7 October 2006
THE THOMAS TORGESON FAMILY
As a Young Man in White City, Morris County, Kansas (George A. McMillan, Photographer, Council Grove, Kansas/Hahn Collection)
Thomas Torgeson (Hahn Collection)
There is nothing like a person's handwriting to add some flesh to the bones of history. From this letter we know that Thomas Torgeson made a trip to California to visit visiting his sister "Tiggey" (Matilda Johnson) and others, that he appears to still be living in White City in September 1923 as his stationery reflects that, and, that Florence and Walt Hahn were living at 1620 Buchanan in Topeka. (Hahn Collection)
(Left-to-right) Martha Torgeson, Florence Torgeson and their Cousin Ruth (Hahn Collection)
The Torgeson Girls in White City, Kansas. Left-to-right front, Gladys Louise, Bernice Imogene; top left-to-right, Florence Vivian, and Catherine "Kate " Margaret Torgeson ( Hahn Collection)
Torgeson Girls in their Back Yard at White City Kansas in August 1908. (left to right) Florence, Kate, Gladys, Bernice and their Mother, Maggie (Owen) Torgeson at Age 38 (Hahn Collection)
Brief Chronology of Thomas Torgeson:
Taral Torgieson or Torjieson, later known as Thomas "Tom" Torgeson, was born in Bygland, East Agder, Norway on 29 September 1857. His place of birth may have been the Horverak Farm at Aardal, as that is where his parents lived in 1854. He emigrated to the United States sometime after 21 March 1862, with his parents, Tarald Torgieson and Torbjord Johnsdatter (Matilda Johnson) and probably did his sister, Torborg Torgiesdatter (Matilda Torgeson), when he was about five or six years old. Because the latter was born at Janesville, Rock County, Wisconsin on 7 September 1862, we know that the parents arrived in the United States sometime before that date. It is not known from from port they departed in Norway, on what ship they traveled, or at what port they entered the United States. After they lived at Janesville, they moved to or near Dodgeville, Iowa County, Wisconsin (which Tom Torgeson later called "Doggyville"). In 1869 or 1870, they emigrated to Kansas, perhaps first to Junction City, Geary County [according to an unsubstantiated report by a descendant.]. They have not as yet been found in the 1870 census in any state. The Thomas Torgeson family first appears in the public records of Kansas in the Parker Township of Morris County. (1875 Kansas Census) They were enumerated again in the 1880 census for Parkerville, Morris County, Kansas.
Census: 1875 Kansas, Morris
County, Parker Township, LDS FHL Film 0570213, p. 4 Dwelling 28 Family
Thomas Terguson [Torgeson], was age 46, was born in Norway, value of his real estate $320, value of his personal property $130, and was from Wisconsin
Matilda Terguson, was farming, was born in Norway, and was from Wisconsin
Thomas Terguson, was age 14, was farming, was born Norway, and was from IA [?]
Julia Terguson, was age12, was born in Wisconsin and was from Wisconsin
Canute Terguson, was age 9, was born in Wisconsin,. and was from Wisconsin
Handy [Henry] Terguson, was age 6, and was from Wisconsin
Willie [William] Terguson, was age 2, and was born in Kansas
Census: 1880 US,
Kansas, Morris County, Parker Township, FHL Film 1254390,
National Archives Film T-0390, p. 395B.
Thomas Ferguson [Torgeson], self. Was a farmer, was age 52, was born in Norway, and, his father and mother born Norway.
Matilda Ferguson, wife, was keeping house, was age 49, was born in Norway, and her mother and father were born in Norway [and never came to the United States].
Thomas Ferguson, Jr., son, was a farmer and was age 22, and was born in Norway.
John Ferguson, son, was at school, was age 16, and was born in Wisconsin.
Julia Ferguson, son, was at school, was age 18, and was born in Wisconsin.
Newt Ferguson, son, was at school, was age 14, and was born in Wisconsin.
Henry Ferguson, son, was school, was age 12, and was born in Wisconsin.
Willie Ferguson, son, age 5, and was born in Kansas.
George Ferguson, son, was age 2, and was born in Kansas.
Evan Ferguson, a farmer, was age 40 brother [of Thomas, Sr. and was born in Norway.]
Tom Torgeson became a citizen of the United States, but the data on his citizenship process need to be located. (Index to Naturalization cases 1856-1897 LDS Film 1711040/1; Declaration of Intention 1862-1897/2; Naturalization Petitions 1865-1870, 1872-1890 LDS Film 1711262/5-6.) He worked on the family farm near Parkerville, but by 1884, he was living at White City, Morris County, Kansas. (Morris County Enterprise, 1 February 1884, p.3, "Mr. Thos. Torgeson, of White City, was in the city [Parkerville] Wednesday.") In the 1885 census, a Thomas Torgeson was living in a boarding house in White City, Rolling Prairie Township, Morris County. White City was incorporated on 17 October 1885 and had about 300 citizens at that time. (R. Alton Lee, T-Town on the Plains, p. 58)
According to the 1885 census for White
City, Rolling Prairie Township, Morris County, Kansas, viewed 8 October 2004
at the Kansas State Historical Society Research Center at Topeka, Kansas). p. 3:
Dwelling 19, Family 19:
Line 3, Thos Torgeson, was age 36 [but only partially legible], was born in Norway, was from Wisconsin, was a farmer.
Line 4. Maggie Torgeson, age 35, was born in Iowa, was from Iowa, and was a housewife.
Line 5. May Torgeson, age 7, was born in Kansas, was from Kansas, and attended school.
Line 6. Floyd Torgeson, age 5, was born in Kansas, was from Kansas, and attended school.
Line 7. Allen Torgeson, age 3, was born in Kansas, and was from Kansas.
Line 8. Mildred Torgeson, age 1, was born in Kansas, was from Kansas.
In this census, his brother, Newt Torgeson, was enumerated at age 21 at Dwelling 21, Family 21 and his brother Henry Torgeson, age 29 and listed as a "retired farmer," was enumerated at Dwelling 59 Family 58 [?].
On 30 April 1886, Thomas Torgeson married Margaret "Maggie" Louise Torgeson, at her parents' home at Parkerville. (8 May 1886 White City Whig), although their wedding certificate says that they were married at Council Grove, Morris County, on 29 April. It it not known where they first lived at White City, but they later lived in a frame house across from the high school. The house was moved to a farm, perhaps in the 1960s.
Tom and Maggie Torgeson at their Home in White City, Kansas (Hahn Collection)
The 1900 census says that they lived on Goodnow Street in White City. Tom Torgeson worked as a clerk in the grain business in a grain elevator and feed store for 13 years and was the Postmaster in White City (a Wilson appointee). About 1926 they retired to Topeka, Shawnee County, Kansas. They lived most of their lives in Topeka at 912 West l7th Street, a house that was still standing in 2004. Their children Florence, Floyd, Bernice, and Gladys lived in Topeka at one time or another. Gladys and Bernice lived on West 17th Street with their parents when they first moved to to Topeka.
Thomas Torgeson, Postmaster of White City, Kansas, probably in front of his Home (Hahn Collection)
Thomas Torgeson in Winter in his Back Yard at White City, Kansas (Hahn Collection)
Kate and Bernice Torgeson at a Wood Pile probably at their Home at White City, Kansas. Note the ice cream cone Bernice is holding (Hahn Collection)
Margaret Torgeson with Gladys Torgeson, Bernice bending over, and dog Captain on their porch at White City, Kansas (Hahn Collection)
Left-to-right: Kate, Bernice, and Gladys Torgeson on their Porch at White City Kansas c1916 (Hahn Collection)
The 4th and 5th Grades of the White City School with Gladys Torgeson in the back row, second from the right, and Bernice Torgeson in the second row, second from the right c1908-1910 (Hahn Collection)
White City (Wyandotte County, Kansas) High School ca.1920 (Hahn Collection) This is the school which the Torgeson children attended. To the chagrin of the children, the Torgeson home faced the high school a short distance away, so that their mother, Maggie (Owen) Torgeson could watch all their movements as they came and went to school. or were in the school yard.
The City Drug Store in White City, Kansas would have been visited many times by the members of the Torgeson Family. (Photo by M. L. Zercher of Topeka is dated 22 April 1922. (Hahn Collection)
The "Katy" (Missouri, Kansas, and Texas Railway) Station at White City in the early 1920s (Probably from the White City Register)
In the 1930s, his grandson, Thomas F. Hahn, remembers his grandfather, "Grandpa T," as a quiet, dignified man who loved to garden and to play croquet but who was unhandy mechanically. [Sounds familiar.] He had an active interest in politics as a Democrat.
Tom Torgeson and grandson, Tommy Hahn. at the Walter Hahn house in Topeka c1935 (Hahn Collection)
Thomas Torgeson House at 912 West Seventh ca1935. In 2004, this house was boarded up and in poor condition. (Hahn Collection)
A Place Card for the 50 the Wedding Anniversary of Margaret (Owen) Torgeson and Thomas Torgeson (Hahn Collection)
In 1936, Tom and Maggie Torgeson celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in Topeka:
Married Fifty Years. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Torgeson who celebrated their golden wedding anniversary recently were the honor guests at a family dinner and reception given in celebration of the occasion. They have lived in Topeka for the last ten years and have a wide circle of friends. Mrs. Torgeson, who before her marriage was Margaret Owen, came to Kansas with her parents when she was l year old and settled in Solomon City. Mr. Torgeson with his family came to Kansas in 1870 and after living in Junction City for a brief time moved in '76 to White City. They were married in Council Grove, where they made their home. [It is thought that they did not live in Council Grove, but at White City at that time.] Mr. and Mrs. Torgeson had nine children, seven of whom are living. They are Mrs. R. H. Christensen, Junction City; Mr. Floyd Torgeson of North Topeka, Mr. Allen Torgeson of Napa, Calif.; Mrs. Frank Schunt [Schump] of Kansas City; and Mrs. Walter Hahn, Mrs. J. M .Murphy, and Miss Bernice Torgeson, of Topeka," (Topeka Capitol Article)
Thomas and Margaret (Owen) Torgeson on Their 50th Wedding Anniversary on 29 April 1936 at Topeka, Kansas. He was age 79 and she was age 66 at the time.( Topeka State Journal or Capitol. Hahn Collection)
And, from the same newspaper:
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Torgeson will entertain with a reception at their home Sunday afternoon between the hours of 3 and 6 o'clock in celebration of their golden anniversary.
No invitations are being issued and all friends are cordially invited to call at their home, 912 West Seventeenth Street.
Mr. and Mrs. Torgeson will be the honor guests at a family dinner to be given at their home Sunday noon.
A number of out of town relatives are here for the occasion and covers will be laid at dinner for:
Mr. and Mrs. Torgeson
Mr. and Mrs. Henry Torgeson, Council Grove
Mr. and Mrs. John Torgeson and family, White City
Mr. and Mrs. George Torgeson, White City
Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Akey, Emporia
Mr. and Mrs. R. H. Christensen, Junction City
Mr. and Mrs. Gene Waters, Beloit
Dr. and Mrs. O. W. Brown, Dwight
Mr. Nute Torgeson and family and family, Kelso
Mrs. Will Torgeson and family, Lawrence
Mrs. Julia Winters, White City
Mrs. Addie Varner, White City
Mrs. Frank Schump, Kansas City
Mrs. Henry Scott, White City
Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Torgeson
Mr. and Mrs. W. F. Hahn and Tommy
Mrs. Jack Murphy
Miss Bernice Torgeson
This family group photograph was taken at a picnic at Junction City, Kansas, but it also may have been an occasion for Maggie (Owen) Torgeson to meet with her sisters. Left-to-right: Gladys Torgeson; figure obscured; Florence (Torgeson) Hahn; Celia (Johnson) Torgeson, spouse of John Torgeson; unknown person with possibly Tommy Hahn; Helen Torgeson, daughter of Celia Torgeson; seated, unknown person, but possibly Bessie (Gillaspie) Torgeson, daughter of Celia and Mae (Torgeson) Christensen; and in the group three women seated, Margaret (Owen) Torgeson is on the right and the two women two her left may be her sisters, Mary (Owen) Akey Torgeson and Sarah Clarinda (Owen) Reed or they may be the spouses of Margaret's husband, Thomas Torgeson. (Hahn Collection)
Tom Torgeson died on 30 March 1939 at his home in Topeka. Thomas Hahn's diary says that he died at 6 p.m. His death certificate says that he "died at age 81 yrs 6 months at his residence at 912 W. 17th., Topeka, Kansas. Died of prostate cancer. (State of Kansas, State Board of Health, Death Certificate No. 289 22692.) His funeral service was in White City. He was buried at the White City Cemetery in Morris County. (LDS FHL Film 0002128. White City, Morris County, Kansas Cemetery Record.) To reach the cemetery, in White City cross the railway tracks on the west side of the town and and take the road north about 1 1/2 miles. He has a stone marker in excellent condition, viewed on 26 June 1998 by his grandson, Thomas Hahn, and his great grandson, Chris Hahn. His grave marker reads: THOMAS TORGESON 1857-1939. Wife Margaret L. shares the same stone marker. There are also stone markers for daughters Mildred A. (1893-1900) and Merle A. (1899-1901).
His obituary in the Topeka Capitol said of him:
Thomas Torgeson, 81, died last night at the home, 912 West Seventeenth street, following an illness of about three years. He was born September 29, 1857, in Norway, and came to the United States at the age of six, locating in Dodgeville, Wis. Later he moved to Junction City, Kan., and from there to Parkerville, Kan. In 1876 he moved to White City, residing there until thirteen years ago when he moved to Topeka. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church. Torgeson is survived by the wife, Mrs. Margaret Torgeson; five daughters, Mrs. R. [Robert] H. Christensen, Junction City; Mrs. W. F. [Walter Frederick] Hahn, Topeka; Mrs. Frank Schump, Kansas City, MO; Mrs. Gladys Murphy and Miss Bernice Torgeson, both of Topeka; two sons, Floyd Torgeson, Topeka and A.G. [Allen Gerald] Torgeson. Imola, Calif; twelve grandchildren; four great grandchildren; two sisters and four brothers. Burial will be at White City. A funeral service will be conducted there Sunday afternoon at 2:30 'clock.
Another obituary said:
Thomas Torgeson, 81, died at his home 912 West Seventeenth. He was born in Norway September 29 1857. and came to the United States at the age of six years to Dodgeville, Wis.
Later he moved Junction City, Kan., from there White City where he remained until thirteen years ago when they moved to Topeka. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church.
He is survived by his widow Margaret Torgeson of the home, five daughters Mr. R. H. Christenson [Christensen], Junction City; Mrs. Frank Schump, Kansas City, Mo., Mrs. W, F, Hahn, Mrs. Gladys White and Miss Bernice Torgeson, all of Topeka; two sons, Floyd, of Topeka, and A. G. Torgeson, Imola Calif.; twelve grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, two sisters and four brothers.
Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Sunday at the White City Methodist church, burial in the White City Cemetery. The body will lie in state at the Wall-Diffenderfer mortuary until 9 p.m. Saturday.
Another obituary, probably from the White City Register:
Thomas Torgeson, the oldest child of Thomas and Mathilda Torgeson, was born near Christianand [Christiansand, a small coastal town in southern Norway], September 29, 1857, and died at his home in Topeka, Kansas, March 30, 1939, at the age of 81 years and 6 months.
At the age of 6 years, he came with his parents to America, settling in Wisconsin, where they lived until 1870 when they came to Parkerville, Kansas. They lived on a homestead three miles east of White City. In 1876 Mr. Torgeson came to White City to work for Mr. W. R. Bigham and from that time until he moved to Topeka in 1926 he was identified with the business life of this town. For nearly nine years he served as postmaster. It was during his early life in White City that he joined the Congregational Church and later transferred his membership to the Presbyterian Church.
On April 10, 1886, he was united in marriage to Margaret Owens [Owen], who survives him. To this union nine children were born, two preceding him in death. The remaining are Mrs. Mae Christenson [Christensen], of Junction City, Mrs. Kath[e]rine Schump, of Kansas City, Allen Torgeson of Imola, California, Floyd Torgeson, Mrs. Florence Hahn, Mrs. Gladys Murphy and Bernice Torgeson, all of Topeka.
This is only the second break in a family of six brothers and two sisters. [William Torgeson died in 1936.]Besides his family, and brothers and sisters, he leaves a host of other relatives and friends who will always remember him as a very good and kind man. One of his pleasures was to talk and visit with those people who were closely connected with his earlier life and he always had a word of greeting for all with whom he came in contact.
The funeral service was held at the Methodist Church in White City on Saturday afternoon with a large crowd of friends in attendance. There were many present from over the county and from neighboring towns.
Rev. Orlando L. Sample, pastor of the Methodist Church and the music was given by Mrs. Joe . . .[the remainder of the obituary is missing.]
White City Cemetery c2000 (Tom Hahn Photo)
The children of Tom and
Maggie Torgeson are:
Florence Torgeson' mother, Margaret "Maggie" Louise Owen, told Florence Torgeson, that she named her children after characters in books that she had read.
1. Mary "Mae" Elizabeth Torgeson was born on 6 November 1887 at White City, Rolling Prairie Township, Morris County, Kansas. She married on 6 November 1907, possibly at the home of her parents in White City, Robert "Bob" H. Christensen. He was born on 12 December 1878 in Davis, now Geary, County, Kansas, died in 1944 at Junction City, and was buried in the Highland Cemetery there. Her sister, Bernice, recalled in 2004, at the age of 100, that he thought that she remembered Mae being married in her parent's home.) Bob Christensen was a grain dealer in Junction City. In the Census 1930, Junction City, Geary County, Kansas, Robert Christensen, owned his own home, was a grain dealer in the feed and brain business, was born in Kansas, his father was born in Denmark, and his mother was born in Denmark. Mary Christensen, age 42, was born in Kansas, her father was born in Norway, and mother was born in Iowa. Dorothy Christensen, age 19. Mae died on 1 July 1972 at the Geary Community Hospital, Junction City, Geary County, Kansas, and was buried in the Highland Cemetery at Junction City. Their daughter, Dorothy Christensen, married Gene Waters.
Mary and Robert Christensen of Junction City, Kansas (Photo by Pennell Studio. Hahn Collection)
This place card, showing Mae's handwriting, was from the 1939 Christmas table setting at the Christensen's. Mae also had a beautiful table setting and a part-time maid/cook to assist her at dinners such as this. [Hahn Collection]
Her obituary from a Kansas newspaper:
Mrs. Robert Christensen, age 84, of 311 West First, died July 1  at Geary Community hospital. She was born November 6, 1907 in White City, to Robert H. Christensen.
She was a member of the First United Methodist church and the Ester circle.
She is survived by her daughter Mrs. Gene (Dorothy) Waters, Port Angeles, Washington; one grandchild, Gene Waters, jr.,; four sisters. Mrs. Bernice Taggert [Taggart], Goodland; Mrs. Gladys White and Mrs. Florence Hahn, both of Topeka; and Mrs. Kathrine [Katherine] Schump, Kansas City, Mo.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 10 a.m. at the Johnson Funeral Home with Rev. Travis Siever officiating. Burial will be in the Highland cemetery.
Calling hours will be held Tuesday from 1 to 8 p.m. at the Johnson Funeral Home.
A memorial has been established in the name of Mary E. Christensen and gifts may be left at the Johnson Funeral Home.
Dorothy (Christensen) Waters of Port Angeles, Washington at age 95 in 2005. (Provided by Dorothy Waters)
2. Floyd Nathan Torgeson was born at White City on 14 June 1889. He married first on 2 June 1910 in Kansas, Alice L. Kneith. She was born about 14 June 1899, died at Topeka, Shawnee County, Kansas on 22 January 1941 , and was buried there. Alice was from Jamestown, South Dakota. Floyd and Alice had three sons, Bernard, Ralph, and Floyd, Junior, and three daughters, (Wyona) Winona, Carroll B., and Mildred. He married second, "Bess." They lived and died in Chanute, Kansas. Floyd died on 2 November 1965 and was buried in Kansas, probably in the Chanute area. He could not be found in the 1920 or 1930 Census.
Floyd Torgeson at White City, Kansas (Hahn Collection)
Floyd Torgeson with his daughters Winona (left) and Mildred (right) (Hahn Collection)
Winona Torgeson (left) and Mildred J. Torgeson (right), daughter of Floyd Torgeson (Hahn Collection)
Family Gathering at Florence (Torgeson) and Walt Hahn House, Topeka, Kansas (Thomas Hahn Collection) Right-to-left: Floyd Torgeson, his spouse Alice (Kneith) Torgeson; Mae (Torgeson) Christensen, her spouse Bob Christensen; one of Floyd's daughters or the spouse of Bernard Torgeson, and Bernard Torgeson. (Hahn Collection)
3. Allen "Al" Gerald Torgeson was born on 31 December 1891 in White City. In the Census 1920 US Kansas, Morris County, Rolling Prairie Township Allen G. Torgeson, was age 28, was born in Kansas and was a laborer on the railroad. He married on 30 November 1923, Sevena "Nev" Larsen of Napa at Napa. They worked at the State Insane Hospital at Napa. They had no children. in the Al died 16 March 1963 at Napa, Napa County, California, and was buried there.
Al and Bernice Torgeson in front of their Home at White City, Kansas c1910-1912 (Hahn Collection)
4. Mildred Anetta Torgeson was born on 27 August 1893 at White City, died in White City on 1 September 1900, and was buried in the White City Cemetery. She died of typhoid fever, diphtheria, or brucellosis.
5. Florence "Flo" Vivian Torgeson was born on 23 March 1897 at White City. She married on 5 September at Topeka, Kansas, Walter "Walt" Frederick Hahn. He was born on 28 October 1895, died on 4 February 1967 at the Veteran's Hospital at Topeka, Shawnee County, Kansas, and was buried in the Mount Hope Cemetery there. Florence died on 5 October 1999 at Shepherdstown, Jefferson County, West Virginia, was cremated at Smithsburg, Washington County, Maryland, and her ashes were inured at the Mount Hope Cemetery, Topeka, Shawnee County, Kansas in the Spring of 2000. A family memorial service for her was held at the cemetery in June 2000. She had one son, Thomas "Tom Frederick Hahn. (See her expanded entry Florence Vivian Torgeson below.)
6. Merle Agatha Torgeson was born in White City on 21 February 1899, died there on 21 September 1901, and was buried in the White Cemetery Cemetery. She died of either diphtheria or yellow fever.
7. Katherine "Kate Margaret Torgeson was born on 29 December 1900 at White City. She died on 23 May 1976 at Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri, and was buried there. She married on 22 May 1918 at Kansas City, Francis Schump. He was born 9 June 1890 at Weston, Saunders County, Nebraska and died 11 April 19-- at Kansas City, Missouri. In the Census: 1920 White City, Rolling Prairie Township, Morris County, Kansas Frank J. Schump, was age 30, was born in Nebraska, his mother was born in Nebraska, his mother was born in Germany nod her mother tongue was German, and he was a mechanic in a garage; Katherine Schump, was age 19, was born in Kansas, her father was born in Norway, and her mother was born in Iowa; Francis Schump, was age 9/12, was born in Kansas. Frank Schump worked as a policeman in Kansas City and later as a farmer near Bolivar, Missouri. They had three sons, Francis (Fran), Wayne, and James (Jimmy) and one daughter, Charlotte.
Kate and Frank Schump Children probably at Kansas City, Missouri March 1941 Left-to-right: Jimmy Schump, Wayne Schump, Tommy Hahn, Maggie (Owen) Torgeson, grandmother, Charlotte Schump (Hahn Collection)
Francis "Fran" Schump, Son of Frank and Kate (Torgeson) Schump with his Family on the Occasion of the 100th Birthday of Fran's Aunt, Bernice (Torgeson) Taggart. Left-to-right: Zita Schump, Frank Schump, son Bob Schump and his wife, Sue, daughter Julie, Venda Schump, wife of son Ron (Provided by Bernice Taggart)
8. Gladys Louise Torgeson was born on 15 June 1902 at White City and grew up there. She graduated from the White City, Kansas High School in 1918. Gladys took Teacher's Training at the Kansas State Normal School at Emporia, Lyon County, Kansas and subsequently taught for one or two years, near White City, before moving to Topeka.
Gladys Torgeson in Front of Her Home at White City, Kansas in 1915 (Hahn Collection)
Gladys Torgeson in Her Graduation Gown from White City (Kansas) High School in 1918
Bernice Torgeson (left) and Gladys Torgeson (right) in Front of their Home at White City, Kansas
Gladys Torgeson and Margaret Hahn and Friends at White City, Kansas (Hahn Collection)
The Santa Fe Railway Hospital on East Sixth Avenue at Topeka, Kansas Where Gladys Worked. (Hahn Collection)
Before her first marriage she lived with her parents, Tom and Maggie Torgeson, on Euclid (later West 17th) Avenue. In the Census: 1930 Topeka City, Topeka Township, Shawnee County, Kansas. West Seventh Street. House No. 912, Torgeson, Gladys L. Daughter, age 27, was a stenographer. Not employed. 20 months. In Topeka, she worked as a telephone operator at the Santa Fe Railway Company Hospital shown above. Gladys married Jack Murphy on 1 July 1933 in 1932 and they divorced. After that marriage, she lived several years with her sister Bernice, in Topeka.
Thanks to this St. Patrick's Day invitation found in Florence Torgeson's Scrapbook, we know where Gladys and Jack lived in Topeka in1934. I guess the party was because Jack was Irish? (Hahn Collection)
She married second at age 39 on 31 January 1942 Joseph "Joe" A. White, age 48, of Topeka. Florence and Walter Hahn had a wedding dinner for them at the Hahn's house at 1120 High Street, in Topeka. He died and was buried there. Gladys had no children by either spouse. She died on 20 March 1978 at Topeka, Shawnee County, Kansas, and was buried in the Mount Hope Cemetery in Topeka.
Memorial Service: "In Memory of Mrs. Gladys L. White, Born June 15, 1902, Passed away March 20, 1978. Services: 1:00 P.M. Wednesday March 22, 1978 Newcomer-Diffenderfer Chapel, Topeka, Kansas. Organist Mrs. Ida Claiborne, Soloist Mr. Greg Bottini. Internment Mt. Hope Cemetery, Topeka, Kans.s"
Her obituary read: Mrs. Gladys L. White, 75, 1115 Tyler, died Monday in a Topeka hospital where she had been a patient 11 days. She was born June 15, 1902, at White City, in Morris County and lived in Topeka 60 years. She was employed by Santa Fe Railway and retired in 1965/ She was married to Joseph A. White in 1942. He died in 1963. Survivors include two sons, Lewis White,. 1016 Chester, and Fred R, White, Overbrook; two sisters, Mrs. Florence Hahn, 2101 High and Mrs. Bernice Taggart, Goodland; and seven grandchildren. Newcomer-Diffenderfer Funeral Home is in chare of arrangements, Burial will be in M9ou t Hope Cemetery. [The children and grandchildren were those of Joe White.]
9. Bernice Imogene Torgeson was born on 28 March 1904 at White City. She was christened on 15 December 1912 at White City.
Bernice Torgeson's School Class in White City, Kansas c1916. She is in the middle row, fourth from left. (Provided by Bernice Torgeson)
Bernice Torgeson in Front of Her Home at White City, Kansas in 1918 (Hahn Collection)
Bernice Torgeson in front of her sister, Mae Torgeson's house, at Junction City, Kansas (Hahn Collection)
Bernice graduated from the White City High School in 1921. After graduation from the White City High School, she went to Teacher's Training at the Kansas State Normal School in Emporia, Lyon County, County, Kansas to obtain a teacher's certificate, and then taught for two years in a country one-room school. About 1924, she went to Topeka, Shawnee County, Kansas, where she lived first with her parents, Tom and Maggie Torgeson on Euclid (later West 17th Avenue). She attended Business School in Topeka and then worked at the Topeka Wholesale Company.
White City High School 1922 Graduating Class. Bernice Torgeson is in the front center, (Hahn Collection)
White City High School Basketball Team in 1922. Bernice Torgeson, Captain, front row, second from right
Bernice Torgeson of Topeka, Kansas (Hahn Collection)
Census: 1930 Topeka City, Topeka Township, Shawnee County, Kansas p. 234. Sheet 4-A. Enumeration District 89-32. Part of Ward 5. Enumeration date 5 April 1930. West Seventh Street. House No. 912. Family No. 97. Family No. 102.
Line 44. Torgeson, Bernice I. Daughter. Age 25. Father born Norway. Mother born Iowa. Stenographer. Grocery. Code 8777.
Bernice married Thomas "Tom" Taggart at the Trinity Methodist Church at Topeka on 28 March 1941. Her marriage, was announced in the Topeka State Capitol (or Journal) by Mrs. Margaret Torgeson:
Mrs. Margaret Torgeson announces the approaching marriage of her daughter, Bernice, to Mr. Thomas Taggart, Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Torgeson of Goodland [Kansas]. The wedding will take place Friday Morning, March 28.
Miss Torgeson, who was hostess to a few guests at coffee at her home today, has been complimented with a number of pre-nuptial courtesies. Mrs. R E. Higgs and Mrs. H. L. Speck [a High Street Topeka neighbor] entertained for her with a party and shower given Friday night, and Mrs. Oran Sipes was hostess at a similar party given last Monday night at her home.
The party Friday [7 March 1941], given at the home of Mrs. Higgs [a High Street Topeka neighbor], included:
Mrs. Frank Schump, Kansas City [her sister]
Mts. R. H. Christensen, Junction City [her sister]
Mrs. Gene Water, Beloit [her sister Mae's daughter]
Mrs. W. H. Shehi, Kansas City, Mo.
Mrs. P. B. Barkmeir
Mrs. Ray Patterson
Mrs. Les Beckman [Florence Hahn's husband's sister]
Mrs. J. H. Schneider, [her next-door neighbor on High Street]
Mrs. Thomas Torgeson [her mother of Topeka]
Mrs. Hugh Larimer [a relative of Tom Taggart's]
Mrs. Hugh Oberheim
Mrs. Jacob Rupp
Mrs. W. A. Paul
Mrs. Gladys Murphy [her sister of Topeka]
Mrs. W.F. Hahn of Topeka [her sister of Topeka as well as her next-door neighbor]
Miss Mildred Torgeson [her niece, the daughter of her brother, Floyd Torgeson]
Miss Blanche Watts
Miss Marie Riley
Miss Marie Hines
Miss Marie Ryan
Another announcement from the Topeka State Capitol (or Journal) said:
Mrs. Gladys Torgeson entertained Wednesday night with a dinner at the Chocolate Shop Annex. followed by a line party to the Grand Theater, as a pre-nuptial courtesy for Miss Bernice Torgeson, whose marriage to Mr. Thomas Taggart, Jr., will take place March 28.
The party included Miss Torgeson, Mrs. R. E. Higgs, Mrs. H. L. Speck, Mrs. W. F. Hahn and Mrs. Murphy.
Mrs. R. H. Christensen, of Junction City [Kansas], will be hostess at a family dinner at her home Sunday for to bride-to-be.
Left-to-right: Tommy Hahn, Florence (Torgeson) Hahn, Bernice Torgeson, Thomas "Tom" Taggart ca 1935. The location is not known. (The photograph was probably taken by Walter Hahn)
They had no children. The Taggart's lived in Goodland, Sherman County, Kansas for the remainder of their lives. Tom was the County Attorney for Sherman County. Bernice worked in his office, in an abstract office, and for the social welfare office. They lived in two different homes in Goodland. Tom Taggart died on 12 June 1961 at Goodland and was buried in the cemetery there. After Tom's death, Bernice had built and lived in another house there. In 2003, she moved to Wheat Ridge Acres, an assisted living facility there. On 28 March 2004, she celebrated her 100th birthday there with friends and relatives.
Bernice Torgeson at age 100 years at old neighbor's at Christmas 2004 (Hahn Collection)
Bernice (Torgeson) Taggart on Her 101st Birthday at Wheat Ridge Acres, Goodland, Kansas. (Photo provided by Bernice Taggart)
Bernice at 101 11/12 as Second Attendant at the Wheat Ridge Acres Valentine Party in 2006 (Photo sent by Bernice)
Bernice Taggart on her 102nd Birthday. Charlotte (Schump) Johnson, niece; Mary, friend of Brian Johnson, Charlotte's son; and, Zita Schump (wife of nephew Fran Schump)
Bernice in May 2006 Receiving a Gift from her Nephew Larry and his Wife Fran. (Provided by Bernice)
Bernice Taggart's Backyard at Goodland, Sherman County, Kansas in the 1980s. (Left-to-right) Florence (Torgeson) Hahn;, Bernice's older sister, Bernice (Torgeson) Taggart; Zita Schump, wife of Frances Schump, son of Kate (Torgeson) Schump -- Bernice and Florence's sister; Charlotte (Schump) Johnson, Bernice's niece, daughter of her sister Kate; Nathalie Hahn, spouse of Tom Hahn, Florence Hahn's daughter-in-law. (Tom Hahn Photo)
CENSUS DATA FOR THOMAS TORGESON FAMILY
Census: 1870 US Kansas. His family supposedly went to Kansas about 1869, so they should be in the Kansas Census somewhere, probably Geary or Morris County. It is possible that they were were enroute and were missed in the census.
Census: 1875 Kansas, Morris County, Parker Township: p. 4, Dwelling 28, Family 29; Thomas 14 [but note that he was supposedly born in September 1857 which would make him about 18], farming, in Family of Thomas [Sr.] and Matilda Terguson [Torgeson], born Norway from IA. [IA may be a mistake for Iowa County, Wisconsin, but three separate census said they were from Iowa.] (LDS FHL Film 0570213]
Census: 1880 US Kansas, Morris County, Parker Township:
Thomas Ferguson [Terguson/Torgeson], Farmer, age 52 , born Norway, father and mother born Norway.
Matilda Ferguson, Keeping House, 49 , born Norway, mother and father born Norway.
Thomas Ferguson, Jr., Farmer, age 22 , born Norway, father and mother born Norway.
Julia Ferguson, At School, age 18 , born WI, mother and father born Norway.
John Ferguson, At School, age 16 , born WI, father and mother born Norway.
Newt Ferguson, At School, age14 , born WI, father and mother born Norway.
Henry Ferguson, At School, age 12 , born WI, father and mother born Norway.
Willie Ferguson, age 5 , born KS, father and mother born Norway.
George Ferguson, age 2 , born KS, father and mother born Norway.
Evan Ferguson, Farmer, age 40 , brother [of Thomas, Sr.], born Norway, father and mother born Norway. (LDS Family History Library Film No. 1254390, National Archives Film T9-0390. p. 395B.)
Census: 1880 US Kansas,
Morris County, Rolling Prairie Township, White City, under William R.
Bingham, White City, p. 369A, there is a Thomas Turgeson listed as "other", age
27 born NY, father and mother born NY. [ This would seem to be another Thomas,
but note that Thomas Torgeson is living with the Bingham's in the 1885 Kansas
Census below. The Bingham's might not have been familiar with the life of Thomas
Census 1885 Kansas, Morris County, Rolling Prairie [White City]: p. 2, line 15, Dwelling 51, Family 54, Thomas Torgeson living with W. R. Bingham (lumber dealer) Family, probably as a boarder, along with two female school teachers and a minister, born Norway, came from IA. [As noted earlier, "IA" may be Iowa County, Wisconsin. Alternatively, the Torgeson's could have moved from Wisconsin to Iowa, but no record of such a move has been found.] ( LDS FHL Film 0976208)
Census 1895 Kansas, Morris County, Rolling Prairie Township: LDS FHL Film 0570334. Thomas Torgeson and family should be here, but copy of the census is difficult to read.
Census 1900 US Kansas, Morris County, Rolling Prairie Township, White City, vol. 35, Sheet 2, Enumeration District 109, Enumerator Frances B. Harris. Date taken 1 and 2 Jan. 1900. Page 277A, Family 29, Dwelling 29. Goodnow St [I will check on this and this may be the street onto which his parents moved from the farm near Parkerville. See the map that follows the 1920 census data. Editor]
Line 26. Thomas Torgeson, Head, was born in September 1858, was age 41, was married 14 years, was born in Norway, his parents were born in Norway, the year of immigration was 1861, the number of years in the U.S. 38 , was naturalized, his employment was farming, he could can read and write and speak English, his home was owned free of mortgage on farm No. 6. [This is the first record that has been found showing that Thomas Torgeson, Jr., owned a farm. But, being in town, this could mean that he owned a cow or two or such and had a garden.]
Line 27. Margaret L. Torgeson, Wife, was born in September 1870, was age 29, had been married for 14 years , had 6 children, with 6 children living, was born in Iowa, her parents were born in New York, and. she could read and write and speak English,
Line 28. Mary E. Torgeson, daughter, was born in November 1887, was age 12, had attended school for 7 months.
Line 29. Floyd M. Torgeson, was born in June 1889, was age 10, and had attended school for 8 months.
Line 30. Allen G. Torgeson, was born in December 1891, and had attended school for 8 months .
Line 31. Mildred A. Torgeson, was born in August 1893, and was age 6. [She died prior to the 1905 census.]
Line 32. Florence B. Torgeson [should be V.], was born in March 1897, and was age 3.
Line 33. Merle A. Torgeson, was born in February 1899, was age 1. [Merle died prior to the 1905 census.] All children were born in Kansas.
Census 1905 Kansas, Wyandotte County, Agricultural Census, Morris County, Rolling Prairie Township [White City], Microfilm K-105, Kansas State Historical Society Research Center, No. 396 or p. 1 [My notes are clear on this. Editor],
Line 21. Thomas Torgeson, was age 47, born Norway, was from Wisconsin, and was a clerk.
M.[argaret]aggie Torgeson was age 34, was born in Iowa and was from Iowa.
ME [Mary Elizabeth] Torgeson, was age 17, was born in Kansas and was from Kansas.
F[lorence] Torgeson,was age 15, was born in Kansas and was from Kansas.
A[len] Torgeson, was age13 born, was born in Kansas and was from Kansas.
F[loyd] Torgeson, was born in Kansas and was from Kansas.
Census 1910 US Kansas, Morris County, Rolling Prairie Township, White City: Soundex? Can't find Thomas. Many entries misfiled, so may be here.
Census 1915 Kansas, Morris County, Rolling Prairie Township, White City, p. 15, Household 20, Family 20, Family 20.
Line 4, Thomas Torgeson, 57 born Norway, from Wisconsin. self-employed.
Line 5. Mrs. born Iowa, from Iowa, Housekeeper.
Line 6. Allen G. 23, born KS. Laborer P.P. [R. R.?].
Line 7. Florence 18, born KS, in school.
Line 8. Katie 14, born KS, in school.
Line 9. Gladys 1, 2 born KS, in school.
Line 10. Bernice born KS, In school.
(Film K162 viewed at the Kansas Historical Society History Research Center, Topeka, Kansas in June 2000.
Census 1920 US Kansas, Morris County, Rolling Prairie Township, p. 275, vol. 33, Enumeration District 99. Sheet 1, Supervisor's Dist. 4, Enumerator Miss NeRessa Torgeson. Household 20, Family 20.
Line 68. Thomas age 62, born Norway, citizenship 1861/1862, White City, Oak St., parents born Norway. Postmaster, Employer, Post Office, 818 in right margin. [Why are they listed on Oak Street rather than Goodnow Street? Editor[
Line 69. Margaret, wife, 49, born IA, parents born NY.
Line 70. Allen G., 28, laborer, railroad, 701 in right margin.
Line 71 Florence 23, Post Office Clerk, 994 right margin.
Line 72. Gladys, 17.
Line 73. Bernice 15.
All children were born in Kansas.
In the 1900 census, their address was given as Goodnow Street, whereas in 1920, it was given as Oak Street. His parents lived on the corner of Stover Street and Oak Street, I believe, next door to their son John Torgeson on Oak Street. I will check the census entries. Editor
Census: 1925 Topeka City, Topeka Township, Shawnee County, Kansas. To be added when found.
Census: 1930 Topeka City,
Topeka Township, Shawnee County, Kansas p. 234. Sheet 4-A. Enumeration
District 89-32. Part of Ward 5. Enumeration date 5 April 1930. West
Seventh Street. House No. 912. Family No. 97. Family No. 102.
Line 41. Torgeson, Thomas. Head. Owned house, Value 6000. Did not live on a farm. Age 72. Age at first marriage 28.Born Norway. Father born Norway. Mother born Norway. State Code 05. County code05 Norwegian spoke in home before coming to the U.S. Year of immigration to the U.S. 1860. Naturalized citizen. No occupation. Not a veteran.
Line 42. Margaret Torgeson. Wife of Head of household. Age 59. Born Iowa. Father born New York. Mother born New York. No occupation.
Line 43. Torgeson, Gladys L. Daughter. Age 27. Father born Norway. Mother born Iowa. Stenographer. Hospital. Code 7194. Not employed. 20 months.
Line 44. Torgeson, Bernice I. Daughter. Age 25. Father born Norway. Mother born Iowa. Stenographer. Grocery. Code 8777.
Sons-in-Law and Grandsons of Tom Torgeson at Junction City, Kansas about 1940 Left-to-right: Floyd Torgeson, Jr., son of Floyd Torgeson, spouse of Kate Torgeson; Bob Christensen, spouse of Mae Torgeson; Tommy Hahn, son of Walt Hahn, spouse of Florence Torgeson. ( Hahn Collection)
After the death of their mother in 1952, the Torgeson daughters decided to keep in close touch by having a reunion each fall at about the time of their mother's death
Here are the Torgeson Girls at one of their Reunions. Looking in the window is their mother, Margaret Owen. The daughters are, right-to-left: Florence Hahn whose photo is missing; Mae Torgeson; Bernice Taggart; Kate Schump; and, Gladys White. (Hahn Collection)
Times New Roman 14 point. Copy 13 November 2004. Photo check A. TH