Jacob Dahl


In the death of Jacob Dahl, which occurred on his farm in Paint Creek township in 1902, Allamakee county lost not only one of her most highly respected pioneer settlers but also a representative and successful citizen who for almost half a century contributed in substantial measure to the general agricultural development of this part of Iowa. He was born in Stavanger, Norway, in 1824, and spent his childhood and youth in his native country. As a young man he became a sailor and followed the sea for several years, eventually abandoning this and joining his brother and a friend who lived in Orleans county, New York. In 1854 he came to Allamakee county, Iowa, purchasing the last eighty acres of government land in this locality, and he here developed an excellent farm, success steadily attending his well directed labors. In 1866 he removed to the property upon which his sons now reside, having purchased a fifty-acre tract on section 13, Paint Creek township. Some years later he purchased another fifty acres, making the farm in all one hundred and eighty acres. This was slightly improved, containing a log house and a straw-thatched stable, and Mr. Dahl set himself with characteristic energy to the work of its further development, making it in time one of the finest and most productive properties in his vicinity. He replaced the log cabin by a modern frame dwelling, built a substantial barn and made many other improvements, his practical and well directed efforts through the years being rewarded by a gratifying measure of success.

In Orleans county, New York, Mr. Dahl was united in marriage to Miss Elsie Olson, a native of Skjold, near Stavanger, Norway, who was brought to America by her mother and a grown brother when she was twelve years of age and who passed away in 1887. Nine children were born to their union: Halver, who died in childhood; E. C. Dahl, a carpenter and contractor, who when not engaged at his trade in other sections, makes his home with his brothers; Melvin, who grew to maturity and went to Norway, where he died; Oliver and Charles, who are operating the old homestead; Albert, who is married and lives in Nebraska; Ricka, the wife of Albert Vorseth, of Rosewood, Minnesota; John C., who died in childhood; and one daughter who died at birth. Oliver and Charles Dahl make their home upon their father's farm and are developing and improving it along practical and modern lines, ably carrying forward the work which Jacob Dahl began in pioneer times.

Jacob Dahl died upon his farm in Paint Creek township in 1902 and a life of genuine and unostentatious usefulness was thus brought to a close. His name and memory are yet cherished throughout the community where the best and most forceful years of his life were passed and where his death was mourned as a distinct loss to the county in the ranks of her honored pioneers.

-source: Past & Present of Allamakee County; by Ellery M. Hancock; S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.; 1913
-transcribed by Jan Miller

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