IAGenWeb Project

Audubon County


1915 Bios Index


Located on the most prominent corner of the town of Kimballton, Iowa, will be found the hardware and implement establishment owned by Hans P. Bonnesen, and over which he has presided since the spring of 1913. The business is a consolidation of the hardware store formerly owned by George J. Nelsen and the pump and windmill stock formerly owned by Nelsen & Nelsen. The consolidated business is housed in a handsome brick structure, twenty-five by eighty feet, with a basement under the entire building, and is filled to capacity with hardware and implements, such as carpenters' and builders' supplies, stoves, ranges, furnaces, cutlery, firearms, tinware, glass, buggies, wagons, washing machines, twine, pumps, windmills, motor trucks, cream separators, oil and gas engines, oil tractors, manure spreaders, ensilage cutters, hay, grain and corn machines. The stock is conveniently shelved and neatly arranged. The proprietor of this business employs two men, Wilhelm Larsen and Conrad Nielsen, who are kept busy attending to the wants of the increasing trade. Mr. Bonnesen makes a specialty of the pump business, and one of his employes [sic employees] devotes his entire time to this business. The subject of this sketch is one of the best advertisers of Kimballton, and his advertisements always appear in a readable form. Nothing is promised in advertising that is not carried out to the letter and this is one of the chief causes of his large and growing trade.

Hans P. Bonnesen was born on April 17, 1870, at Slagelse, on the Island of Zealand, Denmark, son of Lars Bonnesen and Christina Sorensen, both born on the above mentioned island. The father is a farmer and carpenter and he and his wife are still living in their naitve [sic native] land. They were the parents of eight children, as follow: Mary lives in Denmark; Hans P., the subject of this sketch; Christina lives in Denmark; Catherine lives in Racine, Wisconsin; Margaret lives in San Francisco, California; Fred, a farmer in Sharon township, Andnbon county; Otto lives at Fresno, California, and Carl lives in Denmark.

Mr. Bennesen [sic Bonnesen] attended the schools in his native land, and at the age of twelve began to make his own way in the world. After working for some time on the railroads in his native country, he came to America in 1892, at the age of twenty-two, and located in Cass county, Iowa, south of Elkhorn. While engaged in farming here he attended the Danish school at Elkhorn, and later became a teacher in Sharon township. Audubon county, continuing for two years.

After farming in Sharon township for four years, Mr. Bonnesen lived in Carroll county, Iowa, for two years, and then came back to Audubon county, living in Douglas township for six years. Renting his farm to a tenant he took a trip to his old home in Denmark during the summer of 1910, and upon his return bought a small farm in Sharon township, and lived on that farm for three years, until the spring of 1913, when he engaged in business at Kimballton. He has served as president of the Sharon Creamery Company, and also as president of the Kimballton Creamery Company for a time. While engaged in farming he was an extensive breeder of Shorthorn cattle. He now owns two hundred acres of land in Douglas township, and also property in Kimballton.

On March 2, 1898, Hans P. Bonnesen was married to Signa Christensen, who was born in Sharon township, Audubon county, Iowa, the daughter of Peter Christiansen. To Mr. and Mrs. Hans P. Bonnesen have been born four children, namely: Esther, who is a student in the Audubon high school; Elmer, Inez and Evelyn.

Always a stanch [sic staunch] Republican in politics, Mr. Bonnesen is at present a member of the Kimballton school board, and formerly served as a justice of the peace. He and his family are members of the Danish Lutheran church, and take an active part in the affairs of this congregation. Hans P. Bonnesen must be regarded as a self-made man and is well known and well liked in this section of Audubon county.

Transcribed from History of Audubon County, Iowa Its People, Industries and Institutions With Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens and Genealogical Records of Many of the Old Families, by H. F. Andrews, editor, Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen & Company, 1915, pp. 653-654.