Niels “Nels” Hansen

Photo added by David Beittel

Niels “Nels” Hansen

  • Birth 4 Nov 1857 Odense, Odense Kommune, Syddanmark, Denmark
  • Death 16 Jul 1941 San Diego, San Diego County, California, USA
  • Burial San Diego, San Diego County, California, USA
  • Plot Cathedral Mausoleum Corridor GH, Tier A. Niels is in Crypt 2
  • Memorial ID 109862417

Niels (Nels/ Neils) Hansen was the second child of Hans Hansen Sr and Birthe Marie NIELSEN Hansen. He knew his future wife Ottoline Diderikke Madsen AAGAARD in Denmark. He went ahead and established himself in the United States before they were married. She came to the United States two years later in 1882 and they were married 23 May 1882 in Hazel Dell, Iowa. Together they had nine children (7 lived past infancy). They were: Birthe (Bertha) Mae HANSEN Ward, Otto Hansen, John Hansen, Christena Maren HANSEN Short, Laura Hansen (died in infancy), Mace Hansen, Bryan Hansen, Lydia Hansen (died in infancy), Fremont (Monty) Hansen.

Niels Hansen was rumored to be born in Middelfart, Danmark, but actually was born in Krarup, Svendborg, Denmark. Niels was the son of a wealthy farmer. He served in the Danish army at age 18. At age 22, Niels left from Snarup, Krarup, Svendborg Danmark (Denmark) about June 17, 1880 (plus about 5 days) and his destination was Council Bluffs, Iowa. He arrived in New York from Liverpool, England July 21, 1880 on the S.S. Wisconsin. He left Denmark, most likely after his father passed away and he and his brother sold the farm.

Niels lived in Krarup, Svendborg, Denmark, where he met his future wife, Ottoline. He came to the United States 2 years before Ottoline and established himself in Iowa. He built a home in Pigeon Creek, IA (near Hazel Dell, IA) where they lived until shortly after their son Freemont (Monty) was born in 1900. He then built a home just below Loveland, IA and they lived there until Ottoline's death in 1911. It is likely Niels had his initial money from their sale of his father's farm in Denmark and Ottoline's dowry as she was the daughter of a wealthy farmer. It is rumored that Ottoline came from some line of the Danish Royalty; but this is only speculation.

By the 1910 census Otto, his son was listed as the HEAD of the house at the farm. Niels remained on the farm and moved to Excelsior springs just before 1920. His son, Otto, remained on the farm with Lulu, Otto's wife.

Christine Hansen (Short) had also moved to Excelsior Springs just before 1920 with her father (she was not yet married). She would marry about Dec 1920. There, Niels and Christena Hansen took in boarders. One of the boarders was Augusta Marie Bishop Whaley (who had been married before as well), Niels took her as his 2nd wife in about 1921 .

Augusta Marie BISOP Whaley Hansen was the daughter of Sprague Bishop and Maria BAYNTON Bishop. She married William H Cushman 22 Sep 1878 in Michigan. Together they had one child Bruce L. Cushman (1879-1944). After William Cushman passed away in 1900, Augusta married Jacob Whaley. They had no children. Her second husband passed away sometime before 1920 when she moved into the boarding house in Excelsior Springs, Missouri.

Niels and Augusta lived in Excelsior Springs until 1927 when they moved to their final home in San Diego, CA.

Niels was against his daughter, Birthe (Bertha) Mae, marrying William Alvin Ward. Bertha, as she was called, became pregnant and Niels finally relented. Bertha and William Alvin were married at Niel's home in Loveland, IA., months before Floyd M. Ward was born.

The Danish Emigration records show Niels as follows:

name: Hansen, Niels
Age: 22
contract No: 489000
Last Res Parish: Krarup
Last Residence: Snarup, Svendborg
Destination city: Council Bluffs
Name of ship Indirekte (indirect which means no ship name)
ID code I 7980H3613 (police registration No)
Occupation: Landarbejder (farmer)
Destination: Councill Bluffs, Iowa (misspelled)
Registration date: 06/17/1880 (usually left 5 days after registration)
Last Res county Svendborg
Destination country: USA
Destination State: Iowa


Newspaper obituary:
Date: Monday July 21, 1941 Paper; San Diego Union (San Diego, CA) pg 16

HANSEN—Neils, July 16, beloved husband of
Augusta M. Hansen, father of Mace Hansen,
San Diego; Otto Hansen, Crescent, IA; John
Hansen,Heber-Ariz; Bertha Ward, Council
Bluffs, IA; Christina Short,Excelsior Springs,
MO; aged 83. Friends are invited to attend
services Monday, 10 a.m. at Lewis Mortuary,
Rev L. H. Hendren officiating,
Entombment, Greenwood mausoleum.


Family Members


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  • Created by: David Beittel
  • Added: 2 May 2013
  • Find A Grave Memorial 109862417
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Niels “Nels” Hansen (4 Nov 1857–16 Jul 1941), Find A Grave Memorial no. 109862417, citing Greenwood Memorial Park, San Diego, San Diego County, California, USA ; Maintained by David Beittel (contributor 47260414) .