Teodor Helland

A researcher in Norway sent this photo to The Messenger and it was forwarded to us from there. We believe the photo was taken in Webster County.

Teodor Helland

Teodor Helland is the fourth man from the right in the back row. It would be good if we could identify anyone else in the photo, or find out where the photo was taken.

The fourth man from the right in the back row is Teodor Helland. He was born in Sand in Suldal, Rogaland, Norway, in 1871. He emigrated to Webster County around 1889, but returned to Norway around 1895. The photo is supposed to be from Webster County. He died in 1956.

The fourth man from the right in the back row is Teodor Helland. He was born in Sand in Suldal, Rogaland, Norway, in 1871. He emigrated to Webster County around 1889, but returned to Norway around 1895. The photo is supposed to be from Webster County. He died in 1956.

I have cropped each man’s photo separately. I kept the boys in one photo.

They are listed from the left. There are six men in the first row, so they are man1, man2, etc. The second row begins at the left with man7. Teodor Helland would be man12, but since we know who he is, I named the photo with his name.

Front row:

man1man2man3man4man5man6

Second row:

man7man8man9man10man11Teodor Hellandman13man14man15

The boys in back:

boys

March meeting

The March meeting of the Webster County Genealogical Society will be at 1 p.m. March 10 in Room 134 of the Fort Dodge Public Library. The public is welcome.

The meeting was postponed last week because of severe temperatures. That shouldn’t be a problem this Monday.

History of the Des Moines River

Local historian Al Nelson gave a presentation Saturday on “History of the Des Moines River.” He showed maps from the 1600s to  1850s and talked about things that affected settlement in the area around Fort Dodge.

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We had about 30 people attend. More came after I took this photo.

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Al Nelson gets ready to begin his presentation.

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One of the earliest maps was drawn by Louis Joliet. He spent about 2 years traveling and taking notes and drawing maps. He was within site of a white settler’s cabin when his canoe overturned and he lost the trunk with his maps and diaries. He drew this from memory.

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This map shows an early spelling/name of the river – a variation of Moingona, meaning of the Moingona people, a native American tribe.

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Early land patents for the area that is now Fort Dodge.

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Each land patent copy had a description of the holder, with William Williams being described as the “Shrewd Networker.”

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The red area was in John Lemp’s name. The yellow area was James Williams’ name. The blue area was in William Williams’ name.

That section was part of the Des Moines River Navigation Act. The state was supposed to make the river navigable but failed, and outsourced the project to a guy who got financial backing from people back East. That’s how the Litchfield Co. was able to acquire so much land in this area. The ins and outs of the situation led to litigation that had land tied up for decades. Some people filed for homesteads with the federal government and improved the land, only to discover the land belonged to Litchfield and many were evicted. William Williams filed land patents through Litchfield and had less trouble, although it wasn’t completely trouble-free.

This did have a negative effect on settlement, as people didn’t want to put a lot of effort into improving land if they didn’t get to keep it. Some moved further west.

It was an interesting program. The Webster County Genealogical Society would like to have Al Nelson come back for another program, maybe next spring. We would welcome ideas for other programs or workshops. If you have any ideas, please email webcoiagenies@gmail.com with your suggestions. You can also leave a message on our Facebook page.