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. 654-55.

Transcribed by Paul Nagy

Biography of  Thomas Erickson

Thomas Erickson, a well known and valued representative of the Norwegian element in the citizenship of northwestern Iowa, was born in Skjold, Norway, February 6, I839.  He came to Iowa in 1858 and has always followed the occupation of farming.  His education was very limited, as he had little opportunity to attend school in his native country.  He was a young man of nineteen years when he bade adieu to friends and family and sailed for the United Sates, becoming a resident of Mahaska county, Iowa.  He located there at an early period in the development of that part of the state, when the west was largely an unbroken wilderness.  At that time it was necessary to travel forty miles to Ottumwa for groceries or supplies of any kind.  He passed through all the experiences of pioneer life in that new and undeveloped country.  Landing in the new world without any means, he worked at farm labor for a time, assisted in clearing the forests and in cultivating new fields and finally, as the result of his own industry and savings, he became a landowner and began farming on his own account.  His life has been characterized by unfaltering industry and by reason of his perseverance, diligence and capable management of his business affairs he has accumulated a comfortable competence.


It was in 1865, in New Sharon, Iowa, that Mr. Erickson was united in marriage to Miss Abbie Johnson, who was born in Ohio, February l3, 1838, and came to Iowa in 1861.  They established their home a half mile east of the town and are still living on the farm on which they started out in life together.  Mr. Erickson now owns eighty acres of valuable farming land near New Sharon, whereon he is now passing his declining years and enjoying in a comfortable home the benefits that resulted from his former hardship and toil.


Unto Mr. and Mrs. Erickson have been born the following named sons and daughters:  Linda J., born February 15, 1866; Silas, December 9, 1867; Rebecca, August 25, 1869; Enoch, April 26, 1872; Elsie M., December 24, 1873; Thomas, who was born February 16, 1877, and died on the 3d of June of the same year; Mary, born October 9, 1878; Daniel T., born October 10, 1880; and Joseph P., who was born May 5, 1883, and died February 8. 1884.


Thomas Erickson was reared in the faith of the Lutheran church but after coming to Iowa he joined the Friends church, of which his wife was a member.  Her parents, Jonathan and Joanna Johnson, were members and therefore she became a birthright Friend.  Both Mr. and Mrs. Erickson have lived earnest Christian lives which have won for them the respect and good will of all who know them.  They have now long traveled life's journey together, their married life covering forty-four years and they have reared a family who are a credit to their name and in every relation of life they have been found loyal to honorable principles.