Olof Ohman


Olof in Forsa, the later half of the 19th century

Olof Olsson (Öhman) was born on October 10, 1854 in Forsa parish in Hälsingland, Sweden and died August 27, 1935 at his farm in Solem Township, Douglas County, MN. His parents were Olof Olsson and Brita Danielsdotter. His father was a "houseman", meaning that he did not own the land where they lived. The Olssons owned a couple of cows and the father had a small carpentry workshop. Like many children growing up in the 19th and early 20th centuries, Olof would have learned the carpentry trade by watching and working with his father. Brita died in 1871, leaving Olof and his two younger siblings, Margta and Daniel. At age 22 Olof was working as a hired hand on neighboring farms. He dreamt of owning his own land and becoming a farmer, but there was little chance for fulfilling his dream in Sweden. The Swedish law did not allow for the purchase of land. It could be acquired in only one of two ways-either through inheritance or by marrying a property owner. Olof's dream ultimately led to his decision to leave his family in Hälsingland and begin a new life in America. Margta and Daniel remained in Forsa where they raised their families. Olof would return to his native land but twice-once before he married and the second time just before America entered WWI.

America, America - Olof Olsson becomes Olof Ohman

Olof Olsson was one of the passengers aboard a ship that left Gothenburg, Sweden for Philadelphia on June 30, 1879. The ticket cost him 400 kronor ($53). He called himself Öhman after his father's childhood home, Öhn. In America Ö became O and thus Olof Olsson became Olof Ohman. In a letter to his relatives in Sweden, Olof explained that after arriving in Philadelphia he traveled via train to Chicago, Milwaukee, Bishop Hill, St. Paul, and finally to Morris, MN and stated that he "is now in Douglas County", probably in Holmes City Township. He found work as a carpenter and at a steam powered lumber and flour mill. In 1883 he returned to Sweden but soon takes a ship back to the US.

Olof Ohman and Karin Danielsson (Danielsdotter) were married November 27, 1886 by Rev. John E. Hedberg, Swedish minister at Alexandria, MN. Karin was born January 2, 1862 in Forsa parish, Hälsingland, Sweden and died November 18, 1947 at the family farm in Solem Township, Douglas County, MN.. She immigrated from Gothenburg, Sweden on June 19, 1886 and arrived at Bishop Hill, Illinois. Her parents were Daniel Jonson (a farmer) and Karin Ersdotter. Their first son-Olof, Jr.- was born in Holmes City Township in 1887 and there is evidence to suggest that they may have been living in an area known as the Oscar Lake community, a couple of miles east of where Olof would purchase their farm in 1890. 
Name Birth Place Death Place
Olof Oct. 10, 1854 Forsa, Hälsingland, Sweden Aug. 27, 1935 Solem Twp., Douglas Co., MN
Karin Jan. 2, 1862 Forsa, Hälsingland, Sweden Nov. 18, 1947 Solem Twp., Douglas Co., MN
Olof E. June 1887 Holmes City Twp., Douglas Co., MN 1958 Viking, Alberta, Canada
Carl Edward Nov. 20, 1888 Douglas Co., MN Dec. 9, 1950 Williston, North Dakota
Daniel Arthur Feb. 7, 1891 Solem Twp., Douglas Co., MN Feb. 18, 1984 Alexandria, MN
Betsy Amanda Dec. 9, 1892 Solem Twp., Douglas Co., MN 19-Apr-51 Solem Twp., Douglas Co., MN
Ida C. 1894 Solem Twp., Douglas Co., MN 1979 Detroit, Michigan
Oscar C. March 14, 1897 Solem Twp., Douglas Co., MN Jan. 7, 1918 Solem Twp., Douglas Co., MN
John Gerhard April 11, 1899 Solem Twp., Douglas Co., MN Feb. 10, 1960 Pinewood, MN
David Edwin Aug. 12, 1902 Solem Twp., Douglas Co., MN 17-Jul-29 Solem Twp., Douglas Co., MN
Otto William Oct. 5, 1905 Solem Twp., Douglas Co., MN Oct. 30, 1973 Pinewood, MN

Family notes: Edward moved to Crosby, N.D. in 1911 where he worked as a carpenter. Following his service in WW I he moved to Appam, N.D. where he continued in the carpentry trade until 1928 when he owned and operated a garage until his retirement in 1948.

In 1937 William moved to Pinewood, MN where he farmed. He married Myrtle Tegner at Fertile, MN in 1939.

Arthur and John remained on the farm following their mother's death in 1947. A few months before his death in 1960, John left the farm to live with his brother William. Besides farming, Arthur worked in the lumber mills of northern Minnesota (probably the CCC camps of the 1930's) and as a well driller with Haaken Peterson of Kensington. In 1973 the Ohman farm was transferred to Douglas County, through the efforts of the Runestone Park Foundation, for development as a recreational and historical park.

All of the Ohman children attended school at District 63 and were confirmed at Solem (Norwegian) Lutheran Church.