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The Ghost of Greenfield Prairie

By Gene Estensen

 

Greenfield Prairie was located in Fillmore County, Minnesota. Later it would be renamed Harmony. Many from Telemark came here early, with large numbers from Tinn. Among them were Herbjørn Nilsen Ingolvsland and his four sons, Hans Johnson Berge, Knud Pederson Husevold, Nils Østensen Bøen and his father Østen Nilsen Bøen.

Tallak Brokken (from Sestesdalen) came to Fillmore County in 1854 with his young wife Ausve. They prospered and had ten children. Years later, in 1894, Ausve died and a grieving Tallak told friends that he was going to leave Harmony and return to Norway to find a wife. What he actually did was go to South Dakota, where Ausve's identical twin sister had been widowed two years earlier. She and Tallak married, and he marched back into Harmony with a twin sister that no one knew about. Everyone thought he walked into town with a ghost!

 

If you go the to old section of Greenfield Lutheran Church cemetery and look next to the Tallak Brokken monument, you will see his gravestone. Next to him is his wife Ausve, and her sister (his second wife) lies next to Ausve. Different dates of death; identical date of birth.

 

Footnote:

This material comes from "Let's Have Harmony, a Centennial History", by Millicent Yates Johnson, p. 15. Paul and Robbie Brokken submitted the original material. This book is an excellent history of the "Teler" community of Harmony, Minnesota.

Tallak and Aase immigrated to U.S. (Watertown, WI) ten (10) days after they were married, on 22 April 1853 and came to Greenfield (Harmony, MN) July 1854.


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