Jørgen ”George” Johansen Damm and Madsine Madsen -- 51 years
Jørgen ”George” Johansen Damm and Madsine Madsen -- 51 years.
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Jørgen was born in the Danish province of Slesvig. When he was twelve his home area became part of Germany after Denmark lost the Dano-Prussian War of 1864. A few years later the Germans requisitioned a team of horses, a wagon and a driver from each farm to haul army supplies for another conflict between Germany and Austria. Not wanting to be in the German army, Jørgen left for Denmark, got a job on a ship and worked his way to America, where he arrived in 1871, making his way from St. Louis, to Iowa, and then to Yankton, South Dakota. Madsine came from Thisted County, on the opposite end of Jutland, rejoining her parents and siblings in Kingsbury County in 1879. She and Jørgen married the following year in a double wedding with her sister, Marie. They took up residence in a sod shanty on homestead land on which Jørgen had filed the previous year. Their first years were hard, since they experienced the snowy winters of ’80 and ’81, but they managed to prosper. The shanty gave way to a timber home with all the conveniences which were then available. They became the parents of 9 children, all of whom lived to celebrate their parents’ golden anniversary in 1930.