Charles Glenn Petersen

1936 - Early Years


I was the first child born to Thorvald Petersen, an almost 31 year old native of Ringsted, and Clara May McAdams, a 33 year old originally from Swea City, Iowa in Kossuth County. Thorvald graduated from high school in Ringsted in 1925 at the age of 20 after taking a couple years out after a dispute with the Principal. Clara graduated from high school in Swea City in 1919, she was only 16 years ago. I don't know for a fact but she must have skipped a couple of grades. At the time they were married in 1934, Mother was a divorcee living in Estherville, Iowa, and working as a linotype operator for the Estherville Newspaper.

I was an adult when I first heard of Mother's divorce from a incidental comment made by a grand aunt. It took some detective work to find the details because other relatives denied any knowledge of it. In 1922 she married Carl John Nelson in Estherville, Iowa. They were divorced a year later and there was no evidence of any children.

How does a bachelor from Ringsted meet a divorcee from Estherville? There are no known facts, however, Thorvald's older brother Jens was married to Ella Saxton and Mother was in Ella's high school graduating class in Swea City. Maybe Jens and Ella were matchmakers.