Do you remember Inga Hendrickson's Café and all her penny candy?

What a thrill it was as a youngster to be given a few pennies with which we could go into her cafe and look through the glass-top case that was so scratched from the money being slid across the top.

We had to try and decide, which piece of candy do I want today? Today they are even talking of discarding the use of the penny.

On the west side of the store was the soda fountain where she dished out ice cream scoops of different flavors of ice cream - not as many flavors as there are available today, but the basic flavors.

She would also make floats, and the best ones were the Spring Grove root beer and the strawberry floats.

Then right to the south of the fountain was a piano. The Hendricksons were known for their love of music.

At one time Inga's sister, Claribel, told us that they were related to Ole Bull.

Their brother, Rudolph, wrote music and played the violin. But their story is a separate write-up someday.

Behind the piano were the marble-topped round tables and chairs where we could sit and eat. She also made hamburgers, hotdogs, etc., but the one item that she never advertised that she sold was beer, and that counter was on the east side near the door to the kitchen.

It was here that my dad would visit with John Anderson Aas. He always went by the name of John Anderson.

On Sundays, we would drive around the countryside, and I remember my dad pointing out just before going down the hill into Bee, Minnesota, that the Aas family used to live on the right.

The driveway to their place was rather long, but in the distance I could see buildings.

This John Anderson that my dad visited with was John A. Anderson, born Sept. 17, 1917, died Dec. 30, 1971, and married to Cecelia Vangen. John's parents were Albert Anderson married to Minnie Sivesind.

Albert Anderson's father, Johan Andreas "John" Andersen Aas, was born June 30, 1855, at Skjølaas, Kolbu, Vestre Toten, Oppland, Norway and immigrated to the United States in 1878, settling in Wilmington Township.

On Feb. 3, 1881, he married Maren Jonette Johnsdatter Ostern at the Wilmington Lutheran Church. They moved to section 10 of Waterloo Township, Allamakee County, Iowa.

In 1980, a Marcellus Ranzenberger and Lyle Wilkes were owners of the land and today, without a current plat map, I have no recent names.

John's wife, Maren, was the daughter of John Engebretsen Ostern and Karen Olina Hansdatter Roa, who were early settlers of Wilmington Township and today have many relations in all parts of the country.

Some years back, a man who called me was looking for the family with the Skjølaas name. I remember at the time it took me some time to connect that name to what I knew as the Aas family.

Our Norwegian name changing is always a challenge. When people in Norway would move to a different farm, which had a name or address, the new tenant would take the last name as this farm and this sometimes followed him to America as his new last name.

That custom also occurred here in America as well. For example, Even Svendsen Pladsen and his wife, Margit Arnesdtr.

Ankerpladsen came to America with their children. The older children went by the name of Pladsen but all the younger children took their father's patronymic name, which made their last name Evenson.

At the Giants of the Earth Heritage Center, Inc, in downtown Spring Grove, we have a library on the second floor of the Ballard House (at 163 W. Main St.) with printed materials relevant to genealogy and local history that is open to the public.

Also check our website at for our open hours or call ahead if you would be coming from some distance - (507) 498-5070.

Contact Georgia via email at

Additions and corrections to these columns are welcome. An earlier article presented the Aarestad sisters and mentioned Erik Aarestad.

Gordon Eddy informed me that the farm where Erick Aarestad/ Orstad resided in Black Hammer is the place where Theodore and Thora Ike used to live.