Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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S. N. BERTELSEN has the distinction of having been one of the first five Danish settlers in this part of the state. He is a progressive agriculturist and stock raiser and has made his way by his own unaided efforts, his father having died when he was only five years old, which necessitated his being put out to work at the early age of eight years. Mr. BERTELSEN was born in Denmark, Schleswig province, November 7, 1854, his parents beings Nicoli and Cecelia (CHRISTIANSEN) BERTELSEN, both of whom lived out their lives in their native country. The father was a laboring man and served in the war of 1812. His death left the mother with a young family of four children. Christopher lives in Eugene, Oregon, and is in the dairy business, a fine herd of Jersey cattle being in his possession. The two sisters are married and live in Germany.

Mr. BERTELSEN came to Cerro Gordo county in 1878 and located in the southern part, on one of the farms of John T. RICHARDS. In the course of two years he went to Swaledale, where for five years he rented a farm and engaged in its operation. In 1885 he bought one hundred and sixty acres of his present homestead, later adding eighty acres to this tract. The land was then raw prairie and Mr. BERTELSEN bought the original one hundred and sixty acres from Eastern parties for nine dollars and fifty cents per acre. He paid fifteen dollars per acre for the remainder. Although he had practically no capital to begin with he now owns and operates two hundred and forty acres of finely improved land in sections 30 and 31, in Pleasant Valley township.

Mr. BERTELSEN was married December 1, 1884, to Miss Matilda RAUN, who was born in Denmark and came to America in 1882. Their union has been blessed by the birth of nine children, eight of whom are living. They are: Mary, wife of Christ UTZEN, residing in Grimes township; Lena, a dressmaker by profession; Christine; Cecelia; Hans; Bolitda; Edward, and Nicholas. All but Cecelia are at home. The second child, a daughter died of diphtheria in infancy.

Mr. BERTELSON gives his support to the Republican party and he and his family are members of the Lutheran church. He has made his home in the land of the stars and stripes since 1872, and spent his first six years in Jackson county, Iowa, working on farms. It was at that time that he learned to speak German and English. He received a good common school education in his native land.

SOURCE: Wheeler, J. H. History of Cerro Gordo County, Iowa. Vol. II. p. 599. Lewis Pub. Co. Chicago. 1910

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, February of 2011



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