Hans Larsen and Margrethe Pedersen -- 60 years

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Hans Larsen and Margrethe Pedersen -- 60 years.

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Hans Larsen was born in 1853 and Margrethe the following year. Hans was the eldest child in his family. When his father died the family farm was divided up, but Hans decided to take money instead of land and emigrate. Times were hard in Denmark and goods manufactured in America were making domestically produced products worthless in Denmark. Things were even more difficult for Margrethe, whose father was a fisherman. She cleaned and sold fish for a living. They both emigrated from Dreslette parish on the island of Funen in the fall of 1881, accompanied by Margrethe’s two sisters. A third sister had already immigrated to Chicago, so that became the group’s destination. Three months later Hans and Margrethe were married in Trinity Lutheran Church by Pastor A. S. Nielsen. They were “holy Danes,” members of the Inner Mission movement in Denmark. Holy Danes were not supposed to drink, smoke, play cards or dance, whereas the Grundvigians or “happy Danes” could do these things. ~~ Following their wedding the couple went by train from Chicago to Spencer, Iowa, where Hans found employment on the farm of a cousin, Anders Larsen. Over the years he purchased 258 acres of land. Many Danes lived in Meadow Township and used the Meadow Township #8 school for church meetings. Later, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church was built across from the school, financed by dinners, pie socials, and raising cattle. ~~ Hans and Margrethe had seven children: Lauritz, Margaret, Carl, Edna, Cora, Thorvald and Esther. They are both buried in Clay County, Iowa.