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Grass family to return to their roots July 17

At 11 a.m. Saturday, July 17, many descendants of Dr. Jens (James) Grass and his wife Carrie, will be gathering at the Associated Church, Havana Road, Owatonna, to celebrate their ancestors. A short program is planned for 1 p.m.

Relatives from across the United States will be “Returning to their Grass Roots,” where the family settled to begin their new life in America.

Jens and Carrie Grass, along with 10 of their 12 children, departed Vemmenaes, Denmark, via Copenhagen, on the ship Thingvalla in April of 1888, arriving at Castle Garden, Manhattan, N.Y., with their final destination being Owatonna. The two older children had arrived in America in 1887 and settled in Owatonna.

In November of 1888, Jens purchased a farm site and a portion of land located on Owatonna Old East Prairie Road which is located east of Forest Hill Cemetery on Mineral Springs Road.

In those early years, Jens became a well-known veterinary surgeon, traveling by horse and buggy to all four comers of Steele County.

The 12 children of Dr. J. J. and Carrie Grass are: Christen (Chris); Karen (Carrie); Jens (James); Ane (Anna); Jacob (Jake); Hans (John); Niels (Nels); Karoline (Lena) Christian; Carl; Jensena (Sena) and Lillian (Lily).

Dr. J. J. and Carrie Grass, along with six of their children and several grandchildren, are buried in Forest Hill Cemetery in Owatonna.

This is the first Grass reunion since the family homesteaded in Owatonna 122 years ago.

If you are a direct descendant of Jens and Carrie Grass, you are welcome to join the many cousins at the reunion to reconnect and reminisce. Organizers ask that those attending bring a salad or dessert to complement the grilled burgers and buns that will be provided.