IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.

Martin A. Olson

Martin A. Olson is another of the sterling citizens who has found in his native county ample scope for successful achievement in connection with the great basic industry of agriculture, and he is one of the substantial and progressive farmers of Wagner township, with secure standing as one of the loyal and public-spirited citizens of the county in which he was born and reared and in which he stands as a popular representative of an honored pioneer family.

Mr. Olson was born in Wagner township, this county, on the 15th of October, 1878, and is a son of Aslak and Gro Olson, both natives of Norway. Aslak Olson was reared to manhood in his native land and upon coming to the United States he numbered himself among the pioneers of Iowa. In the early '60s he settled near Postville, Clayton county, where he continued his activities as a pioneer farmer until about 1870, when he purchased and removed to a farm in Section 34, Wagner township, where he gained large and worthy success as one of the resourceful and energetic farmers of the county and where he continued to reside until his death, which occurred in 1895. His widow survived him by a score of years and was a venerable and loved pioneer woman of Clayton county at the time of her death, on the 4th of October, 1915. Of the children of this honored pioneer couple the eldest is Sigre, who is the wife of E. T. Sensegard, of Wagner township; Ole and Nels A. are representative farmers of that township; Lars is a resident of Decorah, Winneshiek county; Albert maintains his home at Forest City, Winnebago county; Martin, of this review, was the next in order of birth; Julia is the wife of T. T. Loftogard, of Marion township, this county; and Oscar is a prosperous farmer in Wagner township. By a former marriage Aslak Olson became the father of three children—Gulik, who is now a resident of North Dakota; and Astria and Sigre, who are deceased.

Martin A. Olson found the period of his childhood and youth compassed by the benignant influences and discipline of the home farm, and his early educational advantages were those afforded in the public schools of the locality and period. While still a boy he began to give effective assistance in the work of the home farm, and thus it is but natural that he should have developed into one of the most practical and resourceful of exponents of agricultural industry in his native county. After the death of his honored father he assumed charge of the home farm, which he rented from his widowed mother for one year. He then went to North Dakota and entered claim to a homestead, to the improvement of which he gave his attention for one year. He then returned to Clayton county and again rented the old homestead farm, in connection with which he also took charge of an additional tract of one hundred and sixty acres, which he had purchased prior to going to North Dakota. His own farm, which is eligibly situated in Section 26, Wagner township, is about one mile distant from St. Olaf, which is his postoffice address, and in 1914 he removed from his father's old homestead to his own farm, upon which he had erected an excellent modern house of two stories, besides having made other improvements of the best order. He devotes his attention successfully to diversified agriculture and stock-growing, and has become known also as somewhat of a specialist in the raising of bees, as a practical and enthusiastic apiarist.

On the 4th of September, 1912, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Olson to Miss Mabel Nestevy, who was born in the State of Minnesota, and the three children of this union are: Melvin Arthur, who was born August 17, 1913; Adella Marguerite, who was born October 11, 1914, and Joel Joseph, the baby, who was born April 30, 1916. Both Mr. Olson and his wife are strict members of the International Bible Association.

source: History of Clayton County, Iowa; From The Earliest Historical Times Down to the Present; by Realto E. Price, Vol. II; pg. 308-309

-OCR scanned by S. Ferrall


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