Jorgensen Music


Hanska: 1902-1905

By 1901, C.G.V. worked as a pharmacist/clerk for Woods Drug Store in Hanska, Minnesota.  The 1901 Northwestern Druggist noted that "Mr.  Cormoton [sic], representing Wood Bros., of Hanska," attended the Brown County Retail Druggists association meeting in New Ulm, MN on Thursday, September 26th, 1901.

The rest of the family temporarily remained in Madelia, but the siblings found opportunities to visit each other, as contemporary newspapers noted:

Madelia Times (MT) 7/19/01, Hanska:  C.G.V. Cormontan Sundayed with relatives and friends in Madelia.

Madelia Messenger (MM) 10/11/1901 Hanska: C.G. Cormontan was in Madelia Sunday.

(MM) 10/25/01 Hanska: Miss Cormontan of Madelia was in the village last week visiting her brother C.G. Cormontan.  

(MM) 12/20/01 Hanska: C.G.V. Cormontan entertained his brother and sisters from Madelia last Sunday.  

(MM) 1/24/1902 Hanska:  Miss Theodora Cormontan and brother, of Madelia, Sundayed with C.G.V. Cormontan, their brother.  

(MM) 3/21/02 Hanska: C.G.V. Cormontan spent Sunday with his brother and sisters in Madelia.


Theodora also taught in Hanska in 1901:

(MM) 7/16/01 Hanska:  Miss Cormontan of Madelia was in the village Friday.  She has organized a large musical class which she is teaching.

In 1902 the rest of the family joined C.G.V. Cormontan in Hanska.  The following picture, reportedly taken in Hanska during their 4th of July festivities of 1903, shows how the Woods Drug Store appeared while C.G.V. worked there.  The drug store is to the right of the Torgrimson & Synsteby Furtiture and Undertaking store (!).  Actually, the business combination of building furniture and coffins was common during this time.


The family joined the Lake Hanska Lutheran Church on April 26, 1903.  In the scan below from the church's ministerial book, note that Hans and C.G.V. have their last name included, while Theodora and Eivinda get a "Do," which stands for "Ditto."


(above) This picture is from 1904, shortly after the Lake Hanska Church had been remodeled and enlarged.


Thanks are extended to Hanska native Joel Botten for the following information regarding Zion Lutheran Church in Hanska.  Joel was one of the members of the group who traveled to Norway in 2015 to return the music of Theodora Cormontan to her native land.

[From the "Fiftieth Anniversary of Zion Lutheran Church" booklet, published in 1953]: The original meeting for establishing a Lutheran Congregation in Hanska was held on November 29, 1903, at the H. V. Anderson home.  Pastor G. O. Skaret, pastor of the Lake Hanska Congregation at the time, first formulated the idea of establishing a congregation in town.  Heretofore the Methodist Congregation was the only denomination in Hanska.  There were thirteen original members who showed a great deal of enthusiasm in Rev. Skaret's meeting.  

 Hans Cormontan was one of the thirteen original members.  The group selected the name Zion's Scandinavian Lutheran for the new church.  At the first meeting Hans Cormontan was elected as a deacon along with Christ Ahlness, Joel Botten's great-grandfather.  In 1904 the church organized a Sunday School, with C. G. V. Cormontan as one of the teachers.  The public school allowed the Sunday School to use the school building from 11-12 noon every Sunday.

The Cormontan family received two mentions in the Hanska paper during 1903.  These reflect that C.G.V stayed active as a professional and that Theodora continued to perform:

Hanska Herald 10/19/1903 Local News: "C.G.V. Cormontan took in the Druggist Convention at New Ulm Tuesday."

Hanska Herald 12/25/03: ["Miss Cormontan" played the prelude and a "closing instrumental" for the Lutheran Ladies' Society Christmas program in the school house].

The Madelia Times-Messenger ran the following under "Hanska" in its 10/2/1903 edition:

On Saturday evening Mr. Hans Cormontan returned from the country quite late and left his team in front of the house without tying them while he went to get a lantern.  When Mr. Cormontan emerged from the house the team was gone.  [A] Search was made but was of no avail.  They were found Sunday morning in Chambard pasture north of the school house.  One horse was scratched a little but otherwise no damage was done.


(below) Here's a picture of the school house from about this time:

Theodora continued to compose.  One of our favorite concert openers, "In a Rush," dates from 1904.


By this time C.G.V., for unknown reasons, was ready to move again, as noted below:

Hanska Herald 1/29/1904, Local News: C.G.V. Cormontan, who for the past three years has had charge of the drug store here, resigned his position Wednesday and will leave Saturday for Kennedy Kitson Co., where he has accepted a like position at that place.  Mr. Cormontan is a graduate from the college in Norway of pharmacy and chemistry and has many years experience.


Hanska Herald 2/5/04, Local news: C.G.V. Cormontan left Monday morning for Kennedy to take up his position at that place.


This time the rest of the family would not follow.  Perhaps the move was understood to be only temporary.  Perhaps they thought it was too far north.  Sometime before the end of 1904 Hans, Eivinda, and Theodora lived in Madelia.

(below) One more view of Hanska from around this period.  The church in the center background is Zion Lutheran Church:






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