Ed and Olive Severson and three of their children.

From L to R : Ina (dau.), Effie (dau.), Ed, Olive and Severt (son). This photo must of been taken abt. 1915, because Effie was born in 1905 and I am going to guess that she is abt. 10 years old in the photo.
Ed and Olive (Nelson) Severson

Submitted to the Dixon Co., NE, GenWeb Pages by Sharon Hagler

Information on Ed and Olive Severson obtained from "THE SEVERSON HISTORY" written by Effie Severson Booth, in the mid 1970's.


Axel Edward Severson was born to Severt and Dorthea Severson. His birthdate was October 29, 1849 at Eidsvold, Norway, north of Oslo. The family name was Vaaler as Norsk people used the name of their farm (or gaard in Norwegian). He had a brother Brede who was a fireman in Oslo, three sisters, Laura, Mrs. Herman Peterson, Vermillion, South Dakota, Gina, Mrs. Gilbert Larson, Prosser, Washington, and Mrs. Dina Christianson.

Axel Edward Severson, was called Ed by all whom knew him, was a woodsman and used to tell how they loved their horses in Norway. They didn't have the rangy work horses, more of the chubby type, and they never rode on the load of wood but saved their horses and walked beside them. He came to South Dakota when he was twenty-one, without relatives or friends, in the year of 1870. He then stayed at his sisters place, Laura, Mrs. Herman Peterson of Vermillion, South Dakota.

It was at the Stalheims in South Dakota, that Ed met Olive Nelson, dau. Of Marcus Nelson of Maskell, NE. Ed had been hired by Mr. Stalheim to stack hay as he was an expert hay stacker. Ed and Olive were married at Vermillion, South Dakota, December 20, 1877 by Judge H.A. Copeland when Olive was just sixteen and Ed was twenty-eight. Effie Booth, daughter of Ed and Olive, had this to say: Dad (as I remember him) was tall, rangy and rather easy-going to a point. He loved to visit and reminisce. Mother was short, dark, energetic, outspoken but kind-hearted, and had a sense of humor. They lived for several years on a homestead in Clay County, South Dakota northwest of Vermillion. There Anna Mathia was born November 27, 1878; Albert, June 7, 1881; Sivert, (the first by that name) January 24, 1884. Albert died January 19, 1889 and Sivert, January 29, 1889 from diphtheria. Alice was then born on Sept. 7, 1889.

The years on the Bottom were hard ones and included the year of the great blizzard of 1888 and the flood in 1881 when they had to row between the buildings to care for the stock. In about 1894, Ed and Olive purchased the Bobier place which was about a mile north of the Nelson homestead in Nebraska, and moved there with their two little daughters Anna and Alice.

During those winters settlers crossed the Missouri on the ice to go to Vermillion and exchange their produce for supplies. It was during one of those trips that Ed lost the team and wagon in the river and only because he was a strong swimmer and could free himself of his long fur coat, too, did he save his own life.

On October 6, 1896 Ina Bernice was born and three years later Severt Gerhart was born August 27, 1899. Then came Effie Marion came along six years later on June 30, 1905.

Shortly before the birth of Severt (Bub), a pasture fire started by a neighbor grew out of bounds and burned all of the buildings on Ed and Olive's place. They were able to rebuild and keep going.

Ed was a great woodsman and this helped them in many ways. Olive knew how to wash, card and spin the wool for knitting the many mittens, caps, scarves, sweaters, stockings that were necessary for warmth in those days and was a excellent cook.

Once in Nebraska, all the children of Ed and Olive attended the Lime Grove School. Anna then grew up and married George Gilbertson; Sarah Alice married Joseph Olsen; Ina Bernice married Lester Bishop, Severt Gerhart married Relda Curry and Effie Marion married Patrick Roy Booth.

Ed passed away on March 5, 1927 at New Castle, Dixon Co., NE and Olive passed away on January 12, 1949 at New Castle, Dixon Co., NE.



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