Ole Olson [Ole Olson Hetletveit/Hetletvedt]

Kendall County Record, May 16, 1906

Edited and compiled by Elmer Dickson

In the "Newark Sketches" of April the 11th, mention was made of the house built here by Ole Olson in 1840 and still in use as a dwelling house. Olson died in that house January 17, 1853, his first wife having died on the same place but in the old log house about 13 years before. Olson was one of the first Norwegian settlers in America. He crossed the Atlantic in 1825 in the Restaurationen an old sloop with 53 other emigrants. The Restaurationen was the Norwegian Mayflower.

Ole first lived in western New York, where he married an American woman. A few years later, they settled here near Newark. Ole was the first Norwegian settler in Kendall County. His first wife was of the excellent family of the Chamberlains and was the mother of his three sons, Porter, Soren and James "Webster", and his only daughter, Bertha.

For his second wife he married Mrs. Brown, mother of Robert E. Brown, who used to live west of Newark, just beyond the county line. His son Webster has long resided in California. Bertha became Mrs. William Shafer and moved to Red Wing, Minnesota, where she died in recent years.

Olson was known in Norway as Ole Olson Hetletvedt. Their system of naming being different from ours. There the baptismal name is the only real name, a word being added to indicated whose son or daughter and another to indicate the farm where born. After coming here Olson was a farmer, colporter and lay preacher. (A colporter is a missionary or publicist for some, usually religious, cause.) Ole was an ardent Haugian. He owned land on both sides of the Millington road north of Newark. He was a man of note and influence here for about 15 years. During the last ten years of his life he was a member of the Newark Congregational Church. The old "gravel church" and was much respected by all for his integrity and piety. He and his wife Sarah Chamberlain are buried in the Millington and Newark Cemetery. We of this generation who do not remember to have seen him should honor his memory if for no other reason than he furnished three worthy sons to the army, two of whom were among those who gave their lives that the nation might live.

Last Modified on 2013-06-29 02:16:31-0500 CDT by Optimizer