Thomas Olaf Gundersen
16 Feb 1877 - 2 Apr 1968
In his early years, Tom had an interest in transportation. He became an apprentice blacksmith for Joseph Brinton whose shop was on Highland Drive and 48th South. He married the boss's daughter, Harriett Wollerton Brinton on June 13th 1900. For their wedding gift, Mr Graham built them a home just west of the family farm which later became listed as 1810 Gundersen Lane. The home was not finsihed however until late in 1904.
During those early years, Harriet had a son, Thomas Wayne in 1902 who lived only 18 months and died on March 5th 1904. Just two months later, she had twins Hammond and Howard on May 5th, 1904. Hammond died Dec 26th 1911 from what was beleived to be rheumatic fever. Lamont was born on Oct 17th, 1906, Arden on Nov 11th 1908, Joseph on Apr 8th, 1911, Harriett on Sep 27th 1912, Maxine on May 6th, 1916, and Hadlon on Nov 5th 1922. Except for Thomas and Hammond, all the other children lived to adulthood, married and had children.
Christmas time was always sad as Harriett had held Hammond all Chirstmas Day as he was struck very ill with fever. He died early the next morning and she never was happy thereafter. The boys worked the farm down to the city canal for many years and then Tom was called on a mission to the southern states during the depression. The family worked the farm, Harriett took in washing and the gilrs helped and they managed to keep the operation going during his absence. The family worked very hard and was barely able to keep the bills paid. There was some times when the cousins from up the street would come for food when times were very tough. Although Harriett had no excess, she managed to find chairs at the table for all the cousins.
When Thomas returned from the south (where he had made contact with a Mrs. Hogan and her family who later came to the area) he gave her family 3 acres of ground across and up the street as the boys were going to college now and did not have time to farm it all. He reutrned to blacksmithing and car repair as the horse and buggy business was fading fast with the advent of cars for every family. He served as bishop of the Winder Ward and continued farming the property on both sides of Gundersen Lane from Kunkle's place on Woodside Drive, down to the city canal which is just west of Carter Circle. Harriett died in 1955 and Thomas lived in the old home alone until just before his death in 1968, he had been a resident of the Highland Care center for about 6 months prior to his death.