Benhard Ranum, from Elodee (Ranum) Johnson

Benhard RanumAge: 97 years18791977

Name
Benhard Ranum
Given names
Benhard
Surname
Ranum
Also known as
Benhardt Ranum
Birth 25 December 1879 28 28
Note: The Ranum and Greenly Families packet has Benhard's birth in Fillmore County.
Birth of a brotherEdward ‘Ed’ Ranum
15 May 1881 (Age 16 months)
Birth of a brotherBerner ‘Bennie or Benny’ Ranum
10 October 1882 (Age 2 years)
Birth of a sisterAlma Karena ‘Cora’ Ranum
13 March 1884 (Age 4 years)
Census 28 May 1885 (Age 5 years) Age: 6
Birth of a brotherCaspar or Kasper Ranum
16 September 1885 (Age 5 years)
Birth of a brotherOscar Ranum
18 March 1887 (Age 7 years)
Birth of a brotherJohn Ranum
26 September 1888 (Age 8 years)
Death of a maternal grandmotherBerit Knudsdatter Berg
29 January 1890 (Age 10 years)
Cause: la grippe
Birth of a brotherSanford or Sanfred Ranum
13 March 1890 (Age 10 years)
Death of a maternal grandfatherKnute Oleson Dicken or Dikken
December 1890 (Age 10 years)
Birth of a brotherFreman Ranum
16 December 1891 (Age 11 years)
Death of a motherSigrid Knudsdatter ‘Sarah’ Dicken
1893 (Age 13 years)
Census 11 June 1895 (Age 15 years) Age: 15
Marriage of a parentKnud Nilsen RanumKari IversonView this family
26 June 1896 (Age 16 years)
Birth of a half-brotherFredrick Sigwart Ranum
27 February 1897 (Age 17 years)
Birth of a half-brotherOtto Henry Ranum
18 December 1899 (Age 19 years)
Birth of a half-sisterRuth Evelyn Ranum
9 January 1903 (Age 23 years)
Marriage of a siblingSevert O. OstgaardAlma Karena ‘Cora’ RanumView this family
16 June 1903 (Age 23 years)
Marriage of a siblingKarl or Carl N RanumPetrine S MelboeView this family
22 January 1904 (Age 24 years)
Death of a brotherCaspar or Kasper Ranum
25 June 1905 (Age 25 years)

Birth of a half-brotherClarence Randolph Ranum
29 November 1905 (Age 25 years)
Census 19 April 1910 (Age 30 years) Age: 28
Warren, Marshall County, Minnesota, United States
Latitude: N48.196689 Longitude: W96.773111

Address: (94) Main Street
Death of a brotherSanford or Sanfred Ranum
1 August 1910 (Age 30 years)
MarriageJulia Clara OpsethView this family
25 June 1911 (Age 31 years)
Birth of a son
#1
Harry Arthur Ranum
31 December 191111:00 (Age 32 years)
Death of a half-brotherClarence Randolph Ranum
13 August 1913 (Age 33 years)

Note: Apparently died of appendicitis per Lori Ranum's family history
Birth of a son
#2
Stanley K. Ranum
31 July 1914 (Age 34 years)
Death of a fatherKnud Nilsen Ranum
7 December 1918 (Age 38 years)
Shared note: Family legend has his death related to the Spanish Influenza epidemic.
Death of a brotherFreman Ranum
13 October 1919 (Age 39 years)
Death of a brotherOscar Ranum
18 January 1924 (Age 44 years)
Marriage of a half-siblingGeorge StinarRuth Evelyn RanumView this family
27 November 1926 (Age 46 years)
Census 23 April 1930 (Age 50 years) Age: 50
Residence 1935 (Age 55 years)
Residence
Age: 60 Marital Status: Married; Relation to Head of House: Head
1 April 1940 (Age 60 years)
Death of a brotherKarl or Carl N Ranum
22 January 1944 (Age 64 years)
Death of a sonHarry Arthur Ranum
1 January 1962 (Age 82 years)
Death of a wifeJulia Clara Opseth
6 November 1966 (Age 86 years)
Death of a sisterAlma Karena ‘Cora’ Ranum
28 August 1968 (Age 88 years)
Death of a brotherAlfred Ranum
21 January 1973 (Age 93 years)
Burial of a brotherAlfred Ranum
23 October 1973 (Age 93 years)
Cemetery: Bethlehem Cemetery
Funeral service
Funeral service

Note: Image from Find-a-Grav, uploaded by Deb

Death of a brotherEdward ‘Ed’ Ranum
7 May 1974 (Age 94 years)
Death 8 February 1977 (Age 97 years)
Burial
Family with parents - View this family
father
mother
Marriage: 26 December 1874Amherst, Fillmore County, Minnesota, United States
14 months
elder brother
2 years
elder brother
Alfred and Clara RanumAlfred Ranum
Birth: 28 February 1878 26 26Fillmore County, Minnesota, United States
Death: 21 January 1973Thief River Falls, Pennington County, Minnesota, United States
22 months
himself
17 months
younger brother
Edward ‘Ed’ Ranum
Birth: 15 May 1881 30 29Mower County, Minnesota, United States
Death: 7 May 1974Maryfield, Saskatchewan, Canada
17 months
younger brother
Berner ‘Bennie or Benny’ Ranum
Birth: 10 October 1882 31 31New Solum Township, Marshall County, Minnesota, United States
Death: 19 September 1978Thief River Falls, Pennington County, Minnesota, United States
17 months
younger sister
Alma Karena ‘Cora’ Ranum
Birth: 13 March 1884 32 32Rosewood, Marshall County, Minnesota, United States
Death: 28 August 1968St. Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota, United States
18 months
younger brother
Caspar or Kasper Ranum
Birth: 16 September 1885 34 34Rosewood, Marshall County, Minnesota, United States
Death: 25 June 1905
18 months
younger brother
Oscar and Clara RanumOscar Ranum
Birth: 18 March 1887 36 35Rosewood, Marshall County, Minnesota, United States
Death: 18 January 1924Viking, Marshall County, Minnesota, United States
18 months
younger brother
John and Olga Ranum, from Christmas cardJohn Ranum
Birth: 26 September 1888 37 37Rosewood, Marshall County, Minnesota, United States
Death: 31 December 1982Pennington county, Minnesota, United States
18 months
younger brother
Sanford or Sanfred Ranum
Birth: 13 March 1890 38 38Rosewood, Marshall County, Minnesota, United States
Death: 1 August 1910Minnesota, United States
21 months
younger brother
Freman Ranum
Birth: 16 December 1891 40 40Rosewood, Marshall County, Minnesota, United States
Death: 13 October 1919Marshall County, Minnesota, United States
Father’s family with Kari Iverson - View this family
father
step-mother
Marriage: 26 June 1896Marshall County, Minnesota, United States
8 months
half-brother
Fredrick Sigwart Ranum
Birth: 27 February 1897 45 36New Solum, Marshall County, Minnesota, United States
Death: 18 September 1977Thief River Falls, Pennington County, Minnesota, United States
3 years
half-brother
Otto Henry Ranum
Birth: 18 December 1899 48 39New Solum Township, Marshall County, Minnesota, United States
Death: 4 May 1984Poulsbo, Kitsap County, Washington, United States
3 years
half-sister
Ruth Evelyn Ranum
Birth: 9 January 1903 51 42New Solum Township, Marshall County, Minnesota, United States
Death: 23 November 1993Warren, Marshall County, Minnesota, United States
3 years
half-brother
Clarence Randolph Ranum
Birth: 29 November 1905 54 45New Solum Township, Marshall County, Minnesota, United States
Death: 13 August 1913
Family with Julia Clara Opseth - View this family
himself
wife
Julia Opseth (left) and Nina Mellem (right), from Elodee JohnsonJulia Clara Opseth
Birth: 24 October 1885 41 43Rosewood, Marshall County, Minnesota, United States
Death: 6 November 1966Thief River Falls, Pennington, Minnesota, United States
Marriage: 25 June 1911Rindahl Church, New Solum Township, Marshall County, Minnesota, United States
6 months
son
Harry Arthur Ranum
Birth: 31 December 1911 32 26New Solum, Marshall County, Minnesota, United States
Death: 1 January 1962Thief River Falls, Pennington County, Minnesota, United States
3 years
son
1941 Stanley and Ella Ranum and son GregoryStanley K. Ranum
Birth: 31 July 1914 34 28New Solum Township, Marshall County, Minnesota, United States
Death: 28 December 1981Thief River Falls, Pennington County, Minnesota, United States

Birth

The Ranum and Greenly Families packet has Benhard's birth in Fillmore County.

History of Benhard Ranum 1879

Early Life of Benhard Ranum

Article by Elodee Johnson, 31 May 2007

Benhard Ranum was born in southern Minnesota in 1879 to Knute Neilson Ranum and Siri Dicken Ranum. He is listed in the 1880 census of Mower County, although his story always was that he came with his parents from Fillmore County to Polk County when he was two and a half years old.

His parent's met in Fillmore County and married in 1874. Siri had a brother named Andrew, the men decided to go land hunting. Knute and Siri already had four children, the youngest was three weeks old. There was Carl, (1876), Alfred, (1878), Benhard, (1879), and Edward who was the baby. The stories vary according to who is telling it. The name spellings vary according to who is writing it.

The families' went by covered wagon as far as Minneapolis. Keep in mind that Fillmore County is nearly the most southeastern county in the state. Minneapolis is about 125 miles north and west. We are traveling up covered wagon. How long do you think it would take? Most historians consider 2-3 miles an hour a good pace. Figuring 10 hours a day; it could be done in 4 days.

Let's talk about what a covered wagon is. The wagons was usually a wooden wagon made of hickory, oak, or maple. A wooden piece made from hickory stuck out from the front of the wagon. This piece called a tongue was connected to the yoke of the horses. Although mules and oxen were often used.

It had big wooden hoops, called bows that were bent from side to side. There would be 4 to 7 wooden hoops on one wagon. There was a canvas pulled across the hoops that would keep out the rain, wind, and the hot sunshine. Knute would rub oil on the canvas to make it waterproof. Inside the wagon there were many hooks that hung from the wooden hoops. They could hang weapons, clothes, milk cans, and anything there was room for. The front wheels of the wagon were smaller than the back wheels. This helped the wagon turn. Underneath the back wheels there was a bucket full of grease hanging from the axle. This was used to make the wheels run smoothly. The Conestoga wagons were called prairie schooners because from a distance the Conestoga wagon looked like a ship sailing slowly across the green prairie. Traveling in a wagon was not an easy trip. There were many things that could go wrong. For example some wagon wheels would break or there would be no water. If they ran out of food they would need to hunt. When they were on the trail it was very noisy because all the pots and pans hanging off the wagons were clanging against each other.

For the Ranum and Dicken families, the hardship was one of the horses died. Instead of buying a horse for $300, Andrew Dicken sold the remaining horse for $300. It is not clear in Benhard's story if they loaded the other horses and Conestoga on the train to Crookston where all of them continued on in one wagon.


In 1882, they had a pre emption on land in Polk County proving up in three years. (Proving up meant families homesteading had to live on the land and improve it, after three years they owned it). This land was north and east of Crookston on an Indian trail which they followed until they reached a wooded area. They cut sod and made the walls, layered poles and put sod on the roof.

They did not prove up the land; they moved again, this time to Marshall County, New Solum Township, section 29. This is where they made their home. Benhard was two and a half when the family reached what would be there homestead. Once again, they would build a sod house for their ever expanding family.

It is remembered that Siri had an accordion that she brought with her or was given later that was stored in those rafters made out of trees which stretched across the top of the sod house. The roof leaked some and one time when Siri was going to play her accordion, she had to clean it out to make it work because of the rain that had leaked on it. One day the kids begged and begged her to play the accordion. So she finally took it down to play and set it on her lap. A snake crawled out of it and unto her lap. She dropped the accordion and jumped up to get away from the snake. Alfred said he didn't think she played the accordion again!

The family lived in the sod house for about a year and then built a small log cabin which they lived in for about five years. It had a wood floor which was a nice change from the dirt floor of the sod house. The land was in sections 16 and 21 of New Solum Township, Marshall County. Try to imagine two adults and eleven kids in a cabin the size of your bedroom.

Grandpa Benhard told me there were about 20 kids in the family. Of course I believed him! Today, thirty years after his death, I am going to count them. Will he be right? Well, he was not always right but he was never wrong.

This was his thought process:

Knute and Siri had:

  • Karl, Alfred, Benhard, Edward, Bennie, Karina, Casper, Oscar, John, Sanfred, Freeman. (11)

Knute and Kari had:

  • Fredrick, Otto, Ruth, and Clarence (4) Now we have 15.

Kari and Fredrick Greenly

  • Olaf, Martin, Dorthea, and Charlotte (4) That is 19! That is what about is about

In June of 1896, Knute married Karen, (Kari), a widow who had come from Norway and was left with four children.

Benhard stated he grew up with his many brothers. He remembers how the brush rabbits were the main source of food to the family on the farm. They could be snared and there was no money to buy shells for the gun to hunt partridge or prairie chickens. When he was about ten years old, he started working out by herding cattle. This would have been in 1889. Working out meant living with another family as a hired hand; today it means going to the gym. It is possible that Karl and Alfred were already working out. When reading censuses, it isn't uncommon to have children missing; it was common to 'farm' out children. Yes, even young girls were hired out as servants. Jaeme, you are nine. Do you think you are big enough and strong enough to do the work of a servant?

Think about it.

e