Ole Nielson, one of the pioneers of Clayton County, was born in Norway, June 17, 1831, son of Niels and Anna (Halvors) Nielson, who emigrated to the United States in 1846, landed in Milwaukee, and thence to Rock County, Wis., where they remained until 1849, when they came to Clayton County, Ia. They located in Grand Meadow Township, where Niels Nielson is still living at the advanced age of ninety-six. After coming to the county, being unable to obtain work, Ole concluded to go to Illinois. He reached McGregor, where he was employed by Alexander McGregor to run the ferry-boat, remaining with him until his death. About that time he went to Colorado, where he entered a ranch with the intention of raising stock, but the Indians being troublesome he returned to Clayton County. In the fall of 1859 he married Gorand Hansen, who was born in Norway in October, 1830. They have four children--Annie, Niels, Jane and Henry A. Mr. Nielson has been identified with the county since 1849, and has seen the wild prairie coverted into beautiful farms. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, chapter and commandery; also a member of the I.O.O.F. At the time of Alexander McGregor's death he was left one-half interest in the ferry which he had so ably attended.
source: History of Clayton
County, Iowa, 1882, p. 997-998
Transcribed by Sally Scarff and Marlene Chaney