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JOHN FLANN FAMILY HISTORY
John Flann came from Indsett, Trondhjem, Norway in 1868 when he was 24 years old. He first came to Goodhue County and on January 18, 1873 was married to Anna Rehn in Hastings, Minn. Anna Rehn came from Sweden. Randie and Mary were born in Hastings. In 1877, John came to Lake Lillian, Minn to look for a piece of land on which to establish a home. He bought a piece of land and built a one room house. In 1878 he moved his family in a covered wagon drawn by one team of big brown mares and three cows tied behind. Shortly after arrival Edward was born. John had to go back for more items so he had to leave the family, due to kind neighbors, the Pete Andersons and the Westlings all went well. They were able to get some crops planted that year in the very rich and productive soil. At present the farm consists of 400 acres but it was quite small then. Trips to St Cloud were made to replenish the flour barrel, food and supplies. The long distance trips were a hardship for them. The first store was built on the shore of Lake Lillian in 1900.
Helen and Charley were also born in the one room house. In 1885 an addition was built to the house and again in 1896. In 1971 the house is still in good shape and owned by Howard Flann. Howard has now built a new home on the original homestead next to the 93 year old structure.
Ole followed his brother to America a few years later. He lived in Minneapolis and spent his vacation at his brother Johnís farm. (Here there seems to be a discrepancy as Oleís oldest son Ibsen says he was born in Lake Lillian and it is believed to be the farm now owned by Arleigh Bjur. Mike also lived on this farm and built the home there.)
Mike came later and came to Rice Lake, Wisc. After he married they came to Lake Lillian where his daughter Randi Matilda was born. At the age of four her mother died and Mike remarried. His second wife died at childbirth with their son and burial in Christina Cemetary in Lake Lillian. Mike remarried and moved to Rice Lake where he and his third wife are buried.
Ole went back to Norway to bring his parents and sisters, Annie, Ingeborg, and Mamie. They came to Bird Island on the train and then to the John Flann home. Annie settled in Bird Island, Ingeborg went to Rice Lake and Mamie soon married and moved to Canada.
Worship services were held in the homes before Tromso Lutheran Church was built three miles north of Lake Lillian in 1885. John served as a secretary of the congregation in 1900. In 1946 this church was torn down and rebuilt in Lake Lillian. The Cemetary remains there where four gnerations of Flanns are buried.
The first school was held in homes until in 1880 a school was built on the Ole Nord farm. When it was plain that the school was too small, it was decided to build another and the North Dist 5 was built about two city blocks east of the John Flann place. The Kandiyohi County History book mentions Helen Flann as teacher in South Dist 5 in 1900-1903 and John Flann, clerk in 1882. In 1929 the school house burned, and for three years students attended in Lake Lillian until a school could be built located a mile southwest of the farm. At the present time the school is located in Lake Lillian a part of the Bird Island School System.
John was active on the town board, County Republican Party, the First Creamery Board and many others. All eight of Johnís Children settled on farms nearby with the exception of Emily.
Randy and Wilhelm Johnson farmed the farm now owned by Harold Wright.
Mary and Erick Nordin started and built the farm now owned by their son Arthur. They lived there 23 years and all of the children were born there. In 1920 they built their second farm home, this is the farm that was bought by their son Harry and is now owned by his wife Violette.
Edward and Amanda Flann farmed the farm now owned by Arleigh Bjur. Their last years were spent in Hutchinson.
Helen and Andy Anderson farmed the farm known as the Coil Farm until 1916. They then moved to the beauty spot where Helen and daughters still live near Markville in Northern Minnesota. Winters are spent in Danbury, Wisc, where Mildred teaches school.
Charles took over the home place, later retiring and living in Willmar until his death in 1970. His son Howard now owns the home place and his children are of the fifth generation of Flanns having lived on the farm.
Emily and Matt Mattson lived in Duluth all their married lives. Matt was a railroad conductor.
Annie and Albert Bengtson farmed on the farm now owned by Aldineís widow. Later they moved to Cokato and then Kimball where they also farmed. Annie Bengtson now lives in a comfortable high-rise apartment for retired people in Minneapolis.
Hattie and Henning Bomsta farmed on the farm where Henning still lives with his son Wilton and family.
After spending sometime gathering this information, studying the Kandiyohi County History Book, obtaining information from Aunt Helen Anderson and Lillian Nordin, I have written this history as accurately as I know how. I am sure there are things that are not correct but I hope they will be corrected by the reader.
Respectfully submitted ----- Gladys Bjur
Daughter of Charles Flann who was the son of John Flann.