Born April 7, 1848
|H. Erickson, one of the substantial and leading agriculturists of Madison township, was born in Norway on the 7th of April, 1848. His father was a farmer by occupation and spent his entire life in Norway. Mr. Erickson was reared under the parental roof and obtained a common-school education, but his opportunities in that direction were limited, for the schoolhouse was so far distant from his home that regular attendance was out of the question. On attaining his majority he determined to test the truth of the reports which he had heard concerning the many advantages to be enjoyed in the new world and in 1869 crossed the Atlantic to the United States. During the summer of that years he worked as a farm hand in Mount Carroll, Carroll county, Illinois, and in the fall went tip the Mississippi river on a flat boat to the northern part of Iowa, renting a farm in Winneshiek county. Two years later, in association with his two brothers, Oliver and Erick, he purchased an eighty-acre tract of grub land for one thousand dollars. The three brothers cleared the land and soon developed a good farm which they successfully operated for about four years, during which time they kept "bachelor's hall." In 1875, H. Erickson and his brother Oliver came to Jones county, leaving Erick in Winneshiek county. Mr. Erickson of this review purchased a farm of eighty acres in Madison township, on which he made his home for about nine years, when he took up his abode on a tract of eighty acres cornering on the former place. Subsequently he bought a third farm of eighty acres, erected thereon a modern and substantial residence and barns and removed to the place in 1907, since which time it has remained his home. He has met with a gratifying and highly creditable degree of prosperity in the conduct of his agricultural interests and has long been numbered among the prosperous, enterprising and representative citizens of the community.
In 1878, Mr. Erickson was united in marriage to Miss Helen Anderson, who was born in Fulton, Illinois, but was residing in Madison township, this county, at the time of her wedding. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Erickson have been born three children, as follows: Elsie, the wife of Harry Manuel, of Madison township, Jones county: Zachariah, who wedded Miss Geneva Rolfshus, of Mabel, Minnesota, and cultivates his father's old home farm of one hundred and sixty acres; and Herman, a graduate of the Wyoming high school, who is now teaching school and preparing for a college course.
In his political views Mr. Erickson is a stanch republican, but he has never sought nor desired office as a reward for his party fealty. Both he and his wife are faithful and consistent members of the Presbyterian church, exemplifying its teachings in their daily lives. He has never had occasion to regret his determination to seek a home in the new world, and though he started out in life empty-handed he has gradually worked his way upward, enjoying the advantages offered in this country, which is unhampered by caste or class.
Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 111.
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