This week’s challenge is “Plowing Through”. I considered what ancestor lived furthest north and decided that I would write about Olaus Hansson who lived in Pembina County, North Dakota for about thirty-five years. Pembina County is at the north-east corner of North Dakota, bordering on Canada. Weather history from the month of January from 1900 to 1925 shows that temperatures there would go as low as -44 degrees, with up to 30” of snow. I would guess that Olaus did his share of plowing through snow, one way or another!
My great-great grandfather Olaus Hansson was born 27 December 1849 in Slimminge, Malmöhus, Sweden to Hans Larsson and Ingar Andersson. He was the oldest of nine known children. He married Bengte Nilsdotter around 1870 in Sweden and they had 6 children.
In Sweden, Olaus worked in railroad construction and lived in a town far from his family. His daughter Ingrid reported that he only came home about 6 times a year. Ingrid described her father as having black curly hair and good-looking. In 1888, when he was thirty-nine years old, Olaus came to the United States, leaving his family in Sweden. It is believed that he went to live with his cousins in North Dakota
Information from a Sweden Emigration CD look-up indicated that Olaus Hansson, age thirty-nine, from Sjorup, county of Malmöhus, emigrated in 1888 and his destination was St. Paul, Minnesota.
No records have been located to show where Olaus was or what he was doing from 1888 to 1900. No evidence has been found that indicates that Olaus ever returned to visit his wife in Sweden. She died in 1902.
He is listed in the 1900 Cavalier, Pembina County North Dakota Census as living with Rifus Paddock and his family. “Olaf Hansen” was listed as being born in December 1849 in Sweden. His age was listed as 50 years old and he was a farm laborer. The census showed that he could read, write and speak English.
Olaus’ daughter Ingrid stated that the only time after 1888 that she saw Olaus was in 1911 when he visited Peoria, Illinois, and that it had been 24 years since she had seen him. She reported that he "had another woman" in North Dakota. She questioned where his money went.
Again, no records have been found for Olaus from 1900 to 1920. In the 1920 Crystal City, Crystal Township, Pembina County, North Dakota Census Olaus was listed as “Hanson Olaf”. He was age 60, born in Sweden, was a widower, and a laborer. He could read, write and speak English.
Olaus Hansson died 9 February 1925 in Crystal City, North Dakota.
The obituary found in the CRYSTAL CALL newspaper for Crystal City, North Dakota is the following:
"OLAF HANSON DIED EARLY MONDAY MORNING
After an illness of about two weeks, Mr. Olaf Hanson passed away at his home at the Crystal Hotel here. Heart trouble was the cause of death, alto Mr. Hanson had been suffering from very poor respiration for some time. Mr. Hanson came here from Peora (sp), Ill. some few years ago and has worked on a number of farms near town but of late he has made his home at the Crystal Hotel where he has made many friends who will miss him very much. About two weeks ago he packed his trunk and shipped it back to the old home at Peora (sp), and had intended to go back there for the remaining months of the winter but sickness overtook him before he could get away.
The body was shipped to Peora (sp) for burial on Tuesday."
The obituary from the PEORIA JOURNAL was as follows:
Funeral services will be held in the Wilton mortuary chapel on Saturday afternoon at 1:30 o'clock for Olaf Hanson, former Peorian, who died at his residence in Crystal, SD Tuesday.
Mr. Hanson was 79 years of age and lived in this city most of his life. He leaves one son, Herman of Chicago, and 4 daughters-Mrs. C.O. Seeber, Mrs. J.W. Stanley, Mrs. J.H. Kronblad and Mrs. C.E. Peterson, all of Peoria."
Olaus’ daughter Ingrid said that when Olaus died he was shipped down to Peoria and she refused to pay for his funeral, commenting that they "were on the outs for a long time."
Olaus’ death certificate showed the following information:
Place of death: Pembina County, ND
Full Name: Oluf Hanson
Length of residence in city or town where death occurred: nine years
Color or Race: White
Marital Status: Widower
Age: 66 Years
Occupation: Common Laborer
Name of father: Unknown
Birthplace of father: Sweden
Maiden Name of Mother: Unknown
Birthplace of Mother: Sweden
Informant: Mrs. A. C. Anderson
Cause of Death: Arterioscleronis resulting in Cardiac failure
Place of Burial, Cremation or Removal: Peoria Illinois
Date of Burial: Didn't know
Olaus Hansson is buried at Parkview Cemetery in Peoria, Illinois. The record from the mortuary states that Olaus lived in Crystal, North Dakota for 35 years, and had been in the United States for 36 years. It stated his age as 75.