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Albert Bertelson Clara Tergerson (Bertelson) Daughter: Clarice Bertelson Rohne

Bertel & Christine Bertelson

Bertel Bertelson family

Front row left to right: Chris, Albert, Bertel, Beatrice, Christine, Mack, & John, Back row left to right: Fred, Christine, Caroline, Bernt, Clara, Will, Charley, Martin, and Annie

Bertelsons &  big house about 1955

left to right, Albert, Annie, Martin, Charlie, Will, Bernt, Christine & Beatrice

Ole John & Clara Bertelson

Martin & Alice Tergerson Bertelsen

Front row from left:  2nd. Josie Swenson Tergerson (Mrs. Albert Tergerson), 5th. Ben Anderson, 6th. Lillie Grimland, 7th. Willie Bertelsen, 9th. Albert Tergerson, 10th. Anna Bertelsen,  11th Martin,, 12th. Alice, 13th. Albert Bertelsen, 14th. Mary Tergerson Hanson, 16th. Clara Tergerson Bertelsen, 17th. Belvin C. Rogstad, 18th. Adelia Jermstad Rogstad, 22nd. Christine Olson.  Back row from left:  2nd. Tianie Hastings Finstadt, 4th. Salina Knudson. Ben Anderson' s wife was a sister to Milton Linberg,  Janice Bertelsen's father (from Bellamy Bertelsen)

Bertelson Wedding

Bertel Bertelson was born in the Ulland area; Gjestan, Anst, Ribe,Denmark on Oct 27, 1853 to Mads (born in Denmark in 1824 & died in Grejdal, Denmark), and Dorothea Neilson (born in 1822).  Mads (pronounced "Mahs") changed his name to Mack in America.  They came to America in 1863 when Bertel was ten years old, in July, 1863.  They landed in Canada and came down the St. Lawrence River to Wisconsin.  They bypassed the East Coast, fearing the blockades of the Civil War.  They wanted to begin their life in this new land on a happy note.  They were fleeing Denmark, when Napoleon was losing his battles.  Mads got out while they still had money.  Some of his brothers had their property confiscated.  Mads sent money for others to come over.  Mads and family first settled in Wisconsin, until the spring of 1864, and then migrated to Redwood County, Minnesota.

Christine Johnson (Norwegian spelling, Kristina or Kristine Johannson) was born in Bergen, Norway in March, 1859 and came to America at the age of three years with her family.  Christine became so ill during the voyage her parents were sure that they would have to bury her at sea.  Somehow Christine recovered and arrived in America safely. Christine's family came down the St. Lawrence River and settled in Iowa.  Her father supported the family as a farmer, carpenter, and a cabinet maker.  Later the family moved to Minnesota in Redwood County with Belview as their post office.  One of the gravestones in Swedes Forest, MN is for Hilda Christina Johnson, born 18 Jul 1829 and died 28 Maris 1899 (this may have been Christine's mother).

 It was in Minnesota that Bertel and Christine met and fell in love.  They married on July 31, 1875. Christine was only 16 when they married and was a rather attractive young lady.  Shortly after they married, they attended a country dance.  Every time Christine and Bertel would dance past the band, the fiddler would tap Christine on the shoulder with the bow and he never missed a beat of the music.  What do you suppose Bertel did about that?

Bertel and Christine continued to live in Minnesota for many years after they married.  Bertel worked his own farm and owned a threshing machine operation.  Bertel and Christine were known for their farming of diversified crops, raising of livestock, and for rearing kids galore.  Six children were born to Bertel and Christine in Minnesota; Mads (Mack)13 Jun 1876, John 9 Dec 1877, Christisan (Chris) 20 Apr 1879, Albert 29 Dec 1880, Anna 9 Sept 1882, and Martin 12 July 1884.

Bertel's father (Mack Bertelson), who had moved to Texas around 1882, had consistently written Bertel urging him to bring his family to Texas.  He painted a 'rosy' picture about Texas, relating the many and varied opportunities for a young man and telling about good land at cheap prices.  Bertel, however, was hesitant to make the long journey for several reasons.  He wasn't too 'sold' on coming to Texas because he was making a good living with his threshing machine operation and it would be quite a task to move six children and his wife to a rather unsettled part of the country {their youngest child was 15 months).

Finally in the Summer of 1885, Bertel and Christine loaded their children on a train headed for Texas.  They brought a trunk marked, 'South America, Texas'.  They were met in Meridian by Bertel's father, who lived in the Harmony Community near Cranfills Gap.  They boarded his father's wagon, and went to his father's house until they could get settled.  Charlie was born in the Gap Dec. 9, in a friend's home.

Bertel's father, Mack had been to west Texas, and applied for a homestead in Fisher County before Bertel moved to Texas.  Mack urged Bertel to go with him to west Texas and apply for land there also.  Shortly after Bertel and his family got settled at his fathers home, they decided to make the trip to west Texas. 

They left Harmony Community in the early morning and made it to Hamilton by 'dark thirty'.  They spent the night in Hamilton.  The next morning when preparing to go on, they saw the sign 'Joe Edison Real Estate'.  Mr, Edison talked them out of going to west Texas and he talked Bertel into staying near the Norwegian settlement at Cranfills Gap.  And Mr. Edison not only 'sold' Bertel on Texas, he sold Bertel 1,000 acres of Texas for $1.00 per acre.  It was four miles west of Cranfills Gap in Hamilton County, on Neils Creek.  It was on a mountain {most people called them mountains, even if they weren't very high). There was no straight road between Cranfills Gap and Lanham at this time.  The dirt road from the Gap ended at Bertels' home.  By 1886, a house had been built on the newly purchased land and the Bertelson family moved to their first Texas home in March.  Bertel's father Mack built a house near Bertel and Christine. Willie, Clara, Caroline, Bernt and Christine were all born there.  Christine was the 12th child in 19 years.

The Bertelson children thought that their grandparents (Mack and Dorothea) had better  'eats' than they had at home and they often slipped over to their grandparents house for the better 'eats'.  Many thing have changed since the late 1800's but certainly grandparents 'spoiling' of grandchildren has not.  The children didn't like milking 10 to 12 cows twice daily, feeding chickens and slopping the hogs, but they had chores.

 In 1894, when Christine was 3 weeks old, Bertel and family moved to a big stone house. They had traded ranches with Andreas Johnson, who had the same amount of land.  Bertel paid an extra $600.00.  This farm was located about two miles east of the Gap.  They moved to be closer to the Rock Church and the Swenson school.  The house on the new farm was a log house with a living room, kitchen and an upstairs. Charlie Johnson had begun an addition to the house and had started rocking the house with native rock. Bertel, along with the entire family, finished the building and repairs about a year later.  When the house was completed it had a living room, kitchen, a hall, a parlor, upstairs rooms and a new porch on the south side.  The house is still there today.  The next one or two babies after Christine were premature and died. Then came Ferdie, followed by two more who died or were stillborn.  Beatrice was last (Sept. 1, 1904). Bertel and Christine reared 14 children.

The Old Lutheran Rock Church was finished enough to have services in 1886.  People sat on long planks laid on top of nail kegs.  It had a dirt floor and very deep walls of solid rock, cut out of the nearby mountains and hauled by oxen.  Chris Mickelson and his brother Andrew helped with the stone work.  They made very good mortar.  It's now designated as a historic building, four miles from Cranfills Gap.

Martin was about 10 when they moved to the stone house.  Martin's first day at the Swenson School proved to be a memorable one.  The teacher at the Crove School, which Martin had attended before moving, had been rather lacking in disciplinary measures.  Martin soon learned that things would be different at the Swenson School.  The children were expected to be inside and in their places when the teacher arrived. Martin followed the other children inside when they saw the teacher walking over the hill.  When the teacher came inside, the children bowed and then the teacher bowed.  Martin did not bow with the other children.  The procedure was repeated so that Martin could bow.  He was embarassed.  Then when 'books' were over, Martin grabbed his coat and hat and bolted out the door.  The teacher, Professor Olson, sent a boy to call him back.  Martin learned that the class filed out singularly, and as they passed the teacher, they bowed.  Once Professor Olson was attending a meeting in Meridian and he was asked to explain why he had been able to teach so long in the same school.  He replied, 'They are still getting first class teaching and I'm getting third class salary'.  Wonder what Martin thought of that first day with Mr Olson, and what impact Mr Olson had on Martin and Bertel's other children.

When Martin and Albert were young men, they went to Oklahoma to work for John Ratliff on a farm. Martin noticed that John milked a cow quite peculiar to the method he had known.  John held the bucket with one hand and milked the cow with the other hand. Finally, Martin could stand this awkward procedure no longer and told John that he would be glad to show him how to milk a cow.  John agreed to the lesson. Martin placed the bucket between his legs and began to milk with both hands.  John just laughed, and wished Martin had shown him sooner.

A favorite adventure with the younger set was to go Jule Bok sometime between Christmas and New Years Eve.  The boys and girls would dress up like ghosts, hitch up the buggies, saddle their horses, and ride whooping and hollering around a house until they were given some wine and cookies, or other refreshment. Then off they would ride to another house.  They also enjoyed singing religious songs on Sunday nights. Parents who frowned on dancing often gave their children 'play parties' instead.  At the parties the youngsters sang songs and played rhythm games (some of this was forerunner to square dancing, and  maybe even the Texas two-step).

The children of Bertel and Christine chose various paths to follow during their lives.  Mack was a school teacher, then became a surveyor for Bosque County, and later for Santa Fe Railroad.  He was a bachelor, and lived in Meridian.  (He died from leukemia in 1943).  John moved to Los Angeles, and went into insurance.  Albert farmed and sold real estate in Plainview, but that's another story.  Anna stayed home to take care of her father Bertel, and later moved to Ft. Worth.  Martin farmed, later was mail carrier, then worked for Standard Oil.  He also purchased the electric company at the Gap that had a hard time operating in '32.  And he put the company back on its feet.  Charlie farmed, truck farmed, and owned a parking lot business in Ft Worth.  Willie was a farmer and carpenter in Ft Worth.  Clara married John Olson and stayed at the Gap.  Bernt was a barber at the Gap.  Caroline, Mrs. B.M. Swenson, died giving birth to Caroline Belle (Caroline was raised by Bertel and Christine).  Christine, Mrs. Alfred Finstad, stayed in the Gap.  Fred was a farmer and carpenter near Austin.  Beatrice married Dudley Pendleton and moved to California, and later to Okla.  Chris was an epileptic, and lived with his parents until his death in 1928.  They raised nine boys, five girls, and two grandchildren (Caroline Belle Swanson and Levi Swenson).  Christine died Feb 16, 1918.  Bertel died July 22, 1938.