Jorgensen Music


Franklin, MN: 1896-1899

[The following contains information on Cormontan family activity between 1896-1899 in Franklin, culled from area newspapers.  We continue to be amazed at how much information we found in the area papers during that time and how they provide a fairly detailed description of the events in the Cormontan household.  You can learn more about Theodora’s male quartet, her team of horses that ran off, and why the family was visited so often by one of its nieces!]


Renville Star Farmer (RSF), 1/10/96: Miss Cormontan, of Franklin, is visiting with Dr. Lyders folks.


(above) Lyders family picture: Edward Orla and Marie Josephine Cormontan Lyders (Theodora's younger sister).  Children (from left to right): Louise, Edward, Carl, Evinda, Henrietta, Effy (Josephine).  The photograph dates from the early 1890's.


The following article documents financial difficulties experienced by Theodora's brother and head of the household, pharmacist C.G.V. Cormontan.  This challenge with creditors would manifest itself again in 1900.  St. Paul Globe, 5/16/1896, page 9: Notice is hereby given, that on the 20th day of April, 1896, at the village of Franklin, Renville county [sic], Minnesota, C.G.V. Carmontan [sic] made, executed and delivered to the undersigned a Deed of Assignment, in trust for the benefit of his creditors, of all his stock of drugs, merchandise, and other property not exempt by law from sale on execution.  Notice is further given that the assets of said Insolvent as shown by his Inventory returned and filed in court show property of a total value of $1397. 64-100, and the schedule of liabilities filed by said Insolvent amount in all to the sum of $935.  36-100.  Creditors are requested to send in paper proofs of claim before June 20th, 1896.  H.M. AUNE, Assignee.  Redwood Falls, Minn.  W.J. McLeod, Attorney for Assignee.  The May, 1896 edition of the Western Druggist (Volume 18) also reported on page 237 that "Hans M. Aune has been appointed assignee for C. G. V. Cormorton [sic], druggist, of Franklin; liabilitites, $600; assets, $1,100."

Morton Enterprise (ME) 6/12/1896 (Franklin): Seventy-eight excursion tickets were sold at Franklin.  This must be a tally for our station agent as we understand he sold the highest number on the line.  Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Parsons and two of their children, C. G. V. Cormontan, E. S. Johnson, Wm. Rudrick, Ed. Anderson and others were among the excursionists.



RSF, 6/26/96: Mrs. E. O. Lyders and daughter Evinda drove over to Franklin Monday on a few days visit with relatives.


ME, 7/31/1896 (Franklin): Dr. Hirch [sic] from New Ulm visited with Cormontan family the fore part of the week.  The Dr. will be here again on a professional call on the 10th of August.  [C.G.V. Cormontan visited the Hirsch family in February of 1897 (see below) and Dr. Hirsch was in Franklin again in October of 1897.  Dr. Christian Johan B. Hirsch was the son of Christian Leuthäuser Hirsch, the brother of Louise Augusta Hirsch Cormontan--Theodora's mother.  That would make Dr. Hirsch Theodora's first cousin].


New Ulm Review, 2/3/1897: Mr. Cormonton [sic] of Franklin called on the family of Dr. Hirsch the forepart of the week.


ME, 7/30/1897 (Franklin): Ed Monson and family and Mrs. Lyders, of Sacred Heart, came down Sunday to visit with the Cormontans.  Mr. Monson is one of the leading candidates for the Sacred Heart post office.


(above) 1895 map of Renville County, Minnesota.  Sacred Heart is located in the northwest corner of the county.  Franklin (listed as Franklin Sta.[tion] on the map) is located near the Minnesota River on the southern border of the county.  Morton is the next town to the west of Franklin on the Milwaukee and St. Louis railroad line, and Beaver Falls is just west of Morton.  Theodora taught music lessons in Franklin, Morton, and Beaver Falls.


People’s Watchman (PW--published in Sacred Heart), 8/3/97: Even Cormontan [the son of Magnus Cormontan, Theodora's late brother], a young tyro of Franklin, was visiting Mr. Lyders’ people this last week.  [Even apprenticed as a pharmacist with C.G.V. for several years, first in Franklin and then in Madelia, Minnesota.  He is noted as being a member of the household in the 1900 census].


ME, 8/6/1897 (Franklin): Mrs. Olson and children, of Minneapolis, who have been visiting Bergley's the past two months returned home last Monday.  Miss Martha, during her stay here, taken music lessons of [sic] Miss Cormontan.


ME, 8/13/1897 (Franklin): A couple of tramps stole a calf out of Cormontan's barn one night last week, but the dogs made such a noise that it woke them up in time to catch the calf. Such tramps ought to be salted down for keeping and it is about time that people refuse those kind of men food and we would soon get rid of them.


ME, 9/3/1897 (Franklin): C.G.V. Cormontan went to New Ulm Saturday to take in the Brown County Fair, and from there to the cities.  Miss Lyders, of Sacred Heart, acted as prescription clerk in the absence of C.G.V.

ME, 10/15/1897 (County Seat News) [Beaver Fallls]:  Miss Cormontan, of Franklin, who has a class in music at Morton, will extend her work as far as Beaver and will make weekly trips to this place hereafter.  Miss C. has a rare musical ability, and those wishing instruction will do well to consult her.


ME, 10/15/97 (Franklin): Miss Eivinda Cormontan came home Saturday from a five week's visit at Sacred Heart and Appleton.  She has been on a recreative trip and feels much improved.


ME, 10/15/97: Mrs. Wichman, of Beaver Falls, visited our village Tuesday and we understand the lady secured the services of Miss Cormontan as music teacher for Beaver Falls parties.


ME, 10/15/97: Miss Cormontan's team took a trip all by themselves Wednesday morning as they were hitched up the driver delayed little [sic] and the team started first down to the church in Camp and down in the bottom they turned around and started back for home coming back on the prairie.  Henry Mangset caught them and brought them back to Franklin.  Nothing was broken or out of kilter although they had met many teams on the trip.


ME, 10/29/97 (Franklin): Dr. and Mrs. Hirsch of New Ulm spent a day here last week.

ME, 10/29/97 (Franklin): Miss Cormontan has commenced teaching music at Beaver Falls. We understand she has eight scholars for piano and a dozen for vocal instruction.  The lady speaks very highly of Beaver Falls people and says she finds them like the people she associated with in the Old Country.  We do not know whether this speaks best for the Beaverites or the old country.  We, also, have found those we are acquainted with at the county seat very pleasant and sociable.  It is right, the best training should prevail at the capitol city.  [From Wikipedia: Beaver Falls Township is a township in Renville County, Minnesota, United States.  The population was 331 at the 2000 census. There was once a town called Beaver Falls that was the original Renville County seat.  The seat was moved to Olivia and the town has since been abandoned.  All that remains today is a cemetery and a county park]


ME, 11/5/97 (Franklin): Mrs. Lyders from Sacred Heart is here on a visit with the Cormontans.  Miss Theodore Franzen, a Danish dentist, accompanied her and will remain here a few days, She has the reputation of being a first-class dentist.


ME,11/12/ 97 (County Seat News) [Beaver Falls]: Miss Cormontan will begin a term of vocal music next Friday evening at the school house, and it is hoped that all who can, will join the class.


ME, 11/19/97 (Franklin): [The following was included in an entry on the Ladies Aid Society of Rev. Rognlie's congregation holding a social the previous Tuesday]: Miss Cormontan's quartette rendered several songs which were well received.  It was the first entertainment they have arranged, but we hope it will not be the last.


ME, 12/17/97 (Franklin): Mrs. Miller had the misfortune to thrust a knife into the palm of her hand recently while digging molasses candy loose from a pan.  An artery was severed, but Druggust Cormontan succeeded in stopping the bleeding and bandaged it up.


ME, 12/24/97 (County Seat News): Miss Cormontan will not be here with her music class this week, on account of holiday festivities in Franklin.


ME, 12/24/97 (Franklin): The Christmas tree at Rognlie's church will not be given until one week from next Sunday.  Big preparations are being made and a good time is expected. The male quartette of Franklin, consisting of Peter Wickin, Iver Mahlum, J.A. Bergely and C.G.V. Cormontan will render several selections besides having a mixed choir.


ME, 1/7/1898: At the wedding of Louis Enger's house, on the 29th of December, the commodious house was packed with the guests, not less than fifty families being invited, and the event was certainly a social one.  A fine musical program was rendered by Miss Cormontan, of Franklin, the Misses Hanson, of Camp, and others.


ME, 2/1/98: C.G.V. Cormontan celebrated his 62nd birthday on the 1st.


Fairfax Crescent (FC, published in Fairfax MN), 2/4/98 in the Franklin Newslet section: Rev. Rognlie gave a lecture on "Church History" in the Synod church of this place [Ft. Ridgely and Dale], Wednesday at 4 p.m.


PW, 2/9/98: Miss Evinda Lyders is at present in Franklin, this county, where she is helping her two aunts, the Misses Cormontan.  She will remain for several weeks.  [Note that this is one of Marie Lyders' daughters from Sacred Heart, not Theodora's sister Eivinda--there is a slightly different spelling of the name.  You will notice Evinda is a frequent visitor to Franklin.  Is it because she is so close to her aunts and uncles?  Keep reading . . .]


(above) an early color tinted postcard of Franklin, Minnesota, Main Street.


ME, 3/4/98: "A goodly number of voters turned out to the caucus last Friday evening."  [C.G.V. Cormontan was nominated as a councilman.  His election was announced in the 3/18 edition].


FC, 3/11/98:  [Under Elections, it is noted that C.G.V Cormontan is elected as a trustee for the town of Franklin].


[The last edition in March of the Morton Enterprise notes the plan to build the Concordia Church, a church where Rev. Rognlie, in the History of Renville County, listed Hans and C.G.V. Cormontan among the founders].


PW, 4/20/98: Miss Evinda Lyders returned from Franklin last Wednesday and expects to remain at her home in Sacred Heart.


 (above): Franklin Train Station.


ME, 4/29/98: [A campfire and the organizing of a Woman's Relief Corp--apparently in response to the Spanish American War--was held in the Franklin town hall on Tuesday evening, April 19th].  "The Franklin male quartette, under the direction of Miss Theodora Cormontan, furnished several vocal selections which were well received and encouraged."


ME, 5/6/98: [The annual business meeting at Rev. Rognlie's church in Camp took place.  Officers were elected.  Miss Cormontan was named to continue as organist].


ME, 5/13/98:  Druggist Cormontan and sister Eivinda went to Olivia last Sunday, the guests of Mr. and Mrs. Ed Munson.


PW, 5/18/98: An Old Settler Gone.  Dr. Edward Orla Lyders died suddenly last Sunday forenoon at 9:45 o’clock from heart failure.  He had been in poor health for several years, so the end did not come unexpected.  About two weeks ago he felt the first attack of the disease which ultimately caused his death.  Dr. Setnan who was in attendance pronounced it asthma of the heart.  He had repeated attacks of the disease during the last fourteen days, and suffered terribly; the last attack, which caused his death, lasted about one-half hour. 

Dr. Lyders is one of the old settlers here, having been identified with the interests of this village and been a factor in its development during a residence of eighteen years, running a drug store and practicing the profession of medicine. 

He was born in Roskilde, Denmark, August 14th, 1844.  As a young lad he went to Norway and worked there for a number of years in drug stores studying pharmacy.  In 1870 he was married to Miss Marie Cormontan and immigrated three years afterwards to this country, arriving in Chicago where he lived two years.  Removed to Iowa in 1875 and lived there four years, two years respectively in the villages of Elgin and St. Olaf.

He was buried yesterday from the Norwegian Lutheran church, on the same date as he arrived in Sacred Heart eighteen years ago.

A wife and six children live to mourn the loss of a devoted husband and kind father, and the sympathy of the whole community is with them, in their sad bereavement.


ME, 5/20/98:  Messrs. C.G.V. and Hans Cormontan and sister Eivinda went to Sacred Heart Monday to attend the funeral of their brother-in-law, E.O. Lyders.   He died of heart disease Sunday.


PW, 5/25/98: The two Messrs. Cormontan and Miss Cormontan of Franklin were at the funeral of their brother-in-law, Dr. Lyders.  They returned to Franklin on Thursday.


ME, 5/27/98:  Messrs. Hans and C.G.V. and Miss Eivinda Cormontan returned from Sacred Heart Thursday.


 (above) From 1908.  The new Town Hall is in the foreground on the right.


ME, 8/19/98: A party was given at the Cormontan house last Friday evening in honor of their niece Miss Evinda Lyders, of Sacred Heart.  Ice cream and cake were served at 8:30. Those present were the Misses Nell and Net Coffy, Clara Johnson and Tessie Sampson, of this place, and Miss Mamie Henry, of St. Paul.  All report a good time.


ME, 8/19/98: Miss Evinda Lyders, who has been visiting at the Cormontan house, returned to Sacred Heart Wednesday.


PW, 8/24/98: Miss Evinda Lyders has returned from Franklin.


PW, 10/26/98: Evan Cormontan of Franklin, who visited with Mrs. Lyders the past two weeks, returned Saturday [to Franklin].


PW, 11/16/98: Miss Evinda Lyders is visiting at Franklin.


[As may be seen below, two newspapers report in January of 1899 that C.G.V. has purchased the Lyders drug store in Sacred Heart and will run the business, while another notes that he has sold his drug store in Franklin.  A month later two newspapers report that he has purchased the Madelia Drug Co. in Madelia, MN and will run it.  What happened?]  


PW, 1/11/1899: Mrs. E.O. Lyders has sold her drugstore to Mr. Cormontan of Franklin.  He will take possession of the business in about two weeks. 


Fairfax Standard (FS), 1/19/99, in the Neighborly Notes section under "Franklin": A fact that many will regret to learn is that C.G.V. Cormontan has sold his drug business and will cease to reside in the village of Franklin, having accepted the position of druggist in the store of the deceased Dr. Lyders of Sacred Heart.


ME, 1/13/1899 Town Talk: It is learned that L. Kirwan, manager of the City Drug Store in Morton, has purchased the Cormontan Drug Store and will remove to Franklin.


FS, 2/16/99: C.G.V. Cormontan returned this week from Madelia, Minn. where he has purchased a drug store. 


Madelia Messenger (MM), 2/17/99: Mr. C.G.V. Cormontan of Franklin, Minn., has purchased the business of the Madelia Drug Company from Noyes Bros. & Cutler.  He is now in possession.  We wish him success in his business and a pleasant sojourn among us. 


[The Bulletin of Pharmacy reports that Edwin Nordstrom became the proprietor of the Sacred Heart Drug Store in 1893. Research at the Sacred Heart Museum reveals that the town's Property Taxes and Transactions records from 1899 show that Marie did not sell the drug store to C.G.V. that year.  Mr. Nordstrom eventually became the owner.  Was there a plan for C.G.V. to buy the Sacred Heart drug store (resulting in his selling the Franklin Drug Store) that fell through after the newspapers reported it had happened?  Is this why he had to buy the Madelia drug store?  Did the financial problems C.G.V. experienced in 1896 compel his sister Marie (Mrs. E.O. Lyders) not to consummate the business transaction?  I don't know the answers to these questions.  What is known is that Mr. Kirwan still owned and operated the Franklin Drug Store in 1916, and C.G.V. only owned the Madelia Drug Co. for about 18 months before it folded and he declared bankruptcy.] 


PW, 1/11/99: Miss Evinda Lyders has gone to Franklin where she will spend a few weeks with friends and relatives.


PW, 1/18/99: Misses Baeda Hough and Evinda Lyders are in Franklin, the guests of the Misses Cormontans.

The 1/27/1899 edition of the Minneapolis Tribune reported that C. G. V. was a visitor to town.  Might this trip have been in relation to his business transactions?


FS, 2/23/99:  The Cormontan family left for their new home in Madelia, last Monday and Tuesday, where C.G.V. will again engage in drug business.  We wish him success. 


PW, 10/25/99: Married.  At the home of the bride's mother in this village [Sacred Heart] Wednesday, Oct. 25, at 3 p.m., Miss Evinda Lyders, to Mr. N.B. Tweet, Rev. Berg officiating.  The wedding was a quiet affair, only a few friends and relatives being present.  Miss Lyders is well known to the people of Sacred Heart, having lived here with her parents for several years.  Mr. Tweet has been a merchant in Franklin the past few years.  [So it appears it was more than just close familial ties that compelled Evinda to visit Franklin with some regularity!  The couple eventually moved to Alaska and settled there.  The Alaska Mining Hall of Fame website notes that they created a family-owned company that mined gold in Alaska.  Evinda and her husband Nicholas (the N.B. in the item above) were named members of the Alaska Mining Hall of Fame in 2010].



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