Person Sheet

Name Chester Laingen
Birth 7 Mar 1878, Butternut Valley, Blue Earth, Minnesota
Death 29 Nov 1949
Burial 3 Dec 1949, Our Savior's Lutheran Cemetery, Butternut Valley, Blue Earth, Minnesota
Occupation Carpenter (1910)
Father Peder Knudson Laingen (1836-1911)
Mother Ronnaug Johannesdattir Kjestad (1837-1900)
1 Ragnild Sylfestsdatter Laingen
Birth 12 Oct 1883, Laingen i Garmo, Oppland, Norway
Christen 16 Dec 1883, Garmo, Oppland, Norway
Death 22 Apr 1964
Burial Our Savior's Lutheran Cemetery, Butternut Valley, Blue Earth, Minnesota
Immigration 30 Aug 1899, New York, New York
Religion Lutheran
Alias/AKA Rosa
Father Solfest Erlandsen (Frisvold) (1835-1915)
Mother Kari Knudsdattir (Ladengen) (1845-1922)
Marriage 17 Jun 1905, Vista, Dakota, Nebraska78
Children: Recard P. (1906-1986)
Selmer Charles (1910-1912)
Ruie S. (1912-1995)
Luella A. (1919-1993)
Notes for Chester Laingen
The family seems to have had their problems figuring out what to call him. He was entered in the Blue Earth Co. vital records as John. He was called Thostolf in the 1880 U.S. census and his younger brother was named John E. He grew up and was known as Chester.

He was confirmed on 11 Sep 1892, at the same time as his brother Theodore. He was living at Ellendale and Forbes, North Dakota, in 1906. Theodore's address book only lists Forbes for 1907. The 1910 census shows him living in Forbes Village, Lorraine Township, Dickey County, North Dakota. He was listed between A. F. Much and Ole Dalager. He moved back to the Butternut Valley area about 1919. Age at death 67 years, 8 months, 22 days. C hester and Rosa share a gravestone in the Cemetery, plot 15 in row 5. The stone has the following inscription in addition to the dates: "Gone but not forgotten."

Chester was not able to attend the Laingen Family Reunion in 1931.

Lake Crystal Tribune, (1949):

"Funeral Rites Held for Chester Laingen Monday Afternoon

Lake Crystal, and particularly the community of Butternut, lost a well-known and well-thought-of citizen in the death last Thursday of Chester Laingen of this city.
He passed away at his home after an illness of only one day, and his sudden demise came as a shock to everyone.
Funeral services were held from the Butternut Lutheran church, in which the remains were buried on Monday afternoon. Rev. Oliver Ruud officiated at the final rites and he was assisted by Re. Gilbert Oppen who served as pastor of the church for so many years.
Chester Laingen was born on March 7, 1878 in Butternut Valley township on the Laingen homestead, where he grew to manhood. He was baptized and confirmed by the late Rev. L. Green in the Butternut church. In 1904 he moved to North Dakota and on June 17th, 1905 was united in marriage to Miss Rosa Sevalsen at Newell, Nebraska. To this union four children were born, including Recard, the oldest, Selmer, who died at two and a half years, Ruie, and Luella.
The family moved back to Lake Crystal in 1919 were they farmed until 1934. Mr. and Mrs. Laingen moved to town where they lived until his death on November 29th, at 12:02 p.m., at the age of 67 years, eight months and 22 days.
He leaves to mourn his passing his beloved wife and three children, Recard, Mrs. Einar Hansen (Ruie), and Mrs. Stanley Hudson (Luella), all of Lake Crystal, and six grandchildren; two brothers, Charles of Cottonwood and Theodore, of Linden township, and one one sister, Mrs. Henry Fossum of Odin, Minnesota, and a host of relatives and friends.
He will long be remembered as an upright, clean and honest man by all who knew him and particularly by the members of Our Saviour's congregation at Butternut, where he efficiently and tirelessly fulfilled the duties of treasurer of the church for a period of twenty-four years.
The remains were carried to their final resting place by Hans Svendsen, John Hustoft, Norman Nelson, Seivert Larson, Bennett Johnson and Andrew L. Johnson.
Music at the services was rendered by a quartette, Clayton and Ernest Christianson, Clifford Wilson and Alden Newlson; by Rev. and Mrs. Gilbert Oppen and by Miss Ruth Fossum. Mrs. Clifford Wilson was the accompanist.
Those attending the funeral from a distance included Charley Laingen of Cottonwood, Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Laingen and Richard of Linden, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Fossum of Odin, T. P. Laingen, P. K. Laingen, Mr. and Mrs. T. H. Eng, Mr. and Mrs. P. T. Laingen, Mrs. Emma Anderson, Mrs. Ed Fossum, Cora Hanson, Mr. and Mrs S. A. Seyerson and John Seyerson of Odin, Mrs. Earl Laingen and Erling, Miss Ruth Fossum, Mrs. Randall Hobart of Minneapolis, Mr. and Mrs. Palmer Laingen, Mr. and Mrs. Ellsworth Laingen of Hanska, Mr. and Mrs. Harold Anderson of Eagle Lake, Rev. and Mrs. Gilbert Oppen of New London, and a host of friends from Mankato, Madelia and Hanska." 23

Lake Crystal Tribune, (1949):

"A Tribute to Chester Laingen

Dear Mr. Editor:
I should like to beg leave to write briefly of my good friend and neighbor, Chester Laingen. His very sudden and, humanly speaking, untimely passing occurred when I was quite ill, and I was deprived of the sad pleasure of even attending his funeral. I simply have no words which can adequately describe the feeling that came over me when someone ran into the house to break us the sad news. I felt that it couldn't possibly be true, and I am not reconciled even yet to the fact that he is no longer with us in body. Again and again I find myself unconciously looking toward his house in the hope of seeing him around the back yard, but I look only in vain. Yet, maybe it's only the visible presence that has been withdrawn. The fact that we do not see an object does not disprove its presence. There are a lot of things in this world that we do not see, but that is no denial of their reality.
I felt that Mr. Laingen and I had much in common, and it was always a pleasure to chat and joke with him on the lawn. He had a keen sense of humor which, in my mind, is always an indication of real humanity. He was a man of many excellent qualities who had won the respect and esteem of all who knew him. It's a great achievement to live on such a high plane that not only our families, but the community at large mourn our passing, and feel that they suffer a great loss when we are called hence. Such was the life of Chester Laingen. Indeed men of his type make belief in the essential goodness of human nature easier. They are living evidences that virtue is destined to survive death and the grave. A life such as his cannot die. I shall always think of Chester Laingen with grateful memory. It was really good to have known him, and to have spent over ten years as his neighbor.
J. Pugh Jones" 23

I have been unable to locate Newell, Nebraska, in an atlas or any Nebraska gazetteer. It now appears that there was some confusion in the writing of the obituary. Ragnhild's older sister Thora (Dora) married Osten Olsen. They were living in Nebraska in 1905 and it is possible that the wedding was held where they lived. Osten and Dora moved to Newell, South Dakota, about 1912 and were living there at least until 1920, possibly considerably longer.

Chester is buried on lot 53, grave 7 (according the official grave numbering scheme). He paid $30 in 1919. Lot 53 is the main Laingen family plot in the Cemetery. The Cemetery records misrecord his date of death as 29 November 1945 instead of 1949.
2 (p. 8), 4 (1906, 1907, 1913, 1953), 8 (p. 53), 9 (v. 1, p. 53)
St. James Plaindealer Advertiser, 29 Apr 1936
1880 U.S. census, Blue Earth Co., Minnesota, r. 615, p. 416C
1895 Minn. census, Blue Earth Co., p. 457 [LDS FHL microfilm 565763]
1900 U.S. census, Blue Earth Co., Minnesota, r. 757, p. 29A
1910 U.S. census, Dickey Co., North Dakota, r. 1141, p. 52A
1920 U.S. census, Blue Earth Co., Minnesota, r. 825, E.D. 12, p. 114A
Notes for Ragnild Sylfestsdatter (Spouse 1)
The godparents and witnesses at her christening were Jon J. Moe, John J. Frisvold, Poul K. Brimi, Kari K. Brimi, Ragnhild T. Ekle, and Ronnoug F. Lyngved.

She arrived in New York on 30 August 1899, aboard "S.S. Teutonic," from Liverpool. She was accompanied by her sister Anne S. Laingen and uncle Peder Laingen. The Teutonic was part of the White Star Line and sailed from Liverpool, England, on 23 August 1899, and Queenstown, Ireland on 24 August 1899, Edward Robert McLinstry [?] master. She had sailed from Kristiania (Oslo) on the S.S. Angelo on 18 August 1899.

Rose and her children Recard, Ruie, and Luella attended the Laingen Family Reunion at Minneopa State Park, Mankato, Minnesota, on 16 August 1931.

Unspecified newspaper, 23 April 1964:

"Rosa Laingen Rites Saturday

Rosa Laingen, 80, of Lake Crystal died Wednesday at Immanuel Hospital.
She was born Oct. 12, 1883, in Norway and came to Chicago in 1899. In 1905 she married Chester O. Laingen in Nebraska. They homesteaded at Forbes, N.D., and lived there until 1919 when they moved to rural Lake Crystal. They farmed there until 1934 when they moved into Lake Crystal.
Surviving are one son, Recard of Lake Crystal; two daughters, Mrs. Einer (Ruie) Hansen of Lake Crystal and Mrs. Stanley (Luella) Hudson of Lake Crystal; seven grandchildren; one sister, Anna Wieler of Chicago. Her husband and one son, Selmer, died earlier.
Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Butternut Lutheran church, the Rev. M. E. Sandness officiating. Burial will be at the Butternut Cemetery. Visitation will be at the James funeral home starting Friday noon and at the church one hour prior to the service." 23

She is buried in lot 53, grave 8 (official Cemetery numbering), next to her husband.
14 (b. 7, p. 108), 23, 17, 8 (p. 53), 10
Cemetary inscription, St. James Plaindealer Advertiser, 29 Apr 1936
1910 U.S. census, Dickey Co., North Dakota, r. 1141, p. 52A
1920 U.S. census, Blue Earth Co., Minnesota, r. 825, E.D. 12, p. 114A
Notes for Chester & Ragnild Sylfestsdatter (Family)
The marriage was performed by Rev. Olaf W. Ferm, Lutheran minister of Vista. The witnesses were Mr. and Mrs. Eston Olson, Seval Olson, and Bertha Olson. Chester was listed as a resident of Lake Crystal, Minnesota, at the time of the marriage and Rosa was a resident of Vista.

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