Christopher Christopher

Christopher was born in Norway April 7, 1832 and came to the U.S. in 1855 when 22 years of age and settled in Illinois.

Mrs. Bessie Christopher came to the U.S. from Norway in 1856, and they were married in 1857.  They settled down in Bradford Township for a short time and then moved to Lee County.

Christopher and Jorgens put up the first building in Lee.  It was a small grain office and grocery, and in 1873 put up the south elevator.  In 1879 Christopher and Jorgens remodeled their elevator and put in a stationary engine and wood-working machinery.  W. H. Emmett was hired as their bookkeeper.

He was with the first ones to start a Norwegian Lutheran Church and his wife with the first to start the Ladies Aid.

Christopher built one of the first dwellings; in 1874 he built the house known later as the Arndt home east of the tracks.  Later he built the house owned more recently by the Ole Jordals and now property of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Prestegaard adjoining their residence.

The couple had six daughters - Mrs. W. K. (Anna) Risetter, Mrs. Bessie Solomonson, Mrs. Brownell (Caroline) Jacobson, Mrs. B. T. (Christina) Sorum, Mrs. Holden (Julia) Risetter, and Mrs. Marie Nerness.

Of these, Mrs. W. K. Risetter and Mrs. Holden Risetter remained in this area.  Mr. and Mrs. W. K. Risetter had four children - three sons, Willse, Christopher, and Kearney are deceased.  Mrs. Eddie (Clara) Oleson, a daughter resides on a Lee farm. 

The Holden Risetters resided on a Paw Paw farm.  Their children, Lewis, Thomas, Ernest, Christopher, Annie and Bessie are all deceased.  Julia passed away at an early age.  He remarried.  They had a son, Leonard, living in Chicago or thereabouts.  The Holden and Julia Risetter grandchildren include Holden, Hale, Gertrude and Verdell Wheeler.

Christopher died September 25, 1921 at 89 years of age.  Mrs. Christopher died October 8, 1921 At 85 years of age.  The funeral of Mr. and Mrs. Christopher was held October 11, 1921 at St. Lukes Lutheran Church in Spokane, Washington.  They were buried side in one grave at Riverside Cemetery.

Mr. and Mrs. Christopher lived on the farm north and 3/4 miles west of Lee and when daughter Anna and W. K. Risetter were married, Christophers moved to Lee, Most likely to the Arndt house he built.  Risetters lived on the farm which they later bought.

W. K. Risetter's brother was Guttrom Risetter, father of Mrs. H. O. Risetter, Harvey G., and George.

                                                                   

                                                              Click on image to enlarge

Source:  Lee Then and Now;  Compiled by The Committee on History for the Lee Centennial Observance June 13 16, 1974.

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