Sunday, December 22, 2013

Lena Jorgenson - No Ole and Lena Jokes!

Lena Jorgenson was the daughter of Ole Jorgenson, but I'm not sure if her mother was Caroline.  Lena was born in Denmark, April 10, 1858, and from Ole's obituary, he and Caroline were married November 2, 1860 in Denmark.  It's possible Lena was born out of wedlock, it's also possible Ole was married before to a woman who probably died.  Or, it's possible one of those dates is wrong. Still working on which case it is. 

The Jorgenson's came to America in 1867.  Another daughter, Hannah, was born in Denmark in 1866.  In Illinois, Ole & Caroline had 5 more children - Peter, Isabelle, Andrew, Alberta, and Walter.  My Great Grandmother Charlotte Isabelle Menke was most likely named after her Aunt Isabelle Roscoe.  More about both of them in a future post.  

In the 1880 Illinois census, Lena is living Peotone with the family of Michael Collins.  She is 20 years old and a servant, he is a Merchant of Dry Goods and is disabled.  To my knowledge, there is no connection to the Collins family.  The rest of Lena's family is living in Will Township.

Marquette, Nebraska, where I grew up, has a population of around 200 people.  There was the Methodist Church in town where I went, and a Lutheran Church about 3 miles east of town in the unincorporated Danish community of Kronborg.  Those two churches got together for summer Bible school so that there were enough kids to bother with, each church having it every other year.  When it was in Kronborg, we all learned to dance the Danish Grand March (I think that's what it was called).  All I remember about the dance is marching into the hall and winding into a big spiral, then somehow marching back out of it.  There was a little more to it.  At the time, I'm not sure if I knew I had Danish heritage. The dance was a lot of fun!

I don't know if Will & Lena danced at their wedding, but they were married for 65 years. Their children were Laura May, Cleveland Crosby, Charlotte Isabelle, Frank Edward, Oliver Bert, David Harlow, Cecil Marvin, and Charles E.  As parents they dealt with losing children to deadly diseases, mental illness and possibly special needs.  

This is not the best photoshop job, but I want to compare the two photos of William and Lena that I have side-by-side: 

What do you think?

Well, maybe one joke, it's a clean one - 
Ole was very ill, on his deathbed upstairs in his farmhouse.  He called his family to be around him.  Ole asked, "Is my wife of fifty years here, Marta are you here?"   "Yes, Ole, I am here."  came the woman's reply as she took his hand.  Ole then asked, "Is my son Peter here?"   "Yes father, I am here right beside you."  Ole then asked, "Is my daughter Lena here, too?"  "Yes Pappa, I am here."  to which Ole replied, "If everyone is up here with me, then why is the light in the kitchen still on?"  

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