Home  Links  Descendants of Albert & Clara Rohne  Bertel Bertelson  T.T. Tegerson

Clara Tergerson Bertelson  Clarice Bertelson Rohne

Albert & Clara Tergerson Bertelson

Albert & Clara Bertelson

December 6, 1905

Farm 1913

Bertelson

Family 1935.jpg (1328855 bytes)

Around 1934

Family 1938.jpg (1644786 bytes)

Family 1940.jpg (1309722 bytes)

 

Albert Bertelson b. 29 Dec 1880, Redwood Co, MN d. 12 Jun 1958, Plainview, Hale Co., TX & Clara Belinda Tergerson b. 28 Feb 1888, Bosque Co,TX d. 30 May 1968, Plainview, Hale Co, TX m. 6 Dec 1905, Bosque Co, TX

Children
1. Clarice Belle Bertelson b. 9 Sep 1906, Bosque Co, TX d. 16 Dec 1983, Bosque Co, TX
2. Thelma Alene Bertelson b. 21 Jul 1908, Fairy, Hamilton Co,
3. Esther Magdalene Bertelson b. 3 Dec 1910, Hamilton Co, TX
4. Agnes Constance Bertelson b. 29 Apr 1913, Hamilton Co, TX
5. Anna Marie Bertelson b. 18 Apr 1915, Hamilton Co, TX
6. Selia Grace Bertelson b. 25 Apr 1918, Hamilton Co, TX d. 14 Aug 1988, Lubbock, Lubbock Co, TX
7. Eulalia Beatrice Bertelson b. 19 Aug 1920, Hamilton Co, TX
8. Verna Lee Dorothy Bertelson b. 21 Jan 1923, Hamilton Co, TX
9. Albert Carl Bertelson b. 25 May 1925, Hamilton Co, TX
10. Gwendolyn Janette Bertelson b. 27 Oct 1927, Bosque Co, TX
11. Terry Bertel Bertelson b. 8 Sep 1932, Plainview, Hale Co, TX d. 17 Apr 1968, Plainview, Hale Co, TX

Grandchildren
1-1-1 Troy Vardell Rohne b. 9 Apr 1928, Bosque Co, TX d. 9 Apr 1936, Bosque Co, TX
1-2-2 Clinton Alvon Rohne b. 29 Nov 1931, Bosque Co, TX
2-1-3 Evelyn "Evie" Louise Gill b. 30 Aug 1932, Roswell, NM
3-1-4 Avis Chrystell Culp b. 26 Jul 1933, Plainview, Hale Co, TX
1-3-5 Eudoris Janette Rohne b. 11 May 1934, Cranfills Gap, Bosque Co, TX
1-4-6 Karen Iris Rohne b. 21 Dec 1936, Cranfills Gap, Bosque Co, TX
4-1-7 Donald Paul Barbian b. 11 Apr 1937, Swisher Co, TX d. 30 Dec 1977, Plainvew, Hale Co, TX
5-1-8 Don Michael Barbian b. 5 Nov 1937, Plainview, Hale Co, TX
3-2-9 Niles Wendell Culp b. 4 Jun 1938, Plainview, Hale Co, TX
4-2-10 Frank Henry Barbian Jr. b. 27 Jul 1939, Plainview, Hale Co, Tx
4-3-11 Cameron Peter Barbian b. 4 Jul 1941, Tulia, Swisher Co, TX
2-2-12 Linda Lee Gill b. 22 Jul 1941, Roswell, NM d. 20 Aug 1977, Roswell, NM
1-5-13 Anthony Darryl (Tony) Rohne b. 4 Jul 1942, Cranfills Gap, Bosque Co, TX
6-1-14 Gordon Lee Swearengen Jr. b. 2 May 1943, Las Vegas, NV
3-3-15 Richard Allen Culp b. 30 Jan 1943, Lubbock, Lubbock Co, TX
7-1-16 Tony Barbian Jr. b. 30 Jan 1946, Plainview, Hale Co, TX
4-4-17 Connie Janelle Barbian b.16 Jun 1946, Plainview, Hale Co, TX d. 24 Oct 1987, Plainview, Hale Co,TX
6-2-18 Nancy Judean Swearengen b. 30 Jul 1946, Plainview, Hale Co, TX
8-1-19 Carol Elaine Daniels (Twin) b. 10 Nov 1946, Mt. Clemens, Macomb Co, MI
8-2-20 Constance Elise Daniels (Twin) b. 10 Nov 1946, Mt. Clemens, Macomb Co, MI
5-2-21 Bryan Dennis Cadra b. 28 Nov 1946, Lubbock, Lubbock Co, TX
7-2-22 Beatrice Pauline "Bea" Barbian b. 8 Apr 1947, Plainview, Hale Co, TX d. 17 Jun 1999, Roswell, NM
10-1-23 Shirley Elaine Mull b. 12 May 1947, Plainview, Hale Co, TX
6-3-24 Susan Irene Swearengen b. 13 May 1948, Plainview, Hale Co, TX
9-1-25 Albert Ronald Bertelson b. 4 Sep 1948, Plainview, Hale Co, TX d. 19 Oct 1972, Lubbock, Lubbock Co, TX
10-2-26 James Edwin Mull Jr. b. 27 Oct 1948, Hale Co, TX
4-5-27 David Michael Barbian b. 17 Mar 1949 Plainview, Hale Co, Tx
6-4-28 Clifford Lynn Swearengen b. 1 Jan 1950, Plainview, Hale Co, TX
8-3-29 Larry Wayne Daniels b. 1 Sep 1950 Colorado Springs, El Paso, CO
9-2-30 Stephen Eugene Bertelson b. 13 Oct 1950, Plainview, Hale Co, TX
8-4-31 Glenn Alan Daniels b. 18 Jan 1952, Colorado Springs, El Paso Co, CO
9-4-32 Deborah Jane (Jane) Bertelson b. 22 Aug 1953, Tulia, Swisher Co, TX
6-5-33 Benjamin Richard Swearengen b. 30 Jun 1954, Plainview, Hale Co, TX
8-5-34 Diane Marie Daniels [Diana Monroe] b. 13 Jul 1954, Tulsa, OK ?
10-3-35 Marilyn Della Mull b. 20 Aug 1955, Plainview, Hale Co, TX
9-3-36 Dee Ann Bertelson b. 14 Feb 1957, Tulia, Swisher Co, TX
Compiled with the help of Betty Knudson Edgar  Report any error to trohne@earthlink.net

Albert Bertelson

  Dad (Albert Bertelson) said when they first moved to Texas in 1885, there were a lot of Indians around, but they were friendly and helped the ignorant immigrants to learn many things about raising the kind of foods adapted to the territory. When he rode his horse, the grass was so tall everywhere; it reached up to the stirrups. There was no sumac, and few trees, except Live Oak, Walnut, and Cottonwood. The people ate wild dewberries, blackhaw berries, and the ripe prickle pears. They would carefully rub them in the dirt to remove the tiny prickles then rub the dirt off on their pants and eat them. The kids did not try that much, because they were afraid of the stickers. When it was wet in the fields, or Dad was through with his work (weekends and in the fall) he would go with us to the "round-top" mountain and look for Indian arrowheads. There were a lot of them, but we failed to save them. We would have them in our "play house" (any shed or bin that was empty). Dad was a self-educated man; he knew the names of all the birds, and wild flowers. He only got to go to school for four years as there were so many in their family of fourteen, and he was the fourth child. The only time I every heard Dad talk ugly was when he was trying to milk a cow; he had bought from Reinert Reierson. She had never been milked, so he was having quite a time of it. We kids were watching from a distance, and all at once she ran and jumped a 6-foot solid plank door, by the barn. We thought he had to be very upset. Dad said, "Dad gum it to Hell!"

Father, Albert Bertelson, bought 180 acres of mostly undeveloped land for $1800 in 1905. It had an old barn by the Meridian Creek. Mother, Clara Belinda (Tergerson) and Father lived in the barn after they were married. It had a dirt floor, but Clara kept it swept clean. She was a fanatic about cleaning house. This prong of Meridian Creek went west, past the Percival schoolhouse, by the mountain on Brummett's place. Mr. Brummett had three batches of children and his house came all the way out to the road. His house was on the right and the barns were on the left-hand side of the road. This road later became Highway 22 from Cranfills Gap to Hamilton. It was later straightened and paved; across mountains many thought were too high to build on.

Dad cleared 6 acres by the road in 1905 and made 6 bales of cotton on it in 1906 (the year I was born). He picked a bale in 5 days, alone, and ginned it on the 6th. He would unload the bale onto planks until he got 3 bales and would load them and take them to Clifton, Hamilton, or Hico to sell. Sam Finson, his wife and mother picked theirs and swore Dad had help, as they couldn't pick nearly that fast. Dad was a champion picker, ("no hulls, mind you, get it all out of the burr the first grab"). He took two rows and walked or crawled between them. He always wore leather kneepads to protect his knees. When I was growing up, I would get astride a row by him. I never could pick enough crawling, my back would eventually get numb, but I could pick more than anyone else could my age in the patch. I always raced at everything I did, even when I was alone.

Dad and Uncle Mack built a house by the road the summer of 1906. This home has been added to but still stands as of 1980. It had a large bedroom and kitchen with an enclosed stairway. Upstairs had two windows, one in the north end and one in the south end. The brick chimney (flue) came up the wall that was between the two rooms. We had a cast iron heater in the bedroom and a cast iron cook stove in the kitchen. Thelma and I slept upstairs after Esther was born. The warm flue kept it from being too cold. On real cold nights Mama put hot salt bags at our feet, later, if the kitchen wasn't being heated at night, she covered some stove lids with paper and put them at our feet. I used to cry at night with my legs hurting, somehow she knew as she would come up and rub them with Watkins liniment so I could go back to sleep.

Mama (Clara Tergerson Bertelson) always talked Norwegian on the telephone to her sisters so the "Amerikansk" couldn't understand them, and she and Dad always talked Norwegian at home. When I started school, all of the Norwegian stopped at home. Now my children think we deprived them by not teaching them a second language.

In 1913, when I was 7, we moved to a 400-acre farm, which was really nice, it had a lot of trees in the yard. It had a real lawn fencing around it and a white painted 2x4 all around just below the scalloped top (metal). I guess the planks (on level sawed-off posts) were 3 to 3-1/2 feet off the ground. We walked on them barefooted. We had a huge mulberry tree in the yard that we sat in most of the summer and ate mulberries.

Sometimes there would be tiny white mites on them, but we would just blow them off. We sat up in the loft of the huge red barn, climbing up the rafters on the planks that went across the top of the loft walls to hold the two sides together, and climb into the little vented square top on the center of the roof. When we sat and looked out the top of the barn, we could see the rooster on the weathervane and the lightening rod on the top of the house. The barn, granary and house all had grounded lightening rods on them; we thought the shiny balls on them were beautiful. I guess we who remember them will always be homesick for the 'White House', as we called it. The house later burned to the ground.

In January of 1919, every family was hit by a ravishing flu. Mama was expecting her sixth child. Dad and I didn't go to bed; we took care of all of them. That summer before I turned 13, I was too weak to walk; Mama took me to the doctor. He did not find anything, probably gave me something for "worms". Mama's remedies included: (1) Each spring a "thru" of calomel, the doctor put the powder in papers and we had to swallow about five powders before bedtime, then we took a big dose of castrol oil or Epsom salts the next morning, (2) Frequently, she would give us a cupful of hot Watkins tea (laxative) or sugar in a tablespoon with four drops of turpentine for three days in a row to kill stomach, pin or tape worms. (Everyone seemed to have them.), (3) When we had a cold, we always had to take castor oil to get rid of the phlegm! If we coughed we would get mustard and flour paste on a cloth on our chest and shift. The shift would be turned about to the back, with a hot cook stove lid wrapped in paper held against the mustard plaster (if it was cold weather).

We had a mare named Dolly that Mama hitched to the buggy. We usually went to visit Grandma Tergerson and Mama's unmarried brothers and sisters, when Dad would be gone all day. Dolly had a habit of getting wads of grass in her cheeks. One day while putting the bridle bit into her mouth, Mama decided to take the cud out, she did not get her finger out fast enough, so it got chomped. We always had a telephone (one long and three short rings on line number 15). The doctor came and cleaned her finger well and I believe took some stitches. No-trip that time!

We visited the Finson's a lot, their children were Clara born 1907, a year younger than I, Pier born 1908, 2-1/2 years younger, and Selma born 1910, 4 years younger, later they had twins Ella and Edwin. They had a cellar built into the clay hillside that was an attraction for us we did not have one. One morning Thelma and I could not find anyone at the Finsons'; they were all below the hill from the house, delivering piglets. I was so embarrassed I could have "crawled in a hole and pulled it with me" (an old saying), we were not subject to any birthing at home.

Dad had a well dug and put in a windmill and water tank before he built the house. Most of our neighbors had cisterns or hand-dug wells. They had to pull the water buckets on ropes, over a pulley on a scaffold. The wells mostly had rocks around them waist high, then a board for cover (I was afraid of them). Charlie Cranfills lived about 1/2 mile down in the pasture on the other side of the Finsons. He came to our place and hauled water in 50 gallon wooden barrels for 2 years before they dug a well.

The barn had six stalls with feed troughs at the walk by the doors of the three bins. There was a room for the harness in the center of the barn shed, which was enclosed. Once Dad walked into a stall behind old Pete (a mule), which kicked Dad way out into the pen. If Dad hadn't been so close to Pete, he probably would have been killed. One two-year-old horse that was red, fat, and beautiful, got her foot tangled up in some barbed wire and almost cut it off, it got infected. Dad kept putting hot medicine, etc, but I guess it finally got in so much pain; she chased Dad out of the pen and fell over dead. I cried and I guess the rest did too.

In the "White House" the rooms were 16'x16' or 18'x18', downstairs, there was a kitchen, bedroom and parlor with a wide hall between the bedroom and parlor. The doors were ornate and painted and trimmed in 3 muted colors, gray, rose, and off-white. The front and back hall doors were one half glass (for light). There was a porch across the hall and one window in each of the two adjoining from rooms looked out onto the porch. All three downstairs rooms had four long windows (two panes in each half) that rattled. It was a big two-story house; my room, which I shared with my sister, Thelma, was finished. Sis and I had a bed, a small table and a kerosene lamp in our room. We had a closet on each side, where we hung our clothes on nails on the plate and rafters. (The plate was the 2x6 or 6x6 that the walls from the downstairs were nailed to. It was about 3 feet off the floor upstairs). The closet roof slanted, and we could see daylight through the shingles. There was no stove, only a flue to the stove in the parlor below us. We very seldom had a fire in that heater, the stairwell was open, and the upper hall was partly sealed. It had an open closet in one corner (no door), with only nails on which to hang clothes. Mom sunned the mattresses on the porch roof by putting them through the windows.

Esther and Agnes slept in the west room across the hall. Every fall we would stand on the kitchen table and scrub the beaded ceiling and walls, down to where we could reach from the floor, some patches were leaner than others as we used lye in the water, and as the water got dirtier, the swatch we washed got dirtier.

The room over the kitchen never was finished; it was our playroom (if it wasn't too hot or Mom didn't have a quilt or comforter hung from the rafters). Upstairs was hot in the summer and cold in the winter and this room had three rattling windows, the only furnishings in the north room were paper dolls and our cuttings. We would cut out paper dolls from Sears and Ward catalogs and work so hard getting slips of paper, dividing the room and setting up our dolls. Then Mom would bang on the ceiling with the broom and yell, "get down here and help with something or other!" Then Mom would clean the room and burn everything. (She said it was because we hadn't cleaned up our mess.) We never got the time, since she would call us to help. If it wasn't cold, Mama used that room to quilt or put up comforters. She carded the cotton that Dad saved from the bales he ginned and then she tied them with twine onto the frames.

To make a comforter: First, layout the card cotton on 3-layer plaits, close together, then put the cover on, and the fun begins. Using darning needles and "carpet" thread (from huge coneshaped spools) tack the comforter.

Double your thread, mark off squares (if it didn't have checks), run your needle down through all the thickness', then come up again about 1/4" from the down thread. Tie a hitch knot and cut the four threads about 1-1/2" long, as they are a decoration (if you make straight rows). Usually, the knots were made about four or five inches apart in squares.

When Mama quilted, she took a chalk and tied a string in the middle. Then she tied a big knot in the end of the string the distance she wanted the "shell" to go (about 15"). She put a finger on the knot in the corner of the quilt and ran the chalk from an upright position, in a fan shape, to the bottom of the quilt. Then she pulled back on her string 1-1/2" (about) and kept going like that until she had all the curves small. She would finish the last with a straight seam. I, being left-handed, hated fan quilting; it was backward for me, so I got the corner seams at the bottom of her fans.

I did my first sewing on the machine at the age of 3 (sewed my index finger, needed only 1 lesson!). I had helped Mama sew as far back as I could remember but hadn't made a dress alone. When Mama made a new dress, she only used a waist and sleeve pattern (out of newspaper) and a tape measure or old dress to go by. When I was 14, I asked Mama to make a pink cotton chambray dress with white pique collar and cuffs to wear to a Literary Society that night at the schoolhouse. I was on the program, Thelma sang alto and I sang soprano at almost every program. Mama was gone when I got home from school, so I cut, sewed and wore the dress that night. I forgot that chambray shrinks something awful, so after it was washed a smaller sister inherited it.

Aunt Jennie tried to teach me how to crochet when I was about 8 or 9. "You do it backward, old lefty, so you'll have to learn it by yourself." So I did. Thelma and I crocheted edging (1/2" to 1-1/2") on all our panties and petticoats for summer. In winter we wore long johns, flannel long-sleeved undershirts make like dresses, with a waistband and gathered skirt (usually a drab gray). We had long black stockings and flannel bloomers with buttonholes to button onto our drawer waists. Drawer waists were round necked with no sleeves. They had three buttons down the back, a big button on each side and the front. The drop seat had to be buttoned on the same buttons. They also, had a button, in front to hold them together. There were white drawer waists and drawers to almost the knees in summer (these were with the crocheted edging).

All our Sunday clothes were white when we were children; they were made of beautifully embroidered material. (I have pictures to prove it.) All had to be starched and ironed every week, we usually had on Sunday dress and two, maybe three, school dresses. We wore one dress for four days and a clean one for Friday. We had high-topped black laced shoes. To go to school, we walked through a 35-acre field and on the road about 1/1 0 mile, then through seepy pasture (about 1-3/4 miles in all). After the 9th grade, I stayed with Grandpa and Grandma Tergerson until she passed away in January 1925, then I walked the 4 miles to the Cranfills Gap School, and I finished the 10th grade. I thought a lot of Ben Anderson, our 10th grade school teacher. The main reason I liked Mr. Anderson was because he taught me the rules, etc., in plain geometry that I had missed when picking cotton for 2 weeks after school started. I almost always missed a couple of weeks at the beginning of school and again at the end of school to help with the planting and harvesting. At that time there were only four big rooms for 10 grades, there were no indoor restrooms. The building only had a long cold hall with two rooms on each side, Mr. Anderson taught the 9th and 10th grades in the same room.

In March of 1926, Dad got me a job as the clerk in the material, overalls, shoes, hats, ribbon and lace, etc., part of Bronstads' store in the Gap. They had an adjoining room for groceries and another room for buying chickens, eggs, and cream, and other things. I worked there until August 1927 at $40 per month. I walked four miles to work for a while, and then I stayed with Grandpa Bertelson and Aunt Christine for a few months.

Uncle Chris was still living then, he was in bed a lot by then, he had epilepsy and was having seizures often at night, so Aunt Christine had a lot to do. She was glad for the $15 a month I paid her. Aunt Christine was the church organist and choir director. They sang all four parts, as a lot of the men sang in choir then, too. I spent 2 months in the summer of '26 with Selena Knudson on their farm about 2 miles from the store. I didn't have quite so far to walk. Her folks were working on another farm on the mountain. She stayed home to care for the cows and chickens.

In the early spring 1927, Dad and Mom and seven of the kids moved into a vacant house in the Gap. They let Parks have the farm (400 acres) in fall of '26. Dad owed him $10,000 and had no way of ever paying it back. They stored their furniture in one room and went west and picked cotton all fall.

Grandpa Tergerson died in the fall of '26, so Mama inherited $800.00, and they used it to move to the Plains of Texas.

We went to visit my folks in August; it took 16 hours to go to where they had settled, on a section of land, 15 miles south of Plainview. They were working the land with mules and horses and raising lots of hogs and milking about 40 cows (by hand). They gave us a pig; we put it in a crate bolted to the running board (don't have that on cars now). It took longer to come home, as it had rained between Post and Snyder. There is a river at Justiceburg (has a long bridge now, but not then). Cars were having trouble crossing because of quicksand; so patrolmen guided cars across. Some stalled out, but we went around them, the Ford was higher off the ground.

My Dad wanted help after moving to the Plains, so we bought a 4-wheel trailer and packed all the furniture we needed for two rooms. We pulled it behind our car ('27 coupe), and moved late fall 1929. We moved to Happy Union, where my sisters went to school (3 miles). It really gets cold on the "plains"; we lived upstairs in two rooms. We had 80 acres of cotton, made only 10 small bales (on halves).

Ernest's Dad had gone into debt heavily in 1924. He bought a lot of cattle and land from Frazier Boone. He built a big house, chicken houses, huge sheep pen and shell barn and lots, dug a well, and built a car shed and washhouse. Then in '29 he found that he had a malignant tumor in his lymph gland in the right jaw. They operated but it was far too advanced, by fa11 1929, he had a hole in his left jaw into his mouth and suffered something awful.

We went back to Cranfills Gap for Christmas and stayed through most of January. He died 22 Feb 1930, two days after his 46th birthday. Ernest promised him we'd come back and help his mother, as Olga, Cora and Cecil were at home. We came back, even though we had a promise of 165-acres, mostly in cultivation, a good house and cattle (milk cows) and horses (to work on halves). The promise came from Pruett, the man who owned the section Dad farmed (1-1/2 miles from Plainview) .It was a big disappointment to leave all that.

On 29 Dec 1980, Dad (Albert Bertelson) would have been 100; he did so want to live to be 100. He worked to hard and had too many nosebleeds and was bitten by a rattlesnake in 1921. Later, a tree fell on him while he was cutting firewood down by the Meridian Creek on our place; he tore something loose on his right side. (That probably bothered him). The malignant tumors the doctors removed from his colon could have been after-effects. He didn't get better in the hospital, so he tried to go home, he died 12 Jun 1958 at the age of 77 years, 5 months. Terry, our baby brother, born 8 Sep 1932, had epileptic seizures and he had had one just 8 weeks before Dad left us, and died by suffocation in his pillow. We feel it was God's hand that took Terry, so Mama did not have to care for Terry alone. Terry was unconscious when his head jerked into his pillow; he didn't have to suffer anymore.

Clarice Bertelson Rohne as written by Karen Rohne Todd and Eudoris Rohne Dahl about 1980

Parents of Albert Bertelson

Bertel Bertelson was born in Ulland, Denmark on Oct 27, 1853 to Mads (born in Denmark in 1824), and Dorothea Neilson (born in 1822).  Mads (pronounced "Mahs") changed his name to Mack in America.  They came to America in 1863 when Bertel was ten years old, in July, 1863.  They landed in Canada and came down the St. Lawrence River to Wisconsin.  Bertel Bertelson was born in Ulland, Denmark on Oct 27, 1853 to Mads (born in Denmark in 1824), and Dorothea.  They bypassed the East Coast, fearing the blockades of the Civil War.  They wanted to begin their life in this new land on a happy note.  They were fleeing Denmark, when Napoleon was losing his battles.  Mads got out while they still had money.  Some of his brothers had their property confiscated.  Mads sent money for others to come over.  Mads and family first settled in Wisconsin, until the spring of 1864, and then migrated to Redwood County, Minnesota.

Christine Johnson (Norwegian spelling, Kristina or Kristine Johannson) was born in Bergen, Norway in March, 1859 and came to America at the age of three years with her family.  Christine became so ill during the voyage her parents were sure that they would have to bury her at sea.  Somehow Christine recovered and arrived in America safely. Christine's family came down the St. Lawrence River and settled in Iowa.  Her father supported the family as a farmer, carpenter, and a cabinet maker.  Later the family moved to Minnesota in Redwood County with Belview as their post office.  One of the gravestones in Swedes Forest, MN is for Hilda Christina Johnson, born 18 Jul 1829 and died 28 Maris 1899 (this may have been Christine's mother).

 It was in Minnesota that Bertel and Christine met and fell in love.  They married on July 31, 1875. Christine was only 16 when they married and was a rather attractive young lady.  Shortly after they married, they attended a country dance.  Every time Christine and Bertel would dance past the band, the fiddler would tap Christine on the shoulder with the bow and he never missed a beat of the music.  What do you suppose Bertel did about that?

Bertel and Christine continued to live in Minnesota for many years after they married.  Bertel worked his own farm and owned a threshing machine operation.  Bertel and Christine were known for their farming of diversified crops, raising of livestock, and for rearing kids galore.  Six children were born to Bertel and Christine in Minnesota; Mads (Mack)13 Jun 1876, John 9 Dec 1877, Christisan (Chris) 20 Apr 1879, Albert 29 Dec 1880, Anna 9 Sept 1882, and Martin 12 July 1884.

Bertel's father (Mack Bertelson), who had moved to Texas around 1882, had consistently written Bertel urging him to bring his family to Texas.  He painted a 'rosy' picture about Texas, relating the many and varied opportunities for a young man and telling about good land at cheap prices.  Bertel, however, was hesitant to make the long journey for several reasons.  He wasn't too 'sold' on coming to Texas because he was making a good living with his threshing machine operation and it would be quite a task to move six children and his wife to a rather unsettled part of the country {their youngest child was 15 months).

Finally in the Summer of 1885, Bertel and Christine loaded their children on a train headed for Texas.  They brought a trunk marked, 'South America, Texas'.  They were met in Meridian by Bertel's father, who lived in the Harmony Community near Cranfills Gap.  They boarded his father's wagon, and went to his father's house until they could get settled.  Charlie was born in the Gap Dec. 9, in a friend's home.

Bertel's father, Mack had been to west Texas, and applied for a homestead in Fisher County before Bertel moved to Texas.  Mack urged Bertel to go with him to west Texas and apply for land there also.  Shortly after Bertel and his family got settled at his fathers home, they decided to make the trip to west Texas. 

They left Harmony Community in the early morning and made it to Hamilton by 'dark thirty'.  They spent the night in Hamilton.  The next morning when preparing to go on, they saw the sign 'Joe Edison Real Estate'.  Mr, Edison talked them out of going to west Texas and he talked Bertel into staying near the Norwegian settlement at Cranfills Gap.  And Mr. Edison not only 'sold' Bertel on Texas, he sold Bertel 1,000 acres of Texas for $1.00 per acre.  It was four miles west of Cranfills Gap in Hamilton County, on Neils Creek.  It was on a mountain {most people called them mountains, even if they weren't very high). There was no straight road between Cranfills Gap and Lanham at this time.  The dirt road from the Gap ended at Bertels' home.  By 1886, a house had been built on the newly purchased land and the Bertelson family moved to their first Texas home in March.  Bertel's father Mack built a house near Bertel and Christine. Willie, Clara, Caroline, Bernt and Christine were all born there.  Christine was the 12th child in 19 years.

The Bertelson children thought that their grandparents (Mack and Dorothea) had better  'eats' than they had at home and they often slipped over to their grandparents house for the better 'eats'.  Many thing have changed since the late 1800's but certainly grandparents 'spoiling' of grandchildren has not.  The children didn't like milking 10 to 12 cows twice daily, feeding chickens and slopping the hogs, but they had chores.

 In 1894, when Christine was 3 weeks old, Bertel and family moved to a big stone house. They had traded ranches with Andreas Johnson, who had the same amount of land.  Bertel paid an extra $600.00.  This farm was located about two miles east of the Gap.  They moved to be closer to the Rock Church and the Swenson school.  The house on the new farm was a log house with a living room, kitchen and an upstairs. Charlie Johnson had begun an addition to the house and had started rocking the house with native rock. Bertel, along with the entire family, finished the building and repairs about a year later.  When the house was completed it had a living room, kitchen, a hall, a parlor, upstairs rooms and a new porch on the south side.  The house is still there today.  The next one or two babies after Christine were premature and died. Then came Ferdie, followed by two more who died or were stillborn.  Beatrice was last (Sept. 1, 1904). Bertel and Christine reared 14 children.

The Old Lutheran Rock Church was finished enough to have services in 1886.  People sat on long planks laid on top of nail kegs.  It had a dirt floor and very deep walls of solid rock, cut out of the nearby mountains and hauled by oxen.  Chris Mickelson and his brother Andrew helped with the stone work.  They made very good mortar.  It's now designated as a historic building, four miles from Cranfills Gap.

Martin was about 10 when they moved to the stone house.  Martin's first day at the Swenson School proved to be a memorable one.  The teacher at the Crove School, which Martin had attended before moving, had been rather lacking in disciplinary measures.  Martin soon learned that things would be different at the Swenson School.  The children were expected to be inside and in their places when the teacher arrived. Martin followed the other children inside when they saw the teacher walking over the hill.  When the teacher came inside, the children bowed and then the teacher bowed.  Martin did not bow with the other children.  The procedure was repeated so that Martin could bow.  He was embarassed.  Then when 'books' were over, Martin grabbed his coat and hat and bolted out the door.  The teacher, Professor Olson, sent a boy to call him back.  Martin learned that the class filed out singularly, and as they passed the teacher, they bowed.  Once Professor Olson was attending a meeting in Meridian and he was asked to explain why he had been able to teach so long in the same school.  He replied, 'They are still getting first class teaching and I'm getting third class salary'.  Wonder what Martin thought of that first day with Mr Olson, and what impact Mr Olson had on Martin and Bertel's other children.

When Martin and Albert were young men, they went to Oklahoma to work for John Ratliff on a farm. Martin noticed that John milked a cow quite peculiar to the method he had known.  John held the bucket with one hand and milked the cow with the other hand. Finally, Martin could stand this awkward procedure no longer and told John that he would be glad to show him how to milk a cow.  John agreed to the lesson. Martin placed the bucket between his legs and began to milk with both hands.  John just laughed, and wished Martin had shown him sooner.

A favorite adventure with the younger set was to go Jule Bok sometime between Christmas and New Years Eve.  The boys and girls would dress up like ghosts, hitch up the buggies, saddle their horses, and ride whooping and hollering around a house until they were given some wine and cookies, or other refreshment. Then off they would ride to another house.  They also enjoyed singing religious songs on Sunday nights. Parents who frowned on dancing often gave their children 'play parties' instead.  At the parties the youngsters sang songs and played rhythm games (some of this was forerunner to square dancing, and  maybe even the Texas two-step).

The children of Bertel and Christine chose various paths to follow during their lives.  Mack was a school teacher, then became a surveyor for Bosque County, and later for Santa Fe Railroad.  He was a bachelor, and lived in Meridian.  (He died from leukemia in 1943).  John moved to Los Angeles, and went into insurance.  Albert farmed and sold real estate in Plainview, but that's another story.  Anna stayed home to take care of her father Bertel, and later moved to Ft. Worth.  Martin farmed, later was mail carrier, then worked for Standard Oil.  He also purchased the electric company at the Gap that had a hard time operating in '32.  And he put the company back on its feet.  Charlie farmed, truck farmed, and owned a parking lot business in Ft Worth.  Willie was a farmer and carpenter in Ft Worth.  Clara married John Olson and stayed at the Gap.  Bernt was a barber at the Gap.  Caroline, Mrs. B.M. Swenson, died giving birth to Caroline Belle (Caroline was raised by Bertel and Christine).  Christine, Mrs. Alfred Finstad, stayed in the Gap.  Fred was a farmer and carpenter near Austin.  Beatrice married Dudley Pendleton and moved to California, and later to Okla.  Chris was an epileptic, and lived with his parents until his death in 1928.  They raised nine boys, five girls, and two grandchildren (Caroline Belle Swanson and Levi Swenson).  Christine died Feb 16, 1918.  Bertel died July 22, 1938.