Putnam County


Mons Olson, who is successfully engaged in farming in La Salle county on the line between that and Putnam county, was born in Denmark, December 3, 1839, and there spent the days of his boyhood and youth, his time and attention being devoted to agricultural pursuits. Ambitious to try his fortune in America, he crossed the Atlantic in 1857 on a sailing vessel and after a voyage of eight weeks landed on the shores of the new world. He came directly to Illinois and located in the vicinity of Granville, where he had relatives living, and in this locality he has since made his home.

He was employed on a farm until President Lincoln's call for volunteers at the outbreak of the Civil war and on the llth of August, 1862, he offered his services to his adopted country, becoming a member of Company B, One Hundred and Fourth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, as a private. He participated in all of the engagements in which his company and regiment took part and was with Sherman on the march to the sea. During the siege of Atlanta he was wounded, but still able to remain on duty, but at Bentonville, North Carolina, he received a gunshot wound in the thigh March 19, 1865, and on board a vessel was taken to New York city, being later transferred to the hospital at Davis Island, where he remained for some time. While there he learned that the war had ended and on the 8th of June he was honorably discharged, returning to Granville, Illinois, but for four years he suffered from his wound, which never healed, but continued a running sore. When the bullet was removed, thirteen years afterward, another bullet was also taken from his thigh. Whether he was wounded in two places or that was a part of the same bullet is unknown. He has now wholly recovered and suffers no inconvenience from his wound, though he receives a pension of twelve dollars per month.

Throughout his active business life Mr. Olson has carried on farming and his first purchase of land consisted of eighty-three acres three miles east of Granville, just over the line in La Salle county. He lived upon that place until 1895, when he purchased sixty-five acres adjoining which had been improved by C. M. Chase, and here he has a good home surrounded by substantial outbuildings and well cultivated fields. His farm now comprises one hundred and forty-eight acres, which is all under a high state of cultivation with the exception of about six acres, which is now crossed by the Granville & Oglesby branch of the St. Paul Railroad.

On the 11th of May, 1871, Mr. Olson was united in marriage to Miss Mary Leech, a native of Putnam county, and to them have been born five children, all of whom are still living, as follows : Jennie Z., now the wife of J. 0. Taylor, living in Springfield, Illinois; Harry L., living on a farm near Earlham, Iowa; Joseph N., who is with his brother in Iowa ; and Edwin J. and Anna May, both at home.

Mr. Olson and his family are members of the Granville Congregational church and the family is one of prominence in the community where they reside. He is now building a nice residence in Granville, where in the near future he expects to remove and live retired from active labor. He is one of the ten Danes who enlisted from the vicinity of Granville during the dark days of the Civil war and only five of the number returned when hostilities had ceased. He is patriotic and loyal to the interests of his adopted country and is honored wherever known.

Source: Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties Illinois authored by John Spencer Burt and W. E. Hawthorne in 1907, page 500.

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