The subject of this sketch is L.P. Larson, commonly known to his friends as "Pat" Larson. Mr. Larson is a contractor and builder and to his workmanship is accredited some of the best residences and business blocks in the city of Concordia. During his sojourn of sixteen years in that metropolis the following buildings are a few of those that evidence his superior architecture: The Caldwell building, one of the most imposing in the city; First National Bank, a finely constructed building; the postoffice, which is a plain but massive structure; the brick and terra cotta building, the lower floor of which is occupied by Layton & Neilson, druggists, and the Colson city; First National Bank, a finely constructed building; the postoffice, which buildings of the city.
Mr. Larson began to stem the current of life with no "stock in trade," but a pair of willing hands and is another of the many Illustrations herein contained of how persistent endeavor will conquer all things sooner or later. Mr. Larson is a native of Germany, born in Frankfort-on-the-Main in 1860. His parents were Christian and Annie (Christie) Larson. His father gave up his sailor life to enter the German war in 1848, and was killed in battle after serving three years and four months. His mother died in Denmark June 24, 1885, Where the family had settled after peace was declared, The maternal ancestors were from Ireland and were a race of people who lived to an extreme old age. His grandmother passed the century mark and attained the age of one hundred and eight years; her brother reached the advanced age of one hundred and eleven years. Mr. Larson was the only child of his father's first marriage but by a second union one son was born.
Mr. Larson was thrown on his own resources at the youthful age of seven years, and through the aid of friends was able to obtain a common school education and later by their further kindness and by the stern efforts of himself he was enabled to secure a scholarship in the high school; by rapid advancement and their extended assistance he paid his way through the State university of Denmark for one year. His extremely diligent application was observed by one of the professors who made it possible for him to take a four years course in classics. As Mr. Larson could not see his way to remain in the university for that length of time he took the four years course in two and one-half years, and often worked twenty-three out of twenty-four hours.
His object was to prepare himself for an officer under the Danish government. In the meantime he worked at the carpenter's bench the proceeds of which assisted him in his school work. He graduated in 1878 at the age of eighteen years. After all the hardships entailed upon him as a young and penniless student working his way through the university, spending many sleepless nights conning and tolling over his books, when he came to enlist he was doomed to the disappointment of being pronounced physically unfitted for the service.
Smarting under this defeat of the expectation of his hopes he determined to bid his native land adieu and make for himself a home in America, and accordingly sailed for New York, landing in that city July 18, 1881. A few days later he went to Omaha, Nebraska, where he found employment as bookkeeper for the first half year and then obtained work with M.T. Murphy, architect; two months later he assumed the management of his mill retaining that position three years.
In 1884, he came to Concordia and during the summer finished the interior of Colonel N.B. Brown's, handsome residence. In the autumn of that same year he secured the contract for building the fine dwelling of Mr. Steffen Christiansen, one of the pioneers of Cloud county, living two miles north of Jamestown, and while engaged in this work met Sena Peterson, whom he married December 8, 1886, locating in Concordia and entering the employment of Southworth & Smith, carpenters and builders, continuing as their foreman until the organization of the Citizens National Bank, when he was employed by them as superintendent of the Caldwell building; and after the masonry was completed he finished the interior. From this period he established himself as an architect, contractor and builder, following that occupation until 1892.
During the latter year he emigrated to Colorado Springs, Colorado, and accepted a position with the Gillis, Wells & Leddy planing mills. During his nine months' residence in Colorado Springs he erected some of the finest buildings in that city, among them the famous Antlers hotel, the Huntley livery stables, the residences of Doctor Sollis and Doctor Drack, the two latter costing over two hundred thousand dollars each. he also built the Casino theater. The following spring he returned to Concordia, re-opened his shop and resumed contracting, which he has since followed.
To Mr. and Mrs. Larson have been born four exceptionally bright and beautiful children, viz: Rhoda S.A., Peter Montague, Mosette Ruth and Harry Eugene Z. Mrs. Larson is a native of Denmark, born near the town of Nestved, province of Sjalland. She came with her parents to America and settled on a farm near Jamestown, where they both died. Mr. Larson is a staunch Republican and has been a delegate for several years to conventions, but has never aspired nor sought for office. The family are members of the Baptist church. Mr. Larson is a deacon and one of the most active members and pillars of that congregation. They occupy a pleasant home at 518 West Sixth street.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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