The C. K. and Berit Mogen Family History
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The C. K. and Berit Mogen Family History

Back row from left: Charlie, Conrad, Henry, Art, Gilbert. Front row: Clara, Gena, Mina, Ellen, Inga and Lillian. DEDICATION
Interest in the lives of those who have gone before us prompted me to take on this task. When we see what our fathers and mothers went through to better their lives, and make a better life for those of us that followed, we can better appreciate what we now have. This review of our family history is dedicated to the memory of our parents, and their parents. It is our hope that you will enjoy reviewing the information contained here as much as I have enjoyed putting it together. JM

The basis of this work was completed in the early 1980's by Bryan Mogen. His work at that time made my job much easier. I have received a tremendous amount of information and encouragement from Arlene Hovland, Sharon Cornelious, Helen Kampen, Doris Burr and Carolyn Schilling. Many others were diligent in providing information about their families. Thank you all for your help in this effort. Let us keep up this record for future generations.


C. K. & Berit started their family in 1880 when Gunhild (Gena) was born in Numedal, Norway. Their last child, Lillian, was born in 1907 in Blooming Valley Township, South Dakota. The first interesting fact over that 27 year period, two countries and two states, is that all thirteen of their children lived to adulthood. There are no unexplained breaks between births or memories or records to indicate that they lost a child. This is rather unheard of in those days. Only two daughters died at a young age. Jula in 1928 at age 42 of Typhoid Fever, and Bertha in 1929 at age 33 in child birth.

Not much is known of their actual immigration, that is how they actually got to Minnesota and then to South Dakota. We do not know the port that C.K. left from in Norway, only that he disembarked at a port in Canada and traveled across country to Duluth, MN where he must have taken a train to St Paul and then West. A local (Moose Lake) history buff told me that his research suggested that most Norwegian immigrants traveled by water on their way West. Although the current lock system had not been built yet on the great lakes, it was possible to travel on the lakes in the late 1800’s. He told me that the Swedes took the train. This is entirely supposition.

In 1985 we gathered at the Bryan Mogen home at Big Stone Lake to celebrate the centennial of C. K.’s immigration. According to Bryan’s letter at the time, the location was 15 to 20 miles North of Marietta, MN the location of C.K.’s first farm.

Again, not much is known about the actual crossing of the Atlantic and trip across America made by Berit and her four children and sister-in-law, “Ingeborg”, in 1886. One cannot even imagine the effort and challenges faced by our ancestors coming to the new land.

In 1990, the Mogen Reunion was held at the Lebanon Lutheran Church in Blooming Valley Township. This reunion was to commemorate Berit’s journey to America. It was also the 25th wedding anniversary of Joe & Lee Mogen. Lee’s grandparents had also been founding members of Lebanon Lutheran along with C. K. and Berit and were also Norwegian immigrants. Joe and Lee were the last family members from both families to be married in that church. The Mogen and Eidet graves are side by side at the Lebanon Cemetery.

C. K. and Berit set a very good example for the following generations in the longevity of their marriage and their lives. They had been married for 53 years at the time of C. K.’s death in 1932 at 72. Berit lived another seven years before passing away in 1939 at age 76.

Of their children, two lived to age 94: Gena, 94 yrs 2 mo 26 days, and Art, 94 yrs 9 mo 16 days. The second generation’s average age at death was 74 years. Their average years married was 41 and their average number of children was 3.6. Gena had the most at 7, and Julia did not have any children. There were no divorces among the second generation.

Iver Hovland was the oldest of the third generation, and Dean Richter is the youngest. Of the 47 first cousins in the third generation, 21 are still living. The average age of those still living is 76. Of the 26 that are deceased, their average age at death was 64. We have lost three third generation cousins in 2007; Kenneth Mogen, Bertha Summerfield and Alice Madson. The oldest living first cousin is Beatrice (Bea) James, and she is 86. Nine others are 80 or over. Among all the third generation, they had an average of 2.5 children and they are or were married an average of 39.7 years. Among the women in the third generation are three with the first name of Beatrice: Beatrice Margaret Hovland, Beatrice Marjorie Dorsett, and Beatrice Corrine Hanson. Sharon Mundt Cornelius reported to me that her mother told her that this was the English derivation of Berit.

Several in the third generation served in WWII. Bryan Mogen and Bill Hovland’s paths crossed when pilot Bryan had to land on the carrier York-town to which Bill was assigned as a meteorologist, when his carrier the Intrepid was damaged. The Yorktown was later sunk in the battle of Midway and Bill survived.

James Hovland, Iver’s son, is the oldest of the fourth generation, and Terri Lee Mogen, Joe’s daughter, is the youngest. On June 14, 1975 Dr. James Hovland was the physician that delivered Terri Lee Mogen. There are 121 individuals in this generation; the average age is 50.8 and range from 73 to 32. One hundred were born between 1945 and 1965 making them baby boomers. There are 67 male cousins and 54 female. Six have passed away, two as children and four as adults.

Gena & August Hovland have the most descendents. I have not attempted to count them, but there are very many. Gilbert & Helen Mogen would have the next largest family.

Joe Mogen, September, 2007

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Joe Mogen
300 Langhorst Ct
Moose Lake, MN 55767-0808

Created 12 Jun 2009 with RootsMagic Genealogy Software