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Theresa Caroline EKUM

Theresa Caroline EKUM

Female 1917 - 1977  (59 years)

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  • Name Theresa Caroline EKUM 
    Born 16 May 1917  Vernon County, Wisconsin Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Died 16 Apr 1977  La Crosse County, Wisconsin Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • “in a La Crosse hospital” according to her obit
    Buried 19 Apr 1977  Viroqua Cemetery, Viroqua, Vernon County, Wisconsin Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • Her name was pronounced Ther-ess-a, second syllable rhyming with dress.

      Graduated from Ole Torger School in 1931. She was a very good student according to her 5th grade report that is included in the VCHS records for the Ole Torger school.

      She was reported to be ill in several newspaper accounts from the later 1930s. The family had a large celebration for her 19th birthday. Perhaps there was some doubt that she would have much longer to live.

      She was still living at home at the time of the 1940 census. She had had 4 years of high school.

      At one point, perhaps in the mid-1950s, Theresa and Floyd lived at 122 North East Avenue in Viroqua.

      Theresa had diabetes, apparently, and gradually lost her sight. As early as the mid-1960s she was corresponding with Cora via a typewriter because she could no longer see to write. By 1975, she implies in her Christmas letter that her sight wasn’t much better than distinguishing between dark and light.

      In her birthday letter to Cora dated February 28, 1974, Theresa says that she had had a “siege” in the hospital in December of 1973, apparently from the flu.

      Cora kept several letters from Theresa, with whom she apparently corresponded fairly regularly. Theresa’s birthday was the only one from Viroqua that Cora noted in each of her diaries.

      Theresa typed this letter to Cora (dated only "Thursday P.M.") apparently sometime after Cora, Ron, and Don R. had driven down to visit on Sunday, June 19, 1966.

      Dear Cora,

      Got your letter Tues. morning and was so glad to hear that you made it home O.K. and that you all enjoyed your day with us. Floyd and I enjoyed it a lot, too, and we both say that you have a couple of real nice grandson's. Am glad too, that you came when you did, as now my eyes are hemorrhaging again, so I am in a dense fog again. Had such terrible dizzy, headaches the last couple of days but have felt better today. Of course, it cut down on my activities again, but I do go out and water the flowers every day, to get my excercise. I know the landmarks real well, and can see a little bit, so when I take my time I get around pretty good at home.

      Uncle Martin found the original deed to the farm and the homestead was approved in 1874. Of course, they had to live there three years before it was approved. He said he didn't know just when the house was built, as when they first came there they lived in a basement, which was up behind the house--said he thought the markings of that old basement still showed up.

      I also found out that the farm has been sold. the fellow who bought the Lewis Hanson farm near Mason City bought it. Uncle Martin said that he'd heard he paid seven thousand for it.

      All for now--hope I haven't made too many mistakes so you can read this, as I sure can't see what I'm writing. Come again when you can--

      Much Love Theresa

      Theresa typed this letter to Cora, dated Wednesday, April 22nd, 1970 (postmarked April 23 from Viroqua), and Cora had marked it "Keep this letter":

      Dear Cora,

      I'm sorry I've been so long answering your letter, with the information you asked for. But with the confusion of Esther's death I didn't ask Uncle Martin for awhile, and then when I did he kept forgetting to get the deed out. So last night we went up there, and Floyd read the deed -- and good thing we did as Uncle Martin was a little mixed up on it. Anyhoo, the homestead was applied for on May 20, 1862 and was approved June 15, 1874. They must have applied for the homestead rights, right after they came over here. As my grandma was around a year and a half when they came over and she was born Dec. 18, 1860. Uncle Martin says that they lived at Liberty Pole for awhile where Grandpa Bowe was a shoe maker. Oh yes, Grandpa Bowe was born in 1833 in Vaas (I don't know if that is spelled right -- it's pronounced V-aw-s) it is in Bergen, Norway.

      Uncle Martin is feeling pretty good now. Thea is still there, but he is letting her go the first of May -- says he can't afford to keep her on. We tried to talk him into keeping her on, as we will worry about him there alone, but when he makes up his mind, that's it. Don't say anything, but I have a sneaky suspician that he is afraid people will talk. He is terribly lonesome I think, and wont eat like he should either.

      This sure is some weather -- it stays so cold and everything is so behind. Was down to 26 degrees here this morning, and has been drizzling all morning. Guess maybe you have been having sime snow this week, tho -- were a few flurries here yesterday. And seems like we have so much wind, too -- April hasn't been near as nice as March was.

      I have a man here checking my refrigerater this morning. I don't know if he can fix it or now--may have to get a new one, if the unit is shot. They sure don't make them as good as they used to -- I had my Coldspot for 15 years and it was still running pretty good when we traded it off, and we have only had this one eight years. We sure weren't planning on this extra expense right now. As Floyd just got a new pick-up, and they don't give them away either. This is the first brand new one we've ever had -- but the old truck was getting to where he hardly dared take it out on the road, so we decided to get a new one instead of buying someone elses troubles.

      My eyes are a little better so I have been trying to get some baking done up-- it's not easy, but I struggle along and manage pretty good. I should be cleaning house, but just can't get in the mood in this weather. I have been "reading" some books lately, so am afraid i spend a lot of time with my record player.

      Guess I don't know too much news. Talked to Bennetta and Selma (Olson) just a minute at Esther's funeral.

      Richard and Willie Hendrickson and Mildred were down for Esther's funeral. It had been 25 years since I had seen Willie -- about 30 years since he had been down here.

      All for now--thank you for the nice Easter card--I didn't get any sent out this year. And hope you will forgive me for being so slow with this information.

      Much love Theresa

      Theresa had the May 20, 1862, part wrong. That was the date that Congress passed the Homestead Act. Reference to that date is included on the original land patent. How she thought that Susan was a year-and-a-half old when the family moved to the U.S. is a mystery and a perpetuation of the myth of the early-1860s emigration. We know that Claus and his family were still in Norway as late as 1865. Maybe Theresa was confused with Susan’s husband Thomas who supposedly came to the U.S. when he was a year-and-a-half old. (Which, as it turns out, is not true either.)
    Person ID I502  Don Carlson's Tree
    Last Modified 13 Jan 2020 

    Father Albert M EKUM,   b. 26 Nov 1882, Liberty Pole, Franklin Twp, Vernon County, Wisconsin Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 Mar 1952, Viroqua, Vernon County, Wisconsin Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 69 years) 
    Mother Brita Eriksdatter (Bertha Malina) ØREN,   b. 21 Dec 1891, Årdal, Sogn og Fjordane, Norway Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Feb 1960, Vernon County, Wisconsin Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 68 years) 
    Married 19 Dec 1911  Immanuel Lutheran Church, Viroqua, Vernon County, Wisconsin Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F116  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Floyd Albert CLEMENTS,   b. 16 Apr 1914, Vernon County, Wisconsin Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Jul 1994, Viroqua, Vernon County, Wisconsin Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 80 years) 
    Married 14 Oct 1944 
    Last Modified 20 Mar 2004 
    Family ID F360  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

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    Theresa Ekum Clements
    Theresa Ekum Clements