Linka Preus

A voice from the early stages of Luther College

Early Years

Caroline Dorothea Margrethe (Linka) Keyser was born in 1829 in Kristiansand, Norway. Linka and her husband, Herman Amberg Preus, arrived in Spring Prairie, Wisconsin in 1851.

Years at Luther

Linka Preus (1829-1880)

Linka's husband was a pastor and later the president of the Norwegian Lutheran Synod in America. Christian Keyser Preus, her son, became the second president of Luther College. Linka is best remembered for her sketchbooks which contain her drawings of Luther College and the Decorah area from the 1850s and 1860s. In 1876, she suffered a stroke from which she never fully recovered. She died four years later in 1880. Her diary, translated in 1951, contains details not only about events in her life but also about her thoughts and feelings in entries recorded from 1844 to 1864.

Other Information

Linka's sketches depict moments relating to Luther College as well as to the Midwest and her native Norway, respectively.

The Linka Preus papers collection includes correspondence, sketches, and her diary.

Linka's diary was recently translated and edited by Marv Slind and Gracia Grindal. Slind and Grindal also incorporated some of Linka's sketches.

Resources in the Luther College Archives

  • Caroline (Linka) Keyser Preus -- collected materials
  • Luther College 1861-1961 by David T. Nelson

Works Referenced

  • Nelson, David T., Luther College 1861-1961, Luther College Press, Decorah: 1961.
  • Who's Who in the Luther College Archives

External Resources