Biography of Jacob Rasmussen
Humboldt County, CA Biographies





JACOB RASMUSSEN. - Closely associated with the farming community of Humboldt county there will be found a generous sprinkling of Danes and others from the northern district of Europe. Mr. Rasmussen is a native of Denmark, having been born near the village of Rudkiobing, on the island of Langeland, December 6, 1845. He is the son of Rasmus Christensen, also a native df Denmark and a man who devoted practically his whole life to farming, owning a small farm in Denmark and on the homeplace he died in 1854. Jacob Rasmussen received his earlier education in the schools of the old country, but wishing to better his condition he decided to come to America and landed in New York in 1868, being absolutely without a friend or relative in the new country. He did not remain long in New York, however, but moved to Iowa, where, in Woodbury county, he found employment in a pottery, remaining there for twenty months.

Coming to California in 1870, Mr. Rasmussen located in Mann county, where he obtained employment on dairy farms. Hearing of the great opportunities for a young energetic man in Humboldt county he took a trip to look over the field, but in the fall of 1873 he returned to Mann county, where on October 7 of that year he was married to Christine Nissen, a native of Tondern, Slesvig, Germany. She had come to California in 1871. After his marriage Mr. Rasmussen once more came to Humboldt county locating on Bear river ridge, and here he formed a partnership with his brothers in law, N. C. and E. P. Nissen, for the purpose of renting the Mountain Glenn ranch of six hundred acres of improved land. Here they engaged in dairying with one hundred fifty cows, making their own butter, which they shipped direct to the San Francisco markets, hauling it about sixteen miles to Hoolcton on South bay and shipping by water from there. The lease of the ranch expiring in two years, Mr. Rasmussen purchased what is now his home place of one hundred thirty seven acres three miles west of Ferndale, later purchasing eighty acres additional adjoining the original property. At the time of purchase only fifteen acres of the ranch were improved, the rest being covered with a thick growth of brush and timber. At first he engaged in dairying on a small scale, but as he cleared and improved the land, he enlarged his business. He was the first man to engage in dairying in the Eel river valley, successfully following the business for a number of years, but during the last few years he has lived retired from all active affairs to enjoy the rest he has so justly earned. He was interested for a time in the Chapin, Peterson & Rasmussen Company, engaged in general merchandising in the Odd Fellows building in Ferndale, but because of carrying too many accounts which proved to be worthless it was not a success and he sold out and dissolved partnership. He was also a stockholder in the Ferndale electric light plant, but he later sold his interest to Mr. Barnes. At the present time he is a stockholder in the Bank of Ferndale and has been a director in the bank since its organization. His son, Frank N., is cashier of this bank. Mr. Rasmussen was one of the organizers of the Humboldt County Fire Insurance Association, of which he has been treasurer from its inception. The company was started about twenty years ago and has grown steadily, and now has over one million dollars of insured buildings among the farmers of Humboldt county at a very nominal rate of insurance, thus creating a great saving for the people of the county. Mr. Rasmussen was made a Mason in Ferndale Lodge No. 193, F. & A. M., in 1875, is a member of Ferndale Chapter No. 78, R. A. M., of Ferndale Lodge No. 220, I. O. O. F., and with his wife is a member of the Eastern Star and the Rebekahs. Mr. and Mrs. Rasmussen have four children: Frank M.; Jennie, Mrs. L. C. Erickson, of Centerville; Roland T., a draughtsman in Oakland; and Dora J., who resides at home. Mr. Rasmussen is one of the most prominent men in the section and is a thrifty, industrious farmer, one who is surrounded by a large circle of admiring friends. He has always taken an active part in all matters pertaining to the upbuilding and uplifting of the community.

From:
History of Humboldt County, California
With a Biographical Sketches
History by Leigh H. Irving
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1915


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