Ole Telenius Gerhardt Waagedahl, 18821958 (aged 76 years)

"Dick Fox & children - Uncle" in Shelton, WA
Name
Ole Telenius Gerhardt /Waagedahl/
Given names
Ole Telenius Gerhardt
Surname
Waagedahl
Married name
Ole Telenius Gerhardt /Fox/
Also known as
Richard L. /Fox/
Also known as
Dick /Johnson/
Also known as
Dick Lyn /Fox/
Also known as
Richard J. Waagegahl /Johnson/
Birth April 6, 1882 25
Death of a motherFirst Mrs. Waagedahl
April 12, 1882 (aged 6 days)
Note: According to a note from Myron Sorter, son of Christine Waagedahl Sorter, the mother of Ole Telenius…

According to a note from Myron Sorter, son of Christine Waagedahl Sorter, the mother of Ole Telenius Waagedahl died 6 days after he was born (he was born on 6 April 1882). Still no name for her in the records.

Marriage of a parentBertil Olsen WaagedahlMartha WahlView this family
March 17, 1889 (aged 6 years)
Birth of a half-sisterChristine Waagedahl
January 18, 1890 (aged 7 years)
Birth of a half-sisterGunhild Waagedahl
June 24, 1891 (aged 9 years)

Birth of a half-brotherElling O. Waagedahl
November 19, 1893 (aged 11 years)
Census June 17, 1895 (aged 13 years) Age: 11
Birth of a half-sisterBertella Waagedahl
March 12, 1896 (aged 13 years)
Birth of a sonElling Edward Roy Fox
January 15, 1912 (aged 29 years)
Death of a half-sisterBertella Waagedahl
August 24, 1916 (aged 34 years) Age: 20 years, 5 months, 12 days
Cause: Pulmonary Tuberculosis
Burial of a half-sisterBertella Waagedahl
August 26, 1916 (aged 34 years)
Address: 15730 - 320 St NE Middle River, MN
Cemetery: Ringbo cemetery

BerthellaWaagedahlgravestone http://trees.ancestry.com/rd?f=image&guid=d785b9d6-ed69-4ab8-b0cf-aa542dc826b3&tid=8236611&pid=134

Death of a fatherBertil Olsen Waagedahl
May 23, 191707:00 (aged 35 years) Age: 61 years 5 days
Cause: Heart attack
Burial of a fatherBertil Olsen Waagedahl
May 25, 1917 (aged 35 years)
Address: 15730 - 320 St NE Middle River, MN
Cemetery: Ringbo cemetery

Berthel Waagedahl Grave http://trees.ancestry.com/rd?f=image&guid=036c7b40-e11a-4384-b9af-b632740e6693&tid=8236611&pid=27

Death of a half-sisterGunhild Waagedahl
March 7, 1920 (aged 37 years)
Burial of a half-sisterGunhild Waagedahl
1921 (aged 38 years)
Address: 15730 - 320 St NE Middle River, MN
Cemetery: Ringbo cemetery

GunhildWaagedahlGrave http://trees.ancestry.com/rd?f=image&guid=cf55bf88-a4e5-4c23-8dad-c6af5de7e720&tid=8236611&pid=133

Census April 22, 1930 (aged 48 years)
Address: Bayshore Road
Census May 1, 1940 (aged 58 years) Age: 53
Address: Deer Creek Bridge Road
Death of a half-brotherElling O. Waagedahl
October 14, 195702:35 (aged 75 years)
Cause: Encephalomyilitis, viral (type undetermined)
Burial of a half-brotherElling O. Waagedahl
October 17, 1957 (aged 75 years)
Address: 15730 - 320 St NE Middle River, MN
Cemetery: Ringbo cemetery

EllingWaagedahlGrave http://trees.ancestry.com/rd?f=image&guid=814d7db8-bc98-45cb-af14-fd137b58d49c&tid=8236611&pid=25

Death October 30, 1958 (aged 76 years) Age: 76
Address: Calle Heroes 169 Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico
Cause of death: Anemia and Heart Failure
Family with parents
father
Headstone, Berthel Waagedahl
18561917
Birth: May 17, 1856 31 30Stavanger, Rogaland, Norway
Death: May 23, 1917Holt Township, Marshall County, Minnesota, United States
mother
1882
Death: April 12, 1882Becker County, Minnesota, United States
himself
"Dick Fox & children - Uncle" in Shelton, WA
18821958
Birth: April 6, 1882 25Lake Park Township, Becker County, Minnesota, United States
Death: October 30, 1958Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico
Father’s family with Martha Wahl
father
Headstone, Berthel Waagedahl
18561917
Birth: May 17, 1856 31 30Stavanger, Rogaland, Norway
Death: May 23, 1917Holt Township, Marshall County, Minnesota, United States
step-mother
Mother Martha Waagedahl 1856-1945
18561945
Birth: April 3, 1856 32 26Gran, Hadeland, Oppland, NOR
Death: December 30, 1945Holt Township, Marshall County, Minnesota, United States
Marriage MarriageMarch 17, 1889Lake Park, Becker County, Minnesota, United States
10 months
half-sister
"Neldie and Christine"
18901969
Birth: January 18, 1890 33 33North Dakota, United States
Death: September 7, 1969Pennington County, Minnesota, United States
17 months
half-sister
Gunhild Waagedahl 1891-1921
18911920
Birth: June 24, 1891 35 35
Death: March 7, 1920Oakland Park Sanatorium, Rocksbury Township, Pennington County, Minnesota, United States
2 years
half-brother
Elling Waagedahl 1893-1957
18931957
Birth: November 19, 1893 37 37Minnesota, United States
Death: October 14, 1957Warren Hospital, Warren, Marshall County, Minnesota, United States
2 years
half-sister
Bertela Waagedahl
18961916
Birth: March 12, 1896 39 39Minnesota, United States
Death: August 24, 1916Holt, Marshall County, Minnesota, United States
Family with Ethel Rose Talbot
himself
"Dick Fox & children - Uncle" in Shelton, WA
18821958
Birth: April 6, 1882 25Lake Park Township, Becker County, Minnesota, United States
Death: October 30, 1958Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico
wife
Shelton Memorial Cemetery - Fox, Ethel Rose Talbot Photo by Leslie T on Findagrave
18841972
Birth: about 1884 32 20Utah, United States
Death: January 19, 1972Provo, Utah county, Utah, USA
son
Shelton Memorial Cemetery - Fox, Elling Edward Ray Photo by Leslie T at Findagrave
19121984
Birth: January 15, 1912 29 28Moreland, Bingham county, Idaho, United States
Death: September 4, 1984Provo, Utah county, Utah, USA
son
Private
William Paul Bliss + Ethel Rose Talbot
partner’s partner
18701954
Birth: March 6, 1870Bern, Verwaltungskreis Bern-Mittelland, Bern, Switzerland
Death: 1954Shelton, Mason County, Washington, United States
wife
Shelton Memorial Cemetery - Fox, Ethel Rose Talbot Photo by Leslie T on Findagrave
18841972
Birth: about 1884 32 20Utah, United States
Death: January 19, 1972Provo, Utah county, Utah, USA
son
Private
Shared note

Changed last name to Fox and moved out to Oregon per family history.

Note

2021 essay

Ole Waagedahl's father Bertil remarried in 1889, when Ole would have been aged 7. Six years later, 1895, he appears with the family in the Minnesota State census, the last record we have of him with his family. The next official documentation I have of him is 35 years later, the 1930 US Census, as Richard Fox in the state of Washington.

Piecing together bits of information from documents, references in obituaries, and interviews/writings of his descendants, Ole left home about age 16, approximately 1898. It appears likely he was either thrown out of his father's home, or ran away. Shortly after leaving Minnesota he is reported to start using various names such as the surnames Johnson and Fox, and Richard or Dick Fox were the names he used most of his adult life.

At least two separate individuals reported there was speculation about Dick's sexual orientation. One story handed down involved a drunken night with the man who would become his brother-in-law, Ira Dee Talbot. Another comment was that he was a free spirit when it came to relationships, but the speaker could not be convinced to explain that further.

It may, however, have been a reference to his relationship with his wife, Ethel Rose Talbot. The how and why of their meeting is lost, as far as I know, but Ethel and Dick formed a lasting relationship which changed over time. Their son Elling Edward Roy was born two years after their marriage, in 1912. Work was apparently not readily available, and Dick traveled to find employment but was only irregularly able to send support money to his family. He had a membership in the IWW to help finding work sometime before 1920, probably under the name Richard Johnson, but may have switched to the surname Fox, also adopted by his wife and son, to avoid association with the IWW's "revolutionary industrial unionism" philosophy.

Ethel, who also worked where and as she could, accepted a house keeping arrangement with William Bliss who became the father of her other son, William Dee Bliss Fox. Dick and William Bliss appear to have gotten along with each other, though Ethel lived with Bill (in separate beds) from then on, and the three of them eventually moved to a place near Shelton, WA, together.

William and Ethel lived in a house on the property, while Dick lived in a cabin he built himself. He would later move to a cabin on a neighbor's property, Mr. Ira Casteel, who in 1942 Dick listed as the person who would always know his address on his WWII Draft card.

Between 1942 and 1958, when Ole Waagedahl was reported as a citizen death abroad in Mexico, we have not yet discovered any documentation.

These are some things we know regarding his passing: his cause of death was reported as anaemia and heart issues, and he had been living in Mexico off-and-on for at least a couple years reportedly for health issues, with mentions of breathing/lung-related complaints. Neither his remains nor property were claimed; he was buried locally in Mexico.

I have developed some unsubstantiated opinions and theories regarding Dick Fox. A photo of him with children and sent to his half-brother is captioned as being taken in Shelton, WA, however the children depicted are not of any known descendants. It is possible they are the children of a local woman with whom he had a relationship, though there is no suggestion anywhere he had more than the one child with Ethel. It is my guess that he was not strictly heterosexual, and his family regarded him at times as potentially a sexual pervert or predator.

It is particularly telling, in my opinion, that Ethel's obituary takes pains to obfuscate her polyamorous relationship, yet states clearly she chose to use the name Fox after William Bliss's death (in fact, Dick outlived William by 4 years.) Although Ethel and William's son Billy appears to have held Dick in contempt, his mother maintained a warm relationship throughout their parallel but not always conjugal lives. Contemporary reports suggest William Bliss had no interest in marrying Ethel, and she in turn preferred to have the support of two men in her life. That Ethel and Richard married, and remained married until death parted them, is not disputed.

One of my least-substantiated theories regards Richard's departure from Berthil Waagedahl's household. Bertil was known locally for being strict, and religious. My guess is Ole was an experimental adolescent, and violated Bertil's strict religious tenets, for which he was either harshly punished and therefore left, or was summarily banished from the family home. Maybe he was caught having sex - it would not matter if it were with a boy or a girl. But I find two Johnson farms within easy walking distance of the Waagedahl land grant near Holt, Minnesota, shortly after the turn of 1900, and this is the name he was using in 1910 when he married Ethel Rose Talbot.