The Scheie family




Most of the following account of the Scheie family is based on the research of others: Sunniva

Scheie Aaseng wrote a remembrance of her childhood. Johanna Scheie wrote about her

grandparents. Agnes Scheie kept a record of vital family facts: dates of births, marriages, deaths

and jobs.

Paul Scheie visited the area in Norway where our Scheie and Fosmark ancestors came from and

wrote a booklet about them in 1988. I have borrowed generously from that booklet and perhaps

even more from a voluminous e-mail correspondence with Paul in recent years.


David L. Scheie

July, 2005

























The Scheie history


The earliest known members of the family came from Gudbrandsdalen (Gudbrands Valley) in the

Norwegian fylke or county of Oppland. The area lies along the Lagen River and rises gradually

toward the mountains to the north and east. It is about 120 miles north of Oslo.



Until 2003, our earliest known Scheie ancestors were Mari Pedersdatter,

born 1747, and her husband Ole Torgersen, born 1754. Although the

records of our branch of the family, the descendants of Iver Olsen Scheie,

contained only the years of their births, those of the Lodver Olsen Scheie

(Louis Schye) family indicated that Ole Torgersen was born on August 10

of that year. Both records showed that he was born in Larsok, a place

we could not find on any map.


But we discovered that Larsok was not a place but a date and that date

was August 10 which was St. Lars’s (or St. Lawrence’s) Day, the day

of his death.

We learned that the occasion was observed at the historic Ringebu

Stavkirke or stave church. It is one of two such churches in Norway

dedicated to St. Lars.


Then Paul Scheie found a record of an Ole Torgersen baptized at the Ringebu

church September 15, 1754. His parents were Torger Pedersen Holt

and Anne Povelsdatter.


He could not find a nearby site called Holt but did find a Torger Pedersen baptized at Ringebu July 3, 1713.

Torger’s parents were Peder Torgiersen and Goro Ingebretsdatter.



To understand Norwegian genealogy, one must understand the Norway’s patronymic naming

system which was followed until the twentieth century.


An oldest son’s first name was usually that of his paternal grandfather. An oldest daughter’s

first name was that of her paternal grandmother. A second son was named after his maternal

grandfather and a second daughter after her maternal grandmother. The rules are less strict for

later children, but family names are often used.

A child’s second name would specify his or her father. Thus, Ole Torgersen was the son of

Torger; Mari Pedersdatter was the daughter of Peder.

The third name would indicate an address. Torger Pedersen Holt was the son of Peder and lived

at Holt. If the family moved, that third name would change.

(For a more complete discussion of this issue, see Norwegian naming practices.


As for the suffixes to male names, Norwegian records almost always use “sen” to mean son.

When they came to American, most Norwegians used “son.”)


So, as of now, we believe our earliest Scheie ancestors were Peder Torgiersen and Goro

Ingebretsdatter, born sometime late in the 17th century.

They were the parents of Torger Pedersen Holt, probably born in 1713. Torger married Anne

Povelsdatter and they had a son, Ole Torgersen, born August 10, 1754.


Until 2007, family records agreed that Ole Torgersen and Mari Pedersdatter became parents of son

Ole and that he was born on March 27, 1791. But then it was noted that his gravestone, near

St. Peter, Minnesota, showed his birth date as September 29, 1791. We feel that the latter date,

almost surely specified by his widow and daughter, is more likely correct.

We may also wonder why was he known as Ole Lodversen rather than Ole Olsen when his

father’s name was Ole? Why did he change his name? Where did the “Lodver” come from?

We may never know for sure, but we have some hints.


The 1801 Norwegian census shows a Lodver Olsen, born in 1766, and his wife, Anne

Davidsdatter, living on the Steig farm near Hundorp west of Ringebu and north of the Lagen

River in an area known as Froen or, later, as Sor-Fron. Among their family was a ten year old

son Ole (therefore born probably in 1791) and three younger children: Iver, 4; Joen,2; and Kari, 8

That same census shows an Ole Torgersen was a hired hand on another farm in South Fron and

Mari Pedersdatter was a servant on that farm. They are not shown to have any children living

with them.

hundorplagenrvr2.jpg                                  The Lagen valley near Hundorp

















It is possible that Ole and Mari were for some reason unable to raise their son, that he went to live

with Lodver and Anne, and took his name from the latter couple, becoming Ole Lodversen.

We are aware of at least two other instances in which a son changed his patronymic name from

one designating his birth father to another naming the man who raised him.






















The Steig farm, east-northeast of Hundorp, was a large estate which dates back at least to the

time of St. Olav (995-1030) in the Viking era and perhaps as early as 800. The Skeie farm was a

subdivision of the Steig estate and it lies near the top of a low mountain or large hill


Norway has at least 18 places named Skeie and the 1865 census shows 522 people living at those

farms, most of them in Rogaland, near Stavanger. Oppland has the least.


            Province                     Number

            Rogaland                    237

            Hordaland                   169

            Vest-Agder                  88

            Telemark                     39

            Oppland                      19


The name Skeie is believed to be based on the Old Norse word "skeid" which means a strip of

land suitable for horse racing, often located near ancient pagan worship grounds. Some scholars

suggest that the horses may have been raced on and around fields during spring fertility rites each

year. In later times, it meant a road or track between fields and not necessarily used for racing.


The name was spelled several ways: Skeie, Schjeie, Skjeie, Scheie and there were probably other

variations. All are pronounced the same: preferably SHEH-ee-eh or sometimes SHAY-a.


The Skeie farm we are concerned with is sub-divided into Norskeie (North Skeie) and Sorskeie

(South Skeie). The buildings are only a few hundred yards apart.

skeiesor.gif                               Sor Skeie
skeienor.gif                             Nor Skeie


Ole Lodversen and his family lived on Sor Skeie and, according to one account, his parents on

Nor Skeie. Iver's smallpox vaccination certificate in 1849 gives his name/address as Sorskjeie. A

reported church record of Mari's wedding gives her address as Steigskeie.


Ole Lodversen, was recorded in the Norwegian census of 1865 as a husmann med jord, that is, a

cotter or one who was given the use of a house and some land usually on the edge of a large farm

owned by a bonde or selveier.


In 1723, the estate had three farmers; in 1801 it had nine and in 1865, about the time our

ancestors left for America, there were twelve. In that last year, the two Skeie farms also had one

horse, fourteen cattle and 26 sheep.

The increase in those numbers may have been made possible by clearing trees from the land. It

also reflects the population growth and related land shortage in rural Norway that prompted so

many to leave.


During the 19th century, the number of husmenn grew so that many of them could not find good

land. This became a major inducement to emigration.


For more on types and names of Norwegian farms and farmers,

see Norwegian naming practices.


One June 3, 1829, Ole Lodversen married Anne Halvorsdatter whose name is sometimes given as

Anne Halvorsdatter Segelstad (or Sejelstad or Seggelstad) which indicates she came from a farm

or that name about two miles west of the Skeie farm (see map, p. 4); the 1865 census shows her

coming from Ringebu parish. Anne was born on March 7, 1807.


Ole and Anne had eight children:


                                                 Birth date                                 Christened

Mari Olsdatter                        June 27, 1830                          August 1, 1830

Anna Olsdatter                       February 2, 1833                     March 3, 1833

Marit Olsdatter                       October 5, 1835                       October 11, 1835

Ole Olsen                                September 8, 1838                   October 14, 1838

Lodver Olsen                          September 27, 1841                 October 3, 1841

Hans Olsen                             September 20, 1844                 September 29, 1844

Iver Olsen                               December 31, 1847                 January 16, 1848

Anne (or Ahne) Olsdatter       April 18, 1851                         May 4, 1851


My grandfather Iver was confirmed in the Sor Froen church on June 22, 1862.


Little is known of their life on the farm, but Iver is quoted by daughter Sunniva as saying his

childhood was a dreary time. Grant Olson indirectly quotes his grandmother Mari Olsdatter

Holen as saying the family was very devout.


From Norway to America

The family's emigration to the United States began in April, 1856, when Mari, the oldest, left with

her husband Ole Paulsen Holen. They had married June 1, 1852, and had a daughter in 1853..

Family records show her name was Anna; the 1860 census shows it as Rønnøg. When they

arrived in America in 1856, Ole was 34, Mari was 22 and Anna (or Rønnog) was

3½. They settled near Westby in Vernon (then Bad Axe) County, Wisconsin.


A year later, in 1857, Anna Olsdatter, the second oldest child, her husband Ole Hansen Skeie and

their two year old son left along with her younger sister Marit Olsdatter. We have no more

information about them.


The bygdebok, a Norwegian historical record of an area, says Marit was

Ole's sister, but Paul believes that is an error. Ole was apparently from

another of the families living at the Skeie farm.


The family's emigration was suspended after 1857, then resumed following the American Civil

War. Before 1870, most Norwegians came to America by sailing ship. The cost was usually

between fifteen and thirty dollars. But steamers came into use during the 1850s, made safer and

quicker crossings and also provided food en route. Still, the cost was about three times that

charged by a sailing ship. During this time, many Norwegians sailed from Norway to Hull,

England, where they took a train to Liverpool, then boarded a steamer for the U. S.


After 1855, nearly all Norwegian immigrants disembarked in Quebec rather than New York.

There were several reasons for the change. One was the revocation of the British Navigation Act

in 1849 which made it easier for ships to carry cargo from Canada on the return trip to Europe.

Another was that Quebec authorities were not so particular about the number of passengers

carried on a ship.

Norwegian emigration to America virtually halted during the Civil War, then surged. The first of

the three largest waves of Norway-to-America emigration ran from 1866 to 1874.

Among the emigrants of 1866 were Ole Olsen Skeie, then 27, his wife, Anne Jakobsdatter, 25,

and their son Ole, born in 1864. We know nothing further about them.

chapman.jpg                       The bark “Chapman”


The following year, the parents--Ole Lodversen, then

75 years old, his wife Anne, 60--and their three youngest children--Hans, 23; Iver, 20 and Anne, 16–left for

America. They departed from Christiania (Oslo) on

July 3 on the sailing ship Chapman under a Captain

Bjonness or Bjorness and arrived in Quebec August 27.

Their 56-day voyage was slightly longer than the average

of 53 days.


On the Chapman’s passenger list, the family is recorded under the

name “Ole Lodversen Scheie.” That is one of the first times we have

seen that spelling used for what became the family name. It also

indicates they had chosen that to be their American name before they

left Norway.


All Norwegian immigrants had to decide between their patronymic and their place names when

they became Americans. Our family chose the place name; otherwise our name would be


The spelling of our name might not have been entirely settled before the voyage, however. The

name on the trunk Iver used to hold his belongings on the trek to America was “I. O. Schjeie;”

Paul still has that trunk. Iver used that same spelling when applying for citizenship in 1869.


According to his citizenship application Iver, and presumably the entire family, entered the United

Stations on September 20,1867. What the family did during the twenty-three days between

arriving in Quebec August 27 and entering the United States, probably at Chicago, on September

20 we do not know.


Neither is it clear why they came, but it’s likely that they, like so many nineteenth century rural

Norwegians, felt the pressure of over-population and land shortage and saw greater opportunity

in the New World. Particularly since they were tenant farmers and not landowners, they would

have had limited prospects of a better economic life in Norway.

Nor do we know whether their immigration was a planned, step-by-step process or if glowing

reports from earlier immigrants, including their children, persuaded Ole, Anne and their remaining

children to follow.

Since Ole was 75 when he immigrated and did not apparently seek homestead land, it seems likely

that he and Anne came to America mainly because they felt it would be best for them all–and it

would at least afford the chance of their children being together..


We don’t know when Lodver Olsen emigrated, but it was sometime between May, 1867, and

July, 1870. Lodver had married Paulina Martina Christensen (born December 7, 1838) in Norway

in about 1866. According to the 1880 U. S. Census, their first child, Ole Anton, was born in

Norway on May 18, 1867, and their second, Anna Christiana, was born in America on July 5,


Lodver changed his name to Louis Schye on arriving in America. Virginia Schye said his descendants believe

immigration officials in Baltimore came up with the Schye spelling.

Louis and Paulina settled in the Chicago area where he worked as a shoemaker.


For an account of the Louis Schye descendants, see section at the end of the

Scheie history.


Settling in America

Once in the United States, the family members went separate ways. As we noted, Mari and

husband Ole Holen had settled near Westby, Wisconsin.

Marit married Iver Christensen Hovland, a native of Faaberg in Gudbrandsdalen, Norway, and

homesteaded near St. Peter, Minnesota.

We don't know what happened to Anna and her husband Ole Hanson Skeie.

maritschhovland2a.jpg             Marit Scheie Hovland


Hans is believe to have settled with Ole and Lodver in Chicago soon after

arriving in America and, like them, changed his name to Schye. Other than that we know nothing more about him although he reportedly remained a bachelor.


Ole Lodversen Scheie and his family eventually joined daughter Marit and husband Iver Hovland in Minnesota.. But since Ole was not listed among members of the Nicollet Norwegian Lutheran Church (since 1958 Norseland Lutheran Church) in 1868 (Iver Hovland is), it is quite possible they spent a year or more elsewhere, possibly with daughter Mari and Ole Holen near Westby, Wisconsin.


Contributing to this impression is a letter Iver sent to his parents in 1868 from LaCrosse, 25 miles northwest of Westby, where he and Anne had obtained work.


Dear Parents,

I must send you some news again, and I can tell that I have received

a letter from sister Marit and I. C. Hovland and they are all healthy and living as usual, and they

said they had increased their family with a son who was born in July and he is

healthy and active and is growing fast and further they say they had a good year

but they did not manage to say how large the harvest was. He explains that he has

bought 40 (acres?). The land has lain fallow and he thinks how he can pay for it

with the crop for this year? And they asked me what they should do with the

money from it if you don't need it immediately. So he really wishes to know

whether they can keep the money this winter? But in case you want it he will send

it immediately.

Concerning Ana and I, we are both healthy and are managing well. I earn on the

average $1½ per day and I hope it will continue this winter. I hope you send my


Ana now is at the same place and is managing well, and she has now received her

pay from the Fleishers where she was before she traveled up here.

From Hans and Lodver I have had no news for a month and then Hans was well


I wrote a letter to you a while ago which I hope you have received. How long ago

I cannot remember but it was since Ana came here again.


Since the Holens are listed in the 1870 census at Westby and the Scheies are not, we suspect they

moved to the St. Peter, Minnesota, area about 1869. As we noted, Iver applied for U. S.

citizenship at Alexandria, Minnesota, in that year.

Clearly, they had moved by 1871 when Iver enrolled at Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, since he

then gave his address then as Mankato, Minnesota, which is close to St. Peter. That may have

been his parents’ mailing address--or perhaps they had moved a time or two within the area.


Iver as a young man

iver@20a.jpg   Iver Scheie


Iver Scheie, as he then spelled his name, remained a student at Luther

for three years, until 1874. Like most of his classmates, including those who

went on to the seminary, he did not earn a B. A. degree.


He may have left Luther for reasons of health or a struggle over his calling in life.

In an April 14, 1874, letter in Norwegian from St. Peter to a Prof. Larsen,

he writes:


I am happy to be able to inform you that I am

considerably better. I have in the meantime not

done any more studying. When I work at physical

labor I feel no pain in my head. I have not yet

been able to contact Pastor Borge (probably Rev.

Michael Borge who was married to Aagot

Fosmark and who lived in Mankato at least in

1882), from whom you suggested I should seek

counsel, although I have been to his place several


I have during the last two or three weeks been working

with another man in carpenter work, and have felt fairly well in that

work, seeing it is out in the fresh air. In the meantime, I find that work quite tiring

since I have been away from it for some time.

But my interest is more in schooling and spiritual work. I hope then by God's grace

that your work and concern for me shall not be wasted. If I shall not be considered

worthy to continue and be of help to others, I hope that what I have learned at Luther

College shall be an eternal blessing for me. I am especially grateful to you for your

human blessings.

Sincerely, I. O. Scheie


In another letter to Prof. Larsen on July 26, 1874:


Since I am not well yet, I still cannot decide what I shall do. In the meantime, I

remember I have been just as poorly before vacations and I could not even stand to

read much until I returned to school. So I am thinking of trying it again.

I became quite well after having stayed at home for a time. But after the severe

heat has returned I have felt more poorly. I do not seem to get any worse from

reading, especially when I am not working. On Sundays I have lately read a

sermon and have not felt any worse. I had evidently worked too hard until I

received word from you in regard to that. Now I have discontinued that until

school begins again.


Iver makes no mention of it, but he was about to marry or maybe already had married Anette

Ulland. But two years later, in 1876, Anette died. Perhaps temporizing, Iver continued working

as a carpenter in Mankato.


But by September of 1878, he had made a decision and enrolled in Luther Seminary, then in

Madison, Wisconsin.


He graduated May 23, 1881, having "demonstrated a diligence combined with a Christian conduct

and now with the determining evaluation, the Pro Canditura Exam, on May 21st and 23rd, has

proved able to cover the holy preaching office in an Evangelical Lutheran congregation..." (From

"Testimony" signed by F. A. Schmidt and J. T. Ylvisaker).


Iver as a pastor

Following his ordination, Iver became pastor of congregations in Hudson and River Falls,

Wisconsin. In a letter from Hudson on October 4,1881, he wrote to Pastor H. A. Preus, then

Luther Seminary President:


In Kirketidende (a church paper) I have seen a notice to all who are indebted to

Student Support Treasury, and are unable to pay. I am indebted for expenses for

three years, besides $45.00 for traveling expenses. For the present I am unable to

pay. I must therefore according to your requirement give a note. This becomes a

bit difficult for me if it shall be interest bearing since I am indebted a great deal

otherwise and here there will be only enough for living expenses. I have now been

here five weeks and have received five dollars...

I thought however to ask if I could possibly get some salary from the Mission

Treasury. I am in debt a great deal at a store in Madison, and would like to be able

to pay some of that. I could perhaps get John Fosmark to arrange that for me...

(almost surely John Fosmark of Spring Prairie, the father of Marie whom Iver

would marry two years later. John was the brother of Aagot Fosmark Borge

mentioned above)


Otherwise, I find myself quite satisfied here. In Hudson, there are a good number

of congenial people. There is a good interest in church also, though they are few

to carry on the work. Not more than 15 or 16 families so far. And this is so far

the only congregation in River Falls, not yet really organized.


After nine months in Hudson, on July 6, 1882, Iver received a call from the Church Council for

The Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Synod in America to become pastor of the Whitewater,

Heart Prairie and Skoponong congregations in Walworth County, Wisconsin, southeast of



Papers included with the letter of call state that a year before, Whitewater and Heart Prairie had

decided to join with Skoponong in calling a pastor. Whitewater and Heart Prairie would each

would pay him $125 dollars per year, plus three holiday offerings and any payments for ministerial

services (weddings, baptisms and funerals). Heart Prairie and Skoponong, the rural

congregations, would provide him with free winter shelter, oats for a horse and some wood.

Skoponong would pay a salary of $150, plus offerings and "accidentals."

He accepted.


In addition to ministering to his congregations, Iver courted Marie Fosmark, formerly of

Spring Prairie, some 50 miles away. They were married a year later, on September 19, 1883, by

Rev. H. K. Preus in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, where her parents had moved in 1881.

Iver was 35; Marie was 21.



Early in the next year, Iver's father, Ole Lodversen Scheie,

died--on March 22, 1884. His death was attributed to

appendicitis that was said to have been medically mis-managed.

He is buried in the cemetery of the Norseland Lutheran Church

(Evangelical Lutheran Synod) eleven miles west of St. Peter,

Minnesota. His grave is marked by a simple stone giving his

name, date of birth and date of death in Norwegian.

Next to his is the grave of a Hovland, perhaps Ole's daughter

Marit or a member of her family.

We visited the site November 27, 1987.





Life in Whitewater

Later in 1884, Iver and Marie had the first of their nine children, all born in Whitewater:


            Sunniva Antonetta                  November 7, 1884

            Amanda                                  November 18, 1886

            Martha Johanna                      August 10, 1888

            Olga Anetta                            October 29, 1890

            Jennie Henrietta                      December 7, 1892

            Agnes Caroline                       April 14, 1895

            Olaf Johan                              July 29, 1897

            Lodver Fosmark                     August 30, 1899

            Ingeborg Marie                       July 8, 1901


In a wonderful reminiscence of her childhood, Sunniva says the Whitewater parsonage had been

home to several pastors and some of them had added to it here and there. She said only one part

had a second story and as a whole it was not very convenient. Heat was provided by hard coal.

Light came from hanging kerosene lamps. One light, in the kitchen, had an adjustable reflector

which could throw more light where needed. Iver used to sit by it and read on winter evenings

while Sunniva did homework.


Under the house was a cellar with stone walls and a dirt floor

packed so hard it could be swept with a broom.

whitew~1.gif     The parsonage in Whitewater


The parsonage had a large yard with a

boardwalk running along the street and up to

the house. Another walk led to a lot line

where there was an open well they shared

with a neighbor. Water was obtained with

rope, pulley and bucket. Soft rainwater was

kept in a cistern close to the kitchen.

One side of the yard had a garden which was

later abandoned, possibly due to constant

invasion by the neighbor's chickens. The one-time

garden was planted in grass and became a

croquet court. Iver loved croquet.


A barn, in which a horse was kept, stood on the back of the lot.


Breakfast included oatmeal every day; sometimes buckwheat cakes were included until Iver found

they left him with indigestion. After breakfast, Iver read from the Bible and the family often sang

a hymn--in parts. Sunniva thought her father had near perfect pitch.


She described him as very considerate, but noted that he expected immediate obedience...


or he could administer some hard strokes, and we sometimes thought unjustly.

What he said would sometimes hurt as much as a slap. I remember one Saturday I

didn't have my Bible history well prepared and after class I went into a corner and

wept, because of his scolding.


He did try Mother's patience at times. When there was some job around the house

she wanted done he would stall until some day when he felt like doing it, whether

it was convenient for her or not. But he was very handy about fixing up things.

He said that Mother was blessed with great patience.


The children started learning the catechism as soon as they were old enough to memorize.

Sunniva wrote:


Father was my best teacher. I remember more of what he taught me than any

other teacher I've had. One winter he wasn't so well so didn't go out much, then

he taught me arithmetic, reading, spelling and geography...So when I started

school I was almost 9 years old and started in the 3rd grade and promoted to 4th

after Christmas.


Amanda started in the 2nd grade the following year so he must have taught her,

too. I remember a story in the reader about Santa Claus and I asked who that was.

I hadn't heard of him before.

Johanna started in the first grade. She had always been so quiet and after starting

school she became a real chatterbox....


The church situation in Whitewater was pathetic. While Father was at the

seminary the controversy over predestination was on. Father said he was on the

fence for a long time, but finally joined the Missouri group. So of course there

were splits in many congregations and I think that was what happened in

Whitewater. There were two small congregations, very unfriendly toward each

other. The others had the church, the United church. T. H. Dahl, who later

became president of that group, was the pastor in Stoughton, 30 miles away. He

came down once a month or so and had services.


For more, see The predestination controversy


Another controversy developed in the Whitewater churches which Iver, in a letter to Pastor Preus,

called the Methodist disturbance. He did not describe the nature of the disturbance, however.

Iver had apparently been counseled by a Pastor Ottesen to say nothing, but asked Preus for a

second opinion.


iver@40a.gif    Iver Scheie




The Whitewater congregations were small and,

as Sunniva noted, did not even have their own




Our people rented the church from them for

some years. Then a man in our congregation

had a store building and the upstairs was

vacant. So that was fixed up and we had our

services there. There were chairs and a little

organ like a field organ. This man's daughter

played the organ. Later she went away and

then I got my start at being an organist. But

later we went back to the church and that is

where I was confirmed.






There were only six or eight families in the congregation. But often there were

students at the Normal School who attended our church and some of them were

good singers and sometimes served as a choir, or quartet mostly.


Father's salary was around $450 or $500 a year. The trustees collected that, but

Father went around and collected for the synodical treasury, and also for

subscriptions to the church paper....


There were offerings for the pastor in all congregations at Christmas, Easter and

Pentecost. And people paid for baptisms, confirmation, funerals and weddings....


We received much food from people: butter (home churned), milk, cream, eggs,

chickens, meat, berries, apples, etc... The farmers probably brought oats, too, and

maybe hay for the horse....

When there was a new baby, the women would bring big dishes of "rommegrot"

and other delicacies.


They had some contact with other members of Iver's family.


Our cousins, the Schye's from Chicago came to visit us sometimes. There were

five boys; three of them came at different times. There were two girls but I never

saw them. Uncle, Father's brother, visited us only once that I remember. His

name was Lodver but was known as Louis in Chicago. Aunt Pauline visited us

once with the oldest son Ole (Oliver). He taught me to play on the organ when he

was there....




annema~2.gif                              Anne Mason


The Schye's used to come by bicycle. The

first one I can remember was Charlie and he

had one of those with a big wheel and a little

wheel behind it. Iver visited us the last

summer we were there....















Father's sister Anne (Mrs Christ Mason) lived six miles out of town and we often

went out there....


Anne (or Ane or Ana) had married Christian Mason June 2, 1887, after the

death of her first husband named Ulland. He could have been someone related to

Anette Ulland, Iver's first wife?


Grandma Scheie (Anne, the widow of Ole Lodversen Scheie) had her home at Aunt

Ane's as long as she lived. She had a room by herself, had a little stove and did her

own cooking....Grandma knit hose for Father as long as she lived. In summer she

sat outside on a box or the chopping block and knit. I think she must have spun

the yarn at one time as she had a spinning wheel in her room.


She was very hard of hearing; I could scarcely talk to her at all. (I think she went

to church) with Uncle and Auntie until she became so very deaf. (But even then)

on Sunday she always dressed up: her Sunday dress, a clean white apron and a lace cap.


She always wore a cap or little scarf on her head....She had a book of sermons that

she read and her hymn book that were faithfully used. Father said once that she was

the one who gave him his first theological education....


In the 1900 census, Grandma Anne is reported to have had 8 children, 5 of whom were still living.

From that we know that Anna, Ole and Hans had died. She also said she could read English, but

could not write it or speak it.


Grandma Anne died February 19, 1901 at the age of 93 and is buried at Skoponong Church

cemetery northeast of Whitewater, near Palmyra, Wisconsin. Since Iver was pastor of the church,

he presumably officiated at her funeral. Grandma Anne’s daughter Anne Mason and her family

are also buried there.


A move west

Iver served as pastor in Whitewater for nineteen years. Then in 1902, he came home from a

synod meeting and said he had received a call to go to Flandreau, South Dakota, for one year.


We were quite thrilled, but I don't think Mother was too overjoyed, although she

realized it was becoming more difficult for Father to serve in Whitewater. They were

demanding more English services and some of the young people were being confirmed

in the English language. Father, having grown up in Norway, was not too well at home

in English, so it was an effort for him to preach in English.


For the moving Father arranged for a railroad car, so nearly everything we owned went

with us. He even bought several tons of coal, since he found out he would have to pay

much more for it in South Dakota.


flandr~1.gifOur Savior's Lutheran Church, Flandreau, SD

                         In 2000

They knew the stay in Flandreau was for just

one year because the minister of the

congregation, Rev. Johan Anton Blilie, was to

be gone only that long conducting surveys for

the synod to determine where new

congregations should be established.


The house the Scheies were to occupy in

Flandreau was not available when they

arrived, so for three weeks moved in with the

Blilies and their three daughters in their new

house. As for kiving with sixteen people in

the house, Sunniva called it"a hard time for



One of the Blilie daughters, Katharina, later wrote “The Scheie’s were wonderful people, helpful,

quiet, and agreeable, so the work ran smoothly.” I still marvel how we got along under the

primitive conditions, for we had no modern conveniences except water in the kitchen. Today, as I

enjoy the many modern conveniences, I marvel at how Mother and Mrs. Scheie could do the



After three weeks, the Scheies moved to their own house even though it still wasn't quite ready.



To McIntosh

After what Sunniva called "an enjoyable year"in Flandreau, the family moved in September to

McIntosh, Minnesota, where Iver had been called. There, too, the parsonage was being

renovated and was not ready when they arrived. So they stayed with congregation members until

they could move in.

famill~1.gif                                                      Johanna, Sunniva, Amanda

                     Olaf, Father Iver, Lodver,Marie, Agnes, Mother Marie, Jennie, Olga


























The parish had four congregations: apparently one, St. Luke's, in McIntosh, one in Erskine and

two in the country, one of which was named Sand Hill. They were affiliated with the Norwegian

Synod as were Iver's churches in Whitewater and Flandreau. McIntosh also had a second

Norwegian Lutheran congregation affiliated with the United Norwegian Lutheran Church. The

pastor of that church was Rev. J. B. A. Dale, the father of Mars Dale who became a lifelong

friend of the family, and a college and seminary classmate of Lodver's.


Among the members of the United church about then was the widow Dorthea Oppegaard, her

daughters Dagny and Ellen and step-children Emil, Georgine and Goodwin. They had moved into

McIntosh from their farm near Erskine following the death of their husband and father, John

Oppegaard three years earlier.


Sunniva recalled going with her father to services at his church in Erskine.


I played the organ there for awhile. This was Advent Sunday; I remember his

sermon was about the coming of the King. I heard that sermon two or three times.

He perhaps gave it in McIntosh first and then sometimes I went with him to Sand

Hill and played the organ there. It probably was the second or third Sunday in

Advent, because as I remember it, it was his last service. He didn't feel good and

next day was worse. Dr. Ohnstad was called and he ordered a steam bath for him.

He had pains in his limbs, seemed like rheumatism. He was not right down in bed

very many days, but kept getting worse, and was restless at night so it was hard on



Before he became delirious he told Mother he was going to die and gave her some

suggestions on getting work for us. He told her when he went to the synod

meeting in June he felt it was the last time he would attend this meeting.

The last night he lived (he had been delirious for a few days) he went through a

complete church service, Mother said. I awoke hearing him sing “Skriv dig Jesu

paa mit hjerte” (On my heart imprint thine image). The next day was Sunday. Dr.

Ohnstad called in a doctor from Fosston for consultation, but there was nothing

that could be done. He passed away that day, December 18 (1904). That was

very hard on Mother, but people were so thoughtful and kind and did much to help



His last words, quoted in a 100th anniversary booklet for Our Savior's Lutheran Church in

McIntosh, were (in Norwegian) “Help one another.”

Iver had told Marie that he liked Rev. Salveson who had recently moved into a nearby parish and

would like him to deliver the sermon at his funeral. And so it was.

The cause of death was believed to be erysipelas which he apparently contracted from his horse.

He had served the McIntosh parish a little more than two years.


Erysipelas is an infection affecting primarily the skin and is caused by

streptococci. It is a generally benign disease, but can be fatal when associated

with bacteremia in very young, elderly or immunocompromised patient. It is now

treated with antibiotics. Mortality is less than 1% in treated cases. (From an

Internet site).


Iver was 56 when he died. He was buried at St. Luke’s Cemetery southeast of McIntosh.


He left a 43 year old widow and nine children ranging from 3 to 20. From all accounts their life

 was a financial struggle. Marie earned some income by "boarding" or serving meals to teachers.



family~2.gif                                              Jennie, Lodver, Johanna, Olaf, Sunniva

                                          Olga, Marie, Mother Marie, Agnes, Amanda



While it was a financially difficult time, they said the people of McIntosh were very kind.

Education was important to them; as they completed school and started working, each

would help the younger ones pay their college expenses.

housemcintosh.jpg                         The family’s house in McIntosh (center)













Although her children gradually moved away, Marie remained in McIntosh some twenty years.


house33325thave.jpg         3332 Fifth Avenue South, Minneapolis




Some time during the 1920s or 30s, Marie moved to Minneapolis where she lived with Jennie. It

may not have been their first address, but for some years they rented the upper duplex at 3332

Fifth Avenue South.














She lived a quiet life there, most of the time in good health, until her death August 24, 1954 at

age 92. She is buried at Crystal Lake Cemetery.























Scheie history continues



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