Katti Anker Møller started her political carrier around 1900, by speaking for the unmarried mums. She defended them in writing and in her speeches, and she also worked voluntarily with starting the first home for unmarried mums in Oslo in 1902. Between 1903 and to 1915 she worked and did fight together with Johan Castberg to make the law that was called “De castbergske barnelover”- but they could easily been called “De anker-møllerske barnelover”. These laws gave economical support to unmarried mums and they also gave children born by unmarried mums the right to their fathers name and the right to inherit their fathers- it was a very radical law that made Norway to a pioneer country in international context.
At the same time as she made propaganda for the children laws, Katti Anker Møller was the first in the country that worked for sexual education and contraception’s. She also worked against the law § 245, the punishment paragraph that decided that women that took an abortion, could get 3 years in prison. In cooperation with the women’s working movement she started the first Motherhygine office. This office gave guidance and help regarding pregnancies, infant care and birth control, under the parole “We that love the motherhood and that’s welfare, but in full voluntariness and under our own responsibility.
Later it was founded Motherhygine offices all over the country, at the same time she worked for better conditions under births and maternity work, for Mothers welfare and sickness benefit for mums. She worked for the foundation of domestic science schools and for a proper vocational education for domestic science teachers and for midwifes, leading campaigns for better nutrition, health and living accommodations.
Mostly her work gained extensive response, but some of it was very controversial and made big waves in her time. Especially her work for the unmarried mums, abortion case and the contraception’s, that was considerate as sin and therefore unworthy. It was especially the Christians that worked against her-“God does not create more mouths than there are food” it was said. But also in the women movement she met a lot of resistant against a lot of her ideas and she worked mostly with the worker woman’s resistance. Katti Anker Møller was tightly attached to Fredrikstad region both through her family and through her political work. Katti was the daughter of Herman and Mix Anker, was born on Norway’s first Folk High school, Sagatun right outside Hamar in 1868. But her summers was spent with her aunt Dikka Møller on Thorsø Mansion and twenty years old she became the housewife there, when she married her cousin Kai Møller, Dikka and Edvard Møllers son and owner of Thorsø. Then she became the administrator of a big farm with a lot of koll servants and peasants, a role she filled with big competence and skills. She was personally involved in everything that went on at Thorsø and in the surroundings. In her political work she got support from neighborhoods ladies. The big and important lecture “Women’s birth politic” was first held in Thorsnes and in Fredrikstads women’s working movement and multiple political actions she took with support in Thorsnes woman’s council.
So important that Katti Anker Møller has been for the development in health- and social politics in the whole country and her big heart that she shared with all women that was in a prone position, made 3 Fredrikstads women in the middle of 1990 decide that she deserved to be honored with a really fine sculpture. Today’s housewife of Thorsø, Lise Mohr together with Iris Otte Thomsen and Elisabeth Lønnå took the initiative to gather money for this purpose. The well-known sculptor Birthe-Marie Løveid, which is living in Fredrikstad got the task to make the sculptor. Spring 1998 it was sat up in the park, in front of the Main library in Fredrikstad. It was unveiled by the president of the Norwegian parliament Kirsti Kolle and celebrated with a lovely party. The sculptor has been a landmark in Fredrikstad and is often photographed when the town is presented. The 8 of March it is an important meeting point for the women’s movement and for other that wants to honor the memory of Katti Anker Møller.
English translation: Ann-Sissel Holter
PARTS OF THE THORSØ STORY
The first written source about Thorsø is from 1472, the name was then “Tosowe”. The name of the farm might have a connection with “The god Tor`s hoof” where the pagan god Tor was worshiped.
Thorsø as it is today was seen first in 1762.
There are several archaeological findings discovered on Thorsø, which is telling about a very early settlement. There has been discovered some stone axes and two rune stones from 1100. There has also been big importance with Thorsøkilen as a main communication road, and there is a little bay beside the farm called Knarrvika and Knarr was a cargo freighter in the middle ages.
For centuries there were many and frequently changes in the ownership of Thorsø, which was common in these days.
Now we are making a big leap in history of Thorsø. In 1811 Superior war Commissioner Hans Angell Gude bought the farm and within three years he disappeared under very mystic and strange circumstances in his own house. The arrangement around the liberations from Sweden made Count Barck and his eight Hussars stayed in the main house of Thorsø. This was not especially appreciated by the resident family and there were many events and remarks between them and the Swedish, and Gude was persecuted with unfortunate accidents….
The Murder case on Thorsø.
Gude and his wife Karen F. Resch was playing chess together in the evening, when Gude was called to come to the living room. After that moment no one has seen him, but there were several signs that tell, there was the Swedish Count Barck that might be involved with the incident. It was a busy activity on the dock that night and there was a trail of blood in the hallway that was tried to be concealed with ashes and sand. The Count Barck had a very special seal ring with a large and significant blue stone in. This ring was discovered on the dock together with a boat that was moored differently than before, in the morning after. There are rumors that Gude was lowered to the bottom of Thorsøkilen.
The people on the farm were prevented and stopped by the Swedes, when they wished to start seeking for Gude later that evening. They claimed that they would seek for him by themselves and off course they did not find him. There had been heard screaming and the housekeeper was wishing to provide her confess on her death rentals, but she died mysteriously before the Priest/ clergyman arrived and there was also an official man on duty, that had found significant clues in the murder case that died very sudden and mysterios by poisoning.
Life went on.
The widow, Karen Gude remarried in 1818 with Zazharias Møller and this is why the Møller family name occurred in the farms history and today it is his ancestor that owns the farm. The current owner is the 6th generation after him.
Møller was born in Copenhagen and had an education in Theology. He had many years earlier been a teacher in the city of Moss and there he met Karen Rech. He has travelled back to Copenhagen, but returned to Norway in 1812 and worked as a house teacher for the Tank sons on Rød farm in Halden.
When Zacaharias Møller discovered that Karen Gude, only 30 years old was become a widow with 7 children on Thorsø, he proposed to her and took over the main responsibility of Thorsø.
Møller was not interested in farming and hired a very good manager to run the farm. Møller was occupied with spiritual pastimes and he was still very found and connected to Copenhagen, that he visited as often he could. On his journeys to Copenhagen he brought home books and copperplates. He had a very close and good relationship with both Johan Sebastian Welhaven and Andreas Munch. When he becomes a widower as an old man, he moved back to Copenhagen to rejoining his old life and meeting old friends. He died there and was buried in the cemetery of Torsnes.
It was seven children after Karen and Gude, and there were also five children after the marriage between Karen and Møller. No one of them was able to pay off any of his siblings to take over the farm, and now it was time to sell the farm.
The oldest son Edvard was teolog just as his father and worked as an adjunct in Fredrikshald. He married with Dikka Anker from Rød mansion and the couple was very interested with “grundvigianismen” something that was approved by the governments, therefore he never got any parish to work as a priest. His father in law wanted him to take over Thorsø and then Peder Anker bought out all his siblings, Edvard took over the farm with big enthusiasm and eagerness.
Edvard and Dikka got one son. Kai Bisgard Anker Møller, he took over the farm in 1885 and ran the farm for 52 years and he was married with his cousin Cathrine (Catti)Anker. You can read more about them in their own sections about the couple that had a remarkable influence in the community.
The history of Thorsø cannot be told without writing about the Author Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson too.
The many year long friendship between Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson and Edvard & Dikka was started in 1869, when Bjørnson was holding a seminar in Fredrikstad where Edvard & Dikka was present. Their friendship was sincere and warm and Bjørnson visited both Thorsø and Under Lien many times and they also shared many handwritten letters between them. The story Sigurd Jorsalfar was written in 1872, when Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson visited Thorsø.
Now we getting to generations that present owners has met, Kai and Catti got three children, Tove, then the heritage Edvard and the daughter Mix. Edvard had no interest in taking over the farm and his sister Tove took over the farm Thorsø in 1937. She was married with Otto Lous Mohr and them where both doctors and they had 3 children. Their son Kai inheritances the farm in 1954 and he was married with Inger-Johanne Blakstad. Kai Møller Mohr was also educated a Doctor as his parents, but ran the farm him selves and had an occupation as the Military Doctor in Fredrikstad beside his farm. He was also very active in several agriculture organization and was also preses in the Royal cooperation company for NORGE VEL, just as his Grandfather.
Sincerely yours, Lise and Gustav Thorsø Mohr.
The Thorsø history for today.
The present owner of Thorsø today is now sitting and write the short version of Thorsø`s exciting history that will be put out on the internet.
The earlier generations should have known what possibilities and opportunities that we have today. If there are someone that want to read more about the information and history about Thorsø through the years gone by, can off course find this on the net or go to our sources Wladimir Moe; Norske Storgaarder og Sven G Eliassen Herregarder I Østfold for more information.
English translation: Ann-Sissel Holter