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Album of genealogy and biography, Cook County, Illinois : with portraits (Volume 1900) online

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lican, and was always an earnest worker for the
success of his party.

In 1886 Mr. Rasmussen revisited the land of
his birth, inspired by a filial desire to behold once
more the face of his aged mother, who, he be-
lieved, would be soon called home. She was
then seventy-six years of age, yet to-day that old
mother, now ninety years of age, mourns the loss
of her son, whom she still survives. Mr. Ras-
mussen's trip was a stormy one, and during the
pitching of the vessel his hip was fractured,
although he finally recovered from this injury.
He died January 19, 1898, and his remains were
buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery.

His widow and six children survive him. Mrs.
Rasmussen's maiden name was Caroline C. Gun-
derson, and she was born in Norway, not far
from the birthplace of her husband, on Decem-
ber 20, 1841.


\ A I is well known among the residents of the
y Y northwestern portion of Chicago as the
proprietor of the establishment at No. 231 North
Ashland Avenue. Although scarcely more than
twenty-eight years of age, he has already built up
a prosperous business and gained an enviable

He was born at Lolland, Denmark, January
31, 1871, both of his parents being of Danish
birth. His father, Betel Petersen, was a hat
maker, and died in the village where he was born,
at the age of fifty-eight years. His mother,
whose maiden name Mary Petersdatter, still sur-
vives and is yet a resident of the Fatherland.
The subject of this article was the youngest of

seven children, all but one of whom attained

At the age of fourteen years young Petersen
left school; and after two years spent in farming,
he came to the United States, settling in Chicago.
For a time he found life hard; but success usually
comes to the man who patiently waits, refusing
to be disheartened by temporary disappointment,
and who is determined to " know no such word
as fail." He learned the trade of a barber, and
followed it for eight years, during seven years
managing his own shop at No. 226 North Ash-
land Avenue.

In 1 897 he resolved to embark in another line
of business. Accordingly, he added to his barber
establishment by buying a confectionery at No.


363 Erie Street, which he operated in connection
with the barber shop. In July, 1898, he sold out
and the following month bought his present busi-
ness, at No. 231 North Ashland Avenue.

In March, 1896, Mr. Petersen was united in
marriage to Miss Fannie Handrichsen, whose
birthplace was in Denmark, but who became a
resident of Chicago in 1892. One son has been
born to them, and named Leo Quincy.

Mr. Petersen is a Democrat in politics, aud is
a member of Denmark Lodge No. 112, Knights
of Pythias. It is such resolute perseverance as
his that has brought his countrymen into so
enviable a place among the foreign-born citizens
of the great northwest. Coming to Chicago a
penniless* boy, he has been the architect of his
own fortunes, which he has reared upon an en-
during basis.


IT MEILSTRUP is well known and highly
1^ esteemed among the younger members of
L_ the Danish colony in Chicago. He is yet
in the prime and vigor of his early manhood,
having been born at Copenhagen, September 5,
1869. His parents were Henry Meilstrup and
Henrietta Andersen, both native Danes, and the
parents of nine children, of whom the subject of
this brief sketch is the seventh in order of birth
and the fourth son. His father was a prominent
carpenter and contractor at Copenhagen, where
he conducted an extensive and prosperous busi-
ness until he reached the age of sixty, when his
labors were ended by death. His widow sur-
vived him and is still living at Copenhagen.

Mr. Meilstrup left school at the age of fifteen,
and for five years thereafter served an apprentice-
ship at the trade of carpenter and cabinet-maker.
For some two years he worked as a journeyman
in his native country, and came to the United
States in 1891, settling at Chicago. For a skil-
ful workman, such as he was, there was little
difficulty in finding employment at his chosen
trade, and he has followed it, in this city, ever
since. For the past year (1898-99) he has been
connected with the Western Electric Company.

Mr. Meilstrup is a member of Denmark Lodge
No. 112, Knights of Pythias, in which he holds
office, and of the Knights of Honor and the
Western Benevolent Association.


EARL AUGUST NIELSEN, whose popular-
ity among his fellow-citizens of Danish birth
and descent has led to his election to the
presidency of the Society Dania, resides at No.

1022 North Forty-first Court. His birthplace is
Copenhagen, his parents being Peter Nielsen and
Anna Adrian. His father, who died at the age
of fifty-eight years, was a contractor on the little


island of Fyen, off the Danish coast. The elder
Mrs. Nielsen is still living in the old country,
her hair silvered by the touch of seventy-six
winters. Of their six children two attained years
of maturity, Carl Nielsen and his sister Lydia,
the wife of Charles L. Wilde, of No. 1098 North
Forty-second Avenue. Mr. Wilde is a brick
layer and the business agent of the Bricklayers'
Union and president of the Pleasure Club,

Carl A. Nielsen was born October 6, 1864, and
spent the first twenty-five years of his life in
Denmark. Leaving school at the age of fourteen
years, he first served an apprenticeship of four
years at the book binding trade, and next a term

of one year in the Danish army. After his dis-
charge from military service he worked as a
journeyman until 1889. In that year he came to
Chicago, where he has ever since resided, work-
ing at his trade, and is now a valued employe of
Rand, McNally & Company.

He was married shortly before leaving his na-
tive country to Miss Marline Sorensen, who was
also born and educated at Copenhagen. They
have one son, Harold, born in Chicago in 1893.

Mr. Nielsen was chosen president of the So-
ciety Dania in the year 1898, after having served
a period two years as secretary of the organiza-
tion. He is also a member of the Bookbinders'


ELEMEN MOLBO has been a resident of
Chicago since August, 1880, and by industry
and thrift has achieved substantial success.
He was born June 21, 1859, at Semso, Denmark,
and is the youngest of the four children of Jergen
Molbo, a bricklayer and stonecutter, who died at
the age of eighty-one years.

As a boy Clemen attended the common schools
of the country where he lived, and at the age of
fourteen was apprenticed to learn the horse shoe-
ing trade. He faithfully served his term of five
years, as required by the Danish usage, and at
its completion received a certificate of competence
from the authorities, having been required to
undergo a theoretical and practical examination
as to his capability. At the age of twenty-one
years he came to this country, alone and with no
capital beyond his trade, his strength, his health
and his manly courage. As has been said above,
he reached this city in August, 1880.

The first work that he secured here was in
assisting in running an elevator in the James S.

Kirk soap factory. After two months he went to
Pullman, where he was employed as a laborer,
but before long secured work at his trade, with
the Deering Harvesting Company, with which
concern he remained some eighteen months.
Later he was employed in other shops at horse-
shoeing, and in 1886 he made a trip to the
Pacific coast, visiting Omaha, Denver, Salt Lake
City, Sacramento and San Francisco. Returning
by way of Kansas City to Chicago, he deter-
mined to revisit his native country. After spend-
ing some seven months among the scenes and
friends of his youth, he again gravitated back to
Chicago and resumed work at his trade as a
journeyman until 1889.

In that year he started in business for himself
at No. 219 North Sangamon Street. He sub-
sequently purchased ground and built a shop
and residence at No. 226, same thoroughfare,
where has prospered and still conducts a profit-
able business.

In 1888 he married Miss Anne M. Kramer, a


native of Denmark, but a resident of Chicago.
Two children have been born to them, Mandel
B. J. and Rosa G. K.

Mr. Molbo is a member of the following so-
cieties, in all of which he has taken an active

interest, and in several of which he has held
office: Society Dania, Danish Brotherhood, Court
Elite, No. 258, Independent Order of Foresters,
the Boss Horseshoers' Association and the Danish
Singing Society "Harmonien."


EHARLES L. HANSEN. The subject of this
article was born in Trondhjem, Norway,
July 18, 1856. His father, Hans E. Schoyen,
was a stone mason, and a man of rugged con-
stitution, dying at the age of seventy-nine, in the
village where he was born.

The first sixteen years of Charles L. Hansen's
life were spent at home. Until fourteen years of
age he attended school, and afterward served as
errand boy in a general store for about two and
one-half years. In 1874 he left Norway for
America. After landing in this country he came
at once to Chicago. For a year he lived with
his brother, and after that found employment as a
cook on a lake vessel plying between this city
and the lumber regions and the northwest. For

seven seasons he held the same position, finding
work in the restaurants during the months that
navigation was closed. In 1884 he entered the
employ of his brother, Hans A. Hansen, as bar-
keeper in the latter's saloon at No. 324 Milwau-
kee Avenue. In 1890 he started in business at
his present location, No. 324 Milwaukee Avenue.

He married, at Chicago, in 1881, Miss Con-
stance Olsen, who, like himself, claims Norway
as her birthplace. Mr. and Mrs. Hansen have
five children, all of whom yet live at home, with
their parents. They are named: Frank, Blanche,
Grace, Florence and Ethel.

Mr. Hansen has been a Knight of Honor for
sixteen years, and is a member and trustee of the
Norwegian Singing Society.


3 ENS ANDERS JENSEN. The gentleman
whose name is given above was born at For-
boy, Denmark, December 10, 1840, being
the son of Andres and Annslein Jensen, both na-
tives of Denmark. His father was by occupa-
tion a tinsmith and glazier, and died at the age

of fifty-three years. His mother passed the
eighty-sixth milestone in her life's path before
she was laid to rest, by the husband of her youth,
in the soil of their native land.

Andres Jensen was the father of five children,
of whom two are yet living. The subject of this

7 i6


article was the second in order of birth. After
attending school until his fourteenth year he en-
tered upon a five years' apprenticeship to the
cabinet-making trade. After serving his term
he began work as a journeyman, but at the age
of twenty -two years was drafted into the military
service, where he was employed for nineteen
months. He received his discharge in 1864, and
thereupon went to Germany, where he worked
at his trade about two years.

In July, 1866, he came to America, settling in
Chicago. He therefore takes pride in calling
himself one of the early Danish settlers of the
western metropolis. Without other resources
than a hardy constitution, a willing disposition
and skilled hands, he cast about to earn a liveli-
hood in a strange land. He soon secured em-
ployment at his trade, and for twenty-two years
he worked at manufacturing furniture for others.

By the end of these long years of waiting he had
accumulated enough, through industry and thrift,
to embark in business for himself. His venture
proved unsuccessful, and after two years he once
more went back to the bench for a daily wage.
In 1898 he again tried the experiment of estab-
lishing himself in his own place. He opened a
shop at No. 340 Chicago Avenue, his business
prospering from the outset and steadily growing.
Mr. Jensen has been twice married. He was
united to his first wife, Miss Minnie Christian-
sen, a Danish lady, in 1866, and by her was the
father of one daughter, Ella. The first Mrs.
Jensen died in 1872. His second wife was Miss
Mary Bems, who was born in Germany. They
have one son, Otto, who lives at home. Ella,
the daughter of the first Mrs. Jensen, is the wife
of Herman Schultz, a jeweler, and resides at No.
934 Milwaukee Avenue.


(TOHN PETER ANDERSEN is a manufac-
1 turer of clothing at No. 893 North Campbell
G/ Avenue, and has resided in Chicago for
seventeen years. His birthplace is Fyen, Den-
mark, where he opened his eyes upon the world
May 16, 1851. He is the fourth in a family of
five children born to Anders Jergensen, a ship
carpenter, who emigrated from Denmark and set-
tled in Dakota, coming to Chicago in 1890. He
still lives in this city.

John P. Andersen attended school at his native
town until he was fourteen years old, when he
went to work upon a farm on a stipend to be
paid half yearly. In 1871 he tired of farm life
and entered upon the acquiring of the ship car-
penter's trade. For four years he served as an
apprentice, and afterward supplemented his train-
ing by learning the craft of a house carpenter as

well. He remained in Denmark, working as a
carpenter, until 1882, when he determined to
emigrate to the United States.

Six years before that he had married Hansene
Jensen, his schoolmate in boyhood, and he
brought his family with him to the new world.
At that time he was the father of four children.

For some three years after coming to this city
he followed his trade as a house carpenter, and
then started out in business as a contractor, and
for two years was reasonably successful, erecting
many houses, chiefly in the northwestern part of
the city. Not being altogether satisfied, how-
ever, he turned his attention toward the manufac-
ture of clothing, in which he believed he saw a
more promising field for effort. Accordingly he
bought out an establishment in that line at No.
690 West North Avenue. The venture proved



so remunerative that within a year he built a
factory for himself on Campbell Avenue, as above
mentioned, where he has ever since conducted a
prosperous business, giving employment to some
forty people during the busy seasons of the year.
In 1896 he was burnt out, but soon rebuilt.

Mr. and Mrs. Andersen have seven children
living (1899), named as follows: Magnus, Jens,
Alvilda, Arthur, Kathy, Waldow and Thomas.
Mr. Andersen is an active member of the Danish
Brotherhood, and has served as president of the
order. In political principle he is a Republican.


f~REDERICK KIENZLE, deceased, was a
ry resident of Chicago for nearly a score of
I years and was widely known and highly
esteemed by his German fellow-citizens.

He was born October 16, 1827, in Wurtemberg,
Germany, where he received his primary educa-
tion in the parish school, and where he lived
until early manhood. In 1854 he immigrated to
America, settling first in Lee County, Michigan,
where he engaged in farming. He followed that
pursuit eleven years, and in 1865 sold his farm
and removed to Chicago. A year later he opened
a saloon at the corner of Clybourn Avenue and
Larrabee Street. He conducted this establish-
ment until his death, which occurred July 2, 1884,
after eighteen years of successful business. For
a year following the family continued to conduct

the place, but disposed of it in 1885. Mr. Kienzle
was a man of simple tastes and unassuming man-
ners, genial and generous, attentive to business
and of strong domestic affections.

January i, 1855, ne was united in marriage to
Miss Christina Siehler, a native of Wurtemberg,
like himself. She is the daughter of Frederick
Siehler and Johanna Britt, who came to America
in 1855. Mr. and Mrs. Kienzle were blessed
with seven children, of whom one died in infancy.
The six who yet survive (1899) are: William F. ;
Julia, wife of Henry Raungartz; Henry; Louise,
married to William Hunsinger; Frederick and

The family is connected with St. Paul's
Evangelical Lutheran Church, and held in high
esteem among a large circle of acquaintances.


IV /lARTlN AXELSON, who resides at No.

I Y I 947 North Forty-second Avenue, was born
\(S\ of Danish parents at Schlauerg, Denmark,
April 28, 1861. His father was S. N. Axelson,

Axelson was a blacksmith and conducted an ex-
tensive business, employing a number of men.
He died in Denmark at the age of sixty-two.
His widow passed away at her son's home, in

and his mother Maria Petersen. The elder Chicago, March 13, 1898. Of their family of

7 i8


nine children, two sons and four daughters grew
to maturity, Martin being the eighth child and
fourth son.

His early educational training was received at
the common schools of his native place, and at
the age of fifteen he began active life on a farm.
After four years spent in this occupation he re-
solved to emigrate, and in 1880 set out for Chi-
cago. His first employment in this city was in
a store on Grand Avenue, where he worked for
three months, when he began to learn the tailor's
trade as an apprentice. Tiring of this, he entered
the employ of the West Division Street Railway
Company, as a conductor. For two years he
held this position, and on quitting the company
engaged in business for himself as a manufactur-
ing tailor. His first location was at Nos. 325-327
West Ohio Street, where he remained for about
four years, when he removed to his present

quarters at No. 472 North Hermitage Avenue.
Here he carries on a flourishing business, em-
ploying about forty people.

In 1888 he married, at Chicago, one of his
countrywomen, Miss Cecilia Petersen, who came
to America in 1866. Mr. and Mrs. Axelson have
three sons: Walter, Arthur and Lester, and one
daughter, Alice.

Mr. Axelson' s political affiliations are strongly
Republican. He is a member of Norden Lodge
No. 699, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and
has filled every office in the subordinate lodge,
from the highest to the lowest. He is of a genial
disposition and has a wide circle of acquaintances,
among whom he is exceedingly popular. He has
been the architect of his own fortunes, and while
not yet forty years old has accumulated a com-
petence through industry and attention to busi-


NIELSEN is the oldest of four sons
| / born to John Nielsen and Caren Laursen,
|/9 of Jutland, Denmark. His father is a farmer,
and still lives on the same farm where himself
and his children were born. His mother died
October 17, 1878, when Niels was but thirteen
years old.

The subject of this sketch was born September
18, 1865. After devoting to school the years
usual among Danish youth he began work in
earnest upon his father's farm. As the years
went by young Nielsen heard of the adventures
and, not infrequently, the successes of his coun-
trymen across the Atlantic, and determined to
try his own fortune in a strange land, where
others had already earned a competence. In
1891 he bade adieu to the scenes of his youth,
and turning his back upon the farm where he
had been born, sailed away for America.

His first two years after landing on these
shores were spent in New Jersey, and in 1893 he
came to Chicago, where he has since made his
home. For a year after reaching this city he
worked for his brother, at No. 816 Cortland
Street, and in 1894 started in business for him-
self, as a dealer in milk and cream, locating first
on Washtenaw Avenue, later at No. 785 North
Campbell Avenue, and is now at No. 896 Mozart
Street. Here he carried a stock of groceries and
delicacies, in addition to his milk business.

Mr. Nielsen was married in 1897 to Miss
Susette Hourberg, who was born at Copenhagen,
but came to this country at the age of fifteen.
He is a member of Denmark Lodge No. 112,
Knights of Honor, and has rendered valuable
service to that body as a member of the commit-
tee charged with the care of the sick members of
the order.




I tember 23, 1839, in the village of Leuzer, on
Q) the Elbe River, in Brandenburg, Germany.
His parents were Frederick and Charlotta (Ku-
kuk) Wolff. His father was born September 4,
1 798. The latter was a man of large stature, weigh-
ing one hundred and sixty or seventy pounds; a
tailor by trade and a Lutheran in religious faith.
He emigrated from Germany to the United States
in 1854, with his wife and five children, and died
at Chicago, June 3, 1861, and was interred in the
old Lincoln Park burial ground, his remains being
afterwards removed to Graceland Cemetery . Fred-
erick Wolff's mother was born May 3, 1802, in
Westphalia, Germany, and passed away at Chi-
cago, May 9, 1888. Her father, William Kukuk,
was a native of Amsterdam and member of a fami-
ly noted for its tall and well-formed proportions.
The issue of her marriage was nine children who
reached maturity. John Frederick was the sev-

Of the Wolff family, Bertha, Henry and Theresa
were the first to seek a home in America. They
emigrated from Germany in 1851. John Fred-
erick, as has been said, came with his parents in
1854. In 1865 he embarked in the grocery and
commission business, in connection with his bro-
ther, Otto, at No. 332 Milwaukee Avenue. After
two years John Frederick purchased his brother's
interest and for a time conducted a saloon on the
premises. This he subsequently sold, but later
re-entered the business and continued in that line

of trade until his death. In 1872 he erected the
handsome building known as Wolff's Hall at No.
432 Milwaukee Avenue. The upper floors were
originally designed as a private residence, but the
top floor was later converted into a club-house
and rented for private parties. The first floor is
used as a store. Mr. Wolff's widow and chil-
dren have their home on the second floor.

In 1872 he engaged in the manufacture of in-
terior wood finish for buildings together with sash,
blinds and doors. In this enterprise his brothers,
Adolph and Otto, were associated with him and
the business was conducted under the title of
Wolff Brothers. In 1888 Otto sold out his inter-
est and the concern was incorporated under the
name of Wolff Brothers & Company. The busi-
ness was a success for many years, but was closed
out ten years after the death of its founder, Fred-
erick Wolff.

May 6, 1864, he married Louise Kolze, daugh-
ter of John Henry and Katharina (Haverbach)
Kolze. She was born March 6, 1844. Her grand-
father, Kurth Henry Kolze, who spent all his days
in the Fatherland, married Anna Marie Luehrs
and had three sons, Frederick, John Henry and
Diederich Henry.

John Henry Kolze emigrated to America in
1848, leaving Germany in October and spending
twelve weeks on the water. With his wife and
five children he proceeded at once to Chicago, and
though he had been a merchant tailor in his own
land, he resolved to take up farming in America,



as greater profits were promised those entering
that calling. He therefore established himself in
Leyden Township, where he acquired two hundred
acres of land. He was five feet eight inches high
and weighed between one hundred and fifty and
one hundred and sixty pounds. He was a member
of the German Reformed Church and helped build
Saint John's Church of that denomination in
Leyden. In politics he was a Republican. He
died August i, 1873, having been preceded but
eight days by his wife. Thus after journeying
for many years on earth together, they departed
together for the better land. Their children were

as follows: Mary, wife of H. Mesenbrink, Henry,
William, Frederick and Louisa, now Mrs. Walbb.
To Mr. and Mrs. Wolff were born eight chil-
dren: Otto, Adolph, Frank, Maltilda Louise,
Amanda Marie, Louise, Frederick Otto and Ber-
tha Frederika. Of these four are now living,
Tillie, Amanda, Fred and Bertha. Mr. Wolff
was a member of Goethe Lodge, Independent
Order of Odd Fellows, and the Sons of Herman
and the Red Men. In religious belief he was a
German Lutheran; in politics a Republican. He
died July 8, 1887, and was mourned by his many
friends and relatives.


erik Selvig, father of Octavius F., was a
shoemaker, of Copenhagen, Denmark, who
carried on business on his account, and was for

Online LibraryJohn MorleyAlbum of genealogy and biography, Cook County, Illinois : with portraits (Volume 1900) → online text (page 107 of 111)