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Snowshoe Thompson


Fri, Apr 2nd, 2004
Posted in Features

One of the benefits of doing genealogical research is discovering new family connections. Such was the case when my research led me to Snowshoe Thompson, a Norwegian emigrant who became a mail-carrying hero to the gold miners of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the mid to late 1800s. Jon Torsteinsson Rue (aka John “Snowshoe” Thompson) was the step-brother of Tomas Torsteinsson Rue. Tomas’ wife, Aslaug Torgrimsdatter Steinsrud, was an aunt to my great-great grandfather, Gullick Tovsson Thompson, who lived in the Big Woods of Fillmore County. Most Norwegians lived on farms until the last half of the 1800’s. Snowshoe Thompson’s father, Torstein Olsson Gollow and his first wife, Kjersti Toresdatter Luras-Rue lived on the south Rue farm in Tinn in Telemark Fylke in eastern Norway. They had eight children. When Kjersti died in 1809, her cousin Gro Jonsdatter Einungbrekke was hired to take care of the children. Torstein and Gro later married, having six children of their own. The youngest was Jon (Snowshoe Thompson). When Gro’s husband died, her oldest stepson took over the south Rue farm, and the widow moved with her three youngest into the small worker’s farm belonging to Rue. Her children were hired out for service. In 1837, the widow Gro and her then ten-year-old son, Jon emigrated to America. Other children would later follow. Arriving in New York City it is believed that the Rue party traveled by steamboat up the Hudson River and on through the Eric Canal to Buffalo, New York. From there they took a steamer across the Great Lakes to Chicago, where they arrived in September 1837. In the fall of 1839, a second group of immigrants arrived from Tinn i Telemark. Among them were two of Gro’s children, Torstein and Kari. In 1843, Jon and Torstein’s half-brother, Tore Torsteinsson Rue Rřysland, immigrated. It was during this time that the three Rue men, Jon, Torstein, and Tore, all changed their last name from Rue to Thompson. Jon Torsteinsson Rue, who became known as John A. Thompson and later Snowshoe Thompson, lived for some time in Wisconsin and again in Illinois before joining the Gold Rush, in 1851.Traversing the high SierraIn the fall of 1855, Thompson answered this advertisement in the Sacramento Union newspaper: “People lost to the world, Uncle Sam needs a mail carrier.” The Norwegian immigrant became a one-man U.S. Postal Se .....
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Moose pleads guilty to attempted murder

Fri, Apr 2nd, 2004
Posted in Features

Richard Jeffers was inspecting a landscaping job in the Conway Subdivision of Chatfield last May 23 when a man walked out of the weeds carrying a gun.

After asking Jeffers what he was doing, the gunman told him, “Let’s get movin ..... 
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Judge considers motion to stop Heartland construction

Fri, Apr 2nd, 2004
Posted in Features

An Olmsted District Court judge will consider whether construction of a tire-burning power plant in Preston should be allowed to proceed while the project undergoes additional environmental review.

Judge Joseph Wieners took und ..... 
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County to observe Child Abuse Prevention month

Fri, Apr 2nd, 2004
Posted in Features

At their March 23 commissioners’ meeting, the Fillmore County Board proclaimed April Child Abuse Prevention Month.

“Child Abuse Services (CAS) is a mandated state program that the county must provide,” Fillmore County Social Ser ..... 
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Jury finds Moose not guilty of fleeing a police officer

Fri, Mar 26th, 2004
Posted in Features

On Tuesday, a jury of seven men and five women found Floyd Moose of Chatfield not guilty on seven charges related to an incident on January 14, 2003.

According to the criminal complaint, Moose was alleged to have been the drive ..... 
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Davids signs on to bill requiring EIS for tire plants

Fri, Mar 26th, 2004
Posted in Features

On Monday, March 22, Rep. Greg Davids signed on to a bill authored by DFL Rep. Margaret Anderson-Kelliher that would require an environmental impact statement be prepared for any tire burning facility that uses fluidized bed boiler system technology. ..... 
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Rushford City Council Report: “Gamma Log” days in Rushford

Fri, Mar 26th, 2004
Posted in Features

No, it’s not a take-off on Peterson’s Gammel Dag, but rather days when the city of Rushford will literally delve deeply into current well number three and its ability to supply good water to the residents of Rushford.

The City ..... 
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Elstad Lutheran Church celebrates 150th anniversary

Fri, Mar 26th, 2004
Posted in Features

Editor’s note: The following is the second in a two part series on sister churches Elstad and Highland Prairie. The two Lutheran churches are among the oldest in Minnesota as well as having some of the earliest congregations of Norwegian heritage. Bo ..... 
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Commissioners’ Report: DNR acquires land in York Township

Fri, Mar 26th, 2004
Posted in Features

Gary Nelson, DNR Area Wildlife Manager from Winona, asked the Fillmore County Board of Commissioners at their Tuesday, March 23 meeting, to consider giving approval to an 80 acre land acquisition in York Township owned by Roger Sanford.

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