Saturday Smiley: The Olson Farm

Daniel and family (his sons and brother) in the corn crib at the Minnesota farm
Daniel and family (his sons and brother) by the corn crib at the Minnesota farm

Once upon a time, a man named Daniel moved with his wife and four children from Iowa to Minnesota.  In Minnesota, he bought a farm.  One of his brothers was already living in the town near the farm he bought.  After they had grown, his children moved all over, except one of his sons, Nuel, who took over the home farm.

Fast forward one hundred years from the date that Daniel moved.  TODAY!  Yes, that’s right.  Our farm becomes a century farm this year!  And while Daniel signed the deed in February, we are honoring the event this summer.  Nuel’s son Kenny took over the farm from him, and his other son, Bob, moved to a farm nearby.  Kenny’s son Jonathan took over the farm from him, and that’s my dad, so it is currently a four generation farm!  It’s really exciting.  And, because I’m home this summer, I’m helping to scan and organize old pictures in a slideshow and generally help when needed for the century farm party we’ll be having in a couple weeks.  Let me share some things I’ve learned:

Nuel's Sign

–          This farm actually has a name.  Daniel paid 50 cents for it, and technically, it still has that name.

–          Nuel began growing certified seed in the ‘30s.  That tradition stands to this day.

–          Daniel had an impressive ‘stash.  That’s a family trait, as well, as my dad and Bob’s sons all have great mustaches.  (Bob being Kenny’s brother, Nuel’s other son.)

–          Nuel and his wife, Myrtle, both went to the Ag School at the University of Minnesota in the 20s (currently the Twin Cities campus).  Kenny, Bob, and both of their wives went to an Ag School that later became the University of Minnesota Morris.

–          This farm has changed a lot since Daniel bought it.  Only two of the buildings that were here when he moved here still stand today.  Another, we tore down about a month ago. (The two buildings being the old corn crib and the house.)


– When you take a picture, label it so that future generations know the what and who and when of a picture. (Seriously, this stuff is important!)

– Basically, my family has been awesome for generations.  I so have proof.

I love family history, and I appreciate this farm so much more now knowing all of the history behind it.  I never completely understood why we didn’t have animals on our farm, but the rich tradition of growing certified seed is so worth much more!  My mom has been talking about all this awesome history on her blog, too, so be sure to check it out.  It has been SO MUCH FUN learning everything I have so far!  We’re having a Century Farm Party in a couple weeks, like I said, and we invited people that have impacted or are impacted by this farm in some way.  The list is quite long, but our farm has expanded over the last century, so there’s room for everyone.


This farm and all its history is the reason for my smiley today!  — Anna Olson (Great-great granddaughter of Daniel Olson)

3 thoughts on “Saturday Smiley: The Olson Farm

  1. This is very awesome! My folks farmed for years in Southeastern Iowa. Due to some unfortunate circumstance than needed to sell that farm. A few of my brothers still talk about how they wish they had the opportunity to take over the farm. Four generations, that is so great. Our farm was into the third generation. Those were wonderful days; hard to explain to “city folk,” and it sounds like you are proud of your heritage as well.

    1. Indeed, I am! With two sisters, I have to keep not freaking about who will take it next, as we’re all in college, still. There’s time. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!


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