Margrethe Laursen Johnson Jordahl'sFamily

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Margrethe “Gertie” Laursen.

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G is for Generations

Margrethe “Gertie” Laursen (1884-1968) was born in Løsning, Vejle Co., Denmark, and came to the U.S. at the age of 19. After working as a domestic servant in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Sioux City, Iowa, she married Julius Johnson (1885-1920). They farmed near Moorhead, Iowa, and had three children, Emil, Orlo and Lucille Johnson. After Julius’ death Gertie was unable to keep the farm and worked out as a housekeeper. In 1926 she answered an ad in Decorah Posten to keep house for a recently-widowed Norwegian farmer with six motherless children, and married Steinar L. Jordahl in Bismarck, North Dakota shortly thereafter. After living on the homestead farm for 8 years the family returned to Monona County, Iowa, where Gertie’s daughter Lucille Johnson married S. L.’s son Kenmar L. “Ken” Jordahl in 1935. Lucille in turn had a daughter, JoAnn Jordahl Kleber (2nd from right), shown here holding her first child, Karen Jo Kleber, at the time of her baptism in Oyens, Iowa, in 1961.

  • The Laursen-Johnson family.Photograph courtesy of JoAnn Kleber.

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