Lars Kloster Madsen and Kirsten Christensen -- 51 years

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Lars Kloster Madsen and Kirsten Christensen -- 51 years.

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Long-term Lovers

Lars and Kirsten were both Thyboer, natives of Thisted County in far northwestern Jutland, where they were both born in 1831. They were married on October 11, 1857, and spent the first twenty years of marriage in their home area. Inspired by letters written home to Denmark by former neighbors who had emigrated, Lars and Kirsten and six of their eight children decided to try their luck in the New World. Upon the advice of those who had gone before, they decided to homestead in Laketon Township, in Brookings County, South Dakota. They arrived in the summer of 1878 as some of the earliest settlers, coming first to Luverne, Minnesota, by train and then traveling further west by well-laden oxcart. Lars had sold all his land and moveable goods to raise travel funds, but was still short, so the two oldest daughters were unable to come with the rest of the family. They stayed behind, working to earn their passage, and were able to rejoin the others the following year. Lars and Kirsten thrived in their new surroundings, despite the inevitable ups and downs of pioneer life and unsettled conditions. They remained on their homestead land the rest of their lives. When they celebrated their golden anniversary they had a grandchild for each year of their married life.

  • Photograph courtesy of Wendy J. Allen, Highlands Ranch CO.

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