Alfred Mortensen was born Rasmus Nielsen Mortensen, in Skrøbelev, Svendborg, Denmark on 10 Aug 1870, according to Danish records. He, his parents, and his siblings traveled together on the ship Hibernian from Liverpool to Halifax in 1881. Alfred was only 10 years old when he left Denmark, and had only completed fifth grade in school (he never furthered his education beyond that while in North America). After living briefly in Sherbrooke, Quebec for a couple years, the entire family migrated south to Berlin, New Hampshire, to get work in the prospering Brown Company sawmill.
Alfred married Oslo Norway immigrant Annie Oleson in Berlin, New Hampshire on 21 January 1895. Annie's cousin, Minnie Oleson, married Miaus Mortensen, Alfred's youngest brother. Annie's brother, Olaf Oleson, was a ski manufacturer, and according to family legend he was the first to manufacture skis in the United States.
In 1917, Alfred & Annie purchased 1716 Hutchins Street in Berlin, just down the street from the rest of the Mortensen houses. Annie was well known throughout Berlin for her dahlia garden. In 1926 she was recognized in the Brown Bulletin for having 297 blossoms from 87 bulbs.
Alfred & Annie had ten children. Five of them died as children (Mildred, Thelma, Walter, Annie & Julia). The five, all boys, who survived to adulthood have many descendants among them:
|CARL ANTON MORTENSEN|
|VICTOR "SMOKEY" MORTENSEN|
|LOUIS ALFRED MORTENSEN|
Louis married Isabel Murdock in 1930 and had two children, ten grandchildren, and at least 20 great grandchildren. They lived on 123 Park Street. According to the July 1930 Brown Bulletin, he kept his wedding a secret from his fellow co-workers for three months.
|THEODORE EDWARD MORTENSEN|
Theodore was nicknamed "Red" and he married Avis Bissett in 1934. They had six children, and at least six grandchildren.
|ROBERT EARL MORTENSEN|
Robert was Alfred's youngest child. He was a skilled skiier like his brother Red. He married Barbara Martina McLusky in 1940, and was soon drafted into WWII. Upon his return, he settled in Laconia, and had one child. According to Robert's son, Robert "tired of shoveling sulfur out of boxcars once too often, and taught himself the trade of mechanics, later enlisting in the Navy, and returning from WWII to resume mechanic work, until the PSCo of NH gave him a job in 1948, where he spent the next 36 years working there overseeing small power stations and substations".
Robert was ALSO nicknamed "Red", and was a champion skiier with the Nansen Ski Club. Here's a cartoon tribute drawn for the Boston Post when Red was 22, referencing a famous jump he had made at age 17, when he sailed a record 262 feet off the Nansen Ski Jump.
|ABANDONED NANSEN SKI JUMP (OCT 2011)|
ROUTE 16, MILAN, NEW HAMPSHIRE
All of Alfred's children worked at Brown Co. Mill for their entire lives (the one exception being youngest son Robert, who worked only briefly there, as stated above). Alfred was a valued employee at the mill (see article below). He died on Christmas Day, 1948.
Of Marius' children, Alfred had the most descendants. As of October 2011, well over 100 people can claim descent from old Rasmus, many of them living in Berlin today!
|ALFRED & ANNIE MORTENSEN|
|ALFRED & ANNIE MORTENSEN|
IN FRONT OF HOUSE ON HUTCHINS STREET