IAGenWeb Project

Audubon County


1915 Bios Index


Again are we interested in the courage and ambition which were pronounced enough to attract a youth of twenty-two from the fields of his native home across the ocean to the rich, productive soil of Iowa. And he became one of those sturdy pioneers whose lives, by their examples of industry and thrift, have become an inspiration not only to their own children, but to the neighborhood as well. The land-owning instinct seemed to show itself very early in the career of this young man, for he had not been in this country very long until he had acquired a title to what was the beginning of his fortune. Henrick Peter Paulsen, a retired farmer of Audubon, Iowa, is a native of Svendborg, on the island of Funen, Denmark. His parents were Peter and Carrie Paulsen, the father born in Holstein, and the mother in Svendorg. The former was a manufacturer of brick, owning his own brick yard. He died in Svendborg in 1884, his wife surviving until 1911. Peter and Carrie Paulsen were active in the membership of the Lutheran church and their three children, Jens, now a painter in San Francisco, California; Henrick Peter, the subject of this sketch, and Anders, a farmer in Denmark, were reared in that faith.

More fortunate than some of his neighbors, Henrick Paulsen was able to attend both the common schools and the high school of Denmark, subsequently working for his father until he set sail for America. Upon arriving here he first settled at West Point, New York, where he lived for six months, at the end of which time he came West, locating in Jackson township, Shelby countv, Iowa, where he purchased eighty acres of land, eighteen of which he improved. Selling this, he bought land in Sharon township, where he prospered, gradually buying more land until his holdings now amount to two hundred and sixty-nine acres of valuable land, upon which he has placed between seven and eight thousand dollars' worth of improvements. In 1914 Mr. Paulsen retired from the farm and took up his residence in Audubon, where he is now living.

Mr. Paulsen, who is considered one of the best farmers of this county, has given much attention to the breeding of Shorthorn cattle, having shipped a great many. He has also dealt largely in hogs and draft horses, as well as having been a breeder of Percheron horses, in which he has been interested for several vears. He is the owner of a verv fine stallion, "Keif," born in June, 1909.

On March 1, 1890, Henrick P. Paulsen was united in marriage to Sena Hansen, of Denmark, daughter of Hans and Mary Hansen, who were the parents of the following children: Carl, who lives in Denmark; Johanna, also a resident of her native country; Carrie, who died in Shelby county, Iowa, and Sena, who married Mr. Paulsen.

To Henrick P. and Sena (Hansen) Paulsen four children have been born, namely: Carrie, who lives at home; Peter, who has become a good farmer like his father, married Alma Jensen, and lives on the old homestead in Sharon township; Maggie and Henry, who live with their parents in Audubon.

While Mr. Paulsen has lived a busy, industrious life, he has not mingled much in civic nor political affairs, and has never sought office. In spite of this fact, however, he has been a school director in Sharon township. In national elections, he votes the Democratic ticket, but in local elections he chooses rather to vote for the man of his preference, regardless of party. Both he and his wife attend the Lutheran church, where their influence for good is strongly felt, and they have many friends in this county.

The success attained by this family is rather remarkable when one considers that it is the result of their own unaided efforts. No legacy of wealth nor land was his when Henrick Peter Paulsen, strong in the hope of youth, and enthusiastic with the courage of inexperience, left home and parents to see what the New World had in store for him. His wealth was then only potential, but he believed it possible for it to become actual, and the after years have proved that he was right. He has shown that he was a good manager, and it is but proper that he should be accorded a place among the prosperous and prominent men of this 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. 601-602.
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