Christopher Olsen Larson  
Stjordal, Nord Trøndelag, Norway

Christopher Olsen was born November 27, 1827 and raised in Stjordal, Nord
Trondelag, Norway, which is across the fjord from Trondheim. Stjørdal is a
kommune about 10 miles or so east of Trondheim. His parents were Lars Olsen
and Ingeborg Johnsdatter.

His father was Lars Olsen and his mother was Ingeborg Johnsdatter. They all

lived on a farm in Stjordal, Norway called The Bergstoen farm.  They were
huusmand or Cottager Farmers.  That is a kind of farmer who works for a large
landowner and just lives on the farm. 
 
When he left Stjordal he took the name Christopher Larson as his father's name
was Lars.  Christopher lived in Trondheim where he learned the trade of
Tailor.  He met and married Nikolina Nilsdatter they were married in 1857.
They were in their early 20's or 30's at the time of marriage.  Christopher
came to America in August of 1872 (Or Sept 1st 1872) he came to Moe township west of Garfield and stayed with his brother John for one year.  His family arrived in Sept. 28, 1873 and he lived in the stockade with his family . 
Nikolina crossed the ocean alone with 5 small children in 1873. The voyage
took 4 weeks, Mary Martine Larson the youngest was born 6 months after
Christopher left for America.  Nikolina came to Alexandria and secured a log
cabin in what was known as Fort Alexandria or the Stockade.  They lived there
for 5 years. Christopher worked for his nephew Lorentz Johnson in a general
store in Alexandria. 
 
Christopher's brother farmed in Moe Township and his name was John Olsen
Larson. He married Anna Gunderson they had 2 sons Gunder Johnson and Lorentz Johnson.
 
After leaving the stockade Christopher built an L shaped cabin on Johnsons
Island North of the old Alex Power Plant.  The area was a virtual wilderness.
The Larson home, hewn from logs brought into the townsite from the A.P.
Erickson farm in 1875, was only a few years younger than the Alexandria
Stockade. A.P. Erickson also assisted Christopher in building the house. The
house was finished in 1878.  The Larson family lived in a large log cabin on
Johnson's Island while the family home was being built. This was a real
island at the time.  All surrounded by water with just a small bridge.  You
could not drive with a team on it.  Christopher purchased the land from William Hicks, township founder, and his employer.  The house, only one large room, was completed in 1876 and the entire family resided there for a number of years before Mr. Larson partitioned the one large room into several smaller rooms.
 
Out of this cabin Christopher ran a shoe repair shop and and also worked as
as tailor. In later years Christopher worked as a carpenter. Christopher died
4 years later than his wife Nikolina, on Dec. 9, 1919 he died and was 92
years of age. He was buried Dec. 12, 1919 at Kinkead Cemetery. The Coroners
report indicated he died of Cancer of the Prostrate.  At Christopher's and
Nikolina's side at time of their illness and death were their 2 daughters,
Carrie and Mary Larson.
 
Over the years, the Larson estate shrunk in size.  Christopher sold one piece
of property to the Brown furniture company, once located where the city ball
park was, an another to the Great Northern railroad for track right-of-way.
 
The following was gathered from court records etc. and information written in
a Norwegian prayer book. The book was given to Miss Carrie Larson on her 34th birthday by Rev. Clifton Benson on October 7, 1912.
 
Christopher Larson was born in 1827 and raised in Stjdoral, Norway, which is
located across the fjord from Trondheim. His father's name was Lars Olson
Torsteinsen and his mother's maiden name was Ingebor Johnsdatter. upon
leaving Stjdoral he took the name Larson - being Lar's son. His original
name, however, was Christopher Larson. "Tron", "Troen" or "Trond" - which was referred to as a "place name" which was NORD-Trondelag. It was customary for those living in a certain area of Norway to take on the name of the place or area in which they lived.
 
From Stojordal, Christopher moved to Trondheim where he learned the trade of
a tailor. It was in Stordalen, however, where he met and married his wife
"Nikolina" (Niclena). Christopher and his wife were married in 1857.
Christopher was 30 years old and Nicolina was 24 years old at the time of
their marriage.
 
Nicolina was born on March 13, 1833 in Stordalen, Norway.  Her father's name
was Nels Rade or Rode, her mother's maiden name was Christine Berg. It was in
Trondheim where Nicolina learned her trade as a weaver.
 
Christopher Larson came to America in August of 1872. He came directly to Moe Township west of Garfield, Minnesota and stayed with his brother John Larson. He also stayed with friends and relatives who had immigrated from the same region of Norway. He stayed in this area until his family arrived on
September 28, 1873.
 
Nicolina crossed the ocean alone with five small children in the year 1873.
The voyage was four weeks. Mary "Martine" Larson, the youngest of the five
children was born six months after Christopher left for America. Nicolina and
the children went directly to Moe township and then to Alexandria, Minnesota.
Arriving in Alexandria, they secured a log cabin in what was known as Fort
Alexandria or the Alexandria Stockade. They lived there approximately five
years.
 
Near this time, Christopher Larson worked for his nephew, Lorentz Johnson who
was a son of John Larson in a general store in Alexandria. If this account is
accurate, Christopher had one brother living in Alexandria at the time of his
arrival. Christopher's brother farmed in Moe Township. His name was John
Larson and he was married to Anna Gunder. They had two sons --Gunder Johnson and Lorentz Johnson. Christopher stayed with them for a short time after his arrival in Alexandria.
 
After leaving the Stockade, Christopher Larson built an L shaped cabin on
Johnson's Island, north of the present site of the Alexandria light and power
plant. The area surrounding the island was described as a virtual
"wilderness". It was out of this L shaped cabin that Christopher ran a shoe
repair shop and may have also worked as a tailor. It was very common in those
days for men to work two or three different jobs to support and provide for
their families.
 
In the later years, Christopher supported his family as a carpenter.
Christopher Larson was preceded in death by his wife Nicolina. The following
is an obituary from the Alexandria newspaper regarding Nicolina Larson, on
Monday January 25, 1915, 10:00 A.M. occurred the death of one of Alexandria's oldest and highly respected citizens. When Mrs. Nicolina Larson passed to her reward at the home of her daughters Carrie and Mary Larson. Although nearly 82 years of age she had been quite well, keeping up her home until nine weeks before her death. Then not feeling as well as usual, she decided to stay with her daughter for the winter.
 
Mrs. Nicolina Larson was born in Trondheim (perhaps Stjordal) March 13, 1833. She was married there to Christopher Larson and came to America in 1873 coming to Alexandria at once, where she lived in the Stockade.
 
Mr. Christopher Larson had preceded her here and she crossed the ocean alone
with her five small children. Six children, born to the union. Three boys -
Lawrence, John and Louis and three girls - Mrs. C.J. Nettie Hallquist,
Carrie, and Mary all lived in Alexandria. There are seven grandchildren and
two great grandchildren.
 
The funeral was held January 27, 1915 at the Norwegian Lutheran Church,
Reverend Benson officiating. The pallbearers were John Carlson, Hans Paulson,
H. Halvorson, A.J. Brandt, Chas Malmquist and E.O. Unumb. The floral
offerings were many and beautiful.
 
Mrs. Nicolina Larson was very devoted to her home, seldom going out. She was
strong in her Christian faith and one of her last prayers was for world
peace. Another strong desire of hers was for the prohibition of liquor
traffic, which has dealt a blow worse than war in thousands of homes.
 
Christopher Larson died almost four years later on Thursday, December 9th,
1919 at 5:00 P.M. and was buried December 12, 1919 in Kinkead Cemetery. 

 

***Just a note regarding Kinkead Cemetery:  Politicians buried here include
Knute Nelson (2/2/1843 - 4/28/1923), US Representative in 1883-89, Governor of Minnesota from 1893-95 and US Senator in 1895-1923; and Henrik Shipstead (1881-1960), mayor of Alexandria, member of the Minnesota legislature, and US Senator from 1923-47.
 
Christopher was 92 years of age at the time of his death. The Coroner's
report indicated that he died of cancer of the prostrate. At Christopher and
Nicolina's side constantly in the time of illness and eventual death were
their two daughters, Carrie and Mary Larson.
 
Article from CITIZEN NEWS Dated December 11, 1919
CHRISTOPHER LARSON DIES
 
Christopher Larson, a resident of this city for the past forty-eight years
about, died Tuesday evening after a week's illness at the age of ninety-two
years.
 
Mr. Larson had been making his home with his daughters, Misses Carrie and
Mary, and it was there that death claimed him.
Funeral services, conducted by Rev. A.T. Tjornhom, will be held tomorrow,
Friday, afternoon at Anderson's Chapel.  Interment will take place in Kinkead
cemetery.
 
Mr. Larson was an old and faithful member of the Norwegian Lutheran church of
this city.  His death means the loss of a man of strong Christian character.
 
Deceased was born in Tondhjem, Norway, in 1827.  In 1857, he was married to
Nickolina Rodder, who passed away five years ago this January.  with his
family he emigrated to this country in 1872, coming directly to Alexandria,
where he settled in the old stockade.
 
Six children were born to Mr. and Mrs Larson.  One of them, Lawrence, died
two years ago.  The five surviving are John, Louis, Mrs. C.J. Halquist, and
Misses Carrie and Mary.  Seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren also
survive him.  Mr. Larson was the last of a large family to leave this world.
 
Karin (Carrie) Johanna Larson was born October 7, 1868 in Trondheim, Norway. She came to America in 1873 at the age of four years. She was confirmed by Reverend Stanstad, February 17, 1884.  Carrie and her sister Mary Larson were very instrumental in providing medical care to the residents of Alexandria and Douglas County. They began the first hospital in Alexandria. Her sister Martina (Mary) Larson was also born in Trondheim, Norway, February 4, 1873. She came to America at the age of eight months.
 
The following information came from a live radio broadcast in 1954 entitled
"An Orchid for You".  Carrie was described as embodying the essence of
Christian Charity. Carrie lived in the Alexandria Stockade until she was five
or six years old. Then she and her family moved into an "L " shaped cabin to
the west of the present day power plant. When she became ten years old, she
and her family moved to their new home on the present site of the power
plant. Carrie helped with household chores and attended school until she was
fourteen years of age. Somewhat later, she and her sister, Mary, became
practicing mid-wive's. When Carrie was approximately eleven years old, she
and her family moved to Evansville, Minnesota. It was then that she was
confirmed in the Norwegian Lutheran church. After spending several years in
Evansville, Carrie and her family moved back to Alexandria.
 
Carrie Larson was constantly called upon by area Alexandria physicians to
assist in major operations and the care of the sick. After working in Nursing
for several years, she and her sister Mary, lived for a brief time in
Minneapolis, Minnesota and then returned to Alexandria. It was after
returning from Minneapolis that Carrie and her sister Mary began operating
the first hospital in Alexandria, which eventually became St. Lukes. Carrie
operated the hospital for two years and then sold it to Dr. Boyd. Carrie
worked in the hospital in Alexandria until 1905 but then continued her
nursing duties long beyond that time. Carrie and Mary for a time owned and
operated a Hotel in Osakis and also ran a rooming house on Hawthorne Street.
Carrie worked at both the Alexandria Hotel and the Geneva Beach Hotel. She
was a cook for 18 summers at the Geneva Beach Hotel.
 
Carrie used her nursing abilities to care for her father, mother, and brother
as they were dying. She never refused anyone in the community who was in need
of nursing care. At 86 years old, Carrie Larson was still bright and alert at
the time this recording was made. In 1964, at the age of 95, Carrie entered
the Pelican Lake Rest home in Ashby, Minnesota. It was there on February 23,
1966 at the age of 97 year and 4 months the Carrie passed away.
 
Johan or (John) Larson was the second oldest Larson child. He was born in
Stjordal, Norway. In the later years he lived together with his younger
brother Lou. for many years in a small house on Fillmore Avenue, south of the
light plant in Alexandria, Minnesota. John and his brother Lou were confirmed
bachelors and never married. They were both regarded as "Good Natured" and
like their brother Lawrence, worked for the Great Northern Railroad. John
died quite tragically at the age of 77 in 1938. He was found in a shallow
Bass pond on Lake Winona and was presumed drowned. He had been missed for almost five days when his body was spotted by Clarence Larson's son, Milo,
from his upstairs bedroom window. His mother Minnie Larson was sewing and
Milo said "I think that's Uncle John" He had apparently died of a heart
attack or had suffocated. The night of his death, he stopped by the light
plant to visit with his employees and apparently may have taken the wrong
path home,.
 
Antoniette or (Nette) Larson whose married name became Halquist was born
February 14, 1863 in Trondheim , Norway. She died Friday, June 16, 1933 at
8:15 A.M.
 
Martina (Mary) Larson, the fourth Larson child was born in Trondheim,
February 4, 1873. She came to America September 28, 1873. She lived with her
sister in a two story stucco house. She, like her sister never married. She
and Carrie helped found Alexandria's first hospital. She died June 30, 1941.
 
Larits (Louis) Larson, the sixth and youngest Larson child was born January
19, 1875 in the Stockade in Alexandria. He lived most of his adult life in
Alexandria with his brother John on Fillmore. He died at the age of 71 in
1946.
 
Lorentz (Lawrence) Larson, the oldest child in the Larson family. He was born
on April 8, 1857 in Stjordal, Norway. He met and married Caroline Jane
Osmundson, possibly while visiting relatives in the Hoffman, Minnesota area.
After their marriage, he helped operated her father's farm on Elk Lake near
Hoffman, Minnesota. In fact, Gudmund Osmondson is credited with having named Elk Lake. Lawrence Larson later recounted how one early morning his father in law looked out at the lake and spotted an Elk standing out on the lake.
Hence, from then on the Lake became known as Elk Lake. A severe drought
lasting several years hit the area. Lawrence and the Osmundson family lost
the farm on Elk Lake. Lawrence and his family then moved to Alexandria on
Johnson's Island and lived with his parents Christopher and Nicolina for a
time.
 
He then built a house for himself and his family on Johnson's Island in the
same area as his parents house. He constructed a plain white two story house,
a barn and a shanty right near Lake Winona. At the time of the construction,
there was no highway dividing the Lake as there is today.
 
Lawrence (Lorentz) worked for the Great Northern Railroad as a section
crewman. But he undoubtedly worked other side jobs to support his wife and
three children named Olga, Eddie, Clarence (Olga Charolette Larson, Edward G.
Larson, Clarence Nilbert Larson). Eddie, the oldest child was born in 1885,
Clarence, was the middle child born August 3, 1887, Olga, the youngest, was
born July 28, 1891.
 
Lorentz worked for the railroad up until the very time of his tragic death.
He was born on April 8, 1858 and died November 21, 1917. He was 15 years old when he arrived in America. He was killed at age 60 suddenly on a section of
tracks 4 miles Northwest of Alexandria - possibly near Lake Brophy. Lawrence
was one of a section crew working on a portion of railroad when a violent
rain , hail and wind storm was so violent that the train could not be seen
nor heard. Lawrence's brother Lou was with him at the time of his death. He
indicted that Lawrence had sought shelter, and then had crossed the tracks to
retrieve his coat.
 
Caroline Jane (Osmundson) Larson, wife of Lawrence was born in 1863. (The following information was obtained from church records near Nerstrand,
Norway). Her parents immigrated from Nerstrand, Norway. Her father's name was Gudmund Osmundsen. He was born March 20, 1822, the oldest of three children. Her father had a sister Maren Osmundsen born February 24, 1824, and a brother Osmund Osmundsen born March 31, 1826. Gudmund's father's name was Osmund Osmundsen and his mother's name was Astri Gunmundsdatter Osmundsen.
 
Caroline's father immigrated to Grant County near Hoffman, Minnesota and
homesteaded on Elk Lake. His brother Osmund settled in Southern Minnesota
near Nerstrand. Osmund was one of the founders of St. Olaf College. (He also
took part in the California gold rush) His sister Maren may have settled in
Wisconsin.
 
Caroline possibly must have been about 21 years of age when she and Lawrence
wed. She was living on a farm on Elk Lake and they may have met through
relatives. Lawrence was approximately 27 years old when they married.

Submitted by Carolyn Jane Larson (great great grandaughter)

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13 Aug 2001 10:40 AM

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