The Website

About Us

Our Surname

Lindgren is a Swedish surname for many families across Scandinavian countries and the United States. According to Wikipedia, approximately 58% of people using Lindgren as a surname live in Sweden. Because of emigration in the mid-1800s, the United States is home to another 26%, followed by significant numbers in Finland, Norway, Denmark and Canada.

In the United States, Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota all are represented by many families with the Lindgren surname. In the days of the old Bell System telephone books, the Minneapolis book held several pages of Lindgrens.

Lanyon, Iowa area Lindgrens — descendants of John and Frank Lindgren — will populate this site with genealogical records as well as documents of interest. John emigrated to America in 1890 and changed his surname from Petersson to Lindgren. When his brother Frank arrived two years later, he too adopted the Lindgren surname. Why Lindgren? Well, we just don’t know. Perhaps our connections through this website will someday reveal the answer. One theory advanced by Aunt Irene Elisabeth Lindgren Lessing Dahlen in the Family Album she assembled, Lindgren translated to “Linden Tree”.


The Main Menu has recently been revised with a goal of making it easier to find information. Genealogy is a separate menu item and contains important links to tables, charts and sources. The included tables will contain additional links to both internal and external sources. These internal sources will include both pages and posts. Pages contain permanent, factual information about people and places, while posts are contemporaneous narratives reflecting the views of contributors. Additionally, categories for posts have been established. About a half dozen recent posts are highlighted. These are accessed from the menu items at the bottom of a page, or post. Each post may also use tags to establish connections for reference. Posts may or may not include provision for comment. All comments are screened or modulated before going live.

Our Families menu recognizes both lineages of Frank and Amy Lindgren and John and Lizzie Lindgren, as well as The Johnson’s. Our part in the Swedish diaspora is recognized by including both our Swedish ancestry and the proliferation of surnames with which we are connected through marriages.

Our Memories menu includes the important “I Remember …” documents with wonderful stories about Frank and Amy Lindgren by their children and contributions from Nellie Anderson (Amy’s sister) and the oldest grandchild, Richard Lindgren, MD, who has also collected a wide range of documents about farming in Iowa as well as the historical records of the Mission Covenant Church that played such a prominent role in the life of Lanyon. .

The sitemap lists all posts and pages, as well as categories and tags. All sitemap entries are clickable so that you can view the page or post. Clicking on a category or a tag will display all of the linked items on the website. Unfortunately, the sitemap is not annotated and titles are an imperfect way to search for relevant information.

The search button at the top right of pages is quite effective in locating pages and posts containing any names and places of interest.

Throughout the website, we use active links to both internal pages and posts as well as external sources accessible through the Internet.

An effort is underway to establish a YouTube Channel that will enable the storage and streaming of relevant video.


Register if you would like to be informed about progress and new additions to the site. We hope to maintain many opportunities for communication. Our family has a legacy extending back over 100 years of keeping in contact with relatives. Two sisters of Frank and John, Selma and Jennie, were encouraged to emigrate through letters. Years later the children of Frank Lindgren organized a serial exchange of current family news through a Round Robin. The Round Robin continues through email distribution. Contact us to be included in our Round Robin distribution list.

If you are a member of this family and would like access to records that have not been made public, please contact Bruce for current information.

Our Heritage Sources

These pages will continue to develop as new information emerges from our connections and new or renewed contacts. We hope you will enjoy seeing our progress.

There are multiple source documents that will be accessed from these page. These sources will include records and photographs that have been collected. Our Aunt Irene—assembled the famous Family Album—now retained by Steve Lindgren. Other sources may include Richard Lindgren (the oldest grandchild of Frank and Amy Lindgren) and his daughter Amy Gfesser, Jonathon Coss and his sister Linnae Coss, Jim Carey and others.

The following represent some currently accessed sources.

  • The Family Album Collection
  • The old Website materials mostly curated by Linnae Coss, especially the “I Remember …” documents.
  • Linnae Coss Contemporaneous Family Records
  • Jim Carey Genealogy Studies
  • Jonathan Coss Genealogy Studies.
  • Richard Lindgren’s collection of Lanyon, IA History.
  • John W. Johnson has access to an archive of Johnson family clippings, photographs and letters held by his sister.
  • Dick Lindgren, and his son Chris, have recently contributed new records.


  • Jonathan Lindgren Coss, editor, New Rochelle, NY.
  • Steven Obed Lindgren, editor, Bloomington, MN.
  • David Charles Lindgren, editor, Stillwater, MN.
  • Jon Gilmore Lindgren, editor, Des Moines, IA.
  • Linnae Coss, advisor & curator, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Pat Heath, writer & curator, Tulsa OK.
  • John W. Johnson, curator, San Francisco, CA.
  • Richard Lindgren, curator, Madison, WI.
  • Chris Lindgren, curator, Adel, IA.
  • Jay Lindgren, contributor & curator, Denver,CO

NOTE: This new post was recently modified. The post carried the unusual LONet, which is my shorthand or abbreviation for the much longer

The Website

Where are We Going?

The Zoom meetings and the website are forging new spaces for family relationships that are adding richness to our lives. Steve has raised the questions about how we may be able to expand our reach to new generations as exemplified by Brent’s participation. Our generation has time to spare and to burn. Brent’s generation is deeply engaged with both professional and personal concerns that are settled conditions for most of us.

I am reminded again and again about the need to incorporate and integrate new media to our communication tools. The reminders are both contemporary and historical. The contemporary version comes from my almost daily contact with YouTube and the role of video media in teaching, conveying information on how-to-do-it, as well as transmitting a point of view. The historical comes from our family now being actively engaged with an extended range of connections and uncovering treasure hidden in boxes in attics, garages and basements. As boxes are opened, we now see potential for dissemination of messages embedded in images of the past and the words of our ancestors’ worlds that are preserved in letters and news clippings. Interestingly, there seems to be no clear, clean border about the extent of our connections. Second cousins are already involved and I’m seeing a future where there are third and fourth cousins involved, not to mention a half dozen or more generations.

The Round Robin served our parents for over a half century. What they did with their letters is incompletely known but so far, there is little evidence that much of anything was saved. By contrast, we are trying to establish a condition in this digital world where what remains of our generation and the next extant generations will be able to access easily and quickly a trove of rich historical and anecdotal images and text-based, narrative messages. (Of course, images are messages.) We also must hope to convey messages that are of high quality and retain the values demanded by our contemporary state of being. That doesn’t just mean that our messages are hip and couched in the lingo of our time, although that may form a part of our communications.

WordPress is ideally set up to be a blog and we may find new ways to implement that function. One key, which came up on Wednesday evening, could be to enroll people as contributors. I need to gain experience with how that may work. That experience will come only through feedback from a cohort of contributors. They, and perhaps they alone, will be able to “contribute” and inform the editors about how to best use and publish their contributions. I need to do more thinking about this as a potential for adding rich content to the site. It is that rich content that will inform what potential we can tap going forward.

One thing that is becoming increasingly clear is that I can’t continue to sustain my central role with both the website and the Zoom meetings. So far, there is only one reasonably active editor. The other designated editors are fairly silent especially when it comes to publishing. I don’t understand why this is the case; although, I suspect that the perfect may be the enemy of the good.

XXX — 20200821 –8:58am

This video is a short overview of the website, We will update this video from time to time as the main menu changes.


Random Thoughts

Editing Trouble

For a few months I have been baffled by the change in the editing function of WordPress when it is used with my Firefox browser. Interestingly, this is being done with the Chrome browser, and I have also found that the Microsoft Edge browser also seems to function just fine. Accordingly my recommendation is that if you are encountering trouble editing with one browser, change to a different application to see if that solves the problem.

Please let me know if you have been able to continue with editing. Unfortunately I may have spooked our editors when I described my problems.

This will contain some thoughts on strategy for the website. At least for the time being I’ll leave this unpublished and saved as a draft. Other editors may draw from the post and expand the development of pages, etc to reside on the site.

  • Travels to Sweden by members of the Lindgren family. Multiple visits to Sweden and Hamneda have been made by various family members.
  • Travels from Sweden … emigrations and visits by family members …
  • Swedish China Connections through missionary work, in particular that of Obed Simon Johnson, his marriage to Vida and the engagement of her and her sister as missionaries in China. Jon Coss is looking into the mission support provided by the Mission Covenant Church from records housed at North Park College in Chicago. On July 17 Jon contacted Mr. A Meyer ( at North Park requesting information about the existence of records on OSJ (1883-1969).
  • List of Reunions, with attendees and photographs … This has been substantially colmpleted by Linnae Coss.
  • Create a timeline with annual dates beginning in about 1840-50 identifying individuals with birth, marriages, deaths, …. a search by date would turn up this document. Many, if not all, entries on the document could include links (and targets) to relevant related information. It may be well to consider creating this document with Google Sheets and embedding on a page titled “Timeline” so that the page could be easily updated. Unfortunately I have no idea how a relational database could be linked as a content source for WordPress; although a search may reveal a Widget or another tool that would do this easily and well.
  • Editors should explore any and all of the options available for blocks …
  • At some point I hope there will be enough interest to establish an “editorial working group” that could meet, maybe 3-4 times a year to discuss site improvements, revisions, needs, ideas, etc.
  • Consider a YouTube channel. This could be used to distribute (make available) the video recordings of Zoom Meetings … this would greatly facilitate review by any member of the family who my choose to subscribe to the channel. I’m pretty sure that the channel can be restricted to subscribers.
  • Explore options for storage and serving of PDF entries with relevance. Two documents that come immediately to mind are the Lost Grove Centennial book in its indexed form and the “I Remember” documents (book) assembled, edited and formatted by Linnae Coss in July 2020.
  • At some future point it will be great to identify members of the family that can do some of the technical work for the site, such as editing photo and photo enhancements or image manipulations, writing HTML and CSS code to modify the blocks for posts and pages, video editing, animated titles, etc. etc.

Originated 7/17/2020. Last revised:


Zoom Notes

CONTEXT: My brothers and I have been doing Zoom meetings for a couple of months and have more recently included cousins in the conversations. What follows includes my notes from the calls. Please feel free to use the comments below for any reactions, corrections, questions or suggestions. If you have interest in joining these conversations, please contact me using the link in the Contact menu above. Prior notes were not published as Posts.

Notes: 9 September 2020

Attending: Bruce, Dave, Steve, Jon Lindgren, Jon Coss, Dick Lindgren, Pat & Jim Heath, Jim Carey,

(7:57 pm) Jim Carey commented on an article in Science on longevity of Swedish citizens. Sweden has longstanding records about births and deaths; whereas the US did not keep these records uniformly until the 1930s.

Carl and Irene’s three page summary of trip to Europe in 1986 can be obtained by contacting Steve at:

The Family Album: Preparation was cognizant of the need for use of acid-free paper to protect the photographs and papers. Irene worked with Linnae prior to the 1999 ReUnion in Denver to construct the album. Reproduction of the album content for the web will likely entail significant disassembly and utilizing an oversized scanner to make quality copies of the Album content.

Laverna Rohden was mentioned

Jim Carey’s mother was a widow at age 40 and moved to Ames where she acquired skills for a clerical position at the University. Jim commented on his relationship with Tom Brindley.

(8:31p) Letter from Amy to Emory after the passing of Grandpa Frank.

Dick recognized the Phil Ecklund from Gowrie may be an important contributor to our conversation about family history and the Church in Lanyon. His antecedents include the Burmans and relations to the Lamberts.

Use recording to construct illegible comment by or about Dave …


Notes: 26 August 2020

Attending: Bruce, Dave, Steve, Jon Lindgren, Johathan Coss, John W. Johnson (JJ), Dick Lindgren, Chris Lindgren, Pat & Jom Heath, Ann Ungs/

JJ is contemplating a letter to establish contact with Dan Riegel, son of Johanna (Johnson) and Fred Reigel, who practices medicine in the Seattle area. Dave has uncovered a practicing partner at the St. Croix Clinic, CW Mayo, and wondered if there is any connection the the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.

Chris Lindgren from Adel, IA joined the video call. Chris is the son of Dick Lindgren and grandson of Paul Lindgren, who would be a cousin of the children of Frank and Amy. Chris quickly located information related to our conversations and forwarded URLs, photos and documents to Bruce during the call. These involved Tobin College in Ft.Dodge. This clarified the meaning of Tobin, which had been identified with both OSJ and Geo.EQ Johnson. The origins, rise and demise of Tobin College is documented.


Two links provide information about Major General Carl Albert Youngdale: AND

A clipping of the 50th wedding anniversary of John and Lizzie Lindgren, will be posted soon to the website. This clipping raises a new round of questions and should provoke interesting conversation next week.

Dave commented on the letters in Swedish and speculated about possible translators including Great Aunt Nelli (Johnson) Anderson. One emerging thread from the letter(s) is that Cognac was recommended as a remedy for sea sickness. We agreed that sea sickness was uncommon in central Iowa, so the origins of the prescription may need further research.

The duration of the transatlantic voyage was estimated to be 10-13 days.

It is documented that John Lindgren returned to Sweden, and that Frank did not return, but it is not clear if Jenny or Selma made a return trip.

Dick contributed thoughts regarding the electification around Lanyon and pointed out that the rural electrification included variation on alternative currents. The Farm had 60 Hz current and Lanyon had 25 Hz current. Dick noted the impact of these differences on the operation of electric motors and their potential uses.

Dick and Jon both described the inventions by Frank Lindgren including the elevators and lifts. The corn crib elevator that Frank constructed was unique. Bruce suggested that perhaps Dick and/or Jon could make a sketch of their recollections. These sketches along with the existing drawings of the hay lift should be on the website. Dick also added that there were variations on the hay lift and that Grandpa Frank may have built several more that previously thought. Dave related that Obed had accompanied Frank for a pitch to Sears in Minneapolis, and that Sears was looking for capacity of manufacturing that exceeded Frank’s production facility. Dick also mentioned that a Mr. Coats had challenged the patent or inquired about the patenting of the hay loader.

Steve presented a postcard of the Interurban rail car with a handwritten comment from Obed relating his recollections about the rail line operation. Dave has commented that Obed may have made trips to Lanyon from Des Moines during his layovers while serving with the Railway Postal Service in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Jon Coss pointed out that the first elevated Interurban rail system was developed in Sioux City, IA at an enormous high cost, but was abandoned at a great loss. However, that engineering led the way for construction of the elevated train(s) in Chicago.

Dave and Jon commented on the Interurban train and the museum in Boone, IA. Jon told about Kate Shelly and the apocryphal legend of her preventing disaster for the train when a now famous bridge was disabled in a storm. The bridge is now named the Shelly Bridge. Jon commented that Kate Shelly’s father was a rather famous raconteur in Iowa.

Jon and Dick clarified that their father, Gilmore, attended Iowa State College annd majored in animal husbandry. He was a member of the Farm House Fraternity and knew many of the members of the Iowa State football team.

Dick commented on the relationship of his late wife, Ardeth, with Ed Kohl of GM and Chevrolet and the Michigan connections that involved Dick Dickerson and the town (name?) of their mutual origins in Michigan.

Bruce inquired of Pat about he mother’s artistic efforts. Pat did not know of Gene’s prior training in art, but Dave speculated that as a teacher in Upper Michigan she may have been assigned to teach art. Skill, interest and experience may have followed. Hazel also painted later in life. Bruce commented that it would be worthwhile to obtain images of some paintings for inclusion on the website.

The subject of teaching among the Lindgren’s was again raised. Lizzie Johnson Lindgren may have been a teacher. It may be useful to make a list of all the Lindgren relatives who have been engaged in teaching; as well as service to education in other ways.

Grandma Amy was a quilter and Pat pointed out that Aunt Irene took several of the quilts and sold them in Chicago.

Steve showed a book (Beacons Primer) and read a hand written humorous inscription. The book was among a collection of items from Aunt Irene.

Jon Coss commented on Sioux City, his grandfather who taught College-level chemistry and maintained a farmstead. Jon’s father Jim, attended college briefly in Yankton, SD but graduated from the Rush Medical School in Chicago. Because of prior tuberculosis he was exempt from the military service and moved to NYC to establish a medical practice. One of his patients was a former wife of Fidel Castro.

Ruth Bratt, wife of Emory Lindgren, was also from Sioux City.

If I have confused Sioux City IA and Sioux Falls SD, I hope someone will let me know so I can edit these notes. Of course, nnotice of any other errors or omissions will also be greatly appreciated.

Website Report:

Screen sharing can be used by anyone on a Zoom meeting. Use or Need for Slides to raise questions on contribute new pictures, stories, etc. These slides can be captured and used to develop website content.

The following are notes I made anticipating a few throughts or reactions to the website. It actually occurred to me that it may be helpful to lead off the Zoom meetup with a brief summary of website considerations. I did bring up item six (below) and believe following up on the surname list could prove helpful.

  1. Meeting Notes – are added to a post on our Zoom Meetings … I try to keep personal thoughts to a minimum. But, it would be great for viewers/readers to either use editorial privilege to add notes withing a new block, or to simply use the comments section.
  2. Editors, Authors, Contributors – distinction between posts published and posts drafted. Anyone wanting to make direct and immediate contributions to the website can be signed up to do so. All I need is an expression of your interest and your permission to sign you up.
  3. Round Robin – I added the latest RR and attempted one from October 2016. These are posts of pdf files and there were problems integrating pictures with text. I’ll be working on a solution.
  4. Obituaries Needed: The current page will be trimmed to include links to our files and/or published documents. The best example may be what I did with Johanna Dorothea Johnson Riegel’s entry. The link displays on the page and the download offers an opportunity to see the obit in a separate browser tab or to save it to a folder on a personal computer storage device.
  5. Our Memories > Connections > Links … The links can be to both internal website files and to external documents and photographs that may be located elsewhere on the Internet. This could ostensibly include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or other social media platforms.
  6. Annotated Surname Lists – Lindgren & Johnson of course, Then Dickerson, Hill, Winblade, Peterson, Coss, Bratt, Lessing, Battey, Mueller. And then, Burman, Carlson, Rohden, Carey, Main, Riegel, etc. Swedish traditional surnames could be handled separately… ls there a useful and justifiable border and limits for potential expansion? I don’t think so.
  7. Timeline(s) – conversation with Linnae … One overall timeline, or many different timelines could be considered. I personally would favor the use of posts to form and publish multiple timelines.
  8. Pages are for people; posts are reflections – memories, links added to pages and posts. How to do this should be demonstrated using Zoom screen sharing or CAM Studio via screen captures while this is done may be coming soon if I can master the technology. This would be a potential good use of a YouTube channel. …

Notes: 19 August 2020

Attending: Bruce, Dave, Steve, Jon Lindgren, Jon Coss, John W Johnson (JJ), Dick Lindgren, Pat and Jim Heath.

Pat and Jim Heath sent Bruce a wonderful hand written account by Obed Simon Johnson of the chronology of his life. His mention of a commencement address at North Park College in (1935) raised questions about whether the text of his address may be maintained at NPU. The file provided by Jim and Pat is in two parts. I will send these to Dave for preparation of a typescript which we will also post to the website to enable digital indexing of the content. .

Dave has tracked down Dan Riegel, MD who is currently practicing in the Seattle area at a clinic called Mill Creek. Dan is the son of Johanna Dorothea Johnson Riegel and Fred Riegel, MD and the grandson of Jake Riegel, MD, who is a founder of the St. Croix, MN medical clinic at which Fred Riegel practiced. All of the Riegel doctors are graduates of the UMN Medical School. Some curiosity was expressed regarding Dan Riegel’s age and birth date, with some speculation that he is likely in his late 40s.

Bruce brought up the location of important family connected farms in the Lanyon-Gowrie-Harcourt-Paton area and wondered about the potential for pinpointing past ownership involving family members and connections. Jon and Dick mentioned plat books they had used online. Bruce has captured satellite views from Google Maps that he suggested may be useful to pinpoint locations of these farms. The Lindgren farm was identified as a half-section minus a 40Ac parcel comprising 320Ac or 280Ac. Steve commented on the Roos farm, which abutted the Lindgren farm on its South border. Paul Roos married a daughter (name?) of the Burman family and their son Jonathan Roos was a journalist for the Des Moines Register. The Carey family farm was said to be near Dana appx. 4 miles South of Paton.

Dr. Waddel was a family physician from Paton IA who delivered the children of Frank and Amy. Although the birth (certificate?) records list the birthplace a Paton there was general agreement that the deliveries were at the farm and birth was attended and recorded by Dr. Waddel. The birth date for Gilmore was incorrectly recorded as November 6 rather than November 5. It was pointed out that rural physicians were often slow in recording birth and death records, often leaving the paperwork to lapse for as much as a month. Due to a very heavy schedule, a rural physician such as Dr. Waddel may have spent a Sunday afternoon catching up on paperwork. Gil had abdominal surgery (for?) that caused a very uncomfortable intestinal adhesion.

George E.Q, Johnson (Al Capone prosecution) was 5 years younger than Obed Simon Johnson (Geo. E.Q. Johnson has been identified as a 2nd cousin to Grandma Amy’s mother). Steve asked about Hannah Johnson and the one-room school building near Lanyon where Grandma Lindgren attended. Dick said that the building was torn down before he attended school.

Dick and Jon described the Interurban Train. This is the train that killed JP Johnson in 1910. It was mentioned that his body was very badly injured to a point of being unrecognizable by his brother. His eyesight has been reported elsewhere to have been very badly impaired and that he likely misjudge the distance between himself and the train tracks as the Interurban was arriving. The cause or condition of his vision loss is not known.

Dave mentioned thaat Obed F. Lindgren may have been able to travel to Lanyon on the Interurban during a layover in Des Moines while he was working on the mail train between Minneapolis and Des Moines in the 1940s. He would have been picked up at the Hope station, near Lanyon.

During the reunion in Boone, IA (2002) participants rode an excursion train that was still operating. It traveled about five miles and returned to Boone on the same tracks.

Ester Rohden’s sister Edith operated a Swedish gift shop in Ft. Dodge. A daughter also lived in Ft. Dodge. This came up when Steve corrected his account from last week about Grandma Amy’s comment about the New Years Day Rose Bowl game on TV.

Video Access Gil and Hazel’s granddaughter (Lisa) produced video memories for both of her grandparents. Roy Lindgren was also honored at his memorial service in 2010 with a four-part video production. Since these productions have potential appeal, however the size of the digital files will be too large to be uploaded to WordPress for display on the LONet Website. Bruce will continue to explore the potential for using YouTube links to make the productions available to interested family members. We also considered the potential for uploading the Family Album that Aunt Irene and cousin Linnae Coss prepared. Jon Coss will find out about digital files his sister may still have. It may be possible to combine these files into a single PDF file that could be uploaded and linked for either display or download in much the same manor that the “I Remember” documents are positioned on the website.

Nellie Johnson Anderson and her husband Ernst were discussed. She worked at Friendship Haven Nursing Home following Ernst’s death, which occurred just a few months after Grandpa Frank passed in 1953. In the 1930s, while in Sweden serving as pastor or missionary for a Covenant Church there, Ernst had Thyroid surgery during which a recurrent nerve was severed causing permanent paralysis of one of his vocal cords. Consequently, he was disabled from preaching with a falsetto tone to his voice. Nellie and Ernst returned from Sweden and settled into a small but immaculately kept house in Lanyon, not far from the Covenant Church. With no pension, Nellie and Ernst kept a cow and sold milk and chickens and sold eggs. Ernst is said to have authored two (2) books in Swedish. One was titled “The Good Life.” It is not known if the book or books ever provided any income. Jon mentioned that he and Elaine still have a very elaborate (porcelain) coffee service that they received from Nellie. It is not known if Ernst was a native of Sweden. Jon Coss will check with the archivist at North Park University about any record of attendance there for Ernest Anderson.

Notes: 12 August 2020

Attending: Bruce, Dave, Steve, Jon Coss, Jon Lindgren, John W (JJ), Pat & Jim Heath

Dave has looked into the Medical Clinic in St. Croix Falls with an aim to find information about Fred Rregel MD, who was married for a time to Johanna Dorthea Johnson. We have some indication thhat Fred Riegel’s father may have been the initial organizer of the clinic perhaps in the early 1900s. Fred likely graduated medical school, likely UMN in the late 1940s. The year of his marriage and divorce to and from Johann Dorthea are not known. Our understanding is that Fred Riegel remarried. Fred Riegel died in 2006, according to an obituary that was referenced. Fred and Johanna had two sons, Dan and Jake. Jake still lives near Dresser WI and a legal record about him has surfaced. Jake and his spouse took care of Johanna from the time of her fall and hip fracture until her death (about 3 months) in 2017. There was general agreement to tread lightly in contacting Jake. Mention was made of Gail, who may have been a sister of Dan and Jake. We have no record of her birth or death. Dan’s whereabouts is not known.

Dave indicated that the St Croix Regional Medical Center is online. Contact may reveal potential sources regarding the history of the clinic.

A Lanyon teacher appearing in a photograph (which?) was identified as Hannah Johnson who was related to the same Johnson family from which George E. Q. Johnson, of Al Capone fame**, was born. This Johnson family is different from the family line of J. P. Johnson father of Amy and Obed Simon, as well as Frank I Johnson. ** Al Capone was an elusive criminal in the era of prohibition; a mobster in all manner of rackets in Chiicago, He was able to avoid other criminal charges but was prosecuted on tax evasion charges, which were suggested to the lead prosecutors by George E.Q. Johnson.

The, photograph of James William Johnson’s parents was discussed with some emphasis on James Waldemr Johnson’s military service and rank. He was identified by both Dave and Jim Heath as likely a Technical or Master Sargent. JJ’s mother was Betty Jean Kinniebree Johnson. She was born May 2, 1930 and died in 2018 (age 88) in San Francisco. James Waldemar Johnson was born August 10, 1916 (loation?) and died November 23, 1987 (age 71).

Photo 0889 was discussed. James Waldemar Johnson was identified as the subject. Origin was in the early 1940s, perhaps 1940 or 1941 judging from the civilian clothing. James Waldemar applied for the military in October of 1940 and served in the Air Force from 1941 until 1965. His MOS (Military Occupation Specialty) record has not been fully obtained. Based on insignia in photo 0888, Dave and Jim Heath ventured that he was a bombardier.

Photo 0883 James and Betty Jean with Vida. (spelling of Vida or Veda?) Likely made in 1954, before James and Betty Jean deployed to Europe and London where James William, their first son was born.

Jon Lindgren’s trip to Counsel Bluffs for installation on his Cessna aircraft of an instrument necessary to fly into larger airports such as Des Moines and MSP was discussed. This is some type of transponder needed for tracking planes within range of other planes.

SPAM was discussed.

Jon Lindgren was born in 1938 (not 1939 as recorded elsewhere). He commented that the tractor used on the farm was built (or purchased) in 1932. His brother Dick has a strong interest in antique tractors and has identified the model of the farm tractor(s) used. The early tractor was not steam powered and likely was gas or diesel powered with 1 or 2 cylinders.

Use of horses was discussed. Jon indicated that his father, Gilmore, liked horses and they typically had a half dozen horses on the farm but they were mostly pets rather than working animals. Steve and Jonathan mentioned that Obed and Ruth had both mentioned horses, Bill and Barney, on the farm as they were growing up.

Pauline was discussed because JJ said that his sister, Jane Elizabeth, who lives about 20 miles south of San Francisco has letters from Pauline. We believe that this Pauline was a daughter of Frank I Johnson (brother of Amy and Obed Simon ). Pauline and a sister or sister-in-law were proprietors of a coffee shop in Sacramento. Jim Carey visited the shop and met the sisters.

Steve told a story of Grandma Amy watching a New Years day football game and was impressing everyone with her attentive interest until she asked the name of the team with the striped jerseys.

Jon told a story of ISU and OU playing a game in Oklahoma in 1959. Two black ISU players were being denied lodging at the team hotel. ISU coach Clay Stapleton threatened to take his whole team back to Ames and had called the airport to get the plane ready for departure. However, the famous OU coach Bud Wilkinson, order a helicopter and flew to the hotel to mitigate the situation. The two players stayed at the hotel and the game was played the following day.

Steve inquired of Jim Heath whether the Harding Park Golf Course was named after President Warren Harding.


Notes: 5 August 2020

Wednesday, August 5th, 2020

Attending: Bruce, Dave, Steve, Jon (Des Moins), Pat Heath and Jim, John W. Johnson. Jon Coss was unable to sustain a connection with his phone because of the weather on the East Coast. Bruce experienced connection problems.

The wedding photograph of Irene and Carl with Steve was made in 1962; so Steve was 12, not 10 and the web entry needs to be changed. Uncle Emory was the officiant at the wedding. This was confirmed by Steve as he reviewed the marriage certificate. Steve also was able to confirm that Carl flew 26 missions during WWII. His co-pilot was identified, as Bill Hailey.

Steve told a story involving his meeting Arnold Palmer. Details are on the call recording.

A connection with a relative of Elvis Presley was brought up. Details should be recorded and researched.

Andy Williams was a celebrity who grew up in the Lanyon/Ft.Dodge region.

Al Capone was finally convicted for Tax Evasion. G. Q. Johnson, a Lanyon native, became a Chicago prosecutor, and famously suggested prosecution on the Tax Evasion charge that finally put Capone in prison.

Discussioon about Grandma Amy and her chair in the corner of the living room where she would sit for hours doing the crochet

The photographs sent to Bruce by John W. were discussed. The H.S. (Crawfordville, City in which Wabash College is located) basketball player was identified as John’s father, who was a member of a 1933 Team. The copy in the newspaper may reveal the details, as Jon could read the copy, but Bruce could not read it.

Dave forwarded the observation that Aunt Gene was engaged in artistic painting and that her work needs to be located.


Introduction of a letter with a statement about a Norwegan renting on of the homes on K Street in Ft. Dodge. Date is uncertain. The name Kenseth was mentioned, and it does not seem that the renter was Vogel who occupied the house Grandpa Frank built prior to the construction of the house that he and Grandma Amy moved into in the early 1950s.

Ester Myklebust was Grandma Amy’s caretaker.

Comment was made about Dad (OFL) suffering a Heat Stroke whille working in the attic at 301 K Street …

The brick house at the end of K Street was bought from Frank & Amy by a relative by the name of Lambert. Which Lambert? Questions were raised about the reason for the sale of the brick house. Comments were advanced about moving closer to downtwon Ft. Dodge, the Covenant Church and the hospital where Grandpa Frank worked. Grandma Amy routinely walked to downtown Ft. Dodge (Distance???) Frank’s work at the hospital was to maitain the steam heating system and mention was made about his holding a steam fitter license. Such a license may not have been required in the 1950s.

Dave has Grandpa Frank’s tools, perhaps a dozen or more. He will make phtotgraphs of the tools for display on the website.

Grandpa Frank built a rotary power mower from farm parts. A version was modified, leaving some dangerous exposure of moving parts, and used successfully for many years on the Lanyon Farm.

Question was raised about the source of skills such as welding and blacksmithing that was needed for maintenance of farm machinery and tools. Jon pointed out that crafts people were typically present in the small towns around Lanyon. Farmers would have been able to observe these crafts people at work and then they could acquire the needed equipment to replicate the work on their farms.

Farming was identified as dangerous business and the capacity for survival in the Lanyon area was remarkable. Injury from machines included hands caught in corn pickers when they jambed and had to be unjambed while still running. Finger loss was not uncommon. The tractor power takeoff was often exposed and loose clothing could too easily be caught; this was a common accident. Injury also occurred in dealing with animals including hogs, bulls and horses. Our Uncle Jim Wenstrand of Essex, IA commented on close calls. Jim was also a pilot and enjoyed flying a small plane for which he built a landing strip on his farm.

The story of Obed using a stove top iron while practicing throwing the discus. His throw grazed the head of his brother Emory and he was afraid that he had killed Emory

Related to the stories of farm injuries, Steve told the story of his father, Obed, at Lake Andrew warning Steve in explicit terms that if he was injured by the open belt on the cement mixer, it would cause delay or shutdown in the day’s work on the boat house.

Jon told a story related to Swedish-Norwegian tensions at NDSU. Based a new recognition of the spelling of the name Otteson as Ottesen, it was declared declared in the faculty lounge that maybe a person other castigated as being s Swede may be OK after all. Jon used the phrase “not the brightest porch light on the block, although he left it unclear whether he was referring to the Swede or the Norwegian.”

Jon commented that he was close for many years with ND Senator Quentin Burdick. Steve wondered if Senator Burdick was related to the former Clerk of the MN House of Representatives also named Burdick (same spelling).

Jon commented about the earmarks providing for a new bus terminal in Fargo in honor of Milt Young, who was retiring and his Republican friends in Congress wired the earmark before bureaucrats in the US Dept of Transportation regional office in Denver were informed about the funding for the project.

Regarding Jon’s potential run for the Senate in ND, he said he was lucky to serve for so long as a “low level” mayor.

Steve mentioned that the Round Robin generally avoided political commentary; but that Aunt Irene was a vocal supporter of John Anderson in the 1980 Presidential Election.

Jon mentioned his contact with Diane Feinstein in conjunction with a special session on Gay Rights at a conference of Mayors in San Francisco. Jon took a position pro-Gay Rights with the Fargo City Council on two occasions, even when the second effort was highly controversial. A hearing in Fargo drew about 500 participants over several hours. An unruly attendee was brought to Jon’s attention with caution that the hearing should be curtailed.

The ND 3rd political party was cited as one of the few successful 3rd party efforts in the US. Dave brought Ted Kolderie into the comment stream related to the funeral of a political leader Townley???

Clarification is needed about the living conditions of Aunt Nellie. Apparently the home she and Ernst occupied in Lanyon did not have running water. It was said that Nellie was not good at making decisions. “She couldn’t decide on dumping out the drinking water (which had to be obtained from a pump. Where? On the house property, town well? )


Notes: 29 July 2020

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Attending: Bruce, Dave, Steve, Pat & Jim Heath, Jon Lindgren, John W. Johnson, Jonathan Coss, Brent Lindgren.

Website URL link:

Jon Coss described his accessing the obituary for Johanna Dorothea Johnson Reigel. Bruce commented on the wonderful photographs of her and wished a high resolution version could be obtained.

Johanna Reigel son/grandson living in Dresser, WI. Dave L will investigate possible links in the St.Croix Falls, WI. The Funeral Facility may be headquartered there and it is likely that Johanna’s husband, an MD, will be known by the owner/operators of the facility. Any possible significance of the 1964 Chevrolet (Corvette?) that Dave purchased?

What was Dave’s age when he made the trip to Ft. Dodge with Obed Simon Johnson (OSJ); in the 1960s?

What year(s) did OSJ live and work in Chicago? North Park connection?

James Waldemar Johnson attended Wabash College. Year(s)?

General Youngdale. Military records access? Dave to check. Who was his wife; a cousin (Johnson side) with Lindgren/Johnson connections? Years in Vietnam, rank, duty?

Photographs needed for website: Frank & Amy; All Siblings and spouses, variety of ages, best quality representativve photographs, Pat to provide family photograph with Gene, Dick, Pat Jim … Steve/Dave to supply obit photo of OFL at high resolution … Photograph of Peter Gustav Magnuson … Ruth Coss, photo in nurising uniform, other … Irene publicity glossy from Indianapolis years … JP Johnson … Linnae has about one hundred photographs that she is collaborating with her brother Jon to prepare with identity information and likely year of origin.

John William has been working at the San Francisco Japanese garden for 10 years. He began as volunteer and then took courses in horticulture before becoming a fully employed gardener. A partially constructed Ferris Wheel was mentioned as an emblem of expansion related to the Japanese Garden, but the relationship needs clarification. Prior to work with the Garden, John W. was a software systems engineer and decided to shift careers. He commented “Trees teach more than books.” So true and so Japanese. Beautiful!

Currrent School Situation was discussed at about recorder time 1:16 …

Grandma Amy’s hand braided rugs were discussed. It is estimated that about 50 were made (mostly circular) and many still are kept by family members. Steve indicated that he has five. His daughter Lisa and son Stuart have one each. Pat has an oval-shaped one nearly six feet in length. All seem to have been used for years and are tough; don’t seem to wear out. Visitors to Ft. Dodge often felt an obligation to visit bearing bags of wool cloth obtained at Salvation Army or other surplus stores. Dave remembers that Grandma Amy may have used drumsticks in lieu of crochet needles with hooks; certainly a possible example of innovation and adaptation. Does anyone have a photo of Grandma actually doing the braiding? Brent commented on the “frozen rug.” . He also remembers a trip to Ft. Dodge with his Grandpa Obed when he was about 10 years old.

Recorder 1:42 Steve Story; Flower Story …

Future Zoom Sessions: Bruce to contact Jim Carey; Jon to contact Dick and Ann about a link up with Ted;

This is new copy used to test the editing functions on a new computer.


Our Families Our Memories

Amy Johnson Lindgren

Amy Johnson Lindgren was a remarkable woman born in the nineteenth century and living through the dramatic changes of the twentieth century with equanimity born of confidence and faith. She survived and thrived for over a century. She died at age 103.

On celebrating her 100th birthday, Amy Johnson Lindgren was joined by her eight children. From left; Roy, Ruth, Regina, Emory, Ev, Irene, Gilmore and Obed

What follows are photographs of the John Peter ( J. P.) Johnson & Fredrika Swenson families and relatives.

Frederika Swenson
1892 Photograph of Fredrika Swenson and her family.
Identification Key
1. Edith Burman Roos11. Alice Burman22. Ida Castenson
2. Hannah Main12. Esther Renquist23. Esther Johnson
3. Martin Main13. Sophie Burman Carlson24. Lizzie Johnson
4. Nellie Johnson
14. Nellie Main
25. Frank L Johnson
5. Matilda Burman15. Dan Main26. John A. Burman
6. Christine Renquist16. Obed Johnson27. Emil Renquist
7. Fredrika Swenson17. Amy Johnson
28. *
8. Clara Main18. Hannah
Burman Eklund
29. *
9. Johanna Castenson19. Albert Renquist30. young girl*
10. Johanna Dorothea Johnson20. Hannah Renquist31. *

2l. Ed Castenson32. J.P. (John Peter) Johnson

* These unidentified people must be three sons-in-law – J.A. Renquist, John Castenson and John Main – and the daughter of one. The fourth son-in-law was John Burman (#26).

Notes on the original photograph: Written in pencil on the back – “1892”. Written over this, in ballpoint pen (later), are the names of those in the photo, in Gene Dickerson’s handwriting (Amy Lindgren’s daughter). Married names are given for some of the girls. Four people are not identified (see asterisks). Some names were damaged by glue used to hold the photo in an album. Gene’s siblings Irene and Roy helped identify these in 2004.

Siblings of Amy Johnson Lindgren

The Johnson siblings with their school teacher, around 1884. (The original photograph is a tintype, printed on a thin metal sheet, about 2.5 x 3.5 inches.)

Children (L to R): Amy Johnson Lindgren (age 6), Frank I. Johnson (age 10), Lizzie Johnson Lindgren (age 13), Esther Johnson Rohden (age 14). Center: Hannah Johnson. Amy Lindgren’s daughter Aunt Irene identified the photo and provided the following information: The six Johnson children attended a one-room country school near Lanyon, Iowa, where one teacher taught grades 1 through 8. Such school photos, of the teacher with the siblings from one family, were customary at the time. The two youngest Johnson siblings are not in the photo – Obed Johnson (age 3) and Nellie Johnson Anderson (born 1887).

[Thanks to Linnae Coss for the photos and identifications. Identification of Teacher was established by a notation from Great Aunt Nellie Johnson Anderson as recorded by Uncle Roy.]

Gene & Dick Dickerson Our Memories

Pat Remembers

What follows are excerpts/transcripts/copies from e-mails that Pat Heath sent to Bruce in June 2020. Lightly edited by Jon Coss.

One of my earliest memories, when I was three in 1937 was one of my Aunts, I think either Ev [Evelyn] or Ruth took me on a train from South Bend, Indiana to Minneapolis. I remember standing by the tracks and a big black, loud train pulled in. Someone lifted me up and put me on the train. I remember a car taking us to a white house in Minneapolis. Then I remember wearing dresses with big skirts and my two aunts (Ev or Ruth and Verona) curling and brushing my hair every day!! I bet Obed and Verona were newly wed and he was away on a train for some days.  I don’t know how many days later my mother called and told me I had a new baby brother. (email 6/19/20)

I grew up in a suburb of Detroit and planned to go to Iowa State College (as it was called in the 1950s). Then my Dad got a job in Dayton in the middle of my senior year.  He let us stay in Michigan until school was out.  I was so mad, sad, hurt, I said “If you’re doing that I’m going to go to Michigan State.”  He said, “That’s a party school. I will not pay for you to go there.”  So I went to ISC and got married after two years and only went to Dayton very few times because they had a cottage at Coldwater Lake in Michigan. I spent the summers there so that’s where we went to visit.  I probably did go to Dayton 10 times to visit!! Ted and Carlton were both at ISC when I was there and one of them had a car so I went home with them many weekends and I even drove a tractor and plowed/disked fields! So all that’s not for family history, but my memories!! (email to BFL 6/18/20)

My brother was born May 18, 1937.  On Halloween 1949 he came down with Polio. He was in the hospital until around Christmas Eve. Then he was in a hospital bed in the dining room for…I don’t remember how long.  I think it was the next summer we (Mother and I) took him to Warm Springs, Ga. I think it was President FDR who built that and went there often. Jim ended up with a serious curvature of the spine. He was able to go back to school and I can’t remember where he went to college the first year, somewhere south and east of Dayton. Then he went to the University of Dayton the last three years. I think he got married around 1960 and had Scott, who I think is about 58 now and lives in Florida, and Kathy a couple years later. Jim died in 1992 of lung cancer. It was on the healthy side [of his body] and the other side was squeezed down by the curvature so they couldn’t operate.   Love, Pat (email to BFL 6/22/20)

Em & Ruth Lindgren Our Memories


Uncle Emory (Em) and Aunt Ruth were missionaries in the territory of Alaska in the 1940s and 1950s. Alaska did not became the 49th state until 1959. Two books were written by Emory about their experiences. The books were encouraged by Emory’s brother, Dr. Roy Lindgren. Unalakleet AK is located on the West coast, next to the Bering Sea about 145 miles from Nome, AK and 380 and 400 from Anchorage and Fairbanks respectively. It is mainly accessible by air. The mission in Unalakleet was established decades before 1940. Competition for the belief systems of Native Americans (Inuit) between Catholic Priests and the missionary’s of two protestant sects was described by Emory.

Em & Ruth in Alaska ...
Emory and Ruth Lindgren often displayed these parkas when speaking to supporters at churches in the United States in the late 1940s.
First Book
Self published in 1999.
Second Book
Published by iUniverse,; Bloomington IN 2010.
Covenant church in Unalakleet AK. This facility was updated after the tenure of the Rev.Emory Lindgren. The church’s bell was located in Minnesota by Obed Lindgren, at the reque4st of his brother, Emory, carefully crated and shipped by rail, boat and air to its installation in the church steeple.

First published June 15, 2020; updated December 27, 2020

The Website


This Website was established to foster and advance connections among the progeny of Frank and Amy (Johnson) Lindgren as well as the extended family. Amy gave birth to nine children, eight of whom lived remarkably long lives. The main menu above is intended to provide reasonably efficient navigation to these connections. On a website, content is both Queen and King. Accordingly our intent is to provide an easy access to the tools for making contributions. Every person connected to the Lindgrens of Lanyon, IA are warmly invited to connect as a contributor, author or editor. If you have some interest and even minimal expertise in what goes on behind the scenes of the website, please consider an even more active role with participation. In any case, at any level of interest, please contact Bruce Lindgren at or call (218) 348-3325.

It would be hard to justify a site about the Lindgren Family without an image of a Swedish Flag.

The website is notably a “Blog” and is powered by WordPress. It has incorporated the WordPress “block” editing features. After a bit of orientation, these features will make writing of new posts and editing of posts much easier. However, there is always a learning curve with new versions and it may take a bit of time to accommodate these “easier” ways of making posts to the site. For contributors or authors new to the site, you may find the tutorials and tips at WordPress and YouTube helpful to gain initial orientation and get you started. However, there is little to substitute for experience which always entails some uncertainty and frustration. One piece of advice that helped me with most things in the digital world is that you can’t break anything. If you want to do something, go ahead and try it. Mucking around the menus and other features will lead to discoveries. When frustration is high feel free to call me.

Anything you do to a post can be changed. If a really big change is needed you can always delete or remove the post and start over. Most corrections can be accomplished with the edit feature, which you will generally find associated with anything you have done as an author or contributor.

When you registered or were registered for the site, you were placed into one of five categories: subscriber, contributor, author, editor or administrator. A subscriber has “read only” privileges; although comments may be entered for review by an editor or administrator before they appear live on the site. In other words, comments are mediated or modulated. Contributors submit copy in the form of draft articles, or comments. These submissions are reviewed by an editor before being published live. An author is able to publish posts live directly and has access to media libraries as well as other resources to add content. Editors have additional privilege to accept and publish content and to modify content that has already been published including pages, which are intended to contain the relatively stable or unchanging content of the site. The administrators are able to make the most dramatic changes to the site such as adding widgets, themes, etc.

All suggestions for the site should be sent to Bruce Lindgren, the current site administrator. If you have his phone number (above) feel free to call during reasonable hours of the day or weekend. His email address is Your questions are a great stimulus to my skill development.


  1. A major effort is underway to establish a format that is unique to each page for individuals connected to the family. This will provide spaces for a photograph and entry of birth, marriage, death, internment location, children (natural and adopted), education, occupation, residence(s), and (unique) accomplishments.
  2. We use targets in long pages (and posts) where there are subtopics. This enables an author to list subtopics after the introductory (basic) block and make each item of the list a link to the subtopic of the page (or post).
  3. Videos are posted on Bruce’s YouTube channel to show how to add new posts using photos, blocks and targets.

4. Use the Comment Section at the bottom of the various Posts to provide feedback on the website. Thanks is advance for your input!!!

Obed & Verona Lindgren Our Memories

The Early Years

This is a brief notation about my parents, Obed and Verona Lindgren. There is much to write about my memories of both parents. Recollections begin before age three while we were living in West Richfield, MN on Russell Avenue. As a three year old, my impression of the home was that it was large and sat atop an enormous hill, which of course was probably less thatn ten feet above the Russell Avenue road bed. But in the Winter at about age three, I received a gift of skis and used them to descend the front yard; not likely with much success. Skiing didn’t take hold until about age ten. One time out in a foot of new snow, after a Thanksgiving dinner and I was hooked.

In point of fact, all of my brothers were also (eventually) hooked on skiing. We each pursued the sport with intensity. My involvement was mainly with the National Ski Patrol System, including Ski Patrol Director at Buck Hill. Dave and Steve also served with me on the Buck Hill Ski Patrol. Dave went on to become a Ski Instructor in Northern Minnesota during his college years in Bemidji, MN. Steve pursued Alpine Ski Racing at Richfield High School and was on the initial Buck Hill Racing Team with Coach Walt Eustis. Steve worked his way through college by establishing the Hoigaard’s Racing Team and coaching young racers for Hoigaard’s. He also established the Burnsville High School Ski Team in 1971.

Dad and Mom – Obed & Verona Wedding Photo (1936)*

I remember delivery of ice and coal as well as milk from Golden Guernsey Dairy in their yellow milk trucks. The Milk Man would come to the door with a wire carrier filled with our usual and customary products, but returning to his truck for anything unanticipated as requested by Mom. Milk was bottled in glass and typically in quart-sized containers. Pasteurized but not homogenized, the cream was contained in a bubble-like feature of the milk bottle. Ice was delivered by a horse drawn carriage, but infrequently because we had an electric refrigerator–Frigidaire, of course. Coal was delivered by truck and shoveled into a coal chute to the basement coal bin. The first phone number I learned was on the Whittier exchange — WH3270.

When Mom had delivered Dave, to keep her more comfortable, Dad built a cooling device made with an automobile radiator, a fan inside a wood frame. Cold well water was supplied by a garden hose. His inventiveness was always amazing.

The house at 6624 was heated with coal until around 1946-1947, when natural gas lines were installed in the street and a lateral tunneled into the basement. The coal furnace was converted to gas and the coal bin cleaned and repainted for another use including something of a play room for me and my brother Dave.

When I was five, Mom sewed an Indian costume. The fringe on the leggings caught fire while I was playing with friends near a trash fire across the street and a bit down the block from our house. Mother was at home and when I looked down and saw the fire flaming from my leggings, I began running for home. Fortunately, I tripped and rolled partially extinguishing the fire. A neighbor saw what was happening and helped extinguish the fire before carrying me home. Both Mom and Dad took me to the emergency hospital, Minneapolis General. The burn was 3rd degree and I was admitted to the hospital for several days. The Minneapolis Star ran a short clip of the incident with a headline: “Boy 5 Burned in Bonfire.” In 1945, the only anti-microbials available were sulfur compounds. Mom meticulously cleaned and re-bandaged the wound daily for weeks. Fortunately I have no memory of the pain that must have been present.

When I was six, I very reluctantly entered first grade at Woodlake School. Richfield at the time had no kindergarten, except at the Catholic School, but this was apparently never an option considered by my parents as they were both adherents to very fundamental, and I must say anti-Catholic, Protestantism in the denomination of the Covenant Church. It is likely, but beyond my immediate memory, that I was introduced to “schooling” as Sunday School at First Covenant Church in downtown Minneapolis. My memories of that church should await another time and location.

The trauma of First Grade is still palpable over seventy years later. Mrs. Greenhall was the teacher and the classroom was in the “portable” building just to the East of the original Richfield school building. The first grade classroom was the last room on the long hallway extending from the front door. The desks were arranged in rows, but each desk and its attached chair was separated.

By 1948, Dad acquired land on Harriet Avenue in central Richfield and very close to a new elementary school that was being built. I finished third grade in Richfield and sometime after the start of 4th grade the family moved to St. Louis Park, another first ring suburb of Minneapolis, but to the West rather than South. I finished 4th grade at Fern Hill Elementary. During the year away from Richfield, a new home was built. Still unfinished, we moved into 7212 Harriet Avenue before the start of school where I began 5th grade at the new Central Elementary with Miss Alice Kockum.

In 1949 Steve was added to our family. Here we are with our new brother just 10 days after he was born. We were still living at 6624 Russell in Richfield. Within a few months we moved to St. Louis Park while the new home in Richfield was being built. Dave tells us he still has that rocking chair in his attic.
Here we are a few months after Steve was born. Our dog then was a AKC registered Cocker Spaniel we called “Blackie.” The pups were sold and shortly there-after, Blackie went to a “new home.”

Mom and Dad were both committed to education for their sons. Mom graduated from the Red Oak High School in Iowa, intending to become a teacher. But leaving the University of Wyoming to marry, left her dream behind. However, in later years, from the mid-1950’s and through the 1960’s she was deeply involved with PTA (Parent Teacher Association), particularly at Central Elementary where Obed and Verona’s three sons attended through 6th grade. She became a leader in the state PTA organization. I remember many meetings at our home with principals, teachers and other parents.

In those early years we made many trips to Iowa to visit Grandparents and Aunts and Uncles. Gas was rationed, but Dad had purchased a new 1941 Chevrolet before the start of U.S. engagement in WWII. Because he worked for the United States Postal Service as a Supervisor in the Railway Division and was considered an essential worker, he was not drafted. The trips to Iowa always seemed long and in those days were certainly much longer than now. Highways were only double lane. Many of the trips were at night with parents and brother Dave. I remember Dad smoking a few cigars to “stay awake” while driving. Windows of the car were partially opened, particularly the hinged vent windows.

There is so much more to add with stories about Boy Scouts, Skiing, Swimming, Boats & Water Skiing, Paper Routes, and High School.

Last revised 15 November 2020

*Hauck Skoglund Studio – Lincloln, NB.