Julia Martine HANSDATTER Mortrud

Julia was born March 28, 1833, in Kjobstaden Mos, Oppland, Norway. Julia's parents were wealthy people in the shipping business and she was raised accordingly. She had neither the need nor the opportunity to learn household responsibilities and chores and so she didn't.

On August 16, 1855, in Faaberg, Oppland, Norway, Julia married Andreas Knudsen Mortrude, a widower with a young daughter. Andreas was part of his father's (Knud Svendsen) very successful building and manufacturing company in Lillehammer and they were doing very well. They were able to live in the manner to which Julia was accustomed and, over the next 10 years, they had 5 children.. Among many other enterprises, they built the Victoria Hotel which still stands in Lillehamer. In 1865, when Knud and his son's company went bankrupt, it caused quite a bit of un-employment in the area. The bankruptcy was an absolute catastrophe for Julia who was now, suddenly and quite unexpectedly, responsible for all of the cooking, shopping, cleaning, washing, etc., involved in running a household which included a husband and 6 young children and she had no training or experience to prepare her for this responsibility.

Due to the lack of opportunity in Norway, many residents had been emigrating to the United States. In June, 1866, Andreas KNUDSEN and his wife, Julia, along with their children, Christine (Andreas' daughter by his deceased first wife, Lynn), Charles, Mary, Anna, Oggat and Haakon, emigrated through Canada to the United States, where they came to Vernon County, Wisconsin. Andreas took Andrew MORTRUD as his American name. His cousins, Christian and Simon MORTERUD had already settled in Bloomingdale in Vernon County. Julia frequently went to Christian's wife, Sina, for instruction in the basic tasks of caring for home and family. Andrew and Julia's daughter, Sena, was born while they lived in Vernon County. Also, while living in Vernon County, Andrew applied for U. S. citizenship in September, 1867.

In 1869, when Julia and Andrew moved north to Barron County, Wisconsin, Julia gave Sina Bue Morterud a parting gift. It was a stool with a top cover which had been hand-tapestried by Julia. In 1979, this stool was donated, by Helen Martine Hansen, (d. 1985) Sina Bue Morterud's granddaughter, to the Vernon County Museum in Varoqua, Wisconsin. Andrew and Julia homesteaded near Rice Lake in Barron County where their children Dora, Martin and William were born.

Some time before 1885, Andrew and Julia moved to Barnes County, North Dakota, where their eldest son, Charles Christian (C. C.) MORTRUDE, now had a wheat farm. Their daughter and son-in-law, Oggat and E. K. Myhre, had a saloon, general store and post office in Valley City, and their daughter and son-in-law, Inga and Henry Nelsen, had a farm near C. C.'s. Andrew died January 28, 1898, in Oakes, Dickey County, North Dakota. He is buried in the Church by the River Cemetery in Barnes County, North Dakota.

William E Murray and Sena Mortrude were married and had a daughter named Molly, while still in Barnes County, North Dakota. Molly married a Myers and had a baby while living in Valley City, North Dakota. It is not known when or why William and Sena Murray moved to Winlock. However, by 1906, Sena's brother Haakon was living in the Seattle, Washington, area and by 1907, her brother C. C. had been widowed and remarried and had also moved to Seattle, Washington. The 1910 census reflects Julia Mortrude living in Winlock, Lewis County, Washington, with her daughter and son-in-law, Sena and William E. Murray. John B. Strand, William's nephew, was also living with them at that time.

Julia died at the family home on February 5, 1912, and is buried in the Winlock Cemetery. When her son, C. C. Mortrude died in 1935, he was cremated and his ashes were brought from Seattle and buried in Julia's grave.

View Family Photos:

  • Andrew and Julia Mortrude
  • Julia and Charles C. Mortrude
  • Murray Home, Winlock
  • Julia Mortrude's Gravesite

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