Born February 20, 1863
||The prosperity of any community depends largely upon the enterprise of its business men for in their hands rests the commercial importance of the place. The Olin Lumber Company is a concern which has been well developed through the prowess and foresightedness of its members, Hans and Fred Jurgensen and W. D. Hart. The senior member, Hans Jurgensen, was born in Hadstedt, Schleswig, Germany, February 20, 1863, a son of Frederick and Annie (Carstens) Jurgensen, natives of the above named place. The mother died when seventy years of age, but the father is still living and resides in Germany. During his active life he was a horse and cattle dealer and stockman. There were eight children in the family as follows: Claus, a resident of Hale township; Christ E., of St. Paul, Minnesota; Hans, of this review; Henry, of St. Paul; Dora, the wife of Cornelius Anderson, of Rome township; Lucy, the wife of Fred Peterson, of Anamosa; Max, of St. Paul; and Richard, of Germany. Hans was the first to come to the United States, and then, as he could, he sent for the others, all but Richard who has remained in Germany.
Hans Jurgensen worked in a hotel and on a farm in Germany during the summer months and went to school in the winter. In 1883 he came to this country, and in Chicago found employment with a gardener at ten dollars per month. At the end of the first month he left and went to Minnesota, where an uncle was living in the vicinity of Stillwater, and there he worked during a summer. The following summer, in 1884, he came to Jones county, Iowa, and this has since been his home. For two and one-half years he worked by the month and then he rented land for farming purposes. This continued for some years, he renting in Hale and Rome townships, and then he bought property in Olin and opened a saloon. After operating it for about seven years he purchased a farm of one hundred and fifty acres one and one-half miles southwest of Olin, where he now resides.
On January 1, 1906, Mr. Jurgensen established his lumber business and operated it alone for a time, but later took in his son Fred and in 1908 he also admitted W. D. Hart to the firm and the three now conduct it as the Olin Lumber Company. In addition to his lumber interests, Mr. Jurgensen feeds stock, raises hay and grain, doing a general farming and stock-raising business.
On March 13, 1887, Mr. Jurgensen married Minnie Peters, who was born in Lubse, Mecklenburg, Germany, November 6, 1868, being brought to the United States by her father, Fred Peters, in 1883, the mother having previously died. Eight children have been born of this marriage, namely: Fred, John, Max, August, Louis, Hattie, Eddie and Minnie.
Mr. Jurgensen came to the United States without money and entirely alone. He knew little or nothing of the new language, but he possessed a firmness of purpose, a love of work and a knowledge of saving, and he is now one of the substantial men of his community and the head of one of the flourishing concerns of Olin. All this has been gained through hard work and strict integrity, and he deserves the respect and confidence which he commands.
Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 511
© Copyright 1997-2013, The Art Department, © Copyright 2014-2018, Richard Harrison.