IAGenWeb Project - Allamakee co.

Martin J. Larson


Martin J. Larson, who has resided in Allamakee county since 1854, is today numbered among the prosperous, substantial and progressive agriculturists of this part, owning and operating the Big Spring Stock Farm, a fine property of eighty acres which in its neat and attractive appearance is a visible evidence of his life of industry and thrift. He was born in Norway, near Christiania, February 4, 1852, and is a son of John and Karen (Johnson) Larson, who came to America at an early date and settled in Wisconsin in 1853. There the mother died and the father afterward came as a pioneer to Iowa, making a permanent location in Jefferson township, Allamakee county. A more extended mention of his career will be found on another page in this work.

Martin J. Larson was reared upon his father’s farm in Jefferson township and after his father’s death operated the homestead in association with his brother for a number of years. After his marriage, which occurred in 1875, he rented land and continued to develop it until he went to North Dakota, where he spent one season. Upon his return he purchased the property which he now owns and turned his attention to breaking the soil and clearing it of timber. His property is known as the Big Spring Farm and comprises eighty acres of land, well tilled and equipped with substantial improvements. It was Mr. Larson who made this farm what it is today, for he broke the soil, felled the trees and has since carried forward the work of development with characteristic energy and with excellent results. He has divided his land into fields of convenient size enclosed with barbed wire fences, has erected a neat residence, a large barn with a basement, and a spring house and has neglected nothing that will add to the attractive appearance or value of the place. He makes a specialty of breeding and raising high-grade stock and controls also extensive dairy interests, selling the dairy products to the Waterville Cooperative Creamery, in which he is a stockholder. He is connected in the same way with the Peoples National Bank of Waukon, the Farmers Cooperative Stock and Produce Company and the Farmers Paint Creed Telephone Company, and his business ability has been a helpful factor in the development of these concerns.

On the 20th of May, 1875, Mr. Larson was united in marriage to Miss Rachel Sando, a native of Norway, who came to the United States when she was thirteen or fourteen years of age and grew to womanhood in Allamakee county. Mr. and Mrs. Larson have become the parents of six children: John E.; Helmer, of Berlin, North Dakota; Melvin R., who is aiding in the operation of the homestead; Caroline L., the wife of Ed Smeby, of Jefferson township; Rosa, who married A. A. Koontz, of Berlin, North Dakota; and Allma J. The last named supplemented a public-school education by three at a college in Austin, Minnesota, and has been for fifteen terms a teacher in Winneshiek and Allamakee counties.

Mr. Larson is a member of the old West Paint Creek United Lutheran church and he is a republican in his political beliefs, having served for about twelve years at different times as township trustee. He is a progressive, loyal and enterprising citizen, a capable business man and a progressive farmer and during the many years of his residence in Allamakee county has commanded and held the respect and high esteem of all who have come in contact with him.

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

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