The Bennetts of Pope County, Minnesota 

The Family of
Bertha Marie Kleven &
Chester Hall Bennett

in 2 volumes:

The Klevens
The Bennetts

First Edition
November 2000

Foreword 

This work is one of a two-volume set about the ancestors and descendents of Bertha Marie (Kleven) and Chester Hall Bennett of Lowry, MN. While this volume depicts Chester’s Scottish-English side of the Bennett family, the companion volume is titled “The Kleven’s of Pope County, MN” and depicts Bertha’s predominantly Nonvegian sik 

Both volumes represent a first publishing effort by the writer. The real work, collecting the genealogy, however, was accomplished over several years and, quite obviously, entailed uncountable lairs. The well-deserved praise and many “tusen taks” belong to Bertha and Chester’s first born, Marjorie Olin Bcnnett Benson Jensen. The publisher is Marjorie’s first born and the first-born grandchild of Bertha and Chester. 

Marjorie, like her mother, Bertha, will demurely deny any due of accolades for the work involved in the two volumes. Nevertheless, this writer would publicly suggest that Marjorie deserves the thanks of those to whom the word “family” has special meaning Without her efforts, these volumes would be void of many details of the family. And the concept, warmth and meaningfulness of family was important to both Bertha and Chester. 

This writer is planning a second edition This first edition undoubtedly contains both errors of omission and commission. These errors are mine alone. The second edition will contain corrections, and, I hope, many additions. I call upon the family to submit writings and pictures to fill out these volumes so that our descendants begin to understand their ancestors as real people instead of just names and dates. I plan to publish the second edition in June 2001, and therefore request submission prior to May 31, 2001.

I have taken no liberties with the writings herein. They represent, in most cases, the exact words with perhaps a few misspellings of the original writer. When family members submit written items to me for the volumes, I request them to be in electronic format. I will follow the same guidelines with those submissions. 

Pictures make these volumes more than a dry list of names. After some discussion, I have limited pictures to “youthful maturity.” While the family was and is truly one of Lake Wobegon, I have limited family tree and family group pictures to graduation (high school or college) and marriage. I request submissions of pictures to be electronic also. Since many fewer people have scanners, I would be pleased to receive originals pictures, also, which I will scan and promptly, faithfully return to their owners. 

The publisher will also be pleased to share the complete tree in electronic format with any family member. The computer program is Family Tree Maker, Version 8.0. The size alone will prohibit e-mail attachment so it will be put on floppy disks or a CD. 

Comments and suggestions are invited and indeed expected. 

Lawrence Paul “Larry” Beacon
Grandson of Bertha and Chester Bennett
4930 Milrose Lane
Toledo, OH 43617
H:419.841.6445 F: 419.843.6401
E: LarryBenson@iname.co

 The Bennetts of Pope County, Minnesota Family Group Sheet 

Husband:       Chester Hall Bennett
Born:                May 08, 1893 in: Reno Twnshp, Pope County, MN
Married:           April 11, 1917 in: Kleven Farm, Blue Mounds Twnshp, Pope County, MN
Died:                February 1, 1970 in: Minnawaska Home, Starbuck, MN
Father:              William Bennett
Mother:            Margaret Ann Hume 

Wife:               Berte Marie Kleven
Born:               December 18, 1894 in: Blue Mounds Twnshp, Pope County, MN
Died:               May 28, 1982 in: Glenwood Retirement Home, Pope County, MN
Father:            Ole Johannes Kleven
Mother:          Oline Kaus Swenson 

CHILDREN 

Name:              Marjorie Oline Bennett
Born:                March 07, 1918 in: Lake Ann, Reno Twnshp, Pope County, MN
Married:           July 23, 1941 in: Grand Marais, MN
Spouse:            Lawrence Stewart Benson
Married:           June 04, 1995 in: Plymouth, MN
Spouse:            Kenneth Paul Jensen 

Name:              Lavina Grace Bennett
Born:                May 17, 1920 in: Reno Twnshp, Pope County, MN
Died:                July 29, 1998 in: Methodist Hospital, Excelsior, MN
Married:           November 15, 1941 in: Lowry, Pope County, MN
Spouse:            Clifford Mervin Mortenson            

Name:              Chester William Bennett
Born:                 March 23, 1925 in: Ben Wade Twnshp, Pope County, MN
Married:           June 14, 1954 in: St. John Catholic Church, Pope County, MN
Spouse:            Marianne Caroline Svec 

Name:              Glenn Lloyd Bennett
Born:                May 01, 1928 in: Ben Wade Township, Pope County, MN
Married:           October 14, 1955 in: St. John Catholic Church, Pope County, MN
Spouse:            Elaine Alice Brosh 

Name:              Beverly Ann Bennett
Born:                March 23, 1932 in: Starbuck Hospital, Pope County, MN
Married:            July 30, 1954 in: Camden, NJ
Spouse:            John M. Braaten            

Name:              Sharon Bertha Bennett
Born:               February 02, 1940 in: Starbuck Hospital, Pope County, MN
Married:           August 31, 1963 in: Waukegan, IL
Spouse:            David Wolf Wenner 

Husband:          Chester Hall Bennett
Born:                May 08, 1893 in: Reno Twnshp, Pope County, MN
Died:                February 0l, 1970 in: Minnewaska Home, Starbuck, MN 

Notes

BENNETT FARMING
Chester William (Bud) Bennett & Beverly Ann Bennett Braaten, 1992 

Thomas Hume and his wife, Elizabeth (Watt) Hume came from Wellington County, Ontario to homestead in Pope County, Ben Wade Township, Minnesota, in 1868. The land is right north of where Lowry is now. The town of Lowry was built on part of the farm. Thomas had two cousins living in the area. He came by boat from Owen Sound on Lake Huron to Superior City on Lake Superior. From there they traveled through wilderness by team and wagon to Pope County. The following have lived on the Hume homestead: Thomas and Elizabeth Hume, William and Margaret (Hume) Bennett, Robert W. and Grace (McCann) Bennett, Chester H. and Bertha (Kleven) Bennett, Chester W. and Marianne (Svec) Bennett, Glenn and Elaine (Brosh) Bennett, and Paul and Laurie (Kalma) Bennett 

Grandpa Will Bennett started the Lowry Shipping Association, managed the Farmers Trading Post, and helped get the telephone and electricity into the area. He moved from the farm to Lowry. Chester and Bertha lived at a farm on the west side of Lake Ann the first years they were married Chester rented the Axel Anderson farm (where Donald Anderson lives now), and later bought that farm. This farm was lost during the depression of the 30’s. Chester and Bertha moved to the Hume homestead after Robert Bennett’s first wife was killed in Lowry in a train accident, and Bob quit farming. 

Chester rented the Andy Bennett farm, which joined on the west. It always was called Andy’s farm. Chester sold cows to buy Andy’s farm for $20.00 per acre. The Hume homestead was 165 acres, and Andy’s was 160 acres. Times were very tough during the dry years and depression of the 30’s. Chester H. hauled cattle to northern Minnesota where there was pasture to save them. Also some cattle were kept at the Ness farm west of Lowry. Viney and Marge used to go out there to milk them. 

Holstein cattle were a big part of the farming operation for many years. Some purebred cows were bought in Wisconsin. C.H. also showed some of his cattle at the county fair. The barn capacity was for 30 cows plus young stock. C.H helped organize the Cow Testing Association. The tester came once a month and stayed overnight He weighed each cow’s milk, and tested the milk for butterfat. C.H ‘s herd was the first in the county to get a 500X butterfat average. C. H was also one of the organizers of the Villard Breeders Association. This Association was one of the first in the state of Minnesota. C.H. started to use artificial insemination in the early 40’s. Bud & Glenn continued to milk cows for many years after Chester and Bertha moved off the farm. 

Sheep were raised on the Bennett farm. William, C. H., and Bud all raised sheep. Sometimes there were about 200 ewes. When the shearing was done, the wool was hauled to Wadena to be sold. That was quite a trip in those days! Bud went to early lambing (Jan-Feb), and the sheep were sheared before they lambed Burr!, they had to be kept inside until warn weather arrived Many nights were spent in the barn tending to the ewes. 

Also hatching eggs were sold to the Rykus Hatchery in Lowry. By then there was a new chicken house built with materials from the granary on Andy’s farm.The old chicken house was knocked off the foundation by a runaway team of horses. Gypsy was one of the horses. She always had a tendency to run away after that. We had a blind horse named Rusty. She raised many colts. Ed Brosh would come with his stallion on a cart to service the mares in the neighborhood. Honey Pot and Tony were Rusty’s colts. Honey Pot was a great big horse. He could walk down a 40- inch corn row and step on corn on both sides! We put up hay with a over-shot stacker and two sweep rakes, buckers we called them. The barn didn’t have a big capacity for hay, so it would have to be filled up during the winter from stacks in the fields. 

A 1936 International 10-20 with steel wheels was the first tractor. It was used mainly for plowing. Horses were used for everything else. They had what they called tractor fuel, which was 1/2 gas and 1/2 fuel oil. International tractors were what were used over the years. C.H. had a McCormick-Deering threshing machine. He threshed for Ed Benson, Bill Chlian, Oscar Person, and later Einar Ladd They all came with their bundle wagon and teams to help with threshing. That was a busy time for the women too. They prepared for noon lunch, dinner, and afternoon lunch. Bertha would always want to know what the men had to eat at someone’s place. Mrs. Chlian had the best raised doughnuts and kolacky’s! Sometimes guys off the train were hired to help. They slept on straw mattresses in the hay barn. Combines were used for threshing starting in the middle 40’s. 

In the earlier years not too much corn was raised. Wheat, oats, barley, and hay were the main crops. A lot of the crops were used for feed for the livestock C.H. used commercial fertilizer when it first became available. During World War II there was rationing and farm prices were regulated by the government. After the war, prices were very good. 

Some pigs were always on the farm too. The barn yard was always muddy, and in the earlier years skim milk was carried through the mud to the pigs. Straw sheds were used to house the pigs in the winter. In the summer, the sows had “A” houses out in the pasture. Bud went to confined housing for pigs in 1968. Because more pigs were raised, a lot of corn was grown too. 

C. H. rented the Oberg farm for 2 or 3 years before buying it in 1942. It was located about 2 1/2 miles north of Lowry on Highway 114. The Federal Land Bank appraised the farm low because the corn was terribly weedy, and heifers were pastured around the yard and the heifers had gotten into the house! Times were better now, and hogs were sold to pay for the farm. Now the farming operation consisted of 565 acres. The house on the Oberg was torn down and some of the materials were used to build the shop and garage on the home farm. 

Many improvements were done throughout the years, such as, burying rock piles, and digging out and burying rocks as big as a car body. Fence lines were taken out and all the sloughs have been tiled & drained making nice long fields. 

C.H. started working at the ASCS office in Glenwood in 1933. He worked there for 30 years. He enjoyed working with all the farmers. Because C.H. wasn’t able to do heavy work, and worked at the ASCS office, there were always one or two hired men. Bud & Glenn helped with chores before going to schooL The house at Andy’s farm was used to house the married hired men. Clarence Hanson and Mike Carter were some of the hired men. Mike Carter and Bessie Zavadil were married when they worked there. Bertha had hired girls some of the time. There was always a big garden and also a apple orchard For some years there was a big strawberry patch. Berries were sold for 25¢ a quart! 

Chester and Bertha moved off the farm in 1954, first renting a house in Glenwood, and then building a house in Lowry on the south side of the schoolyard. A new house was built on the farm in 1956. Glenn and Bud both lived on the original homestead until Glenn moved to the Oberg farm in 1958. The house from the St. John’s Catholic church was moved to the Oberg farm for Glenn and Elaine to live in. The old frame house built by Thomas Hume was torn down in 1960. Glenn continued to milk cows until January 1975. Things were modern now, with pipeline milkers, milking parlors, and bulk tanks to cool and store the milk. 

Bud discontinued raising sheep in 1975, but increased in hog raising. Bud quit farming in 1980, and built a house in Lowry. Paul, Bud’s son, lives on the original homestead raising a lot of hogs, and corn, soybeans, and wheat. Paul is the 5th generation to live there since Thomas Hune homesteaded there. The farming operation has gone from oxen, horses, and the cradle to harvest the grain, to big 4-wheel drives tractors, and big combines. With the good care it has had down through the years, the land continues to produce food for livestock and people alike.
 

Marriage Notes
Written by Bertha Marie Kleven Bennett
December 18, 1894 - May 28, 1982 

Chester Bennett and I graduated from West Central School of Agriculture at Morris, Minnesota in 1914. We were married in 1917 at the Ole J. Kleven farm, south of Starbuck, Minnesota. My pastor, H 0. Koefod couldn’t speak English, so Chester asked Pastor Dahle to marry us. Pastor Dahle lived in Starbuck, but came to Lowry to preach Chester used to meet him on his way to see me. 

Chester drove a team of spirited horses and when he drove into the Kleven farm fast, my brothers, William and Gilbert said he had been whipping them so they would come in fast to impress me. In the wintertime he came in a cutter, sometimes driving across Lake Minnewaska. Once we went to a ski tournament in Glenwood We had good robes and my Dad had a sheep-skin sack that I put my feet in. 

There was also a heater. A piece of charcoal was put into the heating stove until it was red-hot and then put into a drawer in the heater. On the way home the cutter tipped over. We drove across fields, rather than on the roads. Chester stayed overnight that time, as he had to drive 2 miles to Lowry, 7 miles to Starbuck and 5 miles to the Kleven farm. 

The day of our wedding, April 11, 1917, the roads were very muddy (no good roads then). Bessie Bennett, Grace Bennett, Robert Bennett, Robert McKenzie, Adolph Brosh and Mr.& Mrs. William Bennett (Chester’s parents) were the guests. They came in a double buggy. Pastor and Mrs. Dahle came in a buggy pulled by a fat horse. 

Grace played the wedding march on the organ as Robert Bennett [Chester’s brother], Minnie Kleven [Bertha’s sister], Chester Bennett and I came down the stairs to the living room where an altar had been made. The living and dining rooms were decorated in pink and white. I wore a navy blue suit with a pink blouse and carried a bouquet of pink sweet peas. I also wore high laced black shoes and black stockings (real silk). (There were no rayon or nylon stockings at this time.) The women wore black cotton stockings for everyday. 

Ole Kleven had butchered a pig for the occasion. Ida Disrud [neighbor] was hired to help and Nettie Kleven (Bertha’s sister) waited on the table. When Chester was going to take lda home, he found that William Kleven, Bob McKenzie, Bob Bennett, and Adolph Brosh had put the front buggy wheels on the back and the back wheels on the front. They had taken the hat pins out of the ladies’ hats and stuck them up through the buggy seat (In those days, hat pins were very long.) 

We had told the Lowiy people they were staying in Starbuck and the Starbuck people we were staying in Lowry. Then we stayed at the farm Chester had rented from Bill Blair, where we were to make our home. The morning of April 12, we went to Chester’s folks for dinner. The Benson girls hid in the woods so they could watch the newlyweds go by. They went into the house and told their mother that the bride even wore a nose veil on her hat! 

After eating dinner at Chester ‘s parents, we went in the buggy to our farm with Bob Bennett and Adolph Brosh chasing the cows and sheep Will Bennett had given us. Ole Kleven had given us money for a wedding present. He said, “you buy yourself a sewing machine.” So Chester hitched the horses to the lumber wagon (it had a spring seat) and went to Lowry to buy the machine from Ole Hoplin. My father didn’t want me to go to Bennett’s unless I had plenty of clothes, so he bought me two extra pair of long-legged union suits. 

There were many oak trees on the farm. Chester had bought cigars, but no chivareers came so he and the hired man smoked cigars while working in the fields. The home place had been seeded, so they put in the Lake Ann farm. When the men were in the fields, I would go out in the pasture to get the cows and bring them in to milk (7 cows). I then had to separate the milk. (That cream was really good) I wore an apron and would pick up small pieces of wood and put them in my apron to take home to start fires with. I took the cream to the Lowry Creamery with a horse and buggy. The men could stay longer in the fields when 1 did the milking, which was done by hand.

Louie and Christine Starr were the first neighbors that called. Fishing was very good in Lake Ann (pike), but it seemed that when the four went fishing Bertha and Christine caught most of the fish. We lived on this farm until March, 1918, when Meta and Harry Blair bought it. (Chester had rented it from Bill Blair.) We moved to the Lake Ann farm. Marjorie Oline was born March 7, 1918 and Lavina Grace, May 17, 1920 on the Lake Ann farm. 

Bob Bennett, [Chester’s brother] and Grace McCann were married and lived on the farm just north of Lowry. Shortly after they were married, Grace was hit and killed by a train at the depot in Lowry. Bob farmed and had hired girls, but then quit farming and we moved up there where we remained until 1954. 

Chester William (Bud) was born at home March 23, 1925; Glenn Lloyd, May 12, 1927; Beverly Ann, March 23, 1932; Joyce Marie, April 2, 1935; and Sharon Bertha, February 2, 1940 all at Starbuck Hospital. (The Glenwood hospital was not completed then.) 

We didn’t have a car until after Viney was born. One time we got a new top on it and went for a ride to Farwell. Marge said we should have driven down main street so everyone could see the new top on our car. One time we took a trip to Minneapolis in our Model T. Marge and Viney had new khaki knickers for traveling. The kids had to fill the wood box each evening. The last years 1 was on the farm we had running water, but before that, we put water in the reservoir on the old black cook stove. It had a warming oven above the top. The oven door, when open, was a nice place to warm your feet. 

Early in my marriage, I had washed my hands in the wash dish and was throwing the water out the door and my wedding ring slipped off but I found it in the threshold between the two doors. 

I dressed many chickens. I would go out and catch two roosters. While I chopped the head off one, I held the other between my legs, ready to chop the head off him.

We always had big snow banks west and north of the house.

One time I couldn’t find Bud. I looked inside and outside. We didn’t have much room for storage, so I had things stored in boxes under the bed in the north room. I looked there, but didn’t see Bud. But I looked again and way in, as far back as the boxes were, there was Bud sleeping. 

We always had lots of company. The Haldorson’s always made their annual fall visit. They always wanted cream and bread for lunch. We had a cream separator so we always had cream and it was very good 

When Viney was little, someone asked her what her name was and she said, “just Dindie.”; Glenn called himself “Glunk”; Bud “Cheso Limmie”; Beverly, “Belly Ann”; Joyce, “Doyce”’ Larry, (Marge’s son) called Sharon “Daunty Tarron”. 

Once, I was out in the woods picking choke cherries, nature called, so I sat down and got poison ivy on my bottom. 

In the drought years (1930’s) we had to take the dry cows to Mora, Minnesota to pasture. We left one cow home to have milk for Joyce’s bottle. After we brought the cows home, we had them pastured west of town. Grandpa Bennett, Viney and Marge drove to the pasture to milk the cows during the harvest season. Viney wore shorts and cut her leg stepping over the fence. Grandpa said she should have worn long pants. She has a scar from it yet. 

Before Viney started school, I had threshers for dinner and had made pudding She was helping me by putting the pudding dishes on the table. She dropped one on the floor and I said, “if you aren’t more careful, 1 will fire you.” She started to cry and said, “Mama, please don’t put fire under me.” 

Before Glenn was born, I was making a blue sailor suit for Bud. There were six buttons and buttonholes on it. 1 had put them all on except one and couldn’t find it. I asked Bud if he had taken one and he said, “I chewed it up.” The next day I found it in his potty chair, washed it and put it on the suit. Bud’s dad was washing the milking machine on a rack by the pump house, I was close by and Bud came crying to me saying, “Daddy made such a bad noise at me and I hadn’t taken any parts for the milking machine” One hot day, Viney and Marge decided they wanted a Christmas tree, so they took their red wagon and saw and went down and sawed 2 nice evergreens and brought them up to the house. Their Dad told them they had to tell their Grandpa Bennett what they had done. That was hard for them to do. 

Once Marge wanted her wagon painted, but I told her she would have to wait so I could help her. She hid in the back shed and did it alone. I found out she had not brushed the paint on and it was running in the bottom of the wagon 

We always had enough food.. I baked lots of bread.  We always had goose and plum pudding for Christmas with relatives. The kids liked to eat hot biscuits when they came home from school. They walked to school in Lowry. I remember Glenn saying, “I was so cold that when I came to the chicken house, I had to go in and warm my hands under a hen “. 

Marge was having a birthday party after school. Mrs.Hoplin called and asked if Marge was having boys. She said Oliver said he was the only boy asked and of course he didn’t come. Arle Anderson enjoyed the lunch so much, she packed a lot of it in her napkin to take home. 

The summer Glenn was a baby, I had a hired girl. I sewed winter coats from old ones in August and fitted them under the lilac bushes. 

Bud was ring bearer at Bob [Chester’s brother] and Evy’s [second wife] wedding He carried the ring in a lily and couldn’t get it out so he tipped the lily upside down and handed the ring to the right person. 

When Bob had surgery at the University in St. Paul, Evy stayed with him and I had Bill, Betty and Corky. They had a lot of fun One day they were playing in the wheat bins and covered Betty completely. She got wheat in her ear. Glenn took her down to barn and put the milking machine on her ear to suck it out, but that didn’t work We took her to the doctor and he removed it. He said it was a good thing we came, as the wheat would have swollen up in her ear, had we left it there. 

Marjorie graduated from the nursing school at Duluth, Minnesota on June 30, 1940. Mike and Bessie Carter worked for us then We had strawberry plants all along the trees to the north. We sold strawberries for 20 cents a quart and made jam in quart jars. Bessie took care of Sharon while we went to Marge’s graduation and she made strawberry jam for herself while we were gone. Lavina was attending the Minnesota College of Commerce in Minneapolis and worked for her board and room. She didn’t have any easy place. 

With both Marge and Viney gone, I asked the boys to help me decorate the house for Christmas and put up red and green streamers and red bells at the ceiling Glenn said “why did you let the girls go?” 

Marge was married to Stewart Benson July 26, 1941 and La Vina to Clifford Mortenson, November 15, 1941. The first time we went to Duluth to visit Marge & Stewart, I brought along a live rooster in a gunny sack. Stewart and I went out and chopped the head off, rooster feathers flying all over. A lady came out and told us we were doing something wrong. 

One hot day I sent Beverly out in a sunsuit We had company and as we were standing outside bidding them goodbye, here comes Beverly in the nude, swinging her sunsuit by it’s straps! 

Grandma Kleven [Bertha’s mother] was 88 when she died She was 81 when she entered the Bethany Home in Alexandria. After she had her 88th birthday, February 29, she fell and broke her hip and was taken to the hospital in Starbuck where she passed away in June. Grandpa Kleven (Bertha’s father) was 84 when he died. 

Grandpa and Grandma Bennett [Chester’s parents] were both 79 when they died; he in 1945 and she in 1952. 

Larry (Marge’s son) had a lot of fun on the farm. He and Sharon used to fight a lot. One day we had company and it was raining. Larry came in all out of breath. He said, “I brought the cows home, I know Glenn wouldn’t want then to get wet.” 

The red and yellow Chevy was parked by the pump house. Lariy [age 3 or 4] was playing in it and it slipped out of gear and started down the hill towards the corn crib. Larry jumped out, but slipped and the car ran over his foot, brown boot and all. Marge and Grandma ran to his rescue and got him out. Larry was ok and so was the car. 

The floor in the kitchen slanted from the living room to the kitchen. Larry [age 12] and Grandma used to polka and when they came to the kitchen, they danced fast. At Bud and Marianne’s wedding John F. Kalina served beer and Larry and Grandma were tipsy. 

One summer on the farm Larry and Louise [Marge’s daughter] were staying there. The men were working at Oberg’s and Lar,y was with them. They came home, had dinner, Larry going back with them. I was going to wash Louise’s face to get her ready for her nap. I couldn’t find her. Beverly even went up to Bosek’s, no Louise. We had a couch on the porch with a blanket on it. I saw the blanket moving, so I lifted it up and here was Louise, chocolate pudding all over her face. I asked her “why didn’t you answer when I called?” She answered. “You could have looked under the blanket.” Once Louise was out in the sheep shed with Glenn while he was cutting the tails off the lambs. She came in the house, blood spattered on her face and said, “Glenn wanted me to take the lamb’s tails to the house for you to make soup out of them, but I wouldn’t do it.” 

Tom Danielson (Chester’s sister Grace’s son) as a boy used to walk to the farm and visit nearly every day. 

We took two trips to Montana. The first time, Sharon was with us. We visited brother Gilbert and relatives David and Hazel Watt in Buffalo, Wyoming and on to Yellowstone Park  The second time William, Mabel, Chester and I went to Nashua, Montana when brother Gilbert passed away. We visited the Black Hills on our way home. 

Bud went to the Army January 18, 1951 and came home January 15, 1953. Glenn went March 10, 1953 and came home February 28, 1955. The summer of 1954 we had 3 weddings. Joyce was married to George Harvey May 29, Bud to Marianne Svec June 14 and Beverly to John Braaten July 30. 

Chester, Bertha, Sharon and Mina Braaten (John’s mother) traveled to Camden, New Jersey to see Bev and John married We all went to New York City with them on their honeymoon. Sharon, Mina, Dad & I went to Washington, D.C. and then flew home. 

In 1953, when Glenn was in the army, we sold hatching eggs to the Lowry Hatchery. That meant I had to go out to the chicken house many times a day to gather eggs. Sometimes I would make a batch of doughnuts after the kids went to school. I would take a plate out to the barn for the men, gather the eggs, come back to the house, warm up the coffee and eat doughnuts. (Can’t remember how many - don’t want to know how many). 

I had gained weight and had a hernia in my navel. The doctor put me on a diet as he said I was too heavy for surgery. In the afternoon I would put lunch on the table for the men and go in the bedroom and lie down so I wouldn’t see the food. Every Sunday morning Bud and I would go out in the granary to weigh me. We didn’t have a bathroom scale. Anyway, I had surgery and everything went fine. Had Mrs. Bert Mclver as a roommate. 

After Bud married, we moved to Glenwood, but moved back to Lowry in the fall. We moved to our new home in Lowry January 23, 1956. Glenn was married to Elaine Brosh October 14, 1955 at St. John’s Catholic Church north of Lowry. 

Bev and Johnny lived in Camden, New Jersey after they were married. Bev didn’t like it there and couldn’t see herself having a baby there, so she flew to Minneapolis and took the bus to Lowry and lived with us when Terry was born and until Johnny came home. 

When Terry was a little girl, she and I took our bath together. We took our white shoelaces to soak then in the tub. We forgot to wash them and pulled the plug and the laces went down the drain  We had to call Grandpa to rescue them. 

In 1957, I was hospitalized for anemia (Hemoglobin at 5 grams; 12 grams is normal) and had blood transfusions. Also in 1957, a bus load of foreign students from the University of Minnesota came to Pope County for several days. Helen Chang and Ben Liu from Formosa stayed with us. They were born in China We were later asked to their wedding, June 14, 1958 at the University Baptist Church in St. Paul. We went and had a good time. We heard from them over the years. 

On April 27, 1957 we were honored for our part in agricultural achievement in Minnesota. We received the W G. Skelley Agricultural Achievement Award, a gold lapel pin, $100 savings bond and the achievement award scroll. We were served a community breakfast at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church where neighbors and friends joined us. 

The farms were sold to the boys in 1959. Bud received the Ford Farm Efficiency Award in 1968. He received a check for $2000 and a plaque during a special awards banquet held at Anaheim, California. He was the winner in the sheep category and was designated to received a grant for use in sheep management research from the University of Minnesota. Bud and Marianne flew to California. Bonnie stayed with me and Rosemary Svec stayed at the farm with Paul and Jim. 

Glenn received the Bankers DHI trophy for having the highest producing herd of dairy cattle in Pope County. 

In 1960 we went to Crystal Lake, Illinois for Larry’s high school graduation. We also traveled to Canada and Wenatchee, Washington to visit with Norman and Ruth Cusick (Chester’s aunt). The four of us also went to Seattle. 

In 1962, with Bob and Clara [Bob’s third wife], we went to Canada again. In February 1963, Chester and I went to Hawaii ($644.50 each) and to San Pedro, California. 

Sharon married David Wenner August 31, 1963 in Waukegan, Illinois. We drove to Milwaukee to visit them that fall and then went on down to South Bend to visit Marge & Stewart On the way home the car broke down and we had to buy a new one to drive home in. 

In 1964, more foreign visitors came to Pope County. 14 delegates from all over the world. S. Vijayaratan, Secretary General of the Malaysian Youth Council from Kuala Lampur, Malaysia stayed at our house. He was a vegetarian. A Swedish family who stayed at Floyd Anderson’s called on us too. 

Bev, Johnny, Chester and I went to Annapolis, Maryland to attend Lariy’s graduation from the Naval Academy and also his marriage to Joanne (June 1964). 

August 1968, Chester and I traveled with Bev & Johnny to South Bend, Indiana to attend Louise’s wedding to Steve Schock June 21, 1968. We attended Margaret’s (Lavina’s daughter) graduation from the Abbott School of Nursing at Westmimter Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis. Margaret was married to Curtis Hoium at Fron Lutheran Church in Starbuck July 12, 1968. 

We celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary in 1957 at home with family and friends, our
golden Anniversary at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Lowry. 

I had surgery at age 72 at Glenwood Hospital in 1966. (Hysterectomy.) 

In February, 1967 Chester was selected Pope County’s Outstanding Senior Citizen and was invited to attend the Governor’s 6th Biannual Conference on Aging at the Pick Nicollet Hotel in Minneapolis. He didn’t go any further, as a man from Adams, Minnesota wac named Minnesota’s Outstanding Senior Citizen, but we had several good days there. 

In February 1968 we flew to St. Petersburg, Florida to visit Dave and Sharon. We took several tours while we were there. 

Chester was secretary for St.Paul’s Lutheran Church for 16 years. He gave them a post binder for recording future minutes when he retired. He was chairman of the ASC (Agricultural Stabilization Committee) for 30 years. A program was held and a gift was received upon his retirement. He was also the mayor of Low,y for several years. 

Chester entered the hospital December 2, 1969 and passed away February 1, 1970. 

In 1970, I fell on the stairs in church and broke my wrist. I was in the hospital for awhile. Debbie Harvey came to stay and help until Sharon, Steve and Beth flew up from Florida and stayed for several weeks. I never realized how helpless a person can be with a cast on one arm. 

March 11, 1976, I flew to Florida to visit the Wenners. Had a nice time. Sharon was busy with Girl Scouts and teaching a class of kids that can’t read. I stayed two weeks, and then stayed 2 days at Marge’s. When I came back bought 2 dresses and came home on the bus from Minneapolis. It rained all the way and took just as long to go from Minneapolis to Glenwood as it did to go from St. Petersburg to Minneapolis. 

July 24, 1976, Marge rented 2 cottages at Lake Maiy for a week  Larry, Doni, Sara, Eric, Steve, Louise, Timmy and Tommy were there. Grandma went out every other day. When Marge broke up camp, she, Eric and Sara came to my house. Marge attended her class reunion on Saturday night. Gwen came in and babysat with Eric and Sara. They enjoyed throwing clothes down the chute. 

I made a big decision and decided to rent an apartment in Lowiy. Thursday, August 25, 1976 Viney and Bev came in the morning and took some things up to the apartment. When they went home at 4 o’clock; Viney took the things from my big freezer and I spent quite awhile cleaning it. Fiiday, I did a big washing. Saturday morning Bev, Johnny, Viney, Glenn, Bud, Bonnie, Joyce and Sherri came. We had dinner and the moving went fast. They all left about 4:30. 1 had a bath here and relaxed. 

August 28, Sunday night,  Bev, Johnny and Mina called. I have had lots of company. As I look to the north I can see Bud’s big cornfields and his buildings. I can also see Josie Bosek’s and what wed to be Henry Chan’s farm. It has been so dry tIns year that the crops are not any good. 

We had an auction November 8, and had a good crowd  Everything was sold and I was glad we didn’t have to haul that old furniture away. 

The house was sold December 7,1976 to Leon and Anna Johnson  They like the house very much and they enjoy living in Lowry. 

Note: Bertha moved to the Glenwood Retirement Home and died in the Glenwood Hospital May 28, 1982. Her funeral was held at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Lowry. She was buried next to Chester at Oak Hill Cemetery east of the farm where she and Chester lived. Sharon Bennett Wenner (her last baby girl) has the original of this in Bertha’s handwriting. 

Wife:               Berte Marie Kleven
Born:                December 18, 1894 in: Blue Mounds Twnshp, Pope County. MN
Died:                May 28, 1982 m: Glenwood Retirement Home, Pope County, MN. burial                             at Oak Hill Cemetry, Lowry, MN 

Notes

The Kleven ‘s
Writings of Bertha (Berte) Marie K/even Bennett, circa 1982 

Oline Swenson Kaus Kleven, my mother, was born February 29, 1856 at Ringebu, Gulbrandsdalen, Norway. In 1866 she immigrated to this country with her parents to Fillmore County, Minnesota In the summer of 1869 coming with the families of Isaac Engebretson and Ole Haugen in a covered wagon, my grandfather, Svend Olson Kaus faced a tremendous problem in 1866. He was 62 years old. He was born at Branstadmoen, Gulbrandsdalen, Norway. He lived in one of the most fertile valleys of Norway near Ringebu., but he could not see much future for his children and grandchildren. The small tracts of land that could be cultivated had been taken up generations before him, and staying on meat just an existence. Like many other Norwegians he had sought the more gainful but dangerous work, that of fishing in the north part of Norway but that meant being away from his family. There was one solution, if he could make it, and that was to go to America as his two eldest sons, Ole and Gilbert, and a daughter Mary had gone there a few years before. In spite of his advanced years, he decided to go to America 

It took a lot of preparation as all the passengers had to bring their own food along for the long journey across the Atlantic that sometimes took up to 13 weeks with his wife, Beret and his five children, Oline, Martha, Martinus, Bertha and Simon. Leaving with was his eldest daughter, Bertha, her husband, Ole Haugen and three children, Annie, Mary and Hannah. Traveling with them on the boat was Mr. and Mrs. Issak Engebretson and their son, John. They arrived in Fillmore County in 1866. Svend Olson and the group he had led from Norway were now in the promised land, but Fillmore County had been settled for a few years and all the homestead land was gone. There was work to be secured in the neighborhood and a kind farmer had allowed him to build a dugout on his farm. Svend wanted to go someplace where there was still open prairie. Taking 2 oxen teams and a few milk cows they started from the northwest. St. Paul and Minneapolis were two isolated towns at that time with dirt streets. The younger children followed the covered wagon herding the cattle along. From Minneapolis they followed the Mississippi River as far as St. Cloud and here they turned westward until they reached a village in a valley with a few log houses. This village was Glenwood. They were told that to the southwest of the big lake [Minnewaska] there was lots of land that could be homesteaded. 

Starbuck had not come into existence at that time, although there was a trading center north of Starbuck near where the Inhered Church now stands. On June 3, 1869 the pioneer group reached what is now Blue Mounds Township, and here they camped overnight on what used to be the Issak Engebretson farm. The three families selected their homesteads and decided to make this their permanent abode. All the three families had between them besides their cattle, a sack offlour, some potatoes and 50 cents. The first thing they did was to plant potatoes which they harvested in the fall. There was much to do putting up sod ho uses for themselves and stables for their cattle. They lived from their cattle, the fish they could catch and the game which was plentiful. 

I Remember Grandma
A Eulogy for Bertha Marie Kleven Bennett
Given at The St. Pauli Lutheran Church~ Lowry, MN
By her grandson, Lawrence Paul Benson 

We are here, the several hundred of us, to say goodbye to Grandma. Grandma was Berte Marie Kleven Bennett, seven of us knew her as mother, 37 of us called her Grandma (or Bestemor) and another twelve or so called her Great Grandma. I consider myself more fortunate than many of you, my cousins. You see, I had Grandma Bennett for over 40 years. Before she passed away, she asked me through Uncle Glenn to share some of my recollections of her as Grandma or Bestemor. Words cannot express my humble pride in sharing af ew of my remembrances with you. 

I remember Grandma with her skirt and apron flying as she ran to rescue me from that angry old hen who hatched her chicks in the lilac bush out front. I had obviously strayed much too close for that hen’s liking Her skirt and apron seemed to fly quite a bit because there was a mean Leghorn rooster (about my size) that always seemed to want a piece of me. Even when Grandma chopped that old rooster’s head off one morning out behind the wood shed, that headless rooster still ran after me. But Grandma, with her skirt and apron flying, rescued me again. 

I remember Grandma whenever I happen to see lilacs or hollyhocks or geraniums, particularly the bright red ones. Even though her work on the farm was never ever done, she always had those flowers in the flower box off the screen porch, the hollyhocks around the South and East walls, in those three gigantic lilac bushes whose fragrance always did and always will remind me of Grandma. 

I remember Grandma as a dancer. For many, many years, and she was never too busy, I would lead her by the hand to East door, and then we polka through the front room, around the stove and into the kitchen, around the big round table, and over to the south kitchen window. And we’d laugh, and then we’d do it again. 

I remember Grandma when we got the first bike on the farm. After supper one summer evening, Sharon, Joyce, Beverly, Grandpa; and I tumbled into the car and drove up tp Bob Bennett’s oil station to pick out a new bike. Although Grandma was probably around 60 years old at the time, she came flying out of the kitchen when we returned. Ridding herself quickly of the apron, she decided it was her turn to ride the bike, and very promptly started off through the yard and down the indrive. Come to think of it, I don’t think I ever got a turn that evening. 

1 remember grandma when, as a little boy, I repeated some Norwegian words that I should not have known. If I close my eyes, 1 can see her quite clearly, her lips pursed in that special way but with a merry twinkle in her eyes as she said to me, “Fie, skam deg!” 

I remember Grandma, I think most of all as a giver. She always gave and never seemed to take for herself. Here are a few of the things I remember her giving, always rather freely. 

First, hugs. She always had lots of them to give, particularly for family, and she never seemed to run out of hugs. Some of you have noticed that I see seemed to have learned that lesson well from her. 

Second, she gave love to her family. We always, always knew she loved us and where she stood, even though she could be madder than that mother hen in the lilac bush. 

Third, she gave me a measure of pride in and for family. There has always been ample evidence in the pictures around her home and the pride with which she spoke of her children, grandchildren, and particularly those great-grandchildren. 

Fourth, she gave me and I suspect, most of the 60 of us here today, a strong sense of family, of the special bond that ties us together as a family I for one never, ever will lose that gift, the sense of family. I remember Grandma telling me, however, that just thinking about it simply is not enough. She told me that I need to work at family also. 

As a young boy in grammar school down in the Cities, 1 remember having to read through a rather serious tome entitled “Giants of the Earth” by Rolvaag When my Mother called to tell me of Grandma’s passing for some strange reason, I immediately had to reread Rolvaag’s book There is absolutely no doubt in my mind, that both Grandpa and Bestemor epitomize strength of character about which Rolvaag wrote. Certainly in my eyes and, I believe, for most of us sitting here today, they both were truly giants of the earth. 

I remember you, Grandma very well indeed, and always will. Good bye, Bestemor, I miss you already. Jeg elska deg. 

Notes
Ole Kleven Family History
Written by Marjorie Oline Bennett Benson, May 1993 

Norway was greatly overpopulated in the late nineteenth century. This no doubt is the primary reason for the large emigration at that time. They like people in other European countries had heard about all the wonderful opportunities in America, especially the available fertile land The Ilstadkleiven family became part of that group of brave and adventuresome people. It must have taken a great deal of preparation and years of saving money to pay the ships’ passage fare. 

Ole was the first to leave at age twenty-two in 1872. He, with Hans Bratraaget came to Chicago shortly after the great fire there, they helped to rebuild the city. His earnings were probably one source of money to help the rest of the family to emigrate. Ole proceeded on to Pope County, Minnesota where he first lived in a dugout on the land in Barsness Township which he homesteaded in 1874. His parents, Ole Johannesen Ilstadkleiven and his wjfe, Mari, came later in 1872 with his three sisters His brothet Johannas Olesen Ilstadkleiven came in 1884 according to immigration records. Ronnaug had come with her husband, Nels Johannes Dahl in 1871. 

It is noted that the family name, as referred to above, is somewhat different than we know it. In those early days Norway had a different naming procedure. Three names were used The given name, (fornavn) is the Christian name as we commonly use it. The father’s name (farnavn) was known as the patronymic name by adding “son” or “dotter” to the father’s Christian name. The farm name (gard navn) was added onto the previous names. When the family moved from farm to farm, this name was changed Our Norwegian patriarch was Ole Johannesen Llstadkleiven; they farmed Ilstad property. Apparently in the United States the Ilstad was dropped and Kleiven was changed to Kleven. In Norway today the Kleiven spelling is still used. 

Home in Norway was in the Gudbrandsdalen valley. This is a beautjful area in eastern Norway. The river Lagen (sometimes spelled Laugan) runs through the foothills with the mountains behind them. 

Evidently the church was most important to these Norwegians leaving their homeland A Lutheran congregation was begun by these immigrants in Starbuck, Minnesota, the area they had chosen to make their home. They named it after the church they had left in Norway, Nordre Fron. This church is today’s Fron Church in Starbuck. 

The history of Nordre Fron Church, presently know, as Sodrop Church is interesting Built in 1752, it was carefully dismantled in 1910 and rebuilt on a site across the river in the town of Vinstra. This writer was there in 1984 and took pictures of the present church. It looks exactly like the picture the Ilstadkleiven’s brought with them from Norway in 1872. A chapel was erected on the old church site where there are many old graves sites including a memorial stone for Peer Gynt who lived in this parish. 

Today there are two farms in the Vinstra area where our ancestors lived. The most directly related one is the Ilstadkleven one. It has modern buildings and also some of the older ones. The most notable one is the “stabbur” a storage building Then there is the Toksekleiven farm. The mother of Ole Johannesen Ilstadkleiven was a Toksekleiven. 

Ronnaug Olesdotter was married in Norway to Nels Johannes Dahl. They emigrated from Norway in 1871 to the Coon Valley area near LaCrosse, Wisconsin. After three years there they came to Minnesota for a few years, closer to her family. Day county in South Dakota near Fort Sisseton was their next home. They sold grain to the US. Army for their cavalry horses. Like most settlers of that day, they lived in a sod house on 360 acres. After grasshoppers took one crop and hail another, they left for Wisconsin near Stanley where they lived the remainder of their lives. The main crop on this farm was sugar beets which were marketed to a factory in Chippewa Falls. 

Mari Olesdotter married Anton Christianson Dokken. They raised their family of seven children near Roslyn, South Dakota. 

Anna Olesdotter married Claus Rasmss Signalness. They were well known farmers south of Starbuck as were 0line and Johannes. 0line married Ingvald Swensrud. Johannes married Karl Pederson. They all raised large families. They are all noted in the family charts. 

Ole Oleson llstadkleiven became Ole Johannes Kleven in the United States. He married Olin, Svensdotter (Swenson) on November 15, 1878. The ceremony was performed by Rev. Per Reque. They were hardworking people, establishing their home in Barsness township south of Starbuck Through the years they built an outstanding farm and home. Of course this was not without some disasters. 

One incident was the destruction of the barn by fire. Daughter Bertha remembered how horrible it was to hear the animals trapped inside the burning barn. It is not known today whether any animals perished. A large barn with an overhead haymow was built to replace this one. Like so many farms of that time, a windmill pumped the water. 

It is not known why the first frame house was torn down and a new one rebuilt about 1910. A building known as a summer kitchen was constructed first. The family lived in this while the new house was built just to the north of it. The summer kitchen continued to be used for cooking, baking and canning when the weather was hot to prevent heating of the house. 

The new house was a large, square, two story building. The exterior was painted chocolate brown with white trim. There was an open porch across the front of the building and a smaller one off the back door. The kitchen and dining rooms were large to accommodate a large family and guests. The living room was by comparison relatively small The downstairs bedroom was large as were the four on the second floor. The front door opened into a long hall with the stairway to the upstairs. The attic was used for storage and also for drying corn for seed A large board had long nails protruding through. Each cob was impaled on a nail and left to dry. There was a full basement with a stone foundation. The furnace was here, providing hot water heat with radiators in each room of the house. All the buildings on this farm were kept in tiptop condition. The last building to be built was a new granary to replace the old one in the early 1920s. 

Mention of the granary brings to mind a story. Ole enjoyed playing cards but 0line evidently a bit more strait laced felt this was wrong. It was gambling! She hid Ole’s cards in the stored grain. When he sold the grain, he found the cards and brought them hone again. This incident shows a little of 0line and Ole’s personalities. Ole had a good sense of humor, loved to joke, tease and play little pranks. He liked to laugh and have fun. Olien.was more prime, serious and a follow the rule type of person. 

All one children graduated from the same country school. District 90. The three youngest, Gilbert, Bertha and William graduated from the West Central School of Agriculture at Morris, Minnesota in 1914. At that time this school was at the high school level. They lived on campus in dormitories. All three had many stories to tell about their experiences there. William was only fourteen when he started there. Even at this age, he enjoyed playing a prank now and then. Bertha had a year at Starbuck High School previous to going: to Morris. 

Most of the Norwegian immigrants to this country were Lutherans. The church was important to them. Ole and 0line were charter members of Fron congregation in Starbuck All the children were baptized and confirmed there. This is a quote from writings left by Bertha Kleven Bennett. “My mother was a charter member of Fron Ladies Aid. They were divided into three groups: one in Starbuck, one to the east of town and the other to the west. Mother and I always walked to the homes where they were meeting. This was the East Ladies Aid. Mother always carried her hymn book. Early dues were five cents but later increased to fifteen cents.” 

Bertha often told of her school days at District 90. They walked a mile to school carrying their lunches in syrup pails. All the families in the district were Norwegian except one who was Swedish. One day after Alfred Carlson had taken all the teasing from the Norwegians he could tolerate, he decided to make a statement. In a loud voice he said, “In our Bible it stands that the Swedes are better than the Norwegians”. 

They played ball at school but didn’t have balls or bats. They wrapped cord and string into balls and covered them with pieces of leather from old shoes. A flat board was used as a bat. The schoolhouse was adjacent to a slough so in winter when it was frozen, they played there at recess. The toilet was an outhouse so when they had permission for this, they’d take a quick slide down the hilL The school term was six months, but later in the spring they’d have religion school for two months. This was in Norwegian. They were also confirmed in Norwegian. In these days they did not have Sunday school.  Each mother had a few books like “Katekekiomius. ABCs and folkloring.” 

This family, like many other farm people, didn’t get to church very often. Transportation was by horses and it was felt horses that worked six days needed one day’s rest. Bertha remembers her mother taking the young children outside to see a rainbow and explaining its significance. 

The Thompson and Kleven farms were only a half mile apart. Selma and Edna Thompson were girlhood friends of Bertha’s. They improvised their own mailbox in some bushes midway between their homes. They also learned to ride a bicycle together, carrying a pail with them to help get on the bicycle. Bertha delighted her grandchildren by taking a spin on one of their bikes even at eighty. 

The young Kleven brothers liked to tease their sister, Bertha. When they were little kids, Bertha had a kitten which she loved. Gilbert and William dug a hole in the ground, filled it with water and then proceeded to dunk the kitten in and out of the water with Bertha sobbing on the side lines. 

Farm children through the years have always had chores delegated to them. So did the Kleven youngsters. Chores varied with the age of the child. For a time William and Bertha cleaned the horse barn. At another time Minnie and Bertha brought the cows in from the pasture in the evening and milked then while the men continued to work in the fields until dark. 

When automobiles came out, everyone was curious to see them. So were the young Klevens. Ole didn’t think it was proper for the kids to stand at the road to watch then as they went by so this was forbidden. There was a way however. The granary close to the road had a second story window that presented a good watching place. (I wonder If Ole knew this?) 

The Lindqust farm was just across the road from the Klevens. One day as Mrs. Lindquist and her daughter, Amanda were driving along with a horse and buggy a car passed them. When it back-fired, Mrs. Lindguist asked “do these machines shoot too.” 

Although Bertha was only twelve when her grandmother Mari died at age eighty-five, she remembered her well. Mari didn’t have many teeth in her later years but she liked peanuts. Bertha hada little grinder so she and Grandma Mari worked together on the peanuts. Late in her life, Mari lived with her daughter, 0line Kleven Swensrud. Her daughter, Anna and sons Ole and John, also lived in this neighborhood on farms so she was able to visit them all frequently. 

0le and Oline raised a family of four sons and five daughters, all became upstanding adults. Some had red hair, some had brown. All had blue eyes but mother 0line claimed she had one blue and one brown. (This besides being born on February 29th!) This “brown” was not your usual brown, but it surely was not blue! They were brought up as most pioneer children were to meet each challenge with hard work— honesty and trust in the Lord. 

Alfred Owens, the oldest child was a tall sandy haired fellow with a great sense of humor. He, like his father, enjoyed to joke and tease. In spite of this quality, he was a quiet fellow. After graduating from country school where all his siblings also graduated, he farmed with his father. Late in life he married Petra Brendal Sheflo, a widow who had an adult son. They lived on the Kleven homestead southeast of Starbuck until they retired Then they moved into Starbuck where they lived the remainder of their lives. Alfred died of a heart attack. 

Mathilda, the eldest daughter was known as Tillie. She worked for awhile in a wealthy Minneapolis home. During this time she met Albert Odean Olson. They were married in Fron Church in Starbuck. Theirs was the usual church wedding of the time with white gown and veil and many attendants. Tillie and Gilbert were fun loving people. They did not have any children even though they really loved children. On one occasion when they were visiting Bertha and being around the children, Tillie made the observation that she could see that having children wasn’t all joy. (I wonder that we did!) They lived in Minneapolis in a house near Lake Street close to the tire shop thatAlbert owned in a partnership. Later they moved to south Minneapolis where they lived until their deaths. 

Annette, the third child in Ole and 0line’s family was a curly red haired young lady. Like so many young women of that time, Nellie worked in the Twin Cities as a domestic for wealthy families. About 1920 she went to California where she continued the same kind of work In 1930 she had extensive surgery for a benign tumor in the left side ofher face. She needed help so she returned so Minnesota where her family was available. Eventually the tumor grew again and was the cause of her death. 

Mina was known as Minnie. She was a lady everyone loved and a favorite of her nieces. Like her sisters she also worked in the Twin Cities as a young woman. At least part of this tine she was a children’s nurse aid. Today we’d call her a nanny. When Ole and Oline bought a house in Starbuck and moved there, Minnie and Alfred were the farmers. This didn’t work Ole didn’t like living in town, he missed the farm. He’d walk this five miles to get there. Oline didn’t like being in town by herself so they moved back to the farm. Minnie never married. There were two broken engagements. Minnie was a pleasant fun loving lady and a creative homemaker. She died at the early age of forty-one from a heart ailment. 

Bennie was the first in the family to get an education beyond the eighth grate. For this period in time, it was progressive parents who would send a child away from home for further education. After attending the Glenwood Academy. Bennie taught school in rural Pope County for a few years. He then went to the Minneapolis Business College. He was ranching near Glasgow, Montana when he enlisted in the army on November 2, 1917. He was a lieutenant and very proud of the U.S. Army and his service with them. He was honorably discharged on August 17, 1919. Bennle had a son Kenneth from an earlier marriage lived on the Kleven farm until Kenneth was an adult. Bennie married Jennie (Jane) Bredeson Thompson who had a son, Onan by her first marriage. Bennie and Jane had a daughter, Belle Jane. They made their hone in Starbuck Until he retired in 1956, Bennle was employed by the John Deere Company in a sales capacity. Besides being one of the organizers of the Starbuck VFW Post, he was a charter member of the Lions Club. He belonged to the Masons, Shrine and Knights Templar. 

Anna was a quiet young lady She became mentally ill as a young woman and spent her adult life in instltutions. Her family always kept in touch with her through the years. She was ninety-four when she died. 

Gilbert. Bertha and William were all sent to the West Central School of Agriculture at Morris, Minnesota which was a three year school then at the high school level. They graduated in 1914, then lived on the parents farm for a few years. World War I came along and Gilbert went off to France in the army. When he was discharged he stopped in Minnesota to visit his family. Then he went to Montana where he purchased a sheep ranch near Nashua.  He lived there the rest of his life when he died of multiple sclerosis. He never married. 

Bertha met the man she married when they were students at WCS in Morris. The wedding was on April 11, 1917 at the Kleven farm home. Since the Fron pastor only spoke Norwegian and Chester only English, they had a little problem. When Chester was courting Bertha driving horse and buggy from Lowry to Starbuck he often met a pastor who lived in Starbuck but preached in Lowry. He spoke English so he was the one who performed the ceremony -- Pastor Dahl. 

Chester Bennett drove a team of spirited horses in their courting days. The Kleven brothers were sure that he gave the team a whip or two so they’d come into the Kleven farm at a fast clip to impress Bertha He came by buggy except when there was snow. Then he drove a cutter, sometimes driving across frozen Lake Minnewaska. It was a fourteen or fifteen mile trip one way. He often stayed overnight at the Klevens. Charcoal foot heaters were used in those days to keep warm in addition to horsehide robes. 

On one occasion when Bertha and Chester had been out on a date somewhere, It appeared that someone was waiting for her on the front porch. When they came closer they knew the Kleven brothers had been up to tricks again. With pillows they had made a human like figure wearing their mother’s nightdress sitting in a small rocking chair. There was just enough summer breeze to gently rock the chair. This looked life like enough to give the young lovers a little scare. 

There were a few wedding day tricks. The Klevens had the help of Chester’s brother and some of his friends. The groom’s buggy wheels were reversed -- back ones were larger than the front ones. In those days ladies used long hat pins to fasten their hats to their hairdos. Hat pins were stuck up from the bottom of the buggy seat, protruding all the way through. 

Chester and Bertha owned and operated the two farms his two grandfathers had owned just north of Lowry. The two sons farmed with them for many years. They received awards for their Holstein dairy production, purebred Shropshire sheep and farm management. Chester served terms on the Lowry school board, creamery and shipping association boards, St Paul church council and the Oak Hill cemetery board. When the farms were transferred over to the two .sons, Bertha and Chester built a house in Lowry where they lived the rest of their lives. Chester was mayor of Lowry for several terms. Bertha was selected as Lowry’s outstanding citizen in 1979 by the Lowry Lions Club. One year Chester was selected Pope County’s senior citizen. He was also the first county chairman when the federal farm programs began about 1932. He was reelected to this position continuously until he reached age seventy which was the compulsory retirement age. 

The Bennett’s had seven children, five daughters and two sons. The first three were born at home with a doctor and midwjfe. but the rest were born at the Starbuck Hospital. All graduated from Glenwood High School except Glenn who received his diploma from the WCSA in Morris as his parents did. Marjorie 0line is a nurse, Lavina Grace, Beverly Ann, Joyce Marie and Sharon Bertha all went to business colleges and did office work. Chester William and Glenn Lloyd farmed in partnership with their father until he retired Then they divided the farms and worked independently. 

William, better known as Bill, married Mabel Pederson in the late twenties at Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. Bill at that time was a Ford car salesman for Peterson Motors in Starbuck For many years they lived in the Kleven house just north of the cement factory until the factory bought the surrounding property for their expansion. 

This property had a flowing spring well which been so intriguing to all the grand-children, Bill and Mabel then bought a bungalow in the north part of town there they lived until they became residents of the Minnewaska home in Starbuck. 

Bill had farmed with his father and brothers for a while as a young man. Besides selling automobiles, he was employed at the cement factory, and by the Minnesota highway department. His last job before he retired was with the gas company. 

Photography was one of Bill’s hobbies for many years. He and Mabel were avid fisherman either by boat or through the ice. They generously shared their catch with many others. Perhaps one could call Bill’s little pranks a hobby, also. One of his nieces tells that she could always tell when Bill had been at her house when she was away. His calling card was an object left on the doorstep. It might be a picnic table, a chair or any other object available and moveable. He was a favorite uncle of many. 

With William’s death, this was the last of the Ole Kleven family as member of Fron Church in Starbuck All of the immediate family are buried here except Mathilda, Bennie and Bertha. Bennie is buried at Fort Snelling, Mathilda in a Minneapolis cemetery, Bertha at Oak Hill near Lowry. It is interesting, when visiting, at Fron to look at the many confirmation pictures and see most of the first generation cousins. It is a long and interesting history. Even today there are many descendents of Ole and Man Kleven who are active members. 

We who are the descendants of these hearty and hardworking Norwegian immigrants are very grateful to then for the heritage they left us. They brought with then their hopes and dreams and were willing to strive to make them come true. They readily tried to become assimilated into their new country while still preserving some of their Norwegian foods and customs. We are glad to be able to enjoy lefse, lutefisk, rommegrot, sandbakkelse and all those other Norwegian goodies. We are proud to be Americans of Norwegian ancestry. 

Marriage Notes 

Child:               Lavlna Grace Bennett
Born:                May 17, 1920 in: Reno Twnshp, Pope County, MN
Died:                July 29, 199S in: Methodist Hospital, Excelsior, MN 

Child:               Chester William Bennett
Born:                March 23, 1925 in: Ben Wade Twnshp, Pope County, MN 

Child:               Beverly Ann Bennett
Born:                March 23, 1932 in: Starbuck Hospital, Pope County, MN 

Child:               Joyce Marie Bennett
Born:                April 02, 1935 in Starbuck Hospital, Pope County, MN 

Child:                Sharon Bertha Bennett
Born:                FebruaRY 02, 1940

Notes

Growing up the Youngest Bennett
Written by Sharon Bertha Bennett Wenner at age 52, 1992 

There have been, as for as I know, three people in the family with a February 2 birthday. Aunt Grace (Dad’s sister). Sherrl Harvey (Joyce’s daughter) and myself each in a different generation. I suppose when you have as many people in the family as we have, it is simply a matter of coincidence, but I am expecting another February 2 baby from either my nieces and nephews or my children. 

Being the youngest of the Bennetts was either easy or difficult, depending on your point of view. I, of course, choose the latter, but my brothers and sisters, probably the former. 

I’m sure this was not planned, but Mother and Dad had their children in pairs. Marge and Viney, Bud and Glenn, Bev and Joyce and then Sharon. 1 used to tell Mother that I wanted a partner too and she toldme once that I had Tommy. (Aunt Grace’s son, a year older than me.). Tommy did visit the farm a lot when we were little, we played all sorts of things, but I mostly remember the cucumber boats we used to make. We’d hollow out a large cucumber, make little seats and float them in the milk tank I remember playing in the workshop a lot, getting in trouble with grease guns especially. Tommy lived in Lowry with his parents Aunt Grace and Uncle Carl. 

I think my earliest memory is of going to see Bud in a play at Glenwood High School. I couldn’t have been more than three years old. Bud came on stage with an ice cream cone and I piped up “Buddy’s got ice cream, I want ice cream too.” I remember going for ice cream after the play! I don’t remember what Mother did to shut me up for the rest of the play. (Perhaps promise ice cream afterwards.) 

I remember going with Mother to the nursing home to see Grandma Kleven. She used to tell Mother to go check the bread to see if it was ready to bake. Mother would step out in the hall for a minute and then tell her is was not quite ready. Mother would tell me to go around and visit some of the old people. I wasn’t too keen on this, but would just go around and pat their hands. (Mother’s idea). When Grandma died, Mother told me I could go to the funeral, but I had to be a good girl. I had a little green and white checked suit with a little flag in the lapeL.I don’t remember the .funeral, but I do remember Mother telling me I had been a good girl. I don’t thinkI heard that too often, as I remember being very proud. 

Grandpa Bennett (William Bennett, Chester’s father) used to walk out to the farm to visit. I remember Grandma used to call so we could watch for him. Once Joyce and I walked up the road to get him because he had lain down by the side of the road. I did not like it when he used to pull your ears to make you say “uncle” so I pretty much stayed as far away as I could. He used to turn his hearing aid off so he couldn’t hear Grandma. I remember his funeral at Grandma’s house in Lowry and seeing him in the casket. Grandma Bennett died when I was twelve, so I had more time with her. I used to visit her often in Lowry along with Tommy and the Zavadil boys (Aunt Grace’s daughter, Lila’s children) sometimes. She was often good for a nickel for a trip uptown to buy ice cream or candy. We used to visit both Grandma and Uncle Carl and Aunt Grace (upstairs). One time I was playing “cowboys and indians” with Tommy and the Zavadil boys when they tied me up to the clothesline pole and left me there. I was willing to be tied up as part of the game, but put up quite a howl when they left! It probably didn’t take too long for the adults to hear me yelling and crying, but it seemed like hours. 

Visits to Aunt Bessie’s (Dad’s other sister) in Dawson were always special. Joyce and Elsie. as children will, would run away from me, but there was always lots of comfort available from Aunt Bessie, Marion, the “Dale Girls”, Uncle George or Allen. Elsie is younger than Joyce, but older than I, so she could get along fine with either of us, but not usually both of us. 1 remember being particularly fascinated by the windmill and the river. The car trip was always a big adventure, I’m sure I was a pest the whole way there and usually asleep on the way home. 

We visited Uncle William (Mother’s brother) and Aunt Mabel in Starbuck more often. I really got spoiled there! Aunt Mabel always had a cat to play with and beautiful flowers. She usually sent me home with something picked from her garden. 

I remember visiting Marge & Stewart in Duluth when they had an apartment upstairs in a house on a hill and later a big square house that was very close to the neighbor’s house and you could see their clock in the kitchen. Marge often prepared “hot dishes” for dinner the evening we arrived, as we never knew exactly when we would arrive. I used to dread these, I didn’t like things on my plate to touch each other, much less be all mixed up! 

I went with Mother and Dad often to visit Cliff and Viney and Carrie Mary and Martin, (Cliff’s parents). In many ways Carrie Mary and Martin were like grandparents to me. I stayed with Cliff and Viney when Mother was in the hospital (I think that’s where she was). Cliff taught me to tie my shoes and I still tie them that way at age 52. Since I was rarely separated from Mother, it was difficult for me. I remember seeing our car drive up and only Dad got out, being very upset because Mama hadn’t come to get me. 

We had a pump in the kitchen for water when I was little, but later got running water in the house. 1 believe there was running water in the barn first! We had an outdoor toilet (2-holer). It was scary to go down there in the dark  In the summer Mother saved the wrappers from peaches she would buy and we used them as “TP.” 

Try as I will, I cannot remember taking any baths as a kid (Maybe I didn’t.) I remember thinking Mother was so fussy because she wanted me to wash my arms when I wore long sleeves We must have had a tub in the kitchen, but the first thing I remember about baths is when we had a shower installed in the cellar. The first time! went down to use it I nearly drowned! The nozzle was up quite high and I wasn’t. Glenn found an old wooden chair without a back for me to stand on in the shower. From then on I was a clean kid. 

Until Bev left home, Joyce and I shared the southwest bedroom upstairs. We used to make an imaginary line down the middle of the bed and whoever crossed that line got pinched by the other. In the winter it got very cold upstairs. We would wear all sorts of things to bed and have lots of Mother’s wool quilts so it was cozy in bed but murder getting out. We would have our clothes ready for morning the night before, leap out of bed and run downstairs just as fast as we could. Sometimes the water Joyce would bring up to set her hair with would freeze. 

I remember lying in bed at night and hearing the steam engine trains going through Low,y. One morning I woke  up, screaming for Mother, ‘I’m blind, I can’t see”. Mother came running upstairs to see, and all I had was pinkeye, which had stuck my eyelids shut! Another similar incident was when I was twelve, I woke up to discover I couldn’t move my legs, at least I thought so. As It turned out. I had what was treated as rheumatic fever. I spent two weeks in the hospital and six more weeks flat on my back in bed. Glenn would carry me out to the living room some mornings so I could have a change of scene. I gained 60+ pounds, and had a pretty miserable time of it. I still don’t know whetherI had rheumatic fever or not, but have since been told that I probably had juvenlle rheumatoid arthritis. I have had mild rheumatoid arthritis off and on since. 

I had to go to bed before Joyce and I was afraid of the dark upstairs. Mother taught me to crochet a chain and I crocheted a very long one. Glenn helped me attach it to the light upstairs and then thread it through screw-eyes all the way downstairs so I could turn on the upstairs light from downstairs Glenn saved the day again! 

We did not have television, but there were good programs on the radio. Some of my favorites were “Let’s Pretend”, “The Lone Ranger”, “Sky King”, “The Shadow”, “The Green Hornet”, “Jack Benny”, “Inner Sanctum”. Mother always listened to “The Arthur Godfrey Show” & “Ma Perkins”’. We rarely went to the movies..I remember the first movie I saw was “These Grapes Have Tender Vines” starring Margaret O’Brien. I thought it was the greatest thing I ever saw. Mother liked the Ma & Pa Kettle movies and could usually be talked into going. Dad would not tolerate any noise while he was listening to the news and would let everyone know in no uncertain terms that you were to be quiet. NOW.! 

Unlike my poor older brothers and sisters.I did not have to walk to school in the ten-foot deep snow, uphill both ways The bus came from Lowry past our farn out as far as Brosh’s and then turned around and came back again the same way. We had two chances to catch the bus. We could see it coming down the road so we knew we had ten minutes or so before it came back 

I couldn’t wait to go to school. Joyce would bring things home and I was always very interested, probably too interested, if you ask her. During WWII, I was not in school, but was allowed to send my quarter or whatever along with Joyce so I could have a stamp to put in the book, which when full would purchase a $25 savings bond. I could count and read before I went to school and would sit in front of Dad when he read the newspaper and read the other side. I would point out with vigor, the words I knew until Dad decided he’d had enough. 1 remember my first day of school very well. Joyce took me to whereI was supposed to be and saw that I got home afterwards. I remember Daniel Mclver asked me after school if I had used up all the pencils he saw me with in the morning. I wondered if I should have. 

I learned very early that if you were going to misbehave when Dad was around, you would get a swat with a rolled-up “Saturday Evening Post”. However, I also learned that if you were too far away for him to reach, he would not get up to do it! 

All I remember about World War II are the ration books and the bonfire in Lowry when it was over. We couldn’t go, but saw it from the farm. 

I went to school in Lowry until seventh grade when I went to Glenwood. The Lowry school board changed the rules after seventh grade and I had to come back to Lowry for eighth grade. I was very upset about this, even went so far as to call the school board members and raised quite a fuss. Dad was sympathetic, but there was nothing he could do either. I was crying and saying how forcing me back to Lowry was unfair.. Dad had me go get my birth certificate and said ‘does it say anywhere on there that life is going to be fair?” I spent a wasted year at the Lowry school. 

The reason I had a copy of my birth certificate was that earlier I had thought I might be adopted Why a family with six children and a small house would adopt another child never entered my mind. 

The Lowry school had four large classroom, two upstairs and two downstairs. The north classrooms upstairs were used as a gym and all purpose room. (Play rehearsals, etc.) Mrs Peterson from Starbuck was the principal when I started and Mrs. Eastlund later. There was a library upstairs between the two classrooms. The lunchroom was in the basement. Speaking of the lunchroom, one time Larry Stavem was teasing me about something at lunch tame and I threatened to throw my lunchbox at him. Joyce calmly took my thermos out of the lunch box and I pitched it at him. If there were any consequences, I don’t remember them. Larry Stavem was quite a bit older than I so I think I was either very brave or very foolhardy (Knowing myself I think foolhardy.) 

I went to Sunday School at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Lowry. (Then known as St. Pauli’s) I think at age 4 or so. This was my first contact with other children and a library. I was delighted with the books and even more delighted that they would actually let me take some home! Most of the “Lowry kids” were active in the church, we sang an the choir, decorated the big Christmas tree, attended confirmation class, not because of any serious religious fervor, but simply because that was what everyone’s parents expected. We always had a lot of fun Wednesday nights at choir practice. We’d get that over with as soon as possible and then the whole bunch would go out and raise a little helL Sometimes we would go up to Farwell and play pool. Those that weren’t involved in the Church would be waiting outside for us. 

I had grown up thinking it really didn’t make a difference whether you were a boy or a girl, you were treated the same. We all played together: baseball, hockey, football, etc. What a shock I was in for when I left home and went out in the “real” world. 

When I was in second grade, I had a large part in the Christmas program that was presented every year. I cannot remember the name of the play but it was about a little girl whose toys came to life. There were a lot of lines to remember, but I don’t remember having any trouble memorizing lines or stage fright. 

My first time on ice skates Bev and Wesley Brosh pulled me around the skating rink holding a broom between them. I held onto the broom. I think I was having so much trouble staying off my butt that they took pity on me. I also think Wesley was sweet on Bev at the time. 

Once a bull got loose and the boys were chasing it with gates to herd him back where he belonged the bull was tramping around in the garden. Mother grabbed her broom and went after the bull. She hit him on the rump with it and he ran away. 

We had horses on the farm. The ones I remember most are Babe and Star. They each had colts named King and Duke. Glenn was trying to train King and Duke to pull a wagon while everyone else was in the house for afternoon lunch. We heard Glenn yelling and here came the horses, wagon and Glenn right through the fence on one side of the yard, past the front of the house, through the fence on the other side into the apple orchard. I don’t remember how they stopped What I do remember is Glenn cussing at the top of his lungs. I can remember a little of Honeypot, the big horse. I don’t remember riding on him, but I do remember seeing kids riding on him. Bev had a buggy and used to hitch the horses to it for rides. 

There was a cow named Lizzie in the first stall on the west side of the barn. I liked her a lot. Sometimes when no one was around! would climb up on her back and talk to her. 

Sometimes in the winter when a lamb was having trouble, Bud or Glenn would bring it into the house to get warn. I can still remember how they felt and smelled. 

I used to like to get calves to suck on my hand. I spent a lot of time searching for new kittens on the farm. The mothers would hide them from the tomcats. We often found them in the haymow. We always had lots of cats roaming around They were mostly wild cats, but sometimes I could tame some. When Joyce and George were dating I had two cats named Joyce and George. When we moved off the farm I took a cat with me and named him Bushrod.  He was ran over by a car on Highway 114 in Lowry. Dad let me take the car even though I didn’t have my license yet and he (the cat, not Dad) is buried in the front yard of the new house in Lowry. We were living in the “Roers” house then. 

Bushrod used to go out the little balcony upstairs in the back of the house, then get up on the roof and into a tree. But he would not come back down the same way. He would sit on the roof and howl. I would get Mother’s jelly roll pan, hold it up as high as I could and he would jump onto the pan. One time Mother and I were both one and Dad let the cat stay up there. I thought he was the meanest man alive. 

Bev, Joyce and I used to fight a lot. Mother used to say “you are going to kill each other”. I never understood what she was so upset about until I had children of my own. One time in particular we knocked a full basket of eggs over and I remember them rolling down the slanted floor in the kitchen and mother saying “now you’ve done It!” I don’t remember what a single fight was about, but I do remember Bev usually won. Bev and I even fought some when she was home pregnant with Terry. Bev was always proud of her strong punch. Yeah, yeah, big deal! 

I remember two dogs on the farm,. Chuckie first and then Ingolf. Chuckle was hit by a car and had to be put down,. Bud and/or Glenn went and got one of the Bosek boys to do it. Ingolf was named for the man we got him from. Bud and/or Glenn shaved him one summer, thinking he would be cooler, but all he was, was ashamed. He also got in trouble for killing chickens. Glenn tied a dead chicken around his neck and left it there for awhile. He didn’t kill chickens any more. As a matter of fact, he wouldn’t let them come up by the house, but never hurt them again. Elaine never liked Ingolf and the feeling was mutual. Bud brought Ingolf to Glenn and Elaine’s wedding reception at Broshes. Ingolf stayed on the farm when we moved, but I don’t know how he went to the happy hunting ground (maybe Elaine?) (Bud tried to do it but had to call Clifford.) 

Dad was a championship snorer. One evening in the winter Bud thought he heard a car stuck in the snow down by the road. He got the tractor and drove down, but couldn’t find a car. When he got back to the house and heard it again, he realized that it was Dad’s snoring that he heard! 

Mother always called her hat her “lid”. She often said when I told her I was sad, “you’ll just have to get glad” She also told me to pretend I was happy and pretty soon I would be. 

I never got too involved in cooking, other than to get out of the way. Mother had more time for me with baking though. I remember making “pies”filled with jelly in jar lids for dad He always ate them and pronounced them very good. I can remember the dough getting very dirty as I “worked” with it. 

Sometimes! would go to the office with Dad. The girls in the office would let me type and pretend I was working too. I especially remember Christine Chermak and one of the Ladd girls. I would wander around the courthouse and think what a castle it was, with all the marble and the staircases. Dad took me into the court when it was in session a few times. 

I spent some time playing in the cemetery at the top of the hill (where Mother & Dad are buried now). I would venture into the woods and play all sorts of things, eventually ending up at the dump just down the hill. There were all sorts of interesting things there. Mother was never pleased when I would come home with good “stuff.” 

We used to go sledding occasionally on the hills behind Smiseiks (sp?) farm. It was a long walk through the snow pulling a sled to get there, but! do remember having lots of fun there. I also remember snow in my boots and being colder than cold. I can remember following Bev there once, she was on skis and I was on foot pulling a sled She had to keep stopping to wait for me. 

Larry visited and stayed with us a lot when he was little. The first time, I believe, was when his Dad had been injured in the war and Marge went to be with Stewart. We used to play all sorts of things together. I do remember playing “dress up” and we were going “shopping.” Larry said, “don’t forget the ration books.”. (I may have been told he said that, I’m not sure I do remember.). 

I remember once in Duluth, Larry and I took the bus or streetcar downtown alone. Larry took his country bumpkin auntie to see a movie I believe. We couldn’t have been very old at the time. I have been told that Larry and I fought a lot. Other than the Infamous “dishpan incident’ (We remember it djfferently, I think). I don’t remember fighting with him much. I remember lots of good times playlng and getting in trouble. I think I was jealous of him though, as everyone made such a fuss over him. (Now it’s logical, the first grandchild and a boy to boot). 

I remember watching Larry get into Bud and Glenn’s old red and yellow Chevy and rolling down the hill and Mother and Marge running like Olympic sprinters down the hill. I did like to see him get in trouble as he was always tattling on me. 

Larry and Gary Thompson got into trouble together several times, which was no surprise as whenever something had been done, it was always said ‘Thompson did it”. 

One time the Robinsons were visiting and Joan and I were going to play Indians. We painted each other with red barn paint and got into big trouble. We were cleaned with kerosene! Joan and I were friends for many years, even after they moved to i3uffalo. 1 took the train to visit her in Buffalo many times and also stayed with her at her Grandparent’s apartment above the depot. Trains used to go by and rattle the whole house. One time Joan and I went into Chan’s “Beer Joint” (the den of iniquity according to Mother). We went in and sat down at the bar arid ordered orange crushes. Dave Chan served us with great aplomb and we thought we were really being wicked. 

Barbara Dahl was perhaps my best friend, along with Karen Schmidt and Barbara Nelson. It was always great fun to spend the night at Barbara’s. Her parents owned the Dahl House Cafe, so we got to eat restaurant food, which was actually her Grandma Greenfield’s home cooking. Sometimes Mother would give me money so I could eat lunch at the restaurant with Barbara. Most times though, I was invited as Barbara’s guest. We had lots of good times there, imagine a slumber party in a restaurant! We probably did some damage to their profits from time to time. 

Sometimes in the summer we would buy weiners at the butcher shop and go out the Chippewa creek and have a weenie roast. 1 remember jumping the creek once when we thought a bull was after us. 

Swimming lessons at the beach in Starbuck were a summer “must”. The school bus would take us, and we spent the whole morning at the beach. Some of us rode bikes back in the afternoon or Mabel Nelson (Barbara Nelson's) mother would take us.

Joyce went for awhile but I don't think she ever got over the fear of water.

Saturday night was a big deal, everyone from miles around would come to town. Mc!ver’s store had a drawing for prizes and always drew a huge crowd. 

Dad seemed to like to go shopping with Mother and we girls (Bev, Joyce & me). We would model the clothes and if we couldn’t decide between two things, he would often say “take them both”. He would always made a big production of paying for them, saying “ouch, ouch, ouch” as he wrote the check One April when we were shopping in Alexandria, a snowstorm came up unexpectedly and we stayed in a hotel overnight. Joyce’s friend Mary was along and as I recall, we had a good time. 

I remember ordering things from the Sears & Roebuck catalog. Having received permission to order something, I would sneak something else on the order blank, hoping Dad wouldn’t notice when he wrote the check Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t! Living in Lowry with just Mother and Dad was a big change for me. It seemed as if everyone got married and left me at once! Actually, they did! Joyce, Bev and Bud got married one year and Glenn the next. I was a bridesmaid in all of the weddings, and that was a lot off fun. I soon became accustomed to living without my brothers and sisters and my high school years were, on the whole, happy ones. 

I took two trips with Mother and Dad. The first, I think I was about six years old We went to visit Uncle Gilbert in Montana. I remember the back seat of the car being full of books, paper dolls, and assorted junk of mine. I met a girl who lived next to Uncle Gilbert and we had a great time playing together. I remember climbing on the big piles of sugar beets. We went to visit a dam nearby andI learned to be very wicked by saying “I went to the dam to get some dam water, but the dam man said I couldn’t have any dam water, so I told the dam man he could keep his dam water”. I think Uncle Gilbert taught me that. Mary Ann, the girl next door, and I remained pen pals for many years, although I never saw her again. 

The next trip was to Yellowstone Park when I was twelve. We also visited relatives David & Hazel Watt at their ranch in Wyoming. They were very nice people, as I remember. We went to a rodeo in Buffalo, which was a new experience for me. They lived way out in the country and I remember their house had many big picture windows looking out on the mountains in the distance. Joyce and Bev had a party while we were gone. I’m sure it was really wild, but the house was still there when we got home. 

Joyce met George Harvey when he was the “Cow Tester” and came to our house and stayed overnight. (He tested the milk for butterfat, etc.) I named two cats after them. 

I think Bev met Johnny at the roller skating rink. Bud & Glenn called him “Pump House Johnny” because he always pulled around the pump house before he got out of the car. (I think he was just positioning himself for a quick getaway). 

I think my brothers and sisters felt sorry for me, as sometimes they would take me along on dates, to movies usually. One time Bud took me to a movie with Marianne. He took Marianne home first and I waited in the car. I waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited until I finally fell asleep. I still don’t know what took him so long just to walk her into the house! I don’t know how Bud met Marianne, probably at the barn dances. 

I guess Glenn met Elaine when she was a little girl, since the Brosh farm was just up the road from ours, but they didn’t start dating (as far as I know) until he came home from the Army. 

One time Bev and Joyce took Larry and I roller skating with them. I never had such a miserable time in my life! I couldn’t seem to go around the corners, so I would I just crash into the wall and start out again until the next corner came up. One of the many times I fell, I put my hands on the floor to get up and people kept running over my fingers! Then the ultimate bathroom experience. I’m surprised I didn’t wet my pants.  It took a long time to get positioned on the seat, with lots of banging and crashing. I don’t remember Larry having much trouble at all, but I never became a roller skater. 

On and on I go, perhaps never to stop. 

FAMILY GROUP 

Husband:          William Bennett
Born:                August 23, 1866
Married:           December 23, 1891
Died:                October 27, 1945 Father Robert Bennett Mother Esther Hall in: Lowry, Pope                         County, MN 

Wife:                Margaret Ann Hume
Born:                April 09, 1873
Died:                October 27, 1952 in: Lowry, Pope County, MN
Father              Thomas Hume
Mother             Elizabeth Watt 

CHILDREN 

Name:              Chester Hall Bennett
Born:                May 08, 1893 in: Reno Twnshp, Pope County, MN
Died:                February 1, 1970 in: Minnewaska home, Starbuck, MN
Married:           April 11,1917 in: Kleven Farm, Blue Mounds TwlIShp, Pope County, MN
Spouse:            Bcrte Marie Kleven 

Name:              Robert Watt Bennett
Born:                Februaiy 24, 1896 in: x Twnshp, Pope County, MN
Died:                September 17, 1972 in: x Twnshp, Pope County, MN
Spouse:            Grace Evetta McCann
Spouse:            Evelyn Erickson
Spouse:            Clara Reisrud 

Name:              Grace Margeritc Bennett
Born:                February 02, 1899 in: x Twnshp, Pope County, MN
Died:                May 8, 1979 in: Glenwood, MN
Spouse:            Carl Magnus Danielson 

Name:              Bessie Willa Bennett
Born:                June 02, 1902 in: Pope County, MN
Spouse:            George Oscar Dale 

Husband:          William Bennett
Born:                August 23, 1866
Died:                October 27, 1945 in: Lowiy, Pope County, MN
Burial:               Oak Hill Cemeteiy, Lowry, MN 

NOTES

Willam Bennett Aug. 23, 1866-Oct. 21, 1945
by Marjorie Oline Bennett Benson Jensen, circa 1996 

This man was the kind of grandpa every child should experience. Different seasons called for different kind, of excursions. Early spring was pussy willow time. After a long winter it was nice to have some new growth to admire. Later it was mayflower time. I believe Mayflower Hill was either in Ed Benson’s or Smlsak’s pasture. This was a good place for sliding in the winter time. In the summer he would take us to the woods just east of the cemetery to look for-lady slipper (moccasins- the state flower) and jack-in-the-pulpit. We walked to these places but when Grandpa got older he’d fill his Ford coupe with kids and drive. Sometlmes Grandma would go along, too. In later years his driving left something to be desired. It seemed he speeded up for the corners. On the way home from the woods, he’d stop in the cemetery when he’d tell us about the people who were burled there. 

When kids were selling something like Christmas seals, you could depend on Grandpa Bennett to buy some. He had a heart of gold when it came to kids. I remember after Lila and Lavonne were born, I was so afraid he’d like them better than me. They lived in the same house as Grandma and Grandpa did so I was envious of that. Of course as I grew older, this feeling vanished. 

I believe when the William Bennetts were first married, they lived on the farm they fondly called Sunnyslope which is just east of Lowry on Highway 55. They bought the Thomas Hume homestead just north of Lowry when Grandpa Hume retired from farming. They moved from Sunnyslope then. When they bought what we have referred to as the Lake Ann farm on the west shore of Lake Ann. Still owning these two farms, they also had a nice four bedroom, two story house in Lowry where they lived until they both died. It was made into a duplex  probably in the early 30’s. Grace and Carl Danielson lived upstairs a great deal of the time. Otherwise it was rented. For a few years after Chester bought the AxeI Anderson farm across the road from his farm, both the Bennetts (William) and the Danielsons lived there until Chester had married hired men with their families live there. 

William Bennett was one of the original board members for the Lowry Telephone Company. This company covered a large territory. When the Glenwood Telephone Co. refused to service farms just outside of Glenwood. the Lowiy Company gave service. They went quite close to Alexandria also. Apparently the company did well, financially until the depression of the 30’s. It was then that Grandpa left the telephone company. Iver Femrite buying the shares. 

I’m not sure of the date when a farmers cooperative company was formed. William, Chester and R. W. Bennett were all involved. I remember Walmer Bjorkland being the manager. William may have managed it for a short time. He was manager at the Farmers Elevator for many years. This was his last job. At one time he and R. W. managed the Shipping Association. This must have been in the 20s. I neglected to say that the farmers cooperative was known as the Equity, also as the Trading Company. 

William Bennett had a great interest in trees and orchards. He had a large fruit orchard at his Lake Ann farm. This orchard produced a tremendous amount of fruit, especially apples. Charlie Kalina bought this farm probably in the late 20s. His son, who is farming it in 1988, told me about the diversified selection in this orchard. He didn’t know how much time I had spent picking apples there as a kid We picked them very carefully and wrapped each one in newspaper and boxed them. William also had a nice orchard on the Hume homestead but not as large. 

Speaking of Grandpa and his love of trees, I must tell a story on myself. Grandpa had planted some evergreens on the northeast corner’ of the grove. I came up with the idea that these little trees would make nice Christmas trees. I was probably right, but in Julyl  I used a saw and had Viney hold the tree while I sawed. I scolded her because she couldn’t hold it well enough to suit me. We loaded them onto our little wagon, and I pulled and Vlney pushed as we trudged up the driveway. Mother just couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw us. She and Dad talked to us about it and how much he was looking forward to seeing the trees grow. We had to tell Grandpa what we had done. This was terrible punishment for us and very hard to do when we realized how wrong we had been. I don’t remember Grandpa scolding us, but being very kind to us. This was the kind of a man he was. 

As a progressive farmer, William was interested in having as much land under cultivation as possible. There were many areas on the Hume homestead that had water standing on them the year around. One of these areas was known as the black slough. William really knew how to use a spade. He could keep up with much younger men. Many acres were put into production by ditching out these areas. 

William had a chronic cough sounding the same as Chester’s cough. William never smoked, but Chester did for 50 years. About 70 years old he decided to quit. Neither one was tubercular. William had a hearing deficiency the last 20 or so years of his life. 

Margaret Hume Bennett
(Apr. 29,1873-Oct. 27, 1952) 

Margaret was of small statue with curly hair. She really was a very nice looking lady. She had a nice voice and liked to sing. She was ill a great deal, but the doctors had difficulty in making a diagnosis. It was suspected she may have been a bit hypochondriac. In her senior years she did have some cardiac problems and hypertension. She occasionally did some knitting which she did very nicely. She enjoyed growing house plants. Big ferns were popular in her days. 

Marriage Information

Wife:                Margaret Ann Hume
Married:           December 23, 1891
Born:                April 09, 1873
Died:                October 27, 1952 in: Lowiy, Pope County, MN
Burial:               Oak Hill Cemetary, Lowry, MN
Relationship with Father: Thomas Hume - Natural
Relationship with Mother Elizabeth Watt- Natural

-----------------------------------------

Notes
OUR ANCESTORS
Written by Margaret Hume Bennett about 1950 

Our Grandfather and Grandmother Watt were both born in Scotland, grew up and were married there. They migrated to Canada and took up land in Wellington County, Ontario about the year of 1840 or earlier. Father was born November 5, 1844 in Canada. 

The land was all heavily timbered and Grandfather had to clear the land before sawing a crop. He cut the big trees down and hauled them in huge piles and burned them. They picked the rocks in which the land abounded and built stone fences and stone houses and barns. The stone houses and barn are still in use on the old Hume farm. There were maple trees which they tapped to get the sap to make sugar and syrup. 

The Watts reared eight children and the Humes reared seven. The Humes were also from Scotland. 

Our Father and Mother’s childhood was like the youth of the day. They went to school till the eighth or seventh grade and were then able to help around home. These two eventually met, Father tall and broad shouldere, black haired and my Mother auburn haired, brown eyed and sprightly, quite a belle in her day and how she could sing and loved it. 

ln the course of time these two fell in love and were married She at 17 and he at 24 years, in Pushlinch, Wellington County, Ontario on July 1, 1869. 

Very soon afterward they loaded all their earthy possessions on their covered wagon drawn by a fine team of gray horses named Charley and Sandy and started for the West. Their possessions included Mother’s beautiful china dishes and two pair of lovely white wool blankets and her lovely silk wedding gown and lace veil. How little they realized the trials and difficulties that awaited them in a new country. 

They drove by team and wagon to Owen Sound on Lake Huron, took passage on a steam boat up the lake through Lake Huron and Loke Superior and landed at Superior City.. From Superior City they drove through the wilderness. If they had only known they might have settled in the site where Chicago now is and raised blue bloods and made millions but they kept right on past the site of Minneapolis and St. Paul until they reached Pope County Minnesota where Father had two cousins living. They located on a homestead of 160 acres where they raised a famly of seven children, three boys and four girls. They had all the hardships of the early pioneers, including the loss of their crop by grasshoppers, two years in succession. About the year 1876 this happened After being in Minnesota for seventeen years, they returned to Ontario, Canada for a visit. Mother’s folks gave her another fine set of china dishes and blankets when she returned home. 

In the early days Father had to do a lot of teaming which were long trips to the market for supplies and also had to haul the grain to the market. I failed to state earlier in this article that on their trip in the wIlderness, they were camped out for two weeks with a sick horse. Father had bought feed being told it was oats and it proved to be ground wheat which caused one of the horses to founder (bloat). Mother was left alone with the wagon and sick horse while Father went for medicine. Wolves could have devoured her but God took care of her. They settled on.a homestead one-half mile north of where Lowry now is. Lowry was later built on part of the farm. We older children remember lots of the privations and hardships endured. I, as a small girl, can remember going out on the hills east of here to bring the cows home. They could wander for miles if they wanted to. Each herd had a cow carrying a bell and we listened for the sound of our bell among the many herds of strange cattle. We brought cow’s home and usually helped with the milking. 

I can remember Father cutting grain with a cradle and later with a reaper, Then the harvesters with two men binding the grain and the self binder. 

In those early days the spiritual side of life was not forgotten. Father and Mother joined the United Presbyterian Church. They had a small log Church up on the hill in the woods, one and a half miles north east of Lowry where the cemetery now is. The local pastor announced services day every two weeks. They had a good Sunday school which met every Sunday and also the Wednesday evening prayer meeting which met in the homes every week This same prayer meeting continues until this day, meeting in the Gospel Hall. Later Father and Mother joined the Plymouth Brethren. 

We children were all born in the old log house except Isabel and Ruth who were born in the new frame house. 

William grew to be a kind of lanky boy that liked so well to tinker with machinery. He would take it apart and put it in the granary every winter and work on it. 

I was the runt of the bunch, growing up with three boys until Elizabeth put in an appearance nine years later. I would scrap with them and if I got the worst of it I would bite them. Then Mother stepped in. 

Davie came next in line. I remember chopping his finger nearly off with a broken handled axe while playing. I was chipping a hole while he scraped out the dirt. He stuck his hand in and down came the axe and he was marked for life although his finger grew on again. 

Robert was next. I remember Father cut barley with a cradle the day he was born July 28. 

The winter the folks were in Ontario, Mary Weaver stayed with us and the folks took the two youngest kids with them. Every summer as a boy, Robert got poison ivy. He would walk to Glenwood ten miles to get sugar of (lead) to kill the poison. 

About a half dozen neighbors owned a threshing rig drawn by horse power. Five or six teams of horses would go round and round driven by a man sitting in the center on one of the horses. 

I can remember the big tumbling rod reaching to the separator that we as children were warned to keep away from. That was in Father’s day. Now what have we? Mother worked hard too, often more than she should. In the summer she churned butter and packed it in wooden butter tubs washing and mixing it well with salt and covering each tub with a cheese cloth with salt on top. The butter kept very well. 

I remember shipping over four hundred pounds to my Uncle in Wyoming and receiving about forty cents a pound At that time there was no way of separating milk and cream except by setting it in shallow pans or crocks and putting the pans full of milk on a large table or shelves in a cool clean cellar where it was kept until the cream rose to the top. Then it was skimmed with a skimmer or table spoon into a container. It then had to be churned by hand, usually in a churn with a dasher. In later years milk was kept in tin cans with a glass in the side and the cream gatherer measured cream by the inches. 

Elizabeth was the baby in the family. Mr. McKenzie carried her home in a blanket when Mother was very sick with pneumonia. Mrs. McKenzie nursed her as well as her own baby. She grew to be a brown eyed beauty. I remember the picture of five older children. Elizabeth sat on a high chair but couldn’t resist the temptation and turned around and grabbed my beads and I bent forward so as not to break them. The photo was taken that way. 

Little golden haired Isabel was the first baby born in the new house. She was a cute little baby, the exact opposite of Elizabeth in complexion. She walked so young, but was not mischievous and could sing as soon as she could talk. 

Ruth come along six years later to everyone’s surprise. She was a plump little body. I held her in my arms before she was dressed You see, I was soon nineteen years old and was married two months later. Ruth and my son, Chester, one and one-half years younger, played together and were good pals. Once they ran away from Mother up town and were about half-dressed. 

I must tell about William and myself learning to sing. We were about six and eight years old respectively. We sang the 150 Psalm. We learned that and the catechism in the Presbyterian Church. I attended singing school later for two winters in the little old school house. 

Mother taught a term of school in the same district. We played Pum Pum Pullaway and drop the handkerchief at recess. In the winter we skated on the pond until it froze ever. At first we just slid and later we got skates. I must not forget the ceremony of Baptism. A bunch of his girls put on in a sleigh in a hollow when we came looking for the cows to bring them home. At first we just waded into the pond and then we started ducking each other. Where were five girls. Lizzie McKenzie was the smallest and she got baptized all over. I was wet to the waist and it was hard indeed to meet Mother when I came home as we were imitating a Baptist church in the community who immersed their converts in a lake or stream. 

Another thing I remember so well was while taking care of David, I was sitting on the floor by the cradle when saw a strange dark man coming up the walk toward the open door of the house. I was scared and jumped to my feet and slammed the door shut and put the churn and some chairs back of it. The man went around and looked in another window and I screeched out good and loud. He then went away. Mother thought it was a half breed Indian. We didn’t see many strangers and I was only five years old. David slept through it all. But I never forgot it. Our country side was just beautiful with wildflowers and I can see them yet. 

In the spring of 1911, after their family was grown, Father and Mother sold the farm and moved to Lowry. That same year they took a trip to Saskatchewan to visit Elizabeth and then to North Dakota to visit Robert. While at Robert’s home Mother and a cerebral hemorrhage from which she never recovered She died November 1911 and Father lived for many years after that. He passed away January 6, 1928. 

(This data was complete by Margaret and I hope you find it was interesting as I did. Margaret has now gone to be with her maker and I, Ruth, will try to complete what I remember. Right now there are only two of us living. Elizabeth is in Saskatchewan and Ruth is in Wenatchee, Washington.)
 Ruth Hume Cusick 

Child:               Chester Hail Bennett
Born:                May 08, 1893 in: Reno Twnshp, Pope County, MM
Died:                February 01, 1970 in: Minnawaska home, Starbuck, MN 

Husband:          Thomas Howe 
Born:                November 05, 1844 in: Wellington County, Ontario, Canada
Died:                January 06, 1928 in Oak Hill Cemetaxy, Ben Wade Twnshp, Pope County, MN 

Notes

“The Ilustrated Albumn of Biographys” by Alden Ogle & Co.
Chicago 1888 from the Pope County Historical Society, 5. 1& 1938
 

Thomas Hume, of the firm of Johnson, Mclver & Hwne, is one of the most influential and respected citizens of Pope County. He was born in Wellington County. Canada, November 5,1844. He lived at home on the farm with his parents, William and Anna (Anderson) Hume, until he was twenty-one, when he came to Pope County, and took a homestead on section 24, Ben Wade twnship. He owns 140 acres of good farmlng laud, owns a half interest in the town site of Lowru. and a third interest in the general merchandising store of the firm mentioned above. 

Mr. Hume has taken an active interest in all public matters, and has been honored with various local offices, such as chairman of supervisors, justice of the peace, and school clerk for 10 or 15 years. In political matters he is a prohitonist.. 

The subject of this memoir was married July 1,1869, to Miss Elizabeth Watt, a daughter of Davis and Margaret (Cameron) Watt, natives of Scotland They have been blessed with seven children, Margaret Ann, Davod Robert, Ruth, William John, Elizabeth Ellen and Isabelle Catherine. They are all exemplary members of the Presbyterian Church. 

MarriageNotes
FOR THE POPE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Nov. 1949 Written by MargaretAnn Hume Bennett,
Born April 29, 1873 Lowry, Minn
 

I have wanted for some time to write of the Pope County Historical Society the true story of how my parents, Thomas Hume and Elizabeth Watt Hume, came to Pope Co. in 1869 to Ben Wade Township and settled on a homestead just north and joinlng the town of Lowiy. There was not Lowry then and for many yuears later. They were both born, in Ontario, Canada, and grew to maturity there and were married there. Their parents were born In Scotland, and cane to Canada and took up land, densely wooded which they cleared to grow food to eat. That is considerable different from the prairie land of central Minnesota. 

On July 1, 1869 Thomas Hume and Elizabeth Watt were married at the farm home of her parents. Shortly after they assembled all their belongings and loaded them on Father’s good wagon drawn by a good team of grey horses, Charley and Sandy. (He had worked and saved a little money.) They set out for Lake Huron to Owen  Sound where they embarked on a steamboat going to Superior City on Lake Superior, not far from where Duluth now is. There was no Duluth at that time. Here they left the steam boat, and started on the last part of the journey. Through the wilderness between here and Superior, at that early date it was tough going, and on the way one of the horses got sick. Mother stayed at the camp when Father walked to the nearest place he could to get medicine/or the sick horse. After a time when the horse was able to travel they proceeded on their way, and finally arrived at the home John Scott in Ben Wade Township. Pope Co. where they remained for a time while Father looked for land. They finally located on the farm just north of where Lowry is now. There was a good sized log house built all but the roof. Winter was coming on and Father bought out the claim from another cousin, Peter Scott, and finished building the house, which was their home for many years. 

Here all of us children were born except two youngest in frame house, myself being the second. in a family of seven. These were happy years and carefree, also filled with privations, but our needs were always met by our all-wise providence. How little the folks they left in Canada, realized what was ahead of the Bridal couple they so tried to give a good wedding and send off. Mother had a lovely silk dress shaded Navy blue and Pea green. Also a bonnet and veil, and Fathers nice black suit. What use were they here then. Also a beautIful set of china dishes,

real china you could see your hand thru. I remember these dishes and Mothers dress very plainly. Also I remember two pair white wool double blankets which were very good to have. As winters were severe, we had to walk one mile straight west to school, we seldom missed school. Mother taught one of the first terms of school in District No. 30. I do not remember my Father driving oxen he had his team of horses, but there were many oxen used. In those days there was much prairie, and the family herd of cows and young stock were let run on the vacant prairie. Our cows could go clear to Glenwood if they wanted to, but they always headed back home towards night. Each farmers herd had it’s cow carrying a bell around her neck, and we listened to the sound of our own belL Many times I have gone far to bring the cows home, as a small girl  And how frightened I was of the strange cattle encountered out on the hills. My folks milked some cows, made butter, and churned it by hand sometimes made cheese. They packed their butter in firkins (wood pails) in summer as the price was so poor and sold it in the fall. If the butter was thoroughly washed free of milk and properly salted, it could be made to keep. How different from, how butter is made today. And how different the price. 

Few hens were kept and eggs so cheap if there were a few to sell. My folks came thru the two grasshopper years where the hoppers ate everything. Hard years but we always had enough to eat. However they managed I do not know, but the years afterwards were hard years too. The herds of cattle were depleted and machinery to work the land was hard to get and had to be hauled a long distance. I can remember Father cutting a small field of grain with a cradle. Then the reaper that they used to cut the grain and left it laying. The men following bound it on the ground. Later they used the harvester, two men stood on this machine and bound the grain as it was cut and came over the elevator canvas. They threw the bundles off after they were bound The men used a handful of grain to make a band for the bundles. Then later came the selfbinder which bound the bundles with wire and later twine was used The machinery was all drawn by oxen or horses. A number a/farmers in the vicinity of Ben Wade and western Reno Twp. owned a threshing rig which was run by horse power about five or six teams were hitched one team behind the other, and were driven round and around the horse power. Jim Bryce usually drove the horses. He sat on top of the horse power. There was a rod called the tumbling rod that reached to the seperator from the horse power, which run the seperator, and threshed the grain. About the years 1875 to 1880 the men that owned this machine were Kenneth McKenzie, Robert Peacock, Thomas Hume, Hugh Thomas and Jim Bryce. If any more I do not remember. 

The threshing machine made the rounds and did all of their threshing each fall. Of course the grain had to be hauled far to market and Father with his team of horses did a lot of hauling. The above named men were not scandinavian, but were of Scottish decent as were a lot of people in Reno and Leven township and part of Ben Wade. It might be will to mention some of the old timers that spoke the english language. There were Daniel and Peter Penury and the Whitlaws in Leven township, also David John and Clark Campbell and William Hogan, Robert Peacock, Andrew md John Peacock, the Bryces John, Thomas, William, Hugh and James Bryce, also Edwin Ccx, Robert Wilson, Peter Ferguson, William Christilaw Sr and the Wamsleys, Alex, Ewing and John Lyon Ewing in Reno and Thomas Scott, John Scott also James Blair and John Cooley and George Frederick, Kenneth McKenzie, Robert Henderson, Thomas Hume, Robert Ballentine families and Hunters in eastern Ben Wade twp. These people were all of Scotch and Irish ancestry. Spoke the English language, and most of them belonged to the Presbyterian church. The old minister that came to preach in the little log church on top of the hill where Oak Hill Cemetry now is was Rev. Jesse Whitla. He came from Leven twp every two weeks, to preach. I can remember him announcing Services this day two weeks as usual. 

No doubt I’ve forgotten some of the old timers. but Pope Co. had a number of families that spoke English. The only one here that carries the Hume name is my nephew, Mervin A. Hume in Glenwood.  He drives the Standard Oil truck (delivery). Also my son Chester H. Bennett works in Glenwood is chairman for the MA in Pope Co. He is Hume as well as his cousin Mervin but does not carry the name. Speaking of the old log church that is where I attended Sunday school until I was about 13 years old after I went to the new church built in Lowry north of the R.R. track, which later was blown away by the cyclone about 1896. The storm that killed San Morrow and little daughter and wrecked the Robert Peacock home. 

Will mention before closing tow others of the very old times, (old) Mrs. Bryce, mother of the Bryce brothers, who was a practical nurse to many especially to mothers and new born babys. Later Mrs. Kenneth McKenzie took her place until her death at 45. There were some more Drs in the county by this time. Dr Croyiar came from Villard to see my Mother who had pneumonia she recovered. Mr. McKenzie carried my baby sister across the fields home for his wife to care for.(good neighbors). 

I remember old David Ewing driving up to Ben Wade to attend the weekly prayer meeting, which met every Wednesday evening from house to house. He came with a horse hitched to a two wheeled rig called a buckboard. Same prayer meeting continues to this day every Wed nite. 

The elderly Mc.Iver Brothers, Hugh. William Andrew and John settling in New Prairie came from Scotland several years later then those I have mentioned most of these mentioned in this article have long since gone to their reward. 

OUR FAMILY
Written by Ruth Hume Cusick, 1964 

I will attempt to go a little more fully into our family life. 

The first child of Thomas and Elizabeth Hume was William John named after Father’s Father and his brother. I often heard Mother say what a pretty baby he was. I do not know anything about his boyhood as he was twenty-one years old when! was born. 

William was converted early in life and continued in God’s work the rest of his life. He was married to Alice Dickens and they had three children, Lois and James of California and Ruth who died in infancy. They lived in California and both he and has wife went to their eternal home years ago. 

The second child Margaret Ann, was named after the two grandparents. She was a very lively girl and married the year I was to a neighbor boy. His name was William Bennett. They lived on a farm two miles from the village of Lowry. To these two was born four children, Chester, Robert, Grace, and Bessie, all of Minnesota. Today, two of Chester’s sons live on their grandfather’s farm. Margaret and William passed away some time ago. She died in 1952 and he died several years previous. Margaret was well loved in her community and had a very keen mind up to his last illness and remembered things that happened seventy years ago. 

The third child, David Watt, named after Grandfather Watt was a very fine looking man. He was store keeper and also a barber. He was married to Annie Christopherson. They lived in Lowry, North Dakota, California and Issaquah, Wash. where he barbered for several years. David was a very active man and enjoyed himself. They lived to celebrate their Golden Wedding. 

They had nine children, Foresi~ who was killed in World War! in France in 1918, Juanita~ who died in infancy, David a conductor on the railroad lives in Kansas, Roy a/North Dakota, Annabel, Pearl and Marjorie of Washington, Ruth of Ca4(ornia and Truman who isa Lt. Colonel in the Air Force, stationed In Colorado. David was very active/or his years, and up to a/ew years be/ore his death in 1958, war a whiz on roller skates. Annie passed away a few years before he did. 

The fourth child was Thomas Robert named after Father and Mother’s eldest brother. Both he and Dave played in the band at Lowry. Rob was a quiet good natured fellow. Later on he was married to Hanna Ternqulst and they took up a homestead in North Dakota. Isabel and visited them as young women and Hanna took us to Church. I will never forget that the minister, after being introduced looked at me and said “Miss Hume, would you please raise the tune.” I was quite flabbergasted but managed with quaking voice to raise it. 

After about eight years of marriage, Hanna passed away. Rob and the two children lived with Father quite a few years. 

The children are Louise of Minneapolis and Mervin of Glenwood Minnesota. Robert never married and passed on years ago. 

Fifth child, Elizabeth Ellen, named for Mother’s and Aunt Ellen. I don’t remember much after girlhood only she and I liked to read novels. Many a time Mother caught us with them and into the stove they went. Elizabeth married a neighbor boy, James McGowan, they were a handsome couple. 

James took up a homestead in Saskatchewan and they lived there all their married life. They had four children: Elizabeth, who died at 12 years, Sargent. Norman and Ruth, all of Saskatchewan.. James died some time ago and Elizabeth is still living in Saskatchewan. She has spent some time at Pioneer home in Weyburn. She lived some years out West with Dave and also visited Isabel and I and we had such good times together. Elizabeth passed away last year January 1965 and was buried in the old cemetery by her husband’s s side at Lowry, Minnesota. 

I visited the cemetery last year and it is in a lovely setting. There are seven relatives buried there including my Father and Mother. 

Sixth child Isabel Catherine named after Aunt Isabel and Aunt Catherine, unlike the others, auburn haired and tiny and could carry a tune a two years so I’ve heard. She married a girlhood sweetheart, Vincent Bartos, a mail clerk After living some time in Minnesota, they came to Wenatchee, Wash. where he worked for the Post Office for years, eventually getting to be assistant Post Master. 

Isabel was not very strong, but very good at writing poetry. One of her poems was read at her funeral service. Isabel and Vincent had two children Marjorie of Spokane and Richard who passed away as a child They celebrated their Golden Wedding in September 1963, and Isabel passed away Nov. 5, 1963.  I surely miss her as we had lived side by side for thirty years. 

Seventh child Ruth, born the month our mother was forty, and as they had used all the relatives names, they went to the bible for mine. 

My sisters have often told me, that the day I was born, they were sent away to the neighbor McKenzie, who had a flock of kids. One of the girls made pull taffy and they had a wonderful time decorating the hay rack with it. 

After some time they were sent to come home, and Isabel just couldn’t believe they had a baby, but to her delight they let her hold the new baby and she had quite a vivid memory of it. When I was about two or three, my mother was sick in the hospital and I was left with my brothers and sisters. They forgot about me and I went to sleep on the porch, caught cold which developed into pneumonia.and I’m told I was very sick, but they didn’t tell my mother. I can still remember the Dr. telling me of this little girl who threw her doll out an upstairs window. As a little girl I used to follow my Father all around the place, and as my brothers were not home, it fell on me to carry in the wood for the stove and often dig it out of the snow in the winter..

Isabel and I took turns helping Father with the milking and how we disliked it, especially in the Winter. We did all our own separating of milk and cream too, and there were all those pails to wash, besides the separator. We had a very large living room, and my Mother used to paper it herself, she wouldn’t let us girls help her. We used to save all our rags and when we had enough, we would spend our Winter evenings sewing the strips together and winding them into balls. When we had the required number of pounds.  they were taken to the weaver, and then after a week or two, we hada  new wall to wall carpet. This was tacked to the wall and once a year had to be taken up and beaten until it was clean. What a job! Housekeeping then was a major undertaking and the house was usually upset for a week or two. There were no vacuum cleaners or labor savers like we have now. 

We also had different washing facilities. We used to get up early, start the fire. put on the wash boiler and heat the water. Then we would get out the wash tub and board and rub. It was same job, we also used to boil the white clothes to make them a better color. I will also mention that we had long hair, which we washed every iwo or three weeks and that was really a job, as the water was so hard and we did not have shampoo like they do now. 

Our school was a two room building, the older kids went to school in the winter when there was no outside work to do. They usually went as long as they were home and were put back in the 7th or 8th grade every year. The church was built on part of Father’s farm and we get up on Sunday morning with nothing on our minds but to go to church. 

Services in the morning, home to get dinner, Sunday School in the afternoon, home again to sit around or play the organ, milk the cows, and then to church in the evening. We had plenty of young ministers and we girls always admired them a lot. 

One of the important remembrances of our life happened around the year 1900. A very severe cyclone struck our part of the state. We often had bed storms and terrjfic thunder and lightening, but this was the worst we ever had. Father, Isabel and I had gone to visit sister Margaret at their farm about two miles from town, leaving my mother and sister Elizabeth at home. My brothers were in town. As we left our sisters place, the sky was getting very black and Father hurried Chestnut, our horse, to get to town before the storm broke. The wind was terrific when Father tied the horse in front of the store building and we rushed to the basement where our friends and neighbors were huddled together. The basement had a few inches of water on the floor. Some of the women and children were crying and the men were all watching the storm, which struck the town, taking half of it in its path. The storm took the church up intact, whirled it around and then it fell to pieces. The path of the storm extended between our farm and a neighbors. 

After a few minutes it was all over, and what devastation! So many of the families were homeless, our buggy was gone, so we took the horse and walked home. 

We found the road just strewn with debris, but the house was still there although the chimneys were gone and so was the barn roof. My Mother and sister had managed to lock one door, and held the other door shut till the storm passed. They were badly frightened like the rest of us, but with God’s help they hung on. Later we found out one brother had been in a culvert under the railroad track and the other was flat down on the prairie. So with the help of God we were all spared. For years we used to pick up broken household articles out of the slough next to town. 

Time passed on and the boys married and also sister Elizabeth who went to live in Saskatchewan on a homestead. One of the highlights of my young l!fe was when Isabel and I visited her and got to ride horses accompanied by two country swains who really showed us a good time. 

I also got my first proposal from a young Irishman, twice my age, with a real Irish brogue. I could have had a lot of fun out of it, but I was just too young. My brother-in-law, James, sure did have a good laugh and told me I better accept as this might be my last chance. 

In the early 1900 came the auto, and what a thrill it was just to watch the cars go by, maybe two or three a day. Father would call “Come on, Ruthie and see the flying machine.” He always drove the team off the road to let the cars go by. They were going about 15 miles per hour. 

Incidentally, brother David had the first car in Lowry and we were all thrilled to go for a ride, even if we sometimes had to get out and push it up the hill. 

We didn’t have the things they have now, but we didn’t miss them, a hay of candy, given when we paid our store bill, an orange in a Christmas stocking was a treat and we really appreciated a 5¢ piece and a dollar was a lot of money. We used to wake up in our upstairs bedroom, with the window so covered with frost, we could not see out and spring was really here when we cleared a place on the window to see out and it did not frost up again. 

The school was about a mile from our home and we went every day rain or shine. I never missed a day for the last three years, and we walked too. Sometimes the snow literally was up to our necks. When we had our big dinner like Thanksgiving or Christmas, we kids always waited and ate whatever was left. Our parents were hard working with few pleasures. We never worked on Sunday. 

If we did not bake a cake or pie on Saturday, we did without. We rode to Church in a surrey with the fringe on top and I can still remember one of my outfits. lt was a red suit with a box coat trimmed with applique down the front and on the sleeves. Isabel was a milliner and had a milliner shop, so we always had lots of hats. In those days the milliner made the hats. 

After finishing school, I had a year at St. Cloud Normal and received a second grade certificate to teach. My first school was about seventeen miles away but with our slow team it seemed fifty-six. In these country schools, you were also janitor and had to go there early and get the fire going. There were often kids older and much larger than! was. We had all the grades, but some did not have pupils. Sometimes I had to get between the kids to stop them from fighting and I only received forty dollars per month, but I paid very little for board and room. 

After I had taught school for two years, my mother passed away November 1911. She and Father had retired and were on a trip to visit my sister in Saskatchewan and a brother in North Dakota. 

We were all deeply shocked as she was well when she left home. My sister and I tried to make a home for Father in town. Later on I went to Ontario with Father to visit his brother and other relatives there. 

It was there I met Norman Cuslck to whom I was later married. He was home on a visit from Vancouver, BC. He was a very happy-go-lucky fellow and we had a good time together. We were married the next year under an arch of red peonies from Margaret’s garden. 

Later on World War I was declared and Norman went in the service and was stationed at Ottawa, where our eldest son Earl was born. Later on Norman was sent overseas and was in France two years. 

Needless to say, Earl was quite a boy when his dad returned. We spent some time in Vancouver and then moved up to the north end of Vancouver Island where Norman logged for six years. 

It was a carefree life and we enjoyed it and were all so healthy. By this time we had another boy, Darrel, and later on a little girl. Phyllis. The children had so much fun playing on the beach, making sand castles, sailing toy boats, etc. One summer, we lived on a houseboat and Earl fell in sixty feet of water. He came up and caught the edge of the haul. and was none the worse off. One of our neighbor boys fell off the houseboat and was drowned. Our living up there was easy. we had all the fish, clams and crabs we could eat, just for the taking. We had our good times too. One of my memories was a dance we went to on our seventh anniversary. A man we had recently met and whom we had entertained offered to stay with the boys and that itself was a treat. He also wrote a poem in our honor which was a thrill. We had lots of good friends, Marshall in whose boat we so often rode and the Melans with whom we ate New Years dinner and they had Christmas dinner with us. Our friend was Hany Wilson, who always toasted us on Christmas morning. One time Norman and! took a lantern out on Christmas Eve to find a tree, Also, once Norman walked all night to tell me he would not be home that night. He and a friend had taken a boat out and had been caught in a storm and could not take the boat out, so he walked all night to tell me he would not be home that night. 

Norman and Partner hand logged on the mountain side, toppled big trees and packed them into the inlet, where they were made into booms and towed into Vancouver and sold We were there about six years and led a carefree life. One of the big events was waiting for the steamer to come in and the kids all got ice cream cones. 

Such things were only sent up once a week and was a real treat. One disadvantage about living up there was that the school was on the other side of Hardy Bay and the kids had to row across the Bay to get there and that was a worry. So when sister Isabel, who was in poor health, wrote for us to come to Wenatchee to live, we decided to do so. Norman ran the grocery store for Wensel and later bought him out. Later on came the depression and we quit the store business. 

At the time the men were interested in panning for gold, although they never got much they had a lot of fun,. We had a neighborhood club and we used to go up to the Lake on picnics several times during the summer and we all enjoyed it, especially the kids. 

During these years, we had lots of get-togethers with the David Hume family. They came over here or we went over to the coast, which was only 135 miles away. Annie and Dave were wonderful hosts, we miss then a lot. 

During this time Norman got into the construction business with Bill Whitaker, building houses with the boys as helpers. Earl finished high school and later on Darrel and Phyllis graduated. Shortly after that came World II. Earl went into the service with several other boys and Darrel went to Seattle to work at Boeing. Earl was stationed at Fort Lewis. Later on he brought home a buddy, Ted Zielinski, a boy from Chicago, who became interested in Phyllis. Later on they were married in front of a palm flanked fireplace on Okanogan Avenue where we then lived. 

Darrel met a Wenatchee girl, Aletha Lyons, also working at Boeing, and after a short courtship they were married in the Presbyterian Church here in Wenatchee. Earl and Ted were sent to the Europe sector and saw action at the front. 

Darrel was sent to the Pacific and saw action in the Philippines and Japan. They all returned safely for which I thank God. After Earl’s return from overseas, he met Aletha’s sister, Maxine, and after a whirlwind courtship, they were married. After the boys returned, they went into the construction business and since have done very well. 

Later on they bought their father out, but he continued to go to the shop every day and it was a Godsend to him and kept him interested. 

Earl and Darrel are avid tennis players and have played for over twenty years, so naturally the grandchildren have followed in their footsteps. 

They were the promoters of a Tennis Club, and they and associates built a very fine clubhouse with a swimming pool. 

In the spring of 1961, Norman had a cerebral hemorrhage and only lived three months. I am living alone in the old home we bought over thirty years ago. 

There is a lot about my family, which I wrote more for their benefit, but that the rest of you might enjoy reading it, so will include it all. 

I hope you folks get the enjoyment out of reading it that I and I know Margaret had writing it. 

Aunt Ruth