Utreist med/Emigrated on: the "SALVATOR"

Utreist til/Emigrated to: Oconomowoc township, Waukesha Co., Wisconsin

Christen Eriksen Puttekås:  He was born November 26, 1810 un the farm Puttekås under Rising søndre. His parents were Eric

Christensen (dead 1812) and Maren Margrethe Henningsdatter, who re-married Thor Larsen in 1814.

Christen married Birte Gurine Kittilsdatter, who was baptised June 12, 1808 in Gjerpen church. She came from the farm Stulen under 

Rising søndre, where her parents Kittil Nielsen and Guri Olsdatter (married 1802) lived. 

Christen died July 18, 1878 and was buried at Stone Bank Luth. Cem. His wife Birte died June 20, 1860.

They had the following children:

	Erik                                    b. Nov 6, 1833      on Puttekås

	Kittil                                  b. Oct. 2, 1835       on Puttekås

	Ole                                     b. May 21, 1840    on Puttekås

	Halvor                               b. March 8, 1843  on Puttekås

	Ole                                     b. Febr 2, 1846

	Mari                                   b.      ??    1849

	Gunhild Marie                  b. Jan 17, 1854
              Christen died July 18, 1878 and was buried at St. John’s Luth. Cem. in Stone Bank. His wife Birte died June 20, 1860 and is
              buried there also. This is probably the Christen Puttekas referred to in the early Pine Lake burial regarding funeral drinking in the                 story “A FUNERAL IN PIONEER TIMES” by Ole Amundson Buslett. (

             (1) Part in Italics submitted by Roger Johnson of the Ashippun settlement in Dodge County, Wisconsin.

This following story has also been given me by Roger Johnsen of Ashippun.


by Ole Amundson Buslett

		Ingebret Tveitan from Slemdal had a remarkable memory and was a good story 

 teller.  He could tell many stories from the times of the first Norwegian

 settlers in Wisconsin, and when he came to an important point in the story, he

 would punctuate it by spitting.

	“I have been at a good many of the gatherings in the early settlements,” old

 Ingebret said, --”I have been at weddings, funerals, Christmas parties, and

 many other kinds of parties.  You can just bet that they were often lively,

 with dancing and other kinds of fun.  And we always had a little whisky

 because it was cheap in those days and cost only 20 cents a gallon.  Tvi!

 During some funerals we had almost as much fun as at a wedding.  On the day of

 the funeral they conducted the service with proper weeping and sorrow and

 songs, but in the evening it sometimes happened that the whole funeral

 procession would gather at the house of mourning and sing songs, drink whisky,

 and play cards.  We would also tell tall tales and other stories and sometimes

 carry on this way until morning.  Ja, I have heard about a ‘Klokker’ who was

 so crazy about card playing that he would pack up his playing cards in one

 pocket and his hymn book in the other 


	“But there’s an old proverb that says that folks scarcely get something into

 their skulls before their hair bristles.  But when we are old and gray, we

 begin to get a little common sense, they say.  Tvi!”

	Old Ingebret bit off another “chaw” and took up his story again--”As I was

 saying, I have been along with many of these celebration, both here in America

 and in the Old Country.  But in the settlement where I first lived in this

 country, I was at a funeral, the likes of which I have never seen before or

 after, that is for sure!  Tvi!”

	“At that time there lived a strange fellow in our neighborhood by the name of

 Kristen Puttekaasen--a good fellow who wouldn’t harm a flea, good for work and

 good for drinking whisky.  One could say the same about him as the man said

 about his mare, ‘She’s good at pulling, but she’s also mighty good at eating.’

 This Kristen believed that liquor was good for everything, and, of course, he

 wasn’t the only one with that belief.  On a crackling cold day in the winter,

 a snort was especially good, he said, because it warmed and invigorated both

 body and soul.  Also on a roasting hot summer day, it was especially good

 because it cooled a fellow off so wonderfully well, he said.  Tvi!”

	“There was boy by the name of Ola, if I remember correctly, who was a nephew

 to Puttekaasen and made his home with him.  This boy took sick and died, and

 Kristen wanted to give him a proper burial.  It was so curious and strange,

 Kristen said, that Ola, who was such a stout and strong and healthy lad,

 should be so short-lived.  There are a good many other young fellows who are

 not as healthy as Ola was.  Some of these others had the same sickness, but

 they managed to scrape through.  Well, that’s the way it goes--some stand and

 some fall.  But Ola was such an unusually good boy.  He is my own blood

 relation, and he shall have a proper Christian burial.  I have arranged both

 for the preacher and for the liquor for the funeral.  And I think that Ola

 Haugen, the Klokker, can sing him to the grave, 

 there were no ‘organized’ preachers.  Well, maybe Ditriksen

 had come to Kaskeland.  He was ‘organized’ properly in Norway, but he had not

 come our way yet.  But there was a Swedish lay-preacher that the ‘Piskopalen’

 had ‘organized.’  The Norwegians sometimes called him ’Piskopalen’ and

 sometimes the Swedish preacher.  He was the one who should ‘serve’ for Ola’s

 burial.  Tvi!”

	“Some of the older Norwegians who remembered the Swedish war and were angry

 with the Swedes thought that a Swede should not have the funeral sermon for a

 Norwegian.  That the preacher was ‘Piskopalen’ was bad enough, but it was much

 worse that he was a Swede.  But some of the others didn’t see it this way, and

 Puttekaasen himself said that as far as the dead person was concerned it

 didn’t matter whether the speaker was Norwegian or Swedish, layman or

 preacher.  Puttekaasen was saying about the same thing that Pastor Ottesen of

 Kaskeland once said--’Any blockhead can become a preacher’--he said.  He

 really did say that!  Tvi!”

	“So the funeral day came and the funeral liquor came, and the whole

 neighborhood came with their ‘horned horses’ (oxen), for other horses were not

 to be found in the entire settlement, as far as I know.”

	“The Swedish preacher told that the Canal Lands would soon come on the

 market.  A company had received a land grant from the government to build a

 canal--I believe that it was between Rock River and Fox Lake, if I remember

 right.  Many Norwegian and Swedish families had settled upon these lands which

 were called Canal Lands.  But the Canal came to nothing, and so the lands were

 to be put up for sale.  Right after the funeral the Swedish preacher was

 planning to go to Milwaukee, and so he promised these folks who had settled on

 the Canal Lands that he would find out if the lands would soon be for sale.”

	“While the Swedish preacher and the others stood and talked about the Canal

 Lands, Puttekaasen had been preparing a suitable punch for serving during the

 funeral.  Tvi!”

	“And so he went up to ‘Piskopalen’ and said, ‘

Mr Pastor!  We Norwegians are  used to taking a little drink before we begin this kind of business.’”

	“ ‘Yes, we must follow your custom,’ said the pastor.”

	“Skaal, Herr Pastor!’ Puttekaasen said, and drank to his health.”

	“ ‘Thank you very much, but I will not imbibe,’ the ‘Piskopalen’ said.”

	“So they sang a hymn and ‘Piskopalen’ had a sermon, which really wasn’t so

 bad.  Jacob Rosholdt should carry the coffin because he had the best oxen and

 the best sled in the neighborhood.  ‘Piskopalen’ and Puttekaasen took their

 places in one of the rear sleds.  The procession was bout to start when

 Puttekaasen yelled out at the top of his lungs, ‘Whoa!  Stop, Jakob!  Don’t be

 in such a terrible hurry.  We must have a drink for the road.’  And so he

 turned to ‘Piskopalen’ and said:  ‘Herr Pastor!  We Norwegians are used to

 taking a good bracer before we start out.’  Tvi!”

	“We will follow your custom,’ said ‘Piskopalen/’”

	“So Puttekaasen went up to Jakob, who was driving in the front, and treated

 him first, and then worked his way back to the others.  There must have been

 six or seven teams of oxen, I suppose, and finally the procession got

 underway.  But when we had come about halfway, we saw Puttekaasen running and

 stirring up a cloud of snow.  He ran up forward to Jakob and yelled, ‘Whoa!

 Whoa!  Stop!  We must have a drink now on the road!  Tvi!”

	“And so he ran in a great hurry to the Swedish preacher and said, ‘Herr

 Pastor!  We Norwegians have a custom of taking a snort on the road also.’”

	We will follow your custom,’ said Piskopalen’ again.”

	“When they all had their drinks, they drove on again, and finally they came

 to the cemetery.  Tvi!”

	“But this was not the end of it because Puttekaasen had more in his jug, and

 so he went up to ‘Piskopalen’ and said, ‘Herr Pastor!  We Norwegians have the

 custom of taking a swig before we begin this business.’”

	“ ‘We will follow your custom,’ said the Swede.”

	“When we had the last drop out of the jug, we had to let down the coffin, but

 it happened that two of the least stea

 into the grave before the coffin was in place.  But now the coffin came down anyway and was standing

 on end for a while.  We had to haul it up again, and then we finally got it

 set down properly, and the preacher conducted the commital and had a short

 prayer.  The Klokker and Puttekaasen, who stood next to the preacher, joined

 in singing very loudly, ‘Hvo vet hvor naer mig er min ende’ (Who knows how

 near is the end).  When they had come to the middle of the verse, Puttekaasen

 said, ‘Herr Pastor!  You must remember to see how it is with the Canal Lands’

 And then he sang along with the rest of the verse.  The preacher answered only

 with a nod.  Tvi!”

	“It looked as though the Swedish preacher was embarrassed by the Norwegian

 funeral.  He excused himself, saying that he had to travel on.  They could

 take care of the rest of the funeral as well as they could, he said.  And with

 that, he left.  Tvi!”

	“The Swedish preacher had not gone many paces before the Klokker ran after

 him with his hymnbook in his fist.  He also wanted to give the preacher a

 reminder about the Canal Lands.”

	“But Puttekaasen, who was an orderly fellow and wanted everything to go just

 right, could not put up with that kind of interruption to this solemn

 business.  He grabbed the Klokker by the neck and led him back to the grave

 again and said, ‘Tend to business now!  Is it the habit of Christian folks to

 run off in the middle of this business?’  Tvi!”

	“When the Swedish preacher some time later met some Norwegians, he asked them

 if it was a common custom among the Norwegians to drink so much at funerals.

 They answered that the Norwegians did usually have a few swigs on such


	“Then I will not come to a Norwegian funeral again.  No, I will never do it

 again!’ said the Swedish preacher.  Tvi!”

© 1997 - Skien Genealogical page - by Jan Christensen