Now back to my story. I not only stayed one night but I went back the second. When Hazel came to school and said I was going to really get a "lickin" for not coming home, I didn't dare go home. So I went back to Herbert's the third night. By this time my clothes were pretty dirty, and instead of sending me home, Pearl washed my clothes, hung them on a hanger by the stove over night. No need to go into detail on what happened when I did go home.

Herbert was gone a lot, he peddled potatoes, eggs, etc. in Minneapolis, so Clara and Virgil did the barn chores. I guess I thought this was fun because Dad never believed in "children in the barn" so I never learned to milk cows. We never did have more than twelve or fourteen cows and Mother, Dad and Arnold did the milking. (the older girls in our family had helped milk cows but I never did.)

Still further west lived Clifford Stay, another of Amanda's sons. He was married to Josie Halvorson. They had two little girls, Lorraine and Shirley and a baby boy, Vernon. Much later Roger came along. I never remember being in their house. I suppose this is because the children were younger. The oldest girl , Lorraine was Bobby's age.

The last family on this road, but certainly not the least important, was the Herman Stay family. Herman was Amanda's brother-in-law. Herman and Ingeborg also had a beautiful new house. The outside of this house was a form of stucco, but it was studded with colored stones and glass. (We always said that this house was trimmed with diamonds, rubies, and emeralds.) I remember the old house next door, but I don't remember when they lived in it.

The Herman Stays and their children, Mabel, Olga, Melvin, Joseph, and Ruth visited often with our family. We were very good friends. We didn't always go into the dining room and living room because the door was shut. We visited in the kitchen and down stairs bedroom. I guess, thinking about it now, maybe Ingeborg was wise in not letting us, a family with several small children, into the other rooms. No place in Glendorado had more "goodies" on hand to serve her callers than Ingeborg did. I remember many occasions when we were invited there for a meal. (This often happened during the Christmas holidays.) Then the door was opened and Ingeborg's long dining table was the most sumptuous display of culinary skills one could imagine. It far surpassed many "smorgasbords" I have attended.

Now I have told you about "our neighbors" as I knew them. Oh, yes, I knew about the people "up north". These people belonged to the school district 33 South. Mostly I knew them by the voices I heard on our "party line telephone". Often times when the folks were gone, we listened to conversations not meant for us. We called it "rubber necking". Especially we listened after we got old enough to be interested in boys. There were boys in almost every household "up north". So I knew the George Hansons and Grace, Julian, and Gerald (Gerald in particular, because he was my age). F.E. Kruger had two older boys Walter and Arnold and Betty, my age. (In my early teens Betty and I were good friends) They had two younger children, Dickie and Shirley. Shirley died as a little girl about the time Pearl died.

Then the Andersons, who had three boys at home. These boys were older and didn't pay much attention to me but during my teens I was particularly interested in Lawrence. It took a long time, but he finally did pay a little attention to me. The Magnus family was next. This family was of special interest because the older boys Leslie, Vernon, and Lloyd were members of a dance band, The Melody Pirates. Vernon also was very important because he was my seventh and eighth grade teacher. Probably the one that I was concerned with mostly was their grandson, Lyle Halvorson. He even carved my initials in his hand. (He also got an infected hand) I wore his Mickey Mouse wrist watch for a whole week when I was in the eighth grade.

The Michaelsons lived up here. We knew them because Harold was our first milk hauler and later Leonard took over the route.

The Indrehus family I knew because their daughter , Clara was married to my brother-in-law, John's brother, and also because Mr. Ed Indrehus always gave us a ride home from school. He folded back the front seat and piled us all in. When he came to our house he always drove by a little before he stopped to let us out. When we called to him to stop, he would look back and say "Oh, do you live here? I thought you were Martin Nelson's new housekeeper." This was very embarrassing to little girls to be teased about our bachelor neighbor.

The Seversons were friends of the folks and after Mr. and Mrs. Severson died the three boys Lloyd, Roy, and David were at our house often. They were all good friends of Arnold's and the older girls — not me. They always treated me as Arnold's little sister, which got a little frustrating as I got older.

The Arthur Krugers lived "up north". They had one daughter, Dorothy. She was younger than I. I remember this place because Edna and I often walked way up here, perhaps two miles or more, on Sunday afternoon. I suppose we were hoping to see some boys, but we could always say we were going to see Josie Kruger. She was Edna's Sunday School teacher and also Edna's second cousin.

North of Krugers were Ole Almlies. My brother-in-law, John, was their oldest son; and the youngest son, Albert, played the piano in the Melody Pirate Band.

Now you know about our community as I remember these important people from my home in Glendorado. In the next chapters I will often refer to these people when I discuss "work and fun in the thirties".

© Copyright by Lillian Aleckson Nelson, used with permission.

Data Entry Volunteer: Keith Aleckson -  keithaleckson@cox.net

Updated 10 Apr 2016 by William Haloupek


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