In 1950 the baby boom was in full roar. Our family fanned out across the country, and many of us did not even know that the others existed. Others, like VanBuren Lamb, Linda Dibble McCool, Della Dibble Aslakson, Ora Conley Dreher, Ollie Morud Amundson, and Bonnie Cattnach delved into our origins, compiled what they remembered and could find out, and spread the word. Much of their work has been summarized or quoted in these pages. They have brought the past together for all of us to share, but sharing the present would be infinitely more difficult. There are so many of us, and we are so far apart.
In the Bible, the "begats" came first. Here, because we know so much less about our contemporaries than we now know about our ancestors, the "begats" come last. To minimize confusion, we will abandon our chronological narrative and describe each family's doings in the second half of the 20th. century in turn.
Clarence and Angeline Johnson's daughter Gladys Ruth had gone to nursing school in Red Wing. She met Richard Kenneth "Dick" Dibble in those environs and they courted. Then Dick got a job with General Electric in Schenectady, NY. Gladys followed him there, and on April 13, 1950, they were married in Schenectady. For a time, Gladys's sister Mabel lived with them. Their son David Allen Dibble was born on August 25, 1951, in nearby Niskayuna, NY. A few years later, GE transferred Dick to Cinncinati, where he bought a red brick house abutting a cornfield in the suburb of Springdale, OH, only about 15 miles as the crow flies from his grandfather Dick's birthplace in Rising Sun, IN. Back in Bay City, on September 16, 1956, Angeline Johnson was chatting with a friend in her home when she suddenly complained of a headache and went into the bedroom to lie down. She suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage and died almost immediately. She was only 47. Dick and Glady's second son, Kenneth Richard Dibble, was born on December 23, 1956 in Cincinnati. Kenneth's brother Dwight Leonard Dibble was born in Cinncinati on July 17, 1959. Not long after, Dick decided to go into business for himself. He purchased a Rayco Automotive franchise in Hammond, IN (a suburb of Chicago), and the family moved there. For a while Dick was also a partner in a franchise of a fast-food restaurant located in Michigan City, IN, called Henry's Hamburgers. In 1962 he moved the family to the neighboring suburb of Highland.
Dick's father Archie retired in the mid-1950s, and he and Alice lived for several years in their home in Minneapolis. They visited Dick's family once or twice a year, and every couple of years or so Dick, Gladys and the kids would drive up to Minneapolis to see them. To the kids, Archie seemed a jolly, if slightly cantankerous, balding little guy who joked with them about keeping a brown cow that gave chocolate milk, who ate his butter straight from the knife and his watermelon salted and cut into cubes. He spent much of his visits puttering around the house, painting or fixing things. Alice, who as a mother was formidably strict, as a grandmother seemed full of love and smiles, speaking in quiet tones and a slight Norwegian accent as her grandchildren cuddled in her lap amidst her knitting. Less often, the widowed Clarence Johnson would visit. The kids called him "Bubblegum Man" because he always had pockets full of bubblegum for them. He was a quiet, soft-spoken fellow with a perpetual 5 o'clock shadow who dressed in the same gray work "uniforms" that he still wore on the job in the boiler room at Red Wing Potteries. In the mid-1960s he met and married his second wife, a woman named Emily. Their happiness together was short-lived. In 1967 his early years in the Bay City sand mine caught up with him, and he developed silicosis. He was hospitalized for much of the next year, and died in January, 1968, at the age of 64.
On October 25 of that year Gladys gave birth to her last child, Richard Scott Dibble, in Hammond. About this time Dick sold the Rayco store, spent a few months reflecting, then went back to work for GE, this time in Utica, NY. The family moved to Whitesboro, a suburb of Utica, in June 1969. In both Indiana and upon its return to New York, the family owned lakefront cottages where Gladys and the kids spent their summer days. Boats and water were a big part of growing up for all the children.
And grow up they did.
David Dibble married Ellen Wolfe (b. May 17, 1952) on May 25, 1973. Their children are Clare (b. May 20, 1978), Andrew, known as "Drew" (b. August 16, 1981) and Bret (b. October 21, 1987).
Kenneth Dibble married Maria Farruggio (b. April 1, 1956 to Albert and Helen Farruggio in Brooklyn, NY) on October 27, 1979. They have no children.
Dwight Dibble married Patricia Lynne Siedsma on August 25, 1979, in Clinton, New York. (Patricia's parents were Gerald and Doris Siedsma). Their children are Jessica (b. May 7, 1986) and Alyssa (b. March 16, 1988?). On August 18, 2012, Jessica married Edmund DeCarlo in Clinton, NY.
Richard Scott Dibble married Caroline Van Dyke (born January 17, 1969 to John and Mary (DeRocco) Van Dyke of Leonardsville, NY) on May 1, 1993. Their children include Emily Mae (born January 28, 1996), Abraham Clarence (born April 28, 1997), Joseph Paul (born May 17, 1999), Elijah Jacob (born March 13, 2002), and Ruth Angeline (born September 19, 2006). On November 4, 2013, in a tragic accident on the highway in front of their home, Elijah was hit by a minivan. He was taken to the hospital and died a few hours later, in his father's arms. On the following day, November 5, 2013, Uriah was born.
Dick Dibble retired in about 1986. He and Gladys and their sons Dwight and Rich (both carpenters and priests) and their families all lived within twenty miles of each other near Utica, NY, until December 19, 2013, when Dick died. Gladys still lives in Clinton, frequently helped and visited by her local sons and grandchildren.
David, a former computer programmer, and his wife Ellen, a former school media specialist, are both retired, and they moved in the early 2010s from Tempe, AZ to Arvada, CO, a suburb of Denver, near their daughter Clare. Their son Bret still lives in Mesa, AZ. Clare married Robert Albert Felty on May 21, 2005. They have two children: Spencer Clark Dibble-Felty, born February 21, 2009, and Margaret Alice Dibble-Felty ("Meg"; her middle name is in honor of her great-great grandmother Alice), born February 27, 2011. Drew Dibble works in the computer field in San Francisco. He and his wife Grace were married on August 3, 2014, in Oakland, CA.
Ken, the author of this history, does policy analysis, computer network administration and programming for a Center for Independent Living. He and his wife Maria, the Executive Director of the Center, left the woods north of Whitney Pt., NY in July 2011, and now live much closer to Binghamton, in Conklin, NY.
In the 1970s, Archie and Alice Dibble moved to Mesa, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix, where they stayed for four years. When their health began to fail, they returned to Minneapolis to live in the Augustana Nursing Home. Archie died there of heart failure and leukemia on April 25, 1979. Alice followed him on March 2, 1983.
Archie's sister Glee and her husband Vic Johnson left Red Wing for Chicago for a few years. They returned to Cannon Falls to take care of Glee's mother Bertha until her death. Then they moved to the college town of Northfield, Minnesota, where they lived next door to their daughter Shirley ("Tink") and her husband Phil. Shirley and Phil had settled down there after Phil retired from the navy, and they were now running a jewelry and watch-repair businss. Shirley and her daughter Glee Ellen both contributed to this history. The elder Glee died on January 10, 1983. Vic died on May 3, 1988. Today Glee and Vic are remembered as people who knew how to have a good time, in contrast to some of the more dour Dibbles. Their son Jimmy died on May 6, 1986 from a fall that caused a traumatic brain injury. Their daughter Shirley died on March 20, 2009.
Archie and Glee's half-sister Olive Hall's son-in-law Tom Brown died in 1995. Tom and Betty's son Charles Hall married Lynn Schilling. Their children are Ned Hall, Sam Hall, Hugh Hall, and Thomas Hall. Charles is president of Brown's Seed Corn. Charles's brother Tom Hall married Patty Strong. Their children are Rachel Hall, Adam Monroe Hall, and Meagan Hall. Tom is a real estate broker. Tom and Betty's daughter Ruth married Bob Dunham. They live in Hawaii where Bob paints and Ruth substitute teaches. Ruth's unmarried sister Barbara is a clinical psychologist in San Francisco.
Dan Dibble's son Donald, the funeral director and furniture salesman, died in September, 1974. His son, Ralph "Bud" Dibble, had a son named Barry who operates the funeral home in Kasson, MN today and is married to Pat. His son, Nick Dibble, works in the computer field and lives in Kasson.
Al Wold died in 1984, and Jessie Aslakson Wold (Della Dibble's daughter) died in 1991.
Ed Wilson's wife, Edith Kowitz Wilson, died in October of 1958. Ed himself retired from barbering but was often seen smoking cigars and chewing the fat in Dabelow's barbershop well into his 80s. He died on February 8, probably in 1965.
As a young adult, Gladys Johnson's sister Rosemary broke off contact with the family and her whereabouts are unknown. Their brother Clarence, Jr. joined the Army as a private with Company L of the 504th. Airborne Infantry Regiment. On November 17, 1953, at the age of 18, he was killed in a flight accident while training to be a paratrooper.
Gladys's great-aunt (Rose Chiecke Johnson's sister) Agnes came to Bay City on periodic visits to see Rose and her husband Francis. She is remembered as having a good sense of humor, and she would make brooches and other jewelry out of shells. She died in 1956.
Gladys's sister Patty (also called Patsy) married a man named Chuck, and their children were Kim and Kelly. Kim has daughters named Becky and Katie. Kelly is divorced.
Gladys's sister Mabel married Virgil Siewert, a gas station owner and racecar driver. They lived near Hastings, MN. Their children were Carla Siewert, Todd Siewert, Tracey Siewert and Robin Siewert. Mabel divorced Siewert, changed her name to Johnny, and married and settled down with her second husband in Colorado. Johnny/Mabel died on June 8, 2002. Carla Siewert married Jerry and they have daughters Tisha and Stephanie. Todd Siewert and his wife Lia have children Kyle and Krissy. Tracey Siewert married Kelly Woods. Their children are Mark Woods and Laura Woods. Robin Siewert married a man named Kasha; they are divorced and their children are Reicha and Samita.
The other children of Clarence and Angeline Johnson--Francis, Genny and Jimmy--are alive and well.
Gladys's uncle--Clarence's brother--Sidney Johnson and his wife Alice retired to Florida and took in the elder Francis when his wife Rose Chiecke Johnson died in 1968. Sid's son Sid, Jr. became a teacher in Beloit, WI. Francis A. Johnson died in 1976.
Today, in a startling coincidence, Duane Johnson and his family (no relation to our Johnsons) live in Francis's and Rose's house on West Main Bay, in Bay City.
The Winona, MN patriarch Stephan Orzechowski died in 1947 at the age of 70. His wife Mary, aged 60, followed him in 1948.
The descendants of Stephan Orzechowski:
Stephan's son Vincent Orzechowski's daughter Jeanette Orzechowski married a man named Caputo, and they had two daughters, Robin and Toni, in the mid-1960s. Jeanette died around 1992.
Stephan's daughter Celia Orzechowski's husband Robert H. Gatz died in 1969. Celia died in 1993.
Celia and Robert's son Steven married Sandra M. Mundt on July 5, 1970. Their children were Randy Gatz and Kathie Gatz. Steven died on July 30, 1996. Celia and Robert's daughter Bonnie married Dale E. Cattnach; they have daughters Heather and Dawn, and a son Darren. Bonnie is a registered nurse and has been a most helpful family historian.
Stephan's daughter Sophie Orzechowski's husband Robert Duff died on December 27, 1961. Sophie remarried, to Lawrence G. "Zeke" Cada, on February 4, 1967. Zeke died on April 17, 1986. She moved to Colorado to be near her daughter, and died there on March 7, 1995.
Stephan's son Joseph and his wife Anita Orzechowski's son David married Linda Mae Sauerer on August 4, 1993.
The Orzechowski Front Street homestead in Winona, MN is still in the family. Today it's the home of Stanley and Evelyn Orzechowski.
The immigrant carpenter and farmer Ole Morud's widow Ella Halden Morud died following a protracted series of strokes on March 14, 1961.
Her son Leonard died on November 8, 1957. Leonard's wife Myrtle died on August 26, 1970.
Their son Clayton Morud's son Richard Morud and his wife Jackie had a son named Mark (b. December 2, 1962) and one other child. Clayton died on October 25, 1994.
Clayton's brother Leslie and his wife Cecile had four more children after 1950: Margo Leslie Morud (b. November l8, 195l), Monica Jaye Morud (b. March l0, 1953), Robin Joy Morud (b. January 2, l957), and Melissa Dee Morud (b. August 22, l96l). Leslie was in the auto business and they lived in Valley City, ND. Leslie died on May 9, 1988.
Clayton's sister Elaine and her husband Doug Smith's children were Duane Smith (b. September 26, 195l), Gerald Smith (b. October 12, 1953), and Darrell Smith (b. February 23, 1956). Elaine returned to work at some point after her marriage and was employed by the federal government in Seattle and Chicago. Her husband Doug was an Alaska native and also worked for an airline when they lived in Chicago. He grew homesick though, and returned to Wrangell, Alaska with his family to start a charter fishing business. Today he is retired. Elaine and Doug's son Duane Smith and his wife Sylvia have one child.
Clayton's brother Gordon Morud and his wife Elaine had four children: Dale Eugene Morud (b. March 3l, l95l), Cora Lynn Morud (b. July 2, l952), James Phillip Morud (b. February l4, 1962), and Greg Morud. Gordon is deceased.
Ole and Ella's daughter Emma Morud Duncan died of cancer on November 2, 1965. Her daughter Shirley lives in Mankato, MN with her husband, a barber. They had four children.
Ole and Ella's daughter Donna Morud Harvey retired from teaching in Washington and moved to New Jersey. Her daughter Geraldyne ("Gerry") married Herbert J. Addison. They had sons Bradley and Gregory, and live in Glen Ridge, NJ.
Ole and Ella's son Elmer Morud and his wife Elvina continued to live in Washington State. Elmer had the tool chest and tools that his father brought from Norway. After his retirement, he continued to put the tools and his carpentry skills to good use by turning out wooden cooking utensils, including lefse rolling pins. Lefse is a Norwegian flat bread made of potatoes and flour, much like a tortilla. A lefse pin has grooves running around its circumference down the length of the pin, necessary to keep the potato-flour mixture from sticking to the pin. His pins are used by friends and family members around the globe today. Elmer died in June of 1989; his wife Elvina died in November 1995.
Elmer's daughter Marilyn married Albert Harry Lamb (b. February 26, 1931) on March 28, 1952. Their children included Sandra Lynn Lamb (b. June 14, 1953), Sharon Gayle Lamb (b. June 18, 1954), Kristi Dianne Lamb (b. June 7, 1955), Susan Marie Lamb (b. January 13, 1958). Albert was in the Korean War, and then went to work for Boeing. He retired in 1991. Marilyn and Albert live in Seattle and are active in their church social group.
Albert and Marilyn's daughter Sandra married Terry Calvin Taylor (b. April 10, 1954) on March 29, 1981. Their children are Lindsay Elizabeth Taylor (b. November 8, 1984) and Benjamin Michael Taylor (b. January 6, 1986). They live near Houston, TX. Sandy is a registered nurse and her husband is an engineer.
Albert and Marilyn's daughter Sharon married Richard Edward Skiba (b. January 10, 1953) on June 27, 1981. Their children are: Matthew Richard Skiba (b. February 2, 1985) and Megan Kimberly Skiba (b. September 11, 1986). They live near Kent, WA where Richard is a supervisor for Boeing.
Albert and Marilyn's daughter Kristi married Richard Allen Bankhead (b. October 11, 1953) on June 21, 1980. They had one child, Erica Lamb (b. October 30, 1984). Kristi and Richard divorced in 1994. Kristi works as a paralegal for Microsoft.
Albert and Marilyn's daughter Susan married Jeffrey Allen Gehrig (b. August 28, 1958) on August 14, 1982. Their children are Kegan Allen Gehrig (b. March 6, 1988) and Jessica Leigh Gehrig (b. January 24, 1991). Susan works for a computer company called Eaton. They live in Arlington, WA.
Elmer's daughter Beverly Yvonne Morud married Ross Schultz (b. February 10, 1918) on October 26, 1956. They had no children. Beverly died of cancer on September 21, 1977. Ross followed her on May 7, 1997.
Elmer's daughter Joanne Lavina Morud married Larry Dale Rogers (b. October 1) on August 30, 1957. Their children were David Jeffrey Rogers (b. July 13, 1962) and Diana Rogers (b. April 11, 1967). Joanne and Larry divorced in 1982. On February 15, 1985, Joanne married Frank Oljefski. Joanne died on March 28, 1994. Frank died in March 1995.
Elmer's son Ronald Eugene Morud married Sue Anne Purdy (b. March 28, 1939) on September 17, 1960. They lived in Bothell, Washington. Ron became the keeper of Ole's tools, and had the toolchest refinished and fitted with a cushion for extra seating. Their children were Douglas Paul Morud (b. October 29, 1962) and Linda Renee Morud (b. August 31, 1964}. Douglas Morud married Charnell (b. September 9, 1965) on September 22, 1985. They have no children. Linda Morud married Steven Wolfe on September 30, 1995. They also have no children. Ronald and Sue divorced in 1999. Ronald died of cancer on January 7, 2000.
Ole and Ella Morud's daughter Olga ("Ollie") and her husband Harold Amundson, the East Grand Forks farmer, had many grandchildren. Their son Lester Amundson married Marie Paulson. Their children are Carol, Paul, Benjamin, Beth and Heidi. Ollie's son James Amundson married Darlene Gylfia Anderson; their children are Glenn and Mark. Lester and James both have farms of over 850 acres. Ollie's son Arnold Amundson married Patricia Schutt, and they live in Lisbon, ND. Arnold worked first as a draftsman, but later took over his wife's parents' farm near Fargo. Their children are Roger, Terry, Joy and Sally. Harold Amundson died in 1996. Ollie, a retired teacher and choir director who compiled much of the Morud and Halden family history, now lives in Phoenix, Arizona where she still carries on the family tradition of playing the organ in church.
Heidi Morud Wagner eventually gave up teaching for secretarial work. She was an active community volunteer who served as president of the Michigan Hospital Auxiliaries. She is retired in Walnut Creek, CA.
After Ida Morud's untimely death, her husband Elof Erikson remained a widower for several years, but he remarried, to Agnes Jensen, on July 21, 1972. They live in Mesa, AZ.
Willard Dibble Sr.'s daughter Margaret "Peggy" Dibble Hanson lives in Minneapolis today and enjoys traveling to Mexico, New York City, and other places, as well as playing golf.
Her daughter Peggy married twice: to Douglas Peterson (their son is Christopher Peterson) and to Rodney Campbell. Peggy and Rod have lived in Manhattan, Weston, Connecticut, Brookline, Massachusetts, and Buffalo, New York. She and Rod are both retired and now live in Marine on St. Croix, Minnesota.
The elder Peggy's brother Willard Jr.'s son John Dibble married Mary Lorentz on February 13, 1971. Mary is probably of the Lorentz family whose frozen meat warehouse now occupies the site of the Kowitz Brewery on Cannon Falls' North Side. They had two children, Justin and Laura. John took over the Dibble farm from Willard Jr. (who still lives there today) and ran it for almost 30 years. He also continued the family tradition of public service as clerk of the town board.
Ed Dibble, son of the pioneer Alonzo, died on April 4, 1951. His wife Laura died on July 12, 1960. Their son Willard Sr. passed away on October 24, 1972, seven months after his wife Cora's death on February 28. His twin brother Willis, who had retired to Florida, died there on January 8, 1974.
Until recently, Rising Sun, Indiana was the home of one William Dibble who lived on Dibble Road, a 3-mile long country road southwest of town. His wife, Thelma, formerly a schoolteacher, still lives there. There is also a Dibble Road in nearby Patriot, IN, testifying to the impact the family has had on the region. However, for almost 75 years the Indiana Dibbles did not know what became of their Minnesota cousins. The last they had heard was that Jonathan Dibble's daughter Minnesota's son Milford Elder was a lieutenant in the Navy after World War I. And the last thing most of the Minnesota Dibbles knew about their Indiana relations was that Alonzo had come from there. Now, with the writing of this history, those gaps of knowledge and memory have been bridged.
In 1998, after over 135 years of continuous operation, the Dibble farm in Stanton Township, Goodhue County, Minnesota was broken up and much of it was sold. Some of the land is now occupied by a golf course. A small parcel is owned by a housing developer who erected a house near Dibble Springs, very close to the site of Alonzo's first cabin. Willard and John Dibble held on to over 200 acres. They rent the land to a farmer who still grows crops on that fertile ground.
But now the question remains to be answered, for all of us Dibbles, Searceys, Smiths, Moruds, Haldens, Orzechowskis, Johnsons, Coplins, Kowitzes, Chieckes, Halls and all of our other families: What will we grow?