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Agnes Haavelson Olson 1866-1919


Posted By: Merllene Andre Bendixen (email)
Date: 4/29/2011 at 20:50:25

Mrs. C. C. Olson Met Death in the River Monday
Body Found Lodged in Tree by Frank Wilkinson
Wandered from Home
Poor Health for Some Time Past Thought to Have Been Cause of Tragedy
The body of Mrs. C. C. Olson was found in the river last Tuesday noon, about one-half mile south of the M. & St. L. bridge. Mrs. Olson had left her home on Monday morning to go to a neighbor. She did not return home and a search was started for her which lasted most of the night but the body was not found until about noon the next day. Just how she met her death will never be known, but it is presumed that she threw herself into the river while in a despondent mood to which she was subjected.

For several years Mrs. Olson has been in very poor health and of late she has been subjected to severe headaches. The night before she left home she had one of the spells and without the knowledge of the family consumed a box of headache tablets. It is thought this dazed her mind to such an extent that she was unable to control her thoughts. She was tracked to the river on Monday evening and the searching party stayed out as long as they could see to work. The river was dragged at a spot just below the bridge, where he last tracks were found on Monday [March 312, 1919] night, but the body could not be located. When found it was over a half mile below this spot.

The body was discovered by Frank Wilkinson, lodged in a tree which had fallen out into the river. The dress had floated to the top of the water and he was the first to discover the floating garment. He at once gave the alarm and the fire department life boat was rushed to the scene and the body recovered. It was in a splendid state of preservation when taken from the stream. Just when she went into the river will never be determined. Rescue work was exceedingly difficult because the river is so high and with a current swift as a mill race. It was an accident that the body was found so soon.

Mrs. Olson had spent the most of her life in Estherville. She had many warm friends in the city who are deeply grieved over her fate. She was a lady of splendid character and was respected by all who knew here. The loss to her husband and only son is a great one and the shock of the tragedy almost overcame both of them.

Agnes Haavelson was born in Odness, Norway, where her aged father and mother and one brother still live. She was born on February 24, 1866, and came to this country when she was fifteen years of age. On November 1st, 1889, she was married to Chris C. Olson of this city and to this union one son was born, Wm. H. Olson, who now resides here. Funeral services will be held from the Methodist church tomorrow afternoon at 1:30 o’clock, Rev. Walter Torbett in charge.

The sympathy of Estherville and surrounding community is extended to the heart-broken husband and son in this sad hour. No words can ease the ache that is in their heart. No act can lighten the dark gloom that surrounds them, and yet, they can find comfort in the knowledge that He Who is over all, Who sees our every move, doeth all things well and that someday, when the vail shall be lifted, that we will know it was all for the best. We point them to this Great Ruler of the universe for consolation in this dark hour. (Estherville Democrat, Estherville, IA, April 2, 1919)

River Claims Another Victim
Mrs. C. C. Olson Who Has Been Ill for Some Time Wanders From Home Monday
Body Found Next Morning
Frank Wilkinson, Who Discovered Body, Followed Tracks in Mud on River Bank
The Des Moines river claimed another victim on last Monday afternoon. The case of Mrs. C. C. Olson, who was drowned, was an extremely sad one. She had been in very poor health for some time past, at times she has been melancholy and greatly grieved over her condition. On Monday last she left her home sometime in the afternoon and wandered to the river south of the city. She was not missed for some time and the searching party was not formed until in the evening. Search as they would, no trace of her could be found. On the river bank near the M. & St. L. Railway bridge was found the tracks of a woman near the water’s edge. These tracks followed the river bank downstream and neared the water twice. No one knows, or ever will know, whether Mrs. Olson willfully took her life or whether, in her condition, she wandered into the river. All that night the searchers sought her. On the river and in the fields. The next morning another party was formed. About noon Frank Wilkenson saw what apparently was a piece of cloth fastened to a tree which was bent over the water. He undertook to reach it but fell in. He then went after the men with the boat, and it was found to be the body of Mrs. Olson.

Mrs. Olson was the wife of C. C. Olson, an old time resident of this city, and the mother of Wm. Olson who is employed in the Postoffice. She was an excellent woman, kind and pleasant, a patient sufferer during her illness, and a loving wife and mother. The funeral services will be held on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. at the M.E. church. (Estherville Enterprise, Estherville, IA, April 2, 1919)

Mrs. C. C. Olson Suicides
Committed Suicide by Jumping Into the Des Moines River
Body was Found Tuesday Morning
Act Believed to Have Been Committed During a Period of Temporary Insanity
In a spirit of despondency Mrs. C. C. Olson of South Tenth street, near the Catholic church, committed suicide Monday afternoon by jumping into the Des Moines river below the Minneapolis and St. Louis railroad bridge. It was not known when she committed the rash act, but it was some time during the afternoon. She was missed at supper time and search was then made for her and was continued through part of the night. No trace of her could be had at that time. Tuesday morning a searching party was organized by Mr. F. M. Jones, made up of the business men of town, and a systematic search was started. It was not very long, however, until a woman’s shoe prints were discovered on the bank of the river about sixty rods below the Minneapolis & St. Louis railroad bridge and it was decided that they were those of Mrs. Olson and that she had jumped into the river at that place. The river was thoroughly dragged near this place but to no avail. The party then went further down the river and the body was found lodged in some rubbish at least a half mile below where she was supposed to have jumped in.

No cause is given for her self-destruction unless the act was committed during a spell of temporary despondency. She was fifty-five years of age.

She is survived by her husband and one son, William Olson, who is one of the head clerks in the post office. She is also a sister of Mrs. Fred Benson who died last summer. (Vindicator and Republican, Estherville, IA, April 2, 1919)


Emmet Obituaries maintained by Lynn Diemer-Mathews.
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