The Lykken family originated in Telemark, Norway. In 1873, Hans Gudmundsen Lykken (1820-1905) brought his wife, Kari Olsdatter Kaasa (1821-1894) and his five teenage children to Farmington, Minnesota, a few miles south of Minneapolis. They remained there for 6 or 7 years until the children were old enough to homestead and they had acquired the resources to start farms.In 1879, Hans’ 21-year-old son, Hans Hansen Lykken, arrived at the infant Grafton settlement and filed a tree claim along the park River one mile west of town. In 1880 he raised 40 acres of wheat. That same year his parents, three brothers (Gilman, Lars, and Ole-Gilman) and his sister (Ingrid/Marcus Johnson) arrived and acquired land north and west of Grafton. The remaining brother, Ole, arrived in 1883 and found land in Western Walsh County, near Milton.The Lykken’s helped organize Farmington Township, which was named after their home town, Farmington, Minnesota. They also helped organize the Landstad Lutheran Church in Auburn, named after a prominent theologian in Telemark, as well as the Farmington 11o and Auburn schools and the Auburn Farmer’s Elevator. The Lykken family served on the boards of directors of these organizations from the beginning and for years to come. Lykken family members were also instrumental in starting Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Grafton and Hitterdal Lutheran Church near Milton (named after the Hitterdal “Heddal” Lake in Telemark, where the Lykken family lived in Norway). The Lykken farmers prospered and had large families.In addition to the parents, Hans G and Kari, the Lykken families that settled in the Grafton area included:1. Gilman and Ella Lykken and children:
- Henry (Minneapolis)
- Carl (Palm Springs)
- Stephen (Grafton)
- Esther (Olaf Foss, Grafton)
- Tilda (Andrew Olson, Grafton)
- Lawrence (Grafton)
- John (Grafton)
- Fred (San Francisco)
- Melvin (Grafton)
2. Hans H. and Clara Lykken and children:
- Clara (Grafton)
- Alvin (Grafton)
- Hilda (died young)
- Gordon Eddie (Grafton)
- Jean (John Pershing, Michigan)
- Lottie (Ed Kopperud, Grafton)
- Luther (Grafton)
- Alma (Clarence Stark, Grafton)
- Hazel (Lee Sutterlin, Grafton)
- Mabel (Grafton)
- Myrtle (M. Wheeler, Minneapolis)
- Harry (Grafton)
3. Lars and Sophia Lykken and Children:
- Halle (Seattle)
- Eli (Grafton)
- Oscar (Grafton)
- Laura (Grafton)
- Isabel (Grafton)
- Sam (Grafton)
- Lucy (Ole Flaat, East Grand Forks)
- William (Grafton)
- Kenneth (Grafton), died young
4. Ingrid Lykken and Marcus Johnson and children:
- Minnie (Oscar Moen, Montana)
- Josephine (Henry Hegarness, Grafton)
- John M. (Grafton)
- Hanne (Grafton)
- Christine (Gunder Homme, Montana)
- Clarence (Grafton)
- Otto (Grafton)
- Mabel (Wesley Porter, Iowa)
5. Ole and Gunhild Lykken: Settled near Milton, ND and had the following children:
- Hans (Milton)
- Tone (Andrew Welo, Milton)
- Anne (Johnny Wang)
- Lena (Milton)
- Laura (died young)
- Hattie (Bert Laing, Milton)
The Ole and Caroline Gilman family moved to Canada about 1900 and now have hundreds of descendants in Canada.
Prominet Lykken’s in the Grafton area were:
- Cora Lykken: Taught school in Grafton for 50 years.
- Hazel Lykken Sutterlin: Taught at Grafton High School for years.
- Russell and Bill Lykken: Owned and operated Lykken Motors in Grafton.
- Oscar Lykken: Walsh County Commissioner, 1946-1960
- Marvin Lykken: Built numerous homes in the Grafton and surrounding areas.
Other famous Lykken’s were:
- Carl Lykken: Had the first post office and store in Palm Springs, California.
- Henry Lykken: Inventor and businessman.
- Dr. David Lykken: Renowned psychologist famous for his research on happiness, twins, and the lie detector.
It is interesting to note that after many years, where scores of Lykken’s lived in the area, there were only 4 third-generation Lykken men residing in the Grafton area 100 years after the Lykkens came (Marvin, Lee, Bill and Dennis-now deceased). None of these men had any sons. As such, the long popular Lyyken name may soon disappear in Grafton.
RESOURCES: A complete Lykken family history is available at the Grafton Public Library entitled, “Our Scandinavian Ancestry,” 2005, author Lowell Lykken. This book is also available on the LDS Internet site by going tobooks.familysearch.org. and typing, “Lowell Lykken” in the search block.
Submitted by Lowell Lykken (February, 2013)