Person Sheet

Name Valentin Schaleben
Birth 17 Jan 1847, Schiers, Graubünden, Switzerland56
Christen 21 Jan 1847, Schiers, Graubünden, Switzerland57
Confirmation 20 Apr 1862, Luzein, Graubünden, Switzerland58,59
Immigration 2 Oct 1866, New York, New York
Death 31 Dec 1927, Madelia, Watonwan, Minnesota
Burial 2 Jan 1928, West Lutheran Cemetery, Madelia, Watonwan, Minnesota
Occupation Farmer, insurance agent
Father Valentin Schaleben (~1824-1854)
Mother Christina Tarnutzer (1823-1916)
1 Ingeborg Maria Halvorson
Birth 20 Mar 1848, Dyrkoll i Gjerpen, Telemark, Norway
Death 8 Mar 1923, Madelia, Watonwan, Minnesota
Burial 10 Mar 1923, West Lutheran Cemetery, Madelia, Watonwan, Minnesota
Emigration 10 Apr 1855, Gjerpen, Telemark, Norway
Immigration 1855, Oconomowoc, Waukesha, Wisconsin
Father Ole Halvorson (Fjeld) (1822-1879)
Mother Johanne Marie Johannesdatter (1819-1886)
Marriage 1 Jan 1870, Linden, Brown, Minnesota
Children: Nicolene Marie (1870-1955)
Christine Marie (1872-)
Wilhelm (1874-1947)
Anne Olise (1877-1944)
Henry Oliver (1881-1949)
Medical Notes for Valentin Schaleben
Died from valvular heart disease.
Misc. Notes
NOTE: Because of the overlap between families, his ancestry may be found the the ancestry of Christina Tarnutzer and her two husbands, also on this web site.

Valentin was baptized and confirmed in the Reformed Church of Switzerland. He had stayed with relatives (an aunt) in Switzerland between 1856 when his mother and younger brother went to America, and 1866 when he left. He was confirmed in Luzein, Graubünden, Switzerland, on 20 April 186260. Note that this confirmed his parents and date of birth and baptism and showed that he was born in Schiers. His father is (correctly) noted as being deceased. There is a notation of "vid. Sch. 501". This apparently referes to an entry in the Schiers records. Luzein in about two-thirds of the way up the Pritigau valley between Landquart and Klosters. It is about 8 km (5 miles) up the valley from Schiers, where he was born.

There is an Elsbeth Schaleben, wife of Hans Caduff, who has a daughter Christina (born in Schiers) confirmed in Luzein in 1857.

Valentin is supposed to have taken a two-year walking trip throughout Europe when he was about sixteen years old before he emigrated. He came to the United States in 1866 and arrived at Wabasha, Minnesota, on 6 October 1866, where he remained for a few weeks with relatives.

The manifests of emigrants arriving at U.S. ports show two entries for a Valentin Schalaben arriving in the United States in the fall of 1866. The first one arrived in New York from Hamburg on 2 October aboard the ship "Allemannia," from Hamburg, Capt. Trautmann, master. This first list (number 1112) is annotated "COPY", and it is dated Oct. /66 with a [2] added later. That date may be the cause of the discrepancy noted below. He was aged 19, which is appropriate for our Valentine. The timing means that he would have had to have gotten on the train right away and traveled straight to Minnesota, but there isn't any major conflict, though the date in Minnesota might be off slightly. This Valentine was listed as being a mechanic and he was just before one Joh. Jannutzer, age 37, also a mechanic. The second entry also arrived in New York on the "Allemania," this time on 29 October. This Valentin Schaleben is also aged 19, which wouldn't distinguish them, and is described as a laborer. A laborer seems a more reasonable occupation for our Valentin than a mechanic if he had spent two years walking about Europe. An important additional fact is that the very next person on the manifest is one Joh. Tarnutzer, age 37, laborer. Given the relatively small number of Tarnutzers in the manifests, it seems quite possible that this is a brother or cousin of Valentin's mother Christina Ternutzer. The Tarnutzer spelling is the usual way it appeared in Switzerland. Arguing against this is that it conflicts with the stated arrival in Wabasha on 6 October, though if that was a subsequent error for 6 November, there would be no conflict, leaving him ten days to get there from New York.

Given the similarity of the passenger lists, it strikes me that these ones for the Allemania might be duplicates, perhaps one made when it left Europe and another when it arrived in New York. It would be worthwhile to look at the microfilms of the originals. The second list also has the "S.S. Allemania," master N. Trautmann, arriving 29 October 1866. Looking at it in detail it is clear that the two lists are duplicates of one another, with the later list the original. Here Val. Schaleben is number 477 on the list and Joh. Tarnutzer is 478. There were 555 between decks passengers and 3 1/2 pages of cabin passengers.

He then came to Linden Township, Brown Co., Minn., about 1 December 1866, where he lived with his mother and step-father. this is confirmed by the 1895 census, which showed that he had been in Minnesota and Linden for 28 years (since 1867). Though that census is mistaken when it lists his birthplace as Germany.

He joined the Norwegian Lutheran Church soon after arriving in Minnesota.

His marriage to Ingeborg took place at his step-father Johann Johanni's house. The marriage took place on 1 January 1870, and the church record shows that he was age 23, born in Switzerland, she was 22, born in Gjerpen [Norway]. The witnesses were John Johanni and Ellef Hansen [??].

A few months after the marriage they moved to their own farm, a tract of railroad-owned land in Linden, where all five of their children were born. They lived in Linden until 1904 when they moved to Madelia, Watowan Co., Minnesota.

His farm was worth $2000 in 1870 and his personal estate was $470. Valentin Schalleben, #39 in the Linden agricultural return of the 1870 census: 24 acres improved, 5 acres unimproved wood land, 94 acres unimproved, cash value of farm $2000, cash value of machinery and implements $250, 3 horses, 2 milk cows, 4 other cattle, cash value of all cattle $520, 584 bu. spring wheat, 150 lbs. butter, 30 tons hay, estimated value of all farm products $548. Petri Shellom was working for them on the farm in 1875. The 1885 census shows Nicolaus Weld from Switzerland living there and working for them. They had a boarder, William A. Sebers, a painter, living with them in 1900. Valentin's farm was owned by Verdelle Aspelund and John Byro in 1974.

He bought 80 acres of land from the St. Paul and Sioux City Railroad Company on 16 July 1873 for $560. This was the SE 1/4 of NW 1/4 and NE 1/4 of SW 1/4 of Section 23, Township 108 N., Range 30 W.20 (v. 11, pp. 432-433). A further 40 acres were purchased from the railroad on $300 on 29 May 1880. This was the SW 1/4 of NE 1/4 of Section 23, Township 108 N., Range 30 W. (v. 20, pp. 201-202). He bought another 40 acres of land on 22 June 1882 for $225. This was the NW 1/4 of SE 1/4 of Section 23, Township 108 N., Range 30 W. (v. 22, pp. 546-548) Valentin bought 80 acres from Joseph and Isabelle Flanders for $440. The property was the SW 1/4 of NW 1/4 and NW 1/4 of SW 1/4 of Section 23, Township 108 N., Range 30 W. (v. 24, pp. 128-129)

He was active in politics as a Republican and took an active interest in public affairs. He was a member of the Linden town board for many years and served as chairman. He served as a member of the school board in District 38 (Linden Township) in the 1880-1890s.

He was one of the founders of the Madelia Farmers' Mutual Fire Insurance Company and served as an agent for it for over fifty years.

Unspecified newspaper and date:

"Mr. Valentin Schaleben,
Pioneer Settler
Called by Death

Beloved citizen came
to Linden Township
in December, 1866.

The people of Madelia and of the surrounding country were deeply saddened last Saturday, December 31, 1927, when the news was spread about that Mr. Valentin Schaleben, one of the oldest and most highly respected citizens of the community, had passed from this life, the final summons coming at about 11:30 o'clock that morning.
For the past few years Mr. Schaleben's health was gradually failing, but he was always happy and hopeful, neever complaining, and always glad to meet and visit with friends when they came to see him. Together with relatives he went to the home of his grandson, Willard Martin, to spend Thanksgivigin Day. A few days later he was taken to his bed, where he has since been confined. For several days before death came it was apparent that the end was near, and Mr. Schaleben seemed to recognize tha fact as well as anyone else. He had lived an honorable, upright, Christian life and had no fear of death; in fact, he welcomed the time when he might be called to enter his Father's mansion beyond the skies. He was conscieous until only a few moments before he died. The cause of death was heart trouble, coupled with the infirmities of age.
For several months past Mr. Schaleben has been tenderly cared for by his daughter, Mrs. Marie Martin, who made her home with him and administered to his every wants. The other children also visitied him frequently and always found him in the best of spirits, notwithstanding his condition.

Native of Switzerland

Valentine Schaleben was born in the village of Luzein, Canton Graubünden, Switzerland, January 17, 1847. He died December 31, 1927, at the age of 80 years 11 months and 14 days. His parents were Valentin Schaleben and Christine Ternutzer-Schaleben. He was baptized and confirmed in the Reformed Church of Switzerland. At the age of 18 years he came to America and on October 6, 1866, he arrived at Wabasha, Minnesota, where he remained for a few weeks with relatives, and about December 1, 1866, he came to Linden township, Brown County, to make his home with his step-father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Johannes Johanni, who had come to America a few years before.
On New Year's Day, 1870, Mr. Schaleben was united in marriage with Ingeborg Maria Halvorson, who preceded him in death, on March 8, 1923. He bought a tract of railroad land in Linden township, which he improved, and upon which he lived until 1904, when he moved to Madelia.
Mr. and Mrs. Schaleben were the parents of five children, all of whom survive. They are: Mrs. Henry Martin of Madelia; Mrs. A. F. Hunte of Truman; Mrs. Dan E. Pettersen of Madelia; Mr. Wm. Schaleben of Minneapolis and Dr. H. O. Schaleben of Edinburg, Texas. Deceased is also survived by one brother, Ulrich Johanni of Madelia and one sister, Mrs. Clement Halvorson of Linden. He also leaves fourteen grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Active In Politics

During his long residence in Linden township, Mr. Schaleben always took a great interest in politics and in public affairs. He was a strong Republican. For many years he was a member of the Linden town board and had the honor of serving as chairman of that body. He was also a member of the school board in District 38, Linden township, during the 80's and 90's. He was one of the organizers of the Madelia Farmers' Mutural FIre Insurance Company and has been an agent of the company for more than fifty years.
Although born in Switzerland, Mr. Schaleben joined the Norwegian Lutheran Church soon after he came to America and has ever since been a devout member of that church, attending many of the annual conventions as delegate. He was a loving and faithful husband, a devoted father, a good neighbor and a true friend.

Funeral Held Monday

Funeral services were conducted at the late home at 1 o'clock, and at the West Lutheran Church at 2 o'clock Monday afternoon. Rev. R. A. Syrdal officiated, assisted by Rev. Nels Evenson of St. James. The pallbearers were six grandsons: Lee and Arville Schaleben; Donald and Elden Pettersen; Willard and Oliver Martin.
The sincere sympathy of a host of friends is extended the children, brother and sister in their hour of sorrow." Transcribed in Thordson3.

Extracts from a letter in the possession of Cora (Halvorson) Gronewold:

"... have never been able to find out anything about the Schaleben side of the family. Family may have lived in Troy, France, long ago, no knowledge if it may be on Schalebens father's side or the mother's side of family. Schaleben family may have been originally Swiss and went to France, then later returned to Switzerland. Valentin Schaleben received a letter from cousin Juliet Schaleben in about 1915, following the invasion of France, who recalls was his only living relative then in France.
During the Napoleanic War, some time 1813-14 during a battle at Troy, Valentin Schaleben's father, then a little boy, they tell, hid in ovens (cold of course) and then later tried to get across the border to Switzerland.
Valentin Schaleben's father was a musician in Garibaldi's war and was buried in Naples. That was before Italy was a nation.
When Valentin Schaleben was sixteen years of age or so, he took a two-year walking trip throughout Europe, coming to USA after that. ..." 3

Some comments about the above letter. First, we now know that Valentine (Sr.) Schaleben was from the same village, Schiers, in Switzerland as Christine Tarnutzer. The Schaleben family is present in the records there for quite some time. This is where Valentine Jr. and his brother Nicholas were born. When Christine and son Nicholas came to America, her elder son Valentine Jr. apparently moved to Luzein to stay with relatives. He was confirmed at that place in 1862, as mentioned above. Valentine Sr. was not born until 1824, so the story about the ovens in Troy (actually Troyes), France, cannot apply to him. Perhaps it applies to his father, and further research should show if that is likely. Troyes was not close to the Swiss border, and is well into the interior of France, closer to Paris than it is to Switzerland. Note that the father, yet another Valentine Schaleben, was born in 1781 so he would have been about 32 years old at the time of the story. It is possible that the story is correct in essence, but wrong about him being a boy.
3, 61 (v. 18, pp. 236, 307), 6 (v. 1927, p. 2, l. 35), 7 (b. 1, p. 160), 20 (v. 11, pp. 432-433; v. 20, pp. 201-202; v. 22, pp. 546-548; v. 24, pp. 128-129)
Civil War widow's pension certificate 739579 file
1848 Swiss census, Schiers, Graubünden, v. CB IV 29, p. 473 (no. 1287) [LDS FHL microfilm 1475940#2]
1850 Swiss census, Schiers, Graubünden, v. CB IV 35, p. 317 (no. 1277) [LDS FHL microfilm 1475950]
1870 U.S. census, Brown Co., Minnesota, r. 1, p. 1006
1875 Minnesota census, Brown Co., v. B-2, p. 211 [LDS FHL microfilm 565717]
1880 U.S. census, Brown Co., Minnesota, r. 616, p. 46A
1885 Minn. census, Brown Co., p. 481 [LDS FHL microfilm 565735]
1895 Minn. census, Brown Co., p. 462 [LDS FHL microfilm 565764]
1900 U.S. census, Brown Co., Minnesota, r. 758, E.D. 40, p. 72B
1910 U.S. census, Watonwan Co., Minnesota, r. 730, E.D. 185, p. 216A
1920 U.S. census, Watonwan Co., Minnesota, r. 866, E.D. 217, p. 214B
Medical Notes for Ingeborg Maria (Spouse 1)
She was vaccinated against smallpox on 28 August 1849.

Died from "Louisiana Grippe," which developed into pneumonia suffered for ten days.
Misc. Notes
Some sources had her born 20 Mar 1847.

She is called "Ammity" in the 1870 U.S. census.

Madelia [?] Times-Messenger, unspecified date:

"Mrs. Valentine Schaleben
Answers Summons

Succombs to pneumonia
following illness of
only ten days.

Madelia and the surrounding country are bowed in sorrow, occasioned by the death of Mrs. Valentin Schaleben, which occurred at her late home in this village at about ten o'clock last Thursday night, March 8, 1923, after an illness of only ten days duration. She was taken sick with Louisiana grippe which soon turned into pneumonia. On Wednesday she was thought to be improving, but on the following day she suffered a relapse and constantly failed until death came to her relief, her spirit taking flight at the hour above stated.
Ingeborg Maria Halvorsen was born near Skien, Telemarken, Norway, March 20, 1848, so that had she lived until next Tuesday she would have been seventy-five years old. In 1855, at the age of seven years she came to America with her parents and settled near Stonebank, Wisconsin. Here they lived until 1869, when they moved to Minnesota and settled on a farm in Linden township, Brown County. On January 1, 1870 she married Valentin Schaleben, the wedding taking place at the home of the groom's step-farther, John Johanni, in Linden. A few months later they moved to a farm of their own, where they lived and their five children were born. The children are: Mrs. Dr. A. F. Hunte of Truman; Mrs. Henry Martin and Mrs. Dan E. Pettersen of Madelia, Dr. Henry O. Schaleben of Edinburg, Texas; and Wm. Schaleben of Madelia. Besides these children she leaves fourteen grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her husband. In 1903 the family moved to Madelia village where the old folks have ever since made their home.
Mrs. Schaleben was one of the finest of Christian women. She was a good, faithful wife, a kind, loving and indulgent mother, and a true and sympathetic neighbor and friend. She will be missed and mourned by many.
Funeral services were held at the West Lutheran Church at 2 o'clock Sunday afternoon, Rev. A. A. Reece, a former pastor preaching in English, and Rev. P. C. Danielson, preaching in Norwegian. The church was crowded to the doors with friends of the deceased who had come to pay their last respects to the departed, and the floral tributes were many and most beautiful. The body was laid to rest in the West Lutheran Cemetery. Eight grandsons of the deceased acting as pall-bearers.
The Times-Messenger with the host of other friends of the family sympathizes deeply with the grief-sticken husband and children in their hour of sorrow." Transcribed in Thordson3.
3, 19 (b.7, pp. 103, 429, 482), 6 (v. 1923, p. 4, l. 32), 7 (b. 1, p. 160), 29 (p. 222)
1860 U.S. census, Waukesha, Wisconsin, r. 1436, p. 946
1870 U.S. census, Brown Co., Minnesota, r. 1, p. 1006
1875 Minnesota census, Brown Co., v. B-2, p. 211 [LDS FHL microfilm 565717]
1880 U.S. census, Brown Co., Minnesota, r. 616, p. 46A
1885 Minn. census, Brown Co., p. 482 [LDS FHL microfilm 565735]
1895 Minn. census, Brown Co., p. 462 [LDS FHL microfilm 565764]
1900 U.S. census, Brown Co., Minnesota, r. 758, E.D. 40, p. 72B
1910 U.S. census, Watonwan Co., Minnesota, r. 730, E.D. 185, p. 216A
1920 U.S. census, Watonwan Co., Minnesota, r. 866, E.D. 217, p. 214B
Last Modified 3 Feb 2002 Created 3 Feb 2002 by EasyTree for Windows

Contents * Index * Surnames * Contact