Thompson, Annie (Slettehaug)
(1862 - 1921)
Annie Thompson, the eldest of a family of 10, was born in Lesja, Norway. She immigrated to southern Minnesota and worked as a dressmaker. As each of her sisters eventually emigrated to the United States, Annie cooked and sewed for them.
On May 9, 1902, she and her six eldest children arrived by train in Innisfail. Daughter, Thora, recalls, "We were excited about seeing Dad who had gone ahead earlier to build a house on our quarter, half a mile north of Markerville. The hills were covered with crocuses. The new house seemed wonderful, but sometimes in winter we woke to find snow on our beds. There was even a muskrat in our kitchen one morning."
Annie served her community as a midwife. The Thompson children remember waking at night to the sound of horses and voices summoning Annie away. On her return she would tell of a new baby she had delivered. Many of these babies were given names beginning with the letter "A" as a tribute to her. Her daughter, Goodie, recalls how Annie kept a pile of long, white aprons on hand and would quickly grab some when called away on her midwife duties. She was often confronted with more serious medical problems. For instance, when a neighbour lady was diagnosed with appendicitis, Annie helped save her life by assisting the doctor to perform an emergency operation on a kitchen table by the light of a coal oil lamp.