Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.

A. J. Olson

A. J. OLSON is one of the widely known men in Western Kansas, and for many years has been identified with Kiowa County. He is present mayor of Greensburg, is a former county official, and conducts one of the leading mercantile establishments of the county seat.

Mr. Olson has spent most of his life in Kansas but was born at Sonderburg, Denmark, January 21, 1860. His father, A. Olson, who was born at Kolding, Denmark, in 1831, and was a soldier in the Danish army in 1848 when Denmark resisted the aggressive designs of Prussia. He was also employed as a chip carpenter in Denmark for some years, but in 1869 brought his family to America and settled in Osage County, Kansas. He was one of the pioneers of that district and was employed there for a time as a miner and railroad man. In August, 1870, he moved to Sedgwick County, Kansas, and homesteaded 160 acres, on which he lived for seventeen years and developed a good farm. In 1887 he removed to Mullinville and engaged in the livery business, but after 1903 lived retired in Greensburg until his death in 1915. After obtaining American citizenship he was stanchly allied with time republican party, and was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He married Catherine Dewey, who was born in Sonderburg, Denmark, in 1837, and died at Greensburg in December, 1913. A. J. Olson is the older of their two children. The daughter, Caroline, married James Gooden and died at Denver, Colorado.

A. J. Olson while living in Denmark attended public school at Sonderburg four years and finished his education after coming to Kansas in the rural schools of Harvey County and by graduation from the high school at Halstead. On leaving school at the age of nineteen he took up farming, spending five years in Harvey County and two years in Kiowa County on his claim. He became a resident of Kiowa County October 21, 1884, and at that time homesteaded a quarter section. Later he sold this and his interests have been chiefly along commercial lines for thirty years. He removed to Mullinville in 1887, spent two years in the livery business, and after that was employed in a grocery store and did farming. He remained a resident of Mullinville until 1903. In 1902 Mr. Olson was chosen by his fellow citizens to the office of county treasurer, and his first term was given a vote of confidence and he was re-elected in 1904. His official duties took him to Greensburg, where he has since been a resident. In 1907 he engaged in the mercantile business, and has a well stocked general store. He also built a modern home in 1913, and has a 320-acre farm in Stevens County. Mr. Olson is vice president of the Commercial Club of Greensburg, is affiliated with the local lodge of Masons and Odd Fellows. He is a republican and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was elected to his responsibilities as mayor in 1916. Many of his friends and admirers know him in the capacity of a teacher of music and band master. For ten years he gave most of his time to the teaching of music in various localities of Western Kansas. He trained as many as five or six bands at one time, and also taught local schools of music.

March 14, 1883, at Halstead, Kansas, Mr. Olson married Miss Mary Morris, daughter of John A. and Elizabeth (Crum) Morris, both now deceased. Her father was a farmer in Harvey County. Mr. and Mrs. Olson are properly proud of their family of six children. Edith, the oldest, is the wife of L. T. Pedigo, a well driller living at Greensburg; Cassie is the wife of J. P. Kelley, a jeweler at Meade, Kansas; Ernest, the oldest son, served with the American Expeditionary Forces in France; Carl is assistant cashier of the Farmers National Bank at Greensburg; Clarence is a sophomore in the Greensburg High School; and Marjorie is a pupil in the grammar schools.

Pages 2416-2417.