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Monson family holds reunion

Submitted photo The oldest family member attending the Monson reunion was Billie Monson, 90, Valley City, and the youngest is Macy Olson, daughter of Kristen and Michael Olson, Ray, N.D.

The Monsons held a reunion with 88 family members attending on Aug. 9 in McElroy Park in Jamestown.

The older Monsons now gather with the youngest ones being seventh-generation American citizens. Ole and Berthe Monson came to the U.S. in 1882. They landed in Barnes County on May 17, 1882.

Long ago annual picnics were held on the open prairie north of Kathryn, N.D. The picnic area then was surrounded by a rock fence built by Lois Hoffman’s great-grandfather, Ole Monson, and his four sons, Mandius, Gunvold, Rasmus and Retsius. The rock wall served two purposes, to keep the livestock inside its perimeters and to clear land for crops. Each son became a farmer with his own land around the Kathryn and Litchville areas. They also helped start various Lutheran churches in those areas.

Of the more than 600 descendants of the Monson family, members now live in 21 states from the original North Dakota and Minnesota areas.

The Monsons celebrated the 90th birthday of Billie Monson, Valley City. The oldest-living descendants of Ole and Berthe are third-generation family members Doris (McIntyre) Olson, Albuequerque, N.M., and fourth-generation family member Marian Nelsen, Valley City. Neither was able to attend the reunion.

The youngest person at the picnic was Macy Olson, daughter of Kristen and Michael Olson. The person who traveled the furthest distance was Michelle Jenks, Simi Valley, Calif., who is the daughter of Ron and Pauline Monson.

Family members attending from Jamestown were: Wayne Monson, Ron Monson, Lisa and Bryan Hoffer and their children, BryAnna, Baxter and LiAnna; Marilyn Burkhardt, Neldae Frank, Arlyce Chadwick, Mark Chadwick and his children, Levi and Jamie; Kristi and Mason Krumweide and their children, Kadence and Kayleigh; Rod and Barb Monson, Paul and Janel Monson and their children, Luke, Katelyn and Mark; Kelly Monson and Evelyn Runck.

Others from North Dakota attending the reunion were: Dale and Virginia Monson, Vickie Sherman and Jared Sherman, all Mandan; Lois Hofmann, Lorne Monson, Aaron Monson, Lynnsey and Brody Clarke and their child, Bear, Fargo; Gene Monson and Terry Monson, all from Fargo; Elaine Miedema, Billie Monson and Tom Monson, all Valley City; Donna Monson and Seth Erwin, Litchville; Cindy and Todd Vogel and Joel and Laurie Miedema, Marion; Justin and Whitney Vogel, Rogers; Keith and June Chadwick, Eldridge; Robert Gaasland, Hastings; Jerry Aase, Kathryn; Ted and Diane Meckle, McClusky; Noelyn Monson, Kristen Olson and her children, Lily and Macy, all Ray; Jesse Rohrick and his son, Ethan, Bismarck; Mike and Rowena Monson and Austin Monson, Glenfield; and Corinne Erwin and Martin Nichols, both Buffalo.

Attending the reunion from Minnesota were Ed and Jean Monson, Muriel and Owen Turnland, Jim Burkhardt and Carol Snyder, Bill Monson, David Monson, Ron and Pauline Monson, Randi Michels and Dani and Margaret Gaasland.

The 2016 Monson reunion will be held Aug. 14 at McElroy Park in Jamestown.