My research into the Norwegian branch of the family got a jump start when I made copies of documents and letters that my Aunt Laura Hanson [Evans] had accumulated in the course of of her own research. She apparently had been exchanging information with her second cousin Sigurd Klabo Mehus: this was one of the documents I obtained (attached to a 1976 letter).

Mehus Letter

My Father
Ludvig Johan Angel Mortensen Mehus

Ludvig Mehus was born in Vasvatne, Luroy, Helgeland, Norway 2-22-1872. In 1874 the family moved to the Mehus farm, located about 5 miles up the fjord from Nesna, Helgeland, and there is where he grew up.

Ludvig was the son of Morten Benjamin Klaebo Larsen, who was born in Mel-fjord, Rodoy, 2-22-1841, and passed away in his home paa Mehus, 12-8-1916. His mother Elen Sophie Elias daughter, born in Luroy, 12-12-1843, died 7-29-1937 at the home of her daughter Martine, pass Huske, Nesna, Norway.

Ludvig bought the farm next to his parents, then he and Eva Johanna Pederson were married, 10-12-1898. She was the daughter of Peder and Kristine Larsen, who were both born in Nesna. Eva was born 8-9-1875 also in Nesna. Passed away October 17, 1971 in Seattle, Washington USA. And buried there in Washelli Cemetery.

Ludvig and Eva had 4 children; Eias, Henry, Sigurd and Emma. Ludvig fished, farmed and worked in a mine in Mo i Rana, where he was seriously injured. In 1909 mother’s [Great] uncle Benjamin Isakson came for a visit after 20 years in North Dakota, where he farmed and raised a large family. Ben visited in the Nesna area all winter, part of the time at my parents home. In the spring when he was ready to return to America, Ludvig decided to go with him, my grandparents Peder and Kristine also left to live with their son Isak in North Dakota. Others from there also left for America with him.

In May 1910 they all left Nesna for America. Crossing the Atlantic on the Scandinavian Amerika Line ship, “Oskar II” [Oscar II], [departing 20 May] landing in New York, 5-31-1910. And as far as I know, none of then ever saw their native land again.

During that summer Ludvig worked as a section hand on the railroad in North Dakota. That fall he drove one of Ben’s team of horses during the threshing season. When winter came he worked for a bachelor farmer doing odd jobs including hauling grain to the elevator in Lisbon. Wages $15.00 per month.

February 1911. Ludvig left for the west coast, where his brother Andrew had a job for him with a salmon canning company in Anacortes, of which he was foreman. He worked the regular 9 month season. In the winter he stayed with mother’s sister Martha and her family in Seattle. Several years later they bought the adjoining 10 acre tracts of land in Fragaria, in Kitsap County, half way between Seattle and Tacoma on the West Pass. There he cleared land and built a small house in preparation for his family’s arrival from Norway.

June 25, 1916 we arrived. We had crossed the Atlantic on the Norwegian Amerika Line Ship, “Bergensfjord“, docking in New York June 18th after 11 days at sea. We were detained in Kirkwall, Orkney Islands, at the British Contraband Control Station there. Al shipping was searched by the Britons, as this was the middle of W.W.I. Fog also delayed us off of Newfoundland, where ice bergs were often encountered that time of year.

Ludvug built a nice big house in Fragaria. He continued to work in the salmon industry until 1920. Then Dad and Mother began raising chickens, and sold eggs for the next ten years. It was now 1929, and the high cost of feed and low egg prices put them out of business.

The family was now grown and married. Dad got a job as oiler on the Seattle-Harper ferry, on which his sone Henry was chief engineer. In April 1933, Ludvig became ill. He was in and out of the hospital in Seattle all summer. On August 16, 1933 Ludvig Mehus passed away. He is buried in Washelli Cemetery in Seattle Washington, USA.

Benjamin and Kristine were sosken [siblings].

Sigurd Mehus

The Mehus farm near Nesna, Norway. Photo by Tony Hanson
The Mehus farm “about 5 miles up the fjord from Nesna” as it appeared in 2006

My Father: Ludvig Johan Angel Mortensen Mehus A letter written by Sigurd Mehus (his son)