Among Allamakee county's most progressive and successful native sons is numbered O. S. Hesla, who on January 24, 1865, was born on the farm which he now operates in Paint Creek township. His father, S. E. Hesla, was born in Gol, Hallingdal, Norway, on the 10th of July, 1825, and as a young man crossed the Atlantic to America, settling in Rock Prairie, Wisconsin, in 1845. Five years later he came to Allamakee county, Iowa, being one of the pioneers in this section of the state, and in Paint Creek township he took up a tract of wild timber land upon which he built a crude log house, which is still standing upon the property, although it has been removed from its original location and replaced by a fine modern farm dwelling. S. E. Hesla also built a substantial barn upon this property and continued to develop and improve the place until his death, which occurred August 31, 1900, and which deprived Allamakee county of one of its earliest settlers and most representative citizens. He was married on the 10th of May, 1859, in Rock county, Wisconsin, to Miss Ingeborg Gaarder, a native of Norway, who came to America with her parents when she was eleven years of age. She has also passed away. They became the parents of the following children: E. S., who resides in Clay county, South Dakota; Rosina, who lives at home with her brother; Bertha, also at home; Peter, of Clay county, South Dakota; O. S., of this review; Albert, who resides in Maddock, North Dakota; one child who died in infancy; and Mrs. S. O. Liekvold, deceased.
O. S. Hesla acquired his education in the district schools of Paint Creek township and in his childhood aided his father with the work of the homestead, early becoming familiar with the best methods of clearing, improving and developing the farm. When he grew to manhood he naturally turned his attention to the occupation to which he had been reared and after the death of his father came into possession of the family homestead, which he has since operated along modern and practical lines. It comprises one hundred and sixty acres, located on section 10, Paint Creek township, and is a well improved and highly developed property, reflecting everywhere the careful supervision and well directed labors of its owner.
In 1898 Mr. Hesla was united in marriage to Miss Carrie Paulson, a daughter of Peter Paulson, of whom further mention is made elsewhere in this work. Mrs. Hesla passed away on the 16th of May, 1909, leaving one son, Swen.
Mr. Hesla is a member of the Lutheran church and is a man of exemplary moral character. His life has been such as to merit the respect of his fellowmen and by his honesty, upright dealings and unremitting industry he has contributed much toward the agricultural development of a community of which he is a representative citizen and a most worthy native son.
-source: Past & Present of Allamakee County; by
Ellery M. Hancock; S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.; 1913
-transcribed by Jan Miller
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