83 Georgia Pedersen (née la Cour)

Georgia was a daughter of Peter Christian la Cour (no. 53) and Caroline Jacobine la Cour, born on 26 December 1844. She spent one and a half years at Kastberg, a farming estate near Grenaa owned by Jens Lindberg, a son of Jacob Christian Lindberg, to train as a housekeeper. Georgia studied at the girls’ folk high school* in Askov in 1866 and taught at the girls’ folk high school in Rødding from 1871 to 1874.

She married Knud Hansen Pedersen on 6 November 1874. Born on 21 September 1842 on Brødstrupgaard farm, Knud was a son of a farmer named Christian Peter Andersen Åkjær and Bodil Marie Knudsdatter. In 1863 he studied at the Tønder teachers’ college, which after the First Schleswig War had been converted into a Danish teachers’ training college until it was closed by the Prussians. In 1865 he studied at the Blågård teachers’ training college and graduated in 1866. Knud was hired as a teacher in Tiset, a German town in Gram parish, but was deported in 1867 when he would not swear an oath to serve the Prussian king. From 1867 to 1871, he worked as a teacher at various locations, and also as a private tutor at Peter Müller’s farming estate in Hjerting from 1871 to 1874.

Knud and Georgia founded a private independent school in Skibelund in 1874, the Skibelund Efterskole continuation school, to protest the German authorities’ restrictions on Danish education in North Schleswig. In 1885 the school was converted into a coed continuation school for pupils aged 14 to 17, since the Prussian citizens of North Schleswig were not allowed to send their children to school north of the Danish-German border, and Knud had the school buildings expanded considerably in 1897. He also took a woodworking course in Copenhagen in 1888-89, and served as a board member for the local democratic society. As journalist J. Appel wrote in the Kolding Folkeblad newspaper in 1915: “Since [1874], both of them – in light and dark times, in faithful solidarity and with an alert and warm love for their vocation – have worked in Skibelund and have been a great blessing to many children and young people from Southern Jutland and from the realm who were taught by them and lived in their home.”

Georgia and Knud’s life at their continuation school in Skibelund is described in the 1946 book Skolehjemmet i Skibelund
(“The School Home in Skibelund”) by Kristian la Cour Pedersen, which can be found in the la Cour family archive. Georgia published her own book in 1941: Skibelund og dets Mindesmærker (“Skibelund and its Monuments”), which is also in the la Cour family archives. Knud died on 19 April 1922 and Georgia on 9 July 1930. (Five children: the Skibelund Line.)