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Memories of Great-Uncle Thor

and his family


I always felt a very close connection to the Heglands - "Uncle Thor & Lena" as we referred to them - because we got to know them well. 


Ellen, Lorentz's wife, was a career gal - She worked for the telegraph company in Fargo (when, can you believe, telgrams were delivered personally by young men who rode bicycles - Oof!) Both Judy (my sis) and I worked at "housework & childcare" for Ellen at one time - myself, about a year, before starting nursing school - One had to be 18 before admission and I was 17 when I finished H.S. - and did I ever need to earn money, too - $5.00 a week - but we saw a lot of and got to know the families - especially Tony & Gertrude - and Sophie Bekkerhus - noted & famous I think because of being a fabulous cook.


My Grandma (Kristi) was very fond of her nieces and nephews - especially Thor's family as they lived at McIntosh - and in the Fargo-Moorhead area - and it was possible to see them on occasion.


As for Tarje and Anne in southern MN - it was another story - Whalen MN might have been in Europe - it seems so remote - Kirsti would go and visit them and 2 of those nieces - Susie and Marie came by train to Eastedge and visited grandma.  Of course, it was exciting for us kids - and I feel now that it was a great privilege to grow up in what I now think must have been grand central station in Thordensjold township!


Great-grandmother Sissel lived on a farm near Whalen with Tarje & Anne and died in 1916 - the year I was born - at near 100, I think.


...Now to Grandma K's relationship with her McIntosh relatives - One of the things I remember (the few times Thor & Lena came to see Grandma - Thor never wanted to stay long - a night or two at most - his pat expression was "We've seen each other, everyone is OK - so what more is important?"  All in Norwegian language - I think he was an ambitious man & small talk was not a top priority - All the Hegland's were super friendly & sociable and very fine company.

Real high-lights - and I remember them so vividly and happily was when Tony (Anton) or George would come to see Aunt Kristi.  What jovial characters - Big men, Big hugs, and Big voices & much laughing.


Tony worked for Cook Sign Co. in Fargo and would occasionally have work to do in the Valley City or some area within 20 miles of our farm - We never knew when he might stop but about supper time the "Cook Sign Co" truck would drive in and he would sleep over & what fun to have him - Too bad there wasn't a recorder going - such wonderful dialogue in Norse - and the hearty laughing.

I know Grandma had a great sense of humor - She was a very special "Bestemor" as we kids called her - One of her pet expressions when she was older - in Norwegian, which I no longer remember, meant "If my strength matched my ambition there would be a lot I could do." 


Gertrude (Trudy) is the daughter of Martin Gilbertson and

granddaughter of Thor's sister Kristi (Hegland) Gilbertson.

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