Paul and Pauline (Lystne) Flaa
Stjordalen, Norway


Paul Flaa was born in Goodbue County, Minnesota, and came to Norman County in early 1880's in his childhood. He was confirmed in the Ness Lutheran Church and grew to manhood in the Waukon vicinity. As a young man he was a street car conductor in Saint Paul, Minnesota, for a brief period, and also worked in a lumber camp. Returning to Norman County, he found and courted Pauline Lystne who was born in Grand Meadow, Mower County, Minnesota, and came as a little girl to Sundahl Township by way of train to Gary. She was also confirmed in the Ness Lutheran Church.

Paul and Pauline were married in the Ness Church, July 27, 1905. They farmed in Waukon Township until 1908, when they moved into Gary. There they bought a small four room house, known then as the Wickum house. This was their home the rest of their lives.

In 1908 Paul was appointed, by the U S Civil Service Commission, as rural mail carrier out of Gary on route no. 3. He started carrying mail bags on horse back and often had to walk many miles. Later he got a small horse drawn covered wagon for the summertime, and in the winter, he had a canvass covered sled with a tiny stove to keep him warm. Mail deliveries at that time took eight hours to deliver on thirty-two mile routes. No matter what the weather, rain or shine, snow or blizzard, "The mail must be delivered" was always his motto. His first car, a Maxwell, for delivering mail came about 1916. Horses were still used in the winter time changing teams half way through his route. In the mid 1930's he used a snowmobile with caterpillar type tracks on the rear wheels and skis on the front wheels of a model A Ford when roads were too bad for other travel. Not until the late 1 930's was the regular car used the year around.

Paul's winter hobbies were wood working, carving, and whittling. He cut and dried his own birch stumps for carving spoons, candleholders, vases and lamps. He also made many spinning wheels, tables, chairs, and other  furniture. Pauline's hobbies were quilt making, knitting, crocheting and sewing. In the summer, their vegetable garden and flowers were their pride and joy.

For a short time in 1916-1917, Paul owned and operated a harness shop which he bought from Hans Rust, but later sold to H. O. Sletager. A restaurant was another venture Paul entered into with Carl Eid and Arne Elleraas for a brief period.

What fun it was to go visiting in those olden days, bundled up in blankets, heated rocks to keep the feet warm, sleighbells jingling as we skimmed over the snow in the cutter or going camping and fishing, or blue berrying in the summer—up hills and down, often having to get out and help the model T up a hill or out of a mud puddle!

Paul and Pauline Flaa had five children. Four of whom found their mates in Norman County.

Mrs. Lloyd (Louise) Nereson married a son of Nere Nereson's, Gary now of Thief River Falls, Minnesota.

Gladwin Luella— lived one day.

Mrs. Mandez (Inez) Thordal married a son of Oscar Thordal's, Gary.

Mrs. Ernest (Vernice) Danielson married a son of Oscar Danielson's, Twin Vailey, now of Grand Rapids, Minnesota.

Francis A. Flaa married Jeannine Anderson, daughter of T. M. Anderson, Gary. now of East Grand Forks.

Two nieces of Pauline Flaa's were also reared in their home. They are:

Marit Lystne Petrakis, South Pasadena, California and

Geneva Lystne Jacobson, Elgin, North Dakota

Norman County History Book


Contributed by Margit Bakke

BACK to Emigrant Biographies Index

25 Nov 2003 03:32 PM

Copyright © 2003 Linda K. Schwartz
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.