My Grandpa’s father dies during World War II

Given our almost hidden wars today, few of us can comprehend the complete transformation of America as it bent its entire will to the prosecution of World War II after Pearl Harbor. Factories switched almost overnight from the production of cars and sewing machines to the production of weapons. Many consumer goods were rationed including gasoline. It was in the year 1944 that my grandpa Adolph’s father died. The father of a friend of my mother’s owned an oil company in Yankton, South Dakota, and she related this story to my mother:

…You might be interested in knowing that when your grandfather died, it was during the war and your dad could not get gas stamps from the OPA [gas rationing] board to go out of town for the funeral. Adolph came down to dad’s [oil company] office and was in tears, and dad gave him the gas without stamps. He could have gotten in trouble, but dad understood as his father had disappeared and we have no idea where or when he died…

Ole Klongeland, a man who travelled a long way to die

My grandfather, Ray Knutson wrote the following about his great grandfather Ole Klongeland who left Norway at the age of 70 in 1859:

Ole Klongeland, my great grandfather, lead a caravan to Lyon County [Iowa] to claim land [in 1869]. Three weeks after their arrival, Oleana was born, the first white child to be born in the county. Ole Klongenland was presumed to be the first white buried there [died 1870] . An Indian, in a friendly manner, once said to him “You have come a long way to die, old man.”