Buena Vista County, IA
Nels C. Kjarsgaard1
Denmark has furnished to Buena Vista county a considerable portion of her enterprising successful citizens, who have done much to her upbuilding and development in agricultural lines. To this class belongs Nels C. Kjarsgaard, a resident farmer of Newell township, living on section 23. He is also one of the oldest settlers of the community and has therefore witnessed it development from the time when the county was largely an unimproved prairie. He has five hundred and forty acres of land, all of which is well improved and the fields annually give to him golden harvests as a reward for the care and labor which he is bestowing upon the place. He has almost reach the seventieth milestone on life's journey, his birth having occurred in Denmark near Nibe, April 19, 1839. His parents were Christ and Mary (Winther) Peterson*. His paternal grandfather was a gardener of Denmark and in that country reared a large family and died at an old age. The maternal grandparents were Ole and Christina (Anderson) Winther.
Christ Peterson followed the occupation of farming in Denmark throughout his entire life and there died at the age of seventy-five years, while his wife passed away when seventy-eight years of age. Both were Lutherans in religious faith and were people of genuine worth. The father served his country as a soldier of the regular army. Their family numbered four sons and one daughter: Ole, Peter, Nels C., Paul and Christina, the wife of Christ Jensen.
Nels C. Kjarsgaard was reared as a farmer boy in Denmark and after his marriage came to the United States in 1870. During the first summer succeeding his arrival he followed farming near Cedar Falls and on the expiration of that time period he came to Buena Vista county where he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land in Newell township. Later he sold sixty acres of that to Paul Winther, but has added to his holdings, from time to time by additional purchases until he now has over three hundred acres in Buena Vista county and one hundred and sixty acres in Pocahontas county. His farm property is valuable because of the many improvements he has placed upon it and by reason of the fact that he is untiring in his labors of tilling and cultivating the soil. He has resided in Newell township continuously since 1871 and is therefore one of it oldest settlers.
In 1870 Mr. Kjarsgaard was married to Miss Anna Kathrina Larson**, a daughter of Nels and Anna Patria Larson. Nine children were born of this marriage: Louis, who died at the age of one year; Louis, the second of the name, who is operating his father's farm in Pocahontas county and who married Christina Jensen, who whom he has two children, Katherine Sylvia and Harold Jensen; Anna, Bertha, Ottilia and Henry, all of the home; Albert, who died at the age of eighteen years; Henry, who died when seven and one half years old; and Mary, who died when fourteen years of age. The mother of these children passed away August 13, 1904, when fifty-five years of age. She was a Baptist in religious faith, while Mr. Kjarsgaard is a Lutheran. He served his country as a soldier in the navy and participated in the war of 1864 against Prussia and Austria. Since coming to America he had studied the political questions and issues of the day, and has always given his political support to the republican party, for he believes that it principles best conserve good government. He is most loyal in his attachment to his adopted land, and Buena Vista county numbers him among her progressive citizens. He came to the county when comparatively few settlements had been made within its borders. As the years have gone by, he has lived to witness remarkable changed as the county has become thickly settled by a prosperous and contented class of people, who, carrying on various business interest have promoted the agricultural, commercial and industrial growth of the county and made it one of the leading counties of this great commonwealth.
1Wegerslev, C. H. and Thomas Walpole. Past and Present of Buena Vista County, Iowa. Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1909, p. 437-38.