Martin Halvorsen is the owner of a well improved tract of one
hundred and eight acres on section 23, Makee township, which is
devoted to farming, dairying and stock-rasiing. He is classed
with the pioneers of Allamakee county, for his residence here
dates from June 24, 1857. He is a native of Norway, the date of
his birth being August 13, 1844. His father, Halver Hansen, was
born in Norway, June 14, 1809, and made his home in that country
until 1857, when he emigrated to the new world with his family.
He at once established his home on a farm in Makee township, and
here gave his time and attention to the improvement and
cultivation of his fields throughout a long period. He passed the
century mark in life, having reached the age of one hundred and
one years and eight months, when called to his last rest on the
6th of March, 1910. He had survived his wife for ten years, her
death having occurred in 1900. In their family were four sons and
one daughter, but two of the sons have passed away. Those who
survive are: Martin, of this review; Hans, who makes home in
South Dakota; and Martha, the wife of Andrew P. W. Vaslin, also
of South Dakota.
Martin Halvorsen was a lad of thirteen years at the time the family emigrated to the new world. At an early age he began to assist in the work of developing the farm and he also worked as a farm laborer for others at various times until he reached the age of twenty-two years. During this time he had little opportunity for attending school, but spent his leisure hours at home in the evenings in study, so that he is almost wholly self-educated. He remained with his father until he was twenty-six years of age, at which time he was married. He then established his home on a farm which he purchased in Makee township. On this there were some improvement, but Mr. Halvorsen further improved the tract and there made his home for twenty years. He then disposed of that land and invested his money in his present place of one hundred and eight acres, situated on section 23, Makee township, which he purchased from his father. The land was only partially cleared and there was a small house on the place. Mr. Halvorsen at once set to work to further improve the land and he has also erected a substantial and modern house with a basement, and has built a barn with basement. He now has seventy acres under cultivation, while the remainder is devoted to pasture. In addition to raising grain he follows dairying and raises good grades of live stock. He is likewise a stockholder in the Farmers Cooperative Creamery Company at Waukon.
It was in 1867 that Mr. Halvorsen was married to Miss Lena Johnson, of Waldon, and they lived happily together until they were separated by the death of the wife in 1907. A son and daughter were born of this union, but the latter, Isabella Caroline, died at the age of seventeen years. The son, H. M. Halvorsen assists his father in carrying on the home farm. He was married in 1907 and has three children, Marcus L., Martha Adelia and Herbert Hillman.
In his political belief Mr. Halvorsen is a republican, while his religious faith is that of the Norwegian Evangelical church, of which he is a devout member. For years he has been identified with the school board, having served as district clerk, while for the past two years he has been treasurer of the district. He was likewise township trustee for six years. Mr. Halvorsen has led an active and industrious life. Since coming to the new world he has practically cleared and improved two farms and his present valuable place is the reward of his labors. He is well known not only in the township which has long been his home but throughout the county as well and he is everywhere spoken of in terms of high praise and commendation.
-source: Past & Present of Allamakee County; by
Ellery M. Hancock; S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.; 1913
-transcribed by Diana Diedrich
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