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Lillian Blessum enjoyed milking cows

By Staff | May 4, 2012

Lillian Blessum is in her 100th year of life. She was born on February 21, 1913 to Anna and John Fjellanger and was raised in Rugby with her nine siblings.

She has witnessed many changes in the world in her 99 years of life. The biggest change for her was switching from washing clothes with a washboard to using a machine. The first electric washing machine was invented in 1908, just five years before her birth. As a child, she remembers only washing clothes with a washboard. She supposes they must have used a machine after they threw away the washboard.

Everyone had chores on the farm as Lilllian was growing up. The women in Lillian’s family milked the cows.

“We never minded,” she said.

In fact, as Lillian grew older, she was hired out for milking neighbor’s cows so she could make some money. The children in her family walked a mile to a country school most days. If it was too cold, they took the bobsled.

One of her cherished memories of childhood is the cake that was made every Sunday.

“We always had a cake on Sundays and if we were smart we would save the cake to take in our lunch to school on Monday,” she recalls.

Obert Blessum took a fancy to the young hard -working farm girl and they were later married.

“I got married and lived happily ever after,” she smiled as she related the best thing that ever happened to her.

After she was married Lillian belonged to a sewing club with a group of nice ladies. She enjoyed getting together with the ladies and sewing.

“We met once a week,” said Lillian

She and Obert raised one son, Roger, who lives with his wife, Janice, in Minneapolis. They often visit her at the Haaland Home. Her sister, Joyce Ann Brandt lives in Rugby, as well.

“My son comes for hunting in the fall,” said Lillian, smiling at the memory. “My husband was an avid hunter and we went along. We were the bird dogs.”

Now she is happy with her place at the Haaland Home. She lived at home in Rugby after they moved off the farm until just a few years ago.

“They are very nice to me here,” she said. “I go to the doings around here and Music in the Park. I never miss it. We go on the bus. You’d be surprised how may people you know there.”

She has reached a time in her life when she enjoys “loafing”.

When asked if she had any advice for others for a long life, she at first said, “nope” then she thought about it for a minute and added, “Keep your noses clean.”

Having lived all of her life near and in Rugby, Lillian said, “There’s no place like home.”

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