Biography of Ole Olson
Houston County, MN Biographies

Ole Olson, one of the pioneer settlers of Wilmington township in 1854, was born in Norway, where he grew up and married. In 1853 he and his wife, with their one child, a daughter, Guri, took passage for America on a sailing vessel, and after a long voyage, arrived safely in this country. Their first settlement was made in Illinois, but from that State they came in the following year to Houston county, Minn., taking forty acres of land in Wilmington township. The expense Mr. Olson had incurred for passage money and otherwise had left him without resources, and he was unable to buy even a few simple tools with which to begin the development of his land. By Mr. Sprague, however, who recognized his type of manhood, he was furnished with a grub hoe and an axe on credit, and with these he set to work. His progress, at first slow, was accelerated with the lapse of years, and to his first forty acre tract he added another and still others until he was the owner of five "forties," making a farm of 200 acres. A few years after he arrived in the county he suffered a loss in the death of his wife who had accompanied him from Norway. Some time after that event he married Sigra Engen, who proved a good helpmate to him, often carrying eggs and other produce to market at Dorchester, while he, himself, made long walks with heavy loads on his back. In time he erected good farm buildings and became one of the prosperous citizens of his township. He was a member of the first Norwegian Lutheran congregation organized in the township and also of the committee which erected the first church edifice in Wilmington, and he subsequently held official position in the congregation. His son Ole later served on the building committee of the new church. Mr. Olson's death occurred when he was sixty five years old, his wife dying at sixty eight. Their children were: Ole N., now known as Ole N. O. Hefte, and proprietor of the old homestead; Inger, wife of Nels Bye of Soulby, Minn.; Olaus, now living in Canada; Ingebord, who is married and lives in North Dakota; Nels, now of Tracy, Minn.; and Sarah, who died at the age of eighteen years. Mr. Olson's daughter Gun, the child of his first wife, grew up and married, but is now deceased.

The History of Houston County, Minnesota
Edited by: Franklyn Curtis-Wedge.
H. C. Cooper, Jr. & Co.
Winona, Minn. 1919


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