Among the early Norwegians to settle in Allamakee county is Peter Paulson, who has done much toward promoting the
agricultural growth of his district, still owning a valuable farm of three hundred and five acres on section 32,
Center township, although he has for the past twenty years lived retired. Nearing the age of eighty five, he is
among the patriarchs of the Norwegian race who settled in this part of the state, and is one of those few remaining
pioneers who have done so much towards bringing about the present prosperous conditions. Mr. Paulson was born at
Nordre Land, Norway, on August 19, 1828, and is a son of Paul and Elizabeth (Hanson) Halverson. In 1853 the parents
came to America and made their way to Allamakee county in 1854, where the father passed away in the same year.
The mother attained the extraordinary age of one hundred and three years, ten months and twenty six days.
Peter Paulson came to the United States in 1852, empty in pocket but rich in resources and possessed of industry
and energy to realize on them. He even owed for his passage after coming to America. Making his way inland he worked
for one year on the first railroad running west out of Chicago, at the end of which period he drove a team to Rock
county, Wisconsin, there engaging in lumbering until 1854, when he came to Allamakee county. Denying himself all
pleasures, he had acquired the means to purchase one hundred and twenty acres of wild land in Center township,
and thereon he made his home for twelve years, devoting his labors to breaking the land and putting it under cultivation.
He subsequently came to his present farm, eighty acres of which he had previously acquired. He has since made his
home here and has passed his years in improving the property, adding substantial buildings and bringing his acres
to the highest state of fertility. From time. to time he added to his land, his farm now comprising three hundred
and five acres. For the last twenty years he has turned over the active cultivation of the farm to his sons and
in the evening of life enjoys rest from arduous labor, a rest well merited by reason of many years of close application.
On November 19, 1862, in Allamakee county Mr. Paulson was united in marriage to Miss Sophia Bakkum, a daughter
of Erick Bakkum, of whom a sketch appears elsewhere in this volume, and who was one of the early Center township
farmers. Mrs. Paulson was born in Nordre Land, August io, 1844, and passed away at the age of nearly sixty eight
years, on July 1, 1912. In their family were seven children: Mrs. Peter Hagen, of Paint Creek township; Gustav
and Gilbert, at home; Mrs. Ole Storla, of Paint Creek township; Mrs. Oscar Hesla, deceased; and Pauline and Emma,
Mr. Paulson has been a lifelong member of the Lutheran Synod church, helped to organize the society and assisted
in building their house of worship here, which stands on his land. He has ever borne his share of time and money,
in promoting public welfare and is highly respected and esteemed by all who know him. In his political views he
is a republican, stanchly upholding the candidates of that party. He is influential among his countrymen, among
whom he is a Nestor, and great credit must be given him for directing the steps of many of Norway's sturdy sons
to this part of the state. Nature has been kind to him, for he has never abused her laws. One usually thinks of
old age as a period when mental as well as physical powers weaken, but there is an old age which grows stronger
and brighter mentally and morally as the years go by and gives out its rich store of wisdom and experience for
the benefit of others. Such has been the life of Peter Paulson, who is not only one of the most venerable but also
one of the most honored citizens of Allamakee county, respected wherever known and most of all where best known.
Past and Present of Allamakee County, Iowa
A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievemant
By: Ellery M. Hancock
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Allamakee County, IA
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