The History of the

Thomas and Martha (Thompson) Oscar

Donated by Torunn Bakke

 

Thomas Oscar was born in 1820 in Vest Agder "County", Norway.  His Norwegian name was Tollak Atlaksen, but he changed it, as many immigrants did, when he came to America in 1854, with his first wife, who died shortly after their arrival.

Possibly on the same ship, another woman, Martha Thompson, was also coming to America.  She,too, had changed or "Americanized" her name from Marthe Thorkildsen.  After Thomas' first wife died, he married Martha.

They first settled in Ossian, Iowa, then moved to the Hastings, Minnesota area, where a daughter was born.  Between 1861 and 1863 they settled in Soldiers Grove, Crawford Co., WI, where he enlisted to serve in the Civil War in February 1864 in the 36th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, Company H.  He was captured by the Confederates in the battle of Reams Station (tearing down the Weldon Railroad) near Petersburg VA in August 1864 and was sent to Libby Prison in Richmond VA for a week, then to Belle Isle, also in Richmond, for two months and finally to Salisbury Prison in North Carolina where he spent five months before becoming an "exchange-prisoner" in March 1865.  His health was so damaged after these months, that he lived on a war pension for the rest of his life.

One son, Theodore Oscar, was living on a farm in Barronett and it was here that his father came to live and died on 20 July 1886.  Thomas is buried in Lakeside Cemetery in Cumberland.  Martha died in 1881 and is buried in an old unmarked cemetery in Soldiers Grove, Crawford Co., WI.


Martha and Thomas Oscar in 1875
 

 

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