Friday, August 26, 2011

Lars P. Moe - Short Biography

Lars Moe, Minnesota Pioneer

Lars Moe was born on July 14, 1844 in Norway. He came to America in 1864 with his Parents, Peter Olsen Moe and Anna Augundsdatter Lad and a number of siblings. They first went to Black Earth, Wisconsin and then settled on section one in the northeast corner of Town of Blue Mounds.

Lars and Ingeri about 1890

In 1870, Lars married Ingeri Mennes. Also from Norway, she was born on August 24, 1847 and came to America with her parents Ole Mennes and Britta Hatleleid and her siblings. The Mennes farmed in the Town of Springdale which was east of the Moe farm. It is unclear if the families knew each other in Norway but they must have been good friends in America as there were three Moe – Mennes marriage between the children of Peter Moe and Ole Mennes.

In the 1870’s Lars and Ingeri were enticed to head west after a visit from Ingeri’s sister, Gjertrud and here husband, A.B. Lund, who had settled in far west Minnesota at Lac Qui Parle County. They traveled by covered wagon with their first born son, Ole, crossed the Mississippi River at La Crosse, went west across the prairie and settled in the Town of Riverside in 1876. In 1882, Lars Moe was granted 152.5 acres of land on Section 23 and Section 24 in Riverside by the United States of America. The deed was executed at the Federal Land Office in Benson. The 1913 map of Riverside shows Lars with over 241 acres in the southeast corner of section 23. The farm was located about two miles east of the Village of Dawson, Minnesota.

Lars Moe Land Grant from 1882 
At the time Lars came to Riverside, western Minnesota still had the vestiges of frontier. Settlement had taken hold but there were townships without names, unclaimed land and Indians were known to roam the area. Their first born, Ole, who traveled with them from Wisconsin died in an epidemic in 1879 and was buried with two young Lund cousins in a burial plot on the farm. This became the first cemetery in the area and remained in use for a number of years. Trinity Lutheran Church records show 46 buried there. A brother of Lars also came to Lac Qui Parle County. Around 1880 Claus Moe brought horses form Madison, Wisconsin and started a livery stable near present day Madison, Minnesota. He is generally credited with naming Madison, Minnesota which would become the county seat. Clause and his wife Ellen Mennes would settle in Madison and raise five children.

Lars Moe family in the 1900 Federal Census. By this time, son, Peter, 24 has left home. 

In addition to Ole, the child who died, Lars and Ingeri would raise six children, who were all born on the farm: Peter, Albert, Betsy, Oscar, Ida and Louis. In 1898, a frame house was built, which still stands today. Ingeri died in 1907, after which, Lars moved to Dawson with his two youngest children. Eventually, he would sell the farm and buy several other pieces of land in area. Around 1912, he and son Louis would move to one of those parcels on section 26, where Louis would establish a farm. Louis and his young family would build a house on the land in 1919. Lars would spend the rest of his life with his son and died on the 3rd of April, 1932 at the age of 88.

Louis Moe, Son of Lars Moe and Ingeri Mennes
Additional Information:
Read about the complete Peterson / Moe saga here . . .
Read about Norwegian Naming Conventions here . . .

Research Notes: Much of the information for this post was found in an article written by Audrey Froiland. Other sources include the United States Census and other web-based sources and my own personal family information.

This is one of a series of short biographies of individual ancestors. These will be undertaken, from time-to-time, when enough information becomes available about an individual.


  1. Bruce, I am your cousin Laurie Moe. My father is Wayne Moe, third child and only son of Louis P Moe, and grandson of Lars. :)

    1. Laurie,

      Thanks for visiting my site - I have seen your name on John Peterson's e-mails; much of my Peterson Moe info (especially from Norway) is from John and his cousin Sally Joe Peterson - but I also have a good deal if info from my Mom's family (I grew up in Mount Horeb and my mom's mom was a Peterson).

  2. Hello Bruce,

    Arbie Moe, my great grandfather, was a son of Oscar Moe. Your blog has been great to use as a beginning resource for research. Plus, my grandmother has loved reading all the information. She has a large old book that has a some of this information, but it was great to learn more details. -Justyce Olson

    1. Justyce,

      Thanks for reading and commenting. I would be happy to share other information with you - if interested, I will e-mail you.