I had a hankerin’.
Somebody in a Facebook group I’m in posted an enhanced photograph of a lovely robust woman that they had purchased at a thrift store.
She had a very recognizable face.
She was Belle Gunness.
I was insanely jealous, but I digress.
In that comment thread I found a podcast about her I hadn’t heard yet, and caught a name and place of a victim of hers that was rather close to home…
“Ole B. Budsberg, an elderly widower from Iola, Wisconsin, appeared next. He was last seen alive at the La Porte Savings Bank on April 6, 1907, when he mortgaged his Wisconsin land there, signing over a deed and obtaining several thousand dollars in cash. Ole B. Budsberg’s sons, Oscar and Mathew Budsberg, had no idea that their father had gone off to visit Gunness. When they finally discovered his destination, they wrote to her; she promptly responded, saying she had never seen their father.” -https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/95661105/ole-budsberg-
Well now. Here’s where the funny starts. His monument happens to be located in the very last cemetery that I wandered about last year before the snow. Neat! I know where that is, let’s go!
So onward to Scandinavia, a bustling metropolis that boasts a population of 328 (according to the 2010 census). It was one of the later additions to Waupaca county and is seated between Iola and Portage county. I had a mighty need to get back to this school that I had discovered last year, the photos of which I will share with you now:
So before we went to find Ol’ Ole, I had spotted a rummage sale, so naturally we needed to stop there too.
At the sale, the people were very friendly and they had books for $.10, so I was rather excited. They also had a laffy taffy jug FULL of old yellowed envelopes with stamps on them!
But it gets better!
I pulled out one of the envelopes, and was shocked to see that the name on it was the same as my great-grandfather’s brother.
I pulled out another.
The same name.
I turned to the woman who’s sale it was and squeaked “Um, hi are we related?” Holding out the envelope to her, I realized my hand was shaking.
Long story short, she gave me all the envelopes for free, invited me over to her house for tea and to dig through bins of family historical artifacts and ephemera, and insisted we come to the next family reunion.
Then we went to see Ole…
Well there’s his stone anyway…
The second leg of my serial victims tour will have to be saved for tomorrow, when we set our sights on…
Same bat time, same bat channel 🖤