Lars Poulsen, one of the successful farmers of Cloud county, came to Buffalo township in August, 1870, selected the land he now lives on and at once repaired to Junction City, where he filed on the homestead. From this uncultivated tract of prairie he has developed one of the best farms in the country; but not without suffering many privations. Mr. Poulsen is a native of Denmark, born in 1847. He emigrated to America just at the close of the Civil war leaving his native land just before reaching his twenty-first year and like many of his countrymen, rather than enter the army against his own country he crossed the ocean to build a home and become an American citizen. He was penniless, but succeeded in borrowing the price of passage and joined some Danish friends at Racine, Wisconsin, where he labored as a farm hand until coming to Kansas.
His parents were Poul Knutsen and Christina, Sorenson's "dotter." They followed their son to Kansas three years later and homesteaded land where the father died about five years ago and where the mother still lives with her two daughters and one son. The Poulsens were in very linited[sic] circumstances and upon one occasion were on the verge of actual starvation. They were reduced to the point of digging up potatoes they had planted and preparing them for food. This appeased their hunger until they received returns from a brother whom they had appealed to in Denmark. When they wrote him of their pitiless condition he at once forwarded them two hundred dollars instead of one hundred dollars, the amount asked for, which proved a God-send, for when the remittance came the potatoes were exhausted. They struggled on for several years, our subject going to Junction City where he worked each winter, as money was more plentiful there. One season he engaged for twenty-two dollars per month, the proceeds to be taken in wheat. In the meantime Mr. Poulsen fell in and by the time his father who was sent as a substitute reached Junction City wheat had gone up to two dollars per bushel and his employer charged him accordingly.
He afterward worked for J.P. King, who proved a benefactor, always treating him with consideration. While in his employ he took in exchange a cow, but before returning with his ox team to bring her home the cow unfortunately died. Mr. Poulsen began to feel his fate was cast along hard lines when his flagging spirits were raised by the appearance of Mr. King saying he could take his choice among three others. It was through this employer that Mr. Poulsen got his start in the world, earning a cow and a team. He now owns one hundred and fifty-five acres of finely improved bottom land, intersected by Buffalo creek; raises wheat and corn in about equal proportions; and seldom has a failure. The Missouri Pacific Railroad runs through his farm. In 1898 he built an addition to their dwelling, making a comfortable house. He has a good barn and other improvements.
Mr. Poulsen has been very unfortunate in his marital relations, having buried two wives. His first wife was walking over the railroad bridge, fell through and died from the effects along with her infant child. The second wife caught a severe cold which resulted in her death. She left an infant which was deceased four months later. His present wife was Kate Mary Madsen, an industrious young Danish woman. They are the parents of five girls and two boys, viz: Minnie, the eldest daughter is sixteen years of age. The others are Ida, Arvig, Esther, Mary, Inez and Moody.
Although Mr. Poulsen has been very unfortunate in many ways, under gone many of the viccisitudes of life and experienced many hardships while the wolf knocked at the door of his primitive dugout, he is now prosperous and happy without a debt to his charge. He is at present a Republican but for several years affiliated with the Populist party. The family are members of Saron Baptist church. It was through "Father" Nelson, the founder of this congregation that the Poulsens emigrated to Kansas. Mr. Poulsen has become a thorough American citizen and is as loyal to Kansas as if born and bred on her soil. He says nothing could induce him to seek a home elsewhere. Like most of his countrymen, he is an industrious, honest man and a good citizen.
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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