"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.


Olson, William owner of Hillside Dairy Farm in Sections 21, 22, and 27 of the town of Pelican, Oneida County, and chairman of the board of supervisors of that town, was born in Finland, May 7, 1870, son of Erick and Kate (WECKLAND) OLSON. The parents were both natives of Finland and the mother now deceased, spent all her life in that country; the father came to America and spent six months in Colorado, but returned to Finland and is now engaged in farming there. William OLSON received his education in Finland and subsequently worked for his parents until 1892, when he came to the United States. Here he proceeded direct from New York to Wausau, Wis., where for three years he worked in the woods during the winters and spent the summer months in the employ of the Island Mill Lumber Co. In the spring of 1896 he came to Rhinelander and entered the employ of Gust NYLAND, and the following year he took up 91 acres of wild land in Section 21, town of Pelican, erected a frame house 18x32 feet in dimensions, and proceeded to develop a farm. The country was a primitive one, and he was beset with hardships and obstacles on every hand. He worked in the lumber woods during the winters of the early period of his residence here in order to obtain money wherewith to carry on the development of the farm, and he went through every phase of the pioneer's struggle with the wilderness, the fruit of which struggle is the agricultural prosperity of the Northwest today. Gradually, through his unremitting toil, a farm grew up out of the wilderness; he acquired more land from time to time, improved his buildings and supplied new equipment, and to day he has one of the finest farms in this section of the country, which a total of 333 acres, 100 of which are cleared. His dairy barn is 40x60 feet in dimensions, and he has 28 head of Guernsey cattle with a pure-bred sire at the head of the herd; he has carried on dairy operations since 1912 and was one of the pioneers of the movement for scientific dairy farm operation. Besides building up his farm Mr. OLSON has assisted in many other ways in the development of the region, taking an active part in all movements calculated for the general welfare. He has been instrumental in bringing in many new settlers and has always found time to assist the newcomers in getting a start and becoming accustomed to the new conditions in which they found themselves. He is recognized as an exceptionally able man and has always had the confidence of the entire community. After serving four years as a side supervisor on the Pelican town board, he was elected chairman of the board, and he was again elected to the office in 1922. He was also treasurer of the school board of District No. 1 for three years. Mr. OLSON was married in Finland on March 9, 1891 to Miss Mary ISAACSON, daughter of Isaac and Anna (MOTTSON) ISAACSON. Mrs. OLSON'S parents were natives of Finland and spent all their lives in that country; both are now deceased. Eight children, as follows, have been born to Mr. and Mrs. OLSON: Arthur, who is living at home; Anna, now Mrs. John JOHNSON of Wibaux, Mont.; Mary, who is Mrs. Morris TURNER of Detroit, Mich.; Hilda, living a home; Esther, a school teacher in the town of Pelican; Teckla, a school teacher in the town of Sugar Camp, Oneida County; Ellen, a student in the high school at Rhinelander; and Oscar, living a home. Mrs. OLSON well deserves part of the credit for the success of the Olson family and the position they occupy in the community.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 274 (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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