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Norman County Minnesota Wild Rice Children's Home

Check out the Wild Rice Children's Home Newsletter

Much of the following information is taken from "An Orphan's Saga, Life at the Wild Rice Children's Home, Twin Valley, Minnesota, 1898-1931" written by a former resident of that home, Mr. Carl R. Narveson

The Wild Rice Children's Home was founded in 1898 by the Norwegian Lutheran Synod. It was located near Fossum, four and a half miles south and east of Twin Valley in Norman County, Minnesota. The reason for founding the Children's Home was because at that time the Synod had no place to take care of children outside of the Stoughton, Wisc. Martin Luther Orphans Home. Several offers were considered but the best offer came from Twin Valley, MN. The first manager and matron were Rev. and Mrs. H. A. Blegen. They took over on March 22, 1899. The first child was admitted on April 13th, 1899 and five more children came soon after. From 1899 until it was destroyed by fire in 1931, 616 children lived at the Home. Children came from North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Montana, Nebraska and Saskatchewan and Ontario in Canada.

The Home farm was sold in June, 1948 to Art Lee. Insurance proceeds, disposal sales, and other factors helped determine that there should be build a Lutheran Retirement Home in Twin Valley. So we have, in place of the Children's Home, this Home for the aged which celebrated its Silver Anniversary in 1975.

J. R. Orvedahl wrote in the Sept. 1931 issue of the "Wild Rice Children's Home News", "The night of March 18, 1931 will always be remembered by all the children and employees of the Wild Rice Children's Home. At eleven o'clock p.m. a dreadful shriek of the fire siren aroused everyone in the dormitories, and all arose quickly and marched out of the building clad only in their nightclothes. Everyone was calm, thinking that it was only a fire drill but when the order was given that all children must be taken to the superintendent's residence, they knew that it was serious. The attic near the ventilation shaft was roaring with flames. In a few minutes we realized  the Home would soon be in ashes; yet we are all so thankful that every child passed out safely without even being excited. So completely did the fire do its work that there was nothing left except part of the foundation. We are all thankful that all lives were saved.".

Children living at the Wild Rice Children's Home during the 1910 Census

Children who were residents of the Wild Rice Children's Home
April, 1899-November, 1930

Clarence Obert Waller Alvin Elmore Largie Clarence H. Largis
Hjalmer Jul Hansen Anna Marie Hansen Helmer August Hansen
Emma Thoresen Florence Thoresen Oleana Bertine Gronsdahl
Andreas Martin Gronsdahl Knut Gronsdahl George William Saweyer
Henry Walter Saweyer Henry Martin Ryan John Odin Ryan
Arnold Judian Grove Marie Largis George Palmer Lystad
William Walter Lystad Edwin Oliver Lystad Olga Fredrika Lystad
Enevadeline Peterson Henry McCasline Martin Luther McCasline
Martin Claudius Nelson Deborah Johnson Borghilde Johnson
Amaila Johnson Tarjus Julius Johnson Eli Larsen
Karla Larsen Louise Larsen Arthur Fritjof Larsen
Emil Lewis Williams Henry Edward Williams Roy Adolph Williams
Magnus Hagen Gerhard Hagen Alama Ovida Olsen
Anner Ingvald Olsen Julius George Oisen Amanda Randolph
Rogna Randolph Edward Harold Parsons Frans Oscar Parsons
John Alfred Parsons Clara Hjisdahl Elmer Oliver Thorstensen
James Martin Thorstensen Ladvard Fogner Malla Kittelsen
Howard Kittelsen Blanche Kittelsen Bertha Hagen
Edwin Hagen Earl Hagen Elma Hagen
Nina Hagen Marie Knutsen Lena Martha Knutsen
Ruth Knutsen John Knutsen Frank Knutsen
Oscar Knutsen Elmer Edwin Falk Alfred Christophersen
Emelie Christophersen Selma Christophersen Edwin Gulbrandsen
Minnie Guldrandsen Ruth Guldbrandsen Glen Guldbrandsen
Andrew Pedersen Ida Tennyson Mabel Tennyson
Gena Tennyson Willie Mickelsen John Mickelsen
Albert Aaserud Joseph Aaserud Helmer Aaserud
Bennie Ruud Martin Ruud Harry Ruud
Edwin Ruud Ottis Lelum Henry Reiten
Inger Reitan Stella Reitan Caroline Reitan
Clarence Bernhard Knutsen Lillie Heiberg Elsie Heiberg
Harry Heiberg Johnny Heiberg Mable Josephine Holen
Lawerence Arthur Holen Alice Eveline Holen Oscar Hendricksen
Victoria Hendricksen Robert Lee Florence Nelson
Lester Sherman Tollund Rogna Maseid Hazel Jackobsen
Francis Jackobsen Lester Sherman Andersen Cleon Ernst Andersen
Clarence Gilbert Larsen Sivert Balken Lars Balken
Halvor Balken Ruth Viseje Clarence Viseje
Nellie Louise Pedersen Ella Hansen Harold Hansen
James Hansen Albert Hansen Gyda Hansen
Carl Benjamin Ericksen Jackob Arris Eircksen Arnold Theordor Ericksen
Anna Lanson Frank Hugo Lanson Judith Stensen
Ingvart Stensen Agnes Stensen Ida Victoria Lider
Mabel Luella Lider Lina Selina Lider Frank Nelson
Clarence Tracy Nelson Ella Francis Nelson Hartvig Richard Knutsen
Telfred Kvale Gele Kvale Alfred Skjefte
Martin Olai Narvesen Arthur Lawrence Narvesen Carl Narvesen
Lawrence Narvesen Henry Pedersen Alfred Pedersen
Goodvin Pedersen Robert Gordon Risdahl Rolf William Magnus Thorpe
Eddie Lawrence Thorpe Emma Hebert Harry Hebert
Ralph Hebert Sara Hebert Luella Grassman
Myrthel Grassman Pearl Grassman Norman Ramelow
Mildred Canfield May Viola Pratt Cora Eveline Pratt
Norman Kragerud Allen Kragerud Laurence Hoyez
Frans Larsen Ida Larsen Esther Larsen
Gerda Larsen Anna Ruth Minnie Tryhus
Tome Hofstad Oscar Skogen Mable Falleso
Louise Wally Hilda Fjeld Alice Fjeld
Elmer Fjeld Lawrence Fjeld Marie Grassman
Alma Hauske Lillian Hauske Manley Hauske
Edwin Hauske Marion Hauske Allen Hauske
Edward Bergquist Harold Bohn Herbert Fair
Robin Fair Henfred Nordquist Esther Nordquist
Albert Nordquist Rachel Nordquist Clara Nordquist
Anna Nordquist Howard Willson Mylo Willson
Olof Simonsen Peter Simonsen Lillian Simonsen
 Edith Haldiman Charley Turner Loyed Berglund
Gerald Pratt Herbert Skatvald Clara Skatvald
Joseph Skatvald Peter Halvorsen Carl Halvorsen
Ole Halvorsen Margarethe Haugo Ruth Haugo
Morris Haugo Amanda Helseth Hilda Helseth
Hans Helseth Thomas Helseth Clifford Jackobsen
Gordon Jackobsen Edwin Jackobsen Norman Jackobsen
Joseph Jackobsen Milo Jackobsen Melvin Berg
Conrad Berg Ida Berg Alice Johnsen
Clara Pedersen Melvin Olsen Olger Rannie
Arnold Rannie Melvin Rannie Viola Fox
Ivy Chase Irvin Chase Fern Chase
Cora Johnsen Verie Jennevive Etheline Melberg
Morris Melberg Gertrude Melberg Norman Melberg
Erving Melberg Clifford Melberg Charles Lockrem
Raymond Lockrem Alan Kvale Myrtle Gundersen
Gertie Gundersen Lewis Gundersen Clara Gundersen
Annie Gundersen Orleans Forsland Clifford Forsland
Katheline Forsland Richard Forsland Selma Bergley
Bertha Bergley George Bergley  Alfred Bergley
Hazel Bergley Ella Bergley Hellen Bergley
Vernon Lyden Katherine Ness  Caroline Ness
Alex Pedersen Carl Sansness Genevive Karum
Dorthea Griffin Alfred Rickhus Clara Richus
Martin Richus Ed Rickhus Alice Rickhus
Alma Watne Ethel Watne  Loyd Watne
Allen Watne Alvin Sorensen Gertrude Larsen
Edna Fredricken Mable Fredricksen Lillian Fredricksen
Archie Sorensen Elmer Larsen Alma Larsen
Vera Larsen Pearl Vangsness Ralph Vangsness
Myrtle Fevig James Johnson Hearn Frederick Lawe
Dorthea Lawe Lawritz Lawe Melvin Borge
Lyle Griffin  Francis Willie Price Dona Bell Price
Olaf Kjensrud Agnes Koppang Alfred Amundson
Lillian Smudson Clarence Amundson Leonard Nelson
 Alice Newstrom Virginia Hagberg Vivian Hagberg
Fridolphia Hagberg Quno Hest Hagberg Ola Inez Schanaln
Vernice Tolund Clinton Tolund Inga Dahl
 Christina Dahl Gina Dahl Lillian Lund
Neillie Lund Evelyn Lindberg Anna Lindberg
Orville Sedberg Esther Johnson Thompson Lillian Gustafson
Elenor Gustafson Carl Gustafson John Willman
Tina Folaas Nina Falaas Clarence Glover
Russel Glover Alfred Tildahl Myrtle Tildahl
Clifford Tildahl Bert Tildahl Mary Tildahl
Maurice Cusler Mildred Kempfest Isabelle Holte
William Holte Earl Holte Smylie Merhiy
Ali Merhiy Evelyn Merhiy Joseph Merhiy
Marian Merhiy Nestor Pikkarainen Margaret McCaskey
Mary McCaskey Earl McCaskey Eva Ravine
James Ravine Leonard Ravine Inga Motteberg
Inez Motteberg Alfred Sorenson Bertha Sorenson
 Hjalmer Sorenson Lillian Sorenson Rudolph Sorenson
Ruth Sorenson Arnold Bollingmoe Arthur Bollingmoe
Elmer Bollingmoe Ella Bollingmoe Harold Bollingmoe
Kenneth Bollingmoe Thea Bollingmoe Arthur Wauters
Margaret Wauters Ingvald Johnson Helmer Johnson
Johan Markus Johnson Evelyn Rarden Pearl Rarden
Hazel Haugo Minda Shegstad Selma Shegstad
James Shegstad Norris Shegstad Isabelle Johnson
Borghild Berg Lillian Berg  Arthur Berg
Oliver Gerg Mary Anderson Murial Anderson
Evelyn Hembre Emma Mondahl Thomas Mondahl
Rudolph Mondahl Selma Mondahl Alma Mondahl
Melvin Mondahl Arvid Anderson Emma Anderson
Robert Anderson Carl Anderson Ross Grantham
Mildred Riggers Lorene Riggers Julius Ramstad
Raynard Ramstad Bernice Ramstad Thomas Ramstad
Irene Rudh Hilda Ikel Edelyn Peterson
Sadie Mickelson Bernice Gusk Leonard Larson
Adolph Larson Edwin Hosford Metha Krebs
Baby Anderson Milton Erickson William Erickson
Francis Roen Martin Anderson Walter Anderson
Norman Bolers Alfred Oren Walter Oren
Ester Aronson Lloyd Aronson Reuben Aronson
Milton Aronson Alice Langseth Earl Langseth
Carl Langseth Pearl Langseth Chester Chapin
Dagny Gunderson Pearl Gunderson Gladys Gunderson
Walter Gunderson Kenth Hanson Virginia Gunderson
Carl Kilpatrick Lloyd Kilpatrick Mae Kilpatrick
Robert Kilpatrick Stella Olson Virgil Hanson 
Gertrude Kolseth Esther Mary Roswell Twila Gunderson
Carrie Tangen Sigrid Tangen Milton Rodlin
Noel LaBerge Bernadette LaBerge Sophie Hilstad
Marcus Hilstad Selmer Hilstad Charles Sawes
Sidney Johnson Ruth Johnson Helen Carlson
Dewynne Knutson  Frank Cosgrove Harriet Cosgrove
Fred Cosgrove William Cosgrove Mabel Liebeler
Arlo Liebeler Leonard Eggen Vernon Oeder
Beulah Oeder Robert Oeder Myrtle Moen
Edwin Moen George Ricker Henry Ricer
Donavern Hammersmith Lorraine Hammersmith Dorothy Mae Hammersmith
Winnifred Hammersmith Curtiss Halvorson Levaughn Halvorson
Gloria Thompson Jeanette Thompson Walter Lindgren
Alice Lindgren Anna Thorson Oscar Thorson
Lillian Thorson Rose Schmitt Lena Schmitt
Bertha Schmitt Frank Schmitt Blanche Lethcoe
Bessie Lethcoe Ernest Olson Violet Olson
Alta Covertson Mable Gullingsrud Cora Gullingsrud
Alvin Layer Robert Jackling Ben Jackling
Kenyon Iverson  Ralph Barstedt Henry Sundahl
George Erickson Herbert Amundson Donald Peters
Gordon Herom Elwood Herom Grace Kortness
Dorthy Kortness Irene Kortness  Vivian Kortness
Pearl Kortness Evelyn Larson Kenneth Larson 
Lloyd Larson Lily Benson Lillian Benson
Russel Farstad Kenneth Farstad Douglas Campos
Victor Rolette Harold Myhra Helen Hanson
Hany Hanson Magdalene Hanson Morris Hanson
Esther Lee Rosella Lee Lloyd Benson
Chester Branaman Melva Jackling Norman Winner
Earl Eschpeter Freida Kiefert Carroll Brazzell
Margaret Brazzell Esther Brazzell John Brazzell
Florence Mortenson  Arline Mortenson Gladys Mortenson
Dorothy Mortenson Marcein Mortenson  William Nelson 
Margaret Grinde Russell Peter Ginde Norman Richard Grinde
Roy Phillip Grinde Florence Thorine Grinde Charles Benjamen Robinson
Helmer Moseby Tennes Moseby Laurence Moseby
John Olson, Jr. Schilda Brazzell
Bruce Henistad Lyle Henistad Warren Henistad
Howard Henistad Eugene Henistad Ruby Larson
Margery Larson Arnold Larson Archie Larson
Melvin Olson Clara Rickhhus Walter Orren
Odin Enger Vernon Enger Arnold Enger
Robert Donahue Philip James Donahue Lowell Bryant Eickler
Hazel Haugo William Holte  Frances Amy Lamkin
Joseph Lamkin Gerald Lamkin James Lamkin
Donald Kenneth Wam Wesley Hard Wam Leonard Peterson
Sophie Hilstad Charles Donahue Olaf Theodore Kjensrud
John B.Olson Melvin Olson Curtis Wendell Halvorson
Jordan Wennes Egertson Anna Hilde Anna Thompson
Marian Brown Jerome Brown

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This site is maintained by Colleen Goltz with
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Norman County Genealogy Society.
Last modified Friday February 04, 2005