Selma Elenora Thorstad

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Selma Elenora Thorstad

Birthplace: Deerfield, Dane, Wisconsin, USA
Death: August 1972 (82)
Deerfield, 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; Levi Thorstad; Katinka Josephene Thorstad; Lucius Berlin Thorstad; Nels Holberg Thorstad and 1 other

Managed by: Dana Marie Kelly
Last Updated:

About Selma Elenora Thorstad


Joined the Deerfield Women's Club in Oct. 1932.

Wisconsin State Journal June 1, 1932:

Stoughton News The members of a birthday club were entertained Monday at the home of the Misses Selma and Katinka Thorstad in Deerfield. The birthdays of Mrs. Norman Nyhagen and Mrs. Henry Brickson were celebrated. Members from here who attended the party, besides the guests of honor, were Mmrs. L. O. Viken, Lawrence Lynch, L. L. Roer, S. M. Halverson, and the Misses Anna Holtan and Alice Johnson.

July 24 1932 Wisconsin State Journal:

Selma Thorstad won third place with her zinnias at the Deerfield festival.

Capital Times November 4, 1950:

Deerfield Woman's Club DEERFIELD - Deerfield Woman's club met at the home of Miss Selma Thorstad Oct. 31. A book review of "Gone With the Wind" was given by Mrs. T. Grefsheim, and Mrs. Otto Johnson presented the biography of Margaret Mitchell. Mrs. Howard Thorstad was a guest. Mrs. D. C. Blakely will be hostess to the club Nov. 14.

Miss Selma Thorstad Dies in Deerfield DEERFIELD - Miss Selma Thorstad, 82, Rt. 1, Deerfield, died Monday (Aug. 21, 1972) in a Stoughton nursing home after a brief illness.

Born in Cottage Grove, Miss Thorstad attended Albion Academy. She and her sister, Katinka, farmed in the Deerfield area until two months ago when they moved to the Skaalen Nursing Home, Stoughton.

She was a member of the Deerfield Lutheran Church and a charter member of the Naomi Circle, and the American Legion Auxiliary.

Surviving is her sister.

The funeral will be at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in the church. Friends may call after 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Holzhuter Funeral Home, Deerfield.

Memories by Dan Thorstad: Sledding

Selma and Tinka had a great sledding hill just north of the barn. I imagine were I to go back now it would look fairly tame but for a 10 or 11 year old it might as well have been the Matterhorn. The biggest obstacle on the hill was the opening in the fence at the bottom of the hill which was probably 10 feet wide. Most of the time we would be able to hit the opening or jump off the toboggan if our steering was a little off but there was one memorable exception that comes to mind. Rick and I were on the toboggan with Rick in front and me on the back. I could see we were not going to make the opening so I bailed out and assumed Rick would as well. For some reason he did not jump and I thought he would run right into the barbed wire fence and no good would come of that. But at the last second he laid out flat on the toboggan and slid right under the strand of barbed wire. And possibly the highlight of the outing would be the hot chocolate and cookies we got when we stopped in to see Selma and Tinka on our way home.

Staying Overnight

Since Selma and Tinka lived a short walk from us staying overnight was quite a common occurrence whether mom and dad were going to be gone or not. The early evenings were spent playing a game of dice, that I have forgotten how to play, and listening to stories of their past. We did not need TV with the stories and entertainment they provided. After an evening snack of cookies and Kool Aid we were off to bed, only to be wakened early in the morning with the news on the radio. Due to Tinkas near deafness the radio was turned up loud enough so that the deepest sleepers would wake in an instant. But that also meant that it was soon time for breakfast of pancakes and bacon, and more stories.

Carrying Water

Selma and Tinka´s house did not have indoor plumbing so any water had to be carried into the house. The fact they had no indoor plumbing did not seem strange to me, it was just how things were at their house. During our many visits we would always make sure there was enough water in the house for their needs. We would go to the pump house and make as many trips as needed to meet their needs. At times during the coldest weather the pump house would freeze so we would scoop up buckets of snow and put the snow in a tank that was in the room just off the kitchen. For our labors we would not only get the usual treats but also each of us got 10 cents.

Thanksgiving By Jane Thorstad Kelly Selma´s eyes weren´t all that good so one year after carving the turkey she brought out the scrap platter to the table. Someone discreetly swapped the platters and Selma never knew. Every year Teedy would write a Thanksgiving pageant. Susie, Teedy and I would perform for the family. I believe my brothers even had some small parts. Our performances were always well received. One year my dad snuck off with no one even realizing he was gone and came back dressed as a hobo. He was begging for food and was so well disguised none of us knew who he was. To me Thanksgiving was just about as good as Christmas. Playing bingo and bringing home a new treasure took the edge off while waiting for Christmas.

Thanksgiving Memories By Donna Thorstad Johnson As we were growing up we were able to have and enjoy our Grandparents and Selma and Tinka who were like a second set of Grandparents. With all of us living on adjoining farms or within a few mile radius, it was natural that we spend our Holidays together. Today with Ryan in Arizona and Brad in Milwaukee the impact of taking for granted the whole family would be there is so much more relevant to me. Thanksgiving at Selma and Tinka´s was a wonderful tradition. With their antiquated kitchen and lack of plumbing, they were able to pull off a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner. Tinka would have her Christmas decorations out already, as she couldn´t wait to get the season going. This was long beore stores were decorated in October and peoples´ homes were decorated by November. We always said she was like a little kid at heart. The real Thanksgiving memories came after the meal when the cards came out, the bingo was played, or as kids we would go up and snoop in the attic and bedrooms. Many Halloween costumes were created with the clothes we found in the attic. Selma would bring out her famous fudge that she had hidden away in the upstairs linen closet. The trick to eating it was hving strong teeth! Throughout the day we would sneak home and back because as I said, there was a lack of plumbing . . .


Susie Anderson Egre 1. Playing Flinch 2. Sleeping in the bed on east room and only way to get to bed was to crawl over the end of it.It was wintertime and was warmest room upstairs and the bed took up the whole room.I never figured out how they got it in there. 3. Reading carved messages in barn.Don´t remember the dates but they were all from the Thorstad men. 4. Dressing up in old clothes from the attic. 5. Sledding down the hill behind the barn in the winter. 6. Playing in the oat bin. 7. Sitting by the register in the dining room when I got up the morning to stay warm. 8. Selma told me once that her Grandmothe rsmoked a pipe and didn´t want anyone to know so she would go down to the outhouse and they could see the smoke coming out of the top. 9. Blue hair 10. Thanksgiving Day - playing bingo 11. Gypsy stories - although I can´t remember the details

By Jane Thorstad Kelly I remember having lunch or snacks on the front yard on a blanket with Selma and Tinka. There were always nuts on the yard, and Tinka would play Which Hand´´ with the nut in one behind her back. I remember Selma mowing lawn with a push mower. Selma told me a story one time when she was out picking hickory nuts. She said she bent down to pick a nut, stood up to put it in her bucket and then a bullet whizzed between her legs. Selma & Tinka were the only members of the Liberty School mothers club that weren´t mothers. One time my mom and my brothers were at Selma & Tinka´s. I´m not sure why but mom was talking to Selma on the yard and I was on the yard also. My brothers were in the car when Rick took it out of gear. It started to roll and Selma took off, grabbed the driver´s door and tried to stop the car! Luckily the car hit a tree and no one was hurt. I can still see her plain as day yelling at the car to stop and holding on to the door for dear life! Several years ago, while she was still at home on the farm, three of us (Jane, Dan Thorstad, and Dana) went to visit Susie Klinefelter and pick her brain about the Thorstad family. She told us about one time she had driven Selma and Tinka to some event. As she brought them home, her headlights shined on the porch into the eyes of a possum who was staring at them. They sat and pondered the situation for a bit. Finally Selma got out of the car, threw a braided rug over the possum and beat it into submission with a shovel. Just to make sure it was dead, she put it behind the wheel of Susie´s car and made her drive over it a few times. Megan must have enjoyed my Selma and Tinka stories because she had sister cats and named them Selma and Tinka. Selma is no longer with us, but Tinka is alive and well.

Letter to Donna from Selma: Hi Donna, Hope you have a nice birthday even tho you are far from home. It sure must be quiet at your place with you gone, the dog cats, pony and all the live things must be wondering where their good friend has gone. We still have our black cat, he stays right here all the time now. And we like him, hope he stays. Patty was down last Sat. and showed us her new car and new clothes she had got that day, she seems to happy with her new place. We didn´t know she was in Cross Plains until we see it in the paper. Alice Teisberg is taking a bunch to dinner to Dollys kitchen´´ Sunday so we will get a chance to see that place too. Have been to Betty Anderson to two parties lately, it´s more like a museum than a home, but I spose that´s what they like, she really knows how to entertain big crowds, but I spose with lots of money it isn´t as hard is it would be for us poor folks. Dr. Nordbys from Madison Shirley´s Dr. well his mother is in a Home´´ there in Eau Claire. Susie, Jane and Daniel came calling on us just before supper this evening. We were just taking a pan of home made rolls out of the oven. Well each one ate 4 before they left and they were big ones too. Well good we had them and good they liked them. Daniel announced their new baby sitter he said Susan Gangstad is going to babysit with us. Jane had pneumonia last week, I guess I´d better quit, someone else maybe writing you the same news. Tinka says hello, and it seems strange to think of you so far away. Tinka had good news about her eyes and she has new glasses. The girl that is going to live at Mable´s is the office girl of Tinka´s Dr. Selma

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Selma Elenora Thorstad's Timeline

December 2, 1889
Deerfield, Dane, Wisconsin, USA
June 1, 1905
Age 15
Deerfield, Dane, Wisconsin, USA
August 24, 1972
Age 82
Deerfield, Dane, Wisconsin, USA
August 1972
Age 82
Deerfield, Dane, Wisconsin, USA