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Posted By: Jean Kramer (email)
Date: 3/24/2004 at 10:40:47

Biography reproduced from page 191 of Volume II of the History of Kossuth County written by Benjamin F. Reed and published in 1913:

Among the many estimable citizens Norway has furnished to Kossuth county must be numbered Andrew Helgeson, who is practically living retired in Seneca township, where he owns a highly improved and valuable farm of one hundred and sixty acres, which he diligently and successfully cultivated for many years. He was born on the 3d of February, 1833, and is a son of Harry and Barbara (Erickson) Helgeson, who passed their entire lives in Norway, where the father followed farming.

The early years in the life of Andrew Helgeson were passed on his fatherís farm, in the cultivation of which he assisted while pursuing his studies in the country schools. He continued to reside in his native land until 1865, when he decided that America afforded better opportunities for advancement than were to be found in the old country, so together with his wife and family, he emigrated to the United States. They came direct to Iowa, first settling at Lansing, Allamakee county, where Mr. Helgeson worked as a farm hand by the day, and ultimately acquired the means to buy forty acres of land in that vicinity, which he cultivated for several years. He then disposed of his holding and removed to Mason City, where he followed shoemaking for nine years. At the expiration of that time he came to Algona, continuing to work at his trade for two years. In 1880, he bought eighty acres on section 21, Seneca township, and resumed his agricultural pursuits. He subsequently increased his holdings by the purchase of another eighty acres, adjacent to his original tract, to which he removed, and in 1882 he still further extended his realty interests by the addition of another one hundred and sixty acres. He later sold this and now owns a quarter of section 17, Seneca township, where he resides, although he rents his land and is living practically retired. His place is well improved and in good condition and reflects credit on him both as an agriculturist and business man, as it manifests the exercise of competent and systematic supervision as well as capable management and foresight in the direction of its operation.

In Norway, in June, 1861, Mr. Helgeson was married to Miss Isabelle Thoreson, a native of that country, and a daughter of Thore and Allie Thoreson. The father engaged in farming in the Norse land until 1869, when he came to America and purchased land in the vicinity of Lansing, this state, that he cultivated until his death in 1880. The mother passed away in 1881. Mr. And Mrs. Helgeson had ten children, but two, Lena and Edward, the sixth and seventh in order of birth, are now deceased, the former having died at the age of four years and the latter at the age of eighteen months. The others are Harry Andrew, May, Edwin Barnhart and Theodore Emil, twins; Edward, Amos, William and Lena.

The parents are members of the Norwegian Lutheran church in Seneca township, where the surviving members of their family were confirmed, and Mrs. Helgeson belongs to the Ladies Aid Society. Mr. Helgeson enjoys the full rights of citizenship and is an ardent advocate of the principles of the republican party. He has always been numbered among the enterprising and progressive citizens of his community and was one of the organizers of the old Seneca Creamery, and after its destruction by fire cooperated in establishing the present plant, in which he still owns stock. Mr. Helgeson struggled against many adversities and hardships during the early period of his life, but he possessed the greatest of all gifts--tireless energy and indomitable courage, by means of which he at last achieved success, and he is now able to spend his latter years in ease and comfort. He has never had occasion to regret becoming a citizen of this country, despite his early discouragements, as he has here found the opportunities he sought both for himself and children.


Kossuth Biographies maintained by Linda Ziemann.
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