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Norwegian Ancestors

Mikkel K. and Anne Myking Mehus

Mikkel Knutson Mehus was born June 22, 1860 as the third child of Knut Nedrimyr Mehus and Birgit Mikkelsdatter Slettemoen. Of the family of seven children, four went to America for shorter or longer periods of time. Mikkel and his sisters, Ase and Gro, remained in America their entire life, while Anne returned home again. The eldest brother, Paul, operated his father's farm in Hol. The eldest sister, Anne, was married to Steen Teiensen Overmyro. They moved to Insborg where she died at a young age. The youngest sister, Birgit, trained as a deaconess and remained unmarried.

Mikkel was educated as a teacher at the country school in Vass (1880-1881). Thereafter he was a teacher in Skurdalen for one year before he went to America in 1882 at 22 years of age. Mikkel came first to Esterville, Iowa, where he was a teacher in a Norwegian congregation school for one year. He lived together with a childhood friend, Ole Myhre. Then he went to Reynolds, Dakota Territory and stayed with friends (the family of Ole and Knut Nestegard) until 1884. During these years he taught school in the Red River Valley, as well as other places in the Red River Valley.

In June 1893, Mikkel married Anne Myking from Al (Hallingdal). She immigrated in 1892. In 1896, Mikkel and Anne, together with their two children, Oscar and Belle, moved to a farm on the west side of Silver Lake. Here their third child, Hilda, was born on March 21, 1898. (A fourth child, Alma, was born in 1903 in Brinsmade.)

In 1901 Mikkel took a three month trip home to Hol to meet relatives and friends he had not seen for 19 years.

In 1917 the family moved to Fessenden, North Dakota. Anne died there in 1918, a victim of the influenza epidemic (Spanish Influenza).

Mikkel became restless after his wife's death, so he returned to the tree claim farm which he had rented out. Now he resumed managing the farm. To get into gear again, he purchased five horses and a complete set of farm equipment. Mikkel was sixty years old when he took hold and began farming for the second time.

Mikkel lived on the farm by Silver Lake until he died on August 10, 1933.


Charles T. and Mary Nestegard Studness

The following obituary of Charles T. Studness was copied in part from the Churchs Ferry Sun, December 1, 1927.

"Charles T. Studness was born in Lom, Gudbrandsdalen, Norway, May 4, 1863. His parents were Torstein and Liva Garmo Studness. In 1880 at the age of seventeen, he immigrated to the United States. During his first four years in this country, he worked in the drug store of his brother, Otto, in Chicago. On August 4, 1887, he went into store business on his own account in Churchs Ferry, Dakota Territory. His business activities were not confined to Churchs Ferry. From time to time, he helped organize and retained interest in nine stores in the Lake Region. He also took active interest in farming and became one of the largest land owners in the state.

In his business dealings, he was, to a most unusual extent, guided by the Golden Rule. He was always, even under apparently hopeless conditions, willing to help those who were in actual need of help. Many an early settler can testify that when the future looked utterly hopeless and others refused credit, Mr. Studness was always ready to help and the principles which guided him in his business dealings may probably best be characterized by the motto: "Live and Let Live."

On November 2, 1891, Mr. Studness was married to Mary Nestegard, at Devils Lake, North Dakota, the ceremony being performed by the Reverend John Madsen, Pastor of the St. Olaf Lutheran Church. Mr. Studness is survived by Mrs. Studness and two children, Leo and Clarine. He was preceded in death by an infant son, Otto." (End of obituary.)

Mary (Marit) Nestegard Studness was born June 5, 1871 to Ole and Kristi Strand Nestegard in Hol, Hallingdal, Norway. She immigrated with her parents to Dakota Territory in 1878. After some years near Reynolds, Dakota Territory, they settled permanently in Coulee Township, Ramsey County, North Dakota, in 1884. Mrs. Studness was a member of Big Coulee Lutheran Church and Eastern Star. She was interested in and actively supported community projects.

Torstein Studness, father of Charles T. Studness, managed the Lom Savings Bank, Lom Norway, from 1874 until his death in 1890.

In the family of Liva Garmo Studness, mother of Charles T. Studness, written history goes back to 872. In the year 1021, King Olaf (later Saint Olaf) stopped at the Torgeir Garmo farm in Gudbrandsdalen, Norway. At the request of King Olaf, Torgeir Garmo built a church on the Garmo place. The church foundation still can be seen on the Garmo farm today, and a reproduction of the Garmo church has been built and can be seen on Maihaugen in Lillehammer, Norway. Notable relatives in the Garmo genealogy are Knut Hamson (Nobel Prize for Literature 1920) and Ernest Orlando Lawrence (Nobel Prize for Physics in 1939).

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