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Jensons celebrate 70th wedding anniversary

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX —  It’s not often that a couple is able to celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary.

But for Clinton and Margaret Jenson, August 3 did, indeed, mark their 70th wedding anniversary.

The Jensons lived on a farm near Colfax and still own the farm.

Clinton and Margaret (Stobb) grew up as neighbors in rural Elk Mound.

They attended the same church, Barum Lutheran, and they both graduated from Oak Hill, a country grade school.

Clinton went on to attend high school in Colfax. In those days, transportation to school was difficult because there were no buses provided by the school district.

Clinton was only able to go to high school because he found a job in Colfax and stayed with friends who lived in town.

Going to high school was not easy, however, because Clinton had responsibilities at home, too, to help his parents, said Clinton’s daughter, Carolyn Rasmussen.

“It was a lot of work to get a high school diploma in those days,” she said.

Clinton and Margaret were married at the Lutheran church parsonage in Elk Mound on August 3, 1943.

For their wedding, Margaret wore a navy blue suit with a white lace collar, and Clinton wore his Army uniform.

Margaret’s cousin, Alvina, and Clinton’s brother, John, served as their attendants.

Clinton had been drafted into the United States Army, and the couple was married when Clinton came home on furlough.

Two days after their wedding, Clinton left to finish his training and landed on Omaha Beach in Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944.

He continued serving in the European Theater until the end of World War II and returned home to Wisconsin in October of 1945.

As it turned out, Clinton’s sister gave birth to a baby girl on the day that Clinton was scheduled to return to the Army, two days after their wedding, so Margaret stayed and helped her sister-in-law with the baby.

After Clinton returned home from World War II, the couple set up their first home in an upstairs apartment in Eau Claire.

“After the war, a lot of things were hard to come by. Jobs were not readily available, and because of rationing during the war, there were shortages of furniture and other items needed to start a home,” Carolyn said.

Fortunately, Clinton found a job and was hired by National Presto Industries in Eau Claire.

When the opportunity became available, they moved to a farm near Colfax in 1948 and lived there until their retirement.

When the Jensons first started farming, they had dairy cows and chickens, and the field work was all done with horses. The team, Silver and Bell, were part of the family.

Later on, beef cattle replaced the dairy cows, and Clinton began working construction jobs.

Among other projects, Clinton helped build Area Nursing Home in Colfax, additions to buildings at Stout University, and fast food restaurants.

He also worked on highway bridges that were up to an hour away from home each way.

Margaret liked to garden and canned much of the produce she raised in her garden.

For several years, Margaret and Clinton raised strawberries and sold them in Colfax.

Margaret is an excellent cook, “and more than once, she was encouraged to start her own restaurant,” Carolyn said.

Margaret’s specialties include lefse and other Scandinavian foods, especially the Christmas delicacies.

Clinton and Margaret Jenson have two children. Carolyn lives with her husband, Rick, in Monticello, Minnesota, and Roger lives with his wife, Vikki, in Chippewa Falls.

The Jensons have four grandchildren: Amy lives with her husband and three children in southern Minnesota; Ryan lives in the Twin Cities; Erik lives with his wife and sons in Calgary, Canada; and Erin lives in California with her husband and daughter.

Clinton and Margaret also have six great-grandchildren: Solveig, Jonah, Anju, Lukas, Josiah and Delaney, ranging in age from one to 13 years old.

The Jensons celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary at a family picnic in June.