"History of Lincoln, Oneida, and Vilas Counties Wisconsin"

Compiled by George O.Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others. Printed in 1924 by H.C.Cooper. Jr. & Co., Minneapoli-Winona MN. ill. 787 pages. The first two hundred pages are history of the three counties, the remainder of the book is biographies.


Arveson, H. Andrew proprietor of the Arveson Oil Co. of Merrill, was born in Whitewater, Wis., April 23, 1872, the son of Annas and Karen (HANSON) ARVESON. Both parents were born in Norway, the father in 1829 and the mother on June 2, 1849, and they were married in that country before coming to the United States in 1871. Here, they settled at Whitewater, where the father, a carpenter by trade, worked as a wagon-box maker for two years; after which they went to Columbia County, Wis. and bought 80 acres of undeveloped land. They remained on this place, developing and operating it as a farm, until the father's death on Feb. 11, 1881. The mother is still living and now makes here home with her daughter, Mary, in Seattle. Four children were born to these parents: Mary, who is now Mrs. NORDLUND of Seattle, Wash.; H. Andrew, subject of this sketch; Edward, living in San Francisco, Calif.; and Anna C., who is deceased. H. Andrew ARVESON'S school advantages as a child were very limited. After his father's death he and his brother, Edward, became the main support of the family. In 1882, the family moved to Merrill, and here the two boys found employment in the sash, door, and blind factory of the A. H. Stange Company. From January to June of 1893, H. Andrew attended the Browning Business College here, following which, he entered the employ of O. E. BYINGTON, general merchant, as clerk. In 1896 he went into business for himself, opening a grocery store, which, however, he sold after operating it for one year. In the fall of 1897, he entered the employ of the Standard Oil Co. as their manager at Merrill, and he remained with them in this capacity until the fall of 1919. During this period he also operated the Merrill Excelsior Company for 10 years with John LAMBERT as manager. He established his present enterprise, the Arveson Oil Col, after leaving the Standard Oil Co. in 1919. This is an independent concern which Mr. ARVESON has developed, and under his guidance, it has been a wonderful success. He began with one truck and one tank. After less than four years of operation, he is doing an annual business of $100,000 and covers a radius of 30 miles with Merrill as a center. When the Wisconsin Valley Company, manufacturing sweeping compounds, household checmicals, etc., was organized in 1922, Mr. ARVESON became vice president of the concern, and he still holds that office, his interests in this enterprise being in addition to his privately owned business. He has built up a place for himself as one of the leading business men of the city solely by his own enterprise and ability, and the respect widely accorded him is well merited. Mr. ARVESON was married on April 30, 1900 to Ione E. LANDERS, of Merrill. Mrs. ARVESON was born in Wisconsin Rapids (then Grand Rapids), Sept. 6, 1873, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth (REZIN) LANDERS, and came to Merrill with her parents in 1884. Mr. and Mrs. ARVESON have two children, Elizabeth C. and Maude E. Elizabeth C., who was born March 2, 1901, is now a student at Lindenwood College, St. Charles, Mo.; she graduated from the Merrill High School and subsequently spent two years at Lawrence College, Appleton, Wis. Maude E. was born Jan. 10, 1903, and is now studying at Milwaukee-Donner College, Milwaukee; she was graduated from the Merrill High School with the class of 1920. The family all held membership in the First Presbyterian Church of Merrill. Fraternally Mr. ARVESON is associated with the Sons of Norway Lodge No. 81, Rhinelander; Virginia Falls Lodge, No. 226, F. and A. M.; Merrill Chapter, No. 71, R. A. M.; Pine Forest Chapter No. 96, O. E. S.; and Bethesda Shrine No. 13, Wausau.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 589-590; History of Lincoln, Oneida and Vilas Counties Wisconsin; Compiled by George O. Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others 1924, H. C. Cooper, Jr. & Co

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