Welte Family History Research

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For over 40 years, I have been researching my family history. Now that I'm retired, I can devote more time and effort into more research, compilation, and organization of that work! Over the past 12 years, I have been very fortunate in teaching genealogy classes, along with my computer experience, at Blackhawk Technical College. I've also created a business - "Field of Genes" - a "Ride-N-Seek" experience to help other families find their own ancestors.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

52 Ancestors: #7 David Emanuel Nylen

David Emanuel Nylen was a very interesting man. He was my step-grandfather who was married to my father's mother, Martha Hansen Welte, who had been widowed in December of 1929 when she was 41 years old. She married Dave in 1937. From what I heard, at one time he was the manager of King Lumber in Bigfork, Minnesota. He was also quite a violinist who played at the fun events such as parties at local churches and halls. Before they were married to their spouses, Dave and Martha would entertain with his fiddle playing and her singing like the Jenny Lind of her day. I heard that they were very good.

As they had known one another before they married, when they each had lost their own spouse within the space of a few days in December of 1929, it seemed inevitable that they should get together and marry. Dave's wife was Annie S. Larson. They had two children who may have been twins from the birth and death information I found in the online Minnesota Historical Society website, and it appears that they died in infancy. I heard that the children were buried on the family farm, surrounded by a small white picket fence. I know that Annie Larson is buried in the Bigfork Cemetery near where the Rice and Bigfork Rivers come together. He died in October of 1970 and he is buried next to Martha, his second wife.

When I visited them at the house in town near the old Bigfork High School, he would show me around his woodworking shop. He was very good at working with all kinds of wood. I even have several of the pieces that he created.

He also had an old-fashioned toaster which opened up on each side. While he was taking out the toast, he would talk about the Kennedy family and how they made their money running moonshine! He did not like them very much. I would also watch him as he tipped his hot cup of coffee into his saucer beneath the cup. I learned later that this was so that the coffee would cool off as he drank from the saucer.
He never talked about his family who lived in Sweden and I never asked. I do know from his death certificate that his father's name was John Nylen and his mother's name was Mary Setterquist. He was born 5 Dec 1885 in Cokato, Wright County, Minnesota. 


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