"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.


Larsen, Ole C. now living retired at Irma, Lincoln County, after a long and strenuous career spent chiefly in land improvement and farming, was born in Norway, May 4, 1856, son of Lars HANSEN and Olea (PAULSON) HANSEN. The father was a laborer and farmer, who, after his wife's death, in 1892 came to the United States and Wisconsin and lived 16 years at Irma, this county. Then, at the age of 82 years, he returned to Norway, where he died in 1908 at the age of 86. He and his wife had six sons, three of whom are now living, namely: Ole C., subject of this sketch; John Moe of Merrill, Wis.; and Sam of Seattle. Ole C. LARSEN was reared in Norway and attended school there until arriving at the age of 17. He then took to a seafaring life as sailor on a merchant vessel, but later became a ship steward, which occupation he followed for eight years, during which time he visited many of the principal ports of the world. Having received favorable impressions of the United States, he resolved to make his future home in this country and in 1881 he landed from a sailing vessel at Boston ready to carve out his fortune in this country. Coming west to Buffalo he found employment in construction work on the Missouri Pacific Railroad, and in a short time he had shown such energy and aptitude for the work that he was made boss of a gang of men. After spending some two years in that manner, he came in 1883 to Merrill, Lincoln County, Wis., attracted by reports of the heavy logging activities going on in this section and the opportunities for securing good homesteads after the cutting of the timber. During his first winter here he worked both in the woods and in a sawmill, doing carpenter work in the summer. In the same year, 1883, he took a homestead on 160 acres in the town of Birch, though at that time the locality was in the town of Merrill, and as soon as possible began the work of improvement. This involved a large amount of hard work, as the place was covered with hemlock and other timber, mostly hardwood, and the whole country was practically a wilderness without roads and with very few settlers, who were widely scattered and for the most part distant from each other, so the lack of society was keenly felt. The city of Tomahawk had not yet been thought of, and five or six years were to elapse ere it was started. Mr. LARSEN built a log house and made his home on that place, but worked much of his time for others to earn his living. In 1888 he proved up on his claim and then sold it. The next important event in Mr. LARSEN'S life was his marriage, which took place in 1892, and whereby he was united to Ingeborg LARSEN, widow of Knute HALVORSON. She, like himself, was a native of Norway, and having come to this country in 1882 with a sister-in-law, had resided for a time at Stevens Point, Wis., later at Merrill, and then on a farm homestead situated about one mile from the homestead of the subject of this sketch. On his marriage, Mr. LARSEN moved to his wife's place, which had a log house on it, some of the land being also cleared. He, himself, subsequently cleared 35 acres of it, besides making other important improvements, such as building a barn and a frame addition to the house. There he carried on general farming for 18 years, at the end of which time, his wife having died in 1909, he sold it and bought his original homestead back, 40 acres of the latter having then been cleared and under cultivation. Mr. and Mrs. LARSEN had two sons, Oscar L. and Ole C., Jr. In 1917 Ole C., Jr. enlisted in the U.S. Service, becoming a member of the 120th Field Artillery. He trained at Camp Douglas and Waco, at Texas, and having crossed overseas to France, was attached to the 32d Division, becoming gun corporal. Having served 14 months, he returned home and was discharged. He is now residing with his father.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 460-461 (with picture), 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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