IAGenWeb Project

Audubon County


1915 Bios Index


Practical industry, wisely and vigorously, applied, never fails to bring success. It carries a man onward and upward and brings out his individual character and acts as a powerful stimulant to the efforts of others. The greatest results in life are often attained by simple means, and the exercise of the ordinary qualities of common sense and perseverance. The everyday life with its cares, necessities and duties, affords ample opportunity for acquiring experience of the best kind, and its most beaten paths provide a true worker with abundant scope for effort and self-improvement. Wilhelm C. Olsen, one of the well-known farmers of Hamlin township, Audubon county, Iowa, throughout his entire life, has been industrious, frugal and judicious in the management of his agricultural enterprises.

Wilhelm C. Olsen was born on October 6, 1862, in Denmark, the son of Christian J. and Dora (Olsen) Jensen. Christian J. Olsen was a blacksmith in Denmark and followed that occupation all his life. He was the father of five children: Christ, Annena, Anna, Dora and Wilhelm C.

Mr. Olsen lived at home until he reached the age of eighteen years. In June, 1881, he came to the United States, landing at New York harbor. He had an uncle in Shelby county, Iowa, and made the trip with the intention of returning to his native country, but did not do so. He came to Shelby county, Iowa, where his uncle lived at that time, and worked out by the month on the farms in that county for five years. He then rented land for eighteen years, and in 1901 he purchased a farm just north of Exira, where he lived for four years, and then sold it and purchased fifty-three acres in Hamlin township, adjoining the town of Hamlin. Mr. Olsen has greatly improved this farm and has made a remarkable success of his chosen vocation.

On January 9, 1886, Mr. Olsen was married in Shelby county, Iowa, to Mary C. Jacobsen, who was born on January 3, 1869, in Kellogg, Jasper county, Iowa. Mrs. Olsen is a daughter of Andrew and Dora (Kock) Jacobsen, who were natives of Denmark. Mr. and Mrs. Olsen are the parents of four children: Dorothy, born on October 1, 1887, married Jacob Jacobsen, and they have three children, Hans, William and Mae; Ella, born on November 27, 1888, married Fritz Nissen, and they are the parents of four children, Elmer, Regina, Ellanora and Daisy; Ellanora, born on May 3, 1891, married John Petersen; Victor William, born on June 29, 1904, is Hving at home with his parents.

Mrs. Olsen's father, Andrew Jacobsen, drove oxen through to Iowa when he came west and after arriving in this state, used them for farming purposes. He was one of the pioneer farmers of Shelby county, Iowa, and was well known in that county, where he lived for so many years.

Wilhelm C. Olsen is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and also of the Danish Brotherhood, to which order he has been attached for more than twenty years. In politics he is mostly independent, but leans toward the principles of the Democratic party, especially in national affairs. INIr. Olsen is not a politician in any sense of the word, and has never held office, nor has he ever aspired to office, preferring to devote his attention to his home and his family and his farm. The members of the family are identified with the Danish Lutheran church, and are active in the affairs of this denomination, not only in the church, but also in the Sunday school, and are liberal contributors to the support of the church.

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. 484-485.
Site Terms, Conditions & Disclaimer
Home > Top