Wednesday, December 23, 2015



Last Christmas was my last post on this Christopher Camp Blog.  Go to "older posts"
to view Vintage Christmas cards from the past. .  Please share this post  with
anyone who has interest asI may not  have everyone's email address.

North Dakota winters in the 20's were very cold. Here's some stories from 
Uncle Ken and Uncle Bob you might enjoy:

"In the winter, sometimes we'd take the sled maybe a mile or two down the road to the
school house. We'd take hay in the bottom of the sled box and a blanket over the top 
and a lantern under the blanket to keep warm. Dad had a big robe and he had a coat made
out of it. He used to tell us that he had taken the hide off of old Madge (their horse that 
had died) to make the coatWe didn't know how true it was but that's what he used to
say. Anyway, he would stand up in that cold weather with this coat on, and drive the 
team over to the dance. We'd pick up neighbors, the Giesike's and so on. Except for
the Christensen's, they weren't speaking to us at the time. We went by their place, 
I don't think they had any dancers anyway. Chris, I don't think he danced. So anyway
we went on our way and got to the corner by Jablonski's and Orsten's and spend the
night dancing. They always had a place to put the horses. Either that or we'd blanket 
them good. Then when we came out after the dance the horses would be just white
with frost. Oh, it was good for us kids, we could get under the blanket if we got cold
or else, run behind. That was quite an evening in those days.

"The one room school house was about 1 mile from the Christopher place. 
The kids walk to school most days. In the winter it was so cold and snowy
sometimes they had to hold their arms in between the barred wires so they 
wouldn't get lost. North Dakota winters were so cold that when the kids walked
to school, the oldest one would walk backwards and watch all the noses of the 
little kids. As soon as he saw something turning white he would grab some
snow and put on it as protection from frost bite. It was always pretty chilly
in the winter. It was -30 or -40 sometimes but the wind always made i
colder than that."

"Christmas time was always big time for us.  It didn't seem to make any difference how hard up the folks were, we'd always managed to get an orange or an apple in our sock and one toy and a few nuts. That was a big Christmas for us.  That was pretty much the same every year."


Grandfather Carl Christopher had only one sister, Brieta (Bessie) . She married Inga Olsen (Carl's wife) brother Gus Olsen.  That is why all of us Christopher's and Olsens are double cousins.  The story of Bessie and Gus Olsen appeared in the Medina N.D. Diamond Jubilee Publication in 1974.

Thanks to our cousin Jim Skofstad for finding this "ON LIne" book and to cousin Dennis Skofstad for sending the link to me so I could send it on to the entire Christopher Camp.  See e-mail entry below: 

"My brother Jim  does all the genealogical research in my family.  Accordingly he sent me a reference to which is the Medina, ND Diamond Jubilee book.  It’s a marvelous piece of work, dedicated to uncle Glenn Christopher, with sections on the history of Medina by Glenn (pg6/PDF pg8), Carl Christopher family (pg 116/PDF pg 142), Bill and Janet Christopher Well (pg108/126), Glenn Christopher family )pg 136/162), the committees on which Glenn and Janet served (pg 219/273), a picture of the Feton Lumber company fire (pg 230/284) where Glen worked for years and more.  The recounting of winters, threshing, and daily life are marvelous.  The pictures are great.  You may not have Glenn’s bio of himself.  I think you’ll like it.
Dennis Skofstad"

Along with some pictures I have, Here is their story from the book:

Gustav C. Olsen, his wife Bessie, and their two children, Alvin and Thelma, came to Medina about 1903. Mr. Olsen filed on a homestead a few miles north of town. In addition to improving his property, putting in some crops and raising some stock, he conducted a real estate business in town. An old photo shows his office on the west side of Main Street with a sign over the door: "G. C. Olsen, Land Office."

Bessie, Alvin Thelma and Gus

With some surveying experience and a familiarity with land subdivision, he was instrumental in locating many early settlers on their properties. He later formed a partnership with a Mr. Batz, establishing themselves in a small building on the northwest corner of Main and Water streets where the store now stands.

Alvin and Thelma started to school in 1906 in a little one room structure north of Medina. The teacher was Mrs. Margaret Gleason. The building was used for many years after moved to other sites and back again. It no longer exists.

In 1907 Mr. Olsen moved his family into town. They lived in a two story building which still stands. It was on the west side near the creamery and across the street from the Preszler home. By now the family had increased in size. Raymond was born in 1904 and Elmer in 1906.Alvin and Thelma attended a school located where the present water tower now stands. It was a two story building with a large belfry.
Gus, Thelma and Elmer

In August 1908, Raymond suffered a ruptured appendix and died in the hospital in Jamestown. He is buried in the Christopher plot in the Medina Cemetery.By now Mr. Olsen had discontinued the real estate business and gone into the general store business under the firm name of "Remboldt and Olsen."

A sister, Mary, had joined the household and worked as a clerk in the store. Also another sister, Minnie, joined the family. She attended high school in Jamestown and college in Valley City.

Mary became the wife of Frank McCready, railroad station master. Minnie married Ray Gleason.
One of Mr. Olsen's interests was playing cornet in the town band. He pursuaded his son, Alvin, to take up the snare drum. He also organized and played cornet in a small dance orchestra with Pearl Olson, piano; Jack Stewart, violin; Alvin, drums. At times others played with the group - as: E. F. Langer, cello; Ray Gleason, trombone; Frank Carey, violin; Ross Jennings, clarinet.

About 1910 Mr. Olsen sold out the store business and joined Wm. F. Stege as Credit Manager in a new bank in Medina. Employed also at the time were Adam Preszler and Chub Opp. The Olsen family moved from the west side to the Dr . Todd house on east Water Street. The house is still there on a corner north of a church. Two more children were born. Harold in 1909 and Olive
in 1912.  

In 1913 Mr. Olsen moved his family to Carrington, where he operated a garage business. In the fall of 1914, he moved his family back to Medina again to a home about a block north of the Todd house and east across the street. Here Esther was born.

With all this, Mr. Olsen found time to campaign as a Republican candidate for Representative to the State Legislature. His bid for the office was not successful, but he gained a wide acquaintanship which may have resulted in obtaining for Alvin a job in the office of Secretary of State in Bismarck.

In June 1916, Alvin moved to this job after completing three years of high school, the last two being in a new brick building built near where the present school stands.

In 1917 Mr. Olsen moved his family to Havre, Montana where he was employed as Credit Manager in the Havre National Bank. Alvin joined the family there shortly after. Alice was born in Havre in July 1917. Norma was born there in July of 1920.

In the years after that, the family moved many times, mostly in Oregon. The last move was to Oakland, California where Mr. Olsen owned and operated a "school store" . catering to the wants of school children nearby until his health faded. Gustav Karl Olsen died in Oakland of cancer on August 9, 1931.

Nothing much is said here about his wife Bessie, but it is understandable that with such a large family she had, plenty to keep her busy. A devoted wife and mother, Bessie Louisa Christopher Olsen died in Oakland on July 3 I, 1958 at the age of 80 years.


Sunday, December 21, 2014


 I HAVE SHARED A FEW CHRISTMAS CARDS FROM YEARS PAST THAT HAD BEEN SAVED BY INGA CHRISTOPHER.  (If you missed those, go to "older posts" on this page and look for Dec 2011)  THERE WAS A LOT OF INTEREST IN THESE TREASURES. SHARING THESE WITH ALL OF YOU MAKES CHRISTMAS EVEN MORE SPECIAL TO ME.  SO HERE ARE A FEW MORE...I am including the written side also so you can see the handwriting of our family members from years ago.  .
from John Davis Charleson's family (Carl Christopher's half brother)about 1920 

From Inga's father Christ Olson 1911 Pequot MN

from Oscar Christopher 1917 (Carl's youngest brother) to their mother Kjestina)

from Clara Olsen (Inga's sister) 1927

from Mary (Inga's sister in Edmonton, Canada) 1928


Saturday, August 16, 2014

100 year celebration/reunion-Frenchtown Pond-Montana

To honor my father's memory, Lester - born 100 years ago, my daughter Sara, her three children and I visited his grave in Anaconda, Montana.
Hannah and Eden Bingham

Sara, Hannah, Eden Bingham
On Sunday, August 10, 2014, We also celebrated with a family reunion in Frenchtown at the Pond with about 37 people. Many liked the area and want to have another reunion there next year. Some are interested in attending the larger Olsen Family Reunion in Pequot Lakes, Minnesota next year.  They hold it on the 2nd Saturday each August and this year they had 147 attending as pictured below. 
Olsen Reunion 2014- Pequot Lakes Minn.
George Barb, Faye Goldie, Lana Roger, Donna, Roy
Some attending the Christopher Reunion were brave enough to dress up in Viking costumes to honor our Norwegian ancestry.  Many were interested in the Christopher Family History binder and the Olsen Family History binder containing information and pictures of family members. 
Roger, Faye, George, Roy
 Good food, swimming, visiting was enjoyed by all attending.  Do you know how to make Norwegian cupcakes????
Troy Bingham
Dawn, Riley, and Michael Wahl

Goldie, Barb & Carl Erlandson
Wyatt and Kelsey Indreland with Eden Bingham

Rory, Abby, Goldie Indreland

and Cathy (Olsen) from Spokane came the farthest....She also made it to the California Olsen Reunion in June this year.
Cathy Nefzger

Some of us were tired after the long day.
Eden Bingham

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


On August 5, 1914, twin boys were born to Carl and Inga Christopher at their home. Lauren Ivan was born first, then Lester Carl. Their grandmother,  Bessie Christopher and neighbor, Mrs. Peterson, served as midwives who came to the home in Peterson Township just north of Medina North Dakota. As the twins were the 5th and 6th children, everyone else had to leave the house until they were born.  Siblings Glenn, Clifford, Roy and Ruth helped take care of the boys as they grew.  As more siblings joined the family
( Kenneth, Vernon, Bob, Doris, and Don, ) they learned to adjust to surviving during the depression by growing all their own food and hunting wildlife.  All the children shared the one upstairs bedroom and they also shared the work on the farm.  In addition to raising normal farm animals, the twins remember raising skunks for their fur which they sold in nearby towns. The twins both attended Medina schools and joined the Conservation Corps in Medina.  For fun they enjoyed boxing, hunting and fishing.  Lester worked on the Charley Peterson family as a ranch hand for a while.

As young men,  the twins often would hop a frieght train and travel out west to get odd jobs.  They would pick apples in Washington and be ranch hands for ranchers all over North Dakota and Montana.  When they came to the Jocko Valley in Montana,  they liked it so much they decided to stay.  Lauren married Lillian Sanders from Arlee in 1939 and they farmed for a while, then worked in the shipyards of Portland.  They moved back to Arlee, when Lauren got a job at the Burea of Land Management. They also and harvested hay, and raised cattle on their ranch, the old Sander's place, but sold it in 1957 and  purchased the Jocko Store. They operated that business together for 28 years, while raising their family of seven: Faye, Alice, George, Donna, Roy, Roger, Rick. They sold everything in that little store- from food, gas, dry goods, and nickel ice cream cones. The store kept everyone busy seven days a week.
Lauren continued his Reclamation job until he retired from 30 years service in 1978 and started a new farm. He and Lillian enjoyed 54 years of marriage.

Lester served in the Army stationed in Texas and California.
Lester married Blondie Billington in 1941.  They had two children; .Goldie and Lana.
Goldie and Lester
Lauren's family
  When the children from both families were together they had some difficulty telling which of the twins was their dad.  Some children laughed, some cried, but always they had good fun together.

Lester, usually called Chris, moved to Anaconda in 1949 and worked as a carpenter for the Anaconda Company.  He maried Ethel Simonson there and worked until he had Parkinson's disease.

The Christopher siblings manage to get together at times and enjoyed many Family Reunions.

Glenn, Ruth, Lauren, Lester, Ken, Bob
Lester and ?? riding horseback 


Lauren, Bob, Ken in back, Lester, Glenn in front
Goldie's family:  Dean and Rory

Lana's family: Chris, Mike, Becca, Sara, Tina, Emma, Eva
Lauren's family

Some of the Christopher Cousins..remember this.. we need an uppdate..Let's take one at the reunion!!!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Lester Carl Christopher 1941
This year on August 5, Dad,  Lester Carl Christopherwill be 100 years old!  We thank you dad, for our very lives..and the lives of our children and grand-children..for you we are deeply grateful. 

          WITH LOVE from  Goldie Jean(Christopher ) Indreland families and
Lana and Goldie Christopher  1950
 Lana Marie(Christopher) Rankin families.

Goldie Indreland and Lana Rankin 2010
Dad you now have: Nine Grandchildren and so far eighteen great grandchildren! 
Goldie, Dean and Rory Indreland   1980
Dean's family, Karen, Kelsey, Kaitlyn, Wyatt in 2013
Rory's family: Mary, Abby, Owen, Ely in 2013
Bill and Lana Rankin  1973

Rankin children in 2010  yougest to oldest
 Chris  Mike  Becca, Sara, Tina. Emma, Eva
Dave and Eva Wruck

Aaron and Emma Grigg  Amy Timothy Melanie David

TJ and Sara Bingham    Hannah   Troy   Edan

Tina and John Cheney  James and Lizzy
Aaron and Becca Bell    Liam  Colby  Hali    2013

Mike Rankin

Chris Rankin
-In Dad's honor, we are asking any relatives that have pictures of him to please send copies to Lana or Goldie so that we can post them on the Chrisotpher Blog in August.  
Also, our goal this year 2014 is to post mini biographies of all his brothers and sisters.  We are hoping if you are children and grandchildren of his siblings, would you write down your greatest memories of your parents/grandparents and send them to Goldie or Lana along with any pictures to share.  Thank you and  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!