BIOGRAPHY - Eric Olsson

ERIC PETER OLSSON, minister of the Lutheran Church and for many years pastor of the Swedish Lutheran congregation in Paxton, is a native of the province of Helsingland, where he was born Nov. 24, 1857, at Undersvik. His parents, John Olsson, a farmer, and his wife, Martha Erickson, both died in recent years at Pawnee Rock, Kans.
The family came to America in 1870, living for four years in Pennsylvania before removing' to Kansas. After spending about five years on the farm at Pawnee Rock, Eric Peter was sent to school at Rock Island, where he studied during the years 1880-87 at Augustana College and Theological Seminary. Shortly after graduation in the spring of 1887 he was ordained to the ministry and took charge of a pastorate at Marquette, Kans. After a year and a half he assumed charge of the church at Paxton, and continued to labor in that historic field from December, 1888, until April, 1906. On a call from the church in Falun, Kans., he now removed there, partly from the necessity of looking after certain important property interests in that locality.
In 1897 the degree of A. M. was conferred upon Rev. Olsson by Bethany College, and in 1901 he received the honorary title of D. D. from Wittenberg College, Springfield, Ohio.
Dr. Olsson has served as president and secretary of the Paxton District of the Illinois Conference of the Augustana Synod. For five years he edited and published Olive-Bladet, a local monthly paper in the interest of his church at Paxton. On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the same church he edited a memorial album, containing the history of the Paxton congregation from 1863 to 1903.
Dr. Olsson was married to Miss Esther Thorstenberg May 18, 1893. Mrs. Olsson is the daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. O. H. Thorstenberg, well known to the Swedish settlers of Kansas. She was born at Assaria, Kans., Feb. 8, 1871. The union has been blessed with three sons and three daughters, of whom the following are living: Eric Paul Torsten, born 1894, Carl Birger Samuel and Jarl Helge Sigfrid, twins, 1902, and Edla Agnes Marie, 1904.

Extracted 28 Jan 2017 by Norma Hass from History of Swedes of Illinois, published in 1908, Volume 2, pages 189-190.

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