Buena Vista County, IA
IAGenWeb 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. 434-37.

Transcribed by Paul Nagy

Biography of  Peter O. Olson

Peter O. Olson is one of the worthy citizens that Norway has furnished to Buena Vista county.  He is now numbered among the substantial farmers of this section of Iowa, owning two hundred and forty acres of land in Lee township.  As above stated Mr. Olson was born in Norway, the date of his birth being April 24, 1859.  His parents, Ole and Martha Olson, spent their entire lives in the land of the midnight sun and lived to old age, the father passing away at the age of ninety years, while the mother died at the age of eighty years.


When twenty-one years of age, Peter O, Olson, foreseeing that there was no future for him in his native country and having heard and read a great deal about the freedom and the opportunity for advancement in this country, decided to leave home.  It was in 1880 that he emigrated to the new world and upon reaching New York made his way at once to Benton county, Iowa, where he resided for six or seven years, subsequent to which time he continued his journey to Buena Vista county and located on his present farm in Lee township.  At first he rented land but as the years passed and he accumulated a competence, he invested in farm property and today owns two hundred and forty acres, situated four miles from Sioux Rapids.  He carries on general farming and stock-raising and is meeting with good success in his labors.


Mr. Olson was married in 1884 to Miss Mary Ann Ludvigson, a daughter of Johannes and Bertha Ludvigson, who emigrated to America in 1860, when their daughter was about a year old.  Her father died in Benton county, Iowa, in 1881, and there her mother is still living.  The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Olson has been blessed with seven children:  Orvie J., who assists his father on the home farm, was married in Minneapolis, Minnesota, December 10, 1908, to Miss Jenette Helena Larson, of Barnes township, this county.  The other members of the family are Chrest E., Elma Maria, Nora McCanna Hazel, Benia Louise, Mamie Pernelle and Ella Ruth.


Mr. Olson gives his political support to the republican party and he has been called upon to fill township offices.  His religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Lutheran church.  Coming to the new world a young man, without means and without friends, ignorant of the manners and customs of American people, he deserves great credit for what he has accomplished in a business way.  All that he today possesses has been acquired through his energy, economy and well directed efforts, so that even the most envious cannot grudge him his success.