Ole Larson's Folks

Family History by George Larson

With Myers, Moen, Drayer, Colby, Samuelson, Sprung, and others

Featured articles below. Also, be sure to visit the Family Tree

About halfway between Onawa and Oskaloosa (my primary interest in this post) lies the town of Carroll, IA. Carroll is the burial place of Thiel’s great-grandparents, Philip Beechel (1849-1922) and Mary Eleanor Mohler (Beechel). Philip was born in Alsace-Lorraine, a region of eastern France where most residents spoke (and still speak) German. Presumably, his family were German speakers, as his wife was part of a long line of “German Baptist Brethren” from the Pennsylvania Dutch country, dating back to about 1700. See this…

A loop through western and central Iowa rounded out my 2014 mini-journey. The city of Onawa, south of Sioux City on the Missouri River, was the home of my great-grandparents Stephen B Myers (1848-1917) and Helen (Colby) Myers. Stephen Myers was a long-time official of Monona County, and may well have worked in the county courthouse, from the time it was built (1892) until his retirement. The building was renovated in the 1990s. On visiting the public library, I was told by a librarian…

I was just launching into the Marte Forbrigd-Bø story when Thiel and I took another of our Amtrak excursions to see our grandchildren in Dubuque, Iowa. Similar to last year, I extended my own version of the trip to include some family-history exploration. This time, we took a different Amtrak route, the California Zephyr, which runs from the San Francisco Bay area to Chicago, by way of Salt Lake City and Denver. On the return trip, I stopped off in Lincoln, Nebraska, while…

Marte Bø, Chapter 12 To read Marte’s story from the beginning, click here. Why bring this up? None of our three twentieth-century sources even hint that seventeenth-century witch hysteria had any bearing on the deaths at Huskelien, much less those at Gallows Hill. There was apparently no mention of it in any of the documents, nor even in the folklore collected by our source authors. Or perhaps the authors, with their own modern biases, considered folklore on this topic unworthy of recording. In Europe as…

Marte Bø, Chapter 11 To read Marte’s story from the beginning, click here. As every mystery fan knows, a criminal needs three things: motive, means, and opportunity. In our 1694 “murder mystery,” opportunity was hardly an issue. Who could be more vulnerable than an old spinster, living alone in a small clearing, deep in the woods? The means are less clear. What power did Marte have over her son, that she could incite him to commit cold-blooded murder, of his own godmother, no less…

1 2 3 4 5 6 59