Crawford County, Iowa, IAGenWeb


Thomas Michaelsen

Thomas Michaelsen, who is prominently identified with the agricultural interests of Hanover township, having a homestead there consisting of two hundred and forty acres, all under a high state of cultivation, was born in Germany on the 5th of January, 1870.

His parents, C. H. and Katrina (Hansen) Michaelsen, were also natives of the fatherland, in which country they were married, but emigrated to the United States with their family in 1883. Landing in New York they immediately made their way westward and located in Crawford county, Iowa, very soon thereafter buying one hundred and sixty acres of land, which they cultivated for thirteen years. In 1896 they sold this and removed to Arion, Iowa, settling on two hundred acres, which Mr. Michaelsen owned and continued to operate until 1903. They then migrated to Oklahoma, where he is interested in several banks, and are now residents of Wheatland, that state.

Mr. and Mrs. Michaelsen are the parents of the following children: Henry, living in Canadian county, Oklahoma; Thomas, our subject; Johannes, who resides in Missouri; H. F., also of Oklahoma; and Margaret, who is still at home.

Thomas Michaelsen acquired his education in the common schools of Crawford county and after laying aside his text-books he worked for his father until he had attained his majority and then began farming as a renter, which he continued for four years. During this period he had by careful plannmg, economy and industry managed to save the required capital necessary to purchase land and invested in two hundred acres in Hanover township. He cultivated this for eleven years and then traded for two hundred and forty acres in Otter Creek and Morgan townships, and after owning this for a short time he again traded for land in Hanover township. At the end of three years he sold that place and moved to Oklahoma, where he resided until 1906, at which time he returned to Iowa.

He is now living on two hundred and forty acres of land on section 1, Hanover township. One hundred and sixty acres of his homestead is the land which his father bought when he first came to Iowa. Here he engages in general farming and stock-raising but makes a specialty of feeding and shipping cattle to the market. He is an indefatigable worker, but his persistence and thrift have been rewarded by more than moderate success, and although still in his prime, Mr. Michaelsen is rated as one of the substantial agriculturists in his township, as in addition to his well improved and highly cultivated homestead, he owns two hundred and forty acres of good land in Oklahoma.

The marriage of Mr. Michaelsen and Miss Mary Sievers occurred on the 28th of January, 1891. She was born in Scott county, Iowa, and is a daughter of John and Anna (Hansen) Sievers, natives of Germany, who came to the United States in 1867 and first located in Davenport, this state, where they lived for five years. In 1872 they bought a farm in Crawford county for five dollars per acre and after cultivating it for fifteen years they retired and removed to Denison, where they continued to reside until their death. The mother passed away in 1898, and the father in 1900. Mrs. Michaelsen was the only child born of this union.

Mr. and, Mrs. Michaelsen have become the parents of the following children: Herbert H., who was born on the 28th of September, 1892, and is attending college at Denison; Ehrhardt J., born on the 11th of February, 1894, also attending college; Robert N., born on the 27th of September, 1895, attending the German school; Alwin W., born on the 15th of April, 1897, going to school; Victor S., born on the 7th of November, 1898; Zuehla A. c., born on the 24th of September, 1900; Leonhardt, born on the 13th of April, 1902; the seventh child who died in infancy; Hortense J. M., born on the 30th of April, 1905; and Walter T., born on the 4th of June, 1910.

The family always attend the services of the Lutheran church, with which denomination the parents are affiliated by membership. Ever since acquiring the right of suffrage Mr. Michaelsen has given his support to the democratic party, considering that its policy is best adapted to protect the interests of the agriculturist. He has always taken an active part in local politics and his party fealty has been rewarded by his election to various offices. He served as constable for one term, was assessor for five years and was a member of the board of school directors for seven years. He is highly regarded in his community, where he is considered to be a man of high principles and sound integrity.

Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.