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. 613-14.

Transcribed by Mary Alice Schwanke and Cyndi Vertrees

Biography of  William Hans Olson

William Hans Olson carries on general agricultural pursuits on a well improved tract situated in Grant township, Buena Vista county. He was born in Buchanan county, Iowa, December 31, 181, a son of Rev. Fred and Hannah (Jacobson) Olson, both of who, were natives of Denmark. The father was a soldier in the Danish army and also served two years in the German army, during which time he received a gunshot wound in the head. He accompanied a party of emigrants to America, believing that he might better provide for his family in the new world. Finding employment here, he returned to the old country for his family and upon once more reaching American shores made a permanent location in Blackhawk county, Iowa. For a time he followed the carpenter's trade and also engaged in farming. In 1902 he came to Buena Vista county and purchased on one hundred and twenty acres of land, which he later sold and invested his money in one hundred and sixty acres in Grant township. The father spent his later years as a traveling missionary for the Baptist church and his work in this connection was of far-reaching benefit and influence. Crowned with honors and years, he was called to his final rest January 14, 1908, when he had reached the age of seventy years. His widow still survives and makes her home on the farm in Grant township. The family of Rev. and Mrs. Fred Olson numbers six children, as follows: Lena, the wife of Andrew Jensen; Minnie, the wife of Valentine Nelson; May, the wife of Charles Hansen; Charley F., who is mentioned elsewhere in this volume; William H., of this review; and Walter, who follows farming in Grant township.

William H. Olson pursued his studies for four years in the schools of Cedar Falls, Iowa, and after the removal of the family to Buena Vista county he continued his studies in the schools of this section. After completing his studies he gave his father the benefit of his services on the home farm until he reached the age of twenty-one years, when he started out to face the responsibilities of life on his own account. He first went to Council Bluffs and for a time was employed in an implement house there. Not finding city life congenial, however, Mr. Olson then resumed farming pursuits in Grant township and has since been thus engaged, his labors resulting in a gratifying measure of success. In addition to general farming he raises stock to some extent, keeping a high grade of shorthorn cattle.

Mr. Olson established a home of his own by his marriage on the 31st of December, 1901, the lady of his choice being Miss Carrie Nelson. She was born in De Kalb county, Illinois, July 11, 1882, and was married at Storm Lake, Iowa. Her parents now make their home in Coon township. The home of Mr. and Mrs. Olson has been blessed with a little daughter, Helen Ruth, born August 8, 1905.

Mr. Olson gives his political support to the republican party but has never been active in public life. He and his estimable wife are highly esteemed by their neighbors and friends and all who enter the door of their pleasant home find there a warm welcome.