J. F. Osmundson
J .F. Osmundson, a veteran of the Civil war and today one of the substantial and representative farmers of Waterloo township, is a native of Norway, born in 1839. His parents, Osmund and Anna Rierson, were also natives of that country and emigrated to the United States in 1850, making their first settlement in Racine county, Wisconsin. There the father followed the stone mason's trade for one year, at the end of which time he moved to Iowa and bought land in Waterloo township, Allamakee county, turning his attention to farming. Eventually, however, he sold this property and in the '70s moved to Renville county, Minnesota, where he again engaged in agricultural pursuits, following this occupation until his death, which occurred in the late '70s. His wife survived him a number of years, dying in 1893. To their union were born six children: J. F., of this review; Benjamin, who was killed during the Civil war; Ole, deceased; Gabriel, of Montana; Henrietta, the deceased wife of Hans Anderson, of Chicago, Illinois; and Annie, the deceased wife of Erik Oleson, of South Dakota.
J. F. Osmundson acquired a limited education in Norway and at the age of ten years accompanied his parents to America. When he was only eleven years of age he became a sailor on the Great Lakes and continued in this occupation until 1861, when he enlisted in Company C, Fifteenth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, for service in the Civil war. He was mustered out in the following June and immediately afterward reenlisted, this time joining the United States navy at Chicago. He served until the close of hostilities and with a creditable military record returned to Iowa, purchasing a tract of land in Waterloo township, which constitutes a portion of his present farm. To this he added from time to time, becoming a large landowner, his holdings aggregating five hundred acres. Of this he has recently deeded one hundred and forty acres to his son but the rest of the farm remains in his possession. Two hundred acres are in a high state of cultivation, and the property, equipped with a substantial residence, fine barns and outbuildings and modern machinery, reflects everywhere the owner's many years of careful supervision and practical labor. It lies almost entirely on section 31, Waterloo township, but a portion of the property is in Winneshiek County.
In 1869 Mr. Osmundson was united in marriage to Miss Mary Ellingson, who was born in Norway and who came to America with her parents when she was still a child. Mr. and Mrs. Osmundson became the parents of a number of children. Edward, the eldest, operates the homestead. He married Miss Ida Fretheim, a native of Winneshiek county, and to them have been born seven children, six of whom survive, Jerry, Carrie, Henry, Edith, Agnes and Inga. Benjamin, the next in order of birth in the family of Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Osmundson, is married and resides upon his farm in Winneshiek county. Annie is still at home. Rachel became the wife of William Peterson, a resident of Waukon. Lizzie married Sander Anfinson, of Winneshiek county. Henrietta, the youngest member of the family, is the wife of Albert Larson, also of Winneshiek county.
Mr. Osmundson is a devout member of the Lutheran church and is a republican in his political beliefs, interested in the welfare and progress of his township and county without being active as an office seeker. For almost a half century he has lived upon the farm which is yet his place or residence and during that time he has gained the respect and esteem of his neighbors, who recognize in him a man of upright character and high ideals, loyal in citizenship and straightforward and honorable in all the relations of life.
-source: Past & Present of Allamakee County; by
Ellery M. Hancock; S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.; 1913
-transcribed by Jan Miller
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