Buena Vista County, IA
USGenWeb Project

Extracted from:  Wegerslev, C. H. and Thomas Walpole. 
 Past and Present of Buena Vista County, Iowa
Chicago:  S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1909, p. 458-59.

Transcribed by Paul Nagy

Biography of  Nils Anderson

The Swedish element constitutes a large portion of the citizenship of Buena Vista county, and as a class none are more, enterprising and industrious or have more highly improved farms than do these citizens.  To this class belongs Nils Anderson, who owns and operates a well kept farm of one hundred and sixty acres situated on section 9, Nokomis township.  He was born in Helsingborg, Sweden, April 29, 1845, and was there reared and educated.  At the age of twenty-one years he bade adieu to friends and native land and emigrated to America, the year of his arrival to this country being 1866.  From New York he made his way to Chicago and from there continued his journey to St. Charles, Illinois.  He there learned the carpenter's trade, which he followed in that city and in Chicago for a number of years.  It was during his residence in Cook county that he was married, February 21, 1873, the lady of his choice being Miss Annette Fossberg, who was also born in Sweden, March 17. 1847.


A year after his marriage, in 1874, Mr. Anderson made his way to Buena Vista county and purchased eighty acres of land, although he did not locate thereon until three years later, but during those years followed the carpenter's trade in Alta.  He built the schoolhouse in Alta and also erected many residences and other buildings in this section of the county.  He eventually took up the work of improving his land, built a good country home, a barn and other outbuildings, set out fruit and shade trees, tiled and fenced the land and in due course of time had added many improvements.   He then located on his tract and has been engaged in cultivating the soil to the present time, although, until 1893, in addition to farming, he also followed his trade of carpentering to some extent.  As time passed and he prospered in his undertakings he added forty acres to his original purchase and later forty more acres, so that his home place now embraces one hundred and sixty acres.  He also owns eighty acres in Brooke township and one hundred and sixty acres in Murray county, Minnesota.  In addition to general farming he also raises stock, feeding from one to two carloads of shorthorn cattle each year, and he also raises Poland China hogs, this branch of his business proving very profitable.


The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Anderson has been blessed with five children, two sons and three daughters, as follows:  Alfred, who operates his father's farm in Minnesota; Amanda, the wife of M. C. Vold, a merchant of Jeffers, Minnesota; Oscar, who is on the home farm; and Helen and Amelia, who are with their parents.


Mr. Anderson cast his first presidential vote for General Grant and since that time has supported every republican candidate.  From 1877 until 1885 he served as township trustee and from the latter year until 1906 was clerk of the township.  At the present time he is treasurer of the school board and has been for seventeen years.  He has also served as a delegate to county conventions.  Aside from his private and public interests he has also found time for the promotion of industrial interests and is a stockholder "in the First National Bank, the Farmers Elevator and in the creamery at Alta, and he is also a stockholder in the Fair Association.  He is a charter member of the Odd Fellows lodge at Alta, having joined the order in 1872 and he has also filled a number of its chairs.  He is likewise identified with the Ancient Order of United Workmen.  His record in public service is one of unremitting and tireless toil, performed in the interest of the people.  He is a self-made man, starting out in life a poor boy and working his way up to his present high standing in the business world and in the hearts of his neighbors by adhering strictly to honest and honorable methods.