Yellow Medicine County MN
Family Stories & Memories
"Memories of the past make for great stories in the future."~ C. L. Gunderson
Clarkfield and Its Citizens Today
Iver Haugen and his daughter, Myrtle, enjoy life in their comfortable home just two block east of main square and a half block south. The home was built in 1926 when the Haugens retired from farm life.
Iver came to Yellow Medicine county in the summer of 1896, to look for work and for farm land. During the harvest season that year, he helped out at the Marin Kirkeby farm. By fall, he had located a farm three miles south and one half east of Clarkfield that was owned by the Thorwald Lindstads, relatives of the Peter Rodness family. This place appealed to Iver, so the following fall in 1897, he and his brother, Robert Haugen, bought this farm. The two operated the land together until 1905 when Iver bought out his brother's interest and Robert went on to Audubon, Minnesota where he purchased another farm.
Mr. Haugen was born in Nordfjord, Norway in 1870, the second child of Rasmus Haugen and Malina Solheim Haugen. He spent his boyhood days close to home, herding goats and sheep and helping in the tourist season at the Grodas, Sanden Tourist station, which was near his home. In 1889, he came to America to the home of his older sister, Mrs. C. N. Strand of Mankato. Iver is the only one left of the family of ten. Two infant brothers passed away in Norway, three sisters and two brothers came to America.
After a winter or two of working in the neighborhood and cutting cordwood, Iver wanted a change and took a job with the railroad from Madelia to Cedar Rapids, Ia. After a few years, he decided to return to Norway to see his parents so left in the fall of 1894 and returned to America the following spring. He spent that year working in the Mankato area, before starting out for Yellow Medicine county, which proved to be his choice spot to establish his home.
In 1889, two years after he and his brother purchased the farm, Iver was married to Lena Langseth, also of Nordfjord, Norway. She came to America in 1898 to the home of her sister in Benson.
On this farm is where Myrtle was born. She had one sister, Ida, who was married to Oswald Haaland of this community and the mother of one son, who passed away in 1950 and she in 1955.
Myrtle attended rural school in District 87 until she finished 8th grade and then she went on to a commercial college in Minneapolis, which was a branch of Gustavus Adolphus college. When she completed her two-year course, her mother took ill and needed her help. So, Mrytle returned to her parental home where she has faithfully served ever since. Not only has she been devoted to her parents, but to her neighbors and kinfolk alike.
When the Haugens moved to town in 1936, the Haalands moved onto the farm and operated it until they moved to Clarkfield in the fall of 1950. Then the Clarence Winsons moved to the farm and are currently operating it. Mrytle and Iver are pleased to have Mrs. Winson, Sylvia, the daughter of their old neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. S. B. Gunderson, on the farm. Another note of interest that came to light as we reminisced the other evening, was the fact that I. F. Fagerlie's signature appeared on the farm papers when the Haugens purchased the farm.
When the Haugens moved to town, Iver was too active to fullly retire so he put in time unloading lumber and supplies at the Dolliff lumber yard, then under the management of Matt Quist.
Iver and Myrtle are very much interested in the Nordfjord Lag, an organization in this country of folds coming from that region in the old country.
When active on the farm raising hogs and cattle, Iver also took interest in community affairs, serving on the school board in District 87 and for many years treasurer of Friendship township.
Although not active now at the age of 91, he is much interested in the affairs of the community. His sight has failed considerable and he enjoys having Mrytle read the news of the day, to him. He is very well physical and able to be up and about.
Myrtle is much interested in helping those around her. She keeps her camera handy to take pictures of her friends and flowers, and has some fine colored pictures of house plants, for flowers is another of her hobbies.
"Don't know what I'd do without Myrtle," said pioneer citizen as he strolled about his home. And surely there will be "stars in her crown."
Source: The Clarkfield Advocate, November 1961, Transcribed by Jacob Alberti
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