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1943: L.G. Larson is a man with 'experiences'

Bits By Betty
Lead Summary
Betty Mann, Rock County Historian

The following article is part of the Diamond Club Member group that began in the January 7, 1943, issue of the Rock County Star Herald. Members of this group consist of persons of age 75 and older.
The following appeared in The Rock County Herald on July 8, 1943.
A man with experiences is L. G. Larson, who lives in the northwest part of Beaver Creek township. Student school teacher, store clerk and farmer, Mr. Larson can relate many interesting incidents which occurred to him during his lifetime.
Born April 20, 1868, in Hardanger, Norway, he came with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Gunder Larson, at the age of two to Ridgeway, Iowa. They lived in Iowa for six years, and then decided to come farther west to obtain some of the free land that was available to those who would homestead it. They, like most of the pioneers, came here with oxen and covered wagons, the trip requiring three weeks. There were several families in the caravan, but most of them went to the vicinity around Colton. At that time, there was no such town as Colton, and the community was only known as Skunk Creek.
His father happened to be fortunate enough to be able to buy a quarter section homestead for $50 from the late Daniel Danielson, legally described as the northeast quarter of section 12, Beaver Creek township. Mr. Larson spent his boyhood on his father’s farm, going to school when he had the opportunity.
   Difficult Years
The first years here were difficult ones for many of the early settlers and the Larson family experienced many of those pioneer days hardships. However, Mr. Larson states, his family always had something to eat, if it was nothing more than potatoes and sour milk.
Other families, however, were less fortunate. One that Mr. Larson remembers in particular came to visit them. Driving an ox-team, the husband and wife and two children drove into their farmyard, and his father knew at a glance that they had had nothing to eat for some time.
They apparently knew that the Larsons had food, and they were given something to eat. The family had a six-months-old baby, Mr. Larson recalls, that developed pneumonia. There were no doctors nearby so they summoned John R. McKisson, who had no medical training, but had served as driver for a physician. The child, by some miracle, lived.
Luverne was in its infancy when Mr. Larson was a boy. He remembers coming here with his parents to buy food and clothing, and recalls how some of the younger people in town would ride horseback to a farm west of town to play croquet.
Like other pioneer settlers, Mr. Larson experienced the great snows of the 1880’s. He speaks of the winter of 1886 and 1887 as the “great snow winter.” The storm struck on the afternoon of October 14, following a morning of drizzling rain. “Father had built a sod stable,” Mr. Larson relates, “so we managed to get all the stock inside. We fed them plenty of hay and feed, but they had no water for two days, because of the storm. There were many other similar storms that winter, and we really had a lot of snow piled around us. One thing about it, it lasted way into the spring months.
“One incident of that particular winter, I’ll never forget. One morning father, mother and I heard something thumping on the roof of our sod house. It was dark as pitch inside, and we didn’t know what in the world it could be. Father lit a candle, the only light we had in those days, and went to the west door. He tried to open it but found that a solid bank of snow was packed against it. He had a shovel, and finally broke through, and we found that it was no longer night but day and the noise we heard on the roof was made by a neighbor girl, Sophie Tollefson, who had come on barrel skis to visit us.”
This article will continue in next week’s edition of the Star Herald.
         Donations to the Rock County Historical Society can be sent to the Rock County Historical Society, 312 E. Main Street, Luverne, MN 56156.
Mann welcomes correspondence sent to

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