Around Maret, all the colors were gray and brown, or freshly scrubbed wood. Only the walls inside her cottage were colored. The dress fabric shimmered in Maret's lap. Maret said to her big sister, "Now they'll really stop calling this big girl too little! She will get this dress material from me."

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«HISTORY OF EMIGRATION FROM NORDMØRE - Stangvik and Surnadal parishes»
* For disclaimer, please see end of text.



Lars I. Røv, Utistua and Ellen Krangnes, Ytre Øya
Lars arrived in Philadelphia in the spring of 1880. Was he, perhaps in the group with Ingeborg Øye? (See Ingeborg's diaries.)

He and five others from Surnadal stopped first at Erick Hanson's farm near Strum, not far from Eau Claire. Hanson helped them find farm work. Lars was last to get a job, working for an Irishman, and quickly had to learn English. He also took English lessons with a country teacher. In the fall, the companions went to the lumbering forests, but Lars stayed on with the Irishman.

In the spring of 1881, Hanson went with Lars to the Northwestern Lumber Company at Porters Mills and recommended Lars for a job in the store and office, because he had a command of the language and had worked in a store in Kristiansund before emigrating. Lars managed the store and office for 31 years, until 1913.

In 1883, he sent money to his betrothed in Norway, Ellen Krangnesøya. They were both confirmed, ranked second, at the same confirmation. They both worked in businesses in Kristiansund. At one time, Ellen worked for a bookshop and did a good bit of reading. She had also attended the county school.

Ellen later wrote about her voyage (translated):

"The Tasso brought us across the North Sea. One could write a book about that boat. We landed in Hull and traveled by train to Liverpool. Papa landed in Philadelphia. To avoid the tumult and confusion of Philadelphia, I traveled on the Dominican Line to Quebec. It took us three weeks to reach Quebec, having been delayed by drifting ice along the Newfoundland coast. The foghorn's sound came to be rather depressing."

Lars and Ellen were married New Year's Eve of 1883 at the home of bishop to be Gjermund Hoyme in Eau Claire. On their honeymoon, they went to Stanley, which would become their home in a few years.

We find Lars L. Røv in the ledgers of Bastian Nelson Nordvik in Porters Mills, and it was here the newlyweds settled. Their first five children were born in Porters Mills. It was then a town of about 1000 inhabitants on the Chippewa River south of Eau Claire. The river flooded their home with ooze and mud in 1884.

When the region around Porters Mills had been cleared, the town quickly turned into oat fields, and Stanley, 40 miles northeast of Porters Mills, became the next lumbering region. Lars followed, managing the store and office which, for the time being, were located in a freight car. In 1892 he writes to Ellen to find out her wishes concerning the home he is busy building. Today this home on Franklin Street is on the USA's register of historic homes meriting preservation, for Lars would come to be the "King of Stanley", a not well-intentioned sobriquet bestowed by his opponents. Lars had his own views and took sides according to his own convictions. He supported what he believed in with great vigor and impressive effort, backed by Ellen, who gave her children more than nourishment. There were eleven of them, Imbert, Herman, Bertha, Edwin, Ludwig, Norman, Bernhard, Edna, Signe, Borghild, and Sigfred, who was born in 1907 when Ellen was 47 years old. As encouragement to women who bear late in life, one may say that Sigfred graduated from high school first in his class when only 15 years old, and he graduated from St. Olaf College in 1927. He was clever, witty, an ardent debater, and tops in basketball. He attended the University in Madison for a year, worked for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, and worked for his brothers and father. He married, but died of a cerebral hemorrhage, childless, when 30 years old.

In addition to her own eleven children, Ellen tended Bertha's infant son when Bertha died during childbirth. The father, Dr. Ericksen, later took care of his child, but nevertheless - ! Bertha was a piano teacher at St. Olaf College, graduating from the same school. She sang in the choir of the legendary Melius Christiansen at St. Olaf in 1910, and was the first president of the music company he started. She was married in 1911 and died in 1913 when Berthold was born.

The reason the author so thoroughly covers the children of Ellen and Louis I. Roe, as their father was called in the USA, is that these parents hold a rare record. They had children as students at St. Olaf College continuously from 1900 to 1927, often two or three at a time. The tradition is still being maintained, with their grandchildren now being replaced by great-grandchildren. An unbroken string from 1900, according to a source in 1963!

L. I. Roe sat on the board for St. Olaf over a generation, 1912-17 and 1919-34. In 1926, he was active in its guidance together with his sons Edwin and Ludwig. He was named an honorary member of the alumni association, an organization consisting of former students, and yet he had only an elementary school education.

The Norwegian Church of America owns St. Olaf College in Minnesota. His positions of trust in the direction of St. Olaf were related to similar positions within the church. He was one of the founders of Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Stanley, where Ellen was one of the pillars of the women's association and youth work. She was editor for the youth association's newspaper, "Future". The church was consecrated by Bishop Hoyme.

Lars sat on the board for the youth division of The United Norwegian-Lutheran Church of America. The president and vice-president were both professors, the secretary a minister, and the treasurer, Lars, had been to grammar school. That tells something both about his school in Surnadal and Lars himself. There were innumerable meetings in Minneapolis over many years involving responsible positions in the church at the national level. He holds the personal record for being a member of the church's highest board, 1908-36! When he died, the sermon at his funeral was delivered by the minister, Dr. L. W. Boe, president of St. Olaf College. He sent the acting president at St. Olaf to Ellen's funeral with a salutary speech.

In his personal business activities and the world of commerce, Lars was an absolute bulldozer who leaves one breathless. He is credited with the creation of the Stanley Manufacturing Company, Roe and Peterson, The Canning Company, The L. I. Roe Company, and The Citizens State Bank. He assisted in establishing banks in the nearby towns of Cameron, Ingram, and Junction City. He was one of the founders of Luther Hospital in Eau Claire, spending many years on its board and as its president. A picture of Lars is hanging in the hospital.

He did the same thing in Stanley after the war, when Victory Memorial Hospital was built in Stanley in gratitude to those returning home from the war, including his own two sons Ludwig and Bernhard and a son-in-law. Lars contributed $1000.

He sat on the school board from 1894 to 1898. He was mayor for the periods 1904-08 and 1909-10. He was on the county board from 1910 to 1938, except for the years 1920-22. He was county commissioner and one of the first proponents of paved roads. He was a steadfast Republican and took part in county and state conventions. From 1926 to 1938, he was also on the board of the Luther Deaconess Hospital in Chicago.

Lars was not one to accept Stanley's becoming oat fields when the sawmill era ended. He was active in several progressive groups concerned with Stanley's future, invested in a suitcase factory, and later in a toy factory based on wooden materials. He initiated chemical research to see what could be done with the thousands upon thousands of large tree stumps remaining in the wake of lumbering operations. He arranged for displaced children to receive stock in local ventures in Stanley, and took over the firm when the stockowners withdrew. When many took the shortcut to the northwest coast and lumbering in Washington State, he stood firm by his motto that Wisconsin was the best, tolerant enough to include Minnesota, as many of his children lived there.

Once he even set about growing tobacco and potatoes.

The Depression arrived and he lost his "empire" in a final debt crisis at his factory in 1935. He didn't considered himself a smitten man, for he is quoted as having said that he still had his health, faith, and hope, and not least, his family.

When the children went away to school, they all had a "deadline" to write a letter home Friday or Saturday. Fetching the children's letters from the post office first thing Sunday morning was a permanent tradition. The parents kept pace with their children, learning what they learned, for a long, long time.

Imbert became a banker in Stanley. The depression put a stop to this career and he died in 1937.

Herman was a high school principal for two years, and then became the owner and editor of the "Northfield News", a weekly newspaper receiving many awards. His father sat on its board. Herman gave lectures on journalism, and the paper was considered to be a model newspaper. He took over his father's position on the St. Olaf board, and all his three wives had studied music at St. Olaf, the first the piano, the second, piano and song, and the third song! Herman visited Norway in 1906 with a band in which he played saxophone.

The Republicans wanted him to be their gubernatorial candidate.

Edwin became his father's partner. He remained home and tended store while his father traveled around to all his meetings in the east and west. Ed was also mayor. He is described as a large, competent, and "all-time" individual.

Ludwig also became an editor. He bought the "Montevideo News" in western Minnesota and lived in Montevideo. He was president of the Minnesota press association, alternating with Herman, who held the post earlier in his career. Ludwig was a man who gave speeches that were cited. He studied in Edinburgh while in the army. He was president of the American Legion and a powerful and independent individual.

Ludwig, Bernhard, and their brother-in-law Dr. Erickson were all in the heavy fighting in W.W.I, e.g. Verdun. Bernhard was shell-shocked and gassed. He never fully recovered, but was able to work for his father. Dr. Erickson received the Croix de Guerre for saving the wounded.

Ludwig later sold the newspaper and went into federal service in the postal system. In 1927-29, he "substituted" for the governor.

Norman remained at home, taking part in the businesses.

Herman and his father were, respectively, presidents of the State Fairs of Minnesota and Wisconsin, at the same time!

Edna died of heart disease when but eleven years old.

Signe was born while her father was in Norway to see his mother in 1899. He left one month before Ellen would bear her ninth child. They later made the trip together. That says something about what Ellen was made of, that she would let him leave in this situation! Signe married a Nelson and became a resident of Minneapolis, the next base for the family.

Borghild also went to St. Olaf, where she met Rolf Syrdal, who became her husband and who officiated when her mother died.

Borghild studied music, English, and French, planning to become a missionary. She spent seven years in China with her husband, who was a professor at the seminary. Borghild taught English and music in a middle school in China. Rolf took a doctor's degree in theology through studies in Oslo, New Jersey, and New York. Borghild used the opportunity in New York to study the music of the "great liturgies".

Rolf became a professor at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in St. Paul but, during the period 1947-63, he was Director of World Missions, i.e. head of the missions of the Norwegian-American Lutheran Church, which at that time had become more of an American church. (What the status of unification developments in the church was at this time, the reader may find in Professor Lovoll's book, if interest so motivates him or her.)

Borghild and Rolf Syrdal live today next to St. Olaf College in Northfield. Rolf Syrdal is a member of the board of the Norwegian-American Historical Society and has, naturally, a responsible position in the guidance of St. Olaf. They are in their eighties and ought to demonstrate to retirees in Norway that retirees are only as old as they choose to be, both in their interests and influence.

Signe, Borghild, and Rolf all attended the Minneapolis concert of the Nordmøre Chamber Choir in 1983 and, in the summer of '85, the author had the great pleasure of again meeting these active "Syrdøls" in their home in Northfield. One must be in good shape, both physically and intellectually, to keep up with these retirees! They have been our source for the information about the family of Lars and Ellen.

The following passage in a letter from Ellen to a family member shows the typical activity of "King Louis". "Father will be traveling through Stanley on the 4 o'clock train early in the morning, but isn't stopping. He has been in Cleveland, Ohio and is on route to St. Paul. After sales discussions there, he will be home on the midnight train tomorrow evening."

Despite such a schedule, the pair nevertheless managed to be godparents in the Red River Valley at Ole I. Moen's place, Sunnyside Farm. That's too much!

In the summer of 1985, Stanley looks like one of those small towns abandoned by an advancing world. Not a soul is to be seen in the street and it's very still. But one thing is certain. Without "King Louis", Stanley would be oat fields today, just like Porters Mills. There, not even a cemetery is visible today. Lars died in 1937 and Ellen in 1942. We visited the children of Lars' brother:

Photo reference 293/1: Advertisement L.I Roe Co.

Photo reference 293/2: Lars I. Roe (Utistua Røv) and Ellen b. Krangness. The children: Standing - Norman, Ludwig, Imbert, Bertha, Herman and Edwin. At the front: Bernard, Borghild and Edna. | Belongs to: Borghild Syrdal. 

Photo reference 294/1: Interior of the shop belonging to L.I. Roe i Stanley. Merchandise: clothing, shoes, groceries. From far left: Edwin Roe, Ole - number 4, L.I. Roe number 5. | Belongs to: Borghild Syrdal.

Photo reference 295/1: Descendants of Lars and Ellen gathering at St. Olaf College, where they have the record when it comes to attending students coming from one single family. This is the summer of 1980. | Belongs to: Gro and Dagfinn Mogstad who were the representatives of the family roots back in Surnadal.


Ola Røv, Utistua
Ola's daughters, Manda and Beatrice, and his son Imbert received us in their childhood home. It is just as large and elegant as Lars' house, which lies just down the street. The interior is more Scandinavian than one associates with American tastes, and the house has an exceptionally high standard of construction and craftsmanship compared with those the author has seen on overnight stays in more than sixty American homes and visits to nearly twice as many.

Ole Roe, as his name became in the USA, arrived in 1885, together with his brother Einar. They were in a group with Nils Glærum and several others. Ole's children say his itinerary was Trondheim, Kristiansund, Liverpool (we can certainly include Hull), New York, Chicago, and Eau Claire. They were met in Eau Claire and went to Porters Mills.

After two years at Porters Mills, Ole went to Montana, where he worked in stores and on farms for the next two years. From there, he went to Seattle and must have been one of the first from Nordmøre out there. He homesteaded there, and was the owner of 160 acres after six years. He was also up in Alaska and British Columbia during the fishing season. He returned to Cameron, near Stanley, in 1893, and went into a partnership with Sivert Mauset. They married sisters from Folldal. Ole's wife was Ingrid (Ida) Simenson. She was called Aunt Ida in Stanley, where there settled in 1913, and Ole became a partner with Lars, in charge of the store. Ida used to hand out cookies to all the neighborhood children and, obviously, was very popular. She and Ole were married in 1895.

Photo reference 295/2: Ole Roe (Utistua Røv) married to Ida Simenson from Folldal. | Belongs to: Manda B. Roe.

Ole died of pneumonia in 1916. He had investments in his brother's  company, and the family lived on that. When it went bankrupt in the crash, three of the children were old enough to have jobs and they had no mortgage on the house. Ingrid is buried under both her names, Ingrid and Ida. She died in 1954, eighty years old.

Children: Imbert '97, Manda '00, Beatrice '06, Gerhard '10, Olida 13, and Lorraine '15.

Imbert was at West Point when his father died, and returned home to work for his uncle. He was once also postmaster in Stanley. Manda, or Maret, worked in hospital administration, Beatrice was a teacher, Gerhard worked at a technical institute, Olida was an organist, and Lorraine had business training and was a choir director. The eldest three remained the family's support and never married. The three younger ones all married.


Brother Einar
Einar also lived in Stanley. He returned home from the USA, unmarried, bringing some twenty odd thousand kroner. Kvendset at Røv was built with these funds. Those were unsettling times in the banks, but Wholesaler Mikkelsen said that his money would be safe in a private bank in Kristiansund. Einar, however, lost everything. He somehow also generally lost people's respect after this and never recovered from the shock, keeping to the stables for the most part. He lived in Gammelstua at Røv.


Brother-in-law Ola Mogstad
Ingebrigt, half-brother to the Røv brothers in Stanley, was the unmarried owner of Gammelstua. His sister Marit and her husband Ola Mogstad were to inherit Gammelstua. But, by the time they had acquired three children, the old bachelor was still hanging onto the farm, so Ola departed for America and earned the money to buy a farm over there. He returned home for his wife and children, but it was to take over the farm instead, and his farm near Stanley was sold.


Sivert Mauset
S. O. Mauset is Sjur, born in 1859 at Austistua, Mauset, brother of the Mausets in Richland, North Dakota. The centennial report for Cameron, 1879-1979, says Sjur arrived in 1880. He worked at various ventures in North Dakota and Wisconsin for eleven years.

In 1891, Sjur created the company "Mauset & Roe", together with Lars I. Røv. Ola Røv also joined them when he arrived in 1893, and he bought out Lars' share in 1904. Sjur took over the whole company in 1913.

Photo reference 296/1: Advertisement Mauseth & Roe.

Sjur married Marie Simenson from Folldalen, the sister-in-law of Ole Roe. Children: Geneva, Mabel, Walter, Oliver, Mildred, Viola, and Valborg.

Sjur lost everything in a fire in 1916, but rebuilt. Interior pictures of the store in the Cameron report show a large and busy business.

Sjur was also an active member of society. He was clerk for Cameron Township for many years and sat on the school board for many of the years when it was getting started. He was clerk for the school board, vice-president of the bank, and secretary of The Norwegian Lutheran Church.

Sjur was married in Eau Claire in 1884.

Sjur's children were also educated at St. Olaf College.

Geneva taught in Minneapolis for many years, and eleven years at the English Institute at Concordia College in Moorhead. As is well known, not anyone gets the opportunity to teach in the highly regarded Norwegian-Lutheran teaching positions, famous for their very high standards.

Mildred died of influenza in 1918 while in nurse's training. Viola worked for the government in Washington for 25 years. Valborg became a hospital dietician in Ashland. No further information.

Sjur died in 1964, nearly ninety years old.


Louis Honstad
Born in Norway, April 13, 1874, it states in "Stanley - Our Town, 1881-1981". The book says his name was originally spelled as Hanstad. In Surnadal, Sagtrøa Røv, we have the name Honnstad. The book says that he came to America and Porters Mills in the spring of 1892 and soon moved to Stanley, where he remained the rest of his life. He worked for the Northwestern Lumber Company until 1920. He was trained as a painter, like his father. He worked for the Stanley Supply Company from 1922 to 1932. He held a responsible position in the Stanley Brick Company and, for 20 years, was manager of the Farmers and Merchants State Bank. He sat on the county road commission and the jury commission.

Louis married Mathilda Johnson and had four children, Gina, Edna, Ethel, and Leonard. He died in 1945, a widower since 1938.

Sources: Borghild Syrdal; Manda, Beatrice, and Imbert Roe; Olav Mogstad; centennial historical publications for Stanley and Cameron; "On the Eighth Day of August", a collection of family letters published by Borghild Syrdal for the 1980 family reunion at St. Olaf College; other articles by Borghild's brothers.


A Returning North-American, 13 Years old

Anders Møkkelgjerd
In the district of inner Nordmøre, there were quite a few who had worked at the sawmill and woods in Stanley, saved their money, and returned home. Stanley is one of the names still constantly mentioned, a sort of way station before the emigration to Canada and the west coast got underway in the period between the wars. It would be interesting to have seen boarding-house records for Stanley.

Anders Møkkelgjerd, now 83 years old, describes his childhood in Stanley very vividly today.

His father Ola was heir to Møkkelgjerdet, but went to America in 1903 with Magnus Sjøflot, who was heading for Colorado. Ola was 29 years old. The records state Ola was unmarried, but he married Maret Teilgård from Gartgeilen in 1898, and they had the sons Lars, Petter Kristian, and Anders.

Ola was paid $3.50 a day in Stanley, and thought that a very good wage. He returned home and brought his family to Stanley in 1906. Their son Lars was born in 1898, but died in 1904. The children Petter Kristian, born in 1900, and Anders, born in 1903, went with them to Stanley. A new Lars was born there in 1909, but he scarcely came to be one-year old. In 1912, they had a daughter, Gina.

Anders, now 83 years old in 1986, tells about his childhood days in Stanley as if they were yesterday, speaking so vividly that one imagines oneself with them playing "hawks and doves" (Cowboys and Indians) on the logs in the mill basin. Now and then they would plop in, but Anders said they could swim. They shot pigeons and caught frogs, and fried the pigeons and frogs legs. They swam in the brook several times a day during the summer and were brown as berries. (In Norway, it's easy to forget that Stanley is at the same latitude as Italy.)

The youths got spoons to scrape the ice cream pans gratis at the dairy on the south side of town during the summer, and that was ice cream made from the best of stuff! Those were pleasant days, Anders says, giving an impression of sawmill times from an unusual point of view.

During the winter, they skated in the basin by the sawmill. It was terribly cold, Anders says. Even though they had some terrifically thick jackets with high collars that they turned up, they still couldn't keep warm. A work boss in the woods once ordered his crew on a forced march back to their cabins because of sleet in a health-threatening situation.

Anders' mother became ill, and they had a housekeeper, Valborg Solli. She was big and fat, Anders says, but could jig, a kind of dance step. Petter became very proficient at jigging, but Anders says he never got the hang of it.

Anders could only speak Norwegian when he started school, but fortunately the schoolmistress was Norwegian, so it all worked out well. Usually, he says, English was used, even at home.

Anders' mother had TB. One part of the treatment was for patients with TB to have fresh air. He remembers his mother lying out on the porch, and snow blowing onto her bedding. She was bed-ridden at home the whole time, and died at home. His grandfather wrote saying they had to come home and, the year after his mother died, his father returned home with the three children. Gina was only four. They traveled on the Bergensfjord. They were halted by a bowshot from an English vessel outside Kirkwall, and their ship was thoroughly searched to see if they were carrying cargo that could benefit Germany in the war. The Oslofjord had left New York the day before and was still lying in Kirkwall for inspection, as they were surprised that the ship was carrying so many vehicle tires.

Anders had a job polishing knives on the Bergenfjord with corks and polishing powder, and for that he received the fruit people left behind on the tables after meals.

When Anders went to school at Glærum after his stay in America, the adaptation was more difficult than it had been in the USA. He spoke only English. Teacher Bæverfjord would have him read stories in English for the class, and they were extremely dismal tales. The others didn't understand a bit of what he was reading, and would laugh out loud, something Anders thought reprehensible.

Anders had become a good baseball player in the USA and, when someone hit the ball at school in Hallvardvika, he would always catch it. It was always girls against boys and he recalls that the author's mother batted like a man. She would hit long flies, but Anders managed to catch them. The author's aunt, who pitched, would fake throwing the ball, Anders would swing, and then she would throw it. He finally became so angry that he threw the ball at her, hitting her in the side, and the teacher gave him a nasty bawling out. The youths had it in for him in several respects and the teacher didn't go to his defense.

Anders aunt, Marit, used to sit in the loft playing the guitar and singing sad ballads. Anders would sit beside her, crying and yearning for Stanley. He suffered greatly from homesickness for Stanley. He says he has always missed the lemon and chocolate pies.

Anders says Stanley had around 3000 inhabitants when his family was there. He recalls several from Surnadal:

Ola Årnes - Tusvika | Aunt Henrikka from Gartgeilen | Lars Honnstad - Sagtrøa | Uncle Anders Møkkelgjerd | Sivert Grimsmo | Olaf and Ola Drøpping - Sjøasæter | Peder Holten from Eidet | The Røv Brothers | Lars Mauset - Utistua
Anders went to school with Herman Roe, who later became an editor in Northfield. Anders recalls him as a small, cocky guy who always managed to find opponents to fight at school every day, alternately winning and losing, something certainly due to Herman's family being viewed as upper-class "big shots" by the workers' children. Perhaps it was to be expected.

The children vied over fetching milk for Sivert Grimsmo. He lived in a house in the Møkkelgjerd's neighborhood, a sort of self-service boarding house. His milk pail stood on the table with a little bag of caramels next to it, a reward for those who fetched his milk.

When the Møkkelgjerd family went to America, their boat ran aground near New York, and they arrived in Stanley on a train other than the one they were expected on. The train they were to have been on was derailed and, when they got to Stanley, no one came to meet them, for they had gone east to see if the family was among the dead or injured. They spent their first night at a hotel and then lived at Ola Tusvika's place. When they had their own home, Lars Honnstad, Peder Holten, and Olaf and Ola Drøpping lived with them. Anders recalls there was much wrestling in the yard behind the Møkkelgjerd home. Peder was the champion.

Anders' father first worked in the mill, but later got a job in the lumberyard.

Anders' uncle became a resident of Stanley. Anders didn't know what his uncle, who was a logging-camp cook, did after the sawmill era ended. He emigrated in 1899 along with Sivert Sjøflot.

His aunt Henrikka from Gartgeilen married John (?) Bolme. They had no children, but when her husband died, Henrikka married her stepson, Albert Johnson, and they had a daughter Myra. Henrikka wanted to keep Anders when his father returned to Norway, for her husband was a builder and employed twenty men. They wanted Anders for the office, but Ola would not let his son stay. He surely thought it enough to leave his wife and their little son who died in America.

Ola Tusvika had the job at the mill of standing where the planks and boards came out from the saw. Eight men stood on each side of the line to take them away. Ola marked all the boards and planks with their correct dimensions as they emerged. He must have had a good eye and a quick hand to mark everything it took 16 men to carry away and load on the carts. Ola's daughter, Alma Aarnes, was a schoolmistress in Stanley. Unfortunately, the author didn't realize, during her brief, three to four hour stay in Stanley, that Alma was still living and writes to a cousin of Anders, both in Norwegian and English. She could tell much about Stanley!

Lars Utistua Mauset also worked at the mill. Olaf Drøpping was in the lumberyard and Ola in the office. Sivert Grimsmo (emigrated 1909) was at the mill, as was Peder Holten. Anders says Louis Honnstad was a painter. Anders recalls a Ranes fellow who went around taking prizes at skating races.

All of these from Surnadal were neighbors. Anders Møkkelgjerd and Ola Aarnes married sisters, naturally from Gudbrandsdalen.

The Møkkelgjerd family used the name Skog in the USA (Grytskog).

Photo reference 298/1: Ola Møkkelgjerd Skog on the journey back home from America aboard the Bergensfjord in 1916. The children are from the left: Anders, Gina and Petter. | Belongs to: Anders Møkkelgjerd.

Photo reference 298/2: Lumber camp at Stanley. Ola Møkkelgjerd in the back row, just to the right of the door. | Belongs to: Anders Møkkelgjerd.

Photo reference 299/1: The saw mill at Stanley, with the town in the background. | Belongs to: Anders Møkkelgjerd.

Photo reference 299/2: A close-up of the saw mill at Stanley. | Belongs to: Anders Møkkelgjerd.

Photo reference 300/1: First row from the left.: Sivert Grimsmo, Anders Møkkelgjerd, Ola Gulla, Louis Honnstad. At the back from the left.: Unknown, Ola Møkkelgjerd. | Belongs to: Anders Møkkelgjerd, nephew of the Anders Møkkelgjerd in the photo and son of Ola Møkkelgjerd.

Photo reference 300/2: Ola Aarnes, Tusvika married to ? - the daughter Alma. | Belongs to: Anders Møkkelgjerd. | Photo: E.B. Hagen, Stanley.

Photo reference 300/3: Olaf Sivertsen Drøpping - who remained in the USA, and Lars Mauseth who returned to Surnadal. Lars on the right | Belongs to: Anders Møkkelgjerd. | Photo: Brandmo, Stanley.

Photo reference 301/1: Louis (Lars) Honnstad from Sagatrøa at Røv, painter in Stanley, with his wife (?). The children from the left: Gina, Edna, Ethel and Leonard. | Photo: Brandmo, Stanley. | Belongs to: Anders Møkkelgjerd.

Photo reference 301/2: Anders Møkkelgjerd, our source's uncle, with is wife Mary, their son Leonard and their daughter Margaret. | Belongs to: Anders Møkkelgjerd.


Peder K. Holten or Ellevset
Peder from Ellevset-Gjeret emigrated to Wisconsin in 1911. Going to Wisconsin at this time means we will find Peder in Stanley, and he is undoubtedly the Peder who is wrestling champion of the Møkkelgjerd's backyard.

Peder was one of those who had to don an American uniform in W.W.I. He later lived in Minneapolis. He survived until 1982 and drove an automobile until his dying day, 90 years old. It's not strange he was the wrestling champion!

Photo reference 302/1: Peder K. Holten on the right in a US uniform during the first world war. | Belongs to: Magnhild Edøy.

Photo reference 302/2: Not the old viking sport of 'broktak' in Stanley but 'Olaf og Ole Gjeldnes wrestling out by Lake Minnetonka. 'I have taken and developed this photograph. Good, right?' Who it is that has 'taken and developed' it is not written on the photo but it was Ole J. Kvendbø who brought it with him from the USA in 1909. We include it as it surely shows a not uncommon pastime in the camps where many of our people lived at the time. (Olaf is on the left). | Belongs to: Tønnes Kvendbø.

Children: Dona Mae, Audry, and Kenneth Oven.

Peder used his mother's name, Ellevset.

Sources: Alma Kleivset and Magnhild Edøy.


Randi and Johanna from Jørn-Gjeret, Heggset
Niece Guro

A very clear childhood memory has returned ever more frequently to the author, and its recollection has motivated her to find out where people went on the other side of the ocean and what became of them.

Maret Bakkå, who lived on the cotter's farm of the same name at Glærum, was often a baby-sitter for the author, who amused herself drawing large moons with pencils on gray paper, which Maret would hang up all over her blue-painted walls on those long Sunday afternoons, or whatever day of the week it was. In any case, days at Maret's were known as Sundays. Maret was born in 1874 and the author in 1945.

One day, Maret was sitting on the bench on her steps. It was a splendid Sunday afternoon, with evening drawing nigh and time standing, as it were, still. Maret went inside, opened a drawer of her dresser, and came back out with a bolt of dress material. She sat with it in her lap, running her hands over it again and again. It was white, with large birch leaves in several brilliant, glowing, bright colors. At last she said, "Look here at what I got from America." Around Maret, all the colors were gray and brown, or freshly scrubbed wood. Only the walls inside her cottage were colored. The dress fabric shimmered in Maret's lap. Maret said to her big sister, "Now they'll really stop calling this big girl too little! She will get this dress material from me." Not until many years later did this writer realize what that fabric must have meant to Maret, and what a large part of her life it was. It was one of the bonds to her sister in America. This little girl must have sensed the unspoken, for both the red, yellow, and green leaves on the white background and the aura surrounding Maret would always bring the past to mind as if but yesterday.


We find Maret's sister Randi in Cameron. She left in 1901 with her destination Rice Lake, Wisconsin, but her address became Cameron. She married Ole Olsen. They had a foster-daughter, Agnes, but no children by marriage. She had a son at home in Norway, and he was subsequently sent to Randi when he was 12 years old, wearing an address tag. We find John Olsen, 13 years old, in the records for 1903.

Randi's sister Johanna came to stay with Randi. She died unwed.

Her niece Guro Honnstad arrived at Randi's in June 1912, on a ticket purchased in America.

Guro settled in Minneapolis, married a Paulson and had sons George and Gordon. She lost them so closely together that they were buried at the same time in 1936. She had previously lost her husband in an accident. She managed by taking in boarders and things must have gone well, for she was home on a visit with her boys in 1930. Guro was an independent and emancipated lady, who once took the steering wheel from Ola Nygåra to drive by herself.

Guro married Bjarne Olsen from Hamar. No children. She died in 1955.

Photo reference 303/1: Amerika-visitors on the stairs of Maret Bakkå in 1930. From the front left: Maret, Guro, Guro's mor. At the back: Martinus Bakkå, Mikal Honnstad, Guros father and son. | Belongs to: Helma Honnstad

Photo reference 303/2: 'This is Eli Skogen (Sylte) and me and little Geo, isn't he cute?' writes Guro to 'Ragnhild'. | Belongs to: Helma Honnstad.

Photo reference 303/3: Randi Heggset Olsen with - from the left.: maid, Guro, 'my little girl' on the stool and 'the one with the glasses is my husband's half-sister, who is the daughter of Eli Skogaa». | Belongs to: Helma Honnstad.

Photo reference 304/1: 'For Synnøve Haanstad from Ole and Randi. Merry Christmas.' Forget us not' - writes Randi in a postcard for Guri Gullasbakken. Postal stamp shows December 1911 - Rice Lake. | Belongs to: Helma Honnstad.


Uncle Johan Honnstad
Guro's uncle, Johan Honnstad from Honnstadøya II, left from Voss for America in 1902 under the name Krangnes, with Honnstad given in parentheses. His occupation is railroad worker, after working on the Bergen line, and he gives no destination.

He became a minister in America, as did his son, Ingvald John. Johan married Inga Løvdal from Trysil and they had six children. The family has visited the old country several times.

We may rather confidently deduce that Johan laid the economic foundation for his studies at the Northwestern Lumber Company.

Sources: John and Helma Honnstad.


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* Copyright Dordi Glærum Skuggevik 1986 - ISBN 02-991394-0-6. Please note: The original text and photo captions in Norwegian – and any digitisation and translation thereof - contain information from public, private and personal sources and may contain unintended errors, inaccuracies or omissions. The author - and as applicable: the digitiser and translator - accepts no liability for any such errors, inaccuracies or omissions. To continue, the reader must accept all limitations of liability and the text ‘as is’ - or should refrain from further reading.

The above content is from the book "Utvandringshistorie fra Nordmøre - Stangvik og Surnadal Prestegjeld" (History of emigration from Nordmøre – Stangvik and Surnadal Parish (Norway)) - published in 1986 by Dordi Glærum Skuggevik - and is used by the author's kind permission. All photos are used by the owners' kind permission.

The English text - except for part VII and photo captions - is a private translation from Norwegian by Sjur Sivertson, used with his kind permission (copyright Sjur Sivertson).

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