Johnson (Minnesota) & Benson (Tennessee) Connections

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  • ID: I11553
  • _UID: D1E1DC19E2D0489B9158E98B5EF84EDB184B
  • Name: Nels Marius NELSON
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 27 MAR 1885 in Tranaplass, Norway
  • Death: 10 SEP 1950 in Thief River Falls, Pennington County, Minnesota
  • Note: Northwestern (then St. Luke?s) Hospital
  • Burial: 13 SEP 1950 St. Pauli Cemetery, Thief River Falls, Minnesota
  • Christening: 25 MAY 1885 Norway
  • CONF: 24 SEP 1899 Norway
  • Emigration: 2 APR 1906 from Trondheim with the Anker-Linien Steampship Company
  • Note:

    From the Pennington County History (1976):

    My father, Nils Marius Nillsen (so spelled in the kyrkebjoka for Ogudalen) was born at Tranaplass in Norway on March 27, 1885.... He was the fourth of seven children, two of whom had died in infancy. He lived with his family on a small farm where they kept a few goats. His mother and older sisters milked the goats and his father and his older brother worked in the forest cutting wood for fuel, along with other jobs that needed to be done on the farm.

    Dad attended a small elementary school under the direction of L. D. Hofstad, headmaster. He was seven when he started school, and after seven years of schooling he received a certificate of completion. Now at the age of fourteen he was obliged to go to work with his father and older brother. Working in the woods didn?t net him much of an income so after five years he decided to go to America. He had been thinking of this for some time, especially after hearing of others who were successful in getting jobs there.

    Consequently, when Dad became twenty-one years old he contracted with the Anker-Linien Steamship Company for passage to the United States at a cost of Kr. 234.75. On April 2, 1906, he left by steamship from Trondheim for America. His youngest sister Marie was there to see him off, not realizing that she would never see him again. The ship docked in New York about three weeks later.

    Having heard that the area around Bemidji, Minnesota, was similar to parts of Norway, and that other Scandinavians had found work there, he decided to go there also. On arriving in Bemidji just eight years after the Leech Lake Indian Uprising, Dad discovered a thriving village of 800 people. Vast amounts of timber in that area gave rise to about a dozen sawmills. Dad found employment in one of the sawmills, planing lumber and loading it on boxcars....

    On April 4, 1912, Norman weighing 14 pounds, was born at home with the assistance of a midwife. About a year and a half later Raynard came. Dad now decided that he would like to become an American citizen, having lived in the United States at least five years. Consequently, at a general term of the district court of the Fifteenth Judicial District held at Bemidji on the 11th day of February, 1914, he became a citizen of the United States with all the responsibilities and privileges it bestows. Little did he realize that exactly two years later to the day, he would be the proud father of twin girls....

    Mother and Dad were members of the St. Pauli Lutheran Church which is located about a half mile north of the home place. All eight of us children were baptized and confirmed from that church. Mother herself was confirmed there around 1900 with Carrie Fredrickson, Fred Fredrickson, Annette Loken, and a Hostvet boy. I. T. Aastad was the pastor at the time. Dad was the ?klokker? or bell ringer and custodian of the church for many years. Many times we would help clean the church, and when there was to be a funeral we would assist Mother in decorating the church for the funeral. In winter Dad would have to go to the church early to get a good fire going so that it would be fairly comfortable by the time church services started. Sometimes on Christmas Eve some of us would trudge through the snow over to the church and ring the bell, heralding the birth of the Christ-Child and again on Near Year?s Eve to ring in the new year....

    Dad had worked on the railroad for 26 years when he suffered a stroke. He recovered quite slowly but never returned to work on the railroad again. Being the type of man that he was, he didn?t just sit around and vegetate, but found several odd jobs to keep him busy. About two years later on September 9, 1950, when the men were threshing the grain, he decided to help by holding the grain sacks. That evening after supper he walked over to the mailbox which was near the church. The box needed some repairs. He took care of it and then walked home. That evening before retiring he suffered a severe stroke, losing consciousness. He was rushed to St. Luke?s (Northwestern) Hospital and passed away the next afternoon at the age of 65 years. Mother continued to live more than 23 years longer and had a full life. She passed away quietly at Northwestern Hospital on February 26, 1974.
  • Change Date: 29 JAN 2008



    Marriage 1 Hannah Louise LOKKEN b: 11 AUG 1888 in Skjee, Norway
    • Married: 23 DEC 1910 in Evangelical Lutheran Church, Bemidji, Minnesota
    • Note: Rev. T. S. Foeste
    Children
    1. Has No Children Nellie Louise NELSON b: 11 FEB 1916 in Rocksbury Township, Pennington County, Minnesota c: 2 APR 1916 in St. Pauli Church, Rocksbury Township, Minnesota
    2. Has No Children Hazel Margit NELSON b: 11 FEB 1916 in Rocksbury Township, Pennington County, Minnesota c: 2 APR 1916 in St. Pauli Church, Rocksbury Township, Minnesota
    3. Has Children Myrtle Alvina NELSON b: 29 OCT 1918 in Hazel, Pennington County, Minnesota c: 1 DEC 1918 in St. Pauli Church, Rocksbury Township, Minnesota
    4. Has Children Evelyn Johanna NELSON b: 19 APR 1920 in Rocksbury Township, Pennington County, Minnesota c: 8 AUG 1920 in St. Pauli Church, Rocksbury Township, Minnesota
    5. Has Children Nels Henry NELSON b: 29 MAR 1922 in Hazel, Pennington County, Minnesota c: 27 APR 1922 in St. Pauli Church, Rocksbury Township, Minnesota
    6. Has No Children Pearl Luella NELSON b: 15 DEC 1924 in Hazel, Pennington County, Minnesota c: 8 FEB 1925 in St. Pauli Church, Rocksbury Township, Minnesota
    7. Has Children Norman (Herman) Louis (Lauritz) NELSON b: 4 APR 1912 in Bemidji, Beltrami County, Minnesota c: 19 MAY 1912 in St. Pauli Church, Rocksbury Township, Minnesota
    8. Has No Children Raynard M. NELSON b: 28 DEC 1913 in Bemidji, Beltrami County, Minnesota
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