Tuesday, September 7, 2010

September 1910

HARVEST RULES Mary O. Paulsen's diary entries for this month, and understandably so! Above is a great old photo of a field crew -- paused and posed for the photographer -- which was found in the collection of Ernie Rasmussen (son of Lena P. & Ras) so we are assuming it contains some R-face(s) or it is on Rasmussen lands. >> Do you recognize anybody? Likely it's not from 1910 in particular, but is of the era. Field crews at harvesttime often were men who traveled the surrounding areas from field to field, for a long time -- and the women traveled too, working very hard long days to feed them. Imagine feeding a crew like the one above [over and over and over] without our kitchen conveniences today! I know they did it then and did it well without our handy appliances, but Wow.

The 1909 plat map below shows a part of Towner County called Twin Hill Township. Each small square of a Township is a Section, is one square mile and has a Section number, 1--36. Each Section contains 4 quarters -- NW, NE, SE, SW; but many readers of this are indeed first-hand familiar with the system. One of MaryOP's farmlands is in sect 33. [please remember you can enlarge the image with a touch of your cursor, then return to blog with a touch on the 'Back' or left-facing arrow. That'll certainly ease your eyes!] Just north of MaryOP in same section is son George. You'll find other THtwp farms nearby of folk she mentions a lot, e.g., Will Rasmussen/ bro of Ras+; Ed Odegaard/ dad of Peter who will later marry Ras+Lena's daughter Mae; Curtis J. Lord/ Mary's banker; Uriah Forney/ dad of Myrtle, wife of Fred P.; Henry Schmedburg who she's always trying to convert; and farm neighbor Axel Hanson.

More of MaryOP's children's farmlands needing threshing are here in Victor Twp (just south of Twin Hill Twp) where the bulk of her children farm -- Paulsens, Rasmussens, Fredlunds -- in mostly adjoining farms, in 1909. (To west of Victor Twp is Lewis Twp, not shown, where her eldest son Will & Olga farmed in sections 13-14 until they sold in 1910.) Pardon please my hen-scratchings on the map:

HER CASH-OUT record for September:

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The month's diary:

"Annie George" is Annie (Nelson), wife of MaryOP's son George. There are almost as many Annies in the family as Marys, so the husband's first name was often stuck after the woman's to distinguish her from family members and various spouses of same name. I've shown their wedding photo a couple times, so here they are a while later, date unknown to me. Annie was a widow for seven decades after George's untimely death in 1932 at age 44. I think the two portraits were done in same studio, same time as the studio backgrounds are identical even if the repro print colors aren't:

George (1888--1932) inherited his mother's jawline and his father Albert's eyes:

MaryOP's 7th-born is Edward Paulsen BUT she wouldn't refer to him by the spelling -son and by both names which is too starched for a son. I have an "educated hunch" feeling that her letter (mentioned above) went to Edward J. Paulsen -- MaryOP's late husband Albert's nephew, then 26, son of Albert's brother Hans (1855-1914) & Maria Jurgenson Paulson (1857-1945.) Edward lived far away in Washington state. Although his father Hans had dropped the Danish -Sen spelling of his ancestors, Edward returned to it and is kept by subsequent branches on that family tree. (Or the letter could've gone quite elseward; this was just a hunch.)

Don't know this school's location but Annie taught in various schools for decades. She was a widow for many decades after George's untimely death in 1932 at age 44. She lived to an age beyond 100. They had no children but she was a singularly wonderful aunt to her many Nelson nieces and nephews.

MaryOP has mailed brochures "Son of God" and "John 3:16" to her friend and fellow widow Dorothy McDewitt who'd moved to Pennsylvania. Another letter went to 'Mrs Mathias' who is Albert's sister (another Mary) made distinct as 'Mrs husband's-first-name.' That Mary (Paulson, as most of Albert's sibs spelled it) married a Mathias Paulson ... just to confuse things up, you think? .. . had 14 children (13 survived their youth) and stayed in Blooming Prairie, MN. 'Mary Mathias' had recently become a widow (1909) when Mathias died, two years after their 14th was born. (Yikes!) If you wish to see her and Mathias and brood in 1902, find 8th-born Mary at end of April's posting-- found in this blog archive -- in margin to the right >>

MaryOP was indeed good about visiting, writing and bolstering her many fellow widows.

John Melin rented and farmed MaryOP's land in Starkweather.

I think it was the Great Northern train which ran a direct line NW through Cando up to Bisbee. There she stopped to eat and visit with Kjirstine, wife of Jacob Nelson and mother of two of MaryOP's daughters-in-law, Olga (Will) & Tillie (Henry.) Inger Kjirstine (Jacobson) Nelson of southern Norway lived 1856 to 1930 and half of that in ND. Here she is in her later years -- boy, she sure looks like my Grandma Tillie N Paulsen!! -- date unknown. If you know the When of the photo, or anything else about Kjirstine JN, please teach me.

They go out to check on very pregnant Tillie, sister of Olga. MaryOP will be midwife for Tillie and child.

Morris is Maurice Rasmussen, younger bro of Ras and Jim. (see July photo feature; archive)
As far as I can tell, MaryOP is on the road for the rest of the month -- staying with and traveling among most of her children's homes. Harvest season was just that way, esp. as that part of her farmland was 16 miles NE from her home in Cando and the bulk of her kids lived up that way. I'm glad she had a good pen with her diary book for this trip, most of the time at least!

Fred Paulsen's wife Myrtle was son of nearby Twin Hill twp. farmer, Uriah and Laura Forney, here seen with their family circa 1903, a photo scanned from the 2005 Egeland centennial book. Myrtle is standing near right, wearing a lace-detailed bodice. It's about four years after she married Fred:

I've shared Fred & Myrtle's 1899 wedding photo a couple times already, so next is the couple (circa 1918) with their two children Jeanette and Albert. The son was named for his grandfather Albert and was born in 1910, four years before the elder Albert Paulsen died:

The day's scripture of "Be not Drunken with Wine" (also over the next 1/2 dozen days) was a strong theme of MaryOP's life as member of the local chapter of Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU).

As visable on the two township plat maps near start of this posting, Henry Paulsen and Sander Fredlund's land is a fat mile apart, with Will Rasmussen's immediately north (across township line) of Sander's farm. The threshing team is steadily moving along, farm by farm. I like this photo so here it is again. The dude in the center with no hat -- in white shirt and tie? -- is likely the land owner. Do tell me if you recognize him:

Lena is herself 7th months pregnant -- with Agnes, due in November. She also dealt with 'faintings' or seizures of which she was later cured by faith healing according to her witness or testimony written in 1960 at age 82.

(The Forney family was shown above in photo for Sept 12.)

Moving day for Lena and Ras and the four+ children! As noted before, their previous home had burnt down and 1910 was the onset of life in the new place, seen below, built on the same spot. Photo below with family in best best and the farm hands. This home still stands in Egeland, at least it was a few years ago when last I heard, but not in its posture of a century ago.

Yikes -- her first born and a big one. First, here's how the happy parents looked nine months earlier, Othilde 'Tillie'/ 'Tilde' (Nelson) and Henry J. Paulsen:

And here's that little fellow born 21 Sept 1910, Everett N. Paulsen; d. 8 April 2006. He got me started in photography, supported my enthusiasm for family history and would have enjoyed this 1910 MaryOP diary effort. Happy century 1910-2010, Dad - - the big old buffalo.

This Annie is her daughter, b. 1882. She staying with Annie and Jim Rasmussen for a couple days. Hilde (Will R.) is Annie's sister-in-law who comes visiting from just across the township line. Cruellers are a donut-y dessert -- from the Dutch word for 'twisted cake.'

Look how wind directions progressed through that day! SE, S, W, then N. Imagine the dizzy weather vane as changing conditions signal the approach of colder times. Yearly, before starting notes in each new diary book, MaryOP would jot in the 'am' and 'pm' at top of each page (and pre-assign the scriptural studies) for the whole year. She'd then daily note her weather observations from the morning and/ or afternoon, as fitting.

The area is known for its duck and other wild fowl hunting situated as it is in the northern prairie potholes region. Indeed Cando today calls itself the 'Duck Capitol of North Dakota.'

Harvest accounting continues. MaryOP had to be a shrewd business woman to support herself and daughters, managing incomes and expenditures for her rented farms and other properties and the hired workers for same.

Letters went to Twin Hill neighbor Ed Odegaard and to her Tw.H. farm-renter, Oscar Nelson.

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While there is no 'photo feature' this month, there IS this mystery photo which I am looking to you for help in identifying. I believe I snapped it when visiting the Danish Baptist Cemetery near Blooming Prairie MN 20+ yrs ago. Why, oh WHY didn't I label this photo!?? It verily might be the home of Paul and Anna Marie Fredrickson, parents of Albert Paulsen and his many siblings, and parents-in-law of MaryOP. Anyway, the cemetery is a short piece beyond this property -- I think I can see it at the left, in photo. If this is that old home, the Fredrickson's son Jacob Paulsen later owned it, and, later again, Peter & Adena Miller owned it. They were two 'bachelor' children of Albert's widowed sister Dorothea who cared for her there until her death, then kept on farming. (They were siblings of 'Mary Sanders' Miller Fredlund, Towner Co., ND, and others.) While most readers of this blog won't be savvy to rural Steele County in s.e. MN, someone, somewhere might connect. Ideas?

Until the October posting of this century old diary of Mary Olsen Paulsen,

-- Marsha Paulsen Peters, Iowa City IA (a great-granddaughter)

Remember that your comments, OLD photos, corrections and further stories of the family in that era are very welcome via e-mail contact.


Monday, August 16, 2010

August 1910

This month's INTRO PHOTO is a dear one of all six daughters of diary author Mary {Olsen} Paulsen and husband Albert Paulsen.
It was taken in Egeland ND in 1895 when the girls' ages ranged from 19 to one -- i.e., the oldest and youngest of the 11 children who survived childhood. At that point none of the older trio were married. There is a nine year age difference between the two sets [rows] of daughters, during which time four sons were born. From back left, clock-wise, including eventual married name for reference sake, are Mary Henrietta [Fredlund] b.1876, Anna Christine [Rasmussen] b.1882, Lena Fredericke [Rasmussen] b.1878; Lillie Sarah [Nelson] b.1891, Hannah Clara [Jones] b.1893, and babe Emma Ida [Hanson] b.1894.

This photo was taken five or six years before most of the family would head west to Kalispell MT. We can immediately see that it predates the 1910 diary by many years because the two little girls sitting together there on the chair are 'currently' (100 years ago) planning their 1911 double wedding event. This image helps me see why MaryOP naturally refers to her younger/ front row trio as "The Girls" up through their teen years.

There's no additional 'photo feature' this month so we get right into her diary book.
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MaryOP's CASH OUT tally for the month of August, 1910:

'Made ready for Washing tomorrow" includes mixing up a batch of liquid soap. Here's MaryOP's own recipe (1908) for such. At least this is what they used for white clothes:

Almost always their Washing Day occurs on Tuesday but with the preparation, washing, ironing and mangling {the large mangle press used for flat items} the process usually spanned three days.

I believe that was Lousie Pollock (40). According to cemetery records, they'd recently buried a 17 year old son. In 1908, a male in the Pollock family was renting or managing a store-front which MaryOP owned.

MaryOP's eldest daughter MaryH and husband Carl Fredlund have brought four year old Nellie into Cando for doctoring. I asked the son of Nellie Fredlund (Woll), Kenneth Woll if he by chance had a photo of his mother at about this age. Well, he has two photo at this very age and e-sent them within hours! Kenn has been a champion in providing old photos and writings for our Paulsen history study -- including this 1910 diary. Thank you, cousin Kenn! I simply CAN NOT choose between the two photos (they both make me smile a lot) so here is sweet Nellie in 1910 -- relaxed, then 'starched':

That's about 30 dollars per crate in today's money so quite precious foods. Anybody know if Cando was-is temperate enough for such orchards? Maybe they were shipped in. Four days previous she had paid $7.10 to Canfields; that could be for the fruits. Canfield Company (general store and grocery) was formed by three Canfield brothers in Cando's early years and would be in business for 98 years: 1886 to 1984. Going by her Cash-Out records, MaryOP is a good and almost monthly customer. An early tinsmith and plumber in town, T.F. ('Tinner') Canfield was another brother (I believe) who she employed from time to time as needed.

{With her 'Dan-glish' phonetic spelling of hardly and breathe (above), can't you just about HEAR her telling this?}

Her garden couldn't thrive ("it won't grow") in this Summer of much drought. A sad and economically difficult situation.

Imagine work in the attic on this hot August day? Loss of hay and burning barns are further sad proofs of the region's tinder-like condition in 1910.

She was a terrific writer of letters and bolstered many with that skill. While I don't/can't normally illustrate recipients of a day's outgoing mail, here's an exception as we have images of all three:
1.) Fellow widower and sister-in-law Dorothea (Paulsen) Miller in Blooming Prairie MN, a younger sister of MaryOP's late husband, Albert. In this circa 1909 photo, Dorothea is surrounded by her five children -- including 'Mary Sanders' Fredlund at top right:

2.) The next letter listed went to the elder Fredlunds in Saskatchewan Canada, parents of Carl and Sander. Here's a studio photo of Johan and Johanna, followed by a 'home-made' one of Johanna when older, likely during her years as a widow:

3.) This letter went to Dagny, a former house-helper married to Christian Rasmussen (see last month's photo-feature) and in 1910 living with their family in Kalispell MT. This 1907 photo of them will be updated by the arrival of Pearl, born later in 1910:

Mr. Mohler is likely Paul Mohler, a minister of the nearby Church of the Brethren sometimes attended by 'The Girls.' Perhaps he was making neighborhood rounds to encourage attendance and membership.
Oscar Nelson of whom she has written before and 'vife' have come to contract the rental of one of her farms. This photo shows an Oscar Nelson and wife, year unknown, and on the back of photo it is noted {by an unrecognized hand} that one of them is somehow related to 'Annie Morris' (Johnson) wife of Maurice Rasmussen, photo-featured in last month's posting. I like how MaryOP asks and intends that they 'be good to each other' in this rental relationship.

The Stensons live about 25-30 miles northwest of Cando; 14 miles NNW of Bisbee.

Methinks she was making an appointment for Evan (Jones) to come talk to her, two days later ...

Daughter Lena and husband Ras Rasmussen have brought their 2nd-born, Mae, from Egeland into Cando for some doctoring. She'd had her 10th birthday three days earlier.
'Smoky' -- foggy? -- or things burning? . Evan Jones has now talked to MaryOP to ask for the hand of her daughter Hannah (17) in marriage. She grants it.

We know surgery was a very risky situation in 1910. A tonsillectomy today isn't without risk but is made immensely safer by use of antibiotics and modern methods. MaryOP reinstalls the window in the basement after its function as coal chute. 'They' begin work on a new sewer pipe.

Canfield (tinner and plumber) continues trenching.

Youngest of the Rasmussen brothers, Carl plowed some of her farmland for $1.50/ acre. Many area crops had failed by this point.

With all the trenching in the yard being followed by a heavy rain, I suspect there was a flow of clayey muck where it was not welcome. MaryOP teamed up with a shovel to send it elsewhere.

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Until next month,
Marsha Paulsen Peters