Gertie Jacobsen Toft

Honored by:Bjorn Brooks
Brick location:K:12  map

In 1893, Gjertrud Jacobsen emigrated from Bergen, Norway to Story County, Iowa. She was twenty years old. Within a year, she was married and destined for the challenges of the prairie – bitter cold winters, blazing hot summers, seven sons and a daughter to raise, endless chores, sorrows, and joys. She faced it with what she brought with her from Norway – hope, determination, and courage.

Gertie was the daughter of a miller from Vaksdal and his wife from a farm on the Hardanger fjord. Ivar and Anna Jacobsen settled in the fast growing city of Bergen up on the steep streets above the harbor near the Sandviken church. Gertie’s brothers went to sea. Her two sisters and one brother followed her to America. In 1913, Gertie traveled by train to New York and by steamship back to Bergen to visit her parents. Her family and her Norwegian heritage were treasured all her life.

The treasures that she left us are the qualities she lived by and nurtured in her children, the ideals she cherished, and the values that her descendants in turn pass on to succeeding generations. More than a century later her hope, determination, and courage inspire us.

Work hard. Tell the truth. Think fast. Laugh out loud. Persevere. Look homeward.

In your honor, Gertie, is this small engraving. You’re the heroine.

Takk for alt.

Submitted on 4/2/09