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Posted By: Deidre Badker (email)
Date: 1/10/2015 at 09:21:22

Lars Nelson (Odden) was born July 3, 1820 at Nordrehaug, Norway.

He married Olea Olsdatter Teigen on February 22, 1851 at Norway. (Olea or Olia was born July 24, 1824 Buskerud, Norway, died January 22, 1896 Cedar, Mitchell, Iowa).

The couple had 3 children while living at Aadal, Buskerud, Norway:
Marte Larsdatter (b February 27, 1851, d before 1853 at Adal, Norway); and twins:

Else Larsdatter (b April 16, 1852, d before 1860 Cedar, Mitchell, Iowa) and

Martha Larsdatter (b April 16, 1852, d February 28, 1881 Floyd, Iowa).

Lars, Olea and the twin girls emigrated in 1853 to Wisconsin. A year later (spring of 1854), they moved west with a group of Norwegian Lutherans to farm land at Cedar, Mitchell, Iowa.

Found in the 1856 census at rural Osage, Mitchell, Iowa: Lars Nelson 36, Olea Nelson 32, Martha Nelson 4, Elsia Nelson 4, Nelse Loss Nelson 1.

Six more children were born at Cedar, Mitchell, Iowa:
Olaus Nels (b February 4, 1855, d 1915 Roberts, South Dakota):

Edvard Larsen (b November 26, 1858, d August 11, 1937 Roberts, South Dakota);

Gabriel Larsen (b March 16, 1860, d July 9, 1919 Osage, Iowa);

Carl Johan (b October 2, 1864, d April 14, 1914 Cedar, Mitchell, Iowa);

Ole Laurits (b August 6, 1867, d October 25, 1934 Osage, Iowa) and

Hans Andreas (b April 12, 1869, d November 9, 1951 Osage, Iowa).

The family used the surname Nelson until about 1890-1900 when they switched to the surname Odden.

Found in the 1860 - 1885 censuses at Cedar, Mitchell, Iowa:
1860: Lars Nelson 39, Olea Nelson 36, Martha Nelson 8, Nelsolars Nelson 5, Edward Nelson 1, Gabriel Nelson 3 mos.

1870: Lewis Nelson 40, Olea Nelson 40, Olavis Nelson 14, Martha Nelson 18, Edward Nelson 11, Gabriel Nelson 9, Carl Nelson 5, Ole Nelson 3, Han D Nelson 2.

1880: Lars Nelson 58, Olien Nelson 55, Gabriel Nelson 19, Carl Nelson 17, Ole Nelson 12, Hans Nelson 10.

1885: Lare Nelson age 64.

Found in the 1873 Membership List of Rock Creek Lutheran Church, Meroa, Iowa:
Lars Nielsen Odden, age 52, Immigrated 1853 to Wisconsin from Nordrehaug, Norway; Wife: Olea 48. Children: Martha 21; Niels Olaus 18; Edvard 14; Gabriel 13; Carl Johan 8; Ole Lauritz 5; Hans Andreas 3.

Lars Nelson Odden died May 2, 1893 at Cedar, Mitchell, Iowa and was buried at Rock Creek Lutheran Church Cemetery, Meroa, Cedar, Mitchell, Iowa.

There is a memorial for him at Find a Grave #54985437

Biography from the 1911 Mitchell County Atlas, Section 2, page 19:

Lars Nelson Odden settled here in the spring of 1854. He was born in Norway, July 3, 1820, and was married to Olea Teigen in 1850. Three years later, they emigrated to America; stayed in Green County, Wisconsin one year; moved to Iowa the year following.

Lars Nelson died May 2, 1893, and Olea Nelson died January 27, 1895. Their daughter, Martha ( Mrs. G. Winnor), died February 28, 1881. Six sons are living: Olaus N., born February 4, 1855, bears the distinction of being the first-born boy in the township, who grew to manhood before moving to Dakota; Edward N., living in Dakota; Gabriel N., here in Cedar township; Carl, on the old homestead in Section 16-97-17 of Cedar township, Mitchell County, Iowa; and Ole and Hans, living in Osage, Iowa.

Lars came to Mitchell County with the Rev. C. L. Clausen. Lars bought his land from the government for about $1.25 an acre.

When Mr & Mrs Odden and their daughter, Martha, set sail for America, they had to provide their own food for the long voyage. They owned a huge iron griddle, measuring nearly 30 inches in diameter and weighing 58 pounds. The griddle was used to make the "flod brod" which the Norwegian people loved. They packed it in the bottom of a huge barrel and put the food supplies on top of it. When their ship docked in Quebec, Canada, Lars carried the awkward griddle on his back on the long trek from Canada to Wisconsin.

Their first home in Mitchell County was a dugout which was used until their log cabin could be completed. Like many early settlers, Lars picked his land because of the availability of water. Rock Creek, running through the north part of this tract of land, had many springs flowing along its banks. Water was carried from the creek to the house and after they bought cattle, the animals were pastured along the creek banks. The springs were useful for food preservation. A box was placed in one of the springs near the house. There, during the warm summer months, the family kept perishable foods, such as milk, cream and butter.

Their closest neighbors during the first years were the Johnsons. The first Norwegian school in the community was at the Lars Odden home, started in 1855 and taught by Elling Meir. The first parochial school was taught in the Odden home also, by Rev. Clausen.

There was plenty of summer food for the cattle the settlers raised. Hay and grain were stored for winter use. All of the Odden's land was covered by timber so much work was done to clear land for crops.

(Note: There are some conflicting dates in the biography. Also Census information was transcribed as found without fixing spelling errors.)


Mitchell Biographies maintained by Sharyl Ferrall.
WebBBS 4.33 Genealogy Modification Package by WebJourneymen

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