One of the highly respected citizens of Crawford county is Andrew Norelius, who in the evening of a life of great usefulness as a preacher, lawyer and business man, is now living retired in Stockholm township.
He was born in Sweden, July 1, 1830, a son of A. P. and Elizabeth Norelius, both of whom were natives of Sweden. They came to America in I853 and located in Minnesota, where they continued during the remainder of their lives, the mother passing away in 1864, while the father departed this life in 1888. There were eight children in their family: Peter and John, deceased; Andrew, the subject of this review; Erick, now a minister of Vassar, Minnesota; Olef, Louis and Carrie, deceased; and Julia, wife of Ben Bong, of Minnesota.
Andrew Norelius was reared in his native land and educated in the common schools, later receiving advantages of higher education in this country. At twenty years of age he came to America, and being attracted to the great west, spent fourteen months in Knox county, Illinois, and then went to Moline, that state, where he worked at the carpenter's trade until 1855. After his marriage, which took place in Illinois, he went to Burlington, Iowa, where he attended college for one year, having decided to become a minister of the gospel. He took up his residence in Jefferson county, Iowa, and for seventeen years officiated in the pulpit of the Baptist church.
However, in 1864, in response to an urgent call for soldiers, believing that his adopted country needed his services, he enlisted in Company D, Third Minnesota Regiment, and continued in the ranks until the close of the Rebellion. After receiving his honorable discharge at Jacksonville, Arkansas, he went to Minnesota, where he engaged in preaching for four years.
In 1869 he came to Crawford county and purchased a farm of one hundred and forty acres, upon which he has since resided. Since 1873 he has not participated prominently in business although he still continues as secretary of the Kiron Farmers Mutual Insurance Company, having occupied this office to the entire satisfaction of the members of the company for the past twenty-five years.
In 1855 Mr. Norelius was united in marriage to Miss Christina Peterson, who was born in Sweden in 1832, a daughter of Samuel and Margaret Peterson, both of whom passed their entire lives in the old country. Nine children came to bless the union of Mr. and Mrs. Norelius, five of whom are now living, namely: Adolph, now a resident of South Dakota; Hilma, the wife of Erb Stolt, of North Dakota; Francis, who is living on the old homestead; Elizabeth, and G. A., of Kiron.
Mr. Norelius has made a careful study of politics and as a result gives his support to the populist party, as he believes that organization best adapted to preserve the liberties of the republic. He has never sought the emoluments and honors of office, but served for eighteen years as postmaster at old Kiron and has filled all of the offices in the township with an ability and fidelity that greatly pleased the people. Fraternally, he is a valued member of the Masonic order and also of Post No. 58, G. A. R., at Denison. By an upright and unselfish Christian life he has gained the esteem of a host of friends and acquaintances who have complete confidence in his word, as he is a man who has always endeavored to speak the truth and also in all relations of life to perform his duty. He clearly deserves a place among the honored citizens of Crawford county.
Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.