Elef Helgemoe
Trondheim, Sør-Trøndelag, Norway

 

Elef Helgemoe was born in Trondheim on June 15, 1847, to Mr. and Mrs. Ole Helgemoe. At 15, his father died. He learned carpentry, which was his trade in Yellow Medicine County in Minnesota.

Two years after coming to America, his mother, Gunhild came and took adjoining homestead claim. She died in 1911 at age of 93. They lived in Benson, Minnesota before coming to Canby. He met Betsey Olson in Benson. She was born in Leksviken, Norway on October 4, 1842.

Elef and Betsey were married on May 16, 1877, and settled on the homestead in Norman Township four and a half miles southwest of Canby. They had 120 acres.

Elef also continued his carpentry work. He did not have an education but learned by reading each night by candle light and kerosene lamp after supper and chores were done,

There are houses in Canby that Elef helped to build. He also built caskets for families of his friends and neighbors.

Betsey was a good homemaker. She baked, cooked, churned butter and took care of her four children. They stayed home and worked the farm while Elef was doing carpentry.

They had fear of prairie fires and often the native Americans would stop by for food.

They raised a lot of cattle on the prairie, and Elef hauled a lot of rocks to Canby to make a stone fence around the yard. The great house, known as the Lund Hoel Home in Canby is surrounded by a stone fence. He helped build the churches in Canby.

Elef and Betsey had three daughters and one son; namely, Gyda (Mrs. Adam Karpinski), Alvina (Mrs.A.A. McDonnell). Julia (Mrs. Ray Summers). and Edward.

Elef and Betsey remained on the farm. Elef passed away in 1917. The family are buried in the Canby Cemetery.

 

Contributed by Ardell Drube

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01 Jan 2004 11:39 AM

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