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. 295-96.

Transcribed by Paul Nagy

Biography of  P. A. Jacobson

P. A. Jacobson, engaged in the manufacture of wagons at Sioux Rapids, was born in Norway, April 20, 1836.  He has therefore passed the seventy-seventh milestone on the journey of life and though well advanced in years is still an active factor in the world's work.  His parents were Jacob and Johannah (Peterson) Jacobson, who spent their entire life in the land of the midnight sun.


P. A. Jacobson was reared and educated in his native country, remaining a resident of Norway until he attained the age of thirty years, coming to America in 1866.  He first located at Stoughton, Wisconsin, where he remained for four years and then came to Sioux Rapids.  Buena Vista county was still a prairie district.  The work of improvement had scarcely been begun here and much of the land was still unclaimed and uncultivated.  The district, however, was becoming settled by an industrious and enterprising class of people and Mr. Jacobson cast in his lot with the early settlers, opening a wagonmaking [sic] and blacksmithing shop at Sioux Rapids.  He had learned the trade in his native country and throughout his entire life he has confined his attention to this line of business.  His youth was a period of earnest toil, for in addition to blacksmithing and wagonmaking he spent some time working on the farm, and during the winter months he devoted much time to fishing on the ocean coast.  The habit of industry which he thus formed characterized his work after he came to the new world and he has always led a busy, useful life.  Now in his declining years he finds more contentment in working in the shop and looking after the business than he could secure in retirement from labor.  In fact, he could never be content without some business interest to occupy his time and attention.  He has a well equipped shop, supplied with the latest tools, machinery and modern appliances for carrying on his work.  A few years ago he was persuaded to give up his business and take life easy, but he found that doing nothing was to him harder work than the labors to which he was accustomed, and after a short time he became discontented, but when once more in his shop, working with his tools, he felt that he was not wasting his time and contentment returned. In addition to his industrial interests he owns one-half section of land in Dakota and has residence and other property in the town.


In 1858 Mr. Jacobson was married to Miss Johannah Jacobson and they have become the parents of two sons, Andrew and John.  The former married Julia Olson and lives in South Dakota, while John wedded Lena Jensen and also lives in South Dakota.  There are two children to this marriage, Guy and Laura.  The brothers are now engaged in merchandising, having a well equipped store.  The family are all members of the Lutheran church and in this community have the warm regard and unqualified friendship of those with whom they have come in contact.


Mr. Jacobson has always voted with the republican party since he became a naturalized American citizen and his son John was elected on that ticket to the office of county clerk of Buena Vista county, which position he acceptably filled for eight years.  Mr. Jacobson has never had occasion to regret his determination to seek a home in the new world for he has here found the opportunities he sought, and by his energy and determination has steadily worked his way upward, being now in possession of a good property and business which supplies him with all of the comforts and some of the luxuries of life.