Otto Olson (1858-1921) emigrated from Norway to Chicago, Illinois in 1877 and worked as a barber. (b. February 09, 1858, Vanse parish, Farsund, Vest-Agder, Norway - d. April 12, 1921, 465 Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA)
Name: He was listed as "Otan Olesen" at birth and on some records listed as "Otto Olsen".
Parents: Ole Mattias Pedersen (1820-1914) who worked as a baker and Thea Johanne Torstensdatter (1825-1865) who may have died in childbirth.
Birth: He was born on February 9, 1858 in Vanse parish, Farsund, Vest-Agder, Norway.
Baptism: Otto was christened under the name "Otan Olesen" in Vanse parish on March 21, 1858.
Siblings: Otto's siblings include: Peder Mathias Olsen (1851-?); Theodore Johan Olsen (1852-?); Sopie Marie Olsdatter (1852-after1908); Josette Theresa Olsdatter (1855-?) aka Joletta Olsdatter; Lena Elaine Olson (1860-1938) aka Hannah Eline Olsdatter, who emigrated to Chicago in Illinois in the United States, and married Andrew Jensen (1861-1930); and the youngest was Salmine Sophia Pedersen (1862-1914) aka Salmine Sopie Severine Olsdatter, who married John Edward Winblad (1856-1914) and emigrated to New York City in the United States.
Death of mother: Otto's mother, Thea, died at a young age and Ole raised the seven living children alone. Ole never remarried.
Farsund, Norway: The family was listed in the 1865 Norway Census living in Farsund.
Emigration: Otto emigrated to the United States in 1877 and he lived in Chicago and worked as a barber. He may have appeared in the 1880 US Census living in Praire Farm, Barron County, Wisconsin, or this may be another Otto Olson.
Marriage: On September 04, 1884, under the name "Ottan Olsen" he married Hannah E. Hansen (1864-1936) at Our Saviour Lutheran Church in Chicago. Their marriage certificate was number "57254".
Children: Together they had the following children: Tille Olson (1885-1918) who married Norval Wintrone (1890-1918) and they both died along with their child in the influenza pandemic of 1918; Harry Oliver Olson (1887-1964) who served as a Lieutenant in World War I, married a French woman named Germaine X (1900-1920) who died after two years of marriage in San Francisco, and they had no children; Mabel Olson (1890-1971) who married Jesse Garrett Clay (1888-1976) and had one child and four grandchildren; Norman Otto Olson (1895-1977) who married Isabelle Wickman (1901-1931) and had one child, then he married Eva Folkert (1904-2000) from Germany and had three children; and Helen Olive Olson (1900-1970) who married John Lozinski (1896-1980) and after a divorce married Frank Kirpichoff (1891-1965).
Barber: Otto was listed in the 1880-1890 Chicago City Directory as a barber, working or living at 183 Milwaukee Avenue.
Trip to Norway: In 1897 Otto was visiting his family in Norway. On August 20, 1897 he left from Kristiansand to return to Chicago and he was listed as a barber on the ship's manifest.
Chicago, Illinois: In 1900 Otto and Hannah were living at 167 Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago and appear in the US Census.
Postcard: Otto wrote a postcard to his sister, Salmine, and her husband John Winblad on December 25, 1908 and it read as follows: "Mr. John Winblad, 437 Wayne Street, Jersey City, New Jersey, USA, We thank our God, that we're not homeless this Christmas, in snow and storm and slush. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from your affectionate brother, Otto Olson". The postcard was postmarked from Chicago, Illinois. This postcard began the search for Otto's descendants.
Coal dealer: In the 1910 Chicago City Directory Otto was listed as a coal dealer working at 452 North Union; and as a barber at 465 Milwaukee Avenue, while living at 465 Milwaukee Avenue for both entries. The coal business appears to have not lasted long.
Death of sister: His sister Salmine, died of a heart attack on December 18, 1914 while she was visiting Farsund.
Chicago, Illinois: In 1917 Otto was again listed in the Chicago City Directory as a barber living and working at 465 Milwaukee Avenue.
Death: Otto died in 1921 of "chronic disease of the heart with chronic nephritis" while he was living at 465 Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago. Otto's death certificate incorrectly lists his birth year as "1857". It is listed as 1858 in his baptism record at Vanse parish in Farsund, Norway.
Burial: He was buried in Mount Olive Cemetery at 3800 North Narragansett Avenue in Chicago.
Widow: Hannah died on April 24, 1936 and was buried next to him on April 27, 1936.
Legacy: There are four extant lines descending from Otto: Tille; Mabel; Norman; and Helen. Otto also had a sister, Lena living in Chicago, but the families drifted apart after Otto's death, so that by 2003 only Hazel Wintrone (1916- ) remembered the Jensen side of the family in Chicago. On June 19, 2004, Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) visited Dorothy Lozinski (1920- ) in Chicago. Dorothy is a grand-daughter of Otto. Otto had two cousins that came over from Farsund: Jakob E. Willumsen (1853-1928) who settled in Minnesota; and Inga Pedersen (1885-1927) who married Emil Schneider (c1880-1955) and lived in Jersey City, New Jersey. Jacob Willumsen left his children behind in the US and returned to Norway after his wife died. There is a photo of him and one of his barber shop, but they may have been lost when they were send out to be used in a family video.
Relationships: Otto Olson (1858-1921) was the great-granduncle of Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ). He was the grandfather of Dorothy Lozinski (1920- ) and Hazel Wintrone (1916- ).
Research: Researched and written by Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) for Findagrave starting on September 6, 2003.