Biography of Peter Olson

Great-grandfather of Bill Price

Peter Olaus Olson was born on the Heimveg farm in Snåsa, Nord Trøndelag, Norway 16 May 1864, the oldest of 7 children of Christian Olsen and Marit Pedersdatter.   Christian Olsen was born 24 Jan 1841 at Radeplassen in Snåsa, Nord Trøndelag, Norway, the son of Ole Andersen and Hanna Boletta Brostrupsdatter.  Marit Pedersdatter was born 1 Dec 1842 at Skavland, Nord Trøndelag, Norway, the daughter of Peder Pedersen and Marit Tølløvsdatter.  Peter's mother Marit died 19 Aug 1876 and his father died 5 Oct 1878 leaving him orphaned at the age of 12.  He went to live with an uncle, probably a brother of his father's and learned the blacksmith trade.

On 13 May 1883, just before his 19th birthday, Peter left Norway and came to America, arriving in Burr Oak, Winneshiek County, Iowa 6 July of the same year.  Two of his mother's sisters had already come to the Burr Oak area around 1866, and Peter is believed to have first worked on an uncle's farm for a short period.  It was in and around Burr Oak that Peter spent most of the remainder of his life, working as a blacksmith and in later years as a carpenter.

Peter married Mary Julia Emery 8 October 1890 in a marriage ceremony being officiated by Justice of the Peace R. F. Gibson.  M. Julia Emery was born in Bluffton 19 April 1871, the eleventh child of George Reid Emery Jr. and Diantha McIntire, early Winneshiek County poineers.  After his marriage Peter worked as a blacksmith in Cresco, Bluffton and Burr Oak as well as living on at least two farms in Burr Oak township.

Peter was a lifelong member of the Burr Oak IOOF lodge, having joined in 1892, and served as secretary for many years.  He was also a 30-year member of the Rebekah lodge and joined the Masons in 1901.

Peter and Julia were the parents of 3 daughters.  Lottie Diantha, born in Cresco, Howard County, Iowa 8 February 1892; married Henry Arthur Price 20 September 1916 in Decorah; died in Decorah 11 October 1986.  Olive Gertrude, born in Bluffton, Winneshiek County 19 February 1894; married Claude Edmund Wicks 16 April 1913 near Burr Oak; died 29 May 1985.  Mamie Isadore, born 27 December 1896 in Burr Oak, Winneshiek County, married Joseph Lester McIntire on 1 April 1913; died 21 September 1974 in Centerville, Appanoose County, Iowa.

Peter passed away in Decorah 11 November 1938 and was buried in the Burr Oak cemetery.  Julia died 24 June 1950 and was buried next to her husband.

Peter, Olive, Lottie, Isadore, and Julia Olson

Peter, Olive, Lottie, Isadore, and Julia Olson

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Biography of Peter Olson, by Bill Price
Copyright © 1999 by Bill Price
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