"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.


Espeseth, O. E. one of the leading farmers of Vilas County, was born in Norway Dec. 8, 1873, son of Espen and Carrie (THOOSTAD) ESPESETH. The parents were natives of Norway and both spent all their lives in that country. He was reared and educated in his native land and came from there to the United States in 1893, first settling in Austin, Mower County, Minnesota, where he was engaged in farming for the following two years. In 1895 he went to Benson, Swift County, Minn., and after spending one year in farming there he removed to Stoughton, Wis., where he farmed for three years. He next followed the same occupation at DeForest, Wis., for three years, and he then went to the state of Washington in 1901 and purchased a 30-acre fruit farm, remaining there until 1916. In the latter year he sold his property there and came to Vilas County, purchasing 315 acres of land in Sections 12, 13 and 14, town of Lincoln. A few improvements had been made on this land, including the erection of a makeshift residence, but most of the work of development still lay ahead when Mr. ESPESETH acquired the property. He remodelled the house, built a fine barn 32x50 feet in dimensions, modernly equipped and having a nine-foot basement, and erected two large silos, a chicken house, machine shed, and many smaller buildings for housing his crops, machinery, etc. He has installed an individual electric plant for lighting his residence and farm buildings, and has a water-works plant ready for installation at this writing. He has cleared and stumped 80 acres of the land and has 50 acres developed for cultivation. He operates his property along the most modern lines, and harvests fine crops each year. He makes a specialty of dairying and has a herd of 45 Guernsey cattle, several of which are pure-bred animals; he has a registered sire at the head of his herd. He has a tractor, and his whole property is a fine example of what can be done by the application of scientific methods combined with the old-fashioned remedy for economic ills, hard work. He has added to his holdings by the purchase of a 20-acre tract lying just over the line in Oneida County, so that he now has 335 acres. He has been school clerk of the town of Lincoln, embracing four schools, for the past five years, and has taken a useful part in many other matters pertaining to the general welfare of the community. He and his family are members of the Lutheran Church. Mr. ESPESETH was married Dec. 1, 1901, to Nellie SIMONSON, of DeForest, Wis. Mrs. ESPESETH was born in Norway, Dec. 18, 1871 and came to America with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Simon SIMONSON, in 1886, the family locating at DeForest, Wis. Mr. and Mrs. ESPESETH have three children, Espen S., Edmund C., and Sadie M. Espen S., who was born Oct. 17, 1902, now resides at home and assists his father in the operation of the farm; he was graduated from the agricultural department of the University of Wisconsin with the class of 1923. Edmund C., born Feb. 15, 1904, was graduated from the high school at Eagle River with the class of 1923. While carrying on his high school studies he also took a correspondence course with the University of Wisconsin during the winter of 1922-23, and he is now a resident student of that university, taking the four-year academic course. Sadie M. was born Oct. 17, 1910 and is now a student in the Eagle River high school. From these accounts it will be seen that Mr. and Mrs. ESPESETH are giving their children fine educational advantages.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 458-459, 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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