Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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Biography - Mark Nissen
March 18, 1870 ~ March 03, 1960

The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Wednesday, July 28, 1948, Page 16


When Mark Nissen, 78, retires as gardner at the school for the blind at Vinton at the close of this month, he will have completed 57 years of continuous service for the school. This is longer than any individual has ever served this school.

Pictured at right, he is fondling one of the 500 chickens which he raised at the school.

Nissen, a native of Denmark, learned broom making in his early youth. he was persuaded to go to the school for the blind at Vinton and become broom making instructor.

After 20 years of teaching poor health forced him to quit this job and he began work on the school's farm. In several years he became superintendent of the farm.

Ten years as superintendent found his health declining again and he took the job of gardener-poultryman which he held since.

There are only 2 building left on the campus that were there when he started 57 years ago. They are the old brick dormitory for boys and the laundry.

Nissen drives his own car but he keeps off the highways as much as possible to avoid the "crazy drunken driving." He says he's getting too old to take chances.

When someone commented on his surprising youthful appearance at 78, he replied, "You can't kill a Dane."

Photograph courtesy of Globe-Gazette

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, September of 2014

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