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Halver Christiansen Aarnes
The History of Renville County, Volume 2
Compiled by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge
p. 1069-1070

Halver Christiansen Aarnes, a well-known farmer of Sacred Heart township, was born in Norway, Jan. 26, 1839, son of Christian and Johannah (Halverson) Aarnes. There were eight children in the family: Halver, Christian, Martin, Andrene, Gunne, Karen, Eli and Gulbrand. Halver Aarnes was the first of the children to come to the United States, coming in 1869. He landed at New York and traveled on to Racine, Wisconsin, where he remained for seventeen months, working as a blacksmith in the Mitchell Wagon Factory. In 1871 he moved to Renville county, where he secured a homestead of 80 acres in section 8, in Sacred Heart township, now a suburb of Sacred Heart Village. He filed on his land and began work on it. There were then no improvements on the place. He made a dugout, where he and his wife lived for a time. He also worked on the St. Peter & Winona Railroad for a time to earn some money, as he had not a thing to start with. The second spring he bought a team of oxen and two cows. By dint of hard work Mr. Aarnes has improved his farm and now has fine groves of trees, a modern house and buildings. He raises a good grade of stock and has added 40 acres of railroad land to his farm.

Mr. Aarnes has held several township offices and has been a member of the school board. He has been a member and director of the Sacred Heart Creamery. He is also a faithful member of the Norwegian Lutheran church and has been an active worker there since its first days. At first there was no church building and the meetings were held in the various homes. Mr. Aarnes was a member of the building committee and helped build the church. He has been a trustee and also has been the secretary of this church for many years.

Mr. Aarnes was united in marriage at Racine, Wisconsin, to Kari Semmingsen Andraae, of Norway, who came to America on the same boat as Mr. Aarnes did. She was born May 3, 1843. Seven children have been born to these parents: Carl (deceased); Samuel, a graduate of Luther College of Decorah, Iowa, who is now living with his parents on the home farm; Henry, an electrician, now of Minneapolis; Karen, now Mrs. Albert Slattum, of Viking, Minnesota, who has two children, Harold Clifford and Helen Maria, also a stepson, Arthur Morris; Rikka, a student of Sacred Heart high school and teacher of eight years' experience, now in the photographic work in Minneapolis; Ida, a student of Sacred Heart high school and a teacher of twelve years' experience; and Christian, who died in infancy. In addition to the public school teaching of Rikka and Ida, Rikka, Ida and Karen have all taught parochial school.

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