Some Jensen/Jenson Ancestry Pictures
Bob Jensen at Trinity University
My Grandmother Regina Knutson (later changed by her family to Thompson after moving to America) immigrated from Norway to a farm near Swea City in North Central Iowa along with other members of the Thompson family, although I think the family changed its name from Knudson to Thompson after moving to Iowa.
In Norway I think she lived with her family in a place now known as the House Under a Rock:
In Iowa she eventually married my Grandfather Julius Jensen and had five sons
on our homestead farm in Seneca, Iowa. My Grandfather Jensen died when my
father, Vernon Jensen, was only two years old. The task of raising four her sons
on the farm fell upon Grandmother Jensen. The oldest son George was grown and
had his own farm nearby when his four brothers were growing up and tending to
the teams of horses, milk cows, hogs, chickens, oats, corn, and hay fields.
These are the four brothers on the farm : My mother once burned a copy of the
picture below and declared that this picture made the Jensen boys look like a
family of hillbillies:
Pictured below are Ralph, Millen, Grandma Jensen, Linus, and Vernon
Here's a picture of Grandma Jensen putting on a wool spinning demonstration many years later on at a Kossuth County Fair. I often spent summers growing up on the farm and remember that the spinning wheel was stored in my Cousin Margaret's upstairs bedroom. Grandma Jensen spun wool and knitted many mittens, scarves, and socks in her day.
A distant relative, Barb Hessel, recently sent me a picture of her grandmother and my grandmother standing side by side:
Pictures of Ralph and Linus and my father are shown below:
My father's oldest brother George had two daughters (Leona and Dorothy) and two sons (Dick and Don). Below are pictures of Leona, Dick, and Don. I don't have a picture of the beautiful Dorothy who died in her late teens from Hodgkin's Disease. For unknown reasons, two of dad's brothers changed the name spelling from Jensen to Jenson --- name changing was quite common among Norwegian immigrants in those years.
Here's a picture of my father and my mother, Irene, taken at their 25th wedding anniversary:
After leaving the Seneca farm (following the end of World War II) my father commenced to work for an oil jobber company formed by his cousin Martin A. Jenson. Vernon and his brother Ralph worked for over three decades for Martin Jr. Martin's father Martin Sr. and mother Mae owned a big farm near our Seneca home farm. Here's a picture of Uncle Martin Sr. and Aunt Mae who put up most of the money to start up Martin Jr.'s oil successful jobber firm.
I have more old family pictures that I will one day scan into this document.
Sunrise_Sunset --- http://www.slideboom.com/presentations/96795/Sunrise_Sunset
March 23, 2011 message from Bob Jensen
Hi Pat and Linda (in a thread about knitting accountants),
The newspaper picture above of my grandmother at the spinning wheel was taken at Iowa's Kossuth County Fair many years ago. She demonstrated how to spin wool into yarn on her spinning wheel that I remember quite well in our Seneca farm house.
With the yarn, she could knit sweaters and mittens faster than anybody I ever knew. My hands never went cold growing up in Iowa. Grandma Jensen generally knitted in a flurry with three needles at a time.
Regina (Ginny) Jensen was born into a Knutson family in Norway before the family emigrated to Iowa in the 1800s in search of the rich black dirt of the Iowa prairie. She was raised on her family's farm north of Swea City. When she became a young woman and a school teacher she married Julius Jensen and moved onto his farm in Seneca township. My father, Vernon, was the youngest of five sons that she raised on the Seneca farm. Julius died of pneumonia when my dad was only two years old. Thereafter my grandmother raised her family by herself on the Seneca farm.
She cooked three meals each day on a big Clarion Iron Stove, cleaned clothes on a wash board (there was no running water on the farm), milked cows, helped harness the draft horses and mules, and helped deliver calves, colts, lambs, and piglets. Baked chicken dinners were always fresh soon after she pulled their heads off with one one experienced flick of the wrist.
I don't know how she found the time to spin her yarn and knit warm clothes for family and friends amidst all her other duties raising five sons without so much as a hired hand on that farm. Of course her sons pitched in better than hired hands and gave thanks in bended knees each and every bountiful day.
The women I knew on those Iowa farms (that generally did not have running water or electricity) were tougher than most of the men I ever met in my entire life. When tragedy struck, such as losing a child or spouse or a crop, they did not have time to fall apart. They wept a bit while doing their endless daily chores --- chores like feeding a family and milking the cows and feeding livestock went on day after day even in the Great Depression when there was no cash market for the grain and livestock. Times were tough, but so were the knitters who never quit their chores in good times and bad times or in darkness or light.
In Norway, Regina's father and uncles made their livings on the cold and dangerous waters of the North Sea. See their "House Under a Rock" in Norway --- See the picture above.
These pioneer families would've been very cold in freezing winds of the North Sea or the howling winds coming down upon Iowa from North Dakota if these hearty women did not knit day and night to keep the family dressed in warm woolen mittens and sweaters.
Stories About Growing Up
Short story entitled
My Glimpse of Heaven: What I learned from Max and Gwen
Short story entitled
Mrs. Applegate's Boarding House (with Navy pictures)
A Year 2000 message of love from
my wife, Erika.
She describes how a Munich street urchin became Cinderella filled with love and joy --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/erika/xmas00.htm
A Year 2001 message of love from my
My father (Vernon) passed away on January 20, 2002. In 1995, he asked me to write a story about his first trip away from the farm (when he was fourteen years old). You can read the story at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/vernon.htm
Chris Faye's letter about my dad is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/dad01.htm
read an autobiography by Amey Cherland at
I have also attached a copy. Amey gave this to me in a hand-written notebook when my father died in January of this year. I promised Amey that I would type it up and put it on the Internet. By a very strange coincidence, I finished typing it up on the day he died, but I did not learn that he had died until several days later when I got a message from David and Lynn Jenson.
Amey died on October 4, 2002. He was 95 years old.