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.
WILLIAM L. MICHAELSEN is a member
of the Odessa Mercantile Company. He and S. L. Barney bought a general
stock of merchandise in 1901 in Odessa and in 1903, they incorporated under
the firm name of The Odessa Mercantile Company and took in two other partners,
who are named elsewhere in this volume. The establishment is one
of the finest in Lincoln county and does a large business. They handle
all kinds of general merchandise and hardware, implements, and so forth,
and are capable and substantial business men.
William L. Michaelsen was born in Colfax county,
Nebraska, on September 27, 1871. His mother, Catherine M. (Holman)
Michaelsen, was born in Germany. She came to America with her parents
when a child. She was married at Columbus, Nebraska. The father
of our subject, Ludwig C. Michaelsen, was also born in Germany and came
to America at the age of sixteen. He was one of the first settlers
in Nebraska and became a very wealthy farmer. He held various offices
of public trust until 1898, when he went to San Francisco and there operated
a large fruit farm.
Our subject received a good common school
education and then completed the full English course in the Schuyler high
school. Immediately subsequent to that, he entered a hardware store
in Schuyler, Nebraska, and remained until 1894, when he matriculated in
the University of Nebraska and graduated therefrom with the degree of Bachelor
of Arts. In 1895 Mr. Michaelsen was appointed general manager of
a merchandise store at Creston, Nebraska. The next year he married
and bought a ranch. For three years, he gave his attention to cultivating
the soil and then sold out and came to where Odessa is now located.
He took a homestead and bought other land at various times until he has
now a full section. In 1901, he entered the mercantile field as stated
above and since that time he has prospered exceedingly. He owns a
fine residence in Odessa and a well improved farm besides his mercantile
The marriage of Mr. Michaelsen and Miss Lephe
J. Bentley, occurred in 1895. Mrs. Michaelsen was born in Iowa and
came to Nebraska when fourteen. Her parents are C. F. and Lephe A.
(Ridell) Bentley, who were prominent people in Colfax county, Nebraska,
where the father operated the largest farm in that portion of the state.
They are now residents of Washington. To Mr. and Mrs. Michaelsen,
three children have been born, Marion R., deceased; Lephe K., deceased;
and Helen M.
Mr. Michaelsen is a member of the I. O. O.
F. and the A. O. U. W. He is a prominent man of Odessa and has the
esteem and good will of all the people.