In the "land of the midnight sun" Nels Anderson was born, and he possesses the qualities of perseverance and industry so characteristic of people of his nationality. His birth occurred in Norway on the 21st of March, 1826, and he is a representative of one of the old families of that country. His father, Osul Anderson, was a farmer, and amid the scenes of rural life the son was reared, becoming familiar with the work of cultivating the fields and producing good crops. He also obtained his education in the public schools there and remained in Norway until January 9, 1847, when he sailed for New Orleans. He did not tarry long, however, in the Crescent city, but continued his journey to Missouri with his parents who came to America, bringing with them their family of seven children, namely: Andrew, who served as a soldier in the civil war and is now deceased; Nels; Gunder, a resident of Doniphan county; Osul, who is living on a farm in Oklahoma; Peter, a member of the Tenth Kansas Infantry during the civil war; Gunber, who is deceased; and Derrick, who also fought with the boys in blue in defense of the Union. The father died in 1879, at the age of seventy-three years, and the mother passed away at the age of eighty-five years.
During the first year of the civil war Mr. Anderson, whose name heads this review, responded to the call of his adopted country, enlisting on the 2d of October, 1860, as a member of Company G, Eighth Kansas Infantry, under the command of Captain Vick Harrington and Colonel John M. Martin. He was in the service for three years and one day, and was first under fire at the battle of Chickamauga, in September, 1863, being a member of the division commanded by General McCook. He also participated in the Tennessee campaign, and was stationed for some time in Atlanta. When his term of service had expired he received an honorable discharge and returned to his home. The hardships and trials incident to army life undermined his constitution, and he has since suffered from rheumatism, but he rendered a willing and loyal service to his adopted land, and his name deserves to be inscribed on the roll of the heroes of the civil war.
After his return Mr. Anderson became identified with the agricultural interests of Doniphan county, and is today the owner of sixty acres of land in Wayne township. This rich and arable tract is now under a high state of cultivation, and the well tilled fields yield to the owner a golden tribute in return for the care and labor he bestows upon them. He votes with the Republican party, but has never been an aspirant for political honors, preferring to give his time to his business affairs.