Biography of Nels Hanson of Clay County Minnesota

Nels Hanson, born in Norway around 1845, was a prominent farmer in Clay County, Minnesota. Immigrating to the U.S. in the 1860s, he initially lived in Pierce County, Wisconsin, before settling in Clay County. Hanson homesteaded there, living in a sod shanty before expanding his property and constructing a substantial home. He tragically died in a railway crossing accident on November 17, 1897. His wife, Annie Herum Hanson, continues to manage the farm. Hanson was active in community affairs, serving as a school director and trustee of the Synod Lutheran Church. The couple had ten children, nine of whom survived him.

Nels Hanson, deceased, was a long-time resident farmer of Clay County, Minnesota. He was born in Norway around 1845 and immigrated to the United States in the 1860s. After spending some time in Pierce County, Wisconsin, he settled in Clay County, Minnesota, where he acquired a homestead claim. He lived there until his unfortunate death, which occurred as a result of an accident at a railway crossing on November 17, 1897. His wife, Mrs. Hanson, continues to reside on the farm and skillfully manages its operations.

Mr. Hanson received a solid education in Norway before coming to America. Initially, he worked as a store clerk upon his arrival in the country. For the first two years, he resided in a small sod shanty measuring ten by twelve, where their eldest son, Hans Helgedalen, was born. Later on, he purchased a tree claim adjacent to his existing homestead and immediately began preparing lumber for a house. He also constructed a house for his neighbor, Andrew Larson. Mrs. Hanson, formerly known as Miss Annie Herum, provides interesting accounts of their early experiences in Clay County. Nels Hanson was the son of Hans Helgedalen from Norway. The couple has ten children, nine of whom are still living. Mrs. Hanson is the daughter of Soren and Margaret Herum, and her grandparents were pioneers in territorial Wisconsin.

Mr. Hanson was an industrious farmer, and his beautiful home was one of the finest in the county. He served as a school director for many years and was a trustee of the Synod Lutheran Church, where he and Mrs. Hanson were charter members. Their family was raised in this faith, and Mrs. Hanson continues to be a devoted member of the church.

Nels Hanson was highly regarded as one of the leading farmers in the local community. He held a reputation as a good friend and esteemed citizen, ranking among the best.


C.F. Cooper & Company, History of the Red River Valley, Past And Present: Including an Account of the Counties, Cities, Towns And Villages of the Valley From the Time of Their First Settlement And Formation, volumes 1-2; Grand Forks: Herald printing company, 1909.

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