When James was five, his mother married Soren Brown. According to the stories told by Jim's daughter Thordis ("Sis"), Jim was always fond of his step-father Soren. Jim worked with Soren in Soren's grocery store for about 10 years until Soren's death in 1920.
When Jim was planning on marrying Lily Tollefson, Soren gave him a lot to build a house on that was close to Soren and Johanna's house in the Willow Park section of Missouri Valley.
James Christian Bertelson with friends in front of his childhood home early 1900's
Jim Bertelson (2nd from left) in front of his home on Shawmut Avenue in the Willow Park addition in Missouri Valley, Iowa. The other people are unknown, but one of them had a wooden leg! The boy fourth from the right and the boy on the far right seem to have baseball gloves on their left hands. Notice there is not a lawn or sidewalk, but some boards to keep one out of the mud and dust.
1891 Ane Johanne Jensen/Johnson Bertelson & husband James/Jens Bertelson
James & Johanna Bertelson with first born son Charles Carl, about a year before Jens/James died and son James Christian was born.
"S. Brown Groceries & Notions" store on Erie Street in Missouri Valley, Iowa
Erie was the main business street in Missouri Valley. From left to right: Carrie Hansen ("shop girl"), Jim Bertelson, unknown, unknown salesman, Soren Brown. Notice the wooden barrels that held dill pickles and other bulk goods out front. There is a wagon for deliveries parked between the barrels. Jim is obviously taller than Soren!
If you want to know more of the story, find a copy of Bertelson Family History Book written by Christian Bertelson and myself in 2002. There is a digital copy available at: