Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
JOHN N. OLSON is one of the substantial
and representative farmers of Adams county and resides two and one-half
miles northeast from Ritzville, where he owns a very fine estate.
A portion of this was taken up as a timber culture claim in 1884 and since
that he has added by purchase until he owns seven hundred and fifty acres.
The farm is well improved in every respect and shows evidence of thrift
and industry. His orchard is one of the best in the vicinity while
his residence and barns are classed with the finest in Adams county.
Every detail of this fine establishment as well as its general management
shows care and sagacity and Mr. Olson is to be classed among Adams county's
John N. Olson was born near Filipstad, Sweden,
March 30, 1847, the son of a miller, who also did mechanical work.
The public schools of his native country furnished the education of our
subject until sixteen, when he went to Lesjofors and wrought there in the
flour mill for four and one-half years. He was taken with a severe
attack of the American fever and finally as the only cure embarked for
New York, landing in Castle Garden, on May 26, 1868. He soon came
west to College Springs, Iowa, and worked for the first summer on the farm.
Then he attended school at Lucas Station during the winter. In the
summer of 1869, Mr. Olson wrought as a bridge carpenter and the following
winter attended school in College Springs, Iowa. The next spring
found him in St. Joseph, Missouri and there he did carpentering until the
spring of 1874. Then he returned to College Springs and opened a
cabinet shop and furniture store which occupied him until the spring of
1884. Owing to his failing health on account of the close confinement,
he sold out and came west, landing in Ritzville on May 16, 1884.
He resided in town and improved his farm besides working at carpentering
between times until December 9, 1886, when he removed to the farm, which
has been the family home since that time.
At College Springs, Iowa, on November 30,
1876, occurred the marriage of Mr. Olson and Sarah Nelson, daughter of
Nels Nelson, also a native of Sweden, who came to this country in 1868
and now lives near Ritzville. Mrs. Olson has three sisters and one
brother, Mrs. Charley Olson, Mrs. C. D. Olson and Mrs. C. H. B. Carlson,
all residing in the vicinity of Ritzville, and Andrew F. Nelson, residing
at Yorktown, Iowa. Mr. Olson has two sisters and four brothers, namely,
Charles, Olaf, Peter J., Johan, Mrs. Katherine Stark, and Annie, deceased.
Mrs. Stark is living in the old country. Peter J. died on March 15,
1902 and was one of the oldest pioneers in Adams county.