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Simon Ellingson Stene


Posted By: Peter Gausmann (email)
Date: 2/7/2010 at 06:43:42


Business enterprise and determination finds expression in the life work of Simon Ellingson Stene, who for almost half a century has lived in Norway township, Winnebago county. He was born August 30, 1845, in Norway, his parents being Ellings Simonson and Martha (Oium) Stene, who were farming people and reared a family of three children. They never came to the United States, spending their entire lives in the land of the midnight sun. The father was born in Aurland, Sogn, and the mother in Vestre Slire, Valders, Norway.

Simon E. Stene remained in his native country until he had attained his majority and then crossed the Atlantic, becoming a resident of Goodhue county, Minnesota, where he worked at farm labor. In 1868, however, he crossed the border into Iowa and purchased a tract of land on section 11, Norway township, Winnebago county. This he has continuously cultivated since 1870, and he has purchased other land on section 7, Norway township, and one hundred and twenty acres on section 18 of the same township. He has thus become the owner of valuable farm property. His labors have made the soil rich and productive, so that he annually garners substantial harvests. He has worked diligently and persistently to bring about this result and his life record is an illustration of what may be accomplished through industry and effort.

On February 12, 1872, Mr. Stene was united in marriage to Miss Betsey Nelson, a daughter of Nels and Ragnild Knutson, who were natives of Norway. After coming to the new world they established their home near Adams, Minnesota, where the father now lies buried. In the later years of her life Mrs. Knutson lived with her daughter, Mrs. Stene, and when called to her final rest her remains were interred in Lime Creek cemetery. To Mr. and Mrs. Stene were born nine children, as follows: Rachel, who is the wife of M. T. Nelson, of Norway township, Winnebago county: Martin, who operates the home farm; Elling, a resident of Emmons, Minnesota; Martha, who gave her hand in marriage to Nels Stephens, of Scarville, Winnebago county; Ingeborg, at home; Nellie, who is the wife of Oliver Honsey, of Norway township, Winnebago county; Sarah, at home; one who died in infancy; and Carl E., who passed away at the age of twenty-five years and was buried in Lime Creek cemetery. The death of Mrs. Stene occurred February 10, 1017. She left behind her many warm friends who esteemed her highly because of her many admirable qualities. She was a devoted wife and mother and her careful management of household affairs contributed in no small measure to her husband's success.

Mr. Stene holds membership in the Synod Lutheran church, of which he is a faithful representative. He votes with the republican party and keeps well informed on the questions and issues of the day, but has no ambition to hold office, preferring to concentrate his energies and attention upon his business affairs. Starting out in life empty handed, he is now in the possession of a substantial competence. Moreover, he has for many years been connected with Winnebago county and has seen the changes which have occurred and the results which have been wrought as men have reclaimed the district for the purposes of civilization and developed here the homes of a prosperous and contented people.

Source: History of Winnebago County and Hancock County, Iowa: A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievement, Vol. II. Pioneer Publishing Company (Chicago), 1917. pp. 509-510.


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