|The bride, Selma Thompson,|
in her wedding dress.
The fathers of the bridal couple, Thomas Thompson and Ingebret Birk (which was Birkedal/Byrkjedal before he left Norway), had partnered in business ventures for many years. As the scope of the Birk-Thompson empire spread across the North America, they sent their sons out their stead, to oversee the farthest flung operations and to learn the business.
During this period of time, Ingebret’s wife, Inger Field (Fjelde) Birk, died, leaving
|Parents of the groom, Inger Field (Fjelde) Birk|
with her husband,
Ingebret Birk (formerly Birkedal/Byrkjedal)
Soon after, Thomas’ sons joined Ingebret’s sons on the ranch in Cuba. Thomas never seemed to be that interested in Cuba and soon after the purchase of the ranch in Cuba, Ingebret found a new passion. He married his second wife, Mary Larson.
Meanwhile, between two their younger children, love was finally blossoming. Ingvald Birk and Selma Thompson became engaged. Invitations were engraved and preparations made.
Meanwhile, something must have been brewing in Thomas Thompson’s mind. He really had been reluctant to leave his wife to deal with the ranch in Cuba and he wasn’t as enthralled with the tropical climate. The marriage of his daughter to his partner’s son gave him the perfect opportunity to clear up his problem without losing money. You see, he and his wife, Burget “Betsy” Torkelson Thompson
|Parents of the bride, |
Burget Torkelson Thompson with
husband, Thomas Thompson
As my grandmother, Selma Cornelia Thompson, the bride in this story, told me, her father, Thomas Thompson, went to his business partner, Ingebret Birk, father of my grandfather, Ingvald Birk and the groom in this instance, and urged him to match the gift that the Thompson’s were giving their daughter, Selma. Thus, Ingebret agreed and upon their marriage on June 22nd 1910, Ingvald Birk, and his bride, Selma Cornelia Thompson, became the owners of their fathers’ ranch in Cuba. One hundred four year have passed since then, and the ranch transitioned out of our family long ago.
Ingvald, or Ike, as he was called, and Selma lived happily together in matrimony for sixty-two years. They lived in Cuba, Kansas City, Miami, and in Montana, producing four children, three of whom grew to adulthood. Ike died in 1972 at the age of 84, and Selma passed away in 1994. Although her death certificate does not list the cause of death as “boredom,” we all know that that was the cause. Her 106th birthday party was clearly not as exciting as her 105th. Six days after her 106th birthday, she left this earth.
So today, 104 years after their marriage, I say, “Happy Anniversary, Grandma and Grandpa, wherever you are!”