IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.


Haaken Thoresen. The Norwegian residents of the United States are among the most thrifty and prosperous citizens of our agricultural communities, and the subject of htis notice is not an exception to the example furnished by his countrymen. Though his home has been in American for only about twenty-three years, he has not only acquired a knowledge of the English language, but has also gained a fair idea of the history and present political status of the nation. In the discharge of his duties as a citizen he is liberal-spirited and capable, and Clayton County has no citizen more upright than he.

At present a resident of section 11, Wagner Township, our subject was born in Tolgens, Osterdalm, Norway, May 30, 1848. He is the son of Thore and Oleven (Backen) Thoresen, natives of the same place as himself, and still residents of the Old Country. He is the next to the youngest of seven children, of whom the others are, Carrie and Oleven, who are still living in Norway; Thore, who came to this country three years before our subject, and after residing in Clayton County, Iowa for a short time went to Chippewa County, Minn., where he died; Margaret and Helena, who reside in Norway; and Annie, who died at the age of two years.

Amid the scenes of his birthplace our subject attained a sturdy manhood, well fitted by nature and training for a responsible position in the business world. He established domestic ties on the 25th of December, 1869, when occurred his marriage to Miss Carrie Seaman Gielton. They continued to reside in Norway for two years after their marriage and then, in the spring of 1871, bought two tickets for $120 direct to McGregor, Iowa. Taking passage from the home port, they crossed the Atlantic and after an uneventful voyage landed in Quebec, Canada, on the 5th of June, 1871. The next day they came to mcGregor and from there to Wagner Township, where for three years Mr. Thoresen worked in the employ of others. During the first year he occupied a rented house near Monona, and for the three ensuing years resided on section 2, Wagner Township, where he built a house for his family.

The first purchase made by Mr. Thoresen in Clayton County consisted of forty acres near the above-mentioned farm. Cultivating this tract for four years, he then sold the property to J.J. Henke. In 1878 he bought forty acres comprising a portion of his present farm, which at that time was heavily timbered. He went to work with a will and it was not long before the land was cleared and placed under cultivation. a substantial house was also erected and other improvements added. Seven years after settling here he bought an adjoining forty-acre tract, afterward an eighty-acre piece of property and still later added another eighty-acre tract. At the present time he is the owner of two hundred and forty acres, comprising one of the best farms in Wagner Township. Here he engages in raising the various cereals and also makes a special feature of raising good grades of cattle, hogs and other stock. For the last seven years he has engaged in raising tobacco, in which he has been very successful.

The family of Mr. Thoresen consists of seven children, and they have also lost one child, Peter, who was born on the home farm August 17, 1881, and was the youngest of the household circle. The others are, Ole, who was born in Norway, May 17, 1869; Elena, born January 16, 1871, also in Norway; Tauler, Hilda, Carrie, Samuel and Eli, all of whom were born in Clayton County. The family attends the Lutheran Church near the homestead, of which Mr. and Mrs. Thoresen are members. In politics he is a stanch Republican, and is always ready to advocate party principles and measures.

source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Dubuque, Jones and Clayton Counties; Chicago: Chapman Pub. Co., 1894; pg 438-439
~transcribed by Sharyl Ferrall

Return to 1894 Biographies Index

Return to Clayton County Index