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OBITUARY - ROSIE ELLEN (DAVENPORT) CHRISTENSEN

Rosie Ellen, daughter of Pleasant and Margaret DAVENPORT, was born at Kellerton, Iowa, June 30, 1867 passed away at Arnold, Nebraska July 25, 1953, at the age of 86 years and 25 days. On March 4, 1886 she was united in marriage [March 4, 1886] to Nels CHRISTENSEN at Holton, [Jackson Co.] Kansas. To this union were born 10 children. Four of them died in early childhood and five sons and one daughter survive her.

In 1889 the family moved to Hayes County where they have since resided. Mr. CHRISTENSEN passed away in 1947 at the home east of Wauneta.

Mrs. CHRISTENSEN accepted Christ when she was a young woman and has been a long time member of the Methodist church. She knew of the struggle of the pioneers and was a good friend and neighbor in the community, offering her services many times in case of sickness or distress. She had been in poor health for some time but always had a kind word and sympathy for those less fortunate.

She leaves surviving her, her daughter Mrs. Ray THOMPSON of Arnold, Nebr.; five sons, U. S. Grant [born Sept. 24, 1896] of Ogallala, Nebr., Clifton of Torrington, Wyoming, Glen of Wauneta, Nebraska, Harvey of Wray, Colorado and Kermit of Sterling, Colorado; three sisters, Mrs Mary FESLER of Leon, Iowa, Mrs. Martha GREENE of Ellston, Iowa, Cannie McDOWELL of Numa, Iowa; three brothers, Frank and John DAVENPORT of Kellerton, Iowa and Harvey DAVENPORT of Leon, Iowa; eleven grandchildren, sixteen great grandchildren, besides a host of other relatives and friend.

Rev. Robert EMBREE of Ogallala, assisted by Rev. Warren SPELLMAN conducted the funeral services at the Methodist Church Monday, July 27. Mrs. Louis GRIMM and Mrs. Raymond MAXFIELD sang "in the Garden", "No Night There", and "The Old Rugged Cross", accompanied by Mrs. E. R. VOORHEES at the organ. Pallbearers were: Wayne JOHNSTON, Jack RYAN, Ted FANNING, Louis GRIMM, Glenn FYE and Roy HANDEL.

Interment was in Riverside Cemetery with the Johnston Mortuary in Charge.

Those from out of town attending the funeral were Mrs. Martha GREEN and son Frank of Ellston, Iowa; Mr. and Mrs. Truman GREEN of Des Moines, Iowa; Harvey DAVENPORT of Leon, Iowa; Mrs. Bob HAMIL and Mrs. E. G. BEELER of Sterling, Colorado.

NOTE: Nels CHRISTENSEN was born May 1, 1857, in Aalborg, Denmark, the son of Nelson and Marie CHRISTENSEN. He came to America, leaving Denmark on March 15, 1879. Nels died April 7, 1947 in Hayes County, Nebraska, at age 89.

The Wauneta Breeze, Wednesday March 4, 1936

Mr. and Mrs. Nels Christensen Celebrate Golden Wedding Today

Nels CHRISTENSEN and Rosie E. DAVENPORT were united in marriage at Holton, Kansas, March 4, 1886. They lived in Jackson county, Kansas, for two years, coming to western Nebraska in 1888. They made the trip in a covered wagon taking 18 days for the trip. They located in Hitchcock county between Culbertson and Trenton and lived here for one year. Then next, 1889, they come to Hayes county and located on what is now the south quarter of the C. L. WALKER farm. They lived here five years and hauled water from the FIERLING place for all their needs. The railroad had not been completed on this branch line and the grade was being used for a road. When they came to the river, they forded it as there were very few bridges.

In the years of `91 and `92 many of the farmers raised "seeds" as it was termed. They were supplied with the seed for the planting and the seed company bought the seeds from them in the fall. Cucumbers, watermelons, and muskmellons were raised and at one time Mr. CHRISTENSEN took twenty sacks of seeds to Trenton. If hogs were to be sold they were takend to Stratton, the trip being made at night if it was warm weather. They couldn't call a truck and have them delivered at the market in a few minutes. Money was scarce and so were jobs.

A Sod school house was being built and Mr. CHRISTENSEN got a job for one dollar per day for himself and team and boarded himself. At this time Wauneta was a small town. Most of the business section consisted of a general store and the mill. During the summer a camp meeting was often held in Wauneta and the farmers would take turns driving their team to town for this. They would put the spring seats into the lumber wagon and two or three families would go in one wagon. As it was several miles and the traveling rather slow, it was necessary to start before sundown.

In 1904 Mr. CHRISTENSEN filed on 400 acres of government land south-west of Hamlet. Here the family lived for six years. By this time they had bought their present home and they moved to it in the fall of 1910. When one talks to the CHRISTENSENS about the hard times of the dry nineties they usually laugh and say, "We stayed because we were too poor to leave." At one time they had about decided to leave when they learned that some who had left were coming back. Both of them agree that it is a good thing, when one gets to thinking that he is living in the poorest place in this country, to take a trip and see a few other places. A few years ago when crops were rather short, a trip was taken through Kansas, Oklahoma, some of Missouri and southwestern Iowa. Crops weren't so good in most of these places and in the part of Oklahoma they visited the water was poor. They returned thinking that Hayes county looked plenty good enough for them.

The six children, Grant, Harvey, Glen, and Freeda (Mrs. Roy THOMPSON) of Wauneta, Cliff of Torrington, Wyo., and Kermit of Sterling, Colo., were all present at the celebration of the fifieth anniversary, also the eight grandchildren. About forty guests including the immediate family and old time friends gathered for a lovely two course luncheon at one o'clock. The house was tastefully decorated on pink and white streamers with gold bells in the large double doorway. A huge wedding cake was received from Bud BOLEN, a nephew in Clarinda, Iowa, and formed a centerpiece for the table.

Nels and Rosie (DAVENPORT) CHRISTENSEN's ten children were:

1) Charles CHRISTENSEN, born 5 March 1887; died 24 June 1889 in KS, age 2
2) James Roy CHRISTENSEN
    born 25 Dec 1888, Holton, Jackson Co. KS; died 28 August 1896, Kellerton IA, age 7 of diptheria
3) Bertha P. CHRISTENSEN, born 9 Aug 1891; died 2 February 1894 at age 2
4) U. S. "Grant" CHRISTENSEN, born 24 Sep 1893
5) Infant CHRISTENSEN, born 8 Jan 1896; died 22 January 1896
6) Freedom Merle "Freeda" CHRISTENSEN, born 6 Jan 1897
7) Clifton Haswell CHRISTENSEN, born 1 Aug 1899, Hayes Co. NE; died 3 July 1974, Torrington, Goshen Co. WY
8) Glen Downs CHRISTENSEN, born 2 September 1902
9) Harvey Elmer CHRISTENSEN, born 19 May 1905
10) Kermit Donald CHRISTENSEN
    born 26 Feb 1909, Hayes Co. NE; died 27 Feb 1984, Sterling, Logan Co. CO

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, July of 2009

To submit your Ringgold County obituaries, contact Sharon R. Becker at
srbecker@windstream.net.
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.

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