The first Leraas Family Reunion was held in August 1988. Here are some pictures from the Reunion. Click on any thumbnail to scroll through larger images.
The following account was written for the Grant County Herald:
Approximately 40 descendants of Anton Michael Leraas (1889-1953) and Clara Hesjedal Leraas (1890-1980) met at the Sunwood Inn in Morris August 13 and 14 for afirst everreunion for this branch of the Leraas family tree. Attending from the area were Reuben Leraas, Karen Block, Gordon J. Leraas, Bonnie, Jesse, and Jenny Leraas, all of Barrett, and Kevin and Lynette Leraas Haack of Hoffman.
Representing Carl Leraas were Mary Leraas of Gibbon and daughters Joyce Winkelman and family of Foley, and Jan Hellendrung and her husband Don and family of New Ulm.
Adeline Leraas, Tom and LouAnn Leraas Benham and family, and Alan and Cheryl Leraas Nelson and their daughters all traveled from the Minneapolis area. Linda Leraas Ray and sons journeyed from Seymour, Illinois. Doug and Carol Ann Block Stender and family came from Parkers Prairie, Minnesota. Debbie Block Alberg and children traveled from rural Henning. Amanda Alberg, age 2, was the youngest of the clan in attendance.
The family enjoyed swimming, visiting, viewing heirloom photographs and old home movies. Homemade Scandinavian food and games such as pin the horn on the Viking, flatbread/whistling contest, Norske trivia, and Leraas family trivia added to the heritage festivities.
Anton and Clara Leraas were both born in Grant County and were married in 1910. They homesteaded in Divide County, North Dakota during the ‘20s and ‘30s where their five children, Reuben, Martha, Carl, Gordon, and Adeline were born. They returned to Grant County in 1936 and rented a farm in Lien Township. In 1952, Anton and Reuben bought the original Ole Leraas farm on Cormorant Lake. Ole was Anton’s father who emigrated from Norway in 1866. Anton never lived on the farm, however, since he died in 1953. Clara lived there with Reuben for many years until she became a resident of the Barrett Care Center and died in 1980. Reuben still lives on the home place that is now a Century Farm, having been owned continuously by Leraas family members since 1878. (An article about the farm was featured in the August 23, 1984 issue of the Grant County Herald.)
Honored guests at the reunion were Howard Leraas (descendant of John Leraas, Anton’s brother) along with his wife Norma of Minneapolis and daughter Nancy Leraas Collopy of Minnetonka; Ora and Marlene Magnuson of Morris (Clara’s cousin’s wife and daughter); and Dorothy Carlson, Minneapolis, longtime family friend who received the title ofHonorary Norske!
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