|Notes for Elsie Emily Trask|
|The Nicollet Co. birth record was a delayed record from 14 July 1954 from information from Hattie I. Johnson of St. Peter, Minnesota.|
Mankato Free Press, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 1964, article by Jean Fenrich
"Proving years are no deterrent to physical fitness is 81-year old Elsie Trask of Route 2, Mankato. Bike riding has been a favorite pastime of her since she was a young girl. (Free Press Photo)
A suggestion for weight watchers - and probably younger ones at that - was sounded by 81-year-old Elsie Trask the other day as she hopped off her bicycle.
"It's a good exercise - this is what keeps me from getting overweight," she said.
Miss Trask, who lives with her sister-in-law, Mrs. Mary Trask in a farm home along highway 14 west of Mankato, has been bicycling since she was nine.
"... although I haven't ridden too much lately," she admits. "I've had a lot of trouble with my eyes the last few years, but the doctor thinks the treatment I've been taking should clear things up soon. This morning I rode over to the neighbors, and I used to ride down after the mail every day."
She lived in North Mankato and cared for her invalid mother for several years and says she didn't do much bike riding during that time. Later she moved to New Ulm. "I remember the first time I rode a bike over there. It belonged to a neighbor girl and she couldn't believe her eyes."
Nor does "Miss Elsie" limit her physical exercise to bike riding. Last year she went canoeing with Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Andersen, and she had such a good time she's still talking about it.
"We went up the river from the Hubbard Mill boat landing to Minneopa. I was queen for a day - there was nothing to do except sit in that canoe and watch the lovely scenery. I'd have a canoe trip promised me since the time he (Harvey) was a young lad."
Oldtimers in these parts, the Trasks first came here from Ohio before the Indian War. Elsie's father, Henry Trask, claimed 80 acres of land 2.5 miles northeast of Mankato back when Abe Lincoln signed the land-grant act. He was one of the single men who could go out to do the chores on evacuated farms during the Indian uprising, and his daughter and daughter-in-law like nothing better than to talk about his adventures.
Or about some of their own - like Mary walking from the farm to Bretts to visit a dentist when she was twelve years old. "There weren't many cars then, and there just wasn't any traffic at all that day," she remembers, "so I walked all the way."
...And today's twelve-year-olds have trouble walking three blocks to school and back."
Excerpts from a tape-recording of a talk between Elsie Trask and Mike Hobart early in January 1965.
" Well, he (Henry Dwight Trask) was appointed to go out on the farms and do chores, milk the cows, and cook their own supper. But one man had to stand with a rifle because they newver knew when the Insians might attack them. And so when the battle of New Ulm was fought and won, then they could kinda settle down to getting their familes back to their homes. But that was a terrible thing. Then he witnessed the hanging of the 38 Indians in Mankato, and that was not a very pretty sight either Dad said. They cut the leather, they had them hung with leather thongs you know, like they had in the early days. The man would cut it with a knife and then
they would pick him up and sling him into a great big pit they had dug and they buried them that way.
Dad was really a real pioneer in this country. It took a lot of
courage to leave your home town and boyhood friends and your schoolmates and come with nothing but your tools and your education.
Well he taught school in the first schoolhouse, it was a home, and there were only four or five kids. As the settlement grew and all, he taught school and got carpenter work, things like that.
And then he met my mother, she was only eighteen, and they were married. Twenty years difference in their ages.
Her father and mother were Canadian French. My great-grandfather and mother were France French, they came to Canada, but my grandparents were Canadian French.
My mother married a Yankee, my Dad was a full-blooded Yankee.
Le Duc, Joseph and Emily Le Duc were my grandparents on my mother's side. Big family of them, nine children, and they raised six to maturity, two girls and four boys.
On this farm there's five generations, no four generations of Trask's that have farmed this one farm and it's never been sold.
Dad took this land grant of 80 acres and from that he added till at one time we owned 320 acres. But as circumstances came along hard luck, bad years, we had to sell some. Timber 40, and 80 out on the prairie that we had rented for many years, then the 200 acres here. So we still have the 200 acres.
My Dad's father was a country doctor. He was out one night to visit a patient, two patients, the couple was sick and they had sent for the doctor, but in those days, you know, travel wasn't what it is now. But they finally got word to the doctor and he went on horseback and he was in the rain all night and he stayed to see them through all night. But they had double pneumonia and there wasn't anything them days like there is now, penicillin and all these drugs that they have now and they died and left a little girl. And grandfather Trask, he felt so bad for the little child that he adopted here and brought her up. I don't remember of my Dad's ever speaking of her name. They called her "Chubs" because she was fat and good-natured.
There were the three boys in the family. My Dad was the oldest and then Homer, then Charlie. Dad was a carpenter and a school teacher and Homer was a carpenter and Uncle Charlie was a dentist.
Uncle Charlie's boy died when he was just a young man, about in his twenties, so they had no children.
Homer had three girls. And last, the youngest, the other two are dead, Kate and Ellie are dead, but the youngest one married a Drury, they lived in Galesburg, Illinois. When my brother was on the railroad down there he stayed with them.
Lyman W. Trask, Ohio, he lived in Garrettsville, it's only a little
way from this college. My Dad, he got through the grades at Garrettsville and then went to Hiram College. He graduated there the year before he came out to this country to stake his claim. And another thing I remember his saying that they were very poor and he worked in the orchards there because he liked that kind of work and he worked his way through college. I think that was doing pretty good in those days.
Joseph and Emily LeDuc
9 children, of whom 6 survived: 4 boys and 2 girls
Lyman W. Trask
Doctor, lived in Garrettsville, Ohio
Henry Dwight Trask, eldest, carpenter, schoolteacher, farmer
Homer Trask, middle, carpenter
-----, married a Drury, lived in Galesburg, IL.
Charles Trask, youngest, dentist
son who died in his twenties
[end of transcript]" 138
Mankato Free Press, Monday, Oct. 2, 1978:
"Elsie E. Trask
Services for Elsie E. Trask, 95, Hillcrest Health Care Center, who died Sunday there, will be 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at Belgrade Avenue United Methodist Church, the Rev. Howard Jones officiating. Burial will be in Kerns Oak Grove Cemetery.
Visitation will be at the Johnson-Boman Mortuary from 7 to 9 p.m. today and one hour before the services at the church. The family prefers memorials to the church.
She was born to Henry and Amelia Trask Aug. 15, 1883, in Nicollet County. She was a lifetime resident of Belgrade Township, Nicollet County. She was a homemaker and member of Belgrade Avenue United Methodist Church. She had lived at Hillcrest for the last 12 years.
She is survived by a niece, Margaret Hobart, Mankato, and a nephew, Henry Hobart, Lake Crystal. She was preceded in death by two brothers, two sisters and five nieces and nephews."
Her headstone gives "Elsie E. Trask, 1883-1978"
1885 Minn. census, Nicollet Co., p. 8 [LDS FHL microfilm 565747]
1895 Minn. census, Nicollet Co., p. 124 [LDS FHL microfilm 565791]
1900 U.S. census, Nicollet Co., Minnesota, r. ____, E. D. 195, p. 156B
1910 U.S. census, Nicollet Co., Minnesota
|Last Modified 30 Jul 1999||Created 30 Jan 2002 by EasyTree for Windows|