One of the oldest settlers of Grant township who settled in Cloud county in the year 1869, was the late Hans Olsen, who was deceased in 1889, leaving a wife and five children, four daughters and one son. Amelia, the eldest daughter, is the wife of Edmond Buer, who has just purchased a fine farm five miles south of Jamestown; they are the parents of four children. Mrs. Olsen's three single daughters are Gena, Matilda and Louisa. Peter J., the third child and manages his mother's farm. consisting of one hundred and sixty-two acres.
Hans Olsen was a native of Norway and emigrated to Kansas when a young man. He made his choice, after looking the ground well over, of the present homestead in the year 1869. Mrs. Olsen was Miss Ellen Peterson, also a native of Norway. She sailed for America to join her lover who had previously left the "land of the midnight sun," to make a home in the new country for his prospective bride. Mr. Olsen owned only a yoke of oxen in the way of a team, and a neighbor wishing to do a kind act offered to go with his ponies to meet and bring back the young stranger. In less than a week Mr. Albritson returned with a letter from Miss Peterson saying she did not know if the man had been sent for her or not, adding if Mr. Olsen was not there to get her at a certain time she would return to the old country. Not hesitating and without delay he yoked up his slow but sure oxen and made all possible speed to do her bidding, met his promised bride at Junction City and brought her to the Lake Sibley fort, where they were married. Theirs was one of the first weddings celebrated in that locality.
Hard lines in many ways were endured by the young husband and wife, but their confidence in the future for better days kept up their courage and in spite of their humble fare, consisting of corn bread and water, were willing to brave these hardships for the sake of a home of their own and to this end bent all their energies and lived to see the fulfillment of their hopes and wishes. They have met with many discouragements in various ways; in 1878 the floods swept away their crops. The confluence of the Buffalo and Cheyenne creeks is on their land and the overflow did much damage.
Mrs. Olsen is sixty-one years of age and in conversation said in substance, the best days of her life were in those pioneer times but she would not have the courage to live them over again. She and her family are Lutherans, belonging to St. Luke's congregation, which is located just over the line in Jewell county. "After darkness comes dawn," and these brave people who buffeted the stormy waves of the wide sea in search of prosperity can now enjoy the fruits of their labors in their comfortable little stone cottage of four rooms, under the shadow of the trees planted by their own hands.
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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