Biographical Sketches.

from Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota
(Chicago, Geo. A Ogle & Co., 1904).


John H. O'Brien, a prosperous and highly respected farmer of Douglas county, has a well kept and comfortable estate in section eleven of Alexandria township. He has spent his life there and is one of the rising young men of his community.

Mr. O'Brien was born on his father's farm, near his present residence in Alexandria township, Douglas county, September 14, 1871. His parents, Edward and Ellen (Kerney) O'Brien, were both natives of Ireland, the former of County Cork and the latter of Tipperary. The father emigrated to America in 1861, landing at Boston, Massachusetts, and in that city made his home for twelve years. Soon after his arrival he enlisted in the United States navy and served during the entire war of the Rebellion, and at its close received an honorable discharge. He afterward obtained a position in the Boston Navy Yards, which he held until he decided to remove to the northwest. In 1869 he brought his family to Douglas county, and on his arrival homesteaded 160 acres of land, settling in the timber on parts of sections ten and eleven in Alexandria township. In addition to farming he did considerable freighting for several years at St. Cloud and in the Red River valley. He married Ellen Kerney in Boston. The father died May 22, 1882, and the mother passed away October 4, 1893. They are buried side by side in the cemetery at Alexandria. Eleven children were born to this worthy couple, namely: Nellie and Bridget, born in Boston, Massachusetts, and died there; Rosa, Margaret, Mable and James, born in Douglas county, all died young; Mary F., now the widow of George W. Robards, of Alexandria; Michael T.; Edward O.; John H.; and Charles J. Edward O. is unmarried and resides on the old homestead formerly owned by his father. He is a thrifty farmer and owns 160 acres of land. He is prominent in local affairs and has served as assessor of his township.

John H. O'Brien, the subject of this article, is a progressive and prosperous farmer, and has acquired 160 acres of valuable land on section eleven of Alexandria township. He has sixty-five acres under cultivation, thirty acres in meadow and the balance is pasture and timber. In 1892 he erected a comfortable residence near the timber and he has also built other buildings, including a good barn, granary, sheds, and has ample shelter for stock and products. He keeps about thirty-two head of well graded cattle and a sufficient number of work horses for the operation of the farm and makes a success of his work as an agriculturist.

Mr. O'Brien was married November 19, 1892, to Sally Grandlund, daughter of Daniel and Steena (Olson) Grandlund, farmers of Belle River township. The family consists of eight children, of whom Mrs. O'Brien was the sixth in order of birth. Mr. and Mrs. O'Brien are the parents of four exceedingly bright and interesting children, named: Rosa L., Blanche M., Irwin and Myrtle. Our subject is widely and favorably known and is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. Politically Mr. O'Brien is independent. He is a young man of broad ideas and keeps apace with the times, and has gained an assured position as a worthy citizen and esteemed and thrifty agriculturist.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 287-88.


William O'Brien, the efficient and popular postmaster of Eden Valley, Minnesota, is one of the prominent young men of Meeker county. He is engaged in the publication of the "Eden Valley Journal."

Mr. O'Brien was born in Galena, Illinois, August 24, 1869. His father, James O'Brien, was a native of Ireland, and the mother, Catherine (Lyons) O'Brien, was born in Kentucky. Our subject came to Houston county, Minnesota, with his parents when he was one year of age. He there attended the common schools and later entered Notre Dame University at South Bend, Indiana. He graduated from the scientific department of that institution in June, 1902, and in September of the same year located in Eden Valley, Minnesota. He established the "Eden Valley Journal" and has met with pronounced success in its publication. The paper now enjoys a good circulation and is one of the bright and newsy sheets of that locality. Mr. O'Brien was appointed postmaster in 1897 and has since had charge of this office at Eden Valley. He is a gentleman of excellent business ability and meets with success in all business ventures.

Mr. O'Brien was married in 1898 to Maggie Sattler. Mrs. O'Brien was born in Eden Valley, Minnesota, in 1879. To Mr. and Mrs. O'Brien two children have been born, namely: Marie, born in 1900, at Eden Valley, and, James A., born in the same town, in August, 1902. Mr. O'Brien has a pleasant home in the village and he and family are highly respected by all who have the pleasure of their acquaintance. The family are members of the Catholic church at Eden Valley. Mr. O'Brien takes an active and commendable interest in all local public affairs and has been chosen to fill various offices of trust in his township. He served two years as township clerk, and for the past seven years has been school clerk.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 779-80.


Herman Ogren, whose enterprise and thrift are known throughout Chisago county, Minnesota, is an experienced farmer, and resides on his well improved estate in section 1 of Franconia township. He was born on the farm where he now lives and which he has acquired by industry and diligence. The year of his birth is 1857.

The father of our subject, Andrew Ogren, was born in Sweden, and was married in his native land. He came to America, bringing his wife with him, in 1853, and settled in Chisago county, Minnesota. He became one of the first settlers of that region and spent the rest of his career as an agriculturist. The family lived in a log house for many years and the first team used on the farm were oxen. These our subject drove many times in the early days. The provisions for the family were carried afoot from Taylors Falls. On August 24, 1862, Andrew Ogren enlisted in the United States army, Company C, Seventh Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, and served three years; was in all the battles of his regiment, including the Indian compaign [sic] of Minnesota and Dakota and in Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee until wounded at Spanish Fort March 27, 1865. He was a valiant soldier and suffered the loss of his leg at Spanish Fort. He died on his farm, March 31, 1893. The mother of our subject died January 10, 1899. To this worthy couple the following sons were born: Frank, Herman, our subject, and Swen Elof.

In 1880 Herman Ogren assumed the management of the home farm, and he has since devoted his entire attention to its development and improvement and has brought it to a high state of cultivation. He has now one hundred and seventy-seven acres of land, and has erected thereon a complete set of substantial farm buildings and gathered around him all the comforts of rural life.

Mr. Ogren was married in 1879 to Miss Emma Christine Molin. Mrs. Ogren was born in Chisago county, Minnesota. Her father was one of the early settlers of that region. He was born in Sweden and died about 1886. To Mr. and Mrs. Ogren eleven children have been born, namely: George A., Hulda, Rosa, Walter, Julia, and Clara, and five deceased. Mr. Ogren is a member of the Center City Lutheran church. He is a Republican politically.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 502-03.


Thomas O. Oie, one of the most venerable farmers of Ten Mile Lake township, Lac-qui-parle county, where his straightforward character, his industrious habits and his neighborly spirit have long commanded respect, was born on a farm in South Trondhjem, Norway, in 1833. His father was a laborer who died long ago in Norway.

Young Thomas O. Oie passed his boyhood and early manhood in his native land. In early life he was engaged in common labor, and for three years served in the Norwegian army. In 1869 he sought a home in the United States, and for nine years was employed in the Michigan iron mines. He was married at Ishpeming, Michigan, in 1870 to Miss Annie Oie. She was born in the same part of Norway where her husband first saw the light. They have one son, Olaf K. Oie, who was born on the farm in Lac-qui-parle county. In 1878 the Oie family came into Lac-Qui-parle county, and bought a farm in section 1, (northeast quarter) of Ten Mile Lake township, and here they have lived to the present time. Their first building was only a little structure, 14 by 20 feet, and their first means of transportation was a yoke of oxen. However they were able to own a span of horses a year later. In the winter of 1880-81, they endured much suffering, and for their stock had only a sod stable.

At the present time Mr. Oie owns a fine farm of two hundred acres on which are good buildings and a grove of his own planting. He has a number of apple trees and other fruits as well, and is one of the well-fixed farmers of the county. Now some seventy years old, Mr. Oie is still erect and vigorous, and is a fine example of the hearty and sturdy farmer coming to the last years of an honest and well spent life.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 350.


Syvert S Oksness, a prominent farmer of Brandrup township, has been a potent factor in the upbuilding of the farming interests of Wilkin county. He is a man of good business ability and carefully supervises the details of his farm affairs, and has gained a valuable estate and a high station as a farmer and worthy citizen.

Mr. Oksness was born in Trondhjem, Norway, in 1857. His father was a farmer and spent his life in Norway. Our subject was the eldest of a family of four children and he was reared and educated in Norway. He served two years in the Norwegian army. He came to America in 1882, and from Boston came to Rothsay, Wilkin county, Minnesota. He went to Trondhjem township, Ottertail county, and worked two years at farm labor, and the third year he spent at Hillsboro, North Dakota, on a farm. He began farming for himself in 1885 in St. Olaf township, Ottertail county, and operated this farm until the winter of 1892. He removed from his farm to Dalton in 1890, and was proprietor of the hotel of that place for a year and a half.

He bought land of the Great Northern Railroad Company in 1892 in section 1, of Brandrup township, Wilkin county, and moved his family here in 1894. This was a wild prairie farm with no improvements and he built a barn and therein lived for three years. He has continued its improvement and is now the owner of one hundred and sixty acres of valuable land, all but twelve acres of which he has placed under cultivation. He has erected a comfortable residence and other farm buildings, and has prospered in Wilkin county.

Mr. Oksness was married in 1887, May 12, to Miss Louisa Aasness. Mrs. Oksness was born in Minnesota and her father, Cornelius Aasness, is a farmer and old settler of Minnesota. Seven children complete the family circle, and they are named as follows; Mary Ann, Carl, Alfred, Lewis, Thine, Ella, and Clara. Mr. Oksness has always taken an active part in the public affairs of his home locality and while a resident of St. Olaf township, Ottertail county, he served as supervisor three years, assessor one year, and census taker in 1890, and also as school clerk for six years. In Brandrup township, Wilkin county he has served as supervisor three years, assessor one year, justice of the peace for two years, school clerk for four years, and in 1900 was census enumerator, and is at present town clerk and school clerk. He is a staunch Prohibitionist.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 371.


Daniel O'Leary, deceased, was for many years prior to his demise one of the best known and most highly esteemed citizens of Brown's Valley township. He was one of the early settlers of Big Stone county and succeeded in building up a good farm and left a valuable estate to his family.

Mr. O'Leary was born in Canada in 1836. His parents were natives of Ireland and they came to America and lived for a short time in Canada and later made their home in New York state. In the latter state our subject was reared and was married. During his early manhood he made two trips to California and there worked on a farm. He later engaged in farming in New York state. He removed with his family to St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1874, where he followed carpenter work for five years. In the spring of 1879 he became a resident of Big Stone county. He bought a team in St. Paul and drove overland to his claim in Brown's Valley township and his family went to their new home via the railroad. He hauled all his supplies and lumber from Morris and lived in a claim shanty 10 by 12 feet for the first few months. He was overtaken by blizzards several times when making trips to Morris, and he passed through many hardships and privations during the early years of their residence there. He planted trees on his place in 1879 and a fine grove is now the result and it is one of the pleasant features of the farm. The home has been made as complete in every particular as painstaking care could make, and during his many years residence on his home farm Mr. O'Leary gave his entire attention to its improvement and cultivation and became the owner of one of the best farms of the locality.

Mr. O'Leary was married in 1868 in New York to Miss Mary Barry. Mrs. O'Leary was born in Lewis county, New York. Her parents were natives of Ireland, and her mother was fourten [sic] years of age when she came with her parents to America. Mrs. O'Leary's father came to America at the age of twenty-one years, and was one of the old settlers of Lewis county, New York, where he followed farming during the remainder of his life. Ten sons were born to Mr. and Mrs. O'Leary who are as follows: Thomas M., born March 16, 1870, now clerking in a hardware store in Johnson, Minnesota; George B., born September 3, 1871, now deceased; John W., born May 15, 1873, is now managing the home farm; Timothy A., born May 28, 1875, is deceased; James A., born May 8, 1877, resides on his homestead in North Dakota; Joseph P., born March 25, 1880, also residing on a homestead claim in Dakota; Daniel D., born November 27, 1881, lives at home; Stephen B., born November 9, 1883; Lewis C., born August 25, 1885, and Leo S., born March 25, 1887, is in Canada studying for the priesthood. Mr. O'Leary died January 19, 1895, and his death was deeply felt by the relatives and many friends of his community. He was an industrious and energetic farmer, an honest neighbor, and kind husband and father, and his widow and children had the sympathy of all who knew them. Mrs. O'Leary and sons now conduct the home farm, and the estate is a valuable and well improved one and furnishes a comfortable home in every particular.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 374-75.


James Oleson, long prominent in Kragero township, Chippewa county, where he is well known as a hard working citizen, and a most reliable and honest man, was born in Norway, May 6, 1837, and is a son of Ole Helgeson, who was born in Norway in 1802 and died in 1868.

James Oleson grew to manhood in his native community, where he attended school and remained until he was seventeen years old. In 1854 he crossed the ocean, landed in New York, and coming to Dane county, Wisconsin, found employment as a farm laborer for three years. At the end of that time he rented a farm on which he worked until 1866, when he removed from Wisconsin to Freeborn county, Minnesota, to follow farming for two years, and then spent two years in Iowa. After this he settled on a homestead in Lac-qui-parle county, Minnesota, put up a claim shanty and a log barn, and did his first breaking with oxen after the frontier fashion.

Mr. Oleson was married in 1858 to Miss Johanna Johannes, who was born in Norway, July 3, 1835, and came to this country in 1848. To this marriage have come eight children: Bertha, deceased, Carrie, Ragnild, Olena, Sakarias, Ida, Anna and Thea.

In his politics Mr. Oleson is a Republican, and at various times has been called upon to fill local positions, such as being justice of the peace for ten years, assessor for fourteen years, on the county board for four years, and town clerk for one year. His farm has greatly increased under his careful management both in productive capacity and general value of improvements. At one time he owned nine hundred and fifty acres, but has so divided his land among his children, that he now holds only two hundred and eighty acres. On his remaining acres he has an elegant fruit orchard, and is well fixed for all the comforts and conveniences of life as old age creeps on him apace.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 479.


Ole S. Olson, who is an old settler in Yellow Medicine county, and has his home in Stony Run, is still energetic and pushing, and is widely recognized as a very honorable and successful farmer and citizen. He was born in a village in Larwig, Norway, in 1860, and his father, who was born and reared in Norway, as were his ancestors for unnumbered generations, was for eighteen years of his early manhood a sailor on the ocean. He came to this country ahead of his family who followed him in 1869. For some seven or eight years they lived near Boston where he followed the occupation of a teamster. In 1879 he moved to Omaha, Nebraska, and his son, Ole S., lived in that city until 1884. There he was married in 1881 to Miss Ella Jacobson, a native of Norway, and an immigrant to this country in 1869 with her parents. Her father took a pre-emption in Yellow Medicine county, and was one of the earlier pioneers, making his home here until 1892.

Ole S. Olson came to his wife's paternal home in 1884, and took charge of it, carrying it on at the present time. It comprises one hundred and sixty acres, with about one hundred and twenty under actual cultivation. Its buildings, machinery and all appointments are fully up to the times, and it shows success as a farmer and a business manager far beyond the average. He is a Republican, and stands well among the old settlers.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 790.


To those who are familiar with the business and religious interests of Isanti county, Minnesota, the name of this gentleman will readily suggest itself as that of an exceedingly bright and capable young Swedish-American, who has pushed himself well to the front, and is counted as one of the representative men of that county.

Mr. Olson was born in Ransater, Sweden, April 25, 1865, and is a son of Olof G. Olson, a lifelong farmer, who came to the United States in the fall of 1884, and settled in Traverse county, Minnesota. Olof G. Olson is the oldest member of a family of seven living children. Two children are dead. He was reared and educated in Sweden until he reached the age of eighteen years. His was a common-school education, and his home the farm. He came to the United States one year before his parents, and worked on a farm for about a year. For about a year following he ran a farm in company with his father, and then cut loose and farmed alone on a place, which he had bought, for two years. At the end of that time he sold his farming machinery and rented his farm, to take a position with the Charles Boettcher Lumber Company, at Wheaton, Minnesota, which he held for sixteen months as a salesman. He was married there to Miss Elma C. Hokanson, a Swedish compatriot, who came to this country with her parents when she was only four years old. She died the following July.

Mr. Olson again married, Miss Annette C. Backman becoming his wife in 1894. She was born in Sweden and came to this country in 1892. Her father, Olof Backman, was a farmer. To this union have come four children: Mirjim, Milton, Hilding and Violet.

Mr. Olson entered a theological seminary in Chicago, in 1891, and studied for a year. After that he entered the North Park College, then at Minneapolis, but now in Chicago, where he spent two years. With this preparation he entered the mission ministry, and was settled in Brainerd, Minnesota, where he was settled a year and a half. For four years he served a Scandinavian Mission church at West Superior.

Mr. Olson entered into mercantile relations in 1899, when he opened up the general store of Olson, Johnson & Company, at Braham, Minnesota. This name was changed in 1900 to the Farmers Trading Company. This store is the third store to be opened in the town that is still doing business. It began in a building twenty-four by thirty-four feet, and has been extended to twenty-four by one hundred twenty-eight feet, being one of the main stores of the place. The company, which was incorporated August 1, 1900, has a warehouse on the railway track, and very extensive horse stables. The capital stock of the company is put at fifty thousand dollars, and is divided among four stockholders, Mr. Olson being the only one who has remained with the enterprise from the beginning, and through his management a large and extensive business has been developed. The company carries dry goods, boots and shoes, clothing, flour and feed, farm machinery and building material and does a wholesale trade in hay, potatoes, and other farm produce.

Mr. Olson is a Republican and is the recorder of the village of Braham. For the last two years he has served the Swedish mission at Braham.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 229.


    Among the representative farmers of Swift county, who have become substantial citizens by persistent efforts and strict integrity, a prominent place is accorded the gentleman here named. Mr. O'Neil is a well-to-do agriculturist, and resides in section 26 of Marysland township. He conducts a farm of two hundred acres, one hundred and sixty of which is his home farm, and forty acres located on section 23 of the same township.

    Mr. O'Neil was born in Elgin, Illinois, in 1856, and was a son of Daniel and Catherine (Carr) O'Neil. The father was a contractor on the St. Paul & Milwaukee Railroad, and he passed away many years ago. His widow married John Schollard, and the family moved to Minnesota in 1861. The stepfather of our subject was a farmer by occupation and settled near the town of Northfield, Minnesota, and there Mr. O'Neil received his education in the public schools and in his early youth learned the miller's trade there. At the age of eighteen years he was the owner of a steam threshing outfit and when he reached the age of twenty years had several hundred dollars deposited in the Bank of Northfield, when the celebrated, but unsuccessful, raid was made upon that institution by the Younger boys in 1876. In the father's family there were three children besides our subject, namely: Hannah, wife of John Carney; Eliza, who also married a gentleman of the name of Carney, but no relative of the husband of Hannah; and Michael, who is an extensive cattleman in Montana.

    In 1876 Daniel B. O'Neil came to Benson, Swift county, and homesteaded one hundred and sixty acres where he now resides. He went back to his old home and returned the same year with two yoke of oxen, and broke sixty acres of sod. He put up a shanty and rented his land and disposed of his oxen and for three years was engaged with Captain Thornton of Benson in selling agricultural machinery. He operated the Appleton Flour Mill during 1876-77. He built his present comfortable residence in 1879. Two years later he erected one of the finest barns in Swift county and this structure was scattered over the prairie the following year by a cyclone. The fine grove which adds shade and beauty to his place he planted in 1877. He engages in mixed farming and has fourteen head of horned cattle, and seven work horses, and a good drove of hogs. He is a stockholder in the Farmers' Elevator at Danvers. He is a man of good business capacity and excellent judgment and well merits the success which has attended his efforts.

    Mr. O'Neil was married January 10, 1881, to Annie E. Murphy, daughter of John and Esther Murphy. Mrs. O'Neil died February 9, 1889, leaving four children born to their marriage, namely: Catherine E., John D., Frank, now deceased, and Mary A. Mr. O'Neil was married to Miss Mary Agnes Dunn, May 2, 1899. Mrs. O'Neil is a daughter of Michael and Elizabeth (O'Connor) Dunn. Mr. O'Neil is serving on the town board and has served as treasurer of the school board and was one of the organizers of this board prior to the separation of Marysland township from Benson township. He is a member of the Odd Fellows and the Catholic church and is superintendent of the Catholic cemetery at Danvers. Politically he is a Democrat.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 537.


    Among the representative farmers of Polk county, who have aided materially in its development and advancement, a prominent place is accorded Ole P. Onstad, who resides on his well-improved estate in section 10 of the township which bears his name. He is a gentleman of energetic character and well merits his success and high standing.

    Mr. Onstad was born in Gudbrandsdalen, Norway, September 9, 1839. He and a younger brother constituted the family born to Peter and Sigri (Ramstad) Boye. Mr. Onstad was reared on the home farm and completed his education in the common schools of his neighborhood and then attended an agricultural college. In his native land he was dissatisfied with the attitude of the rich people and officeholders toward the poorer people, and he accordingly sought the freedom of thought and speech and action in America, taking up his residence in this country in 1862. He worked two years in Wisconsin, and then located in Nicollet county, Minnesota, where he rented land. He worked at teaming in St. Paul one year, in 1867, and then engaged in farming. The grasshoppers ruined his crops and he met with losses from which it took years to recover. He went to Polk county in 1881 with two horses, two hundred bushels of oats and an indebtedness of $1,000. He was obliged to sell the oats to pay the freight on his stock and other effects. He filed on section 10, where he now lives, but for some time was in such circumstances that he found it necessary to work for others, breaking their land, and he could not do much to his own farm for some time after locating thereon. His family joined him there in 1882, and their first home was a 12X14 feet board shanty, sodded outside. A log house supplanted this in 1882, and his present residence is comfortable and convenient. He has placed good improvements on the place, has an artesian well, the water from which comes from a depth of one hundred and sixteen feet. He owns five hundred and twenty acres of land, and is one of the substantial men of his locality.

    Mr. Onstad was married in 1859 to Miss Ingeborg Onstad. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Onstad, namely: Peter, a merchant of Ada, Minnesota; and Sophia, now Mrs. Nils Skedser. Mr. Onstad assisted in the organization of the township which was named in his honor, and he was elected the first township clerk, and has been prominently connected with school and township affairs since that time. He is a member of the Lutheran church and is an earnest worker for his church. He is a Republican in political sentiment, but lends his influence for good government and supports the worthy candidate for office having the welfare of his community at heart. Through his energetic character and good management he has succeeded in clearing his old debts and has accumulated a fine property, where he may enjoy the quiet and comfort of life in his declining years, esteemed as a citizen and farmer by his fellow men.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 257-58.


Garon A. Oscarson, known throughout Traverse county, Minnesota, as one of the rising young men of that locality, is a prosperous and energetic farmer of Monson township. Although he has resided on his present farm comparatively few years he has placed valuable improvements thereon and by good management and industry has become one of the substantial agriculturists of his community.

Mr. Oscarson was born in Kroenigsbergsland, Sweden, in 1872. His father was a farmer by occupation and he came to America with his family in 1889 and settled in Indiana, where they lived three years. Our subject followed the carpenter's trade there, and in 1892 the family became residents of Traverse county, settling on a farm in section 27, Monson township, in 1895. Since the age of seventeen years our subject has earned his own way. He followed farm work until 1895 and then worked in White Rock, South Dakota. In 1896 he accepted a position with F. W. Johnson & Company and purchased grain for them until 1898. They also handled farm machinery and lumber and Mr. Oscarson remained in their employ three years. He purchased his present farm in section 27, of Monson township, in 1896 and began improving the same, but did not take up his residence there until the spring of 1899. He had but a light team and a few dollars when he began his farming operations, but he has prospered through good management and is now the owner of a well improved estate consisting of four hundred and eighty acres, all in the western part of Monson township. He cultivates six hundred acres annually. He has erected a complete set of substantial buildings, and has performed most of the work of building himself. He raises cattle for market purposes and has a good herd. He has a fine line of Percheron horses and a few Hambletonians, including a valuable blooded stallion. He has planted a fine grove and has fruit trees and small fruits set for bearing soon. He has thirty-five head of Shorthorn cattle and some sheep. He has a complete outfit of farming machinery and conducts his farm on a paying basis.

Mr. Oscarson was married in the spring of 1899 to Miss Emma C. Erickson, who was born in Uplan, Sweden. Mrs. Oscarson's father was one of the early settlers of Traverse county, Minnesota. To Mr. and Mrs. Oscarson two children have been born, Gerhard and Alvira. Mr. Oscarson is actively interested in educational matters and he was largely instrumental in having the school district divided, and the school building located on property adjoining his farm. He has served as a member of the school board and in 1902 was elected township constable.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), pages 655-56.


Solomon E. Oscarson, one of the most prominent business men of White Rock, Roberts county, South Dakota, is associated with the commercial interests of that entire region. He is proprietor of one of the largest mercantile establishments of the region, and has become largely interested in the banking business and other financial affairs. He is a man of marked ability and success attends his every venture. He has a wide acquaintance and is universally esteemed as a citizen and business man.

Mr. Oscarson was born in Sweden in 1873. His father is a farmer of Traverse county, Minnesota, where he settled in 1893.

Our subject was the second in the family of seven children and he was reared in his native land and received most of his education there. He left his home at the age of sixteen years and came to America. He was then used to work as he had followed different kinds of work in his native land and earned his own way after his eleventh year. He arrived in Indiana in 1889 and remained there one year and in 1890 settled in White Rock, South Dakota. Here he began as a clerk in a general store. He was thus engaged until 1897, when he became a partner in the firm and is now one of the principal owners. The business was established by C. J. Knutson about 1886 and after three years he sold the same to F. W. Johnson & Company. The firm name is now S. E. Oscarson Company. The store is now one of the largest in that region and equally large establishments can be found only at Fargo. The building is of brick 60 by 130 feet and they carry a complete line of general merchandise. The greater share of the business has been acquired since our subject became an owner in the same and through his untiring efforts it is prosperous in every line. Mr. Oscarson is also interested in the First National Bank and is vice-president. He is also secretary of the Canadian Investment Company.

Mr. Oscarson was married in 1897 to Miss Ellen E. Johnson, a daughter of F. W. Johnson. Mrs. Oscarson was born in Sweden. Three sons have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Oscarson, namely: Wilhelm, Roger and Evan. All were born in White Rock. Mr. Oscarson is prominent in local public affairs and assisted in the organization of his village and for several years has served as president of the village council. Politically he is a Republican and is a gentleman of broad mind and stands firmly for his convictions.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 655.

young Solomon.

Solomon as a child

contributed by Monica Keynemo - Sweden, 2003.


Lars Osse, one of the old time residents of Minnesota, is a prosperous farmer of Tanberg township, Wilkin county. He has built up a fine home by his own efforts and good management, and enjoys the comforts of rural life and the highest esteem of his fellowmen.

Mr. Osse was born in the western part of Hardunger, Norway, in 1861. His father, Lars Osse, was a farmer by occupation and became one of the early settlers of Fergus Falls, Minnesota. The family came to America when our subject was about eleven years of age and in 1872 the father took a homestead farm near Fergus Falls. Here our subject was reared to manhood and he became well trained in farming. He took land as a homestead in Frieberg township, Ottertail county, in 1882, and thereon built a log house where he lived alone for the first two or three years. He proved up on this land in 1889. About 1883 he came to Wilkin county and took a tree claim in section 32 of Tanberg township, and about 1890 moved to this tract, where he has since resided. He had nothing with which to start his work in Wilkin county, but he has succeeded in placing sixty acres of land under high cultivation and improving the same with a good residence, barn, granary, and other necessary farm buildings. He is the owner of one hundred and sixty acres of land, and is one of the substantial farmers of his township. He is thoroughly versed in farming and has made a success of his vocation.

Mr. Osse was married in 1885 to Miss Jennie Rysetter, a native of Norway. Of this union nine children have been born, namely: Martha, Lars, Knut, Nellie, Helen, Edward, Melvin, Julia and Enga. All were born in Minnesota. Mr. Osse is one of the leading citizens of his community and he has served as supervisor of his township and done his full share in the development of that locality. He is a man of broad mind and keeps abreast of the times and lends his influence for good government. In political faith he is a Republican.

From: Compendium of History and Biography of Central and Northern Minnesota (Chicago, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1904), page 734.

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