Holikow Minnesota – Ole and Emma – chapter 4

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Chapter 4 – Holikow, Minnesota

Things in this town got cold, and the once peaceful center of town turned into a battle ground. It was as hard as it could get out there, when what was once the path no one would go down became the place everyone seemed to be heading. and many carried big sticks and those who didn’t clearly knew which side there were on. For over a month the battle raged, the town was divided except when our Scandinavian boys went out to fight those from other states. Our Scandinavian boys fought with all they had to tackle the opponents. Well that’s enough on football, now back to hockey! “WHAT?” exclaimed Ole as he continued to tell the story to Kids that had gathered at the Diner, now with their mouths hung open, “Well what else would I talking about?”

The way Dad could tell a story. He told the kids of some of the great stories of days gone by including when He played on Lake Jovial in the unofficial city hockey tournaments “The Holy Wars” took place. Where each year the Lutheran Church on the north side of town challenged the Baptist church on the South side of town, and the two Catholic churches on the East and the west side of the lake to a hockey tournament. By the end of the season one the churches was considered the hockey champion for the year.

Lake Jovial is in the center of town and for about a mile in each direction from the lake is the boarder of our unique little farm town of Holikow Minnesota. With a population 4,367 Our town is located just Northwest of the Twin Cities. It was founded 1898 by a group of Scandinavian business people to helped people who moved to America from Scandinavian countries to start farms.

Among the immigrants that came here were my family. My Grandfather Olaf a man I never knew, came over to this country with his pregnant wife Lena and young Daughter in 1909 they were given some acreage in exchange for their work and 20% of all the crops raised. It was by no means an easy life, but it was a good life.

My Father Ole recalls is life as a young man on the farm, “Yeah know boy back then things were different, men and women alike had to work hard from dawn to dusk. It didn’t matter if you were young or old, everyone did their share of the work often it meant long days, from sunup to sundown. Most people even the well to do lived very simple lives. And everyone was grateful for what they had.” Ole continues “My Mother Lena was nearly brought to tears most years during the dust bowl when the crops were not doing well because of the lack of rain. I know she and everyone prayed a lot during those times. The thing that kept our family farm afloat was that we had horses and we bread them. Everyone needed horses to keep their own farms going.

Often my parents who had very little themselves would give the horses away to families that could not afford to buy them, and in the process we created a very close nit community. The sacrifices my parents made literally helped the whole community of Holikow survive.

It was quite a different time back then, our community was not much more than a grain elevator and a gas station with a lot of farms all around. The Erickson Family was a big family when they moved to this country. While Hans’ Father started a farmstead many of Hans’ other family lived in town and worked for The Anderson family (which is your Mom Emma’s family) at the new food processing plant they opened.

Emma who was born in Europe transferred to the local school in town when Her Father came to this Country to help oversee the plants operations.