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My Grandpa Roy

Roy Alec Anderson


Nicholas Roy Anderson

6th Grade 1998, Tri-County School, Karlstad, MN

My report is about my Grandfather Roy. He was born and raised in Marshall County about 3 miles north of Strandquist, MN. His father was Andrew, who came to the USA from Norway when he was 7 months old with his parents Alf and Rachel. His mother, Ruth, was from the East Grand Forks area, who parents, Lewis and Johanna Swanson, had immigrated from Sweden. Andrew and Ruth settled in this area because of the plentiful wildlife and the ample supplies of wood for winter heat. The farm in Lincoln Township was homesteaded in 1903.

Roy was born September 21, 1929, the fourth of nine children. He had four brothers and four sisters. From oldest to youngest is Edna (Berg), Alice (Vik), Alvin, Roy, Elmer, Adolph, Marion (Johnson), Francis, and Fern (Brevik).

Living on a farm in the 30's and 40's required that everyone pitch in and help with chores. There were cows to milk, chickens to feed, the barn to clean, hay to be put up, and wood to cut.

Some of these chores were done by horses, which Roy did not have very good luck with. One such incident happened when he was driving a team of horses hooked to a hay rake through a wooded trail, when a branch from a tree slapped the rear of one horse and they took off uncontrollably. He was not able to control them and the next thing he remembers was being under the rake with the rake stuck in a tree and the horses were nowhere to be seen! In another run-in with horses, he was driving a team hooked to a hay rack hauling bundles of oats during harvest. As he was feeding his load of bundles into the threshing machine, a horse's tail got caught in a pully on the machine and the horses took off with a jolt and he fell off the back of the load - head first!

Hunting was also a big part of the farm life for Roy and his brothers. Many times deer meat was the only meat they had. Back then, wolves, fox, and raccoon were shot or trapped for their fur. In fact, wolves and fox had bounties, which were paid by townships and counties. Through the years the brothers have continued deer hunting and the "gang" even now is all either sons, grandsons, or great grandsons of Andrew.

Roy attended school in Strandquist where he was a good student and was involved in basketball and baseball. He was a guard on the basketball team and scored the most points for the school his senior year. He pitched and caught for the baseball team. He graduated in 1947 as Salutatorian of his class.

He was married to Emojean (Gramma) in March 1951. Robert and Netter Koland were her parents. She also graduated from Strandquist High in 1948. Grandma Emo went to nursing school in the Twin Cities and started working at the Karlstad Memorial Hospital when it first opened.

Roy's first job our of high school was working on a farm near Hallock. After being married in '51, he went into the service (Army) and was a maintenance man on heavy equipment. He was stationed in England where he helped build an airport.

After the service in 1954, he went to work for Stanley Urbaniak at Urbaniak Implement in Kennedy, a John Deere dealership. His main duty was setting up new machinery. He also continued to help his father on the farm, acquiring some land himself.

In 1958, Roy and his brother, Elmer, went into business together when they bought out Alvin Turnwall's business on Main Street in Karlstad (formerly located at Hardware Hank). Then, in 1961, they built the Phillips 66 Station on the corner of Highway 59 and Highway 11.

In 1973, Roy began farming with more intensity. High grain prices combined with many acres of land coming out of "soilbank" made farming seem quite attractive. He increased his acreage from 400 to around 750. This was also the time his sons started to be involved with the farming operation. He also started working six months with Elmer (during the winter) and six months on the farm during the summer months.

In 1981, he sold his share of the service station to Elmer and went into a farming partnership with his sons, Darwyn and Rory. By then, acreage had increased to 1,800 acres.

In 1994, Roy "retired on paper" but still continues to work on the farm with his sons. Acreage on the farm now involves more than 3,000 acres. Emojean just retired this past year from her work with the hospital, which she had been involved with, in one job or another, from the beginning to the end.

My grandpa is a caring person who likes to tease and kid around. It is fun to have a grandpa such as he.

By, Nicholas Roy Anderson

Information from: Roy Anderson