It is the progressive, wide awake man of affairs who makes the real history of a community. His influence as a
potential factor in the body politic is difficult to estimate. The example such men furnish of patient purpose
and steadfast integrity strongly illustrate what is in the power of each to accomplish. There is always a full
measure of satisfaction in adverting even in a casual way to their achievements in advancing the interests of their
fellow men and in giving strength and solidity to the institutions which make so much for the prosperity of the
community. Such a man is Evans Marquesen, a well known merchant of Audubon, this county. As such it is proper that
a review of his career be accorded a place among these biographical sketches of many other representative citizens
of the city and county where he has lived for so many years.
Evans Marquesen was born on September 3, 1884, in Audubon, Iowa, the son of Hans and Laura (Peterson) Marquesen,
the former of whom was born in Denmark on November 12, 1855, the son of Jens Marquesen, born on November 12, 1830.
Jens Marquesen came to America in 1862 and located in Washington Island, Wisconsin, where he engaged in farming.
He came to Audubon county in 1876 and located in Sharon township, where he lived for years, but now resides in
Elkhorn. Jens Marquesen and wife had three children, Hans, Mrs. Julia Gray, of St. Louis, and Laura, the wife of
Jacob Esbeck, of Elkhorn. Hans Marquesen was employed in Gleason's store in Audubon for one year and then engaged
in the lumber business for nine years, subsequently moving to Kimballton, where he engaged in the general mercantile
business for twelve years. After a short time spent in Exira he then moved to a farm east of Exira, in Audubon
township, and lived there for five years, after which, for four years, he engaged in the general mercantile business
in Exira. In 1908 he removed to Elkhorn and engaged in the general mercantile business. To Hans and Laura (Peterson)
Marquesen were born three sons and eight daughters, namely: Evans, the subject of this sketch; Edmond, a merchant
at Avoca; Storm, who lives with his father; Pearl, who also is at home; Olga, who married Thomas Olsen, and lives
on a farm in Hamlin township; Myrtle, who married James Heinick, of Hamlin township; Gudrun, who married Harry
Larson, near Elkhorn, and Hansie, Frances, Katherine and Gladys, who are at home.
Evans Marquesen was educated in the Audubon public schools and at Exira. He engaged with his father in the general
mercantile business and was with him for four years. After his marriage, in 1906, he moved to a farm near Brayton,
owned by his father in law, and for five years operated this farm. In 1914 Mr. Marquesen moved to Audubon, where
he engaged in the mercantile business, in partnership with M. J. Frabicuis, and on the first of October, that year,
purchased the entire business and now has the largest storeroom in the. city, eighty four by sixty feet and containing
two floors, lighted by the company's own gas plant. Mr. Marquesen carries a general stock of merchandise and the
stock is arranged under the departmental plan. Mr. Marquesen employs nine assistants, six women and three men,
and carries a thirty five thousand dollar stock.
On January 1, 1906, Evans Marquesen was married to Christine Nelson, daughter of L. P. Nelson, of Oakfield township.
L. P. Nelson is a native of Denmark, who came to America in 1869, and lived in Minnesota until 1877, in which year
he came to Audubon county. Not long ago Mr. Nelson distributed ten farms among his ten children, this distribution
being made at a Thanksgiving Day family reunion at his farm home near Lorah. The ten children made their own selection
of the farms, at the suggestion of their father, each one selecting the place which he or she thought more nearly
met with his or her ideal of a farm. The distribution was happily made. The ten children had planned an elaborate
surprise for their father, which took the form of a reception to his daughter, Mrs. Harry Traum, and husband, but
recently married. Mr. Nelson, upon coming to this country, first settled in La Crosse, Wisconsin. He came to Iowa
by the first passenger train that came over the Rock Island railroad from Des Moines to Atlantic. Mr. Nelson settled
eight miles north of Atlantic, where the surrounding country was all open prairie, with but one or two houses between
his home and Atlantic, and by enduring all the discomforts of the early pioneer, by unceasing industry and by the
highest integrity and the exercise of shrewd business judgment, accumulated one of the largest estates in this
part of the state. Mr. Nelson's children are as follow: Gilbert P. Nelson, of Exira; John C. and Edward M. Nelson,
of Brayton; A. A. Nelson and Mrs. Harry Traum, living north of Atlantic; J. A. Nelson, south of Atlantic; Mrs.
Evans Marquesen; and the Misses Rose and Martha Nelson, all of Audubon, and L. A. Nelson, Jr., of Atlantic.
To Evans and Christine (Nelson) Marquesen four children have been born, namely: LaRue, born on November is, 1907;
LaVonne, November 4, 1910; Thelma, June 22, 1912, and Dale, September 13, 1913.
Although a comparatively young man, Mr. Marquesen has made a splendid start in life. He has attended strictly to
his own business and has never found time for activity in politics, although he is identified with the Democratic
party. He and his wife are members of the Presbyterian church and are earnestly interested in all good works hereabout,
being held in the highest esteem by all who know them.
History of Audubon County, Iowa
Its People, Industries and Instutions
H. F. Andrews, Editor
B. F. Bowen & Company, Inc.
Indianapolis - 1915
Also see [ Railway Officials in America 1906
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