Baptism Record in Haugesund Register (1898)Thora Marie Haugen was born on 21 Dec 1897 in Haugesund, Rogaland, Norway to father Thorvald Hansen Haugen and mother Thorvaldine Marie Olsdatter. She was baptized in Haugesund on 20 Feb 1898. Her godparents were listed as her father Thorvald, S. Troudsen, Mikal Feakiko, Lina Feakiko, and Sikka Troudsen.1
Thora grew up in Haugesund, Norway at “Sørhauggade 121b - Farmhouse” with her parents, 3 brothers Karl, Olaf & Adolf, and sister Anna.2 Her father was a sailor and engineer in the Norwegian shipping industry which put him at sea for long stretches of time while her mother stayed at home raising the children.
When Thora was 9 years old her mother passed away.3 Whether her mother happened to pass away while her father was home or at sea was unknown but, the need for someone to raise the children was certainty. Her widowed father would remarry Sofie Sorensen just shy of a year later in 1908.4
By 1910 Thora and her new family were renting an apartment for $150 on Hasseløy Island in what the census referred to as “Shoreline 20 - Seahouse Apartment #3” on property owned by Laurits Pettersen. The new family consisted of father Thorvald, step-mother Sofie, brothers Olaf and Adolf, sister Anna, and step-brother Trygve.5 This was where the family continued to reside when Thora was confirmed on 12 May 1912.6
Arrival Manifest, Pg.1 (1914)On 23 Jan 1914, Thora boarded the brand new S.S. Kristianiafjord and departed from Stavanger, Rogaland, Norway. Final destination: America.
The S.S. Kristianiafjord was built by Cammell Laird & Co. in Birkenhead, England the previous year. It weighed 10,669 gross tons, was 530 feet long, 61 feet wide and carried 1,200 passengers (100 first class, 250 second class & 850 third class) at a speed of up to 15 knots.
The journey across the Atlantic took 15 days and Thora arrived at Ellis Island, New York on 07 Feb 1914. Thora came over with $25 to her name and at the time, she was described as being 5'5.5" tall, with a light complexion, fair hair, and blue eyes.7
Her passage over was paid for by her sister Anna Haugen who had already arrived in Cleveland. Her first residence was with her sister Anna, at 2045 W 25th Street in Cleveland.
We're not certain how Christopher and Thora met but, by 1917, Thora had moved and was living at 6609 Linwood Avenue which was only about a mile north on 71st street from Christopher's family at 2275 East 74th Street.
Thora with children (abt 1928)Christopher Lowe married Thora Marie Haugen on 02 Jan 1918 in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. They were married by Rev. Oscar A. Strom, who performed many of the Andreasen/Anderson family weddings in Cleveland.8
After Christopher and Thora’s marriage, they moved into a rental property at 1915 West 73rd Street.9 In 1921 they moved to 4214 Trowbridge Ave.10 and in 1922 they moved the family again where they were found at 2045 Spring Road, all in Cleveland.11 About 1924 Christopher was able to finally purchase a house at 3343 Lincoln Avenue in Parma where he would raise his family.
Christopher became ill while working as a First Mate for the Steamship W.C. Atwater, and about May of 1928, it was determined through clinical findings that Christopher had a carcinoma of the lung, better known as lung cancer. Things went from bad to worse about March the next year when the doctors had more troubling news: they had discovered that the lung cancer was metastatic, meaning that it wasn't the originating form of cancer, just a secondary location that the cancer had spread to. They had now discovered that Christopher had a carcinoma of the Nasophpharynx.
Thora HansonThe Nasopharynx is the area located behind your nose & above the back of your throat. This type of throat cancer is extremely rare in the US today and hard to diagnose, meaning it was very advanced by the time they were able to diagnose it. Cancer had no treatments or cures in the 1920s as radiation and chemotherapy treatments had not been invented yet. All Christopher could do was return home and continue living his life.
Christopher officially fell ill 6 months later on the 5 Sep 1929 when he was admitted to the U.S. Marine Hospital in Cleveland. At 2:40 PM on Wednesday, 2 Oct 1929 at the age of 39, Christopher passed away at the marine hospital.12
Christopher was buried on 05 Oct 1929 at West Park Cemetery on 3942 Ridge Road in Cleveland in Section 21, Lot 219 near his brothers.13
After Christopher's death, Thora's brothers Karl & Olaf and sister Anna Morley moved in with Thora to help support her and possibly to take care of her and her children Robert and Virginia during this difficult time. Olaf owned a repair garage in town; Anna managed a knitting mill; and Karl worked as a night watchman at Anna’s mill while visiting.14 The support helped, but it wasn’t enough and Thora eventually lost the family house on Lincoln Avenue.
Things would get better as Thora would find a new home for the family and would eventually remarry Henry Theodore Hanson. The two of them enjoyed many years together before Henry's passing on 14 Aug 1959.15
Thora died on 11 Oct 1992 at 06:20 PM in Middleburg Heights, Ohio of cancer at the age of 94.16 She was laid to rest at West Park Cemetery on Ridge Road, Section 21, Lot 219, Grave 3, between her husbands Christopher Lowe and Henry Hanson.