John Halvorsen & his ditching machine, 1920s-1940s


Dublin Core


John H. Halvorsen walks beside his ditching machine. He used this machine to put in water and sewer lines both in Manville and University Heights in Iowa City; pieces of pipe can be seen on the ground near him.

John H. Halvorsen was born in Halden, Norway to August and Marie Josephine (Anderson) Halvorsen on June 15, 1884. He came to America as a teenager, first living in Chicago, Illinois before moving to Iowa. On June 3rd of 1922, he married Maude Allamand of Mississippi. They had three children: William "Bill" (b. 1922), Robert "Bud" (b. 1924), and Alta (b. 1931).

John became an American citizen in 1932. Beyond operating the ditching machine, he worked as a fireman for the Iowa-Illinois Gas and Electric Company before retiring in 1949. He and his wife were very involved in the Coralvile community: they were one of the first families to begin the Coralville Bible Church (eventually called the Evangelical Free Church). John was also elected to the Coralville School Board in 1933, and served for 21 years. He died on July 1, 1972 (Lovetinsky et al., p. 105).


Coralville Public Library. Coralville Digital History Library.


1920s - 1940s


Educational use only, no other permissions given.




Johnson County, Iowa


“John Halvorsen & his ditching machine, 1920s-1940s,” Coralville Digital History Library, accessed July 25, 2024,

Output Formats


Allowed tags: <p>, <a>, <em>, <strong>, <ul>, <ol>, <li>