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.

Mads Olson

MADS OLSON is a Kansan of forty years' residence and experience, is a retired farmer, and since 1913 has lived at Kismet in Seward County, where he has somewhat extensive land and other property interests. While Mr. Olson has passed the age of four score and has aways been a man of great industry, he retains much of the fire and physical vigor which displays and typifies youth rather than old age.

He is a native of Denmark, born at Kolding October 8, 1837. His parents, Ole and Christina (Bremse) Anderson, spent all their lives in Denmark on a farm. They had seven children, and two of them came to the United States, Andrew and Mads. Mads Olson grew up on a farm, and his common school advantages were during the years from six to fourteen. At fourteen he was confirmed, and after that went to work and was identified with the routine of a Danish farm until he was about forty years of age. He married in Denmark, and on coming to the United States brought with him a wife and two children. The little family sailed from Hamburg aboard a steamship, and made the voyage to New York without incident. From Castle Garden they came directly west to Halstead, Kansas, where he joined his brother Andrew and bought eighty acres of land a mile west of Halstead. The next ten years were years of toil and frequent discouragement to Mr. Olson and his family. He had to learn the English language, and the difficulty of doing so was increased by the fact that he lived in a German community. He had some success there as a wheat raiser, and finally disposed of his land and moved into Kiowa County.

In Kiowa County he resumed agriculture and bought a quarter section of land three miles north of Mullenville. Here again he made his chief forte grain raising, and that, taking all the seasons together, was the chief source of his prosperity. From his profits he was able to extend his farm until he had four quarter sections, and most of it substantially improved. Recently he has sold all this land and has concentrated his entire investment in Seward County. The best yield of wheat Mr. Olson ever had in Kiowa County was twenty-three bushels to the acre. Some of his neighbors got even more than this from a single acre.

The only official service Mr. Olson has performed in Kansas was as a member of the school board in Kiowa County. He has always voted at elections, having taken out his citizenship papers in Kiowa County. He gave his first presidential vote to General Garfield. As that vote would imply, he is a republican. He was reared a Lutheran, but is now a member of the United Brethren Church. Mr. Olson is one of the stockholders of the Equity Elevator at Kismet and is also a stockholder in the Kismet Mill & Elevator Company.

In Denmark Mr. Olson married Agnete Joergensen. She died in Kiowa County March 9, 1909, more than thirty years after she had come to Kansas. Her children and grandchildren now number more than a score. The oldest of their children was Christina, who married Charles Clark, and at her death left children named Maria, Charles and Ole. The second child of Mr. Olson is Ole, a farmer of Harvey County, Kansas, who married Emma Price and had four children, Frank, Virgil (now deceased), Irene and Floyd. The daughter Anna married Miller Brown, of Kismet, and their family consists of Oliver, Pauline, Ruth, Frances and Virginia. Miss Mary Olson is a stenographer for the Red Cross in France. James, of Bucklin, Kansas, married Emma Heitmann, and they have five children, Lavina, Oral, Albert, Gustava and Paul. Ida Olson is the wife of Travis Wilson, of Mullenville, Kansas, and the mother of two children, Dora and Kenneth. Oscar, a resident of Kiowa County, married Katie Miller and is the father of Josephine, Georgie and Mary.

At Kismet on March 18, 1914, Mr. Olson married for his present wife Mrs. Emma Nelson, widow of George Nelson. Mrs. Olson was born in Hillsdale County, Michigan, April 2, 1865, married there, and came to Western Kansas with her husband, George Nelson. Mrs. Olson is a daughter of Myron and Achsah W. (Keene) Perry, her father born in Cayuga County, New York, in 1832, and her mother born in that state March 20, 1837. The Perry children were: Walter, of Chicago; Mrs. Olson; Arthur, of Hartford, Michigan; while those now deceased are William, Sarah, Flora and Bertha. By her first marriage Mrs. Olson is the mother of two soldier sons, Myron W. is a volunteer in the field artillery, was trained in Camp Greene, and is with the army in France. Her other son, Howard E. Nelson was trained in Camp Funston, is in the Eighty-Ninth Division, and is also in France.

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