Katinka Josephene Thorstad

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Katinka Josephene Thorstad

Birthplace: Deerfield, Dane, Wisconsin, USA
Death: January 1978 (83)
Stoughton, Dane, Wisconsin, USA
Place of Burial: Deerfield, Dane, Wisconsin, USA
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Jens Nielson Thorstad and Betsy "Brita" Olina Holtan
Sister of Emil Gerhard Thorstad; Selma Elenora Thorstad; Levi Thorstad; Lucius Berlin Thorstad; Nels Holberg Thorstad and 1 other

Managed by: Dana Marie Kelly
Last Updated:

About Katinka Josephene Thorstad


From Wisconsin State Journal Stoughton News October 7, 1932:

Mrs. S. M. Halverson and Katinka Thorstad, Deerfield, were guests of honor at a birthday club which met Wednesday at the home of the former. Guests include Mrs. K. Holtan and Mrs. Henry Thompson, Edgerton, and Mrs. Inga Lillesand, Madison.

Memories by Dan Thorstad: Thanksgiving Memories

While living on the farm Thanksgiving meant a full day at Selma and Tinka´s with all the Thorstad´s getting together. Their house had no indoor plumbing but to kids our age that was no big deal since that was considered normal for their house. During the time meal was being prepared the adults would either help in the food preparation or just visit while the younger generation would head upstairs to pass the time. Going upstairs usually meant going to the bedroom which had the Victrola in it or going up to the attic. The Victrola had about two or three 78´s in it and it would still play the records. The music may not have met our tastes at the time but it was still neat to wind up the turntable and let the music play. The attic was a treasure trove of family memorabilia, old clothes, letters, furniture, photos, and just about anything that for whatever reason was not thrown out. I guess it could be called our family´s Smithsonian Institute. The meal consisted of the traditional Thanksgiving fare but I´m not sure the meal was the main event since we knew that bingo would be played later in the day. After the meal was over some played cards, some visited, some napped and if there was snow others went out to play in the snow. Supper meant eating the leftovers from dinner and after that we would play bingo. Those playing bingo would sit at the big table in the dining room and have their cards and corn kernels for markers. Tinka would call out the numbers and when someone got a bingo they would choose one of the prizes. I´m not sure where all the prizes came from, maybe the M & A or from other sources but there were plenty to choose from so you had plenty of opportunity to bring home your favorite prize. The adult men had their own special prize prepared by Selma. I´m not sure if they had to earn´´ their prize (Selma´s own fudge) but they all got a small package of it. I do remember a mason jar filled with corn kernels and whoever had the closest guess of the amount of kernels won a prize. We continue to serve the traditional Thanksgiving fare, although the location has changed over the years. The game of bingo has also been revived with a new twist. Some, if not most, of the prizes have become gag prizes which are wrapped so its true identity is not revealed. Because of the old memories and ones being created and recreated Thanksgiving is still my favorite holiday. It is the shortest since Christmas decorating begins that weekend but I look forward to the 4th Thursday of November very much.

Thorstad Sisters or the Baldwin Sisters(?)

Anyone who remembers the TV series the Walton´s will know who the Baldwin Sisters were. They of course were never-married sisters, although one did have a beau named Ashley, who lived in their father´s home. Sound familiar? The similarities don´t carry too far beyond that especially since there was no still preparing father´s recipe´´. Although we did see a small bottle of Mogen David wine in the cupboard once.

The Oat House

This was the old building just across the driveway from their house and a place we were not allowed in since it was not safe. We were always able to sneak a peak in there on occasion but about all we saw were oats all over the floor. It did serve as their temporary home many years ago when fire damaged the main house. I don´t remember if the entire main house burned to the ground or if was damaged to the extent they could not live in it for awhile. They told us that one winter Jens became very ill with pneumonia and that the local doctor said the best thing for pneumonia was to wrap up in vool´´ blanket. It must have worked since he lived for many more years. Ironically the Oat House is once again serving as living quarters except as a guest house and not emergency shelter. It has been completely renovated and is very comfortable. A few years ago we went to visit the family who lives at the end of Thorstad Lane. We went through the house, what was left of the barn, and the Oat House. The main house to my surprise has not changed dramatically except that now there is plumbing, the furnace is newer, smaller and much more efficient, and the kitchen has been enlarged. But the dining room and living room looked almost as if nothing had changed. So many times rooms seem to grow in our memories and reality reminds us how small the room really is but in this case the living room and dining room remained the same size as I remembered.

Visiting Tinka at Skaalen Home After Tinka broke her hip Both of them moved to the Skaalen Home in Stoughton. The move was very tough on Selma and her health failed and she soon died. Tinka on the other hand thrived living there once the sadness of losing Selma passed. Tinka loved being waited on and having the nurses and staff fuss´´ over her. When we would go visit her she was usually sitting in her wheelchair reading or writing a letter or just simply watching kids play outside. We always brought her a bag of some candy and we would hide the bag behind our backs when we walked into her room. She was always glad to see us and greeted us with a smile. But she would keep looking around us to see what we had behind our back - as if she didn´t know what we were hiding. Visits with her were always enjoyable. During one visit she told us of a man and a woman who were keeping company´´ Both of them were well into their 90´s and had lost heir spouses years ago. Well this was scandalous and in her words they should know better than that´´. I don´t where the December - December romance went but it got her attention. When Tinka died I know the staff missed her since she was so easy to care for. I had kept up writing to her regularly and at her funereal Suzie Kleinfelter told me I lost a real good pen-pal.

Memories By Rick Thorstad

One Thanksgiving, we were up in the attic and it was before Mom and Dad were there and we looked out the window waiting for them to come down the driveway .As we were watching, our dog at the time, I think it was Tige, was chasing a rabbit and after a while he just dropped and died right there.I remember how upset we all were and then Mom and Dad came down and Dad had to carry him away and put him somewhere until we could bury him.

On a different Thanksgiving they always had a huge turkey and we would have a huge feast. Well in the evening all the food would be brought out again for supper. They would keep the leftover turkey in the oven between meals and when Mom (I think) opened the oven door to take it out, she was greeted by a family of mice. I remember Mom screamed and slammed the door shut.

One time Dan and I were exploring up in the barn and we were just climbing around and up anything and I was up on one of the beams I noticed something shiny on one of them. I went to look closer and there were two 50 cent pieces laying right there on a beam. Back then I thought I had struck it rich.

Selma & Katinka By Lois Thorstad Anderson

I remember I suppose I was about 3 or 4 years old and going to stay over night either with Tinka down at Grandpa Jens or with Selma and Nels up where Howard and Lorraine and the girls lived later on. I thought Selma and Nels were husband and wife and Tinka and Harlowe were also husband and wife. I don´t remember when I found out they were all brothers and sisters. I know Selma´s house was always cold. They had a stove in the dining room but that didn´t heat the upstairs.

Nels died in 1938 and Selma stayed on that farm and tried to keep it going but she finally moved down to Tinka´s. The house was empty for some time then Howard and Lorraine moved up there sometime in the late 40´s after he came home form the service.

Selma & Tinka never had indoor plumbing. They had to carry all their water to the house from their milk house. I wonder how many of us would be willing to do that now.

In spite of that fact they loved to entertain and they did a lot of it. We always went out there for Thanksgiving. It was always fun for the kids because they could play outside if they wanted to. We seemed to have more snow on Thanksgiving in those days. Another thing the girls like to do was go up in the attic and dress up in old clothes that they found up there. One time they came down dressed up like pilgrims. Susie, Jane & Teedy. I think they even got Dan in the act. Sonja & Rick were too young I think.

Grandpa Oscar (Lennie´s dad) always came with us and he and Grandpa Emil, Howard and Paul would play euchre. Sometimes my mother, Grandma Mable would play, too.

Then we would have supper, too. After supper we would play bingo. They would always have prizes or sometimes they would go to their china cupboard and pick something out of there. I know I got a nice old coffee strainer from them. One time when we were playing, Susie was small and sitting in Lennie´s lap and she stuck a kernel of corn up her nose. Somehow we got it out of there.

Selma kept a diary. She wrote in it every day. She recorded how much corn the neighbors planted, when they started planting tobacco and how much. She was a very hard worker. And I think she slept with one eye opened. Because she always knew what time I came home from a date. Her bedroom faced south right up to our house.

Then they were on a party line. I think that was part of their entertainment before they got television. Then they did get interested in soap operas. As the World Turns´´ I think.

One thing they were always ready to go. If we needed them to take care of the kids or we would call them and ask if they wanted to go for a ride or go to McDonald´s they were always ready. According to Selma´s diaries they went a lot. Somebody was always picking them up to go somewhere. Mother, Lorraine & Shirley took them to get their groceries and to the doctor. Selma didn´t like to go to the doctor so if she thought she needed something she´d send Tinka.

They had a lot of company too. I remember Susie Klinefelter´s dad, who would be Grandpa Jens´s nephew, would sit and listen while Grandpa talked, I think mostly in Norwegian. And they would always have a meal ready. Without having running water or indoor plumbing they seemed to get along just fine. We never heard them complain about it.

In 1962 Tinka fell and broker her hip in their kitchen and Selma went running up to Paul to tell him. So he called me and I went with her in the ambulance to Fort Hospital. Selma was starting with dementia (at that time they called it hardening of the arteries) and we didn´t think she should be alone out there so Susan, Jane and I´m not sure if Teedy stayed but they stayed with her until Friday when Susie Klinefelter, Paul and I took her to Skaalen. She wasn´t happy there. She would call Amanda Hole in Madison and ask her to come and get her. It was pretty sad. Then she fell off the balcony there and they found her on the grounds the next day. They took her to the hospital and she lived for several days. She had some broken bones but pneumonia set in and she was too weak to fight it.

When Tinka came to Skaalen from the hospital she was happy. She had her own bathroom and things she had never had before. She was so satisfied. She always wanted to look nice which she did. She said I don´t want any of them house dresses. I want some nice ones.´´ I made her at least one and she always wore jewelry. We know she was in the best place she could have been. She passed away in Jan. 1978.

We have many happy memories of going out to Selma and Tinka.

Selma & Tinka By Patti Thorstad Hoffland Going to Selma & Tinka´s was always an adventure. Even though they didn´t have many modern conveniences, they always managed to do a great job of entertaining. Selma was alwas stirring up her ginger and sugar cookies to have for Grandpa when he came in for coffee. How can we forget the famous bingo games and, of course, Selma´s fudge? Sometimes when we stayed overnight, we would play Flinch on the kitchen table. I also remember combing the bluish purple dye through their beautiful gray hair. Remember how Tinka loved her cats and how much fun it was to have picnics outside on their picnic table. Selma and Tinka had a lot of cute sayings. The two most memorable to me were Mercy Selma´ or Mercy Tinka´´ and Ain´t it the berries?´´ I passed these sayings along to my college roommate and to this day we still say them to each other and have a good chuckle.

Memories By Sonja Anderson Dyreson Oh, memories! Most of mine are all Selma & Tinka. I don´t know where to start . . . Let´s see . . . Maybe the one where I opened a drawer in the dining room and a mouse jumped out & I spent the rest of the afternoon sitting on the dining room table til mom came to get me, or wanting a Rhubarb jam sandwich at 3:46 a.m. and Selma getting up to make it-not even thinking twice. Or thinking it was normal to go to the bathroom on a chair with a hole in it. One time I brought a friend out & she asked me where the bathroom was. So I showed it to her. Well, needless to say she held her bladder the rest of the day. I thought she was weird because she wouldn´t use it & she thought I was weird because I did! Those were the fun days (not for them, though as they spent most of the time locking one door while I was escaping out the other.) Mom, Dad, Susie & Steven went out to South Dakota allowing Selma & Tinka a little more quality time´´ with me. When mom called to see how I was doing, Selma replied Oh, Sonja´s fine, but we see why you needed a vacation.´´ I guess that pretty much sums it up in a nutshell!

Thorstad, Katinka DEERFIELD - Katinka Thorstad, age 83, died at the Skaalen Home on Thursday, January 19, 1978. She was born on February 14, 1894 at Deerfield, the daughter of the late Jens and Olena THorstad, and had been a resident of the Skaalen Home for the past 5 1/2 years. She was preceded in death by a sister and five brothers. Miss Thorstad was a member of Deerfield Lutheran Church and Naomi Circle for over 30 years. Surviving is a niece, Mrs. Leonard (Lois) Anderson; two nephews, Howard and Paul Thorstad, all of Deerfield; nine grandnieces and nephews. Funeral services will be held in DEERFIELD LUTHERAN CHURCH at 11 a.m. on Saturday, January 21. Reverend Thomas Hoversten will officiate. Burial will be in the Deerfield Lutheran Cemetery. Visitation will be held at the church from 9:30 until time of services on Saturday morning. THE HOLZHUTER FUNERAL HOME is in charge of arrangements.

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Katinka Josephene Thorstad's Timeline

February 14, 1894
Deerfield, Dane, Wisconsin, USA
Age 35
Deerfield, Dane, Wisconsin, USA
January 22, 1978
Age 83
Deerfield, Dane, Wisconsin, USA
January 1978
Age 83
Stoughton, Dane, Wisconsin, USA