Reynold Helsing is one of the pioneer farmers of Saunders county and is now living retired. Sweden has furnished
many substantial and enterprising citizens of Nebraska, men who have contributed to the development and upbuilding
of the state. Among this number is Mr. Helsing, who was born at Falun Lan, Sweden, on the 14th of February, 1848.
There he was reared and learned the blacksmith's trade and on the 25th of November, 1868, he arrived in Omaha,
Nebraska, where he spent the winter, working at any honest employment that he could secure. He was ambitious, however,
to own property and engage in business for himself and therefore took a homestead on section 32, Center precinct,
Saunders county. His original home was a little dugout eight by twelve feet, the door and window frames being of
]umber. He worked on the Union Pacific Railway between Omaha and Lincoln for a time, spending about three years
in that way, after which his parents came to the new world Sand erected a little house on land belonging to Reynold
Helsing. The son then boarded with his parents for seven years, at the end of which time he married and built a
home for himself and bride. He afterward devoted his entire attention to farming and greatly improved his property,
bringing his fields to a high state of cultivation, so that he annually harvested good crops. He afterward added
to his original holdings by the purchase of eighty acres of railroad land, for which he paid ten dollars per acre.
Still later he bought one hundred and twenty acres on section 36, Mariposa precinct, and concentrated hips energies
upon the development of this tract, for which he had paid thirty seven dollars and a half per acre. His labors
wrought a marked transformation in the appearance of his land, to which he added various improvements. He carried
on general farming and stock raising, both branches of his business constituting sources of substantial profit,
but in 1908 he turned his farm over to the care and management of his sons and removed to Wahoo, where he has since
lived retired. After he had been in Saunders county for a year he was joined by his brothers, John and Abraham,
both of whom homesteaded in Center precinct. It was three years later when their parents came, spending their remaining
days in Saunders county, where the father passed away at the age of eighty years, while the mother was more than
ninety one years of age at the time of her demise.
On the 4th of March, 1878, Mr. Helsing was united in marriage to Miss Carolina Samuelson, a native of Sweden, who
came to the United States in 1872. They have a family of twelve children: Carl V., who follows farming in Montana;
John T., who lives upon the old homestead; Alex a, who is manager of a culvert factory at Des Moines, Iowa; Jacob
L., who is manager of a culvert factory in Lincoln, Nebraska; Benhard, who is traveling salesman for the culvert
factory at Lincoln; Annie, the wife of John Peterson, of Grand Island, Nebraska; Alfreda, the wife of Harvey Woods,
of Amelia, Holt county, Nebraska; Hilda, at home; Ida and Eva, who are teachers in Holt county; Alma a teacher
in the home district in Saunders county; and Victoria, who is teaching in Fillmore county, Nebraska.
Mr. Helping has ever been a stalwart republican since becoming a naturalized American citizen and keeps well informed
on the questions and issues of the day but does not seek nor desire office. He and his family are members of the
Swedish Evangelical Lutheran church and their religious faith finds expression in their daily lives. Mr. Helsing
has lived to witness many notable changes in the county, where he has now resided for forty six years. At the time
of his arrival this district was upon the western frontier with only here and there a little settlement to show
that the work of civilization and progress had been begun. Over the prairies and the bills was spread verdure of
nature's planting, but the wild prairie grasses were soon replaced by the waving grain as the work of developing
and cultivating the fields was carried forward by the enterprising farmers who established their homes within its
borders. The conditions of pioneer life had begun to give way before an advancing civilization and Saunders county
is now a prosperous and populous section of the state. It has many splendidly improved farms with fine farmhouses
and other substantial buildings, while its towns teem with every phase of commercial life. Mr. Helsing can relate
various interesting incidents of the early days and he rejoices to see what has been accomplished as the years
have gone on.
Past and Present Saunders County, Nebraska
A Record of Settlement, Organization,
Progress and Achievement
Charles Perky Supervising Editor
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Saunders County, NE
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