Pgs 1010 – 1011

OLE ERICKSON, township clerk of Lessor township, Shawano county, and who has held that office since 1890, was born in Norway, near Christiania, April 9, 1854, son of Erick and Ingeborg (Helgeson) Oleson.
Erick Oleson, who was a tanner in Norway, embaeked with his wife and family on the sailing vessel "AErna" at Christiania, Norway, for America, landed at Quebec after a voyage of seven weeks, and came direct to Wisconsin, arriving in Manitowoc August 15, 1867. They located in Gibson, Manitowoc county, where the father bought a tract of forty acres, then in a primitive condition, on which he lived with his family seven years, meanwhile opening up the land and clearing it for a home. In 1874 he came to Lessor township, Shawano county, and purchasing eighty acres engaged in general farming, also speculating in land, and he has owned at one time as much as 640 acres, in different tracts. Mr. and Mrs. Oleson, both now sixty-four years of age, are still living on the homestead, which is now a fine farm, and their younger children are still living at home with them. Their children are eight in number—five boys and three girls — as follows: Ole, subject of this sketch; Helge, a farmer of Lessor township, and now township assessor, who married and had eleven children, eight of whom are yet living, three being dead; Christia, wife of Peter Jommen, of Maple Grove township, where he is a successful farmer (they had seven children—five living and two dead); Nels, owner of a forty-acre farm in Lessor township, married and had five children—three living and two dead; Hans, living in Lessor, who had three children—two living and one dead (his wife died in 1894); Peter, unmarried, living with his father, and Caroline and Hannah, both at home.
Ole Erickson, attended school but five months in his native land, and they had only four weeks schooling there each year; in this country he attended school only eighteen days, so it will be seen that his education has been obtained elsewhere than in the school-room. He went to work in the lumber woods, and since he was fifteen years old has done a man's work. In 1872 he came to Lessor township, and here, in Section 1, bought a tract of eighty acres, which still forms a portion of his farm. It was wild and in a primitive condition, inhabited only by deer, bears, and howling wolves, and he did not commence to improve it until after his marriage, up to that time working out by the day
On May 26, 1877, Mr. Erickson was united in marriage with Bertha Gilbert, who was born in Manitowoc county, Wis., July 9, 1858, and they have one son, Henry Edward, born April 5, 1878, and living at home with his parents.    Hans and Mary (Paulson) Gilbert, parents of  Mrs. Erickson were both from Norway, sailing from Christiania about the year 1850, and landing at Quebec after a voyage of thirteen week, thence coming to Wisconsin and locating in Manitowoc county. They were married in America, and had a family of three children, as follows: One that died in infancy; Gabriel, a farmer in Pierce county, Wis., where he is a successful and prominent citizen, for ten years serving as clerk of his township (he has a wife and six children), and Bertha, Mrs. Erickson. Mr. Gilbert was one of the early settlers in Manitowoc cpunty, where he bought and opened up land and cleared a home, and there were but a few shanties in what is now Manitowoc city when he made a settlement. From Manitowoc county they moved to Pierce county, Wis., where Mr. Gilbert has since made his home. He is now sixty-five years of age; his wife, Mary, died in 1875, at the age of fifty-eight.
When Mr. Erickson was married he located on the land where he now lives, and had a log house 16x24 feet, in which they lived until 1893, when a modern farm house was erected in its stead. The land was low, and very hard to clear and put into farming condition, and no roads had been cut at that time. Mr. Erickson had an ox-team, an axe and a grub hoe, those convenient tools of a pioneer; and commenced the work of clearing, with which he advanced as rapidly as possible, and today he is owner of 100 acres of land, of which seventy are cleared and under cultivation, a result which has been accomplished solely by hard work. Mr. Erickson engages in general agriculture. Politically he supports and always has supported the Republican party, and he has held office ever since he was twenty-one years old, at present serving as township clerk. For ten years he was township treasurer, chairman two years, supervisor one year, and he has been school treasurer fourteen years. In religious affiliation the family are members of the United Scandinavian Lutheran Church.

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