Listen to the Weekly Radio Readings by Sheila Winstead, RCHS Board Member
Recorded March 2020
March 1, 2020: Modern highways have greatly changed transportation by automobile. Travel is vastly different from what it was in 1927 when Andrew Rasmussen made a trip to Pipestone in a Model T Ford. So different that his story about the trip may make some younger people credulous … but it is “like it was” in those days and Andrew remembers it well, even though he is 97. (This story was in the Roseau Times-Region in 1982).
His youngest sister Clara was very ill and his brother Fred had called the news from Balaton. They started on March 31st for Balaton, leaving Badger about 1:00 PM.
Andrew recounts the trip: “The ground was frozen but when we got to Waubun we stopped to get gas as we were planning to drive all night. They would not let us go any further that night as the roads were impassable to the south so we stayed and the next morning we started and did we have mud!
We met three trucks and there were two men in each and these men lifted the Model T with Ma and Minnie and Mae to the side of the road and they drove in the ruts in the road past us and then they lifted the Model T back in the road and we went on. I was also in the car when they lifted it back on the road. They cranked it for me and told me to get going… listen for more of the story.
March 8, 15, 22, 2020: At the Roseau County Museum recently, I was looking at some of the self-published family histories stored in the research room. One caught my eye, and I’ll read some of it to you today. It’s about the Lofgren family. Andrew Lofgren from Sweden, his wife Olianna from Norway, had met as young immigrants. Their story is told by their children.
Andrew and Olianna were married January 1899 at Hallock, Minnesota. They packed up their belongings and took a coach (wagon with horses) from Hallock to Warroad. The trip took two days. The first day they made it to Salol where they stopped to rest and feed the horses. They stayed overnight at an inn there. The second day they arrived in Warroad. Olianna recalled that the trail meandered through miles of swampy-bog country where they had laid down rough unfinished poles side by side for the horses and wagons to go over, so they wouldn’t sink into the mud. The horses had a difficult time slipping and sliding on the poles. The ride was extremely rough on the iron wheels hitting each pole. As long as Olianna lived, she did not forget the terrible trip to Warroad. They filed on a homestead three miles from Warroad in 1900. Five years later they sold it and moved to town, where he bought the draying business, with two teams, two drays and two men working for him. We lived in a rented house near the river at the end of the old wooden bridge.
Inga recalls we moved to another house which father purchased and remodeled. It was on Indian Reservation land as all homes on the road to Highland Park were at that time. Indian Medicine-Man, John KaKayGeesick, son of Chief Ahya-Sha-Wash & May-Muska-Washie, collected $1.00 a month rent. We also had two cows and rented pasture from the Chief at $1.00 per month per cow. It was Inga’s job to get the cows home for milking time every night and morning and bring them back. Sometimes they were hard to find and even tried to run away… listen for the rest of the story.
March 29, 2020: I was looking through some family history files at the Roseau County Museum recently. I’ll read you today about Jalmar Wellen. Part of this story was in the Badger Centennial Book, and some comes from his obituary in 1962. The headline in the Badger book was “Jalmar Wellen, Advocate for Education and Electricity”, and his obituary was titled “Pioneer Teacher, Civic Leader to be Buried Friday”.
One of Roseau county’s early pioneer schoolteachers and a community leader all his life, Jalmar Wellen, died at the Roseau Area Hospital Sunday, November 18, 1962, after a short illness. Funeral services were set for Friday, November 23 at Roselund Church near Badger with Reverend Jens Jenson officiating, with interment at the Roselund Cemetery.
Jalmar Wellen was born in 1874 in Coon Valley, Wisconsin. He was married to Caroline Olson who had come with her mother to Roseau County; Mrs. Betsy Olson had homesteaded in Ross Township in 1894. They got a ride on a hay rack from Grand Forks with Edward Erickson, who later became a County Commissioner for many years. They made their home on Mrs. Olson’s homestead in Ross Township, the East ½ of SE ¼ of Section 18.
Jalmar came from his home in Wisconsin to visit his cousins Nat and Richard Ellerton in Stafford township. Nat lived on the quarter section that later became the home of Emil Olson. Jalmar had planned to stay only a short time, intending to return to Wisconsin to teach school. However, on a trip to Roseau, Jalmar met County Superintendent L. P. Dahlquist who discovered that Jalmar had some education. He encouraged him to stay in Roseau County and take the test for a teacher’s certificate. Teachers were at a premium and Mr. Wellen could be guaranteed a job. Jalmar took the test and was given a contract to teach seven months in Moose Township, which started in 1898. He taught there for three years, later teaching in other school districts for a total of nine years… listen for the rest of the story.
Thank you to for letting us share the history of our county with your listeners.